When you finally arrive at your destination with your Airstream travel trailer in tow, you are excited to relax and get settled. First, you have to back your Airstream into your camping spot. This is the bane of many Airstream travelers, but with a little practice and following a few expert tips, you’ll be an expert yourself in no time.
How Can My Travel Partner Help Me Backup My Travel Trailer?
Traveling with someone who can be your guide during the backup process is a great asset. Before you arrive at your destination, agree upon hand signals and language that will be clear to both of you in the moment. Instead of “right” and “left,” consider using “driver’s side” and “passenger side.”
Your travel partner should position themselves forward of the tow vehicle so you can easily see them. Their directions should always indicate to the driver the direction the rear of the travel trailer should go.
Using walkie-talkies can be helpful during the process to avoid shouting instructions and attracting attention. It can add stress to the situation when you know people are watching.
A little practice in a parking lot with the person giving directions can save a lot of frustration when backing into a campsite.
Successful Techniques Backing Up Your Travel Trailer
When BACKING UP the important thing to remember is to DO EVERYTHING SLOWLY and to correct immediately if you see the trailer turning the wrong way.
- Concentrate on the rear of the trailer.
- With your tow vehicle and trailer in a straight line, back up slowly and turn the bottom of the steering wheel in the direction you want the trailer to go.
- Watch from the window or in the mirror until the rear of the trailer is pointing in the desired direction.
- Your tow vehicle will be following your travel trailer in an arc. Straighten the tow vehicle and trailer by turning the steering wheel more sharply, and then when they are in line, straighten the steering wheel.
- Always try to back to your left (driver’s side) because the visibility is much better.
Many seasoned Airstreamers use the SWOOP or SCOOP method to position the rear of their travel trailer in such a way that makes backing up easier. To try the SWOOP method, drive toward your parking spot at an acute angle. Once the front of your vehicle nears the parking spot, swoop away from it, continuing to pull forward until your travel trailer is slightly past the parking space. You are now positioned with an ideal angle to begin backing up your Airstream. Turn your wheel clockwise to back up into your spot.
What Do I Do If I Don’t Backup Correctly The First Time?
When you do not make it on the first try it is usually much easier to pull forward to your original straight position and start over. Take a deep breath and don’t let frustration get the best of you.
How Can A Rearview Camera Help Me BackUp My Travel Trailer?
After pairing your rearview camera to the monitor, ensure your daytime running lights are on. The rear camera is powered by your vehicle's running lights so make sure you have your running lights on (not on auto) to ensure proper camera operation.
There is also a volume button on your rearview camera. If you have a travel partner helping you back up, then can speak towards the camera for you to hear them inside the tow vehicle.