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Old 05-29-2012, 07:18 PM   #1
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Advice for easy in/out of tight cul de sac?

My wife and I are considering buying a house located in a cul de sac. I'm not sure of the diameter of the circle but my F250 extended cab long bed truck can not turn a lap in it, even when hugging the curb. It almost makes it, but not quite.

Now I've attached a photo as an attempt to easliy describe the scenario. The street comes into the circle from the 12:00 position, and its a long street so backing all the way down is not a good option.

The house we are interested in is at the 9:00 position with the driveway coming in just inside the mouth of the cul de sac. An idea I had is to drive into the circle hugging the left (right side as seen in the photo, so driving on the wrong side of the road momentarily) and the hanging a right turn into the driveway. The 31' trailer would be parked beside the attached garage with a few feet in between them.

This lands the truck in the back yard, where I'd unhitch and back out beside the trailer. The side yard is 25' wide, I measured that, and the property line is parallel to the wall of the garage and driveway.

The exit strategy is to back out and angle the trailer towards the neighbor's driveway located at about 5:00. Might have to get just a few feet into their driveway before putting the wheel hard to the right and pulling out down the street.

I'd also considered that if I wanted to back into my driveway I'd enter the circle at a slight angle and head for that same 5:00 driveway, maybe pulling in just a bit. That would probably allow enough room to back the trailer and get it cutting into a tight turn. That culdesac has those poured contoured curbs that you can drive up on without damaging your tires, and my possible future driveway has no bushes flanking it or any culverts so worse case is that I'd end up damaging my lawn a bit as I got lined up for the final approach.

You can see the that neighbor across the circle with the driveway at 3:00 has widened his to park a large utility trailer which he backs in somehow with a crew cab pickup. In the near future I'd have my driveway modified in a similar fashion.

I've rambled on long enough but thought I'd post this along with the photo and see what people thought was the best way in and out. If I see that potential future neighbor across the circle I'll probably ask how they get their trailer in and out.

You can see in the photo that the neighbor's driveway at 7:00 has something in it, maybe an RV, but I haven't seen that in person to know what it is and how much of a challenge that person has.

No HOA rules and regulations here, obviously.

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Old 05-29-2012, 07:23 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by blickcd View Post
I'd also considered that if I wanted to back into my driveway I'd enter the circle at a slight angle and head for that same 5:00 dirveway, maybe pulling in just a bit.
I have a very similar situation. I'd back it in. Head for the 5:00 driveway and use as much of it as you can, then put it in reverse. That's what I do and it works like a charm!

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Old 05-29-2012, 07:24 PM   #3
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Ask if you can try it, before you make an offer.

I get that it may be the "perfect" house, but is it?

As the neighbors if they have a problem with you using their driveway, just a little now and then, and get a deal worked out in advance.


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Old 05-29-2012, 07:27 PM   #4
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Buy the house at 7:00.

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Old 05-29-2012, 07:34 PM   #5
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No rules? Then come in from the back side!
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:35 PM   #6
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I'm on a similar cul de sac only with a center grassy island. That center island has a hard curb. I'm in the 3:00 position so I have to do a blind side back in. I have a 31' classic and I'm pulling with a 3/4 ton GMC van. My solution is to stay as far right as possible which allows the trailer to make the cul de sac without rubbing the street side tires on the center island curb. I pull plenty forward so that the trailer is well past my drive and past the majority of my front lawn. At that point I'm turning the van towards the left side of the street just past that 9:00 driveway in your picture. At that point my trailer is already angled into the drive and by going straight back I'm aiming the rear end towards that 3:00 drive. Once the rear end crosses the threshold of the drive, I turn the steering wheel harder to the right and pivot the trailer so that (if you assume this picture is N/S oriented), I line the trailer up parallel to the south side of that drive.

The key for me is making sure I pull up enough so that the van in its backup turn doesn't touch that center island curb. Obviously if your cul de sac is small then this turn is difficult but with no center island (based on your photo), you have a lot of working room.

Now if someone parks in front of any of the houses in the cul de sac, this turn gets much harder but you take it slow and learn the angles, it's not an impossible task.

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Old 05-29-2012, 07:36 PM   #7
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Are people allowed to park on the street? If so, you may have no room to maneuver and be unable to find the vehicle owner when you really need to.

Despite other trailers, check if there are HOA rules or municipal rules about this. An HOA may get a new board which decides to enforce the rules.

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Old 05-29-2012, 08:19 PM   #8
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How long is the road leading into the cul de sac? Would it be easier to get the truck/trailer backed into the circle, (ie. backing down the street from the 12:00 position) then nice and easy back into the driveway and viola!

Our airstream lives in an enclosed garage, at the end of a 150' driveway. To put the trailer away, I have to pull the truck/trailer onto the shoulder of the road, next to the fence and back the trailer (90 degree turn) through the gates into the driveway, then back down the driveway into the garage. Sounds like a long way, but actually pretty easy.
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:50 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the suggestions so far. I'm still leaning towards pulling in head first and then backing out of the driveway on departure. I'm surprised no one has given that a thumbs up. Part of the appeal is that with the trailer door not against the house, I can park as tight to the house as I dare, leaving maximum passing room on the side. In a few years I plan to build a detached garage/workshop in the back yard so a wide driveway beside the house would eventually be there.

Don't worry folks, I have already checked with the township's zoning office regarding setbacks for driveways, parking of RV's, construction of outbuildings, and the subdivision does not have an HOA.

Sphere Guy, maybe you were joking but I can't come in from the back as that would be cutting through someone's yard behind me.

I also agree with everyone that a random car parked on the street or in the circle could complicate things, but then again I sometimes have to deal with cars parked on the street where I live now so that doesn't concern me too much.

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Old 05-30-2012, 08:31 AM   #10
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We live in exactly the same scenario - with everyone on the street having some kind of truck-trailer combination. We will all use each others driveway as part of the "solution" in being able to turn the rig around and then back up into our own driveway (ours would be the house at 7).

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Old 05-30-2012, 09:14 AM   #11
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Have you thought about installing a front reciever on your truck. This way you would not have to back down the street, you could just drive forward down the street with the Airstream in front of you.

I also agree with barbara- backing the trailer a long distance is really not that hard. Just have some help and take your time.

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Old 05-30-2012, 09:49 AM   #12
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The easiest way would be to add a driveway going all the way around the house that way you wouldn't have to back up with the trailer at all and as a bonus you would have less grass to mow.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:23 AM   #13
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Good idea Wazbro, and I'll paint it to look like a moat!
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:04 PM   #14
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This appears to be the perfect set up for an Airstream front corner "ding" as a result of to tight a turn with a pick up tow vehicle. Be careful.

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