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Setting Up 101...or should we say 911!

The classic saying, “Sorry for what I said parking the trailer” is real! Backing up, setting up, and leveling can be super frustrating for everyone. Let’s be real…We have had countless stressful times setting up, arguments, tears and failures. From trying to yell at each other through the car window, unhitching and realizing we aren’t level, or the slide can’t come out or we aren’t about to reach the electrical or sewer connections. We have all been there. There are a few tips and tricks we have learned along the way to make setting up a much smoother process. These methods and tips have worked for us, but it also takes some trial and error to determine what works for you and your partner.

  1. Before you back up, get out and assess your spot. Find your connectors, see if the ground appear level, check your slide space, and don’t forget the view! I like to get out, assess and mark where I want the tires to be on the ground so I have my marker to guide the trailer back. This way I know when I get in the spot I know my connections will reach, my slides will come out and my windows will have a view! So before any back in or set up, get out and look at your spot and assess your plan.

  2. When getting ready to back up, if you are with someone, use your cell phone to communicate to help guide. This has been a game changer for us. If there was one tip I was giving anyone, I would say this is my number one. There is no more yelling to each other or being out of the view of the other and the communication is instant. If we do not have cell phone coverage, we would use walkie talkies, however communication can often be delayed causing some frustration. If you have cell phone coverage, you be sure and call your partner to guide them into your camp spot. This also allows you to move around and check all your surroundings, not having to worry if you are out of the view for your partner. I like this because I can check both sides, move around and have constant and instant contact with my partner as they are backing up.

  3. Be sure you are level before unhooking. We use a gadget called the level mate pro, you can find our review on that in a previous blog. We make sure and check our level mate pro app that we are level side to side before unhooking. The worst thing is to unhook and then realize you are so unleveled that you need to hook up again to fix. If you don’t have a level mate pro, you can use a good ole level and be sure you have some easily accessible.

  4. Lastly, once you are backed in, leveled out, have a routine. This routine will be different for each person. If you are not one who wants to deal with the mechanicals, there is so much you can do to help your partner, so find what works for your team. For us I am in charge of chocking the wheels, while be gets ready to unhook. After that, I focus on the inside, unpacking, and cleaning, while he hooks us up to our connections whether it be water, sewer or electric and sets up the outside area. Having your routine and rolls helps you not only be efficient and get things done but makes set up go more smoothly.

Remember the whole goal is to enjoy your trip. Setting up and unhooking for us is the most stressful part and it can be a lot of work. Same with leaving, having to take down. Once you find your routine and rhythm, it should become easier. We no longer dread set up and take down of our campsite. We each have our own rolls, we know what to do and when to do it. Talk with your partner and come up with a game plan or a checklist. We sat down, I said I can do this, while you do this, etc.. It is important though to know each other’s roles. Be sure that you are able to switch if needed, or help. You never know if there will be a time when you are forced to do the other persons job, for example if there is am emergency, so be sure the roles can be done by both. Again, the trip should be enjoyable and working as a team is the most important factor. These tips we have learned a long the way have allowed us to be more efficient as well as not wanting to kill each other at the end of the day. Like I said, “Sorry for what I said parking the trailer”…. IS REAL!!


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