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In-reverse trailer racing

each car pushes a trailer backwards
  (+28, -2)(+28, -2)(+28, -2)
(+28, -2)
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This may be mayhem on wheels. Each car tows a small trailer, like a 5' x 10'. The race is conducted in reverse, trailer goes first.

This was actually my brother Erik's idea from when he had job in high-school towing small rentable trailers around. He got very good at backing up a small trailer in a hurry. Happy Birthday Erik!

Goesta Berling, Jan 07 2005

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       Have you ever tried to back a trailer at speed? For that matter, have you ever tried to drive backwards at speed? The "steering in back" just isn't a speed-stable condition. While this might be interesting to watch, I have a feeling it would be extremely dangerous.
Freefall, Jan 07 2005
  

       It would be a lot of fun....I learned on a two-horse trailer, and currently back a trailer with a 22 foot boat on it. Your tractor-trailer class would be very competetive.
normzone, Jan 07 2005
  

       It would be done with reverse lasers.
mensmaximus, Jan 07 2005
  

       The idea of having a race in reverse is baked. I remember seeing on TV a race of old Renault Daupines going backwards.
Goesta Berling, Jan 07 2005
  

       That would be one short race.
wagster, Jan 07 2005
  

       // The idea of having a race in reverse is baked. I remember seeing on TV a race of old Renault Daupines going backwards.//   

       Yes, but did those precursors to the Le Car do it with TRAILERS? Ah-ha!   

       I'd love it. It would spawn other racing series, like the Reverse Go-Cart with Radio Flyer series, speedboats pushing pontoons, horses pushing goats...   

       I'd actually GO to one of these races.
shapu, Jan 07 2005
  

       The likelihood of damage to equipment (cars and trailers) would seem quite high, but I see no reason to believe it would have to be dangerous to any of the personnel involved.   

       Pushing a trailer is indeed decidedly not really a speed-stable condition(*) but that would be part of the challenge.   

       (*) It may be possible for someone with practice to get into a pattern of predictable controlled oscillations; this may be a better strategy than trying for a straight path.
supercat, Jan 07 2005
  

       Cross country rally, you have to carry all your supplies in the trailer.
tiromancer, Jan 07 2005
  

       And the winner is... [tiromancer]! With a record distance of... 200 metres!
wagster, Jan 07 2005
  

       yeah, maybe you'll need an extra car in the trailer. Or two. And an extra trailer.
tiromancer, Jan 07 2005
  

       It would be a serious advertising gimmick for an RV or boat dealership to draw potential customers. A business could be formed that facilitates the contest at dealerships around the country, providing everything needed (except the RVs (unless they're reusable junkers)).   

       Backing with trailers is definitely an idea beyond backing just cars.   

       People who can back are deservedly proud. My pull as a teenager was forwards clipping the roof of my Grandfather's RV sales building.   

       I like the concise expression of the idea (unlike my response).
Mustardface, Jan 08 2005
  

       I've been on some projects that were like driving tractor trailers backwards down the motorway. I think either would make a good sport!
DrCurry, Jan 08 2005
  

       Reverse B-train tractor/trailer racing would really be something to watch.   

       I've backed trailers pretty quickly... I suspect that with practice a few drivers could make this a longer and faster race than would seem likely. I like it.
zigness, Jan 08 2005
  

       Farmers would definitely have the edge. Once you master the quadruple-hinge action of backing dual gravity-box wagons into a barn, you're one level away from total enlightenment.
RayfordSteele, Jan 08 2005
  

       [Freefall], I dispute that steering in back is inherently unstable at speed. Thrust SSC, the fastest land vehicle ever made (so far), was rear-steering.
5th Earth, Jan 08 2005
  

       I'm with [RayfordSteele] on this... Having spent a couple of summers hauling grain trailers during French harvests, the challenge of reversing two trailers, one hitched behind the other, does leaving you smiling in a superior fashion at people struggling with their caravans, boats, etc. I'm definitely up for seeing this televised, with the Champion of Champions series being the double trailer version.[+]
Anchovy, Jan 08 2005
  

       [5th Earth]: Steering a SINGLE vehicle using rear wheels is no problem. In some situations, rear-wheel steering can be more stable than front-wheel steering (e.g. with forklifts). On the other hand, steering a compound vehicle with rear wheels is a problem, because any inaccuracies in the "trailer's" steering must be corrected by oversteering the "pushing" part.
supercat, Jan 08 2005
  

       Drivers would soon be able to maintain control at the top speed of most reverse gears, which isn't so fast. You'd have to allow custom transmissions with multiple R gears, like the story about the first volvo ever made, with 3 speeds in reverse, and one forward, due to some assembly mistake.   

       Then does your seat and steering wheel have to remain forward facing, or should you be able to turn them around too?   

       (and I think it should be a pretty hefty trailer, with some expensive cargo, like my neighbor's jet skiis)
oxen crossing, Jan 09 2005
  

       +.........we need some fun around here....even if it is backwards fun.
xandram, May 09 2006
  

       Perhaps it would be best to mount a trailer hitch on the front of the vehicle. Having the steering wheels in the middle of the resulting articulated vehicle rather than at the trailing end would make things more controllable than with a normal vehicle going backward while pushing a trailer, but would still pose a significant challenge. Trailers could be constructed of breakaway materials to minimize vehicle damage.
supercat, May 09 2006
  

       you could make things really interesting if you had an airplane tractor class, preferably pushing something like 747s.
jhomrighaus, May 10 2006
  

       Trailer racing is baked. And incredibly destructive. It's like demolition derby, you don't enter expecting to drive the vehicles home. Throw it in reverse and you've got a whole 'nother layer of white trashy goodness. bun!
Noexit, May 10 2006
  

       I had a 27' boat and got very good backing it up. The longer the wheelbase of the trailer the better. Short trailers are hard (log splitter). Steerable trailers are crazy. Multiple steerable trailers are impossible if there is even tiny play in the hitches. I'm sure it could be easier with correct castor changes but hay wagons lack sophistication. Putting a hitch in the front of a car makes this WAY easier, we did this on a Jeep.
MisterQED, Feb 09 2008
  

       At least it's safer than F1 racing by facing backward and looking in a mirror.
quantum_flux, Feb 10 2008
  

       and booz?
xxobot, Feb 16 2008
  


 

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