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Old 07-04-2016, 12:40 PM   #1
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Tight Parking Spot for the 17B

We are getting excited to pick-up our new to us trailer in the next few weeks. I am posting this because want to get feedback from owners on their parking situations and whether they think our parking spot will be feasible. We haven't owned an RV before but have backed up vehicles towing trailers in the past.

We live in a fairly compact urban area and hope to store the trailer on our property for cost savings and convenience. Access to the back of our yard is quite tight but I feel confident I can get the trailer in there. We have a 17'-0" wide lane allowance and a 24'-0"x20'-0" parking area that is setback 5'-0" off the lane. I have attached a quick sketch of the layout for reference - keep in mind that the area marked as "future" parking area might just be a dream!

I have previously backed a 12' aluminum boat on a 17' trailer into this same spot with no issues. The difference with this trailer being that when I get it wrong I can just pick it up and move it to the right spot!
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Old 07-04-2016, 12:49 PM   #2
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Is this open space and are there any poles on the corners? If no poles and open you should have no issues here. My space is 12' wide with a 11' gate and I manage to get my 21' Escape in there. As long as you can swing the unit in with out any obstructions then you are fine. Another option is putting an extra tow bar on your vehicle front, you then have a lot more flexibility in maneuvering.
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Old 07-04-2016, 12:50 PM   #3
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Tight Parking Spot for the 17B

Our 17 goes into a shed tighter than that, but we can back straight in. We use an inexpensive trailer dolly once we get it onto the flat concrete floor and it is easy for the 2 of us to push it and maneuver. But if you area isn't paved the dolly would be much tougher to use.

With your lane being that wide I think you will be able to make it in.


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Old 07-04-2016, 01:02 PM   #4
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Is this open space and are there any poles on the corners? If no poles and open you should have no issues here. My space is 12' wide with a 11' gate and I manage to get my 21' Escape in there. As long as you can swing the unit in with out any obstructions then you are fine. Another option is putting an extra tow bar on your vehicle front, you then have a lot more flexibility in maneuvering.
I should have provided a bit more info... this is not open space but is built up with fences and retaining walls all around. There is a fence and retaining wall along the uphill side of the property and the properties along the opposite side of the lane have fences as well. The lane also slopes at almost 10% along our property.

The idea of a receiver hitch on the front of the tow vehicle is awesome... I will have to investigate that!
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Old 07-04-2016, 01:06 PM   #5
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Our 17 goes into a shed tighter than that, but we can back straight in. We use an inexpensive trailer dolly once we get it onto the flat concrete floor and it is easy for the 2 of us to push it and maneuver. But if you area isn't paved the dolly would be much tougher to use.

With your lane being that wide I think you will be able to make it in.
Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately we can't back straight in to this area and will need to approach with the 90 degree turn. Also there is a 10% slope down the lane which eliminates the option to use a trailer dolly which would solve the problem!
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Old 07-04-2016, 01:22 PM   #6
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I just measured my alley width from my fence to opposite side, 28' and I'm using a Dodge Ram 1500 pickup and had a 21' trailer, you presently have 22' width and a 4' smaller trailer, so depending on your tug you should be able. Check that front receiver option, it would make it easier. I assume you are putting it in the wider space, thus allowing more turning radius?
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Old 07-04-2016, 01:36 PM   #7
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I just measured my alley width from my fence to opposite side, 28' and I'm using a Dodge Ram 1500 pickup and had a 21' trailer, you presently have 22' width and a 4' smaller trailer, so depending on your tug you should be able. Check that front receiver option, it would make it easier. I assume you are putting it in the wider space, thus allowing more turning radius?
Tug is 5th Gen 4Runner which is quite short (15'-8") overall . We will put it in the wider space (24') to start but are hoping to build a garage there this fall. I might have to change the size of the garage footprint to allow more space along the side for parking maneuvering.
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Old 07-04-2016, 01:40 PM   #8
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Depending on your model there are front receivers available- see here https://www.realtruck.com/warn-front...rn+Front+Hitch
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Old 07-04-2016, 01:51 PM   #9
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Another option is putting an extra tow bar on your vehicle front, you then have a lot more flexibility in maneuvering.
Trouble that Jim is that you lose the use of your mirrors.
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Old 07-04-2016, 01:55 PM   #10
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I think your best bet is a trailer dolly. You can turn a trailer on a dime with those, and should have no issue with a 90 degree turn, or even tighter.
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Old 07-04-2016, 01:59 PM   #11
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I think your best bet is a power trailer dolly. You can turn a trailer on a dime with those, and should have no issue with a 90 degree turn, or even tighter.
The access lane has about a 10% grade. Unless there is a way to control the trailer brakes with the dolly I would not disconnect the trailer on that type of hill. Even with control of the brakes it sounds scary.

