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Old 12-12-2016, 10:36 PM   #41
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1990 25' Excella
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I am terrible at backing up the AS because I do not travel enough.

They make a front tow eye adapter that is a receiver.

So it fits in the eye with a big washer and nut.

I can not tell you enough having the turning wheels so close to the ball it my savior.
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Old 12-12-2016, 11:12 PM   #42
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I don't like that driveway at all.
I'm with slowmover on this one. Driveway looks quite steep and narrow, plus you'd be backing into a blind-side turn. Looks nasty to me.

Short of parking the trailer where it is in the photo, the cheapest solution would be to find covered storage with power somewhere relatively convenient to you. Storage rental for a year would cost less than repairs to the trailer, the house and the landscaping if things went awry.

Just remember, the folks here who are telling you it is do-able don't have to pay for damages if they're mistaken.
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Old 12-12-2016, 11:13 PM   #43
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That looks doable but a little tricky even with spotters. Bare ball and make sure you can easily apply the trailer brakes by hand as you are backing down. I have found it handy to use the trailer brakes when backing down hill so that the front wheels don't get dragged down the hill preventing you from being able to turn.
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Old 12-12-2016, 11:16 PM   #44
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Consider a power dolly like the Park-It360 with the 7-way trailer plug for the brake which is essential on a grade. I have two 45 degrees and a 90 to get mine into the garage for winter and not enough room for the TV to make the turns. The dolly makes it easy.

Your grade looks like too much to come out with the power dolly but your TV will handle that.
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Old 12-12-2016, 11:41 PM   #45
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Second attempt at including photo.
Mount a hitch on the front of your truck and make it easy on yourself.

Mike
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Old 12-12-2016, 11:47 PM   #46
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While backing if you aren't sure where you are, stop and get out and look. It will give you a first hand perspective on the situation. I have found that helps me a lot particularly since my spotters (wife) instructions sometimes are hard to decipher. ie.. "go the other way"?
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Old 12-13-2016, 06:58 AM   #47
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Many good comments, I had one other idea that I didn't see mentioned.

A test on flat pavement that had the same width and curve layout but without the slope.

Measure your drive and figure out the curve mark it on the ground and try to stay between the markers.

If you risk getting tires off of pavement at home what are the conditions? Soft grass, slope etc.
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Old 12-13-2016, 09:02 AM   #48
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walky talkies instead of phones.

While others have commented on the physical ability of your rig to successfully complete this maneuver, I want to focus on one aspect of technique that goes beyond this individual challenge and applies to all backing maneuvers.

An excellent video regarding how to back an Airstream by Sean and Kristy Michael on their terrific podcast, "long long honeymoon," stresses the importance of walkie-talkies. We agree and use them every time we back up. I add this point because someone else uses phones, which are great unless and until there's no telephonic signal when you need to back up. We tried Motorolas and they were inferior to our current midlands. Midland's technical service and support were also excellent. good luck!
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Old 12-13-2016, 09:20 AM   #49
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I back my 27FB down a similar driveway, except that's it's a S turn. These trailers are remarkably nimble. Try to cut the inside corner and go slow. Hard to tell how much driver side clearance, that'll be the issue as the truck will have to swing well to the left. I'd leave the WD hitch on first to see if there's a problem. Just go a few feet at a time then stop and look. My first time it took 45 minutes. Now I can do it in about 5 minutes.
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Old 12-13-2016, 09:29 AM   #50
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Manual Signalling vs Walkie-Talkies

Quote:
Originally Posted by fotoman1527 View Post
... Sean and Kristy Michael on their terrific podcast, "long long honeymoon," stresses the importance of walkie-talkies. We agree and use them every time we back up.
At times when a radio is beneficial, I listen on my CB to guidance from the spotter who is using a hand held CB. However, communication devices (phones or walkie-talkies) are great, until they don't work.

We come to Airstreaming from years of sailing. Anchoring is similar in many ways to backing a trailer with the help of spotter and the communication between the sailing crew at the windlass and the helm. It is crucial to a stress free, safe and secure anchorage to have a simple, yet effective set of hand signals. There is often too much noise from the wind and engine to effectively use anything else.

