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Old 01-16-2017, 12:19 PM   #1
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2017 27' Flying Cloud
Saratoga , California
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Will a 27' FC fit in my courtyard

First time posting...

We have decided on a 27' FC for our trailer. The TV will likely be a 2017 F150 with the HDP. We have not purchase both the AS and the TV yet.

We plan to park our AS in our L-shaped courtyard. The drive way into the courtyard is 16' wide and 50' deep. This is the short (horizontal) portion of the "L" shape. The long (vertical) portion of the "L" shape is 70' long and 25' wide. The street into the driveway is wide, probably 50'. See attached PDF of the courtyard drawing.

It seems the best way to park the AS into the courtyard is to reverse the AS and make a 90 degree turn at about 25' into the driveway to get the trailer into the long portion of the courtyard. The courtyard is on a flat surface.

Do you think I have enough space to reverse the trailer into the courtyard?

The towing experience I have is limited to a 15' long u-haul trailer (while working on my landscape). I expect to be spending time practicing in a nearby community college parking lot, and then practicing reversing into the courtyard in the wee hours when there is no traffic on the street.

Thanks in advance...
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Old 01-16-2017, 12:34 PM   #2
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Looks doable, the gravel space to the right of the drive on plan is a nice buffer for pulling ahead to straighten out while backing or swinging wide on the way out. It'll take practice for sure, but looks like it's practical. Have a good spotter watching as you back in.

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Old 01-16-2017, 12:42 PM   #3
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I think you could back that rig in from the street and make the turn into the court area. Wheelbase of the truck matters, it was a lot easier for us to back our trailer into our driveway and parking area with our 120" wheelbase truck than with our 140" wheelbase truck. Trailer length does not matter as much, except the longer trailers are easier to control because the don't react to steering inputs as quickly.
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Old 01-16-2017, 12:50 PM   #4
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Put a front hitch on the truck. Should be easy after that.

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Old 01-16-2017, 02:02 PM   #5
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No problems, back in from the street.
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Old 01-16-2017, 03:13 PM   #6
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I second the recommendation for a front hitch. You will have a better view of the process and the motion of the TV will be less extreme. I did that with my F150 and Safari 25, parking in a driveway more restrictive than yours.

I got a caster wheel foot for the tongue jack from Harbor Freight which let me limit the load on the front of the truck. The only caution I would offer is to be careful pulling out. The trailer will not follow the same path as when you put it in and damage can occur. Don't ask how I know.

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Old 01-16-2017, 06:38 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forum!

This could be tighter than people are thinking IMO. Consider that the trailer is basically an 8' by 28' rectangle needing to make that turn, and that the geometry of how the tow vehicle can move and make turns is fairly constrained. A full-scale model of the trailer's footprint would really help check this out. Like a "story pole" used by cabinet-makers and builders to lay out details in a house.

I would mock up an 8' x 28' rectangle out of 1x2 lumber with 16' lengths lapped to make the 28', and some cross-pieces and a little diagonal bracing. It will be a little floppy, but if you get 4-6 people to carry this flat rectangle into the opening, and try "backing it up" and make the turn, you will see the difficult points of the journey.

You might also consider getting a motorized tongue hitch dolly if the ground is flat enough and not too bumpy. Is the courtyard paved, or fairly smooth compact ground? Get the trailer into the first leg of the L, then switch to the motorized tongue hitch dolly.

https://cse.google.com/cse?cx=011403...olly&gsc.sort=

These are great because you can get them to go in all kinds of angles to fine tune the parking -- angles which the tow vehicle can't even get close to.

Good luck!

Peter

PS -- You could rent a truck and flatbed trailer, with some lumber clamped to the trailer to mock up the 8' x 28' trailer, to replicate your intended tow vehicle and AS.

PS2 -- Give my regards to Mountain Charley's in Los Gatos! Yee hah! . . . heard some great music there many moons ago.
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Old 01-17-2017, 01:12 PM   #8
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I have an AS 27 & Ram 2500 (whose combined length is approx. 48 ft) & have made a barn for the AS, directly off my side street (see photo). After several practice sessions, I can back the AS from the street into its barn without taking out the barn's side posts, separated by 12 ft. I would not want to try it at any significant angle.

