I have owned a camper for a couple of years now, and next to towing, backing up has been my biggest challenge. Knowing how to back up a teardrop trailer will take some practice, but it is not impossible and I promise you will get better. Here are some tips to get started.
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How to Back up a Teardrop Trailer
- Put your hand in the bottom middle of the steering wheel. I have been told that backing up a small trailer is actually more difficult than a longer camper. I think this is because it is so short that it is easy to over correct when you are turning. When you are backing up your teardrop trailer, make sure that your hand is on the bottom middle of the steering wheel. Then turn to look behind you, and slowly turn the steering wheel in the direction that you want the back of the trailer to go.
- Have a partner to guide you. It’s very helpful to have someone guide you to make sure you are not going to hit something while backing up. Some people find walkie talkies helpful. If you don’t have help, don’t be afraid to ask another camper. People that camp are typically very helpful in general. If you are alone, get out of the car to see what is behind you. It’s not unusual for me to get out 2-3 times just to get a good idea of where I need to go when backing up. You can also purchase a back up camera for your camper to help see what is behind you.
- Learn the “swoop”. The swoop means that as you are approaching your campsite, you swoop toward the site and then pull out again to the other side of road. This will help get your trailer into a position that will make it easier to back up.
- Pull the trailer forward to straighten out. If you start to jack knife, or go in a direction you do not want to go, pull forward a bit to straighten out the trailer.
- Take your time. Don’t let the fact that others may be watching you intimidate you while backing up your trailer. You don’t want to be rushed and make a mistake.
- Practice. You can go to a large parking lot to get a feel of how to back up your
teardrop camper. Just know that you will get a feel for it and get better over time.
Here are some videos about How to back up a teardrop trailer from some of my favorite experts:
Here is a great video by Andrew Chwalik backing up his NuCamp T@G Camper. Make sure to follow his channel for a lot of great
Janine Pettit from Girl Camper is the reason that I am not afraid to tow and back up. I highly recommend following her podcast and website.
What are your tips for how to back up a teardrop trailer? Let us know in the comments!