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Old 02-15-2010, 08:15 PM   #15
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I personally would start by using a winch and whatever combination of pulleys, chains, ropes, and straps made sense. A hand winch (comealong) would be sufficient with proper tackle.

With sufficient anchor points you can also use pulleys and a car or truck for pulling power.

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Old 02-15-2010, 09:50 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by velo-hobo View Post
...The issue at hand here is that the best location for the trailer in the space I have to work with won't allow me to simply pull or back the trailer into place with a tow vehicle...
a friend/neighbor had the same issue and wanted his 31footer in the corner/behind a TREE HOUSE...

a with a garage and FENCE on 3 sides...

his solution was a forklift thing, which had extension on the forks that extended back along the frame rails near the axles...

then chain/straps were used to snug the trailer to the fork mover thing....

this allowed the operator to LIFT the trailer off the ground and BACK into the shoehorn of space.

this worked perfectly, with only a little yard turf to repair.

had this NOT worked, his next choice was a CRANE thing...

but he's a very determined fellow.


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

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Old 02-16-2010, 01:36 PM   #17
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Thanks for all the ideas! I've got some hope now.

I have some good tie-down winches that I could pull the trailer with if I could get a sufficient anchor point established.

If that didn't work I had the idea to back my truck up to the other side of the fence and rope the A-frame through the fence and onto the truck's hitch (it's a small old nissan, a sturdy truck but hardly an adequate TV). This way, with the A-frame either supported by a wheel or lifted by some friends, I could slowly pull the trailer forward towards the corner.
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Old 02-17-2010, 10:09 AM   #18
1972 Travelux Princess 25
Cobourg , Ontario
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Every trailer dealer has some kind of device to move trailers by hand. Why not ask the nearest one if they can move your trailer into position?

You should make a driveway of 2 rows of paving stones or even planks or plywood to allow it to move smoothly over turf. All you need is a few planks, you keep taking them from behind and putting them in front.

Paving stones or slabs are for supporting the tires and jacks once you get it parked.

Marinas and boat dealers have the trailer moving things too.

Even if they charge a couple hundred $$$$ bucks it's cheaper to hire an expert who moves trailers all the time, than doing it yourself especially if you mess up and dent your trailer.
Living in the trailer park of sense, looking out the window at a tornado of stupidity.
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Old 02-17-2010, 10:13 AM   #19
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By the way... this isn't what you asked but an Airstream is about the worst choice of trailer for your use.

With Airstream you pay a premium price for a trailer that is at its best on the road.

If it is just going to sit in the back yard any old boxy trailer will do just as well if not better. The ol' box will be cheaper to buy and have more room inside. And you won't have to worry about it shaking to pieces because it never moves. If you reseal the seams every few years it will last as long as you want it.

Airstream's unique design is intended for travelling not sitting around.
Living in the trailer park of sense, looking out the window at a tornado of stupidity.
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:30 PM   #20
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If you go to a marina or boat yard, they frequently use a fork lift with a trailer ball screwed into one of the forks. This makes the trailer easy to hook-up and move around in tight spaces (the back wheels steer on a fork lift).

Do you have a friend or a rental place nearby where you could get a fork lift for an hour or two? It might be a cost effective alternative to pulled back muscles, dents in the trailer, and broken fences, planters, etc. in your back yard.
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Old 02-17-2010, 04:57 PM   #21
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Exclamation Question:

Are you SURE that your municipality will allow this?

Many won't.

I mean by that, while lots of places will allow you to store the trailer in your yard, they may feel that having someone living in it? Different kettle of fish.

Worth checking B4 you move it in...
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
...John Wayne...........................
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:33 PM   #22
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@Ganaraska - you have a point, and I appreciate being reminded of that perspective. I have looked at a bunch of other trailers, even old Winnebago RVs. They are plentiful and cheap, and probably easier to customize, but nowhere near as pleasing to look at or be in, nor would they retain any sort of resale value. If I'm going to buy something to live in and be around constantly while at home, it ought to be beautiful and classy, wouldn't you agree? I would think those qualities a big part of the appeal for many, no matter how they use their trailers.

