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Old 09-30-2009, 06:10 PM   #1
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1965 28' Ambassador
Amissville , Virginia
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Mired in the mud!

Any thoughts on moving a trailer that's showing only a half baby moon? I just got back from a seven hour trip expecting to be towing a 1966 Globe Trotter. While the photos I saw in advance pictured the trailer sitting rather low to the ground I wasn't prepared, especially in the way of equipement on hand, to find that the trailer had settled into the ground over the many years it has been sitting. My next attempt will involve a transport service who will flatbed the trailer and deliver it to an Airstream repair shop about an hour away.
The guy who runs the service plans to bring a tow truck which he says he'll use to lift the trailer out of the now firm ground. There is only three inches of clearance from the trailer's belly to the ground, the jack if submerged and non-operative and worst of all the stairway if extended and firmly packed in the dirt.
I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts, suggestions or warnings regarding this process. The body of this trailer is flawless at this point and I'd like to keep it this way.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 09-30-2009, 06:17 PM   #2
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I would not let them lift it out by the tongue. Those older frames were not ment for that.

Find some way to lift it at the axles. If you can get a beam in from one side at the axles then let them lift the beam. Depending on how hard the ground is I would not do the lift on each side in ONE LIFT but rather lift a couple of inches and block up that side and move to the other side.

If you are lucky it may not be as deep as it looks. The tires are most likely flat.

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Old 09-30-2009, 06:21 PM   #3
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Been there...
Take a shovel.
Make some access points so you can see what is going on "dig" a ramp in front of the tires if you have to move it forward.

Take a floor jack (or use the lift on the tow truck) to lift the front of the trailer. (keep an eye on the back as to not jam it into the ground) with some penitrating oil and some luck you can just unbolt the tounge jack for the trip.

in doing all of this just GO SLOW!

Pull on it easy and dig a little more if you need to. the key is to GO SLOW... It will come out.

Congratulations on your find, and Welcome to the forums.
Have a great day!

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Old 09-30-2009, 06:30 PM   #4
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Any pulling or levering could cause damage.

I know this won't sound like any fun, but if it was my trailer then I would bring a couple of shovels and rock bars, a couple of friends, lots of beer, and then dig as big a hole as possible around each wheel - could take a couple of hours. The rock bars are necessary here in Vermont because we can't dig a hole without finding rocks that need to be pried out. Create a nice gradual earth ramp at the front of each wheel and then slowly pull it out.

I frankly wouldn't worry a bit about damaging the tires. You are going to replace those anyways. Think about your frame and don't try any tugging or levering. If those wheels are stuck in the mud then something else is going to flex and you don't want that.
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:41 PM   #5
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That low to the ground for awhile? Think rusted frame.. how much do you want to spend? The shell may be good, but I'm afraid what you'll find underneath....
Good luck!
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:49 PM   #6
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hard ground packed around the tires, etc

Yep good info on the shovels (duh!), but I'd think some kind of water to loosen up the hard pack would be in order. I would bank up around the steps, jack, (stabilizers, too if they are in the hard pack) and then water 'em like a newly planted tree. Then, sloooowly remove each thing stuck in the hard pack-then on to the wheels/tires. I would inflate the bejeeezee out of the tires such that the air pressure would break loose the hard pack, if possible. Then ramp up such that the trlr could be pulled free, gently... bring some spares in case the existing are shot (especially after inflating them to 90 psi!!!).
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:57 PM   #7
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We picked up an Argosy that was in the dirt about as deep as the Globetrotter you're working with. We ended up hooking up to the trailer, and towing the truck and trailer together out of the hole. I'll second (or third) the suggestion of inflating the tires before trying to move the trailer.
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Old 09-30-2009, 07:12 PM   #8
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I have hunted and fished here in Mississippi all life. My outdoor loving lifestyle has given me ample opportunities to hone my skills in extricating my vehicles and trailers from mud. I agree with 1) don't lift up on tongue with is frozen in the dirt the A-frame is for pulling not lifting 2) inflate the tires if you can and most importantly 3) dig ramps in front of the wheels. Just dig a trench as deep as each wheel and gradually incline it so the wheels will be on level ground about the distant to the tongue of the trailer. This gentle "ramp" will allow you to pull the trailer forward with the least amount of stress on the frame and without causing the TV to dig in and make a mess or get stuck itself. Taking the time to dig "ramps" in front of the wheels trick has gotten me out a many a stuck situation in some very remote locations.

Good luck
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:20 PM   #9
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Wait for spring

Here in NM we have a lot of red clay. A little rain and it's slipperier than snot on a glass doorknob. I got stuck one day with my 280Z in a fairly light rain near Abiqiu. I hitched 20 mi to some friends of mine who drove me back in their 4wd a couple days later. They got stuck and barely got out. Next day I called a tow truck from the nearest big town, Espanola, 50m away, He came out the next day and got me out ok and told me the week before about a dozen vehicles were stuck at the same spot. He brought in his wrecker and got in stuck. Finally got his big wrecker and pulled the little wrecker and everyone else out.

When I lived out east I went skiing at Mad River Glen. On my way back going over a rise I noticed a beat up old pick up sitting there. Hit some black ice and ended up in the snow in a ditch. The P/u pulled up and said " I'll get you out for $50" I didn't have much choice. As I was driving off the p/u went back to his parking spot. As he pulled away I noticed the back of his p/u was full of Jerry cans.
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:51 PM   #10
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a lot depends on how long the trailer has been sitting there.

if it has been a long time. i'd expect the tires have no air in them. i would not over inflate them as they might pop if very old. you won't get that much more height out of an overinflated tire.

if you can get a floor jack under the axle mounting flange i would try jacking it and putting something under the tires before inflating them. it will give you more room to put things (boards or gravel) under the tires.

dig out around the jack so it lifts from the dirt easily.

if you try to drag it out of the dirt packed tires, you'll likely cause major damage to the trailer.

you'll have a great post to make when you get it out!
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:25 PM   #11
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If its been sitting very long the tires may need to be replaced just to pull it out. I would dig the wheels out and put the new on before trying to pull it out. I agree with the ramping idea presented before to get it out of the hole. In very hard ground an electric hammer chisel with a straight blade(like a small jackhammer) will make faster work of the digging. Much better than just a shovel. You can rent these at some tool rental places.

Another possibility is to dig a shallow trench from just behind the tires back to the axle mounting plate, and slide a hydraulic jack under there to lift it straight up, then fill the holes under the wheels until you are level or higher with the ground. I would still dig the wheels out first so you don't do any bad things to your shell or frame. This would probably be a safer way to get it out than pulling on it. It could also have frozen bearings after all.

Good luck!
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:09 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Now & Zen View Post
...Any thoughts on moving a trailer that's showing only a half baby moon?...
yeah, leave it be, ashes2ashes...

and it may be part of an art display...

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 10-01-2009, 05:29 AM   #13
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1965 28' Ambassador
Amissville , Virginia
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Hey, thanks for all of the great suggestions! I'm glad to be getting some of this advise from actual experience as it gives me the confidance that if done correctly this actually may work! I'm liking the dug ramp idea but I can see where it'll be important not to lift on the tongue when pulling otherwise the back end will drag.

If this sounds like a fun challenge to any of you up there in Western Pennsylvania let me know! Yins in? I'll bring the Iron City!
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:28 AM   #14
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Don't forget the pics!

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