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Old 11-23-2023, 07:35 AM   #1
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Vancouver , WA
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Driveway Slope - 3 AM Panic Attack for first time RV guy

So...you know when you're buying a RV for the first time and you're worried about everything because you realize you know NOTHING. Well, thank you all for helping me power through a lot of nights by answering my questions through your threads and posts.

Now it's time to pay it forward. The 3 AM panic attack after I signed the contract but before I took delivery was the slope of my driveway. Please feel free to make fun of me when you look at the pics and actual slope.

How did I power through, you ask? Well I didn't. I drank a bunch of coffee (which didn't help) and tweaked out until the sun actually rose at 6 am and I could do some measuring.

Anyhoo - from some other forums, I learned to take a tape measure, a level and then the rock and other items were my own make-shiftery.

Basically I ended up figuring out there was about a 6-8" difference for the 22 ft length of the Bambi from the garage to the sidewalk. That basically translated to using 6-8" of leveling blocks. So after some math and data I was able to self-soothe a bit.

Anyhoo - I thought this silly story and some pictures may help someone else going through an unnecessary 3 am panic attack. Thanks again for all your help, community.
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Old 11-23-2023, 08:20 AM   #2
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We have all been there at one time or another for a variety of issues. Now you can sleep so much better!

All the best!
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Old 11-23-2023, 09:43 AM   #3
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As noted by Hans627, we've had all had a variety of learning experiences.

Mine was years ago in Arizona. Our driveway was a right angle and a down slope from street ending at a wooden fence. I was still new to the AS experience and it took a while getting the AS off the road and situated on the driveway.

I carefully raised the front end and disconnected, realizing a bit too late that I had forgotten the wheel chocks.

Luckily the jack dug in enough to stop the AS from going through the fence and into the pool.

Lesson learned.

Good luck on your future travels.
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Old 11-23-2023, 10:04 AM   #4
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My secret to sleeping well when parked on a slope like this is to be able to fully trust my wheel chocks to hold the trailer in place. There are different types for concrete/pavement and dirt, and they come in different sizes & shapes. One thing I learned that helped me it that a proper wheel chock should be 1/4 the height of the tire it's supposed to hold back.

As long as you've got this taken care of, everything else should be easy as you can rest assured that it won't roll away on you.
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Old 11-23-2023, 03:42 PM   #5
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I always wanted those wheel chocks you see flight crews use on aircraft. But a shorter (in length) version.
I will say the black rubber one's from Harbor Freight are pretty darn good.
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Old 11-24-2023, 10:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
I always wanted those wheel chocks you see flight crews use on aircraft. But a shorter (in length) version.
I will say the black rubber one's from Harbor Freight are pretty darn good.
Yes...Harbor Freight. Let them sit outside for a (long?) while so they can off-gas. They also work well at home as doorstops for swing-out exterior doors to a patio.
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Old 11-24-2023, 04:30 PM   #7
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Two trailers ago, I needed to park our Arctic Fox in the driveway for an extended period of time while I graded and gravelled a parking place for it in my upper meadow. My driveway has about a 6% grade downhill toward the garage door, so I was sweating bullets about how to keep the Fox from 'opening the garage door by itself'.

To give you a visual idea of the grade: to have the trailer level, I had to have the tongue jack almost all the way retracted so that the coupler was only about an inch from the concrete. I had good chocks, but we have a lot of dust and blown sand/lightweight aggregate here.

My solution was to use a 4◊4 behind the chocks (so they'd have something to push against if they slid) with 2◊4s toe-screwed to each end and lying on the ground to transfer any weight back to the garage foundation wall - which when we built it, we installed a commercial-quality foundation as our area was known for being seismically active.

This inverted-U worked great. One afternoon, I thought, "Well, maybe this isn't doing anything", and just gave one of the standoffs a shove with my foot. Didn't move, at all.

