Hitching up?

I know some of y'all fly solo, which means you hitch up solo too.  I could sure use some tips and tricks for that..... My TV has a rear view camera, but it does not have the "look down at the hitch" feature.  Thanks.
2017 CS-S Max (Silver & Yellow) TV 2015 Nissan Xterra
under the Big Sky

Comments

  • ScottGScottG Posts: 1,989Moderator
    edited June 2017
    Interesting, I can clearly see my hitch ball with the camera on my 2015 Nissan Frontier without any adjustment. It definitely makes lining up a snap, though the view angle can make judging the exact point to stop a little tricky.

    I've seen low-tech rigs that are basically balls on sticks. You put one on the trailer and one on the tow vehicle, look out the back window, and back up until the balls touch. 
  • marknjudymarknjudy Posts: 378Member
    That's probably the best method - what ScottG describes. My method is more low tech. I back up towards the trailer trying to keep the tailgate centered to the trailer. When I "feel" like I'm close enough (you tend to get a spider sense for it), I get out and check. I make a mental measurement of how far away I am - usually within 18 inches. I make a mark 18 inches in front of my open truck door and back up slowly until the mark lines up with the door. Takes a small amount of practice but I can generally hit it within an inch on the first try.
    Mark - 2016 [email protected] Max S (Silver/Red), 2012 F-150
  • RatkityRatkity Posts: 3,398Member
    I finally broke down and used the "V" method. Yes, it works amazingly well!
    2017 820R Retro Toy Hauler from 2015 Tabitha [email protected] from 2009 Reverse LG Teardrop (but a [email protected] at heart)
  • gophergradgophergrad Posts: 83Member
    Thanks! 
    2017 CS-S Max (Silver & Yellow) TV 2015 Nissan Xterra
    under the Big Sky
  • PhotomomPhotomom Posts: 1,930Member
    I used Verna's tape method and it works great along with the backup camera. Just back up slowly and make adjustments.
    John and Henrietta, Late 2016 [email protected] S Max in Western New York
  • HomebodyatheartHomebodyatheart Posts: 1,527Member
    @gophergrad ;with my back up camera I can see the top of the hitch and the ball and I can get the hitch within 1/4" of dead center or dead center after the few times I've towed. The bright tape is a good idea! Good luck!
    2017 [email protected] Max S silver and cherry red, TV 2015 Toyota Highlander [email protected] ("Bug" aka my [email protected] pod), towed by Big Red, or Silver
  • dsatworkdsatwork Posts: 718Member
    Verna said:
    I put pieces of reflective tape on my hitch so I can see it to get the ball centered under it. Otherwise, it was just a black blob that I couldn't distinguish from the shadows. I used red tape on the middle with white tape on either side of the red to make it very visible in the camera. 
    This is why I read every single post...that's brilliant Verna
    2017 Tab Basic S Silver on Silver with Sofitel Cushions....upgraded from 2013 LG 5W....Towed by a 2016 Sorento V6 AWD w/5000lb tow capacity. Dave S. married to Jen aka SanDiegoGal We pull a Tab but live in a 2014 Airstream International Signature 27 FBQ...Talk about embracing a trailer lifestyle.
  • RuntarootiRuntarooti Posts: 85Member
    Thank you @Verna
    2015 [email protected] Max CS-S Silver and Black
    Goes where it's towed to by 2017 Subaru Outback
  • gophergradgophergrad Posts: 83Member
    Well you're right -- I CAN see it with my rear view camera.  I'm going to get some reflective tape for sure though.


    2017 CS-S Max (Silver & Yellow) TV 2015 Nissan Xterra
    under the Big Sky
  • ericnlizericnliz Posts: 4,096Member
    And the lady with the MAGIC WAND comes through again! Great idea @Verna! :)
    2016 [email protected] MAX S-aka: [email protected]
    TV: 2006 Chevy Avalanche LT Z71 aka: WhiteWolf, or 1972 Chevy Custom10 P/U aka: SnarlingWolf
    Spokane, Wa.
    Eric aka: Lone Wolf  with,
    Ruger aka: Adventure Companion

  • pthomas745pthomas745 Posts: 457Member
    Someone needs to invent an approach lighting system like at an airport......

  • HomebodyatheartHomebodyatheart Posts: 1,527Member
    @pthomas745 in the meantime you could strap one of those LED headlamps centered over the front of the hitch for a "beacon." This would be particularly useful at dusk or night.
    2017 [email protected] Max S silver and cherry red, TV 2015 Toyota Highlander [email protected] ("Bug" aka my [email protected] pod), towed by Big Red, or Silver
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Posts: 457Member
    I've only "hitched up" about 15 times now, and my backup camera on my car has been a lifesaver.  On my last trip, the sun was directly behind the car, and completely messed up the camera!  I wound up using a chock on the propane box for the "azimuth" and another chock for the distance I needed to back up (like Marknjudy described above.)

  • dmerzbacdmerzbac Posts: 281Member
    Since I don't have a backup camera, I just use those magnetic stick things with the yellow balls on top. One on the hitch and one on the coupler and it only takes me a few moments to line it up and get it hitched. I do have those backup sensors and use the "beeps" to tell me when the hitch ball is under the coupler.

