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Old 09-24-2018, 01:31 PM   #1
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MIAMI , Florida
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Using Trailer Dolly for Security and Improved Views

Hi, I'm a proud and excited new owner of a 2016 22FB Sport. I have never had a trailer, but plan on an extended tour of the US. As I do not have any experience with campgrounds and RV parks, I wanted to run the following by more experienced folks.

I was thinking of getting a Trailer Valet XL as it may help with two occasional issues when parking the trailer into a spot that can only be backed into.

1) Positioning trailer for best view. With the 22FB, the main windows are at the front overlooking the hitch and the bathroom at the rear. I'm guessing there will be times when backing into a spot will result in the bedroom overlooking the lesser of views. With the trailer dolly, I would have the option of pulling the trailer into a spot without TW access from both sides.

2) A potential security benefit when leaving trailer unattended. If the hitch is facing outwards, it is easy for someone else to hook up and drive off. If it was pulled into a spot with no TW access from the rear, it is not so easy to hook up quickly and leave.

I guess my question is if there are usually enough scenarios like this that would justify carrying around a trailer dolly?

Thanks for your thoughts!
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Old 09-24-2018, 01:51 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forum. An Airstream Circus and avalanche of experienced owners to tap.

Often you have not choice of views. Plumbing gets in the way.

We never need a Bed View out the window. I always want to avoid being the center of attention at bed time from outside observers.

Many RV Parks let you do a drive around and PICK the site that is best for you. Get back quickly to pay and get that special spot.

Some sites will be reserved for days in advance. You may get the perfect site for two days, but need to move since the site is reserved afterwards. You will catch on to this and see a spot that is fantastic, find out when they are going to be leaving... and if it works for you, reserve it for YOURSELF. You 'gotta get with it like we experienced campers.

We spend so little time in our Airstream, that we are flexible with views when at a RV Park. Most views are someone else's bedroom view... and you the voyeur of some sort.

Security? Get the best hitch lock that VISA can buy, with a discount, of course. Those using a pad lock or locker lock will lose their trailer before considering yours. The Stolen Airstream thread is a bit hard to follow. If there ever was a list of things not to do to secure your trailer... this one would be my first example.

After a few trips in your Airstream, you will become seasoned. Some of us are more salt and pepper seasoned and others, deep fried. But we all make the best of what we find.

Good luck and hope to follow Threads you put up in the future!
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Old 09-25-2018, 08:08 AM   #3
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Thanks, Ray for your insights! Makes lots of sense.

Think I will end up going with a very good hitch lock as you suggest. Looking at Megahitch Vault. And then a GPS tracker such as Spot Trace.

As for the view, it makes total sense that the view goes in both directions. I did not think about that Guess we will save any views for boondocking.

Looking forward to being a seasoned salt with you folks
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Old 09-25-2018, 08:14 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by jonahmiami View Post
I guess my question is if there are usually enough scenarios like this that would justify carrying around a trailer dolly?
IMO, no.
Practice backing.
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Old 09-25-2018, 09:08 AM   #5
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I have a Trailer Valet XL for an especially tricky and tight storage position alongside my house. I only use it there and have never considered bringing it on trips.

Sure, you can do as you suggest, but it's probably not worth the effort. Most sites also have a preferred orientation for use. I've rarely seen sites where trying to spin and walk the trailer in tongue first would be allowed, possible, or even worth the effort. Then add potential elevation and grades to deal with...

Great idea but rarely practical is how I see this.
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Old 09-25-2018, 09:39 AM   #6
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Trailer Valet

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonahmiami View Post
Hi, I'm a proud and excited new owner of a 2016 22FB Sport. I have never had a trailer, but plan on an extended tour of the US. As I do not have any experience with campgrounds and RV parks, I wanted to run the following by more experienced folks.

I was thinking of getting a Trailer Valet XL as it may help with two occasional issues when parking the trailer into a spot that can only be backed into.

1) Positioning trailer for best view. With the 22FB, the main windows are at the front overlooking the hitch and the bathroom at the rear. I'm guessing there will be times when backing into a spot will result in the bedroom overlooking the lesser of views. With the trailer dolly, I would have the option of pulling the trailer into a spot without TW access from both sides.

2) A potential security benefit when leaving trailer unattended. If the hitch is facing outwards, it is easy for someone else to hook up and drive off. If it was pulled into a spot with no TW access from the rear, it is not so easy to hook up quickly and leave.

I guess my question is if there are usually enough scenarios like this that would justify carrying around a trailer dolly?

Thanks for your thoughts!
I have a trailer valet that I use to move my 23' Flying Cloud into a tight fit. I've never had the need for it out on campsites.
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Old 09-25-2018, 09:55 AM   #7
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I have an extra Trailer Valet XL for sale. It's in great condition and works fine.
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Old 09-25-2018, 10:15 AM   #8
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I have an extra Trailer Valet XL for sale. It's in great condition and works fine.
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Old 09-25-2018, 10:58 AM   #9
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Security

Be careful when buying a hitch lock - a lot of them won't fit on an Airstream. The only one that fits is a MegaHitch Coupler Vault. We had to return several others.


