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Old 07-20-2021, 01:11 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
Kent , Ohio
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 30
Pull Through then Turn Around - is my husband wrong?

You guys are always helpful - please help settle a dispute that I'm having with my husband.

We are trying to plan our new barn. We've talked to a few different contractors and gotten a few different ideas. A pull through would be the holy grail, and my husband is now convinced that is what he really wants. Great! We can pull through, but now we need to get the trailer turned back around to get it back onto the driveway! (Sadly, no one has yet made a trailer that you can just hook up from whatever end happens to be convenient.)

With the current site of the barn, the space about 100' in front of the building and about 60' to the side would be clear. I think trying to turn our rig in that space is crazy talk, but my husband said, "Just go ask on your forum if you don't believe me - I'm sure it's fine as long as the truck can make the turn!"

So, what do you guys think? I know best would be to go measure our rig, but it's not being delivered until December. It will be a 30' flying cloud and a ram 3500 megacab. The turning radius on the truck is 26', with a 21' length.

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Old 07-20-2021, 01:17 PM   #2
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I would just back it in.
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Old 07-20-2021, 01:24 PM   #3
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Some options:

You could add a hitch receiver on the front of your truck and push the trailer out

You could use a motorized trailer dolly
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Old 07-20-2021, 01:29 PM   #4
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Driftless Area , Wisconsin
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You can definitely turn a rig around in the space you describe (if I understand the description correctly). But in many cases itís much more aesthetically pleasing to have less roadway/driveway. That said, having a working pad next to a structure like a barn can be very handy.

I personally donít understand the desire for pull throughs. Presumably youíll still unhitch, so they only save a marginal amount of time. And if one doesnít unhitch, it usually results in a long, awkward space with two large garage doors. I have a 54 x 88 building that could have easily accommodated a pull through. I went a different way and believe itís a much better use of space for my purposes.

You should build what you want, though. If you have questions about the clearances, bring your rig and a tape to a campground. I think youíll find the radius required to make a turn comfortably is a lot less than youíd think. Get wide garage doors if you need to start your turn before you fully exit.
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Old 07-20-2021, 01:33 PM   #5
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Fredericksburg , Texas
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What Peter said. We back ours into its spot. I have a covered area beside the barn with a DG (decomposed granite) compacted base with two boards and a wooden wheel chock. When I back in, I roll onto the boards until the tire comes into contact with the wheel shock then stop. Itís always centered and level. We could have a drive thru with our acreage, but I like to back up. One concern in your case would be to jack knife in that short of a space. Even if you did attempt to turn, you may have to do a two point turn to line up with your drive thru. Up to yíall. Good luck
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Old 07-20-2021, 01:47 PM   #6
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Temple , Texas
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Well, I back 150 feet down a single lane drive way through a 10 for gate onto a gravel pad with concrete blocks to park on, (with a shed behind the pad). plus when I unhook is use the the same 6X6 wood block for the hitch which I never move between events. Once your rig is straight guide on your target (the concrete blocks for me) you will have a perfect parking event just using my mirrors to guide me and a 4X4 block where the rear axle needs to be when stopped. I suspect the 150 foot drive way is most important because it gives me plenty of time to line up as needed. Cutting back into a narrow rv parking spot is probably more difficult.
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Old 07-20-2021, 02:15 PM   #7
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I agree with the above replies. It’s a trailer - you can never get too much practice backing. Eventually you begin to enjoy it.
I checked a Dodge forum. Sixty feet is the minimum for one poster to turn his truck around, unless he breaks the rear end loose. That last is not likely to happen with a 30’ trailer attached. And a three point turn will become a Japanese fan turn.
Another consideration is getting the ground in shape to handle the traffic. Many years ago, with our first (SOB) trailer, I attempted the same from the lane in our backyard, snagged the fridge cover on a low limb, and ended up with our van sunk up to the axle. You can buy an indulgently wide garage door for the price of two or three loads of landscape-wrecking gravel.
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Old 07-20-2021, 03:35 PM   #8
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I echo many of the comments above.

It sounds like much of the design considerations is to avoid backing up. Something understandably concerning for those new to towing. Yet, it's an integral skill that's necessary and even rewarding once getting the hang of it.

I see little to no value in a pull through, with then the added complexity of a turn around. I just as soon back things in. In campsites, I prefer not to have a pull through as that just makes the site feel like a parking lot, versus a more secluded and functional camping space.

While turning around in 60' in possible, it's not exactly a desirable thing to do. Particularly in a long wheelbase megacab. There's considerations to jacknife clearance. Will the bed/bumper contact the propane tank or even Airstream rock gaurds that limit the turning radius? Dual axle trailers don't exactly like turning in place as there's lateral stress on the tire sidewall, particularly on a heavier 30' trailer, may be something to consider. Some WD hitches are stressed in these types of maneuvers too.

I would agree with your position mickeyme. Unless you're the driver, your husbands opinions may hold some weight too.
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Old 07-20-2021, 04:00 PM   #9
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Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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For those taking about how much fun backing up is ... try a pitch dark / unlighted "barn" with 3' of clearance to either side and a sharp turn as you are backing up.... welcome to my storage location. Get is wrong and that very expensive Class A next to you gets some new panels ......

That said, pull through and turn around seems a bit crazy. Pull through (in this side out that side) with the barn being part of a loop, that I do understand. A 12' wide drive by the side of the structure accomplishes this.

Even *with* a pull through, you will unhitch and drive the TV away. To hitch back up, the TV will have to back in ( regardless of turn around or not ). You will never fully escape the backup process.

