Expert opinions: backing into tight spot

Discussion in 'Trailering' started by FlyGuy, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. FlyGuy

    FlyGuy New Member

    Jul 26, 2010
    2016 21SPX
    Merc 4.5L
    Have a 21SPX with Toyota Sequoia tow vehicle. Measured lengths of 25' from prop to hitch, and 18' of Sequoia. Newly shortened distance of 50 feet from fence to storage unit door, leaving 7' extra. Expert opinions: can this be backed into the storage unit, or am I wasting time trying? I can drive it out in one motion, but have been unskilled enough to put it back w/o unhitching and pushing by hand.

  2. Boater420

    Boater420 Well-Known Member

    Mar 11, 2015
    Clearwater, FL
    '97 330 Sundancer
    Westerbeke 4.5BCG
    Twin Merc 454's
    In my opinion, yes it can be done. If you can drive it out you can back it up over the same path.

    You have to be skilled at using your mirrors to back up though. I'd set up the same dimensions in a parking lot and practice there. Use two cones for the garage door opening and measure out the 50 feet you have available and practice backing it between the cones.
  3. Mittens

    Mittens Active Member

    Mar 5, 2017
    Huntsville, AL
    2002 340 Sundancer, All Cherry Cabin, Black Canvas.
    8.1 Mercs, V Drives, 4.5kw Westerbeke.
    yes can be will iut be fun? FOR SURE ha.
  4. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Yes, it can be done. You didn't mention how wide the door opening is or how wide your trailer is, but if you have some leeway there it shouldn't be a problem.

    Like Boater420 said, learn how to back using your mirrors. Also, when backing use a spotter to make sure you don't ding a fender or the corner of your boat. .
  5. NotHerDecision

    NotHerDecision Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 28, 2016
    Houston, Texas
    2001 Sea Ray 460 Sundancer
    2014 Seadoo 155 LTD
    2105 Seadoo 130 SE
    2013 Mercury Dinghy
    Cummins 6CTA 8.3L
    I do something similar with my seadoo trailer. I put a mark on the ground so I know where my front tire on my Yukon should stop, this way I don't have to get out 10 times to see how close I am to the back wall.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. FlyGuy

    FlyGuy New Member

    Jul 26, 2010
    2016 21SPX
    Merc 4.5L
    Update: Experienced neighbor showed me how. Back up at about 45 degree angle and then pivot to straighten out. Could even knock off another 10 feet. Not the large graceful turn I was attempting, nor hugging the far fence line. I did a lot of measuring, marking, and internet research, but the trick was watching someone else back a much bigger rig into the same spot, followed by his coaching me!
  7. Havana Shamrock

    Havana Shamrock Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Sep 9, 2008
    Long Island.
    2005 500DB
    Honda 30HP
    Sea Doo 90 HP H.O.
    The larger and longer the trailer the easier it is. I'd rather back a 45' trailer into a garage than my dinghy down the ramp. Take it to a shopping center and pick a parking spot then practice backing into it from a distance away and different directions you'll quickly find out how your trailer reacts to your input.
  8. tdgard

    tdgard Member

    Jun 4, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    05-270 Sundeck
    496 w/Bravo III
    This. It's also much easier the shorter the wheelbase of the tow vehicle. I used to tow a 4x6 utility trailer with a van that was the equlivant length of a 17 passenger van. It stank. You could barely see the gate of the trailer out the rear window and if you ever saw the trailer in your side mirrors while backing you had already jackknifed it. Made me pretty decent at backing up a trailer though.

    In fact, this may be the best way to learn. Go rent a 24' uhaul and the smallest tow behind chipper shredder you can find and practice with that.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
  9. carterchapman

    carterchapman Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor SILVER Sponsor

    Mar 25, 2008
    Lake Chickamauga/Marietta, GA/Ft. Myers, FL
    2006 Sea Ray 58 DB
    MAN CRM V8-900s, Twin Disc Drives; Onan 21.5 Generator
    I learned a lesson when I backed my empty waverunner trailer (black) into my dark garage to do the wheel bearings. Thought I could use the side mirrors - black trailer in dark garage, eyes in the bright sun - see where I'm going....ended up with a nice 12" scratch on the door of my XLR from the trailer license plate. Susan now helps me back ANYTHING into the garage!!! LOL!

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