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How to Correctly Reverse a Trailer

Man shifting a car into reverse

People who can perfectly reverse a trailer might seem like a genius or a magician, but they are nothing of the sort.

In fact, with a little time and practice, anyone can master the art of reversing a trailer. If you want to hone your reversing skills, read on for our tips. Just remember, this is only a guide – it also takes practice and an understanding of your surroundings to pull off the perfect reverse.

Start with an Assistant

There’s no shame is asking your passenger to get out of the car and stand on your blind side. In fact, it’s often critical to success. Communication is the key here, so make sure you use clear directions and hand signals and discuss them before you start.

Get it Right from the Beginning

It is much easier to reverse a trailer when the driver’s side of the vehicle is facing the right. When you’re in this position, the arc of the trailer as it reverses should be visible on your side. As you begin to reverse, you should be able to see the length of the trailer in your mirror.

Don’t forget to wind down your windows and adjust your side mirrors to show both sides of the trailer before you start. You want to ensure both mirrors are free from obstruction.

Do the Opposite

When reversing a trailer, you need to think of the opposite action. If you want the trailer to go left, turn the steering wheel right and vice versa. Just be careful not to turn too much as the trailer can jack knife. This is where communication with your partner is important.

Use the Mirror

The rear-view and left side mirror are not needed at this point. The right-hand mirror should be sufficient or you can simply look over your shoulder. If you have trouble seeing the trailer, ask your partner to instruct you.

Reversing a Trailer in 3 Simple Steps

1. Go Back

Shift into reverse and start to turn the steering wheel left. As you steer left, the wheels of the vehicle will go left, while the rear of the trailer will go right. This will ensure the vehicle and trailer start to go around in an arc.

2. Follow the Curve

You want to follow the arc to the point where the relationship between vehicle and trailer is constant. Imagine reversing around in a circle.

3. Straighten Yourself Up

Now comes the time to ease up. Straighten up the wheels of both the vehicle and trailer. Make any minor adjustments that are needed to ensure the car and trailer and lined up in a straight line.

Job Well Done

Congratulations on mastering the art of reversing a trailer. Now that it’s been completed, the rest of the day will seem like child’s play. The important thing to remember is that you need to steer opposite to where you want the trailer to go.

Of course, the best way to learn how to reverse a trailer is to practice. At Advanced Towbars, we are experts in all things trailers, towing, towbars and accessories. We understand the frustrations that may come with towing and we have the products and services to make it all easier. Come to us for a brand new towbar, a great range of accessories and for towbar fittings. For a free onsite fitting of any of our custom towbars or accessories, contact us online or call 1300 238 869.

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