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Old 02-21-2017, 08:45 AM   #29
Rivet Master
1976 31' Sovereign
Oswego , Illinois
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Not only parking off drive. When I built shed to store AS and machinery I did not think of making door for AS extra wide only 10 foot wide two feet front back, rather tight plus one side inside of bldg. has off set to trailer side, to close by by awning. Wife helps but some times out of view I STOP until she changes position, also I freq. get out and look situation over also go inches at time. So far in 25 yrs. no damage except one time friend helped did not stop me in time, broke elect outlet in back wall. Then cock slight when inside so can open door into stall as it is enclosed. Bill

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Old 02-21-2017, 09:32 AM   #30
Tom T
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Orange , California
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Originally Posted by Tom_T View Post
I agree that a frame/uni-body-frame mounted front receiver can help in putting your trailer where you want, as others have said above .....

If it is a very tight fit, then you may be better off with a dolly - & I would recco an electrically powered dolly to aid your maneuvering it around in the tight space - over the person-power. This is especially true if you have a harder to turn twin axle trailer.

You'll also appreciate having power assist, the older & creakier you get, as I can attest at 64!

I have one of these Power Movers for our Avion, in order to both move it in tight quarters on our driveway now, & to eventually maneuver it between the house & garage & then back to the far back area of our yard. Call or email them with the specifics of your trailer, + surface(s), distance & grades you need to maneuver it, & they can recco a custom build for your needs (no more expensive, since the build all to order).

BTW - Using a front hitch set-up requires you to un-hitch from the trip, then re-hook-up at the front - so using a power dolly doesn't add any more steps to unhitch then hook-up the dolly.

Of course, you can also look at other powered dolly makers out there, but make sure to compare tires & motor power, so you have enough power to move your rig & enough traction to use that power.

Good Luck!
Just to clarify on the above, & the OP drobbjr's question about a narrow space to back into ....

He's asking about a narrow slot between the garage & fence - which I'm guessing is something like 10-15' +/- wide - so it's like "threading a needle".

Our situation is similar on the driveway itself - it being a 1921 house with a rear detached garage on a narrow 42' wide street with parking on both sides, & only an 8' wide driveway with 15-18" of planter on each side & then a wall along the entire south side plus a phone/electric pole at the driveway apron entry point, & house/shrubs on the north side - so I only have a slot of 10.5 - 12' to "thread the needle"!

With practice I've been able to "thread the needle" & back the trailer into the driveway about halfway, but at that point we have a gate & the posts narrow the gap to only 9.5-10' - which I will NOT trust to backing with a truck (it's a rental, so front hitch is not an option).

It's at that point back where I switch to the Power Mover dolly & can back the trailer solo - with lots of back & forth checking, & the dolly moves slowly at walking pace, allowing for adjustments on the roll.

Yes - the dolly is expensive if taken on it's own, but is cheap compared to repairing an AS, & is not much more than the cost to buy a front hitch & have it mounted or custom-made - assuming it won't overload the front axle with the engine/transmission weight on there, plus you still have visibility issues & difficulty modulating a truck at ultra-low speeds.

So IMHO speaking from similar "threading the needle" experience, the powered dolly is the easier & safer solution in my, & probably in his situation as well.

Also, I doubt that practicing the tight maneuver in a parking lot with cones/rope/hose marking the obstacles out will help much, since that won't replicate the 3 dimensional nature of the problem, & it won't replicate any grade changes (if any). He really needs to practice with his own trailer on site with whatever means to move it he ends up using.

For example, in my case we have an 8% grade at the 5' wide driveway apron up from the street - with 10" high curbs on either side of the 11-12' wide opening/apron - with that dang phone/electric pole 2' to the right side, then a 5' flat sidewalk, then another 8% grade up for 15' to the flat part of the driveway. There is just no way to replicate all that "threading the needle" on our 75' long x 8' w + 15-18" clearance on each side with varying obstacles in a parking lot.

Only real world practice "threading the needle" at the driveway gets it down!

Hope this helps the OP,

Tom T (janabanana48's other half )
Orange CA
1960 Avion T20, #2 made, Hensley Cub, TV tbd- looking for 08-14 Cayenne S
1988 VW Vanagon Westfalia CamperGL (Orig Owner) + 1970 Eriba Puck
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Old 02-21-2017, 09:56 AM   #31
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1965 17' Caravel
brooklyn park , Minnesota
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backing up

sounds like you have a tight spot, so make the fence moveable! take out 1 or 2 sections and make a gate there, or anything that will remove it from your swing area. get creative, draw pictures, any thing to take the obstacles out! joe q from minnesnowda
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Old 02-21-2017, 10:30 AM   #32
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2007 30' Classic
Ayr , Ontario
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My parking has pretty much the same dilemmas. There are multiple angles to deal with and visibility on either side is zero once the trailer is backed to the house. No lines on the pavement are going to work. My wife and I use cell phones to talk to each other. Once I get the trailer to the house it is her job to get me parked without hitting the house, running over the fence at the back and without dropping the trailer down the retaining wall directly beside the trailer. The lot angles back so it gets narrower as the trailer goes back. Once the trailer gets next to the cedar beside the garage I cannot see left or right of the trailer and I need to watch I don't catch the maple tree on the front or get the TV stuck since it is a very steep angle. The fall from the front to the back of the grass section is 5 feet.
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I used to never trust my wife's instructions and that made it a real challenge. Now I just listen to her as she stands behind the trailer and I can usually get it parked in one shot.

Good luck.

Btw that is a 30 foot trailer.
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Old 02-21-2017, 05:19 PM   #33
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Seems the best idea would to not have to unhitch the TV and reposition it.
I would suggest visual aids "marker tape" a spotter with Walkie talkie and a wireless backup camera on the Airstream. Place pressure treated 2x8x6' boards on the ground that you can roll the Airstream tires on to at your final position. If possible leave the boards on the ground as permanent spot for the Airstream. All these are reasonable inexpensive options that may work for you.
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Old 02-26-2017, 04:26 PM   #34
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NCR , Ontario
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Originally Posted by drobbjr View Post
We recently bought an Airstream 25 Flying Cloud. I can back the trailer relatively easily into my driveway [it is a straight back up] but my plan is to park it parallel to the driveway and beside my garage.
we got the trailer valet 5.
it can pull the AS by hand and can also use a std electric drill to power assist the push/pull. it is one of the smallest units we found around with no bulky battery and motor to lug around
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Old 02-26-2017, 04:59 PM   #35
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2006 25' International CCD
Laguna Niguel , California
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 14
I have a parking spot along side my house. It is about 12 feet wide, paved, with the house on one side and a 4 foot high block wall on the other.. The drive way and parking area are paved with concrete. After I first had the perfect parking job I then pulled back out into the street and parked. I then used white and black marking paint to paint four 10 inch wheel placement lines on the pavement where my tires had tracked, much like lane marking line on the highway. I have one at the driveway approach and three along the long arc to the parking spot. It works out fantastic and I can do this with no spotter and very quickly. It's all in the initial placement and hitting those lines.

$9.00 in marking paint from Lowe's
a little concentration on the initial vehicle placement
and no yelling at my wife to stand where I can see her
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Old 02-26-2017, 06:48 PM   #36
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Tampa , Florida
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Originally Posted by waninae39 View Post
we got the trailer valet 5.
In grass?

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