While looking for something else online after buying our trailer I ran across these Align-Quik Hitching Guides. The idea made sense. They are simply two metal poles angled just right with adjustable magnetic bases that you can attach to your hitch and trailer so that when you are perfectly lined up with the trailer the two poles touch. At any time while backing you can see how far you are from the trailer hitch and you can see if you need to move left or right. Too simple.
I don’t know how to explain how frustrating it is to back-up a vehicle and line it up with a trailer hitch. There is some psychology involved too because for some reason you really do not trust the person who is giving you directions. I think this is in part because backing up – especially the last foot – is counter intuitive, so you feel like the person giving you directions doesn’t know there left from their right.
Besides seeming like a good idea – these guys also have a good sense of humor (always a gimmick I fall for). Note this “testimonial” from Mr. Hap E. Hitcher:
“My wife, Testy, I mean Tessy, claimed I didn’t always live up to my name when she and I were hitching up the trailer. I don’t know what she was talking about, but when she gave me a set of Hitching Guides I decided to humor her and try them out.
By golly, now I can back right up to the trailer without getting yelled and screamed at! We get to the lake faster, and we’re both in a better mood when we get there!
If you want a better marriage, or at least a less banged up license plate, I heartily recommend Align-Quik Hitching Guides!”
And from their FAQ section:
If I buy these for my husband, will he quit expecting me to miraculously guide him to the trailer while he yells at me?
Yes. We are 99% certain that once he’s tried Align-Quiks he’ll never want to see you in the mirrors again! Um, what I mean is, he’ll start thinking of you as his friend and soul-mate and regret that he ever subjected you to that kind of emotional trauma.
You can even hitch up solo! I had to do this when I went to pick up the trailer after we had it serviced. You must be careful – since it will help you line up the hitch – but if you do not have the trailer raised high enough to clear the ball you can have a problem. But now all my ‘dear wife’ needs to do is confirm what I am seeing in my rear view mirror.
What I think causes the problem in backing up the vehicle that last foot is that as a driver you do not realize that even at a dead stop when you crank your wheels to go one your ball is moving the other. So after making what was supposed to be a minor correction you are now way off. Now I can see it happen in my rear view mirror!
Anyway – anyone having to hitch up a trailer to their car should invest the $19.95 plus $5.00 shipping for these. They are worth it at twice the price.