@Aage, I looked into the municipal code for my city. Technically, no you can't have someone permanently living in a trailer parked in your yard. But then again I live in Oakland in a pretty industrial part of town, where there are many RVs and even some unattached trailers parked around on public streets with people permanently living out of them. Most of them move around every once in a while but some seem to sit in the same place all the time and the city doesn't do much about it.

My yard has a 10' tall steel fence around it, and we have practically no neighbors, so I see it as highly unlikely there would be an issue. In this part of town the authorities are unlikely to bother with something like that unless they got persistent complaints about it. If for some reason the city did come to me with a complaint I could probably make the case that it was a guest bedroom or a restoration in progress, which is technically legal.
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:07 AM   #23
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IMHO like several others. This is NOT at good idea.GO Buy a SOB that has no particular value to anyone but you and leave the AS's on the road.
If ya tear up an old SOB nobody cares.But just to park a perfectly good airstream in your yard to never be moved again is a SIN.
AGAIN just my opinion
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May your roads be straight and smooth and may you always have a tailwind!
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:37 AM   #24
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I understand the perspective of wanting to keep more airstreams on the road, but I think I haven't been clear about where I'm coming from. Honestly, the ones that are in my price range aren't going anywhere at the moment and haven't been for a while. I'm looking for something that's already gutted or in poor shape so I can refurbish it and it customize it for my intended use - it would be foolish and wasteful on my behalf to shell out for something that is road-ready and then park it or tear it all up for a remodel.
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:34 AM   #25
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Velo-hobo: I can see your point in wanting an Airstream for the job. I use one (a 1963) as a "camp" out on my property in the woods. Mine is licensed and ready to go, but mostly it just sits there. In our local area, a 1950's Flying Cloud was just put back on the road after sitting 20 years as an extra bedroom like you intend to do. An SOB probably would not have been worth resurrecting. So don't worry about "taking one off the road"! Somehow, an Airstream just looks better too! The 1963 I bought and put out in the woods was a messed up "field find" that had some serious rot issues. I restored it back to useable condition. I very much enjoy this trailer, out in the woods, and also on an occasional trip. In 2007, I used it to travel from Pennsylvania to Fort Wilderness for our trip to Disney. It was winter, and I didn't want to mess up my better Airstream. I keep it licensed not just so I could use it, but so somebody won't accuse me as using it as a permanent building. (In PA that costs $6 a year). Do it! You'll be glad you did!

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Old 02-18-2010, 08:11 AM   #26
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Velo I appreciate your position. My suggestion was just a suggestion. If an Airstream will make you happy by all means buy the Airstream. As someone else pointed out, in 20 years someone may bless you for keeping one in good shape.
Living in the trailer park of sense, looking out the window at a tornado of stupidity.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:55 AM   #27
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Great source of information, just posting a comment so I can return and find this thread, it is very useful to me. thanks!
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:18 PM   #28
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My goodness I don't think I ever expected to see anymore activity on this thread! I did end up getting a 1973 Tradewind, which was more or less road-worthy and liveable but in serious need of internal refurbishment.

I ended up using my little Nissan to shove it around in the yard until I got it into an acceptable parking position. The truck was certainly at its limits - there is no way I would take the AS out on the road with that thing but it handled the yard maneuvering just fine (although the suspension was nearly bottomed out and the drive train was put to the test!).

Fortunately I had incredible spotter assistance in the form of a friend who happened to drop by for dinner that day. He had tons of experience backing and positioning boat trailers with his family, which was a huge help.

So I did just end up using a vehicle (although not a proper tow vehicle), as it turns out it there was just enough room to make the last move and get the trailer in a nice spot.

I've been comfortably living in it for the last 2 1/2 years, and everyone who comes over has nice things to say about it!

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