We have read a couple of articles on the topic and watched many people reversing a caravan or campertailer onto a campsite ending with a heated argument. Here’s a tip that will reduce reversing arguments forever.
Travelling around Australia, we noticed that most males tended to do the reversing while the female stood at the rear of the caravan directing the male with multiple hand movements and verbal instructions, more often ending in frustration and arguing. We must admit, we were one of these couples when we first started travelling around Australia until we found the perfect solution.
The solution is real simple. Person A (usually the male from our experience), get out of the car and let Person B do the reversing. Sounds simple enough.
Then stand near the drivers window and using a calm voice, direct the good wife (Michelle) using language like “right hand down”, “slowly reverse” and “stop there for a sec”. Face towards the rear of the caravan and if you want to reverse the caravan to the right, then say “right hand down”, “slowly reverse”, “stop there for a sec”. If you want the caravan to go left, do the opposite and say “left hand down”.
This worked really well in our situation but the same instructions can obviously be applied to either person doing the reversing and instructing.
The person directing can then walk beside the van as it moves back, walking and facing in the same direction as the van is moving.
If the van needs to go left the person says “left hand down” and the driver turns the steering wheel left. If the van needs to go right the person says “right hand down” and the driver turns the steering wheel right.
When we use this method, there is next to no arguments which always makes setting up and happy hour that much enjoyable.
Another good idea is before the driver turns the steering wheel, stop, turn the wheel and start again. If you turn the wheel while moving you will move a metre or so before the caravan changes direction.
Some people also use a hand held radio which made sense until kids are listening in with their own hand radios and offering advice.
Happy wife equals a happy life.