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Old 08-16-2008, 11:12 PM   #1
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I have a steep driveway.. Help!

I need the help of some creative thinkers! I just purchased a 2001 30' S/O. She is big and heavy! The towing part is done with my F350 Crew Cab but the parking part took me 45 minutes because of the angle of my driveway. I live in an area where my home and yard is about 5 feet higher than the street. There is plenty of parking once you get up the driveway but thats the trick. Once i get the trailer up the curb with a little ramp and across the sidewalk the rear of the trailer will begin to contact the driveway. If i remove the load bars it drops the tongue about an 1 1/2 inch. The truck is a dually so it doesnt drop much. So here is what i was thinking..

Could i use my jeep wrangler? In 4 wheel low its basically a tractor. Since the truck is so long its hard to manuever through the gate and swing it around into the shelter. The wrangler could nearly act like a forklift with its short wheel base. The tongue weight is so heavy i would never consider hooking it up to the jeep as it would break something. Has anyone ever used a vehicle in this way to move their trailer around.
I told my wife i needed to look into getting an airport tug and she was less than excited..

I need the tongue low and power to get up the driveway.. some kind of wheel other than the front jack wheel? any thoughts?

Thanks Vinnie
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Old 08-17-2008, 01:29 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by vlamica View Post
I need the help of some creative thinkers! I just purchased a 2001 30' S/O. She is big and heavy! The towing part is done with my F350 Crew Cab but the parking part took me 45 minutes because of the angle of my driveway. I live in an area where my home and yard is about 5 feet higher than the street. There is plenty of parking once you get up the driveway but thats the trick. Once i get the trailer up the curb with a little ramp and across the sidewalk the rear of the trailer will begin to contact the driveway. If i remove the load bars it drops the tongue about an 1 1/2 inch. The truck is a dually so it doesnt drop much. So here is what i was thinking..

Could i use my jeep wrangler? In 4 wheel low its basically a tractor. Since the truck is so long its hard to manuever through the gate and swing it around into the shelter. The wrangler could nearly act like a forklift with its short wheel base. The tongue weight is so heavy i would never consider hooking it up to the jeep as it would break something. Has anyone ever used a vehicle in this way to move their trailer around.
I told my wife i needed to look into getting an airport tug and she was less than excited..

I need the tongue low and power to get up the driveway.. some kind of wheel other than the front jack wheel? any thoughts?

Thanks Vinnie
Park the trailer on the street.

Install a ball mount on the "front" of your Jeep, with a ball height of maybe 10 inches, or less.

That will give you maximum control.

Andy
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Old 08-17-2008, 06:49 AM   #3
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Plan B would be to get a simple drop hitch ball mount to go in your receiver with a 2 5/16" ball on it. When you get home, stop out front, unhook from the truck, remove the WD stuff and hitch gear, and replace it with the ball mount. Drop the trailer back onto the ball of the non-WD ball mount. Back into the driveway. No special front hitches or Jeeps required, and total cost would be less than $50.
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Old 08-17-2008, 06:56 AM   #4
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I know that the front hitch will work, a boat company down the street from me pushes some big boats with a front hitch on a lawnmower
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Old 08-17-2008, 06:57 AM   #5
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Use the Jeep as Andy says

I have a 30 classic and move the trailer all over the place with a small 20 hp tractor. Our barn and parking area is at least 6 feet above the garage. The little tractor pulls it very well and backs it into the barn. You don't need alot of horse power to move these trailers. Low speed and low gear will put enough torque to the wheels to move the trailer all over the place.

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Old 08-17-2008, 07:58 AM   #6
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will the jeep stop the trailer when going down hill to take it out? will the rear wheels of the jeep get ANY traction at all?

i'd go with terry's suggestion of a lower ball mount. The k.i.s.s. method works fine as long as it gives you the angle you need.
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Old 08-17-2008, 09:22 AM   #7
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"will the jeep stop the trailer when going down hill to take it out? will the rear wheels of the jeep get ANY traction at all?"

In four wheel low/low, you probably won't even need brakes! I've winched out heavy loads and never lost traction on the rear wheels.
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Old 08-17-2008, 10:15 AM   #8
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Thanks guys, The easiest and cheapest idea would be the truck with an inexpensive drop hitch.. just switch out in the street. The problem with that is the manuvering once you get past the gate.. not a straight shot. I will post a pic today. I have the jeep and love the idea of the front mount hitch with the front tires ability to swing the rear of the trailer around like a fork lift does at the storage lot. I think the jeep could stop it as its concrete surfaced. I do have a small cement lip to go up from the street to the sidewalk. Is there some kind of rubber tire that would take the shock a bit when attached to the jeep but helping with the tongue weight? If the tongue could remain about 8 inches in height (havent actually taken this measurement but guessing) then im clear to go up.
Thanks for all the feedback. It get me thinking about that airport tug again.. lol

Vinnie
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Old 08-17-2008, 10:47 AM   #9
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can the jeeps front axle take all that tongue weight? i know with my pick-up, the plow leaves the rear wheels almost useless without ballast in the rear.

i agree that the jeep would make maneuvering a WHOLE lot easier. i use a bent driveway with a gate too!
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Old 08-17-2008, 12:01 PM   #10
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Check the drop. You may find that a lower hitch will bottom out at the beginning of the incline if it's on a bar. How about a new drive or house to go with the nice trailer...
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Old 08-17-2008, 01:20 PM   #11
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It is always the unexpected. I wouldnt try it with a jeep. The lawn tractor would be safer.
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Old 08-17-2008, 01:32 PM   #12
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I feel your pain! After spending a lot of money on a 75' driveway/RV pad with dump station and electric hook-up I found that I hadn't planned on the tremendous overhang of the 34' Limited. Caused some significant scraping and damage for the first few months. I decided it was unacceptable to cause further damage to the concrete and risk significant damage to the truck so I called the concrete guy back and altered the problem area (about 30'). I'm happy now although due to needed alterations on the public sidewalk and related building codes, the cost of the alteration was almost as much as the original total. For me, since I planned for long-term usage, it was worth the hassle and expense of changing it early on.

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Old 08-17-2008, 07:59 PM   #13
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Lots of good feedback! I really want to try the jeep for this task.. Remember the old days when trailers would have the small set of wheels on the tongue to help out the tow car? Is there anything like that, that would go with the direction to the trailer? Here are some pictures so you get the idea.

http://www.airforums.com/photos/show...?i=19984&c=509

http://www.airforums.com/photos/show...?i=19985&c=509

http://www.airforums.com/photos/show...?i=19961&c=509

New house..eventually.. driveway.. Hmm. I am not even allowed to keep my garbage cans on the street without public opinion so it would take an act of congress from the HOA to get the driveway modified. I was able to get her up there with no damage using some boards under the left side wheels. Thanks for all the feedback..

Vinnie
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Old 08-17-2008, 08:05 PM   #14
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Vinnie, is the area between the street and the sidewalk where it dips for storm drainage the problem?
If it is, we had the exact problem with our Overlander and Sovereign. I solved it with a pair of 5' long 2"x12" boards. I placed them over the area, and used them as a bridge for the trailer wheels. No more scraping, and it can be removed and stored in the garage.
Removing the WD bars lowers the tongue, and raises the rear, as well as allowing quicker and easier response when backing (I think you already do this).
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