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Old 06-01-2020, 11:26 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Have to back up a very tight 150' driveway into a tight space... front hitch?

Hi gang,

So I have a 2013 Flying Cloud 25' that is my full-time residence and am currently ensconced in a, uh, "cozy" spot in north Austin, TX. I had to back it up a very long driveway which itself is pretty tight into an even tighter space. It took me about two hours because I could not stop screwing it up. Someone suggested a front-side hitch, which sounds ideal except they don't seem to be rated for enough weight. This is a GREAT spot that I don't want to have to leave if I start taking regular trips later in the year so I'm hoping someone has some good suggestions for how to maneuver. I'll be putting cameras on the relevant bits so I can see where I'm going.

TIA!

ETA: Just wanted to add that I have searched a bit already and a couple people mentioned having some kind of extra rolling thing under the ball socket to take the weight off, but no one seems to have mentioned what it is or where to buy it...
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:32 AM   #2
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Sitting in your TV, do your mirrors allow a GOOD view DOWN the side of the trailer? Not just seeing the front corner of AS, a nice view right down the side?

Expect more suggestions too.
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:35 AM   #3
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It’s hard to determine your exact situation without seeing it. Are you on a paved surface? I have a small property with a narrow driveway. I can back my 16 in very slowly. The issues is maneuvering once I get it behind my house. At that point the TV is between my house and fence. So I disconnect and move the unit where I want it with a Trailer Valet XL.
Perhaps you could just pull the trailer in and use the same to turn it around or move it to its final position.
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:35 AM   #4
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Do you have a wife or girlfriend to do it?

I found out decades ago if there is something I can not do... Nancy can and does.
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:38 AM   #5
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Do you have a wife or girlfriend to do it?

I found out decades ago if there is something I can not do... Nancy can and does.
ĎSomethingĒ you canít do right? Consider yourself lucky. Iíve been informed several times that I canít do anything right.
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:39 AM   #6
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All kidding aside...

Find the guy who moves trailers at the RV Lots. Those guys can thread a needle. Once you are situated and backed in... you will be glad you did. One mistake can cost you a lot to fix.

To leave... hook up... and you are on your own. Talk to the guy/gal and ask how much?
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:40 AM   #7
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ĎSomethingĒ you canít do right? Consider yourself lucky. Iíve been informed several times that I canít do anything right.
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Old 06-01-2020, 12:24 PM   #8
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Rent a small low sided utility trailer, add some flags to the back so you can follow where the corners are located, and back it up the drive. Practice until you can back it all the way without stopping or repositioning. Then rent a bigger box trailer and do same. When all good, and you are comfortable backing the box, try it with the AS. You need a spotter to stop you if there is a hazard that you are about to hit.

Note - GOAL - get out and look. While practicing, you need to GOAL a lot to verify where you are as you back up the drive.

Yes, you can get a front hitch and it may help, but you need to learn how to back your rig. No time like the present to get started. Pat
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Old 06-01-2020, 12:29 PM   #9
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To answer the question you asked, I wouldn't worry about the tongue weight too much because you're not driving over 5 mph and not on a public road.
I think the best solution is a motorized tug of some kind, where you'll walk the trailer in. Is the driveway paved?
Or even a small farm tractor off Craig's list.
Is this a permanent place or just a few months?
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Old 06-01-2020, 12:50 PM   #10
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you are giving up too easy, I have a narrow drive way off off a narrow street with 2 mailboxes to maneuver by. Anyway get your rig in the drive way and straighten it up by pulling ahead to get your baby lined up, then careful back up using your mirrors making only minor steering adjustments, you an always pull up a small distance a second time to re-align. At the end of my 150 feet I have a 12 wide gate to back through so I have my track marked off in my parking area with 1 foot square pavers that I can see in my mirrors and line up on. My jack is always on the same spot when I stop backing.
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Old 06-01-2020, 04:41 PM   #11
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by GCinSC2 View Post
Sitting in your TV, do your mirrors allow a GOOD view DOWN the side of the trailer? Not just seeing the front corner of AS, a nice view right down the side?
. . .
Bingo!

If your mirrors are set up like this, all you need is patience . . . and practice, practice and practice!

A front hitch will be much more difficult because you can't see well down both sides of the trailer.

If your mirrors are not set up well, and you don't rely on them 100% while backing, this will not be as easy as it could be.

Your choice.

Try backing up the driveway with just the tow vehicle, using only your mirrors. Do not turn your head around.

Then tow the trailer to an enormous flat parking lot, where there are hopefully painted lines for the parking spaces, and practice backing up the rig using only your mirrors. With your dominant hand resting on the bottom of the wheel, at the 6 o'clock position, start backing up very slowly, making only small course corrections. Move that 6 o'clock hand in the direction you want the rear of the trailer to go.

