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Old 06-01-2020, 06:31 PM   #1
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Question How wide does the gate need to be?

Hi, I am in the design phase to install a pad in my back yard. There is an alley behind the back fence that is 27ft wide and I'll be installing a gate to enter at a 90 degree turn in the yard onto the pad. I can exit out the front rather than back out. GMC dual cab short bed and AirStream max length will be 28ft. How wide would the gate need to be to leave say 1 or 2 feet on each side for ease of entry? See attached picture.

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Mark - prepping for retirement
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Old 06-02-2020, 05:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markuscis View Post
Hi, I am in the design phase to install a pad in my back yard. There is an alley behind the back fence that is 27ft wide and I'll be installing a gate to enter at a 90 degree turn in the yard onto the pad. I can exit out the front rather than back out. GMC dual cab short bed and AirStream max length will be 28ft. How wide would the gate need to be to leave say 1 or 2 feet on each side for ease of entry? See attached picture.

Thank You
Mark - prepping for retirement


Question?? How good are backing your trailer? Very good little clearance, not so good lots of clearance. More clearance the better.
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Old 06-02-2020, 05:39 PM   #3
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I used to park our trailer in our side meadow. When I had the fence put in, I put in the biggest gate I could get for a reasonable price: 12 feet. It allowed for easy entry and a sharp turn once part-way through. I still watched the trailer as I passed through the gate.

So... my answer for you is: as large a gate as will practically fit! Consider the inswing or outswing, along with the way you'll 'stake' it to hold it open, and size yours appropriately.

*So why do I say 'used to'? The trees have grown up in the intervening 25 years, and now you can't drive a truck and trailer out to there anymore.
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Old 06-02-2020, 05:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markuscis View Post
Hi, I am in the design phase to install a pad in my back yard. There is an alley behind the back fence that is 27ft wide and I'll be installing a gate to enter at a 90 degree turn in the yard onto the pad. I can exit out the front rather than back out. GMC dual cab short bed and AirStream max length will be 28ft. How wide would the gate need to be to leave say 1 or 2 feet on each side for ease of entry? See attached picture.

Thank You
Mark - prepping for retirement
Please clarify . . . is the following correct?
___________________________________________

You will be driving the combined rig, entering the alley from the right edge of your drawing? Then you want to make a right turn into the parking area, through the new gate [in red?]?

Please confirm or correct the above, for an overview of the process, so that we can all be on the same page. [It might help to label the drawing better IMO.]
____________________________________________

Assuming the above is correct, what is the overall combined length of your rig [50-55' feet maybe?, and what is the turning radius of the truck?

The turning radius of the combined rig -- and the "vast territory" to be covered by the extreme right and left of every corner of the tow vehicle and trailer will be a vast and broad sweep IMO.

Do you have the trailer already? I would tow the rig to the nearest large parking lot and lay things out full scale. Or make some cardboard to-scale mockups of the rig and "drive" them on a scale drawing.

Even if you forget about installing a gate, it does not look, to these eyes and judging from your drawing, like you can make that turn with your hitched-up rig IMO, but maybe my understanding is incorrect.

Please clarify . . . thanks.
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Old 06-02-2020, 07:29 PM   #5
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More Info

Hi, Thanks for the replies, theories and suggestions.
The 12 ft gate is a good start. I figured I need at least 15ft minimum. I don't have the trailer just yet and I figured other owners with the 27/28 footers would have a fairly good guess at this and maybe even someone has hit a VERY similar scenario. Let's wait and see. Turning radius of various models of 4 door short bed trucks are slightly different thus I do recognize this potential issue and over the years one may try different tow vehicles thus we look at the lower end turning radius which in modern trucks is still fairly good. i recall one that was horrible but I would check before purchasing.

That all said I suspect that a 15ft gate would suffice and if I can go larger I certainly will do so.

Again thanks for the repliess.
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Old 06-02-2020, 07:35 PM   #6
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And to be clear, Airstream 28RB, red is gate, yes I can make the turn I'm sure just wondering if 15ft or 20ft is needed but I believe it can be done with a 15ft opening just looking for someone who may have hit a similar scenario.
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Old 06-02-2020, 07:38 PM   #7
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I am sorry you did not provide more details, per my earlier post.

If you are talking about both the vehicle and trailer making a 90 degree right turn, from a fairly narrow alley into a fairly narrow parking area, there is very little chance that a gate of any width will accommodate the combined rig, while its extremities swing far and wide, during the turn IMO. If you haven't driven such a rig, I guess this will have to be a full-scale learning experience.

