By Steve Savage,
Mobility RV Service
If you tow, I suspect you have suffered through the stress that comes along with backing into your space in the campground with everyone watching. The yelling matches between spouses can reach divorce-pending proportions and discussions about the best way to communicate between the person driving and the person directing have been going on for decades.
My wife and I are no different than many of you and, although we’ve been RVing now since the early ’80s, I rate myself about average when it comes to backing into a space at the campground. Sometimes I do “really well” — other times I do “oh, well.”
My wife and I have finally discovered something that really works well for us and thought it might be worth passing on. To do this, you will both need cell phones and also have either a radio in your tow vehicle that can receive phone calls via Bluetooth or something like a Jabra (headphone/headset) that clips to the visor and does the same thing. For us it goes like this:
After we stop at the office and register, my wife calls my cell phone with hers and my radio answers her phone. Once that happens, we are linked and can talk hands-free when I back into the spot. Once we get to the spot, I get out of the truck one time to look over what I am trying to do. Then I get back into the truck and from then on, she is in control via her phone. She is the “quarterback,” so to speak.
Doing it this way it is very easy for her to move from side-to-side behind our fifth wheel and give me instructions. It also eliminates the driver getting in and out of the truck and makes it tons easier to get into a space after dark.
If you are already using walkie-talkies, think how much simpler it would be to talk hands-free while backing rather than having to “key” your mike, and how much easier it is to use your mirrors for backing rather than trying to locate your assistant and interpret hand signals. Now, nothing I am suggesting here means you can’t use your mirrors just as you always did. It just makes it easier to communicate with the person helping you back into your spot when you can talk in “real time” instead of stopping to yell at each other.