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Old 02-13-2007, 11:40 AM   #1
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Question Help!!! Backing AS up incline into garage

Not sure if this is going to be a problem or not. We have a 25' 1996 Excella Classic which I hope to put in a newly refurbished 2-car garage (one of the bays). The garage will be 28' deep and the new garage door will be 10' tall. The problem is my driveway has an incline of about 10 degrees. The height of the garage ground floor above level ground (the sidewalk) is about 3'. The hypotenuse (the driveway itself) is about 25' long. I believe ASs are about 9.5 tall including the AC unit. Getting through the door initially should not be a problem. However, because the wheels are "amidships" (in the middle of the AS for you non-Navy types out there) the tail end of the AS will continue to "rise in the air" until the second set of tandem wheels crosses the threshold of the garage door. I guess the problem is how much will the AS continue to rise as it backs into the garage? Anybody encounter a situation such as this before? I don't know if this is possible, but can a garage door opener be installed on an angle greater than 90 degrees (starting at perpendicular to the floor like garage doors do) and after it retracts it ends up being say 135 degrees leaving plenty of room for the AS to continue to rise if necessary inside the garage?
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Old 02-13-2007, 12:27 PM   #2
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A couple of questions to help picture what's going on.

Do you have a single or multiple panel garage door?

Is it the door, or the opener mechanism that you are concerned about hitting?

You have a 10' door opening. How high is the ceiling?

With these questions answered some solutions may be offered.

As a possible last resort solution if no other ideas surface, how about buying a drop hitch, turning it over and mounting the ball on it. This would raise the level of hitch attachment and drop the rear of the trailer. You would have to unhitch/rehitch each time you moved the trailer in or out.

Or, the trailer may fit just fine the way it is.

Dave
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Old 02-13-2007, 12:41 PM   #3
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Dave, my current garage is one double-door sized door. The new 10-foot doors will be two seperate single garage doors. I'm primarily concerned that I might end up hitting the opener itself. The ceiling can be as tall the inside of the garage roof if necessary.
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Old 02-13-2007, 12:41 PM   #4
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With the trailer backing on a 10 degree incline, the 10 foot door opening may not be sufficient. With the trailer wheels still on the incline, the top rear of the trailer may enter the doorway at a height greater than 10' from the garage floor. It would not be difficult to make a simple scale model out of cardboard to know for sure.

On the garage door issue, I think that you would be courting disaster. With the rails at an angle like that, if anyone ever pulled the drive release rope, that garage door would come down with enough force to cut your car in half!
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:00 PM   #5
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Hi Streamer- Gee, your sending me back to college math, not my favorite. Without knowing your TV, exact incline degree at the lip of the level garage floor and amount of footage prior to the angle it's going to be real hard to give you an exact answer. But if I were to armchair quarterback this one, it would seem to me that your stern backing in is going to continue to rise because of the TV holding down the tongue since it will be on the downside of the incline almost the entire back travel into the garage. Knowing the the garage door will be level at 10.5" your going to hit both the door and the opener. Just my guess with the info available. Time to pull out the pad, pencil and tape measure!
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:12 PM   #6
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When you figure this one out, post a series of photos to let us see the results...enquiring minds want to know.
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:36 PM   #7
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Garage door openers are also available to be mounted on either side of the garage on the door header. if you have a torsion spring type door, leaving the center clear of obstructions.
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:31 PM   #8
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I think if I can use "swing out" barn style doors for that side of my twin car garage, I can stop worrying about hitting the opener and the door, and I won't have to worry about a garage door sliding down the tracks and slicing me into pieces!

The next problem is that tail end rising into the air. Think I will try to build a model as suggested. That would be a whole lot cheaper than guessing and hoping the AS fits after construction!

Tow vehicle is a 2006 Ford F250 CC PSD.
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Old 02-13-2007, 03:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Streamer1
I think if I can use "swing out" barn style doors for that side of my twin car garage, I can stop worrying about hitting the opener and the door, and I won't have to worry about a garage door sliding down the tracks and slicing me into pieces!

