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Old 09-19-2017, 05:57 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Lisa and Pete already have the yellow plastic block devices (Camco Wheel Stops or similar). That's functionally the same as the BAL X-Chocks, right?

These are essentially brakes, to keep the trailer from rolling, for trailers with tandem axles and without parking brakes.
Conceptually true, but there's no way a tiny hand screw on threaded plastic wedges can exert the same amount of pressure between the opposing tires. I run the 8 inch ratchet wrench with the BAL X-chocks until the surfaces of both tires are depressed. The pressure plates of the X-chocks all swivel, so it gets a better "bite" on the tire surfaces.
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Old 09-19-2017, 06:30 PM   #22
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Conceptually true, but there's no way a tiny hand screw on threaded plastic wedges can exert the same amount of pressure between the opposing tires. I run the 8 inch ratchet wrench with the BAL X-chocks until the surfaces of both tires are depressed. The pressure plates of the X-chocks all swivel, so it gets a better "bite" on the tire surfaces.
While true that BAL x-chocks can exert more pressure, it the case of a lightweight trailer like the Escape, you only need enough to lock the wheels. The CamCo plastic wedges are more than enough. I know, I forgot to remove the driver side wedges one time after hooking up and the driver's side wheels did not turn. Glad I was on a gravel pad where I dug a short ditch instead of asphalt. No telling the damage I would have done! LOL!
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Old 09-19-2017, 06:57 PM   #23
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Might not want to crank down the Wheel Stop enough to deform the tires if you are going to leave it that way for the winter. I'd add a set of rubber chocks too.
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:39 PM   #24
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Pete and I really appreciate everyone's thoughtful replies! All of you have the experience that/being newbies- we lack, and we feel so fortunate for everyone's collective wisdom. We realize that answers for issues such as ours are not always clear cut and that opinions on what is best can really vary


Cathy, you mention that our trailer "can go down the driveway" and that you don't think our set up is safe. Is there anything that you could recommend (besides putting it into a storage facility) :-) to make our driveway set up more safe? Would you keep our stabilizers up? Is there any thing additional that we could buy (or make) or change to our ramp?

Still confused, but really appreciate everyone's help!

Lisa, we still recommend a storage facility.

Also, not for this driveway situation as we think you need a storage place, but plastic chocks have slipped on people in good weather, never mind snow and ice. We have small heavy rubber chocks instead, bought at Northern Tool (no idea if they still sell them). They are far less likely to slip but even these can.
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:00 PM   #25
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We have small heavy rubber chocks instead, bought at Northern Tool (no idea if they still sell them). They are far less likely to slip but even these can.
Northern Tool has all kinds of nice chocks. I agree the rubber would be better than the cheap plastic ones.
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:24 PM   #26
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I installed a removable jack on mine but before I did I asked Escape if the C-Jacks were rated for use without the front Jack. Here is their response...
Yes, the C jacks will support the trailer. They are rated for 4500 lbs per pair. Keep in mind, they are strong, but still only designed for stabilizing…not leveling.
They must be using the 22" C-jacks. The BAL mfr literature isn't the clearest and with all due respect to Escape, but I think you will find that the capacity is actually 4500 lbs EACH. They are beefy for a reason. My scissor style jacks that were apparently put on a few early trailers due to an ordering mix up are rated at 5,000 lbs. each.
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:01 PM   #27
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My driveway appears to be a bit steeper than yours I designed a set of ramps to match the slope (see attached sketch) with a built in curb and parked the front of the trailer facing the garage. If I was coming home, I'd pull into the garage with the truck, place the ramps behind the trailer and reverse downhill onto the ramps. I designed the height of the ramp to match the lowest point that I could crank the tongue jack down to. The tongue was almost on the driveway and the @$$ end was floating in the sky. Still not as imposing as my neighbour's mobile mansion.

I should point out that if the ramps are level, there is absolutely no inclination for the trailer to roll. Its sitting dead level. The same applies no matter which way the trailer is facing. Put a marble or bowling ball on your ramp. Does it stay there? If its level, it will.

As others pointed out, Bal-x chocks and a few typical wedge chocks will keep it on the ramp. Remember, it doesn't want to roll. If you're really paranoid, attach the breakaway cable to a pin drilled into your driveway and leave the battery connected. If it ever takes off, which is unlikely, the breakaway switch will be activated and the brakes will be applied until your battery dies. We live in an earthquake zone so I think about crazy things like this

I now no longer care if its level. I now park it parallel to the slope of the driveway, put on the Bal-X chocks and a couple of rubber ones, and call it a day. I no longer keep the fridge running for the few items we kept in there. I also attach the chains to a large ring I've bolted into the driveway. Extra theft insurance and heh, we're all a little paranoid about our baby rolling away
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:04 PM   #28
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The added bonus of parking it sloped is that water doesn't pond on the roof and the leaves don't stick as much. The algae growth is reduced over the winter. Spring cleanup is much easier.
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:26 PM   #29
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You have a bad situation and I guess that we just would not even do it. I would suggest finding a storage facility. We have a sloped driveway but no way we would put the trailer on it. We happen to just have enough space at the top that is level that we could probably use but we have not tried it. It would greatly limit our overall space for cars. We are in a storage facility instead but may see about home later. We would, however, not be on any such slope at home.

