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Old 05-18-2003, 09:27 AM   #1
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Extreme Angle Backing

I have a 27-foot 1967 Airstream International that I park in a tight spot adjacent to my house.

In order to back into the parking spot, I have to cut at a very acute "V" angle of maybe 120 degrees or so. In order to be able to do this, I remove the weight-transfer bars.

When I'm at the extreme angle backing into the very tight parking spot, the tires and axles on at least one side (I can't see the other side) are at a pretty extreme angle, with the tops pointed toward the trailer and the bottoms pointed away from the trailer. This is due to the fact that the axles and tires are under tension from the pushing motion of the tow vehicle during the "V" shaped maneuver.

My question is this: has anyone had any problems with axles, wheels or tires when performing such a maneuver? I've been parking this way with this trailer for 16 years now without problems, so I'm kind of late asking this question; but every time I look at those poor axles and tires while backing into my spot, I wonder if they're not going to come off or rupture from the stress one of these days.
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Old 05-18-2003, 09:48 AM   #2
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I had the same concern atmy previous parking spot. I would straighten outthe tow van as much aspossible witht eh trailer unhitched after parking, and then hitch back up and move the trailer forward and back to straighten out the tire's sidewalls.
May be overkill, but it seemed wrong to let it sit with the tires all tweaked.
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Old 05-18-2003, 10:08 AM   #3
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same here

i do the same when i back into my drive.

i try to staighten it out as much as possible. but the tires still scrub quite a bit.

i guess that is why one uses premium trailer tires, they can withstand the abuse better than a regular car or truck tire.

i suppose if one had a tire low on air, you could roll it right off the rim!

folks with single axle rigs got it good for tight manuvers.

i can just imagine what a 34' does when you try jack knifing it into a tight spot!

john
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Old 05-18-2003, 10:46 AM   #4
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34' scrunching

I don't know what they do yet John, but I'll get my chance to find out when I bring ours home for the first time next week. I'll let you know. Frankly, it concerns me!

I suspect RoadKingMoe may have some experience with this one! Maurice, input???

Roger
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Old 05-18-2003, 10:54 AM   #5
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I think the biggest concern would be the tire pressure. I watched a fellow at a campground roll a tire off while pulling out. He then puts on the spare which is also low in pressure and proceeds to roll the tire off that wheel.

I did it once with an SOB that I moved a couple of miles to a new parking spot. I knew a tire was low but I figured I wasn't going far. Bottom line I rolled a tire off while backing into the driveway.

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Old 05-18-2003, 01:49 PM   #6
 
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We have done a lot a very tight maneuvering in our days (with the van, the lift gate on the truck limits that).
We never had a problem with tires. We always had Marathon, and kept them inflated at the max psi.
We have to park in very tight situations, requiring sometime 30mn of manuevering, an average of once a week, for 4 months. That's why we decided against the 34'.
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Old 05-18-2003, 04:20 PM   #7
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We also used to park in a place that required the tires to have a lot of side load on them when parking at our house. What I would do then, after the trailer was unhooked was get a small floor jack and one at a time jack up each tire till it came off the ground and relieved the side load and then set it back down. It was a lot of extra work but was worth it for the piece of mind.
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Old 05-18-2003, 04:32 PM   #8
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Scrub is a way of life with a triple-axle. I keep the tires inflated to max to help 'em slide. Just try to be rolling when you turn the wheel... stopping, turning the truck wheels tight and then going again doesn't let the tires "screw" themselves across the ground, which is easier than dragging them.
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Old 05-18-2003, 09:33 PM   #9
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side question:

I have done a couple of these tight turn back-ups in the 8 months I have had mine. My fear is contact between bumper and A-frame. How legitimate is this? What is the rule of thumb. Airstream67 said something about removing the equalizing bars prior to doing a manuever like this, which makes sense. thanks, I've been losing sleep over this one... (OK, maybe not that bad).
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Old 05-18-2003, 09:40 PM   #10
 
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The back door of our van has a small dent from touching the propane bottles. That's what will contact first, not the A-frame
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Old 05-18-2003, 09:53 PM   #11
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Thumbs up That was quick

Thanks Femuse.
Does this only happen at an obscene angle?
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Old 05-19-2003, 09:45 AM   #12
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What contacts first will depend on both your trailer and tow vehicle. A van would likely be hit on a back door first by the tanks. A pickup truck, with a large dock bumper may, in fact, hit the tanks with it's bumper first. Most trailers' A-frames are a few inches lower than the tow vehicle as a result of the hitch drop, so if the tow vehicle contacts the trailer, it will likely be contacting something higher than the frame e.g., the propane tanks.

That contact point angle will vary also depending on how close the back of the tow vehicle is to the hitch point; for example a 3/4 ton van with a spare tire mounted on the rear door will come perilously close to touching the tanks much more quickly than will a similar pickup with a standard bumper.
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