Can you ride a bicycle?



That was impossible at first, but most folks "got it" with practice.

Oops -- hope you can indeed ride a bike!



Good luck,

Peter
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Old 06-01-2020, 05:49 PM   #12
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Front hitch

I have a front hitch on 2500 Ram.
It is a LOT easier to maneuver .
Get one.
Mine is built into my RanchHand front bumper.
Great for tight precision moves.
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Old 06-02-2020, 03:38 AM   #13
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I have a front hitch on 2500 Ram.
It is a LOT easier to maneuver .
Get one.
Mine is built into my RanchHand front bumper.
Great for tight precision moves.
"Tight precision moves" may work for some situations, but the OP does not appear to need this feature, in order to back up his long 150-foot driveway IMO.

Using a front hitch may have some drawbacks too, per earlier comments IMO.

Peter
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Old 06-02-2020, 03:41 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by starkruzr View Post
. . .
. . . I had to back it up a very long driveway which itself is pretty tight into an even tighter space.
. . .
Wondering if the advice here is making any sense to you? Could you please comment on why some suggestions would or would not work for your "150' driveway" situation?

For instance, are there any tight turns, and how sloped is the driveway? Is it well-paved so that traction is not an issue? By "pretty tight" do you mean just "narrow" or do tight turns complicate this?

At the beginning, when you are lining up to back the rig, can you see the entire length of the driveway, more or less, in your review mirrors?

Thanks,

Peter
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Old 06-02-2020, 09:29 AM   #15
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Nothing replaces PRACTISE

Read my article on the Art of Backing UP

https://www.marriedwithairstream.com...of-backing-up/
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Old 06-02-2020, 09:42 AM   #16
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Practice and Practice will serve you well, but since you have an immediate problem, practice may only serve you to hit something and then have you scratching your head as to "how could I have avoided this costly repair?".

So get yourself a power dolly that will give you all the control needed to SLOWLY & carefully get your problem solved.

There are many choices, each unique, some good, some bad, some cheap and some with a price tag that can make your eyes pop.

I've been down this road and my driveway is 300 feet long so I know kinda what your dealing with.

Provide some pics if you can, but for now, here is a thread that will get you started on some thoughts of solving your issue.

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f23...ug-198908.html

Let us know how you make out.
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Old 06-02-2020, 10:08 AM   #17
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All of the above, but here's a real way to cheat (we back a 30' Sovereign into a narrow spot requiring a tricky 3 point positioning turn and then a 60 curve into the space where I have to place the two outside tires (on the outside of the curve direction) onto blocks to level the trailer. My wife does a great job guiding me. But over the year that we've owned the trailer, I've noticed that our gravel packs down so I can see exactly where the trailer needs to go. Now I just follow the grooves...did it alone the other day when I brought the trailer home.

But here's my trick. Since this is a regular parking spot for you, just paint a line on the pavement (even works on gravel) just outside of where the visible wheels will track. Then you can correct/straighten the second you start wandering off of the ideal path. That will also teach you backing technique.

Final tip - stop the vehicle and get out to look at where you need to go. Use your navigator of course, but they typically have to respond to where you are going rather than where you should go.
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Old 06-02-2020, 10:22 AM   #18
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As others have stated "practice" is key.

***BUT***

Learning to use the mirrors is key,

***BUT***

The thing that will keep you out of trouble the most is "small adjustments" while backing up. If you cannot do what is needed during with a small adjustment, pull forward 10-20 to reset your approach angle, then start again backing up with small adjustments.
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Old 06-02-2020, 11:31 AM   #19
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I use a trailer valet xl which I purchased from Amazon to park in tight garage without moving everything. It will move my 23fb up a moderately sloped and epoxy sealed driveway that is slippery. I use a 20v drill to drive the trailer valet, I go slowly & carefully past all of my other toys. (I tried to include a link to trailer valet on Amazon but could not.)

Someone else suggested backing lessons from an RV lot person, it seems to me that RV dealers usually use a forklift to maneuver trailers in tight spaces though.
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Old 06-02-2020, 01:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
I use a trailer valet xl which I purchased from Amazon to park in tight garage without moving everything. It will move my 23fb up a moderately sloped and epoxy sealed driveway that is slippery. I use a 20v drill to drive the trailer valet, I go slowly & carefully past all of my other toys. (I tried to include a link to trailer valet on Amazon but could not.)

Someone else suggested backing lessons from an RV lot person, it seems to me that RV dealers usually use a forklift to maneuver trailers in tight spaces though.
Thumbs up for the Trailer Valet. I just want to mention that they sometimes have reconditioned ones available if you call them directly. I got a great deal on one.
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