When I reached the time of my planned retirement , I purchased a 29 ft. trailer and a new car for towing. We planned for the two of us to spend our winters in Florida and summers in Atlantic City. I avoided the crucial test of backing each night until I was faced with it until we arrived at a campground in Savannah, Georgia . The thought of trying to back into a space the past few nights caused me to break out into a sweat, At this campgound I had to learn the skill of backing. since there were no pull-throughs available as were the nights before we reached Savannah. Trees and a power post on one side and a concrete pad on the passenger side made the situation an impossibility for me to park. There was little wiggle room for the width of my unit . I imagined a caved in RV as a penalty for my inexperience on just our first trip.
The manager of the park gave me a new lease on my RV life. He refused to park my rig for me ! He firmly insisted on standing by my drivers window and then gave me the best lesson I have ever had in backing up a trailer. He explained that I should keep both hands on my lap at the bottom of the steering wheel. I was to use the left hand to move upward on the left side of the wheel if i wanted the rear of the trailer to go to my left. The right hand- if I wanted to move the trailer to my right. The use of the fender mirrors was imperative rather than listening to bystanders or looking over my shoulder.
Each day no less than 20 RVs arrived at our base during the winter in Ft. Lauderdale and half of those campers were directed by the campground managers to my site for help in parking. I was deemed the expert on helping people to park. This park had no pull-throughs. Folks who were hesitant to back in, came to “Stan the Parking Man” to teach them how to backup their trailer.
For 24 years, and as the founder of two Good Sam Chapters new members would wait until my arrival at RV parks to help them park their towed unit. The advent of the hand held portable CB radio and with a unit on the dashboard have helped to simplify the whole process but the original hand positions still come into use at each backing up need.
So after travel through 49 USA states., Mexico and all the 10 provinces of Canada I owe a big thanks to the man who explained the perfect way to back a trailer into a narrow space.
Submitted by Stanley Shotz of West Palm Beach, FL as a part of the RV Centennial Celebration “Share Your Favorite RV Memory” contest.
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