I prefer to keep my hands on the wheel and my eyes on the person in the mirror rather than adding another task (using a handheld radio).
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Old 12-13-2016, 04:45 PM   #51
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Many good comments, I had one other idea that I didn't see mentioned.

A test on flat pavement that had the same width and curve layout but without the slope.

Measure your drive and figure out the curve mark it on the ground and try to stay between the markers.

If you risk getting tires off of pavement at home what are the conditions? Soft grass, slope etc.

That's why I asked about the drop off from the pavement. If that's a 90-degree turn then even a short wheelbase TV is going off.

Your recommendation is ideal.

Place some cones or something to represent brick house.
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Old 12-13-2016, 06:49 PM   #52
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Can you clear for a pad to the right of your Airstream, to keep it up top? If something goes wrong backing down...it can get ugly fast. Maybe a retaining wall, and widen driveway 3' down to the lower level. I know it looks better in person. More pictures from the top looking down, and garage toward the curve up, would help our opinions. Try it with a car trailer of similar length. You can see what the trailer is doing, and easier on transmission and brakes. Nice and slow.
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Old 12-14-2016, 11:41 PM   #53
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Many good suggestions here and this is a very tricky situation. More photos would help clarify the situation and hopefully it looks better in person. I would be afraid that my 31' would bottom out near it's step on that lip if I was trying to keep the curbside wheels all the way to the house side. How wide is the driveway that goes down and what is the situation at the top and bottom. At the minimum the spotters should be ready to place chocks behind the trailer wheels on both sides in case you have to stop partway down. Almost for sure your TV wheels will go off the driveway unless it's wider than it looks. Not a good driveway to learn backing skills on! I'd get a power dolly or widen the driveway if I had to rather than pay off site storage. Also some drive trains might bind up in 4WD maneuvering with all wheels on concrete. I'd practice up n down that driveway with a U-haul first, maybe. A mishap backing up could be co$tly.
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Old 12-15-2016, 05:18 PM   #54
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Thanks so much!

Wow! I am so appreciative of all the responses to my question and impressed with the thoughtful suggestions. All of them were useful. What a fantastic resource! Maybe someday I will be able to return the favor by helping someone on the forum.
I got a buddy to help spot and direct and we were able to get it down the drive and in position in about 15 min. I had to pull up several times and went very slowly. There were no issues in terms of bottoming out. As a few suggested, I should have sent more pictures of the driveway so that everyone could have gotten a better view of the situation. Although I have over 50 years experience backing boat and utility trailers, I consider myself a novice backing a trailer as large and as valuable as an Airstream. I was bit nervous.
With the truck and trailer empty except for me, I was surprised by how little the truck rear dropped under load when using the standard ball mount.
I am attaching a photo of the successful trip. So happy to have Zorro de Plata at home and out of the way.
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Old 12-15-2016, 06:38 PM   #55
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That's awesome. Great job!
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Old 12-16-2016, 04:17 AM   #56
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Well done, Ron, and thanks for the update! Your extensive experience backing up other trailers would have allayed initial concerns from the get-go IMO.

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Old 12-17-2016, 01:53 AM   #57
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Your trailer looks right at home there! Next time will be a lot faster too!
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Old 12-17-2016, 05:42 AM   #58
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Congratulations on a tough backing assignment. Now that you know vertical clearance is OK I can tell you that a front hitch is the answer, especially with your route.

With a front hitch your view will be to the inside of the turn and visibility will be great. Of course, you will be blind on the far side of the trailer and for that reason I would always recommend a spotter. But, after a couple of times you will learn your marks and won't need him.

Front hitch gives amazing ability to turn sharp and recover without jack-knifing. Second huge advantage is that the tv follows the trailer route almost exactly. No front end swing out to worry about.

Weight in front end does cause a good bit of sag but has never been a problem for us. It does put strain on steering gear so I make sure I am in motion before turning the wheel to reduce the stress.

One last thing, for the same reason that it helps for "pushing" the trailer in, it will not work for pulling it out. You will have to unhitched and pull trailer out with standard rear hitch configuration.

Happy backing

Steve
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