The next problem is that tail end rising into the air. Think I will try to build a model as suggested. That would be a whole lot cheaper than guessing and hoping the AS fits after construction!

Tow vehicle is a 2006 Ford F250 CC PSD.
OK, now your talking! How cool to make little scale models and test your theory! I love this. You will need to post photos of the models and then the actual. Don't forget any joists you may have runing above!
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Old 02-13-2007, 03:59 PM   #10
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I have reservations

Airstreams ride awfully low.

I would be concerned with the rear end of the trailer digging into the pavement when coming off the sreet at the low end of the rise. Raising the hitch point, as was suggested above, would make that situation much worse.

Your drive sounds about like mine. I could get the 22' up, but my 25' would not go, even with the torsion bar pressure relieved. I didn't even try the 28!
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Old 02-14-2007, 03:14 AM   #11
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Do what I do. Line up, close your eyes and gun it. Hope for the best.
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Old 02-14-2007, 07:19 AM   #12
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If the opener is the only concern, don't get a standard version. I bought a Wayne Dalton i-drive last year when we replaced our garage door, and it's really impressive. I don't have the same issue, I just liked that it doesn't protrude into the garage. It mounts on the header wall above the opening.

idrive™ Wall Mount Garage Door Openers

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Old 02-14-2007, 09:06 AM   #13
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Draw it out to scale. Note your clearance needed is greater than the perpendicular height at the AC because it is the pump height from the front wheel contact point to the AC. It is a hypotheuse of a triangle. If the garage isn't built yet, ie no doors, just make the door 12feet and never worry.
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Old 02-14-2007, 09:52 AM   #14
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If the garage is built, and you only need a couple of inches to get it inside the garage, you can always get a 2x10 and lay it on the ground under the rear wheels of the tow vehicle. You can also let most of the air out of the trailer's tires to gain a couple more inches. That being said, if it's that close, I think you may want to rework the entrance to the garage.
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Old 02-14-2007, 10:05 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325
If the opener is the only concern, don't get a standard version. I bought a Wayne Dalton i-drive last year when we replaced our garage door, and it's really impressive. I don't have the same issue, I just liked that it doesn't protrude into the garage. It mounts on the header wall above the opening.

idrive™ Wall Mount Garage Door Openers

Roger
I like that system. It's probably on many "upscale" garages I bet. The only problem might be it is limited to 8' doors according to the FAQs section at their website.
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Old 02-14-2007, 12:29 PM   #16
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Why fool with an opener at all?

Why not get rid of the auto opener altogether? You're not going to be pulling the Stream in and out every day. Just manually open and close the door. I have some really nice Hoermann garage doors with the torsion spring. I play to get openers eventually, but right now just open and close them manually. You can get a manual lock for it. No sweat.

Problem solved, and you did it for free. Sounds like a win-win.
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Old 02-14-2007, 12:30 PM   #17
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I have a steep driveway with a big hump in the middle. When backing in from the alley, I find it necessary to loosen the load leveling hitch bars by one link. For my situation, it gives enough lift for the hitch to not bottom out, and enough flex for the hitch to back around a right angle from the alley. It's no fun after a long drive home, but well worth being able to store the trailer at home.

I would suggest experimenting backing in with some patience, blocks of wood and understaning friends / family to help. Leave the garage door off until you back the trailer in to the garage a few times, that will tell you what kind of door to pursue. One more suggestion, use 4 low on the transfer case if available. That allows me to creap up the driveway an inch at a time when necessary.
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Old 02-14-2007, 01:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGolden
Why not get rid of the auto opener altogether? You're not going to be pulling the Stream in and out every day. Just manually open and close the door. I have some really nice Hoermann garage doors with the torsion spring. I play to get openers eventually, but right now just open and close them manually. You can get a manual lock for it. No sweat.

Problem solved, and you did it for free. Sounds like a win-win.
Actually Jim, per one of my earlier posts, I was thinking along the lines of the old swing out barn doors. They can be securely locked from the inside and I could walk out the other garage door with the opener.
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