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    Reversing a caravan...

    My son is supposed to be coming later today, in order to help me to practice reversing onto the drive, which I'm still finding to be a problem! My son is a HGV1 driver and can reverse the most enormous lorry - however, I don't think a trailer is quite the same thing myself.

    The plan is to go over to the local car park, which is usually empty on Sundays, with a few cones and practice there, before returning and reversing onto the drive.

    I bought a Mr Shifta not long ago as some of you know, and it's ok, as long as the caravan is actually on the drive.. it seems to lift up off the road when trying to get the 'van over the dropped curve and over the pavement. So the plan is to reverse the 'van onto the drive using the car, then use the Mr Shifta to finally position it where it needs to be. If I can't get the hang of this, I really am going to spend a small fortune on a motormover for it as I can't be doing with all this stress on returning home...

    Not good at reversing a car, let alone a caravan! I managed it once onto the drive but I think it was a fluke. Hey ho.

    #2
    Reversing a caravan

    Originally posted by jayjay View Post
    My son is supposed to be coming later today, in order to help me to practice reversing onto the drive, which I'm still finding to be a problem! My son is a HGV1 driver and can reverse the most enormous lorry - however, I don't think a trailer is quite the same thing myself.

    The plan is to go over to the local car park, which is usually empty on Sundays, with a few cones and practice there, before returning and reversing onto the drive.

    I bought a Mr Shifta not long ago as some of you know, and it's ok, as long as the caravan is actually on the drive.. it seems to lift up off the road when trying to get the 'van over the dropped curve and over the pavement. So the plan is to reverse the 'van onto the drive using the car, then use the Mr Shifta to finally position it where it needs to be. If I can't get the hang of this, I really am going to spend a small fortune on a motormover for it as I can't be doing with all this stress on returning home...

    Not good at reversing a car, let alone a caravan! I managed it once onto the drive but I think it was a fluke. Hey ho.
    I'm with you there on the stress when you get home. of getting the van on the drive. Even though the dropped curb outside my gate is only about an inch high.I still couldn't push the van into the drive. I'm good at reversing my car into the drive but I didn't like the idea of reversing. My neighbour who has helped me a time or two to push it onto the drive came up with a simple solution. "Why don't you just drive forward onto the drive" I don't know what space you have on your drive but I drive straight through the gate and once the van has cleared the gate posts I unhitch it. Move my car to the right so its outside my sitting room window, then swing the van around and push it onto the left side garden. I do however have a decent amount of turning space and a longish drive, so this might not be an option for you. But good luck with the reversing, I'm still trying to avoid doing it.


    Pam

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      #3
      Not possible to drive straight onto the drive, I only have a very short space in front, and a very small road in front of that! But thanks for the suggestion. I would do it that way if poss....

      Son isn't coming (too much to do), so I guess I will just have to practice some other day! LOL!! Daren't go on my own to practice on the car park as I would still have to come home and try to reverse and park the little bu**er!

      Getting off the drive isn't a problem, but getting back in is a big problem.

      Comment


        #4
        Hmmm been thinking a bit more about that suggestion, Pam!

        In theory, I could drive in forwards from the right hand side of the drive, then swing it around a bit and unhitch. Would I then be able to manoever it out of the way/have enough room to reverse my car back onto the road, then move the caravan with the Mr shifta across the drive and back behind the hedge?

        In theory (using my imagination, LOL) it would work... Hmmmmnnnnn...... Better go take some measurements. There is room for three cars on my drive, or 2 cars and a caravan, so it just might work!

        Back later.

        Comment


          #5
          Reversing a caravan

          Originally posted by jayjay View Post
          Hmmm been thinking a bit more about that suggestion, Pam!

          In theory, I could drive in forwards from the right hand side of the drive, then swing it around a bit and unhitch. Would I then be able to manoever it out of the way/have enough room to reverse my car back onto the road, then move the caravan with the Mr shifta across the drive and back behind the hedge?

          In theory (using my imagination, LOL) it would work... Hmmmmnnnnn...... Better go take some measurements. There is room for three cars on my drive, or 2 cars and a caravan, so it just might work!

          Back later.
          As I turn into my road I keep as far over to the left as poss then drive straight in. Once van clear of gates I turn slighty right as if parking outside my front door and stop. I unhitch the van then move the car so it is parked outside the window. that gives me the whole drive to turn van around and push it onto the left hand garden. I then pull my car back onto the drive.

