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Old 04-18-2015, 05:25 PM   #1
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2016 22' Sport
Cincinnati , Ohio
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Accessing steep driveway

I am in the final decision process of acquiring an airstream and have the challenge of a very steep driveway which needs to be accessed one wheel at a time when turning into from the road to prevent the bottom of a low car from bumping. Any chance of a 16' Sport being able to navigate the turn and ascend and descend without damage? It's level at the top - just an immediate sharp ascent. Does anyone have a similar situation? Thank you.

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Old 04-18-2015, 07:08 PM   #2
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1978 31' Sovereign
Hot Springs , Arkansas
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Welcome Aboard. Its really hard to say. If you could find or borrow a utility trailer loaded to the same weight and length as your AS, you could do some "real world" testing and see if it will work. We live on an extremely steep hill and it was fun bringing our 31' sovereign home for the first time. Glad to have that learning experience behind me. A word of caution, your hitch height, (trailer tongue on ball) should be as close to level as possible as a starting point. Go slow.

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Old 04-18-2015, 10:11 PM   #3
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I built ramps from laminating 2x4's. They are 8 feet long and support all of Mjolnir's bulk.
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Old 04-18-2015, 10:46 PM   #4
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We have a very steep, long driveway, and basically the only sensible solution was to park the 16' Bambi on a parking pad by the road. It was tight hitching and unhitching, to keep the front of the truck out of the road.
With 3 more feet in length on the 19' unit and a bigger truck now, we basically decided to store Bambi #2 at our local RV service center. Less convenient, but more peace of mind.
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Old 04-19-2015, 02:54 AM   #5
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Yeah, this is going to take on-the-scene observation, but my guess is that if your tow vehicle bottoms out ... your Bambi will also.
In particular, pay attention to black/grey tank drains as they are typically unprotected and the lowest points (not to mention unpleasant to repair.)
There are rollers sold to mount beneath RVs which might be installed in some cases, but not likely useful on an Airstream which hasn't the outer structural support to absorb such hits, and Bambi's that have no rear bumper.
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Old 04-19-2015, 06:27 AM   #6
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Steep Driveway Reply

Thank you so much for all of the thoughtful advice. I am so glad my brother (Airstream owner) told me of this forum. I have been continuously thinking and realize just may have to park elsewhere!
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Old 04-19-2015, 09:10 AM   #7
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as an aside- my driveway is new to us, our first tow was a week or so ago. Backing out was hell as it it down and around a curve. Took 3 or 4 times so get it done.
But backing in which should have been a breeze was totally different after lots rain left mud on the hill and curve. My tires on the truck spun and could not get grip to get the trailer up into its slot.
Talk about frustrated. I finally was able to maneuver it in after a number of attempts.
Then the truck got stuck a day later in the low area of the yard trying to get up the muddy hill there...A neighbor had to winch me out..We have had rain for weeks ..
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Old 04-20-2015, 01:22 PM   #8
Len and Jeanne
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Creston Valley , British Columbia
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Sounds like you're not alone, PJ1. We even thought of hiring a heavy equipment operator to come in and create a better driveway and parking area higher up our slope, but between the cost and the way it would spoil our current landscaping, we decided to head for the storage facility in town. Alansd, we've also had several people unable to get up our driveway in winter--two having to get winched out. But hey, we chose to live in the mountains.
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Old 04-20-2015, 01:51 PM   #9
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Airstreams are designed to be close to the ground for better highway handling and minimal wind resistance. My 31 can't back into my uphill drive, unless I drop the Weight distribution bars and sink the front end down two inches. That elevates the back bumper 5 inches. If it is a dip is right by the curb, sometimes two 2x8 planks will help level it out. Airstreams are not meant to be off roaders.
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Old 04-20-2015, 02:35 PM   #10
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Milford , New Hampshire
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I also have a steep driveway and had a problem with my hitch dragging when I started up or pulled out. My Tundra was well balanced with the weight distribution hitch bars on but they had to taken off to make the turn up.

I added air bags to the truck to lift the rear after removing the bars and it works well. The back of the 25' Airstream was not a problem although I guess it could be if I overinflated the air bags.
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Old 04-20-2015, 03:08 PM   #11
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Same issue. I have a new Classic and a steep slope up to the Airstream shed. My '12 28' Intl CCD BARELY made it without hitting the skids on the back of the trailer. The extra 2 feet in the new trailer require me to put an 8' long 2x10 under each wheel before I get to the zero clearance point. It is a hassle, but it works. And, due to property lines, my shed is exactly 11 feet wide....which gives me about 1 foot on either side when I back it in. I've done this backing routing since 2011 and trust me, if you take your time you'd be amazed what you can do if you set your mind to it.

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