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Old 08-07-2019, 04:29 PM   #1
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Parking with a tight turn

Hello,

I recently purchased a new home with alley access to the backyard. The backyard slopes, but it is where I plan on parking my Escape 19. What I did not consider is that the alley is too narrow to make the 90 degree turn, with my 2007 Silverado, into the gate. The trailer must be backed into the yard.

Is there a trailer dolly, battery or gas that you would recommend? I would need it to be able to handle the slope (a gentle one, but still a slope) getting the trailer in and out of the yard? Or, should I just accept I will need to park it in the front of the house.

When previewing the house the alley looked just fine. But, I was really excited, after several months of looking to find a house that ticked most of the boxes. I figure either I just wanted it to be wider or the realtor's patter about how great alley access was for my trailer made it look wider. In any event it I really should have paid more attention. Sigh.
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:48 PM   #2
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I can relate. Hard to assess from here but, perhaps you could post a picture of the alley as seen from the curb? I know I made backing up in the jack-knife position easier with a slightly longer hitch receiver on my Silverado.
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:54 PM   #3
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Trailer Valet XL won't do the job

We have a Trailer Valet XL hand-crank device, and it seemed as if it would handle our Escape 19 - we must do a 180 degree turn of the 19 foot trailer in our 22 foot wide driveway, while unhitched from the truck.

While the Trailer Valet video would have had us believe that it was possible, it has turned out to be a hassle every time: from the resistance provided by the dual axles of the 19 against the Valet, the difficulty in tightening the ball into the receiver, difficulty wrestling the TValet into an upright position and poor results with our motorizing the hand-crank. We even blew out one of the inner tubes in the TValet two weeks ago from the stress on the tires when moving our E19. (We replaced the inner tubes with tubeless.)

I can't imagine using it on a slope. So... I suggest something motorized, perhaps with a "T" handle to make it more steady. I look forward to hearing what others have done to move their trailers.

Best of luck in your search,

David
Pittsburgh, PA
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:01 PM   #4
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MyronL, thanks for the suggestion. A long haul truck driver friend gave it a try and his opinion was to get the trailer dolly as the alley was just too narrow. He did not have a recommendation for a something as small as the trailer. The opening for the gate is sufficient, but the rest of the fence is on a low retaining wall, so moving the gate is not an option-something else I did not notice because of plants along the fence.
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:44 PM   #5
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Mary,
Can you give us some dimensions? distance wise for example. I live in a residential area with trailer access off my alley. I can give you my measurements tomorrow. My gate is 10' wide and that helps, once you make that swing it is just a matter of straightening.
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:00 PM   #6
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I have zero experience with this but have read about a couple of ideas you may think about. One would be a hitch on the front of your vehicle. Probably not much good once the trailer was perpendicular on your lot, but perhaps easier to push from there? A lot faster turning response with the turning wheels just a few feet from the trailer ball...

And second would be a small lawn tractor or golf cart that wouldn't need so much width in the alley to maneuver. The owner of the lot where I store my Casita has a couple of small golf carts with hitches on the front he uses to move boats and trailers around.

Good luck - I wish I could keep my Casita on my property!
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:22 PM   #7
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I've never understood how a front hitch would help.
In this photo My front bumper is about a foot from the hitch, simulating a front hitch.
Behind the trailer, on the left and right, are steel posts that you can't see. You can't see the gate either. Just have a great view of the front of the trailer.
I have backed my trailer into that carport, using my mirrors, which provide a view down the side of the trailer and the posts.
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:52 PM   #8
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I believe because your pivot point is your front wheels when pushing from the front and by putting that closer to the trailer then you can back it easier versus steering from your rear tires when backing up. Does this make sense?
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I believe because your pivot point is your front wheels when pushing from the front and by putting that closer to the trailer then you can back it easier versus steering from your rear tires when backing up. Does this make sense?

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Old 08-07-2019, 07:11 PM   #10
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Once again, I don't have any experience trying this but it seems that when I'm backing up my camper, the front of my truck is swinging around a lot more than the back when I am backing into a tight turn. (Probably more than some because I'm not that experienced at that either). I would assume that would be the problem with a narrow alley - not so much the turn of the camper, but the front of the truck swinging beyond the boundaries of the alley. Since I'm not the best at backing the Casita, I also usually just go forward several feet to get things straightened, then resume backing into whatever slot I'm heading for which you certainly couldn't do backing from a narrow alley.