          Comment


            #6
            :Hi Jay, Jay,..ive skidded backwards on ice in the dark down hill, backwards, dont forget, (lol)..in foriegn land, in my artic, 32 tonnes them days, before we went to 44 tonnes,so, just a little tip from me and no doubt your son bless him, i take my hat off for any trucker today! well most of them!,..when you return home make sure you approach your residense, as so you pull up with your house on the right side of you, pull past it a little as so you can reverse SLOWLY INTO YOUR DRIVE, which you will be able to see from yourside and mirror easilly,iff you keep reasonably close to your drive,on the offsssside you NOfor a fact that you willbe ok neasrside, vbut the slower you do it the easysier it will be for you dont let anyone fluster you once you have the line in you can then do a shunt iff you need to ..but do it all slowly girl, you can do it you no the basics cos you have been there bought the t shirt ect ect ,.....Imiss my camper soo much im looking for a bongo maybe or something ill no when i see it tho, at the moment ive still got and using my Vanroyce,(Caravan) whiiiiich is now on apermannent plot, close to the Norfolk Broads,But will be for sale next week because we have just bought a static van!Take care still love this site tho, And, havnt ruled out a romahome yet!...x
            In theory, I could drive in forwards from the right hand side of the drive, then swing it around a bit and unhitch. Would I then be able to manoever it out of the way/have enough room to reverse my car back onto the road, then move the caravan with the Mr shifta across the drive and back behind the hedge?

            In theory (using my imagination, LOL) it would work... Hmmmmnnnnn...... Better go take some measurements. There is room for three cars on my drive, or 2 cars and a caravan, so it just might work!

            Back later.[/QUOTE]
            Rob,:thumbsup:

            Comment


              #7
              I was surprised to discover that if you have passed your driving test since c.1998, that you are not licenced to tow a trailer or caravan. Wasn't well publicised, was it?

              Fortunately, I've had my DL for 30 years, and when I recently had to tow a trailer with our Bambi on it, from Sussex to Wiltshire, I took to it straight away! Even had to reverse around corners on three or more occasions!
              Last edited by zaphod; 27-09-2010, 09:57.
              Happiness is a palace on two wheels.

              Comment


                #8
                Many many thanks for all your replies and helpful hints!

                I never thought about coming in from the right side, as I just thought it was impossible - but that was when I was trying to reverse the caravan into the space where it resides at the side of the drive. Now, according to Nu Venture, I could come in from the other end of the road, then just reverse the caravan onto the drive, then stop and unhitch the car. Never thought of that.

                Although I would be happier driving in forwards as Pam suggests if it's possible! (and there's only one way to find out! LOL!!) Wish I had your drive, Pam! Thanks for going to the trouble of taking photos to demonstrate.

                Zaphod - it wasn't until I started going into the ins and outs of owning a caravan that I found this out, no it wasn't well publicised to all, I think they have to point it out to those who have passed (or passing) their tests after that point though. You can still tow a trailer, but are restricted on weight I think, (800k max?) so no twin axle jobbies until you pass another test!

                Comment


                  #9
                  The trailer I borrowed was a twin axle one and very stable - had to balance the Bambi on it just correctly, so that the car didn't pitch on bumps. We towed the Bambi from the vendor with a blown headgasket. We have since done, and had done other work on her - she is now immaculate, and we have spent virtually every weekend out with her, including the last three on the trot!
                  Happiness is a palace on two wheels.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Well now. I don't know if you'll be able to tell from these photos whether what I'm proposing is do-able, but here goes, following Pams suggestion of driving in forwards on my not-so-posh shallow drive...

                    What I think I can do is tow the caravan onto the pavement, so that the back wheels of the van are near the drive, so the back of the van is just hanging there out into the road. I've left the car on the drive at the angle I would have to tow in at, so you can see what I mean.

                    Detach the car and drive further over to the left (where the caravan is on the photo). Use the Mr Shifta to pull the caravan up to the front door, so that it's level with the path to the front door. Then reverse the car back onto the road, out of the way, then waltz the caravan around until it's where it currently is on the photo, tucked away behind the hedge.

                    It's a bit tight, but I think I could just about do it. Or learn to reverse! LOL!!

                    Have to say, I would rather drive it in, then both vehicle and car are out of ppls way. Except at school picking up times, the road is very quiet unless I'm trying to put the van on the drive, in which case traffic is queued up both sides 6 cars deep and rudely honking. On the other side of the road is a 4-5ft bank, and the road is only as wide as two cars. The school coaches drive up the grass bank to get past all the parked cars to exit the estate!

                    What d'you think? Will it work? I've paced it out and I think it's just about possible. Once those van back wheels are up over the pavement, it's easier with the Mr Shifta.
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by jayjay; 27-09-2010, 19:05.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Caravan reversing

                      Jayjay. Just checked your pics. can you get into your drive from the left or do you always have your drive on the right as you enter the road. I was just thinking that if you came from the left just drive car at an angle so that it is close to your front door, unhitch the van and push into position on the left or would you not have enough space. I can only access my drive from one end of the road so I always have my drive on the right side.