Which leads me to ask: Why not park your TV & AS, whose combined length should not exceed 48 ft, directly into the 16 ft x 50 ft portion of your courtyard that's directly off the street? Are you really wanting to make the problem significantly harder than it should be? What am I not understanding?
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Old 01-17-2017, 03:45 PM   #9
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Thanks for all for your replies and suggestions. That is one of the reason I enjoy about this forum - members are very knowledgeable and very helpful.

Peter, the motorized tongue hitch dolly is one option I did consider if reversing the trailer into the courtyard turn out to be a challenge for me. The idea I can move the trailer to anywhere in the courtyard is a big advantage.

Hmm, Rgentum got me thinking... There is an existing car garage structure where the driveway (short portion of the "L" shape) ends. Another option (which did not cross my mind until now), instead of reversing, I can drive TV halfway into the garage, disconnect the trailer, drive the TV completely into the garage, and then use the motorized hitch dolly to move the trailer to where I want it in the courtyard.

Note that I can't leave the trailer in the driveway as it is the only way to the courtyard. Opening another driveway will be an expensive undertaking as there is a public sidewalk between my street and my house, and will require city approval/permit.

Sound like there are now at least two ways to park a 27' FC in the courtyard. I am now more confidence the 27' FC will work for us.
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Old 01-17-2017, 11:06 PM   #10
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As long as the front wheels of your TV can swing onto the gravel to the right you will have no problem. Still doable if you have to stay on the drive, just more jockeying to get the AS around the 90 degree turn into the 70' section.
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Old 01-17-2017, 11:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caffeinated View Post
Put a front hitch on the truck. Should be easy after that.

Mike
Be real careful if you use a front hitch with something as large (and hard to see around) as an Airstream. I would have a spotter out.

That said, from the dimensions in the PDF, it looks like you could back it in. Worst case, you could get one of the electric trailer movers for maneuvering in tight places.
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Old 01-18-2017, 12:46 AM   #12
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I think we are going to face similar problem. See attached pics. Our Airstream is a 30' Limited Classic and our TV is 2011 Tourag TDI. We would like to pull it in straight. Remove and move TW. We would also like to pull it around to get it out.

The lot is abut 35-36' in width and at least 100' in length.
What are your opinions?

I don't know how to load pics so they may not open.
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Old 01-20-2017, 05:59 PM   #13
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I did a scale drawing on graph paper with a scale of the trailer to "check" the turning radius. I guess you can do the same for the TV to simulate and it could help you figure the best wayin & out of the courtyard
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Old 01-20-2017, 07:57 PM   #14
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If the scale drawings can replicate the two vehicles in motion, including their linkage at the hitch, and the turning radius limitation of the TV, that would be a good tool. The full-scale suggestions in Post #7 would be more accurate but perhaps overkill depending on the margins of error.

A tow vehicle and a trailer turning sharply can cause the far extreme corners of the rig to follow quite unexpected paths at times. Sometimes the corners near the middle of the rig also project out weirdly [the front corners of the trailer, and the rear corners of the tow vehicle].

A very watchful deckhand on a ferry recently prevented me from dinging the front corner of our FC20, because I was swinging too widely to miss something in front of the tow vehicle. [as the front of the trailer swung in the opposite direction and almost hit a safety bollard]

Thank you, sir . . .

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Old 01-20-2017, 11:38 PM   #15
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Take your rig with the measurements to an empty parking lot and mark your layout with cones, milk jugs, etc. and practice until you can safely maneuver to the objective or prove that you cannot.
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Old 01-21-2017, 05:09 AM   #16
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Tow Vehicle + Trailer Turn Radius Calculator

Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
If the scale drawings can replicate the two vehicles in motion, including their linkage at the hitch, and the turning radius limitation of the TV, that would be a good tool. The full-scale suggestions in Post #7 would be more accurate but perhaps overkill depending on the margins of error.

A tow vehicle and a trailer turning sharply can cause the far extreme corners of the rig to follow quite unexpected paths at times. Sometimes the corners near the middle of the rig also project out weirdly [the front corners of the trailer, and the rear corners of the tow vehicle].
Here is a link to a trailer (caravan) turn calculator that can answer these questions. http://toxiccelery.co.uk/Offtrack/Wh...d_to_know.html
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