To actually answer the question, you can (with various pieces of gear) turn a trailer around in a pretty small space. Assuming you want to do it with the truck and no reversing: If your truck has a 52' turn circle, truck + trailer will turn in a circle no smaller than that. You make a ground track at least 52' to one side of the exit and travel 76 feet away from the exit. I'd add another 12' to those numbers, just to keep things from getting insane.

To me, the bigger issue is how much space you have *inside* the barn. The trailer is about 8.5' wide. Having 6' on either side is very useful. That gets you to right at 20' width.

Fun !!

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Old 07-20-2021, 04:10 PM   #10
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Back UP. One lines up the trailer while the driver is backing up. A straight shot is easy. You begin to add a curve... the driveway needs to be wider. The tow vehicle and trailer do not track the tires on the same curve.

Backing through muddy ruts will ruin your attitude on the first wet day. It will happen with certain odds if the driveway is curved and narrow.

Even if you drive through you need a lot of turning radius to get back onto the street.

Without a diagram of the layout of where you are going to park the trailer, the access road, low hanging tree branches, culverts, house, shed... Backing Up will come handy when the experience is needed on the road.

A 16 foot Bambi... OK. A 30 foot... back into the spot and design the building and driveway to do that. You will save money on the second door. Also... if you plan to add a 3" Lift... make the door entries higher. Otherwise... another problem will come your way.
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Old 07-20-2021, 06:06 PM   #11
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There's a reason so many campgrounds have "pull-thru" sites. People like them.
Backing is a skill we all need to be comfortable with, but a pull-thru is a total luxury.
As far as turning short, go out to a mall parking lot and make a circle. As you think you've maxed out your radius, stop, put the truck in reverse so you can see the hitch in the rear view camera. (I do this at tight gas stations sometimes) I usually find I can turn even tighter. Just watch the truck bumper and the propane cover.
Keep in mind tight radius turns put a lot of sheer stress on the trailer tires. One set has to drag sideways.
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Old 07-20-2021, 06:45 PM   #12
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I had a circle drive and then straightened it out and backed in. If you have enough space I would do that. My new place I back in off the street into my attached RV garage. It takes some time, but not really that hard. Just go slow and make sure the alignment is correct. What I do is put down orange cones on my driveway and in my garage so that I have a reference points. Makes it easy. At some point you have to back up. Also if you have 2 doors you are loosing storage space for things. And it is more expensive to maintain two doors, etc.

Make sure you have 12x12 doors.
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Old 07-20-2021, 08:40 PM   #13
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West Lake Hills , Texas
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Donít build all that extra turning around space with itís impervious cover.

Simply back into your much-larger-than-normal, custom-built storage garage. Garages are always too small for all but the smallest cars. Make your storage facility big and wide. Easy target.
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Old 07-20-2021, 08:46 PM   #14
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So many words to avoid the clear and direct answer . . .

"Learn to back the trailer in!"

Can't you hear Wally Byam wailing in the distant fringes of time?

"What has happened to the simplicity of my beloved past-time?"

Let the music lift you up . . .
[Robert Frost reading live -- 2 minutes]

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Old 07-21-2021, 09:33 AM   #15
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Or you can blow a lot of money and buy a Trailer Valet RVR :-)
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Old 07-21-2021, 10:02 AM   #16
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Back it in.
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Old 07-21-2021, 10:12 AM   #17
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Kent , Ohio
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Thanks! This largely confirms what *I* was thinking. A pull through would be nice if there were no tradeoffs, but a pull through would require a lot of space and associated grading/graveling. Whereas we have an existing gravel drive that can easily serve to allow us to pull up, line up the trailer, and then back into the proposed building.

Now, can you guys just convince my husband that building bigger than we anticipate needing is going to actually save us money down the road? I don't know where he thinks we are going to put the second trailer someday....
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Old 07-21-2021, 11:04 AM   #18
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2018 28' International
Mesa , Arizona
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We have a 40ft x 40ft garage with 3 doors. The center door is 12ft wide and17ft tall. On the concrete floor of the garage I taped off and painted a white stripe 4 inches wide on the street side of the trailer. When I back in I line up the tires right on that stripe. With the trailer on the line I have plenty of room to open the door and to walk all the way around the trailer. Also 20ft in from the overhead door is a support post where I put a 30amp box to plug the trailer into.
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Old 07-21-2021, 11:05 AM   #19
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I built my home place with two garages and a barn and put big garage doors on the back walls of everything so I can pull through if I want. I don't but I could if I wanted to. Mainly, it sure helps the ventilation and the feeling of openness I seem to love. I back my AS in every time even though I don't have to. I would say let the trailer handler have his way.
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Old 07-21-2021, 11:22 AM   #20
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Grass Lake , Michigan
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Go big

Originally Posted by mickeyme View Post
Thanks! This largely confirms what *I* was thinking. A pull through would be nice if there were no tradeoffs, but a pull through would require a lot of space and associated grading/graveling. Whereas we have an existing gravel drive that can easily serve to allow us to pull up, line up the trailer, and then back into the proposed building.

Now, can you guys just convince my husband that building bigger than we anticipate needing is going to actually save us money down the road? I don't know where he thinks we are going to put the second trailer someday....

We built our barn 3-years ago just before purchasing the AS. We were looking at a new RV then, so we designed it high enough to fit a 5th wheel and long enough to fit a 40' MH. Our 30' AS fits in nicely. We back it in through a 12' wide door, which is the narrowest I'd recommmend. After turning part of the space into a workshop, we now have room for the AS and our truck in the winter. We've since purchased another car and now I'm looking at car lifts so I can keep all 3 in the barn over the winter, then there's the boat I'd like to get the idea. At the time, my wife was telling me to go bigger but I was worried about the budget. Should have listened to her!

Go as big as you can afford...
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