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Old 06-08-2013, 07:59 PM   #1
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Question How to temporarily drop tongue for parking?

I have a 1973 31' Airstream and a 2004 1 ton dodge 4-door pickup to tow it with. Everything is fine on the road. The 1 ton is more than enough to tow the Airstream nicely. The problem happens when entering and exiting my driveway where I park it. For one thing the road in front of our house is a 4 lane road with a 45 mph speed limit. My house is also on a curve so approaching motorists cannot see where my driveway is until they are fairly close. This means that I need to be able to move in and out of my driveway smoothly and quickly. The other part of the problem is that there is a down slope on the side shoulder of the road and a bit of an upslope on my driveway. So far it has been impossible to get into the driveway without scraping the bottom of the back end of the Airstream. Also I found that I have to come in fairly quickly to avoid getting hung up with the trailer sticking out a bit into the right hand lane - not a pretty picture. I also discovered the hard way that I have to disconnect the weight distribution bars before I get home or I cannot get into my driveway at all.

So here is what I would like to be able to do to help with this problem. I would like some simple and quick way that I could temporarily lower the attachment point between the trailer and the hitch just before I get home. Lowering the tongue would cause the back end of the Airstream to rise for better clearance when leaving and returning. My current mount is adjustable but it is clearly not intended to be easily adjusted - rather it is intended to be adjusted once and left that way. There are a couple of large bolts that would take too much time to undo and redo. I have seen some types of hitch ball mounts that see like they could be adjusted faster but they all would require that I use my tongue jack to support the tongue will I lower it. Has anyone seen or heard of any kind of adjustable hitch ball mount that could somehow be cranked up and down with the tongue weight applied? As a second alternative does anyone have any specific recommendations for a hitch ball mount that could be easily adjusted if I did use the tongue jack as part of the process? I would like to be able to adjust the tongue height down by at least 6 inches. I think that would be enough but I wouldn’t mind having more range just in case.

Thanks,

Malcolm
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:10 PM   #2
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Have you thought about making a couple ramps to fill in the dip from road to sidewalk? A couple 2+4's and some 2+6's would keep the rig high enough for a smooth entry. Storage in the garage or side of the house. Just a thought. Don't know if this would solve your issue but is cheap and easy to make.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:14 PM   #3
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The only ones I've seen would require the use of the tongue jack. After a rash of trailer thefts at work we cut off the couplers from the trailers and made a quick detach system for the couplers with 2 pins holding the coupler to the tongue. The part welded to the frame has a series of holes to adjust the height of the coupler to the ball vertically. It is a cool setup, but, as I said, you still have to use your tongue jack to lift/lower the coupler.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:35 PM   #4
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This is an example of what I thinking.
This looks a little on the weak side but could be made very stout.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:35 PM   #5
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I have thought about a ramp but there are two problems with that. One of the problems is that I do not have a sidewalk and the ramp might have to stick too far out into the road. The ramp would also have to be fairly long I think too. The logistics of the problem is that I cannot very easily get close enough to my house to install the ramp on the way home. I don't think I could leave it in place while I was gone. I have to stop a little bit away from the house just to disconnect the load leveler bars so it would help if I could somehow adjust the hitch then too.

I would be willing to consider changing the end of the tongue too I suppose. I will have to think about that one.

Here is a hitch ball mount that I ran across since I posted this question that comes close to what might work but unfortunately it is too light duty. See what you think:

Amazon.com: Master Lock 2841AT Adjustable Height Zero Tilt Ball Mount: Automotive

Malcolm
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Old 06-09-2013, 05:51 AM   #6
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Question

Something like this maybe?....

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Old 06-09-2013, 06:57 AM   #7
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Are your axles good? Sagged out axles often make what you need to do, difficult.
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RUMSHIP View Post
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This is an example of what I thinking.
This looks a little on the weak side but could be made very stout.
At our shop in Memphis we have something similar, but much bigger and steel. We just leave it lying there. Been lying there for 13+ years.
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:39 AM   #9
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Howdy, Bob!

I use 2/4 and 2/6 stacked in the drive low spot. One stack for each side.

I also remove the leveling bars or I lose steel.

My humble recommendation, simplest is a hitch set up at proper "low boy" level when you remove bars lift a bit more and swap hitch.

Another "option" would be a electro- mechanically adjustable hitch..... Can be done!

Third, a toggle where the tongue is in pinned and lowers.
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:49 AM   #10
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Would it be possible to fill in the low spot with crushed stone?
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:54 AM   #11
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As Frank says, new axles with a bigger down angle, say 35% could solve the problem and give you a better ride.
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:00 AM   #12
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What about having two hitches ... Swap out to the lower hitch at your closest convenience before pulling into the drive.
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:08 AM   #13
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Or you could have another square tube added below the current one by a welding shop if you don't weld
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:47 AM   #14
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why not just buy a standard fixed drop hitch where you can just pull your WD hitch head out and slide in a new drop hitch at whatever height you need since you are already stopping and releasing your bars.
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