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Thread: Help - How do you reverse an A-frame towed car? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
17-05-2021 17:10
HyFy Thanks again neilmac. "practice WILL make perfect".

HyFy
17-05-2021 17:09
HyFy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pudsey_Bear View Post
If you have a passenger could they not stop it slamming into full lock?
I've just suggested that to she whose car it is! Maybe I could practice that one but then I didn't that you should carry a passenger in a trailer except in specific and special circumstances. "Neilmac's" comment about unhooking it, has been tried much to the amusement - nay - astonishment of a bus queue in Patterdale!! Luckily I have a jockey wheel on the A-frame which makes it "simples".

HyFy
17-05-2021 16:50
neilmac
Quote:
Originally Posted by HyFy View Post
Thanks for that neilmac. Maybe you can advise me further. The car I tow is a Fiat 500 Twinair and having owned a Suzuki GV TD for 150,000 miles I am fairly sure that the steering is a tad stronger than that of the Fiat!!
How do you reverse in, what appears to be, a fairly tight circle without it locking over to the opposite lock? I can do a wide three pointer but if I get it even slightly tighter, it locks over with a bang even at a very slow speed. It's sufficient to stop the 4,500kg motorhome dead. I have not tried to force the issue by reversing against the lock. The brake over-run system on my A-frame is sufficient that I can reverse it gently without having to get out and disconnect the brake but as soon as it goes to a full lock I would have to get out and sort it before reversing further. I accept that this is contrary to the definition of a trailer.

I have just got back from the Lake District where on one fairly narrow part of a road alongside Ullswater, we came across a huge low loader and overhanging excavator. Luckily I could slot back enough to get partly up the bank and the other driver was good enough to be able squeeze past. Otherwise it would have been fun as we both had a queue of vehicles behind us!! So I would like to get some more practice in before the next trip.

Any further advice would be useful. I used to be a professional driver so I am used to most forms of driving but I hate not being able to master this issue.

HyFy
Hi HyFy, yes don't force reverse against it when its gone wrong.

I can only advise VERY small movements of the MH's steering alternating between a bit of lock on and then off again and repeat..... Try to set yourself up for what you are going to do by, just before you start the reverse, angling the motorhome and car away from the corner you want to reverse around to give you a good start.

Once the car becomes visible in one mirror or the other watch that to guide you rather than a camera

Sometimes the situation is too tight and its just a couple of minutes to unhook, make the turn and hook back up.

But it really does come down to practice like you have done. It's a different scenario but the first time you try to reverse an artic around obstacles you can't believe it would be possible to get it right but once you get the 'knack' it just happens.

The only time it won't work is on a loose surface so don't practice on that.

Good luck with the practice and don't give up
17-05-2021 16:29
Pudsey_Bear If you have a passenger could they not stop it slamming into full lock?
17-05-2021 16:09
HyFy
Advice please

Quote:
Originally Posted by neilmac View Post
The video with the Suzuki is of me reversing it behind my Swift Bel-Air

The full lock at the end of the reverse is intentional in order for the car's steering to face the correct way for pulling forwards again - it then follows the tail swing of the motorhome.

Reversing is a difficult thing to do and like other difficult things it just requires loads of practice.

The braking system in the Suzuki was an RVi2 electronic setup so complied with trailer regulations for reversing.
Thanks for that neilmac. Maybe you can advise me further. The car I tow is a Fiat 500 Twinair and having owned a Suzuki GV TD for 150,000 miles I am fairly sure that the steering is a tad stronger than that of the Fiat!!
How do you reverse in, what appears to be, a fairly tight circle without it locking over to the opposite lock? I can do a wide three pointer but if I get it even slightly tighter, it locks over with a bang even at a very slow speed. It's sufficient to stop the 4,500kg motorhome dead. I have not tried to force the issue by reversing against the lock. The brake over-run system on my A-frame is sufficient that I can reverse it gently without having to get out and disconnect the brake but as soon as it goes to a full lock I would have to get out and sort it before reversing further. I accept that this is contrary to the definition of a trailer.

I have just got back from the Lake District where on one fairly narrow part of a road alongside Ullswater, we came across a huge low loader and overhanging excavator. Luckily I could slot back enough to get partly up the bank and the other driver was good enough to be able squeeze past. Otherwise it would have been fun as we both had a queue of vehicles behind us!! So I would like to get some more practice in before the next trip.

Any further advice would be useful. I used to be a professional driver so I am used to most forms of driving but I hate not being able to master this issue.

HyFy
01-05-2021 10:07
Pudsey_Bear I'm not sure about any damage to the steering, I'm sure driving on rough roads, speed bumps and potholes would do much more, all that happens when reversing is the car goes on to full lock, which you might do when driving it anyway so why would that damage anything.
01-05-2021 09:51
neilmac
Quote:
Originally Posted by HyFy View Post
Thanks

I agree that the "Smart" car video is very "unsmart". Even the one with the "Suzuki" slams onto full lock at the end of the reverse.
The video with the Suzuki is of me reversing it behind my Swift Bel-Air

The full lock at the end of the reverse is intentional in order for the car's steering to face the correct way for pulling forwards again - it then follows the tail swing of the motorhome.

Reversing is a difficult thing to do and like other difficult things it just requires loads of practice.

The braking system in the Suzuki was an RVi2 electronic setup so complied with trailer regulations for reversing.
24-04-2021 09:16
nickkdx
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pudsey_Bear View Post
Thatís crazy, anybody can just push a car and as Ray said it would wreck the carís geometry.
And I think it only worked so easily in this instance because itís a Smart car with rear engine and very little weight on the front.
23-04-2021 17:57
erneboy I've seen an RV dozing the tow car backwards into a space while it was on full lock. It was nothing to the RV though I'd say the car and the Aframe were under substantial and unusual stresses.

I'm not sure a Euro van would be able to push a car in that way as easily as an RV can. You wouldn't want to be slipping a Fiat clutch to do it I'd say.
23-04-2021 17:11
Pudsey_Bear I wonder how much damage will be caused if a little sense is used when reversing and not just go for it, if the steering goes to full lock I don't really see a problem if it happens slowly, and I think the tyres will cope, just wear down a bit sooner, no biggy.
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