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Old 08-14-2006, 05:32 PM   #1
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1980 31' Excella II
Groveport , Ohio
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Landlocked in Antioch

Hello all!!
As of yesterday afternoon, we are the proud parents of a silver bouncing 1980 Excella II.
My wife and I joined this website a few weeks ago, and as a result of this we have already gained lots of helpful information, including finding our new baby here. We now have a problem getting her home. It seems that she was parked in a pernament location in a campground. The trailers there are parked end-to-end with the neighbor having built a storage shed 52 inches from the front hitch, leaving no room for a towing vehicle to get in and hook up. There is access from the rear. Our dilema is to get the trailer out, we are going to have to drag it backwards!!! My wife says, "the hitch is on the wrong end, move the hitch......" Seriously though, any suggestions as to the stress this might put on the frame, to be pulled form the rear. We are thinking of putting a piece of plywood under the front hitch so it does not catch and dig into the ground as it is pulled. We have been searching this website and realized this is not a common situation, but hoping someone might have had experience with that will be helpful, as we gingerly seek to rescue our landlocked Airstream.
Thanks and GOD Bless!
Mike and Sheila
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Old 08-14-2006, 06:08 PM   #2
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Do you have a wheel that fits on the front hitch jack? If so, you may be able to just wrap a chain around the front and tug it out enough to hook up. Congrats on your find!!! --dave
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Old 08-14-2006, 06:18 PM   #3
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Here's what I would do: Get a hydraulic garage floor jack and some 3/4 plywood, cut into 24in wide strips.
Lift the tongue, and lay the first strip under the hitch jack, so that most of it disappears under the trailer in the direction you will be pulling it. Leave enough sticking out the front so that you can place the hydraulic shop jack with it's wheel on the plywood. Then re-position the jack to the front, and lift by the tip of the hitch, making sure the tip of the hitch sits securely in the pad of the jack.
Now, when you gently tuck at the bumper ( gently is key - the bumper is aluminum), the trailer should roll easily on it's wheels, and the tongue will be supported by the rolling floor jack. The plywood serves as a solid surface, since I am assuming that the trailer is sitting in dirt. Go slow and careful, and it should come out fine. Reposition the second sheet of plywood to make a continuing path for the tongue/floor jack to roll on.
You can steer the tongue somewhat by means of the long handle of the floor jack. I use this technique all the time to move my trailer inside the warehouse.
Good Luck!
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:13 PM   #4
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good suggestion uwe!

i was going to say the same thing!

john
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:51 PM   #5
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Hensley has the gizmo for you!

http://www.hensleymfg.com/hitchelper.htm

This was the best $29.95 I've spent on my Airstreams.... and once I got it, I suddenly got more accurate at backing and seldom really need it. But WOW does it speed up the hitching process when you're 3/4 inch off to one side or the other. It's a lifesaver and it really impresses guys!

You might also see if you can rent rent something like a fork lift to turn the unit to the side enough to clear the shed and other trailers.

Good luck.

Paula Ford
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again
http://www.hensleymfg.com/hitchelper.htm

This was the best $29.95 I've spent on my Airstreams.... and once I got it, I suddenly got more accurate at backing and seldom really need it. But WOW does it speed up the hitching process when you're 3/4 inch off to one side or the other. It's a lifesaver and it really impresses guys!

Paula Ford
I have one of those as well, but can't figure out how it would apply to this problem? How would you use it, Paula? All it does is pivot the tongue from left to right about 6in, right?
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:57 PM   #7
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Talking I Love "SEARCH"

http://www.powercaster.com/

Thought I remembered this.

Here's a gizmo you could really use. I'd bet your local RV repair shop has one... Now if you could rent it for a day.

Paula Ford
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Old 08-14-2006, 09:28 PM   #8
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If there is a local RV shop close by they may have a forklift with a hitch attached, possibly they would be wiling to come and get it out for you for a fee.
Good luck to you.
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Old 08-14-2006, 09:37 PM   #9
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Was this the Airstream for sale located at Chain O Lakes State Park?

I saw this on Craigslist.

If it is, and you need a hand, let me know.

Whatever you do, don't pull it from the rear. It's not designed for that kind of force.....
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Old 08-14-2006, 09:46 PM   #10
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1980 31' Excella II
Groveport , Ohio
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Yes, you are right. This beauty is located at the Chain O Lakes area, just waiting for us to get it home. It was formerly on Craig's List! We traveled 420 miles to get a close up, and found it to be exactly as described.
Any ideas are taken into consideration, since we are newbies!
Thanks and GOD Bless!
Mike and Sheila
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Old 08-14-2006, 10:08 PM   #11
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think sideways, or rather lenghtwise!

Quote:
Originally Posted by uwe
I have one of those as well, but can't figure out how it would apply to this problem? How would you use it, Paula? All it does is pivot the tongue from left to right about 6in, right?
Six inches AT A TIME. Well couldn't you move it six inches, then six more , then six more? And if you put it front to back rather than side to side, conceivably you could push the trailer BACK six inches (or more like 10 if you put it at one end, then wrenched it back the whole length of the bar).

Get it back far enough and you can get a tow vehicle in front of it.


I know, it's a "girl solution". Think about my toolkit, a kitchen knife and a high heeled shoe (knife = screwdriver/pryer/putty knife, etc. High heeled shoe = hammer, jar opener, etc.)

Paula
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Old 08-15-2006, 12:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again
I know, it's a "girl solution". Think about my toolkit, a kitchen knife and a high heeled shoe (knife = screwdriver/pryer/putty knife, etc. High heeled shoe = hammer, jar opener, etc.)

Paula
Paula,
Is this the kit you have?
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Old 08-15-2006, 12:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
Paula,
Is this the kit you have?
Pretty Close!
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Old 08-15-2006, 07:56 AM   #14
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Thought it sounded familiar.

If I hear you right, there is also no room on either side and the coach must be pulled from behind?

52" (4') is a fair amount of space if you could put a dolly of sorts under the front tounge and pull the nose from either side to get your TV connected to it. I would hope that the other units if on either side could be moved if that space was not availilbe currently.

I'm pretty familiar with Chain O Lakes and haven't seen this type of parking setup.

If there is no way to get it from the side, then your only option would be the rear and I would suggest getting a tow truck, with a powerful winch and see if you can winch it back from with a cable running underneath to the front of the frame and slowly move the Airsteam backward, with some sort of wheel under the front.

Of course, OTOH a power dolly would make short order of moving it if you could find a place that would rent it to you. Chain O Lakes has many marinas. One place might have one and either rent it to you, or for a fee come out an move it for you. They look something like this:

http://www.powermoverinc.net/htmls/pmaccarts.html

PM me if you think you'll need a hand. I'm only about 45 miles from the Chain.
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