How To Reverse A Trailer: The Ultimate Reversing A Trailer Cheat Sheet

If you have absolutely no idea how to reverse a trailer, relax. Reversing a trailer is actually a fairly straightforward task. It really just comes down to having a plan, understanding your surroundings, and remaining calm about the task from start to finish.

Keep in mind that the following tips involve having trailers reversed from the right. Generally speaking, that is a lot easier than anything involving reversal from the left.

How to Reverse a Trailer - Ian Waton's

How to Reverse a Trailer - Ian Waton's

Here is everything you’re going to need to know, in order to make sure you reverse your trailer properly:

  • At the beginning, make sure the outfit is as straight as possible. You want things to be roughly the trailer’s length from where you are reversing to. You’re going to need a lot of room.
  • Keeping an eye on the trailer from your window, begin a slow reversal, while moving your steering to the right. Remember that it is a lot easier to add more steering, than it is to fix too much steering.
  • Once the trailer’s started turning, start straightening up while still reversing. Avoid leaving it too late, as this can cause jackknife. This occurs when the angle to the tow-car is so acute, maneuvering in reverse becomes impossible. A tow-car with a long rear overhang can become damaged in this situation.
  • At this point, you are going to start steering the other way, while still keeping up the reversal. This is going to bring the nose of the tow-car round, which should mean your vehicle is following your trailer. You are still going to want to keep an eye on where your trailer is going, in case you need to correct anything along the way.
  • With your door mirrors, you’re going to begin to reverse in a straight line. Make sure you’re working at this as slowly and cautiously as humanly possible! More of your trailer should begin to appear in one of your mirrors, so begin steering towards that mirror. Your trailer’s going to begin moving the other way. Remember that you only need small steering gestures to continue pulling this off.
  • Don’t become obsessed with reversing. Should your trailer wind up going out of line, pulling it forward might be the best way to go about correcting the situation. If you’re dealing with a jackknife, or a situation that involves a tight turn, pulling forward might be your best bet.

And remember to just take your time, as you’re working. 

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