Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-19-2014, 03:15 PM   #1
New Member
 
Bedford , New Hampshire
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1
Driveway too steep for an Airstream?

Hi everybody ... I have been trying to convince my husband (who restores old CJ Jeeps in his free time) that having an Airstream will be great fun. He has the knowledge and tools for a restoration, but the problem is our driveway. Its kind of steep. Does everyone with an Airstream have a flat driveway?

I can research models with the least tire to back-end measurement... but my husband's car trailer scrapes, so this is an issue. Has anyone heard of anyone putting rollers on the end of the frame to be able to get the trailer up a steep driveway without crinkling the body?
__________________

__________________
NH Streaming is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2014, 03:26 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
HowieE's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,813
Images: 12
99.9% of the trailers with rollers have the rollers set wrong. If you go that route and I don't suggest it install the rollers so they don't extend more than an inch below the frame at the rear. Most rollers are installed on the bottom of the frame and thus the contact point is 4 to 5 inches lower meaning you will hit every where. In your case it might even lift the wheels off the ground if installed that way.

You say the drive is too steep. I assume you mean the angle formed between the road and the drive not the grade of the overall driveway. If that is the case and you can't change that angle can you offset the drive and form a lesser angle.
__________________

__________________
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2014, 03:52 PM   #3
2 Rivet Member
 
VTSmitty's Avatar
 
2013 23' FB Flying Cloud
Jericho , Vermont
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 88
We're in the same boat as far as a steep driveway, and found that we scraped a little backing the TT down the first time. We had the top of the driveway widened and regraded so that we could come in and out at a smaller angle, and now it's fine.
__________________
Dan and Chris (and Lindy and Milo)
2013 Flying Cloud 23FB
2014 Tundra DC 5.7L / ProPride / Tekonsha P3
VTSmitty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2014, 04:14 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Foiled Again's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5,883
Some people have a problem just as they leave the level street - perhaps because the wheels drop into the deeper rain gutter at the edge of the road.

This problem is best taken care of by running the trailer's tires over ramps that bridge the gutter-gap. Plywood with some bracing across the deepest part is good, as are a variety of metal ramps. Anything that is heavy duty enough to hold the weight of the trailer for a short period. The ramps can be stored in the garage between uses.

The best choice - temporary or permanent - depends largely on the size and layout of your yard. If you've got a drive that looks like a switchback highway down a mountain in Arizona, hubby may have a point... unless you've got enough property near the road that you can bulldoze out and create a level pad or carport. If you've just got a big hump near the curb that can be re-graded (without the expense of running new water and sewer lines) then I'd grade the drive. If it's a 25 degree grade all the way up a 300 foot hill?

Another choice? Many people store their Airstreams at a storage facility... or even an RV Park or RV Dealer who offers that service.

Good luck whatever you choose.

Paula

PS: A good piece of advice that is often given to people who are looking for their first Airstream is this - RENT something for a week or two, it doesn't have to be an Airstream, just an SOB (square old box) about the same size as the Airstream you're considering. It won't be cheap, but more than one person who is swept up with the romance of having an RV quickly becomes bored with it and it either languishes in the yard growing algae as "yard art" or is sold at a huge loss. A friend who is a realtor took her Moho (motor home) out for the first time in 3 years. Luckily she'd kept it under cover so it wasn't a moldy leakfest, but after a week... she's telling me, "It's the first vacation I've taken in 3 years and I sure as hell don't feel like I'm having a vacation when I'm fixing drinks, cooking meals, eating husband's grilling efforts (... can you say poof, no eyebrows) and doing dishes. 300,000 moho now for sale for 100,000. Crap investment, is it not so?
__________________
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
Foiled Again is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2014, 05:23 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
AnnArborBob's Avatar
 
2014 27' FB Eddie Bauer
Chelsea , Michigan
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,767
Images: 12
I'm no engineer, but I would think that rollers on the back of your travel trailer would be a good way to bend/buckle the frame if they were ever put to use on an incline such as you describe. You might want to discuss this with someone at the factory (sorry, can't really offer any advice as where to start with that inquiry.) Your best bet would be to re-engineer your driveway so you can get up it without scraping or offsite storage.

Are there any structural engineers out there who can comment more authoritatively on this?
__________________
Bob Martel
WBCCI# 5766
AnnArborBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2014, 06:32 PM   #6
Wise Elder
 
Jammer's Avatar
 
2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,119
Quote:
Originally Posted by NH Streaming View Post
Hi everybody ... I have been trying to convince my husband (who restores old CJ Jeeps in his free time) that having an Airstream will be great fun. He has the knowledge and tools for a restoration, but the problem is our driveway. Its kind of steep. Does everyone with an Airstream have a flat driveway?
Main problem, in Jeep terms, is the approach angle, not the steepness of the incline. If there is a gutter or low area sometimes it can be regraded without a huge expense. You can also use boards to bridge it as described upthread. It is also possible to gain some clearance by deliberately lowering the tongue by slacking the WD bars or using a high-drop hitch receiver solely for parking.

