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advice on towing with 6spd...

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Old 11-04-2008, 09:31 PM   #1
Lunercrab [OP] Lunercrab is offline
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advice on towing with 6spd...

Hey guys....so as you know i have an 06 sport 6spd truck and right now i'm towing around a 1400lb popup with not too much problem....now we are hopefully going to be buying a hybrid come this camping season, which will most likely be bout 21'-23' long with dry weight prob no more then 4800lbs...the thing is, is that this past summer was the first time i experienced towing with a manual vehicle and i noticed that i had some difficulty when it came to "backing up" the camper into the spot...where we stay i have to back the camper in off a small incline...i was really having trouble pushing the camper back without either stalling or burning my clutch....so now i'm worried that i'm going to have even MORE trouble when i strap on a bigger camper to the end...is there a certain trick to backing up a camper when dealing with a manual vehicle, as to not ruin the clutch? i can't really just let off the clutch and gun it when i need to make such little adjustments to get the camper in right...also with a larger camper is there certain gears i should avoid when driving on the highway?...thanks in advance
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Old 11-04-2008, 09:36 PM   #2
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it's simple practice makes perfect, actually a clutch is better for towing, they are stronger and you can more easily chose gears while driving, you don' see many automatic 18wheelers. Just practice with your lighter trailer, then practice with your new one on flat ground as much as you can before going out into the real world. Trust me I drive a tow truck, getting good at backing up just takes practice.
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Old 11-05-2008, 04:31 AM   #3
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SLOTaco is right it just takes practice. Before I started my new life as a profesional bicycle mechanic I spent 7 years as a short haul trucker, and I've been towing trailers recreationally for as long as I've been driving, so to me backing a trailer has become second nature.

Find a big empty parking lot, take some construction cones and set up a relatively tight space and practice backing into it with the pop-up before you get rid of it. Then do the same thing with the hybrid when you take delivery of that.

If you go to the same campgrounds regularly, make a list of campsites that are easyer for you to back in to than others and when you call to make your reservations request those sites, in my experience most campground operaters are more than happy to honor those requests if they can.

Pull up to your site, and then get out and walk arround, look at the rig, and the site and formulate your plan of attack before getting back in the truck. A good back-in is often the result of a good starting position, for example if it would be easier to get into the spot from the other direction, then by all means go past the site and turn arround and come at it from the other angle.

Extended tow mirrors like the ones covered in my towing bible help as well as they give you more ability to see as you begin your backing process as well. A good spotter with an FRS radio to guide you helps too, This works for me when I am going somewhere with my father, but my wife absolutely sucks at it.

Last tip I've got for you is if you're trying to back in on an incline start in neutral, engage the parking brake, take a deep breath and relax, depress the clutch, shift into reverse, begin to slowly feather the clutch untill the engine begins to bog down, release the parking brake, slowly back in as if you were on flat ground. The above technique is designed to take your mind off of hurrying to controll your roll as you switch from the brake to the gas, which is a common problem, which gets people adjitated and tense before they've even begun to back up.

Hope this helps, and sorry if I over simplified things, I was just trying to cover it all.
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Old 11-05-2008, 04:52 AM   #4
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If i'm not on pavement and have to back up an incline I use 4lo. That way you can take your time, watch what your doing and go slow without burning your clutch or lugging your motor.
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Old 11-11-2008, 05:46 PM   #5
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I will have to agree with the OP reverse is too high and it is difficult slipping the clutch just trying to back up, I am glad I have the option to use 4lo.
Toyota just put too high of a reverse and first in my opinion....this is a truck not a car.
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