Belt-and-suspenders works!
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Old 11-25-2023, 06:10 AM   #8
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thanks all

Since my bambi b*tch (bb for short) is getting winterized, it's the perfect time to head down to Harbor Freight for those heartier wheel chocks. You guys do not disappoint. Thanks for all the help and advice along the way.
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Old 11-29-2023, 10:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CouvDude View Post
Since my bambi b*tch (bb for short) is getting winterized, it's the perfect time to head down to Harbor Freight for those heartier wheel chocks. You guys do not disappoint. Thanks for all the help and advice along the way.
Welcome to the AS Forum and lifestyle!I agree with comments made about Harbor Freight wheel chocks - and definitely keep them outdoors. I store mine in the top of my lpg tank cover. They off-gas safely and are always ready when I begin to unhitch - a good reminder to place the chocks BEFORE unhitching from my TV.

Your comment about winterizing implies someone else is doing that task. Nothing wrong about getting expert help, but I encourage you to get a good check list/procedure for your specific trailer and doing it yourself at least once. Not only will you be able to do this yourself should cold weather unexpectedly arrive (camping in the mountains, early freeze as happened here in Sequim this fall). More importantly, the only way you can be sure winterizing was properly done is to do it yourself. Winterizing is a task a dealer will give to less experienced employees. I had a broken p-trap on my first brand new AS that I discovered on my maiden trial weekend trip because the dealer had not properly winterized the trailer. (failed to pour antifreeze into the p-trap).

You certainly will find many opportunities to become familiar with the mechanical, structural, and electrical components of your Airstream. Winterizing is a good place to learn about several important components.

Have a terrific year of adventures in 2024!
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Old 11-29-2023, 12:46 PM   #10
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Nice, wayda get it all sortedÖ on that note

Not many things better than the feeling of satisfaction you get by figuring something out!

Iím extremely envious of you and the rest of the folks that can store their RV in your driveway or next to your home.

We barely have room for a truck and suv and store our AS elsewhere.

Perhaps this is a good thing. As I would likely be tinkering with the unit on the hour, every hour every dayÖ
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Old 11-29-2023, 12:59 PM   #11
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Newbies

Newbies are good for a chuckle, thanks for that
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Old 11-29-2023, 03:33 PM   #12
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An old 6x6 wooden post cut into squares with some old 2x6 shims worked great for mine. Just make sure to chock all the wheels!
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Old 11-29-2023, 08:22 PM   #13
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Garage door

Man your Garage door is going to send you to HR for violating the 3 ft distance rule. Those rear panels are 5K a piece to replace- How would I know that ?

I would be worried about the front jack in hight winds allowing sway and those stabilizers taking to much punishment. But iím one of those 3 in the morning guys like you, I think I would come up with a solid wood block system that the front frame lowered down on vs them stabilizers and the jack taking the constant strain.

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Old 11-30-2023, 06:12 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Life is a Highway View Post
Man your Garage door is going to send you to HR for violating the 3 ft distance rule. Those rear panels are 5K a piece to replace- How would I know that ?

I would be worried about the front jack in hight winds allowing sway and those stabilizers taking to much punishment. But iím one of those 3 in the morning guys like you, I think I would come up with a solid wood block system that the front frame lowered down on vs them stabilizers and the jack taking the constant strain.

Welcome to the Forums
Yes - it was about $5k to replace this similar front panel. The damage was caused by hitting a bird at about 55 mph on US 97 in Oregon. 😥
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Old 12-09-2023, 10:07 PM   #15
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I am not sure how this thread about driveway slopes, wheel chocks, and jacks ended up in the Motorhome Forum but I can offer some news for the motorhome owners in this crowd.
At 35' in length, my diesel Land Yacht has a long overhang behind the rear wheels. I bought it while living in a rented house with 2 sloped driveways covered in asphalt. First time I drove it home I made the turn and up the slope with ease. First time I drove out the same driveway, it made a horrific grinding noise but I was afraid to stop in middle of going downhill if the rear dual wheels lifted off the ground. Once I cleared the driveway, into the street and level, I discovered 2 huge gashes in the asphalt that were caused by skid plates built into the rear hitch. Who would have dreamed Airstream would plan for something like that!!?? From that experience, future trips up and down the driveway would be at an angle which avoided more horrific sounds and gashes.
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