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Old 12-07-2006, 07:03 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by BillM2
J. Rick:

There's a used on on ebay -- search under Power Caster. Even used, that's more than what I'd like to spend. Some people have suggested hitching up to a lawn tractor -- any thoughts about that?
I have never tried it myself, but Sanders Airstream in Alachua, Florida, moves all of their stock around with a large lawn tractor. They even have it set-up to do Hensleys.

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Old 12-07-2006, 07:27 AM   #30
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I was at an RV show on the last day a couple of months ago when the exhibitors started to remove their trailers. The ones I saw getting ready to move their trailers inside the convention hall used units like the one for $49 from Northern Tools. I didn't actually see them used, but they were positioning them for use with large travel trailers...most SOB's larger than 25'. Of course they were on a perfectly level concrete surface and were only going to the exterior of the building, but they were all manual units.

JC uses the large tractors for a number of reasons. The reasons I can imagine are that they don't have to get off and raise or lower the hitch jack (they have hydraulic hitches on the tractors that can raise the hitch enough to lift the foot of the jack enough for towing around the service yard), they can see to line up the hitches from the driver's seat while backing, the tractors are plenty strong enough to haul anything that might come into the service center for repairs, they are very manuverable (more so than any other tow vehicle), they are made for long term use with minimal maintenance. All of these factors are not available from any conventional tow vehicle. Not sure what they do with Hensleys. Maybe they have some of the tractors set up for that.

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Old 12-07-2006, 09:49 AM   #31
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I have one in my garage. It's left over from when I owned a popup. I have a small boat that I can move around with it as well. It is rated for a few hundred pounds and would not be good for the Airstream. Mine was on sale at Harbour Freight for $29 a few years ago.


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Old 12-07-2006, 03:25 PM   #32
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When I was there for the tour two years ago, I saw two workers calmly grab the front of a fairly big Airstream and pull it down the line to the next workstation. They didn't have any dolly, just lifted it and pulled.

If you're on level ground and have the emergency brake cable in your paw ready to yank I don't see why you couldn't move a smaller Airstream with a manual dolly. I sure wouldn't try it with a 34' though.

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Old 12-07-2006, 03:31 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by BillM2
Thanks for the ideas -- keep them coming. Likely will give the hand dolly a try first and see what happens. Now as far as spinning in one place on your tires goes, someone suggested putting soapy water down on the pavement/asphalt to help the tires spin more easily.
I have not had to do that. I guess if you are having a problem then try it, but maybe just water would work as well. I've moved my trailer into some pretty tight spots in my shop and on the driveway and so far having it turn on an extremely tight line ihas not been an issue.

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Old 12-07-2006, 06:47 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by BillM2
Thanks for the ideas -- keep them coming. Likely will give the hand dolly a try first and see what happens. Now as far as spinning in one place on your tires goes, someone suggested putting soapy water down on the pavement/asphalt to help the tires spin more easily.
If your trailer is indeed a 67 Safari, then you can use the hand dolly on flat ground, without a problem. You will not need soap on the floor for a single axle trailer. A tandem axle is a different story altogether. The tires want to scrub at tight turns, making a powered device a necessity.
We moved quite a few single axle trailers with a large hydraulic floor jack under the tongue, never a problem. I move my 63 Overlander like that, as long as it's straight , and flat.
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Old 12-07-2006, 07:58 PM   #35
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Wish I had a bit more detials for you on the topic... My wife's uncle had an AS of 21 feet and he made a dolly for moving his unit into a VERY tight space next to the garage. He used a very simple two wheeled dolly with a ball - then attached a bicycle sprocket mechanism that allowed him to esily hoist the unit up and maneuver with a simple crank. A little yankee inginuity!!! Always wished I had payed closer attention to that rig. The crank was connected to the wheels via bike chain. Stupid simple and clever. Never damaged his rig the entire time he had it using this system. He was always facing the rig as it was in motion. FWIW Personally... I am not as good with the creative side of this stuff, welding and the like... With the investment in these rigs, I'd spend the $ and get the automatic unit. Consider your investment!
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Old 12-08-2006, 08:54 AM   #36
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I used one at our last house which had a very narrow 80ft long driveway. If your property has any significant slope forget about using a hand dolly, you will be run over by your trailer. I had a very small slope and I had to go REALLY slow in order to keep the trailer from getting away from me.

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Old 07-07-2009, 01:12 PM   #37
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Does anyone have pictures of one of these dollies hooked up to their Airstream they could share on this thread?

We will hopefully be parking our AS in the barn and would like to leave the walls and doors in the same spots they are now. We are exploring our options.

Thank you,
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:01 PM   #38
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Hand Dolly

Bill, I have one of those little two wheeled hand dollies with a ball on it. I bought it to push a 1,000# boat trailer around my driveway. Generally, it works fine, but a month ago I was in a hurry and got a little sloppy using it. I ended up spraining my knee by pushing at an awkward angle and am still hobbling around with daily Motrin and a knee support. Unless you're in real good shape (I'm not!), I'd vote for spending the $ and getting some power assistance. It could save you weeks of discomfort - most likely right in the middle of the summer.
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:19 AM   #39
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I'm now using a hydro drive lawn tractor with a ball hooked up to it. For wiggling around, it's great but I don't pull it very far in the drive. But for some powered assistance, it works well.
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:37 AM   #40
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Becareful about trying to use todays yard tractors as yard mules. The transAxle case is very lite aluminum and the axles are only 3/4 inch cold roll and will bend easily,and will not support that kind of tongue weight. Now Yard Tractors of yesteryear will. Case and IH for instance had a case-iron housing. Someone posted pics of a wheel dolly some time back that they had fabricated to plug into the receiver on a short wheelbase jeep . The dolly took the tongue wieght and the jeep was short wheel base enough to negotiate the tight turns in this persons driveway. Maybe you can use the search feature and find the pic. Sorry I dont remember who it was but its been within the last 6 months.
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:45 AM   #41
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I use my John Deer 30 hp compact tractor to move mine around when I need to. I put a ball hitch on the draw bar.


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