skip to Main Content

How to Back Up a U-Haul Trailer

Maxwell Mini Storage is a Trailer Leasing Agency providing rental services from U-Haul in Montgomery, Alabama.

We’re conveniently located next to Maxwell Air Force Base and less than 2 miles from Interstate Highways I-85 and I-65.

Backing up your vehicle while towing a Moving Trailer can be a little intimidating.

Whether you are backing up a trailer for parking or loading, it’s important to learn the proper technique.

Watch the following 3-minute video, review these diagrams illustrating how to reverse a trailer, and with a little practice, you’ll be ready to TOW!

Video courtesy of U-Haul Official Videos. ¹

Begin Transcript

“Hi, my name is Stewart.

I’m going to try to show you how to back up a trailer today.

Hitch Ball

The key term that I want to make sure everyone knows about is the hitch ball.

The hitch ball is on a lot of cars and it’s what’s underneath this coupler right here. It’s what the trailer grabs onto and connects itself to the car.

The trailer will pivot on the hitch ball as you turn the car back and forth.

Avoid Jackknifing

The main thing you want to avoid is what’s called a jackknife situation – and that’s what we have set up here.

If we were to back the car up another 8 inches or a foot, a very short distance, you could imagine as the bumper comes backward it will collide actually with the tongue of the trailer and cause some damage to your car and the trailer, so if we can avoid that I think we’ll be okay.

Learn By Pushing

The key for me when I’m trying to explain to someone how to back up a trailer is to get them to imagine that it’s like a wheelbarrow that you’re pushing.

But instead of pushing the wheelbarrow with your hands you’re pushing the trailer with the hitch ball of your car.

The key to doing this is being able to control and know where you want the hitch ball to be turning and pushing the trailer from.

So, if I want to get the trailer to go to my left, I have to move my body to the right. My body in this case is supposed to be the hitch ball.

If I want to get the trailer now to move to the right, I have to get my body or the hitch ball to the left. And that’s how I have to push it.


So, if I want to make the trailer go this way, to the left of the passenger side, then I need to get the hitch ball to the right of the trailer.

And I’ll turn the steering wheel to do that. Now that I’ve started going that way, if I want to make the trailer just continue in this arc and follow it around, I’m going to need to back that wheel the other way.

And if I want to get the trailer to switch directions, I’ve got to lock the steering wheel out all the way in that direction so that I can get the hitch ball on the other side of the trailer.

And again, to avoid a jackknife then I have to turn the wheel yet again the other direction, but it’s kind of like doing these exaggerated movements when you’re pushing a wheelbarrow.

You just have to get the hitch ball where it needs to go.”

End Transcript

Maxwell Mini Storage is an authorized, independent U-Haul Neighborhood Dealer in Montgomery, Alabama.

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top