After all this time, I hoped GerryP would have been flying around in his new Lear Jet looking for an island to buy? Not so? Bugga!
There are a couple of chapters left of the build which I will post up before the big reveal just to keep the continuity right, just need some spare time.
JR was on the money re the brakes (as usual) as I re-adjusted them, backed off 12 clicks and still the same so checked the power setting on the P3 and sure enough it was back to max voltage. Don’t know how this happened but suspect because I had several attempts at fitting this thing in the ash tray void but was not happy until I got it to sit right back in. I may have bumped or held the power button whilst mucking around with it. Anyway set it for 5.0 and seems to be perfect now.
After a few weekend camps in the back yard and a couple of WE trips down to the local industrial area to practice my backing skills, we headed off on the shakedown trip.
First the learning to back part. I can back trailers and very confident to just use my mirrors so was not too stressed about this and it’s just a matter of getting to know the vehicle being backed. The lack of visibility on the rear corner opposite the driver is the hard part but is helped by the rear view camera setup.
How I went about getting to know the vans characteristic’s was like this. First thing was to work out its maximum turning circle both left and right. Easily done in an industrial area with a big court where trucks can turn around. Going in circles and slowly increased my turn (frequently stopping to check if draw-bar getting too close to any part on the car) until I got near to the “do damage point” where the draw-bar would hit my Anderson plugs or 12 pin connectors. Stopped at this angle and put a piece of masking tape on my tugs back window that lined up with outer edge of the van. Then repeat this process for the opposite turn. I now had my max limits set.
Next was to find the point at which I can reverse angle the van to but still be able to recover from a jack-knife situation, in other words the angle which will give me maximum reverse angle turn but still give me enough play room before I got to a total jack-knife (have to stop and move forward to recover) or the do damage point. Once I had these “normal reverse operation points” I placed red and green dots on the rear window to be used as alignment guides for the respective left or right reversing maneuver.
Now I get the best possible reverse in. Just have to judge the correct distance from the kerb and how far to be “past” the target entry point. Once this point has been visualized at the site then just stop, full lock the steering wheel to cause van to turn in the chosen direction, reverse until the van comes around and lines up with my red or green dot, back off the steering wheel to hold the van edge on that red or green dot arc marker and hold steering wheel steady. Then all you have to do is concentrate on the reverse camera and mirrors to make sure no one has walked into the way and that it’s safe to continue backing. As the van enters the site just a tweak here and there to get it positioned exactly where you want it.
Next post the Shakedown Trip.
Computer Engineer. 200Series TTD Altitude SE with TAJ in tow.
Home built 21.6ft off-roader "The Taj Mah AL".
Steel Chassis, Simplicity Suspension, Aluminium Frame.
Paulownia Cabinetry, 800 W solar.
Its finished, now WE retire.