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How to Back Up an RV

Susan J

Backing up an RV can be difficult and intimidating to new RV-ers.  However, with the correct technique and practice, you will be able to back up an RV like a pro.

The first thing to consider is your type of RV.  The hardest type of RV’s to back up are class A motorhomes and larger travel trailers or toy haulers, so that is what this article will focus on.  Towable RV’s can be tricky when backing up because the RV will go in the opposite direction that you turn the wheel.  For example, if you turn the wheel right while backing up, the towed RV will tend to go towards the left.  Also it is hard to see where a larger towed RV is going from the driver’s seat.

Parked RV

The easiest way to back up is by using a spotter.  Go ahead and agree on a system of hand signals that you both understand.  The spotter simply stands outside the RV and signals to the driver what to do.  For a towed RV , the spotter should stand in front of the RV so that they can see how the trailer is moving.  It doesn’t matter for a class A as long as the driver can see them.  You should back up slowly, and the spotter should check the blind spots every so often.

Some RVs come with a rear mounted camera for backing up, which helps out a lot.  If yours did not, you can always have one installed. However, it is best not to rely on the camera, or mirrors for that matter because you will still have blind spots.  This is why it helps to have a spotter.  You should also back up very slowly.  This will help to you back up correctly, but even if you hit something it won’t do as much damage.

Parking lot

It will take practice to master backing up.  You should try to find a large empty parking lot to practice in.  Large church parking lots or school parking lots on the weekends are good candidates.  You and your spotter should practice your technique and your hand signals.  You don’t want your first time trying it to be when you are on a trip.

Here are some more tips for backing up in an RV:


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