New to RVing or want to improve backing up hand signals? Read this

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By Nanci Dixon

I am always looking for better ways to communicate clearly when guiding my husband in backing up the RV. We have finessed signals over the years from flapping like a chicken (his words, not mine) to much more definable signals.

I just found these two videos, “Hand Signals For Backing Up Your RV” and “This Far To Go,” on YouTube and tried them out during our last parking event – maneuvering our 40-foot motorhome into a tight spot complete with low trees, tall water posts, electric pedestals and an unmovable picnic table.

The signals worked great. The three biggest differences versus our previous signals were: (1) to have hands flat to the driver rather than sideways so he could see them; (2) pumping my arms back and forth as he was going straight back and pumping both arms in the direction to turn; and (3) crossing arms with closed fists to indicate stop.

Seeing that he turns off the backup camera microphone, even if I sneak it on, hand signals have become really important not just in the immediate need to get into the site but in the rest of the day’s happiness. Ever seen the pillow, “Sorry for what I said while we were trying to park the camper”?

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Suru
2 months ago

I wish I could say that my husband and I are a good team when it comes to backing the trailer, but alas, we are not. Someone is a little too stubborn. We are getting better though. After years of him ignoring me (or keeping the window rolled up so he couldn’t hear me) I started to walk away and let him do it on his own. After a while he got tired of getting in and out of the truck to see where he was at, so now he rolls the window down and actually listens and looks at me. Things go much quicker that way. LOL!

Deborah Mason
2 months ago

My husband does the driving & parking, at least the majority of it. With his years of driving big trucks & equipment, he uses the mirrors & backup camera. I stand in a strategic spot either as a target for the utilities or a place to avoid. No flapping, no yelling.

Pat
2 months ago

My husband and I have a totally different way of backing the RV. He walks along side the open driver’s side window and directs me, going so far as to tell me how far he would like me to turn the wheel. I will stop and he can walk around the vehicle looking for overhangs or encroachments to the slides or electrical boxes and picnic tables. Since we have started doing this there has been no yelling or misread hand signals. I’ve had people come over to tell me what a good job “I” did while parking. We just thank them and smile.