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Old 04-16-2013, 08:08 AM   #1
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Trailer Hitch Tow Dolly

Does anyone know if there are places to rent a motorized hitch dolly? I'm considering trying to put my AS in my driveway and would need one to do so, but would like try it out before investing in my own dolly.

I'm in Austin.

Thanks,

Lynn
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:52 AM   #2
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I don't think you will find a place that rents motorized hitch dollies. A motorized one costs $600 or so. Expensive, but so is trailer storage.
I have used a manual trailer dolly to move light cargo trailers with hitch weights of 100 pounds or so. Your Airstream's hitch weight is 500+ pounds and the manual dolly I used was rated at only 200 pounds.
One time I dead ended my Airstream and had to turn it around manually. I put a 2/4 under the tongue post and my brother and I heaved it around in small increments. It can be done but not easily.
My boat trailers had wheels that attached to the tongue posts. This made maneuvering much easier. This is the route I would try. A gifted handy person could adapt a removable wheel to the Airstream hitch post.
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:55 AM   #3
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Perhaps a front receiver on your TV would be a better, cheaper answer. There are several threads here on the subject.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:34 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by lcurrie View Post
Does anyone know if there are places to rent a motorized hitch dolly? I'm considering trying to put my AS in my driveway and would need one to do so, but would like try it out before investing in my own dolly.

I'm in Austin.

Thanks,

Lynn
I use one of these and have for years. You would not need one this big. I don't think you will find one to rent, and they don't don't use the ball they use a frame socket which comes with the unit.



Because I have this much clearance.


Below is the link, Call and talk to Brady. You will find his conversation interesting. His dolly works fine, a bit of Gorilla engineering.
All Wheel Drive AC Powered Trailer Dolly
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:03 AM   #5
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I'd love to be able to do the front hitch on my TV. The problem though, isn't really maneuverability, it's that I want the door to the AS facing my yard, which means it has to go hitch forward in my driveway. If I pull it in, I won't be able to get my TV out without taking the AS out of the driveway.

Any thoughts on ways to achieve this without the tow dolly? I'd LOVE to avoid buying one.

Here is what I'm dealing with:
Photo of My House
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:14 PM   #6
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Here is what I'm dealing with:
Photo of My House
Ouch. If you want to store it at home and have the door facing the yard, I don't see any way to do it but a dolly, or a tow vehicle you don't need to use otherwise!

Is it so tight that you can't open the door? If so, the only other option I can think of is to store it elsewhere. Or can you remove the fence?

I don't think you'd want to try installing a tongue on the back of the Airstream to hitch to...
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:26 PM   #7
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we move ours with a 4 wheeler hitch on back but that would still be in the yard. may have to get sky hook.
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:22 PM   #8
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I don't know why, but I thought you two lived further SW than that. Is the carport lintel high enough to easily clear the AC shroud?

All the crazy people in/near central TX I can think of with too many Airstreams also have land and move them around with garden tractors and such. I'm thinking a John Deere would be overkill for mowing your yard.

If you do look into those tow dollies, remember that you'll probably have to start from the street with it, so you'd need one that can pull it up the ramp from the street to the gate.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:07 PM   #9
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Nope David, we're smack dab in the middle of the city.

I'm pretty sure we won't be able to snuggle the AS up under the carport. I think it's way too tall for that so we'd actually have it in front of it. You're right about the incline, it's actually pretty significant.

We want the door facing the yard for purely aesthetic reasons, technically we can open the door the other direction.

I might have to give up on keeping the AS at the house. I just wanted to throw it out there to see if anybody had any good solutions.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:37 PM   #10
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How much does your Safari weigh, roughly? You need a winch mounted to something very sturdy in the carport(if necessary drill some holes in the concrete and bolt down a mounting plate), a very long tow strap, and a manual trailer dolly. Try to get the trailer lined up with the driveway, remove TV, use manual trailer dolly for steering, and pull the trailer up the driveway with the winch. Finding 110VAC winches is a little harder than finding 12V winches, so you might choose a 12V unit and a transformer. As a bonus, the winch can be mounted to your TV for road trips in case you get stuck.

