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Old 02-21-2010, 09:32 PM   #21
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I also installed a front hitch receiver on our Excursion, similar to Brad's photo above, and as he mentioned, you have to give up the fog lights (or do some mod's to move their mounting position)...

I use a ball hitch mount that keeps our AS level when hooked to the front hitch - It works great, but takes some forethought when in tight quarters due to the 'steering' wheels being close to the tongue...

Also using the front hitch to mount a 'tray' to carry extra stuff comes in handy - I've stacked our firewood on the tray when camping, an easy way to transport and store extra stuff...

Ray
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Old 02-21-2010, 10:29 PM   #22
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I have a neighbor who had a front hitch on his F250. It worked very well. What he said it was especially good for was to manuver the trailer into a tight turn. He said that was also the problem with it. When you make a turn or a correction with it, things happen fast. Meaning that the trailer will be much more responsive to your turns. In your case, I would tell you to be more careful than you are now because of the close clearances.
Good Luck
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Old 02-21-2010, 11:27 PM   #23
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I added a front hitch to our F250 crew cab; it has allowed me to snake trailers into all sorts of tricky spots. It is much easier to maneuver and it makes much sharper turns. It's also ideal for carrying bicycles, although there is an annoying amount of light scatter at night.

- Bart
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:46 PM   #24
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I also find a front hitch to greatly aid backing (fronting?) into tight spots with a trailer on my F250.

I always have a spotter on the blind (right) side with a radio, and hold an old towing mirror with an extension in my left hand to see on the left side.
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:35 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkowalyk View Post
What about something like this -- there are several different manufacturers

Powrhitch Trailer Mover
Nice but pricey. My bud Jim has one, it works.
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:51 PM   #26
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Every Picture....

shoulda just posted pictures in the first place

here's a shot from near where I start backing into the drive...the marks are approximately where I have to put my 2 2x12's for each wheel...if the car in the foreground is there when I need to park I have to ask my neighbor to move it for me, and then I'm still backing the truck up onto the curb on that side of the street..

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the next shot shows angle of the drive to street...not THAT extreme but I own a '69 (good axle btw) that is not known for massive bottom rear-end clearance:

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next shot is looking straight into the parking spot from neighbor's house across the street:

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challenges of the Urban Airstreamer!
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:23 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsmithii View Post
... If you know any boaters who could comment they could be a resource.
I use a front-mounted hitch to park my boat every time it returns to its perpendicular-to-the-driveway, garage bay.

A spotter is not needed because the tandem axle trailer's tire scuff the concrete while making the 90 degree turn during departure, and provide an excellent 'trail of crumbs' to follow during re-parking.

Markdoane had an excellent observation about tongue weight obviating rear wheel traction. If I were to park my Airstream with a front-mounted hitch, I would consider hooking up the weight distribution bars. Doing so would force the tongue's weight to the rear wheels.

Tom
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:55 PM   #28
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We were urban owners until we sold the house two years ago. Campgrounds say, "We have pull-throughs if you'd rather", and I tell them, "Nah, I like to stay in practice". But I didn't think I'd figure out our old driveway.

Had a few inches clearance on one side at the brick columns abutting the side of the driveway, and neighbors fence corner and lawn on the other. As soon as the back wheel was clearing my porch I had to start an ess turn to kick the trailer over twelve feet and then straight again to clear the side of the garage.

Could not do this at all well in the dark. Tried once, heard a scraping noise. Got out, it was the acorn nut on the awning arm. Tough to get away from when you're already on an obstruction. Just couldn't get the needed sight picture to back this without daylight.

Key thing was, view/vision was everything. When I could see, I could maneuver it successfully -- sometimes not in one move, but every now and then I got lucky. But always got it in. Deb watched the blind side (which changed with the ess turn).

While I like the idea of a front receiver for very sharp short turning and multi-purpose use, I don't think you can replace both the view and the control of smooth maneuvering from backing your trailer in.

Good luck,
Jim
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Old 02-22-2010, 06:41 PM   #29
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Thanks, Jim, and at this point it seems simpler to just keep backing in...usually I can make it in one or two passes but when I'm really tired it seems to take forever...this is usually my state when returning from a long camping trip..
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:18 PM   #30
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fotochop: Dude! You have to move! (Actually, I think you deserve congratualtions every time you get that Airstream into your yard). I saw your photos.
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:55 PM   #31
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Yeah, I agree with OB Bambi -- you're no slacker, getting that thing threaded in there. And as long as you're home before dark, you'll get it in there every time.

When we were working full-time instead of Airstreaming full-time, we were surprised at how early fellow 'streamers left the rallies on Sunday mornings to go home. One fellow would leave early enough to get to Sunday School, waaay early out in the mornings to get to mid-North Carolina by mid-morning.

But it seemed all these other people were leaving by 9 or 10 to get home, unhitch, and relax. Made it better for us -- we had the rally site all to ourselves for a few hours. Our best part of the weekend, drink a couple of cups of tea and read the paper.

Then go home all relaxed and work the trailer up into the driveway and by the garage. ALWAYS home before dark because of that driveway squeeze!

Jim
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:57 PM   #32
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I just wish I would quit having nightmares about parking the Bambi in the garage. Interesting to see everyone's parking nightmares. I feel the pain! Isn't it a wonderful feeling after your AS is home and parked!
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Old 02-28-2010, 12:45 PM   #33
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A garage?

Wow, whats a garage? I sorta remember, it was only a couple of years ago . . . Oh yeah, that building behind the house with doors on one side and a wood stud wall with wood siding.

I thought we could cut a 10' door in the wood stud wall for the airstream, just back that puppy in. Then we went and bought a 25. And the 22 would have fit so well.

So we put a lean-to sunbrella awning on the side of the garage -- sheltered the A/S from above only, but better than nothing.

Jim
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Old 02-28-2010, 12:45 PM   #34
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Quote:
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fotochop: Dude! You have to move! (Actually, I think you deserve congratualtions every time you get that Airstream into your yard). I saw your photos.
I think about moving every time I see photos of an owner who lives on a RANCH and parks in a BARN to work on their rig with access to a LATHE, AND a WELDER, and, oh, what the hell, A CVC MACHINE in the utility room!

...if only my home/studio weren't already PAID OFF.. this means I ain't moving nowhere until I hit retirement... and then guess what happens? hint: it involves a shiny trailer, pickup truck, and miles and miles of backroads...heck... I count my blessings every single day 'cuz I already have the travelin' rig, a healthy family, and enough money for petrol!

...upcoming trips: 5 days in So.TX in the spring... a week at Ft. Wilderness followed by a week at Santa Rosa Island, FL...so like the song says: "don't cry for me"...there are so many worse fates in life than a difficult Airstream parking space, right?
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Old 06-29-2010, 02:45 PM   #35
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I've only got about 6" clearance on each side of the trailer as I back it in. I use a Toyota 4 Runner as a tow vehicle. I just grabbed a a tube from Tractor Supply, carried it to a local muffler shop and had them weld it to the front of the 4 Runner. I set the receiver off-center so that I could clearly see the left side of the trailer and the space between the trailer and the garage opening. If you put the hitch in the center of the car, you can't see anything and it doesn't help. It's not much of a hassle to rehitch considering the ease of backing the trailer into a very tight space.

It's a wonderful solution.
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:43 AM   #36
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I purchased a Bodiak front receiver hitch for my '06 GMC 2500. Ordered on Monday, arrived on Wednesday and installed on Thursday. Quality piece, good fit and easy installation. Price was right at $219 plus $24 for freight. Not often you get good value on US made goods. This one qualifies
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