Anyone use a trailer dolly? - Page 2 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 11-26-2014, 11:47 PM   #11
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Thanks for the illustration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pam n Fletch San Jose CA View Post
Note the extension arm allows attachment of the AC6 to a 2" box receiver welded to the frame of the 21...
The box is a receiver, but just for clarity the part that takes the hitch ball is normally called a "coupler".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pam n Fletch San Jose CA View Post
... well behind the hitch ball receiver. Theory suggests this attachment point is preferable over the hitch ball because more of the trailer's weight is placed on the dolly wheels which translates to better traction and control.
Since the dolly wheels are just as far from the trailer axle as the coupler, they take the same weight as if they were directly carrying the coupler on a ball - so it has no more traction than if it used the coupler. The location of the receiver doesn't affect load distribution because its connection to the extension arm is rigid, so the arm acts just like the frame.

If the dolly's connection to the extension arm is a post - rather a ball - I think the receiver is still desirable to provide a more stable attachment to the trailer than a pivoting ball in the coupler.
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Old 11-27-2014, 12:10 AM   #12
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Pam/Fletch - that dolly looks like it could be used to move an army surplus tank!
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Old 11-27-2014, 09:07 AM   #13
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Pat,
I too live in the city with alley access and neighbor's fences. Contemplated a 5th wheel for ease of access. But it hit me on the head the last time I managed to pull the Escape out of my yard, make the swing and miss everyone's auto's. If I can remove it safely then I should be able to back in the same way and it worked. No more asking the neighbor to move their car to pull up into their yard, I just make the tight exit and reverse it.
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Old 11-27-2014, 01:17 PM   #14
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Hello Brian B-P:
Thanks for correcting my errant mechanical engineering theory. I wondered about what I had been told... Yes, the dolly's connection to the extension arm is a post - rather than a ball.

I like having this electric dolly because:

A. It allows me to pull the trailer in head first which positions the trailer door on the side closest to the back entry to our house and away from our fence. This makes loading and unloading easier.

B. It allows me to easily park the trailer ...really close... to the driveway fence, leaving better garage door access for our cars.

C. It enables me to easily move the trailer away from the fence for access to the driver side when needed, without using a tow vehicle.

D. Parking the trailer in our driveway head first provides some measure of additional security since the hitch is facing the wrong direction for a thief to hook up to a tow vehicle.

Finally, it turns out to be easy enough to back it in with my tow vehicle and put it in the very same position on the driveway in reverse, but this way I have the door where I like it and it will at least slow a thief down if one chooses to target our 21.

Happy Thanksgiving and Cheers!
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Old 11-27-2014, 01:18 PM   #15
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Just for more clarity:
The Power Mover supports the trailer with a post above its drive wheels. The post can directly support the coupler (with an adapter), but that can tilt over so the manufacturer does not recommend this approach except with with their really wide (five-wheel?) dollies, and even then only on hard surfaces. The Power Mover dollies have little casters in addition to the drive wheels, but the casters are not intended to stabilize the trailer, only to store and move around the dolly by itself.

So, the normal approach is to have a socket on the trailer (which Power Mover calls a "coupler" or "receiver", depending on the website page) for the post on the dolly to go into. There are various brackets for this socket which bolt onto the trailer tongue frame (shown on the Power Mover AC dollies page and in detail here); if that bracket is used, the trailer is supported by the dolly closer to the axle, and so the dolly carries more weight than it would if supporting the trailer at the coupler. The extension which Fletch chose is a removable version which extends forward (presumably to clear the jack and other hardware).

This all seemed familiar, so I did a little search... we discussed the socket placement issue when Pam and Fletch were planning their installation:
Power Mover on a 21' with an Anderson Hitch?
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Old 11-27-2014, 01:40 PM   #16
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I see one of these in our future. It looks like Fletch's means of connecting the Power Mover is probably the way to go in order to clear the tongue jack. I didn't appreciate the issues with using the existing ball coupling. I was thinking of some sort of flanged ball that would prevent the tug from kicking out from under the tongue, but I guess a separate cylindrical connection is the way to go.
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Old 11-27-2014, 03:51 PM   #17
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When I searched for Power Mover information today I found an interesting adapter that someone home-built for his Airstream, supporting the trailer just ahead of the coupler but providing a stable cylindrical socket for the dolly's post: Powered Trailer Dollies... - Airstream Forums (post#9)

It would not be as convenient as Fletch's receiver and extension arm, but it's an option for someone who is into fabrication; it would work especially well for someone who needs to move the support point ahead of the coupler. Maybe the point is that there are both ready-made and custom solutions to the problem of getting this style of dolly attached to particular trailer.
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Old 11-27-2014, 04:11 PM   #18
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I have the same unit as Pam & Fletch and it works fine with the attachment receiver bolted on the fame near the gas bottles. We can speculate all we want about the additional weight involved with it mounted where mine is but it handles the weight of my 19' with four 6 volt batteries in the storage box and over 500 lbs tongue weight with no problem. I find that having the attachment point back a little on the frame helps with the turning radius. It is very easy to use on my sloped driveway. I run into the flowerbed a little putting the trailer away and it goes off-road fine. I just take my time...no rush! I would purchase this same unit again if I needed another trailer dolly.
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Old 11-27-2014, 04:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotfishtacos View Post
I have the same unit as Pam & Fletch and it works fine with the attachment receiver bolted on the fame near the gas bottles.
Thanks - I was wondering where yours attached, Steve.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotfishtacos View Post
We can speculate all we want about the additional weight involved with it mounted where mine is but it handles the weight of my 19' with four 6 volt batteries in the storage box and over 500 lbs tongue weight with no problem.
Although this is a big Escape it's still a small travel trailer, so I'm not surprised that the dolly handles the load without problems. Being mounted back there makes the load greater, which is good for the dolly's traction, and no problem for the trailer structure.
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Old 11-27-2014, 11:37 PM   #20
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I have a parkit 360 but have yet to successfully use it on my 5.0 because to my chagrin the jacks on the front won't lift it high enough. I shimmed it but when I tried lifting the trailer it began to slide sideways....OMG. Disaster averted we gave up and spent the better part of an hour and a half to get it parked. I was feverish and continued to be ill for rest of the month and will report on how things go when I try it again.
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