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Old 02-20-2017, 01:44 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by rvb View Post
Whenever I am backing into a tight space, particularly on the blind side, I get out and walk back so I can see exactly were I am, sometimes more than once. Standing there looking at the trailer and where it needs to go makes a huge difference in figuring out how to proceed.
I had to "place" the trailer on a 15' wide pad next to the garage for many years. I wanted to enlarge the drive apron but the city had a code prohibiting an apron wider than your garage. In the beginning I used orange flags, on flexible poles to mark the spots where I needed to start turning and then flags where I did a hard turn. I would get out at each spot and eyeball it myself. I would suggest using your power mirrors, changing the mirror positions on both sides as you back in to align yourself with your turn points. Keep getting out to look don't rely on someone else to tell you where to turn. I also had the spots marked at each side on the back of the parking spot. When we sold our 25' and got the 30' I started all over with new markings and flags. Now we have a house with a straight driveway on a wide quiet side street. I do miss the challenge of "placing" the trailer when we get back from camping.
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Old 02-20-2017, 02:00 PM   #16
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The suggestion of getting out and looking is probably the best single suggestion so far. Also just practicing the maneuver will help out immensely. If you are certain you have the space, I would focus on the object you can clearly see (garage?) and hug the trailer against that. This situation sounds a little like mine. My trailer goes straight back under the carport, but I also store my car carrier next to the carport. I have 9 feet between my fence and carport corner pole. I have to snake the car carrier in its spot, but by watching that corner post, I know if I hug that post it will slip in without touching the fence.
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Old 02-20-2017, 02:05 PM   #17
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Does one need to be concerned about somewhat exceeding the 500 lb limit of a front hitch receiver used just for backing into a driveway? If it's designed to carry 500 lbs at highway speed with the dynamic forces involved with rough roads, it seems to me that it would handle the tongue weight of a 25' trailer moving at a walking pace over smooth ground.
No you don't. It's similar to Don Quixote chasing windmills (quixotic/quixotism).
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Old 02-20-2017, 02:43 PM   #18
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Backing Up

I often travel as a solo camper, so I have learned several techniques that work for me when I am backing up the 30 ft. Airstream into a tight spot.

- Often other guys will offer to help. I always decline politely. YOU are ultimately responsible...not them.
- As I get to my assigned spot, I get out and inspect it carefully for width and overhead obstructions.
- Then I lay a 50 ft. yellow polypropolene rope along the track I want my left side trailer wheels to follow with a slight curve in the beginning extending into the traffic lane. I also put a yardstick horizontally on a cone at the rearmost point where I want my trailer to end up. When the trailer knocks off the yardstick, I know I am back as far as I want to go. You might have pull forward once or twice to get it as straight as you want once in the spot, just get out and put the yardstick back on the cone and back up again till you knock it off.
- When I am ready, I pull up past the parking spot in the center of the available traffic lane with my trailer wheels so that my trailer wheels are just past the yellow rope. I then begin to slowly back up keeping the trailer wheels about an inch to the left of the yellow rope. Take it slow, get out and look several times if you have to... don't be afraid to pull out and try again ... or go around and start again.
- I ALWAYS try to back in using the mirror on the DRIVERS side. Using passenger side is possible, but much, much more difficult.
- Best advice is to assemble your parking aids and then go to a large deserted parking lot and practice, practice, practice... you WILL get it after awhile...

Good luck...
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Old 02-20-2017, 02:43 PM   #19
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Trailer Valet - if the surface is paved

If the surface is paved and relatively level, I would get one of these to solve your issue. Attach the cordless drill and you have a highly maneuverable dolly. I have one and it woks like a charm - but not on soft ground. It is well built for what it needs to do - it is not going to push or pull the trailer down the road, but when space gets tight, it is cheap compared to the cost to repair a dent, gouge, or scrap in your AS.

www.trailervalet.com
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Old 02-20-2017, 03:10 PM   #20
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1. Learn to back using the mirrors instead of turning around.
2. Go slow.
3. Pull forward as soon as you're off target.
4. Building supply places sell cones. Put some out to mark the boundary of your space, and are easy to see.
5. Put your hand on the bottom of the wheel, and move the wheel in the direction you want to trailer to go.
6. Go slow.
7. Don't be shy about getting out to see where you are. Sometimes your perspective is off when backing.

It's no help to have an assistant who stands behind the trailer and watches silently.
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Old 02-20-2017, 06:32 PM   #21
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And level

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If the surface is paved and relatively level, I would get one of these to solve your issue. Attach the cordless drill and you have a highly maneuverable dolly. I have one and it woks like a charm - but not on soft ground. It is well built for what it needs to do - it is not going to push or pull the trailer down the road, but when space gets tight, it is cheap compared to the cost to repair a dent, gouge, or scrap in your AS.

www.trailervalet.com
And LEVEL bought one, tried it once and returned it. 750lb tongue weight, XL model, driveway has slight slope, very slight but that thing wouldn't move on it. Went the way of the front hitch and haven't regretted it yet. Curt hitch about $150 and an hour and a half self install on a Sierra 1500. The other good thing if your active you can always use it as a second mount, for bikes or other things if needed.
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Old 02-20-2017, 07:24 PM   #22
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Down the street is a truck driver, have him back it in there, you watch....
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Old 02-20-2017, 07:25 PM   #23
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Front hitch is the answer. Frame mount, don't worry about the weight. It won't be there long enough to do damage.

This is exactly what my father in law does to park his trailer, about the same weight and length as my 27 ft FC, parallel with his garage and a tight fit next to the fence line
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Old 02-20-2017, 07:40 PM   #24
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No you don't. It's similar to Don Quixote chasing windmills (quixotic/quixotism).
I wasn't so much concerned with the hitch rating as with the amount of squat the 700# load induced in my front end. The truck was close to the limit for the front axle with no load and I was uncomfortable adding 700# to that.

To each his own, it's your truck....

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Old 02-20-2017, 07:58 PM   #25
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I wasn't so much concerned with the hitch rating as with the amount of squat the 700# load induced in my front end. The truck was close to the limit for the front axle with no load and I was uncomfortable adding 700# to that.

To each his own, it's your truck....

Al
I had the same sort of concerns, then started thinking about living in the North East, a lot of the Fisher plows are north of 700 lbs and there are plenty of 1/2 tons running around with them in the air. One of the things I did get, was one of these CURT 45342 Forged Ball Mount to get the actual ball a little higher to absorb some of the "dip"

Generally, for the amount of work you're asking it to do, I think it's fine, not going down the highway at speed or extended periods of time. Considering how unhappy my truck was with full tilt side to side swings for tight spots while backing, this seems to put LESS stress on the front axle.
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:42 PM   #26
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There are many ways to measure out and mark stop points. The easiest way to maneuver time and time again into a cramped spot is with a front hitch. The sight gain is impressive. It feels a bit awkward at first but you get use to it pretty quick.
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Old 02-21-2017, 04:24 AM   #27
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Just a question - would 2 I phones with Facetime and a spotter work ? I haven't tried it but I have a wide drive...
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Old 02-21-2017, 05:24 AM   #28
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I back 2 trailers (25'AS and 20' vintage Avion) into their respective shelters in a wooded, sloped and tightly circuitous driveway situation. Practice, patience and repeatedly checking progress has proven effective for me. I have found that visual cues that can be seen through the side mirrors are extremely helpful and have even gone as far as installing treated lumber "wheel guides" as curbs and stop chocks to ensure I'm centered in the space and won't back in too far.
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