Backing A Trailer

How to back up a trailer

 Boat -trailer

Backing up a trailer can be quite daunting if you are at a busy boat ramp with everyone watching. If you struggle with backing a trailer & would like a few tips that may help you out, read on.


The longer the trailer you have the easier it is to back up. You may have found in the past when you are trying to back up a shorter trailer that you end up with the trailer jack knifed very easily. This is because shorter trailers react more quickly than what a longer trailer will.


There are a few different techniques on how to back up a trailer, but I am going to tell you how I like to do it. Depending on the size of the vehicle you are driving, & the size of the trailer you are towing, will determine which method you should be using to back up your trailer. For instance, if you are in a large vehicle & you are trying to reverse your boat trailer down the ramp without the boat on the trailer, you will generally find that looking out your back window doesn't help as you can't see the trailer.


With that in mind, the best way to learn how to back a trailer is by using the side mirrors, & it is really quite simple. Start with the vehicle & trailer in a straight line, look into both of your side mirrors to see where the trailer is positioned. In most cases you should be able to see the trailer wheels in both side mirrors, if not, you will as you start to back up. As you start to reverse, the trailer will move to one side or the other, when this happens all you need to do is to steer the vehicle into the direction that the trailer is sticking out. (If you notice the trailer is moving to the right of you vehicle, steer the vehicle to the right) this will bring the trailer back into line. I like to remember it by just moving the top of the steering wheel towards the mirror that you see the trailer in.


When backing down a boat ramp, use the side of the ramp or a line in the concrete as a guide. Pick a guide for both sides of the trailer to stay between, and then look back & forth between the left & right side mirrors adjusting the steering wheel as needed.


Same applies when looking out of the rear window. Just move the top of the steering wheel in the direction that the trailer is sticking out to bring it back into line.


This just takes a little practice, before you know it you will be backing up around corners.

I hope this has been helpful.