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Old 05-27-2009, 01:53 PM   #1
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1956 22' Flying Cloud
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Turning radius and garage door walls

I do not own an Airstream, but I am interested in buying an older model to restore (a 1950's vintage 22' model). I want to store the trailer in a garage that has unpaved one-lane (two track) road access and limited turning space in front of the garage. On the inbound direction, there is space to turn the tow vehicle and back the trailer into the garage. On the outbound direction, I am not confident about the space to turn the tow vehicle and the trailer onto the road. Backing the trailer out the access road is not an option.
The maximum distance the tow vehicle can pull the trailer straight forward from the garage is about 15 feet. At that point, the tow vehicle has to make a full turn to the right. In other words, the ball of the hitch will be about 15 feet maximum from the garage door; from there on the tow vehicle will be turning right, and I am concerned about the trailer striking the side of the garage door.
1. Can anyone tell me how far back of the ball is the axle on a 1950's era 22' model (I assume that all of the 22' foot models have the same frame) and the exterior width of 1950's vintage 22' models?
2. Can anyone calculate or tell me how to calculate whether a 22' Airstream can clear my garage door frame (opening is 10 feet across) if the tow vehicle pulls straight ahead for 15 feet and then makes a sharp right turn? Tow vehicle is a 1999 Suburban ton 4WD, wheelbase 131.5".
If you have any ideas (or if other information is necessary), I would appreciate hearing from you.
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:03 PM   #2
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Perhaps rent a cargo or car trailer from U-Haul for a day. That way you can practice your garage parking manuevers to answer your question.
Neil
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:07 PM   #3
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I can't answer any of your questions, but might have an answer for you, well sort of.
If you get ( borrow or rent) a skidloader you could mount a ball on the bucket and use that to move the trailer. A skidloader would only be about 8 ft long, able to turn on a dime and would be 4 wheel drive.
I have a skidloader and used to use it to maneuver my trailer when I needed to in any type of tight area.
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:11 PM   #4
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I'd have to lay out a drawing to give you a educated answer, but it sounds just way too tight.

Any chance you could sketch up the existing condition for me? I can draft you a site plan if you give me accurate dimensions.

Either scan a sketch or photo it. I can work it out tommorrow.

Any chance is this property on Google earth or local.live?

PM the address if you want me to check
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:54 PM   #5
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Can`t remember what they call it ,it`s like an electric tug vehicle to hook onto tongue and tow the trailer out to make the turn . It was discussed here recently. Dave
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:08 PM   #6
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Dan, the problem is that I do not yet own a trailer, so I cannot give you any exact dimensions of the trailer unit. Isn't the location of the trailer axle relevant in figuring this out? The distance from the garage door to the end of the turning area is about 45 feet, but in order to make the required turn to the right, I must start turning the tow vehicle as the front tires are about 30 feet from the garage door and the hitch ball is about 15 feet from the garage door. The garage door opening is 10 feet wide, and I think that the trailer would be about 8' wide.

Thanks, Hank
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:18 PM   #7
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If your ground is level, you may use a trailer dolly that hooks to the tongue in the ball socket. I used to use one of them to move trailers with all the time. It is easy to use but sometimes could need an extra set of eyes. A simple one could be made from an old hand truck with big pnumatic tires but it would be nice to have an electric one.

Is there enough room to park the trailer in front of the garage and then hook up the tow vehicle?
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:28 PM   #8
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You need something like this. Power Caster
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:34 PM   #9
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That`s the Power Caster,just couldn`t think of it.Dave
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:54 PM   #10
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I just took a look at my 1961 22 foot Safari and I don't think you will have too much problem with the turn. On mine the coupler to axle length is a little less than 14 feet, with about 8 feet behind the axle. My width is about 7 1/2 feet. If my figures resemble your trailer specs you should have only about 7 feet of trailer inside when you begin to turn and somewhat less before your trailer starts to pivot. It will still be somewhat of a precision maneuver. A front hitch would simplify the move considerably. Is your garage door tall enough? My Safari with the factory 1962 AC measures in at 9 1/2 + - feet tall.
Sam
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:16 PM   #11
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Yep, it will be snug but this is very doable. Just remember GOAL; Get Out And Look!

Godspeed,
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:49 PM   #12
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If you got a good-size garden tractor, you can put a trailer ball on the hitch of it, and use that to put it in the garage.
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:46 PM   #13
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Thanks to everyone for the responses. I have gravel outside the garage, and the ground slopes away quickly enough that the trailer would need to be hitched to a good sized vehicle, not a dolly.

Sam, thanks for the suggestion about the front hitch, as that might help. I have plenty of heighth to the garage door.

Hank
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