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Discussion Starter #1
Here's a guy with a 2500 159" who illustrates that you can back it up a steep hill that has loose gravel, when you can't drive it up. I wouldn't have thought of that.


Also, he's a former Jeep off-roader. He talks about airing down the factory tires to help with traction. He found that it wasn't helpful because they were so stiff that they still dug holes.
 

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Thanks but first you have to be able to back up competently and almost no one has that skill anymore in my experience. I have done it many times with front wheel drive cars and I can backup using the mirriors as I had to learn that snowplowing for many years.
 

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He didn't mention why it actually helped.
It had little to do with the stiffness of the tires. The van contents are so heavy, when going forward at that angle, a lot of weight is shifted to the rear. There was hardly any weight on the front to gain traction. Obviously, the opposite effect when backing up.
If the problem was the tires being too thin and rigid, they would have dug in going backwards too.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
He didn't mention why it actually helped.
It had little to do with the stiffness of the tires. The van contents are so heavy, when going forward at that angle, a lot of weight is shifted to the rear. There was hardly any weight on the front to gain traction. Obviously, the opposite effect when backing up.
If the problem was the tires being too thin and rigid, they would have dug in going backwards too.
Sorry, my summary wasn't clear. His discussion about airing down the stock tires mainly had to do with his experience getting stuck in some sand. He said it didn't help much since the treads were so thick/stiff.

Also, to RD's point on backing up, he had his wife spotting him. It would be pretty crazy to back up a narrow, steep hill without a spotter, not only because backing is hard, but also because obviously there might be something coming the other way.
 

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What’s important on whether backing up will help much is the front-to-back weight distribution, and the height of the center of gravity.

If you carry a lot of weight up high, like he seems to be doing on roof rack, more weight will be transferred to the back (front) axle so it will make a larger difference. If center of gravity is low (particularly in proportion to wheelbase), driving uphill in reverse won’t affect axle weights as much. So shorter wheelbase and higher Cg will gain most in my opinion. This shifts more weight over driven axle.
 

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It's all good, biker
I'm just saying, he went through all that trouble to make a vid about getting up a hill backwards.... and forgot to explain why going backwards actually worked.
(In a heavy, 159" fwd camper)
 

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If you don't turn off the ESC you aren't going anywhere slippery in these vans. With it off you will get lots more traction. The difference between being stuck or not in my experience.
 

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Spinning wheels means you lost traction.
The only time you want spinning wheels is with high HP vehicles that are literally paddling through mud or sand.
 

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If you must use a spotter while backing up make sure they know what they are doing otherwise they are just in the way and one more thing you have to worry about backing over, In general I find anyone spotting that cannot back up themselves have no idea what they are doing are standing in the wrong spot and you spend more time looking for them in your mirrors than if they were not present.

Number of years backing up semis and a equal amount of time doing commercial snow plowing so spent my share of time looking in mirrors backing up.
 

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Plowing is the best practice. I had 35 years plowing our 1/3 mile private road in one of the snowiest places in Vermont. I can back up at whatever speed the reverse gear will allow using just the mirrors! Try it sometime when you can borrow a friend’s plow truck! As most of mine was done after dark I had high mounted lights tied to the back up lights so the snow banks you inevitability must back into doesn't cover your back up lights.
BTW I really think if you can’t get up the hill frontwards you probably are not going to do it backwards either unless you have this skill.
 

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My wife backed into the Apple tree last year. With 3 mirrors and a backup cam. It was the only tree within 100' radius.
Bless her heart.
 
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