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Old 02-12-2018, 05:54 PM   #1
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Question Would you drive down this hill?

Here's one of two routes into my back yard, where I want to work on a reno. I'd be coming up the neighbor's driveway then over and down. I'd get rid of the fence at the top, and could even shave some dirt off the crest to make it an easier transition. I'd be driving slowwwww. And I'd only need to do this once.

Details: 3/4 ton truck (Enterprise rental, so I don't have specifics), 34' AS. It's about 21% grade for this section -- about 30 feet long -- before flattening out.

This lets me drive in and park, work, then drive out the other side of the house. The other side is an easier grade, but the retaining wall won't let me back in and be able to turn. So I think this is my only route. If I tried to drive in the shallower route, I'd be stuck trying to make an eleventy-three point turn to flip it around. Not gonna happen.

What do you think?

Thanks!
e
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Old 02-12-2018, 06:00 PM   #2
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I assume you would have to come out the same way and that's what I would be concerned about. I don't know what a 34' weighs but I'd be concerned about getting enough traction with the TV to pull it up that incline.

Just my opinion of course!
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Old 02-12-2018, 06:11 PM   #3
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It is difficult to see much driveway from the angle of your photo.
However I am concerned about not being able to back up the other driveway. You say you can tow it down OK, right? My thought is, if you can tow it down you should be able to back up it.

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Old 02-12-2018, 06:41 PM   #4
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I think it's too steep given the surface is grass.

High risk of braking traction on the TV and having the trailer drag the TV down the hill. Brake-over angle is probably too steep as well.

Have you considered installing a wheel on the front jack stand and using a winch to lower the trailer down the hill?
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:08 PM   #5
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Would you drive down this hill?

21% is steep. Backing in and taking an alternate path out may work if the ground is hard and you have 4 wheel drive, or at least an ELD. You also need to be concerned about any tail/bumper drag. Airstreams do not have stiff frames, as such you are prone to aft wheel well skin buckling if the ground makes significant contact with the bumper.
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:10 PM   #6
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:10 PM   #7
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Your problem will be the transition between the hill and the flat area where the back of the trailer will bottom out.
You will have to do this at a very dry time in the summer, 4wd truck in 4 wheel low, keep the electric brakes hooked up, no weight distribution on the ball only. I have pulled loads of hay bales up steeper grades than this.
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:26 PM   #8
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4 X 4 short wb easy
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:48 PM   #9
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Short wheelbase 4wd tow truck, with a winch. If necessary, another tow truck with a winch at the top.

Plus blocking to handle the transition from slope to flat section at the bottom, to prevent grounding.

May be more trouble than it is worth.

I recall pulling large travel trailers (not Airstreams) with a 4wd tow truck with a front winch, up dirt tracks to recreational lots, for use during construction of cabins, etc. And occasionally removing them, but not as often. On anything steep, the winch mattered much more than the 4wd.
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:29 PM   #10
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Wow, thanks, everyone.

For clarity, I should have included this sketch (not to scale) in the first post.

Here's my yard and the proposed route in blue. I'd only be driving forward -- in on the left side, parking, then out on the right side. The downhill is steeper than the outbound. The place where I took the photo is represented by the green arrow. The yard continues to slope downhill, so there isn't much risk of dragging the tail. I will, however, have some more work to do to level the trailer once it's positioned.

The trailer is nearly gutted (just subfloor and interior skins) going in, so weight is low. Heavier on the way out in August. I could even put it in the driveway just before the completion, if it would help to wait on bulkier items like countertops, etc.

If the grass is dry, do I risk having it push the truck forward down the hill on the way in?

I like the idea of a jack stand wheel and then winching it in from my driveway (right), but I imagine that making the 90 degree turn will be really tough. I guess I need to consult a wrecker driver? (Does my AAA membership cover this? )

My wife is going to kill me if I propose parking it in the driveway to do the reno.

Seems like the majority leans against but hopefully the sketch helps explain. Is the verdict still no?

Many thanks again for your thoughts!
e
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:23 PM   #11
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Do you know anyone with a hitch received on the front of their truck? It might be easier "pushing" the trailer down the 12% grade. (when I read what I just wrote, it doesn't make much sense, but I don't know how else to put it)
In either of the routes you attempt, I would add a weight in the truck bed and air your tires down some for better traction. Good luck, let us know how it works out.
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Old 02-13-2018, 04:55 AM   #12
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Yup on the front hitch, if you can find one. Otherwise, if your neighbor is friendly enough, I would remove the fence of the way down and use their driveway for most of it, with the cut at the end, much more gradual turn radius. This would also eliminate much of the transition to flat (bottoming anything out) as it will happen during the turn. That driveway also looks like it has paving stones, which will hold up much better than the grass with the weight applied.
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Old 02-13-2018, 05:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crispyboy View Post
Your problem will be the transition between the hill and the flat area where the back of the trailer will bottom out.
You will have to do this at a very dry time in the summer, 4wd truck in 4 wheel low, keep the electric brakes hooked up, no weight distribution on the ball only. I have pulled loads of hay bales up steeper grades than this.
I second this approach. Frame might bottom out some at the bottom.
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:43 AM   #14
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Based on your sketch, I’d push it up the 12% grade into place with a front hitch enabled 4x4. They are really easy to install, just bolt on. Figure out what truck you’d be renting and order a hitch in advance. Put it on, push the trailer in place, take it off and return the truck. Then keep or sell the front hitch based on your future tow vehicle.
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