    2017 [email protected] 320 - 'Smokey'  2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - '[email protected]'
    Dave - Tuscaloosa, Al

    States Visited Map




  • HomebodyatheartHomebodyatheart Posts: 1,527Member
    @dmerzbac my neighbor has an 18' rig and uses those balls and it works well for her.
    2017 [email protected] Max S silver and cherry red, TV 2015 Toyota Highlander [email protected] ("Bug" aka my [email protected] pod), towed by Big Red, or Silver
  • DonnabDonnab Posts: 60Member
    I hitched up all by myself this weekend! I do have backup camera and it's great!  I was able to line up fairly easy.
    after I hooked up I woke my husband up from a nap to inspect my handy work and make sure I was good to go.
    tried practicing backing up which I really suck at! I was also able to unhitching by myself after my husband parked her for me.
    going to hitch up again this weekend and go to an empty lot to practice backing up! 

    Donna 2017  Maryland resident Colorado land owner outback white/black Toyota Tacoma  ; )
  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Posts: 2,171Administrator
    I've used various means for this task over the years as it does get frustrating getting in (as a solo camper/backer-upper) and out of the tow vehicle during this process.  I would get the ball aligned as close as possible to the trailer hitch without banging into it (been there and done that!) and if it meant straightening the vehicle/trailer alignment out enough where it was a straight backing maneuver I would estimate the distance from the ball to the hitch (let's say 4 feet), I'd hang one foot out of the vehicle, have a rock or scratched-out line in the dirt, back up to the estimated point marked (with foot outside the door) and when my foot aligned with the mark on the ground I would have the hitch pretty much over the ball.  

    Now all I have to do is look at the dash screen on the Silverado ad back it up under the hitch...  Piece a cake!   
    Mike Smith 
    Linden, Mi
    2015 [email protected] Max S
    Attached Image
  • mickietucsmickietucs Posts: 648Member
    No backup camera so it's the very old method. Luckily width-wise, my truck is about the same as the [email protected] so I can usually line up the handles in my side mirrors and get that part down as I slowly back up. I then have to get in/out of the truck to see where to stop but it works. I like @Michigan_Mike's rock tip - might try that the next time.
    Michele, Tucson, AZ. TV - '13 F150 & '16 [email protected] special order.



    "Travel changes us. We don’t even have to try. We simply need a little willingness-and a decent pair of shoes."  (author - McCarthy, Longest Way Home...").

  • dsatworkdsatwork Posts: 718Member
    After just getting back from our 15 day excursion, backing up to the hitch went pretty well. @Sandiegogal doesn't even stand there waiting to see if I need help anymore. Even if I can't see the hitch ball because the sun is shading it , the green, yellow and red lines get me pretty close. Usually I can just bounce it into position if the wheel is in yellow wheel dock or roll it if not. I found some yellow reflective tape I used to make myself more visible while riding my bike and put a triangle on the hitch where the camera can see it and a round one on the ball cover. Can't wait to try it out next time we are out.
    2017 Tab Basic S Silver on Silver with Sofitel Cushions....upgraded from 2013 LG 5W....Towed by a 2016 Sorento V6 AWD w/5000lb tow capacity. Dave S. married to Jen aka SanDiegoGal We pull a Tab but live in a 2014 Airstream International Signature 27 FBQ...Talk about embracing a trailer lifestyle.
  • HomebodyatheartHomebodyatheart Posts: 1,527Member
    Someone way back when on the forum had a great tip for backing at night. She put a lantern on the drivers side of the parking space where she wanted to end up and aimed for that. We used this method using 2 Luci lights, one on each side of the open doors, to guide Bug into her shed after a mod party where we got home after dark. Worked really well!
    2017 [email protected] Max S silver and cherry red, TV 2015 Toyota Highlander [email protected] ("Bug" aka my [email protected] pod), towed by Big Red, or Silver
  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Posts: 2,171Administrator
    Someone way back when on the forum had a great tip for backing at night. She put a lantern on the drivers side of the parking space where she wanted to end up and aimed for that. We used this method using 2 Luci lights, one on each side of the open doors, to guide Bug into her shed after a mod party where we got home after dark. Worked really well!
    Another great use for the Luci lights!   We have 4 of these lights and absolutely love them as they do charge up nicely and provide enough light to brighten up any room and you can easily read with them too.  


    Mike Smith 
    Linden, Mi
    2015 [email protected] Max S
    Attached Image
  • Jfrost6Jfrost6 Posts: 11Member
    I use my old GoPro 3 with wireless signal to my phone.  All I have to do is strap the camera to the hitch of my jeep and backup.  I usually get within 1/2" of being directly over the ball.
  • gophergradgophergrad Posts: 83Member
    edited June 2017
    So do you folks use the jockey wheel and move the [email protected] for fine adjustments?  We have found that there is little to no room for error with our hitch (it's very new), and a 1/2" is enough to prevent the coupler from closiing completely..... 

    I also learned that I just expect everyone to know  the army hand signals used when backing things up (I was wrong!), and immediately misinterpreted the signals I was seeing.  Oops.  I also learned that my much shorter SU needs to hold her arms up pretty high so I can see her hands.
    2017 CS-S Max (Silver & Yellow) TV 2015 Nissan Xterra
    under the Big Sky
  • alchemistalchemist Posts: 39Member
  • sephajsephaj Posts: 14Member
    A neighbor of mine that has a [email protected] recommended this for TV's that don't have backup cameras. It is a bit spendy, but she swears by it. The viewing screen plugs into a cigarette lighter.

    Rear View Safety RVS-83112 Video Camera with 3.5-Inch LCD (Black)
  • SueBCSueBC Posts: 13Member
    Wondering if anyone uses  RVS-83112 Wireless Hitch Camera. I don't yet have one, but am thinking on purchasing for when I am hitching up (flying solo). It is totally wireless, and attaches on stuff with a powerful magnet. For hitching up, and backing up into a campsite, could be a nice little 'assist'.
    SueBC
    British Columbia, Canada
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