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Old 07-04-2016, 02:15 PM   #12
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Another option is putting an extra tow bar on your vehicle front, you then have a lot more flexibility in maneuvering.
I fail to understand how putting a receiver on the front of the tow vehicle would help.
You would be in the driver seat facing the white wall that is the front of the trailer. You are close enough that the angles available to see around the trailer mean that you can't see anything close to the trailer.
When you back in, you have your mirrors and can see at least one or both sides of the trailer.
I'd like to hear from somebody who has actually installed a front receiver and found it useful with a trailer.
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Old 07-04-2016, 02:40 PM   #13
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There's a saying I like - "you never know 'til you go"

I think it applies in this case. Until you attempt parking your new 17B in your spot you just won't know.

We stressed about parking our 19' in our drive area in the front of our home. The tape measure said it would fit. Just.

We prepped the area as best we could until the trailer arrived. Once we brought it home and parked it we found we had plenty of room and could actually move it away from the property line by several feet, which made our neighbours happier.

We don't have a 10% slope (maybe 5%?) nor quite a 90 degree turn to park but we have a reasonably narrow street which means we cannot pull or back straight in or out.
If you're going to be using a WDH you'll want to leave them off when maneuvering. Mine tend to fall off when making such tight turns.
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Old 07-04-2016, 02:40 PM   #14
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The access lane has about a 10% grade. Unless there is a way to control the trailer brakes with the dolly I would not disconnect the trailer on that type of hill. Even with control of the brakes it sounds scary.

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Old 07-04-2016, 02:58 PM   #15
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The access lane has about a 10% grade. Unless there is a way to control the trailer brakes with the dolly I would not disconnect the trailer on that type of hill. Even with control of the brakes it sounds scary.

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Sounds scarier than it really is. Many powered dollys have their own automatic brakes, and can also integrate with your trailer brakes by plugging in the Bargman connector. At the lot where I store my trailer, they move trailers around all the time with such a setup, on level ground as well as steep ramps - and they do it on much larger trailers. A good powered dolly with those kind of features will set you back at least $1000, but they get the job done.
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Old 07-04-2016, 03:01 PM   #16
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Sounds scarier than it really is. Many powered dollys have their own automatic brakes, and can also integrate with your trailer brakes by plugging in the Bargman connector. At the lot where I store my trailer, they move trailers around all the time with such a setup, on level ground as well as steep ramps - and they do it on much larger trailers. A good powered dolly with those kind of features will set you back around $1000, but they get the job done.

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Old 07-04-2016, 03:25 PM   #17
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Trouble that Jim is that you lose the use of your mirrors.
Why would you need mirrors when the trailer is in the front?
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Old 07-04-2016, 03:31 PM   #18
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I agree that a powered dolly would be a slick setup (especially since it is needed only at home), but my guess is that it is not necessary.

It looks quite reasonable to me. I would probably approach from the west, go past your property, then back into the new parking spot... especially if the west property line has a fence right to the lane (no setback), because the future garage and any parked vehicles would be set back. It's usually easier to back up turning to the driver's side, for visibility, but it might be a bit tight that way.

A final option - as a possibility for later rather than anything I think would be necessary - is a system which makes the trailer self-propelled for parking, and able to turn as tightly as you want. These are called "caravan movers" in Europe, and are uncommon here. One brand which is available here is Purple Line, and at least two Escape owners are using it, including Laura and Dirk (NW Cat Owner)
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Old 07-04-2016, 03:38 PM   #19
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Why would you need mirrors when the trailer is in the front?
You need to see. Backing up with mirrors you can see from the perspective of the mirror locations out to each side, but going forward you lose those points of view and are looking from a point close to the middle of the trailer, or as baglo says facing "the white wall". I think his description of this situation is quite good.

If anyone wants to, this can be fixed (for using a front hitch, or even for backing with a conventional hitch) by placing a camera on each side of the trailer at the front, looking rearward down each side, and using a screen in the tug. They're called backup cameras but I would call these "docking cameras" (like docking lights), and they're not uncommon on large motorhomes as factory-installed equipment.
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Old 07-04-2016, 04:01 PM   #20
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We have a 17'-0" wide lane allowance and a 24'-0"x20'-0" parking area that is setback 5'-0" off the lane. I have attached a quick sketch of the layout for reference - keep in mind that the area marked as "future" parking area might just be a dream!
Quote:
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Tug is 5th Gen 4Runner which is quite short (15'-8") overall .
Toyota says the 4Runner's curb-to-curb turning circle is 11.4 m (37.4 ft) in diameter (so 19 ft radius), which means it can turn around a point along the set back line (5 ft from the alley) and have lots of space to not run off the far side of the alley. The trailer's wheels will track well inside of that, so even though the outside rear corner of the trailer sticks out, I'm thinking it will still clear the west fence and there's room to back in without heroic measures.

Michael, you're obviously comfortable with scale drawings, so why not cut out a cardboard 4Runner and Escape, pin them together at the ball point, and try it out? Remember that an axle which does not steer (the 4Runner's rear axle and the trailer's axle) always points to the centre of the turn, and that the tug and trailer are always turning about the same centre. You can use string and a pin in the drawing to model a constant-radius turn. This isn't necessary at all, but it might provide comforting confirmation.
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