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Old 09-13-2013, 09:33 PM   #1
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Fifth wheel parking experts

We currently have a 17 and are very interested in the new 5 for several reasons. One issue that we need to resolve before proceeding with the new 5 is our parking situation. We live in a city lot, no off street parking but do have a back ally. When we want to take the 17 out, we use a trailer dolly, hook it to the hitch ball and pull the trailer out into the ally and attach it to the TV. Fairly simple, not too much effort needed. Reverse the procedure when we get home.
The parking spot is at right angle to the ally and is gravel, but that can be changed along with it's size. What can not be changed is the space in the ally to manoeuvre the TV. Searching the web for fifth wheel trailer dollies or similar devices is frustrating since most fifth wheel trailers are big (compared to Escape's size/weight) and all advice is based on large trailers. Reace suggests putting casters on the front landing gear, but that does not help with moving the trailer into the parking spot due to the weight (effort to push/pull) and the tandem axles (friction). Since I currently do not own a fifth wheel, I do not know how much space is needed for the TV and trailer to turn 90 degrees. What are my options short of parking it some where else? Is this even doable?

thanks
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Old 09-14-2013, 12:11 AM   #2
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We are purchasing the smaller 5.0 and Tammy gave us the same advice, but along with casters on the front landing gear you would have to have a trailer hitch installed on the back bumper so you could use a trolley to pull it into place.
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Old 09-14-2013, 07:55 AM   #3
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How wide is your alley, Chris? With practice you can turn a 5th wheel quite sharp. Maybe one of those motorized dollies can be adapted if needed.
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Old 09-14-2013, 02:09 PM   #4
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Hi Jim, the alley is 11.5 feet wide. I just do not know what the radius is needed to turn.
Using a powered dolly is one option, have to look into that. I don't see how the hitch on the back of the TV would help, what would it attach to? The current dolly can't attach to a fifth wheel setup.
I know I have to make the parking area longer, it is how much wider to accommodate the turning that I am not sure of. I suppose someone with a 19 would know how tight the tandem axle can be turned.
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Old 09-14-2013, 02:20 PM   #5
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Wow, that is one narrow alley. You definitely will need a dolly to maneuver it in, I would think.
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Old 09-14-2013, 02:36 PM   #6
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Hi Chris,

I previously owned a 20 foot 5th wheel. While depending upon where your hitch is in your bed you can usually easily go well past 90 degree's and jackknife them into position. As a 5th wheel is able to turn much tighter than your tow vehicle the issue becomes what the front of your tow vehicle is going to hit because it is essentially swinging in a much wider arc. This is all happening while you are concentrating on what is behind you and more than one person has taken out part of his neighbor's fence or damaged the front of his vehicle. The trailer will make the turn but the vehicle can't, gets obstructed and you can't push the trailer in.

If it is a regular width back alley with the usual obstructions you likely are only going to be able to roughly position the 5th wheel with part of it still hanging out in the alley. A few ideas I previously considered are bolting a simple pin hitch or ball hitch between the front jacks and use a lawn tractor, power trailer dolly(Princess Auto Parts/available on the internet) or making something up with the appropriate hard wheels/gear reduction to push the trailer into position. I did make up a hitch/caster unit for a walking tractor and that worked great in a straight line but when I turned much of an angle the pneumatic caster wheels started to collapse hence the need for quite hard wheels (solid or inflated).

Many years ago I moved train freight cars by had on a level surface with a train mover (compound lever). If you have a flat surface you likely could make one up and manually/slowly move it into position.

This is all assuming that you have a flat/level surface, any incline and you have to be so careful. I'm assuming you are fairly flat/level because you can currently use a manual dolly with your trailer. If you do use a power dolly or a riding mower and had the room you could likely pull it into position which would make it very hard to steal.

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Old 09-14-2013, 02:52 PM   #7
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Hi again,

I haven't seen the front of a 5.0 but since the jack legs are there there will be some way to make up a simple pin or regular ball hitch on it either as a temporary mount or as permanent. Since you're hopefully not going to exceed more than 1 mile per hour it doesn't have to be complicated. Manual dolly's usually have fairly small wheels and if you put larger diameter hard wheels on it you will notice a big improvement.

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Old 09-14-2013, 09:56 PM   #8
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I am not sure that I qualify as a 5.0 parking expert but...I move our 5.0 by hand on dolly wheels on nearly flat concrete turning through an 8' gate opening to the side of the house. The dolly wheels I purchased from Escape proved to be too flimsy and risky. I had them modified by a welder with longer, stronger pipe. Because your pushing on the pin box, you cannot see where you are going! As I age, I will no longer be able to move our 5.0 by hand. They make 5th wheel power dollies but they are expensive and take up a lot of storage room. The new wide/longer, twin axle 5.0 is going to make hand pushing more difficult in tight spaces. I hope someone has the correct solution to your future parking issue.
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Old 09-14-2013, 10:20 PM   #9
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I see one issue, is there is a difference between turning a single axle 5th wheel which would seem fairly easy, vs turning a dual axle 5th wheel. I know when backing my Escape 19' with dual axles the rear set of wheels scuffs as I turn the unit sharply. Will this happen with the new dual axle 5th?
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:10 PM   #10
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Dave and Sandy, if you google "homemade trailer dolly" what comes up first on my computer is a u-tube video of a pretty slick trailer dolly (using a portable electric drill) that an Australian (?) has made. (Sorry I'm not sure how to post the link) It would be fairly simple to make if you have a welder but if you don't you can always use bolts. (oops I just reread that you already have a welder)

Jim I would imagine that since the tracking between both sets of tires is going to be slightly different you invariably will get scuffing. There is one way to find out for sure.

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