By Rene Agredano
Learning how to back up an RV is one of the biggest challenges that every RVer encounters. The following tips can make the back up procedure second nature for both driver and co-pilot.
First, use walkie talkies or cell phones to communicate. A walkie talkie that doubles as a weather radio is useful but cell phones can also be used.
Next, pre-determine which hand signals and verbal commands you’ll use. Handy terms such as “Driver side” and “Passenger side” are useful for indicating which way to point the rig’s back end. A raised fist signal can indicate when to stop.
Assess the parking area when you arrive at your destination. Look for obstructions that might block your slide-outs and be mindful of low-lying trees and boulders that can interfere with your turning radius, especially on the passenger side.
When the backup procedure begins, the co-pilot must be able to see the driver’s face in the mirror. Make consistent eye contact or else the driver cannot see the co-pilot’s signals.
Keep your backup speed as slow as a baby’s crawl. The co-pilot should be able to walk around the entire rig while it’s moving. Slow speed gives the driver enough time to react to an impending accident.
Finally, don’t yell. Yelling increases both parties’ stress levels and doesn’t help. If you follow these tips, you won’t need to raise your voice at all during your next camping adventure.
(photo courtesy cabaret voltaire on flickr.com)