Another alternative is to mount the winch on the front of the trailer and run it off the trailer batteries.
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:16 PM   #11
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How much does your Safari weigh, roughly? You need a winch mounted to something very sturdy in the carport(if necessary drill some holes in the concrete and bolt down a mounting plate), a very long tow strap, and a manual trailer dolly. Try to get the trailer lined up with the driveway, remove TV, use manual trailer dolly for steering, and pull the trailer up the driveway with the winch. Finding 110VAC winches is a little harder than finding 12V winches, so you might choose a 12V unit and a transformer. As a bonus, the winch can be mounted to your TV for road trips in case you get stuck.

Another alternative is to mount the winch on the front of the trailer and run it off the trailer batteries.
The major shortcoming to this solution is that it doesn't really address how to get the trailer back to the street so they can hitch up and go camping.
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:22 PM   #12
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The major shortcoming to this solution is that it doesn't really address how to get the trailer back to the street so they can hitch up and go camping.
Really? The OP can't just back up to the TT at that point and yank it out to the street with her TV? I like the winch idea (but would prefer the original idea even more. Those hitch dollies are easy to use. If I could -- and did -- maneuver a $600k airplane with one at age 13, you can bet I see them as great for this use as well)

I agree that there is nothing like having the TT at home. And that it is worth spending to achieve this. Covered storage with electric cost me $100/month in Corpus Christi. Two years of that will pay for a fair amount of "git 'er done" on this problem.

Add to that fee the worst traffic in Texas (Austin: a city that only Yanks & Californios are gullible enough to believe "cool") with commensurate high prices in time, effort and energy to jack that "true cost" even higher than the monthly fees.

(You can tell I have nothing better to do if I'm questioning Davids thinking).

But it sure is worth the effort. My folks had their Silver Streak 27-years at three home addresses. Only at one of those -- a few years -- was it not more than a brief walk away. 12+3+12, as it worked out.

Keeping up with an A/S or a sailboat, etc, is dependent on owner involvement. Much there is that an hour here and an hour there makes the trouble to achieve that ease of access up-front worthwhile.

.
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:40 PM   #13
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Really? The OP can't just back up to the TT at that point and yank it out to the street with her TV? I like the winch idea (but would prefer the original idea even more. Those hitch dollies are easy to use. If I could -- and did -- maneuver a $600k airplane with one at age 13, you can bet I see them as great for this use as well)

I agree that there is nothing like having the TT at home. And that it is worth spending to achieve this. Covered storage with electric cost me $100/month in Corpus Christi. Two years of that will pay for a fair amount of "git 'er done" on this problem.

Add to that fee the worst traffic in Texas (Austin: a city that only Yanks & Californios are gullible enough to believe "cool") with commensurate high prices in time, effort and energy to jack that "true cost" even higher than the monthly fees.

(You can tell I have nothing better to do if I'm questioning Davids thinking).

But it sure is worth the effort. My folks had their Silver Streak 27-years at three home addresses. Only at one of those -- a few years -- was it not more than a brief walk away. 12+3+12, as it worked out.

Keeping up with an A/S or a sailboat, etc, is dependent on owner involvement. Much there is that an hour here and an hour there makes the trouble to achieve that ease of access up-front worthwhile.

.
If Lynn winched the trailer nose-in to all the way up to the edge of the carport, she'd have to throw a cable around the rear bumper to drag it back to the street. The whole reason it's non-trivial for her simply to back it in with the Tundra is that she'd prefer that the door faces toward the yard rather than toward the fence (from earlier in the thread) so the winch-dragging-in thing would put the coupler where she can't get the Tundra in front of it.

The hitch dolly is the way to do it. My point was that the winch method is a one-way trip.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:09 PM   #14
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Yeah, I knew I'd have fun if I said it the way I did (on Davids dime).

The "door problem" is trivial. Home access is not (by comparison).

Besides, landscaping and lighting are always fun to figure out.
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