Good luck.
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Old 06-02-2020, 10:37 PM   #8
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I have the same issue

Bingo. That is exactly the same issue I had. Backing & making a 90 deg turn onto a driveway from an alley. Since there a number of dimensional variables here...my simple solution for your "peace of mind" is to go find a big empty parking lot. Use cones or red solo cups or spray paint...whatever, and mark off the dimensions you have. Then practice backing into it. Adjust as necessary. Try this before committing to an expensive and possibly wrongly-sized gate. *practice makes perfect* *measure twice - cut once* etc. Then pull out of it looking at your tire marks (and trust me there will be some wear marks) to see if you can replicate them backing. Not easy to do.
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Old 06-03-2020, 03:53 AM   #9
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Well said, Bob, except that I think Mark wants to tow down the alley and turn right -- going forward -- which further encourages the need to do research per your suggestions and Posts #4 and #7 IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markuscis View Post
. . .
. . . I'll be installing a gate to enter at a 90 degree turn in the yard onto the pad. I can exit out the front rather than back out.
. . .


Bob's experience towing his 34' Airstream is invaluable here IMO. She is a beauty . . . but very long!

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f42...ml#post2366532



Mark, your trailer is going to be sbout 6' shorter than this. Can you picture your rig making the proposed right-hand turn from the alley?



. . . through a gate of any width?

Because you don't have the trailer yet, it would be a good -- and very wise -- investment to rent a long flatbed trailer for an hour or two, and so some full-scale-model testing IMO.
.
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Old 06-03-2020, 04:35 AM   #10
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PS -- Although the following videos do not replicate your setup exactly, Mark, they do give a good sense of the overall width taken by the entire combined rig as the tow vehicle and trailer swing far and wide, covering a vast territory of ground underneath all their corners and protuberances IMO.

Start at time stamp 22:00 here -- you can click on the URL at the top to open a new window/tab/etc. with Full Screen etc. options:

In the next video, watch the overhead view of the combined rig as it makes the sharp left turn, and draw a straight line from the front left bumper of the truck, to the rear left bumper of the trailer. Everything between that line and the rig, including a gate post, might have to be avoided. Not easy IMO!


See also: https://youtu.be/QXnZ44OOAsI

Good luck, Mark.
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Old 06-03-2020, 03:37 PM   #11
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Thank You

Hi all, Thank You for all the replies, ideas and suggestions. My neighbor has a 20ft wide fence with a dual cab long bed and a 36ft toy hauler so I know that 20ft will work just trying to see if 15ft would work. I'll find someone with a trailer similar size and try it out.

Thanks again for all the help
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Old 06-03-2020, 04:08 PM   #12
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Thanks for the reply. Please keep us updated.

Good luck.
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Old 06-03-2020, 04:40 PM   #13
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I don't think you're going to get anyone on here that can answer this question for you with enough certainty. There are just too many particulars to your situation: the width of the ally, the length of your tow vehicle, even the position of the hitch ball may affect this.

It will be trivial for you to take a measurement in a parking lot. Get two cones to simulate the gate opening, put them 15 ft apart and 27 ft away from a line, and see if you can make the turn.

I also will say that backing up a trailer is something you will need to be comfortable with anyway, if you aren't already. You haven't described what your front yard is like but it may not be worth the effort of tearing up your fence and building a huge gate if you can just back the trailer in.
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Old 06-16-2020, 01:54 PM   #14
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"My neighbor has a 20ft wide fence with a dual cab long bed and a 36ft toy hauler..."


Mark, the toy hauler is pivoting over the rear axle of the truck, while an Airstream pivots well behind the rear axle. If you measure his setup, front bumper to pin, pin to rear bumper and then compare your setup you will see what I mean. You both may well be fairly close in overall length, but your turning radii will be different.


Assuming that the alley is wide enough for you to easily make the turn, you might just want to wait a bit until you get the trailer. Then take down more of the fence than what you think you will need to, and actually drive the trailer in. A couple of friends, neighbors, or even relatives can be stationed on each side to note how close you come to any reference points.


Keep in mind that it will take a fair distance for the trailer to move left to be directly behind the truck. I'm assuming that you will be putting in some sort of pad for the trailer, and that the exit to the front will be more or less a straight line. I'm also assuming that as you pull into the back yard the house will be on your right.
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