                      Pam

                      Comment


                        #12
                        If it is a question of manouevring into your drive - and we are now having issues doing this with our small camper at the moment, as new neighbours leave so little space, what are people's experience with these electric mover?
                        Last edited by zaphod; 27-09-2010, 22:20.
                        Happiness is a palace on two wheels.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Pam Park View Post
                          Jayjay. Just checked your pics. can you get into your drive from the left or do you always have your drive on the right as you enter the road. I was just thinking that if you came from the left just drive car at an angle so that it is close to your front door, unhitch the van and push into position on the left or would you not have enough space. I can only access my drive from one end of the road so I always have my drive on the right side.

                          Pam
                          I don't think it's possible from the left to drive in, or it would be easier, Pam. But even if I pulled the car up to the front door, I couldn't go past it as there's a garden behind the hedge (I could soon sort that!) , or I could do just the same manoever as you do on your drive. Also, just past the brown bin off the pics to the left, there's a lamppost to argue with as well!

                          The Mr Shifta is, or was, the problem last time I tried to get it over the kerb, the caravan lifted it off the ground! Discussing this with a friend last night, he suggested, instead of trying to reverse the caravan in with the mover over the pavement, to pull it up the kerb where its dropped instead, which I think it might do ok. It's supposed to pull a caravan twice as heavy as mine up a 1 in 3 slope, and the drive isn't anywhere near that for an incline, it's only a kerb! I hadn't considered pulling it in either (well, not without the car)! Or rather I had, but had decided that I didn't want the caravan door facing the road when parked and thought that perhaps I would then have a prob getting it out, rather than in! LOL!

                          Zaphod - do you mean the motormover set up, attached permanently to the chassis? I would love one, but the cheapest is £500 from towsure, plus another 120 approx to fit, which is a lot to find - nearly as much as the caravan is worth! If I can't suss this issue without one though, that is what I'm going to get before next spring!

                          The Mr Shifta is a hefty sort of push and pull machine powered by a large battery with a towball on the front. Neither wouldn't help get a campervan onto a drive though! You will just have to ask your neighbours if they would mind moving their vehicles while you reverse in. Having said that, I always think its easier to drive into a small space (the drive) and reverse out into a bigger space (the road).

                          No-one to help here either, all my neighbours are elderly and unfit for pushing and shoving a caravan. I'm partly disabled with back probs... and I'm nearly sorted as far as getting the caravan in and out, just need to find a way back onto the drive and then my holidays away won't be clouded by what I'm going to do when I get home!
                          Last edited by jayjay; 28-09-2010, 08:58.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I wasn't thinking of one for our camper, TBH, although there was a stand demonstrating them at Shepton a few weeks ago. My adoptive dad had designed and built similar for moving Helicopters around, at least 20 years ago, hence the interest!

                            We have been left a space bearly wide enough for the camper to move in and out, and the close here is so narrow. Doreen finds it more difficult than I do to get the Bambi out - reversing or forward - she has thought of making a meal of it, taking the Bambi for the morning at 6am when she goes to work - maybe the noise will make the penny drop!
                            Happiness is a palace on two wheels.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by zaphod View Post
                              I wasn't thinking of one for our camper, TBH, although there was a stand demonstrating them at Shepton a few weeks ago. My adoptive dad had designed and built similar for moving Helicopters around, at least 20 years ago, hence the interest!

                              We have been left a space bearly wide enough for the camper to move in and out, and the close here is so narrow. Doreen finds it more difficult than I do to get the Bambi out - reversing or forward - she has thought of making a meal of it, taking the Bambi for the morning at 6am when she goes to work - maybe the noise will make the penny drop!
                              Yep - or get home earlier than they do and grab the extra parking space on the road....

                              I didn't think you were after a motormover for your camper, LOL. Was daft enough to say out aloud that it's a pity caravans don't have four wheels, one at each corner, so you'd know where it was going. However, as was pointed out, a caravan with four wheels is a ..... campervan! (But could be a horse-drawn gypsy vardo).

                              In total outrage for you over the probs parking though. Can't stand ppl so selfish or just thoughtless. I have to come home either Sat or Sun, or in the week avoiding 8.15-9am and 2.45pm-3.15pm... although I have a drive, I often can't get into or out of it at that time of the day as ppl who think they won't be a minute park across my drive for at least 20 mins, leaving me with barely enough room to even get a mini in..
                              Last edited by jayjay; 28-09-2010, 21:39.

                              Comment

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