Rollers will tend to lead to damage over the course of years, both to the trailer and driveway

Good luck
__________________
To learn to see below the surface, you must adjust your altitude
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2014, 06:42 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
AWCHIEF's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 8,138
Images: 33
I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland with the adjustable air suspension. When backing into my yard I let the trailer wheels go up and over the curb. I stop and raise the Jeep an additional height of 5 inches. Result, no more dragging of the towing gear.
__________________
MICHAEL

Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
AWCHIEF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2014, 06:47 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,840
The trailer has skid plates under the bumper attached to the frame. It is to protect the bumper which is not strong and not for bumping. If the trailer scrapes a little, the skid plates could get you by, but repeated use is not good for the frame. If for some reason you got stuck in the driveway and had to back up, the skid plates would dig into the road, not a good thing and you might unable to go either direction.

The suggestions above are all good so long as they do not recommend wheels or rollers mounted to the frame—or, more likely the skid plates. I'm unsure how you can test your driveway (will a dealer lend you an Airstream?—can't hurt to ask), but if the car trailer scrapes, that's not a good sign.

The best solution is changing the driveway. I now live in a house with a steep driveway and so far I've haven't heard any scraping. The first 10 feet aren't too steep, so I think that helps. Note to me: check bottom of skid plates for scratches.

Gene
__________________
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2014, 08:22 PM   #9
4 Rivet Member
 
1964 22' Safari
1962 28' Ambassador
enosburg , Vermont
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 297
Its a real problem, but. Car trailers are generally a bit lower than an airstream. For comparison within airstreams a 28 footer can really limit your options. A 22 foot safari with a new axle, optional extra down angle on the arms, and an extra 1 inch lift on the mounting plates will let you into some serious steep angle of attack sites. Rollers on the tail could be the same result as lifting an A.S. by jacking under the bumper and hitch, damaged frame/hull. In an earlier life I was a build-break-rebuild-rebrake jeep guy. Tell him Airstreams are a heck of a lot easier, no drive train!
__________________
putback is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2014, 08:23 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
TG Twinkie's Avatar
 
1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,140
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 5
You could wrinkle the shell if enough stress is applied to the frame.
Have you tried lowering the hitch ball to where the trailer is higher in the rear. Since you are not towing at high speed, the hitch angle is not important.
__________________
Knowledge: "A gift to be shared. A treasure to receive."
TG Twinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2014, 10:19 PM   #11
4 Rivet Member
 
2004 16' International CCD
Chicagoland , Illinois
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 265
Images: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by NH Streaming View Post
I have been trying to convince my husband that having an Airstream will be great fun.
Your driveway may be the least of your worries if your hubby is already dragging his feet. What do you think is holding him back?
__________________
Airrogant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2014, 10:56 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
rodsterinfl's Avatar

 
2006 25' Safari
Fort Myers , Florida
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,429
Images: 8
Steep like this?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	19Homes-2.jpg
Views:	711
Size:	98.2 KB
ID:	214528  
__________________
WBCCI 8653/AIR 60240
2017 Ford F-150 3.5 Ecobeast Gen 2 3.55 Platinum
rodsterinfl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2014, 11:57 PM   #13
Len and Jeanne
 
Len n Jeanne's Avatar
 
2005 16' International CCD
2015 19' Flying Cloud
Creston Valley , British Columbia
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,466
Can you describe your situation further? Do you live in a rural area on an acreage that would allow some driveway modification, or in town? If you have room to do this, Paula's suggestion for creating a graded parking pad near your road is the one we selected. Our driveway is so steep we generally drive down it in 4-wheel low, especially in winter. It would be nice to keep the Bambi closer to the house, but we would have to do some major earth-moving to create a place to park it and still get vehicles in and out. The parking pad is also used by visitors who don't want to chance getting up the driveway when it's icy.

However, we can see the Bambi from the house, so we can keep an eye on it. Also, we store it at our local RV service place over the winter, to keep it safe from road salt.
__________________
Len n Jeanne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2014, 07:00 AM   #14
Rivet Master
 
AWCHIEF's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 8,138
Images: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodsterinfl View Post
Steep like this?
That is insane. Who would design much less buy something like that?
__________________

__________________
MICHAEL

Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
AWCHIEF is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Parking on steep driveway KarensHere Solo Streamers 23 01-05-2013 03:49 PM
HELP getting 19' Bambi into steep driveway kimd8888 Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 36 09-05-2012 09:01 PM
I have a steep driveway.. Help! Airslide Tow Vehicles 46 06-05-2009 11:03 PM
How steep is too steep? Tin Diesel Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 14 02-12-2007 02:03 PM
Backing up steep driveway-wheels under rear bumper? Wexus Off Topic Forum 12 03-16-2006 09:15 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:41 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.