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Old 07-03-2006, 08:10 AM   #1
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Question Maneuvering a 1960s Safari

Hello,

My first post here

We are about to order a 22ft Safari through a UK importer and the only thing I am worried about is whether we will be able to get it into our drive way. The roads leading to our house are narrow and the corners quite tight. The drive way is over 8ft wide, so getting down the drive should be OK, but cornering it into the drive is a concern.

Could experienced Airstream owners tell me what kind of space they would want to manouver a 22ft Safari into a tight spot, given the length of the towing vehicle, too. Is there an intelligent way to figure this out with some basic maths? Does the 22ft Safari have to be driven into place or can they be moved into place by people swinging it around. I'm guessing they might be too heavy for people to be swinging them, but I thought I should ask.

Thanks very much!

Joss
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Old 07-03-2006, 08:24 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums. London, London I take it to mean you live in the old city of London. I was frightened just walking on the streets thinking there was not enough room for me!
My suggestion would be to build/purchase/rent an electric or gas driven dolly to maneuver your trailer into your drive. This will eliminate the length of the tow vehicle and give you better maneuverability. Good luck to you. I would love to see a picture of the Airstream in your driveway. Oh, by the way, I think it is only a myth that Airstreams are factory trained to drive on the right side of the road.
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Old 07-03-2006, 08:41 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joss
Hello,

My first post here

We are about to order a 22ft Safari through a UK importer and the only thing I am worried about is whether we will be able to get it into our drive way. The roads leading to our house are narrow and the corners quite tight. The drive way is over 8ft wide, so getting down the drive should be OK, but cornering it into the drive is a concern.

Could experienced Airstream owners tell me what kind of space they would want to manouver a 22ft Safari into a tight spot, given the length of the towing vehicle, too. Is there an intelligent way to figure this out with some basic maths? Does the 22ft Safari have to be driven into place or can they be moved into place by people swinging it around. I'm guessing they might be too heavy for people to be swinging them, but I thought I should ask.

Thanks very much!

Joss
Joss, if you are extremely tight not all is loss. I have to put a 25 Safari behind my home with only inches to spare this is what I use.



http://www.powermoverinc.net/htmls/pmattachments.html

The dolly did cost a few dollars/pounds but it will pay for itself in the saving on storage fees I would have had to put out. The dolly takes the stress out of storing the trailer which is next to my pool, serves as my pool house when not on the road. The owner of the company is the most customer oriented person I have ever dealt with.

Good Luck Jim
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Old 07-03-2006, 08:54 AM   #4
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I concur with Jim Clark

I know the roads in and around the London area. If the trees and fences don't get you the narrow accesses will. Tight turns are hard on many tow vehicles and Airstream corners too. I am prejudiced...look at a Caravel...you will like it and its easier to fit in tight spaces. Have fun.
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Old 07-03-2006, 09:18 AM   #5
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Question

Thanks for your replies so far. I'll look into finding a dolly here in the UK. Does this mean that a 22ft Safari cannot be swung by muscle power alone?

Cheers
Joss
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Old 07-03-2006, 09:32 AM   #6
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I suppose you could if you get the right guys to move it. A trailer that size would weight over 3,000 lbs with a hitch weight of over 400 lbs.
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Old 07-03-2006, 09:46 AM   #7
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Fair enough :-) Possible but not preferable!
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Old 07-03-2006, 10:06 AM   #8
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if you were on a PERFECTLY flat, VERY smooth concrete floor and you had a wheel on your tongue jack and you had a couple of helpers you can move it around but it would still be awkward. . . part of the problem is you can't really put your shoulder up against the trailer and heave-ho because of the relatively thin aluminum skin. My neighbor has one of those "dollys" and it worked very nicely. Good Luck.
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Old 07-03-2006, 11:10 AM   #9
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Caravan Movers????

I notice on the European Airstream website that the new European Airstreams have optional "caravan movers" which are geared motors that can be moved into place to drive the wheels of the trailer. The tow vehicle can be detached and the movers operated by remote control to position the trailer.

Do a search on "Caravan Movers". Not cheap, but they should do the job.
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Old 07-03-2006, 11:22 AM   #10
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Trailer dolly

I just noticed such a mover is advertised in our very own "parts for sale" area.
Wow, expensive.
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Old 07-03-2006, 11:41 AM   #11
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Of course! Caravan movers. There had to be such a thing!

I've found a cheaper, manual version here which looks like it would do the job nicely: http://www.hitchdrive.com/main.html (great videos to watch, too). It says it's ideal for caravans upto 2650lbs/1200KG but safe to use upto 4400lbs/2000KG

And I've realised that the council rubbish collection truck is able to get to the front of our drive each week and it must be at least the dimension of a Safari. If we can get it to the drive way, then it would be pretty straight forward with a caravan mover to get it to the parking spot.

Encouraging. Thanks for your help.

Joss
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Old 07-03-2006, 02:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkR
if you were on a PERFECTLY flat, VERY smooth concrete floor and you had a wheel on your tongue jack and you had a couple of helpers you can move it around but it would still be awkward. . . part of the problem is you can't really put your shoulder up against the trailer and heave-ho because of the relatively thin aluminum skin. My neighbor has one of those "dollys" and it worked very nicely. Good Luck.
To add to the problem you can't use the dolly on the ball coupler as it will turn under the ball. The power dolly I use has socket which fits on the frame. Read all the infromation on the power dolly site and it will explain what happens.

Jim
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Old 07-03-2006, 02:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joss
Of course! Caravan movers. There had to be such a thing!

I've found a cheaper, manual version here which looks like it would do the job nicely: http://www.hitchdrive.com/main.html (great videos to watch, too). It says it's ideal for caravans upto 2650lbs/1200KG but safe to use upto 4400lbs/2000KG

And I've realised that the council rubbish collection truck is able to get to the front of our drive each week and it must be at least the dimension of a Safari. If we can get it to the drive way, then it would be pretty straight forward with a caravan mover to get it to the parking spot.

Encouraging. Thanks for your help.

Joss

That unit looks like it may work, I would go for a power version. Lets us know how it works out.

Jim
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Old 07-03-2006, 03:44 PM   #14
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Any tractor-trailer driver will tell you that blindsiding into a tight spot is the trick. That said it might be the way to get in over there... being that you're on the "other side" of the car anyway.
The aviation industry has used dollies of all types for years. The size of the aircraft dictated the use of power vs. unpowered.
For the size and weight of the AS you're talking about I'm certain you'll be in need of a powered unit.
We're waiting with baited breath for a photo of the driveway in question.... don't make us have to come over there.
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