On top of that, we have a boot that we put on one tire and we wrap our chains around the end of the hitch and padlock them with two locks. We modified the battery connection so that it can be taken out of service and put back in with an alligator clip and we drilled two holes in the battery box and lock that. So the battery is never available to raise and lower the jack. (We actually did that mostly for our home storage as we are right next to a high school and those little toggle knobs might be too enticing for kids. The fire drills put the kids right next to our property. Playing with the jack could really mess up the stabilizers!)


Finally, we installed a hidden GPS locator. It's called Mobil Lock and warns you if the power is removed from the trailer. This lets us leave our dogs in there while we are away for the day and we know they will have AC. If not, it calls us.


So, as you see, some of our security items do double duty. But in general, it would be a lot easier to steal someone else's trailer.
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonahmiami View Post
Hi, I'm a proud and excited new owner of a 2016 22FB Sport. I have never had a trailer, but plan on an extended tour of the US. As I do not have any experience with campgrounds and RV parks, I wanted to run the following by more experienced folks.

I was thinking of getting a Trailer Valet XL as it may help with two occasional issues when parking the trailer into a spot that can only be backed into.

1) Positioning trailer for best view. With the 22FB, the main windows are at the front overlooking the hitch and the bathroom at the rear. I'm guessing there will be times when backing into a spot will result in the bedroom overlooking the lesser of views. With the trailer dolly, I would have the option of pulling the trailer into a spot without TW access from both sides.

2) A potential security benefit when leaving trailer unattended. If the hitch is facing outwards, it is easy for someone else to hook up and drive off. If it was pulled into a spot with no TW access from the rear, it is not so easy to hook up quickly and leave.

I guess my question is if there are usually enough scenarios like this that would justify carrying around a trailer dolly?

Thanks for your thoughts!
—————————-
The trailer valet type movers are great at home if you have a nearly level area to maneuver in, but if you have much slope at home or at a campground gravity can give you real excitement. On a very mild slope the tire traction of the valet might be enough to keep good control. Don’t know if the trailer valet can automatically engage the electric brakes or not. Personally I’d learn how to backup, avoid jack-knifing, and get a ride-along helper with a walkie talkie to tell you this way or that. Have fun.
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:44 AM   #11
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dcasr is right. If you are using a trailer dolly and the slope is too great or the surface isn't holding (mud, gravel) and the trailer starts to go, you have no way to stop it. I suppose you could keep the brake leash in your hand and pull on it to activate the brake, but what then?



At that point you have to chock it and hitch up to use the weight and brakes of the tow vehicle to keep it from moving more. So, now you are back to using a tow, and why did you bring the dolly again?


Plus, a dolly big and strong enough to move the trailer is not easy to "bring with." We only use ours for our flat driveway where we have to get into an oddly angled parking spot. We bought an oversized dolly and even it can be a struggle to get the trailer up onto the 1.5 inch wood platform we keep the trailer on so as to not deform our asphalt driveway.
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Old 09-25-2018, 07:38 PM   #12
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2007 23' Safari SE
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Welcome to the Airstream lifestyle. I rarely respond to the articles but learn from reading them. I too have considered purchasing a dolly, still weighing in on the price to use ratio. However, there are many campsites around me that it would be very useful.
I live in the Monterey Bay region of California. Nearby Seacliff Beach is basically a parking lot 50 yards from the water. I back in, but have a rear bedroom. With a dolly/mover, my living room could be an ocean view. Granted, we spend most summer time hours outdoors, but in the rainy season, it would be totally awesome to sit inside and enjoy the view. So maybe don't jump into it right away, but keep track of every trip, and see when a dolly/mover might be a good choice. Here is an alternative to the norm. I wouldn't actually use this vendor, but it gives you an idea. https://www.campingworld.com/9000-lb...4aAiQYEALw_wcB
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Old 09-26-2018, 04:29 PM   #13
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MIAMI , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pteck View Post
I have a Trailer Valet XL for an especially tricky and tight storage position alongside my house. I only use it there and have never considered bringing it on trips.

Sure, you can do as you suggest, but it's probably not worth the effort. Most sites also have a preferred orientation for use. I've rarely seen sites where trying to spin and walk the trailer in tongue first would be allowed, possible, or even worth the effort. Then add potential elevation and grades to deal with...

Great idea but rarely practical is how I see this.
Thanks Pteck! This is exactly the kind of advice that I was seeking on how parking works in camps. Dolly does not seem worth it for sure
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Old 09-26-2018, 04:31 PM   #14
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MIAMI , Florida
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Originally Posted by sallye View Post
Be careful when buying a hitch lock - a lot of them won't fit on an Airstream. The only one that fits is a MegaHitch Coupler Vault. We had to return several others.


On top of that, we have a boot that we put on one tire and we wrap our chains around the end of the hitch and padlock them with two locks. We modified the battery connection so that it can be taken out of service and put back in with an alligator clip and we drilled two holes in the battery box and lock that. So the battery is never available to raise and lower the jack. (We actually did that mostly for our home storage as we are right next to a high school and those little toggle knobs might be too enticing for kids. The fire drills put the kids right next to our property. Playing with the jack could really mess up the stabilizers!)


Finally, we installed a hidden GPS locator. It's called Mobil Lock and warns you if the power is removed from the trailer. This lets us leave our dogs in there while we are away for the day and we know they will have AC. If not, it calls us.


So, as you see, some of our security items do double duty. But in general, it would be a lot easier to steal someone else's trailer.
Great advice! I am sold. I ordered the Megahitch vault and GPS tracker will be next.
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