The golf cart / tractor idea would seem like the best method since it's little more than a more powerful and maneuverable trailer dolly. For that matter you could possibly just pull the camper in forward behind the tractor instead of backing in. Though it would just be the reverse problem I guess when it's time to back the camper out into the alley to attach to the tow vehicle.
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I've never understood how a front hitch would help.
In this photo My front bumper is about a foot from the hitch, simulating a front hitch.
Behind the trailer, on the left and right, are steel posts that you can't see. You can't see the gate either. Just have a great view of the front of the trailer.
I have backed my trailer into that carport, using my mirrors, which provide a view down the side of the trailer and the posts.
When you're front hitched your ball is only a couple of inches from the bumper (not at all like a rear hitch)and the steering wheels are only a foot or 2 from the ball. I can promise you it makes a huge difference when having to make tight turns. Maybe not so much when backing more or less straight back.
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:21 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Behind the trailer, on the left and right, are steel posts that you can't see. You can't see the gate either. Just have a great view of the front of the trailer.
Good point, you would have to have a spotter, really wide mirrors, or stop every few feet and get off to check your path. And if using a lawn tractor you would also need a really good brake to keep that 3000 lb camper from rolling down whatever incline there is until the wheels are chocked. That and maybe an emergency cord to yank the pin out of the breakaway switch if things really got out of hand.
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:26 PM   #13
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I don't want to sound facetious but everything is movable, it just comes down to whether it's worth the effort.

I found power dollies worked really well with my single axle Scamp but with my E19, not so much.

A low retaining wall is a nuisance but backfilling the area etc., whatever would be required to give a few extra feet of width may be the best long term solution. A nuisance and cost now but for long term ease of use.

Good luck with getting it figured out.

Ron
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:16 PM   #14
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Point to remember: If you have to use a front ball mount on the tow to get it in, because from the rear doesn't have enough room, then when getting the trailer out, you'll be backing down, with the trailer following at your nose. (Maybe paint stripes like for the aircraft at airport taxi, parking, and gates to guide the wheels!).


Here's another solution from the way-back machine ( know any neighbors with a tractor?):


Escape Trailer Owners Community - Cozy Rosie's Album: when the camper is almost too high to fit in the barn... - Picture
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:44 PM   #15
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somethign like this should do the truck,
https://parkit360.ca/products/traile...-capacity-base

I'd get the 10k B3 model, rated for 10k lb trailers with larger tires.... they make even beefier ones, but that should be quite adequate for a loaded Escape.
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Old 08-08-2019, 12:14 AM   #16
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I've only seen ads for this and it's very, very $$$ but here's something called an Enduro Trailer Mover by PurpleLineUSA.com (a remote controlled powered trailer mover)
Here's a Video. No idea if this product works or not, especially with an incline or decline??



Good luck, hope you find a good solution!
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Old 08-08-2019, 12:29 AM   #17
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My friend has one of those remote control mover for her Altos.. it is really neat and you get a lot of people looking when you use the remote to park the trailer. I'm not sure if they work on dual axles tho..
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Old 08-08-2019, 12:44 AM   #18
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I note the one I link says up to a 6% grade, but it doesn't say how heavy of a trailer it can push up that grade. the 10k trailer rating was for flat land.
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Old 08-08-2019, 01:15 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I've never understood how a front hitch would help.
In this photo My front bumper is about a foot from the hitch, simulating a front hitch.
Behind the trailer, on the left and right, are steel posts that you can't see. You can't see the gate either. Just have a great view of the front of the trailer.
I have backed my trailer into that carport, using my mirrors, which provide a view down the side of the trailer and the posts.


Some of us dont have your Ninja skills...
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Old 08-08-2019, 06:38 AM   #20
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I guess it all depends on your situation, in Glenn's scenario his obstruction is in the rear, thus a front hitch would not help he needs to see the rear and sides so the vehicle's side mirrors are more helpful. Others, with a gate and open space behind would benefit with the front turning short radius turn set up or the power dolly because once your are thru the gate it is just a matter of going straight back and what's on sides or back are not that relevant.
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