We also never put down stabilizers for storage. If someone has the trailer at home and is constantly in it, then maybe they want them down. I would never do it in winter for sure. Things can need to be done such as moving and that doesn't work with frozen parts.

In your situation, the first thing, which you may know, is not to crank the tongue jack with stabilizers down. The stabilizers are not to take the weight of the trailer. You can mess up them and the trailer doing that. That is, in effect, what you are doing in this situation --- trying to stabilize the whole trailer partly with the stabilizers. They are for making the trailer more stable while in it but should never be used to take the weight of it.

No way that I would have anyone stay in that trailer and I would watch out when in it.
I have to respectfully disagree with this. I have parked in a driveway at least that steep for 8 years now without any issue at all.

I do like I suggested above and put a block under the front tire, essentially levelling the wheels. A ramp like others use would be just as effective. If this blocking/ramp is level to the world, there is not even a need for chocks, though I would still use some. At my new house next door to my last the driveway is even steeper. I have not had my trailer at home yet, as I have a dump trailer in the drive, but do plan to bring it home soon and get some work done on it.

I set up my stabilizers a lot at home, especially if working in it or having someone stay in it. I also install my X-Chocks to make things rock solid.

The cold of winter here has no effect on the operation of the stabilizers either. I do keep them clean and lube them once in a while.

And on the issue of having a trailer at home or in storage, for me at least this question is a no brainer, at home wins out if you can pull it off. The convenience is so worth it. In fact, the house I bought for my next home, supposedly my last, was chosen with the criteria of being able to put my trailer in the back yard so we always have easy access to it.

If what you say works for you, that is great. My experience and desires are completely different though.
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Old 09-19-2017, 10:07 PM   #30
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It's real important to us to keep our trailer at home and we feel so fortunate that we live in one of the few Chicago suburbs that allows it. The convenience can't be beat and money that would have to go for storage, can instead go towards trips. (Let alone the joy I get every time I look out the window and see it. :-)

Still real confused though on what we should specifically do for winter time storage (November to April) It is NOT important to us during this time period, to have the trailer level or the fridge able to safely run. The only thing important to us during the winter storage is to not hurt the trailer and it's axles and have it safely ensconced on our driveway.

Several people mentioned that it is better to have the trailer sloped, keeping the front lower than the back. In that case, would it be best to just forgo the ramp, have our stabilizers up and just use rubber chocks and our wheel stops (or x chocks) ?
Or is there a better way to have it's front lower than the back and sloped ?

That's what we did last winter for our cargo trailer. ( Now that trailer is being kept in the garage)
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Old 09-19-2017, 10:37 PM   #31
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I have to respectfully disagree with this. I have parked in a driveway at least that steep for 8 years now without any issue at all.

I do like I suggested above and put a block under the front tire, essentially levelling the wheels. A ramp like others use would be just as effective. If this blocking/ramp is level to the world, there is not even a need for chocks, though I would still use some. At my new house next door to my last the driveway is even steeper. I have not had my trailer at home yet, as I have a dump trailer in the drive, but do plan to bring it home soon and get some work done on it.

I set up my stabilizers a lot at home, especially if working in it or having someone stay in it. I also install my X-Chocks to make things rock solid.

The cold of winter here has no effect on the operation of the stabilizers either. I do keep them clean and lube them once in a while.

And on the issue of having a trailer at home or in storage, for me at least this question is a no brainer, at home wins out if you can pull it off. The convenience is so worth it. In fact, the house I bought for my next home, supposedly my last, was chosen with the criteria of being able to put my trailer in the back yard so we always have easy access to it.

If what you say works for you, that is great. My experience and desires are completely different though.
Well, to state the obvious, not having a problem is not the same as no one in that situation having a problem. I have no doubt that there have been many such mishaps.

We would like our trailer at home also but not at a risk to others across or on the street. We had a storage facility nearly an hour away the last six years. I usually did not mind going as it was in a nice small town and I would make certain stops on the way.

Now our storage is five minutes away, so while not as convenient as at home, it is close if something is needed. It is covered, something we cannot do at home. We can use both sun and hail protection since both are a problem in this area.

If your trailer is in your back yard, I assume you will not be having it on a sloping driveway any more.
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Old 09-19-2017, 10:54 PM   #32
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Still real confused though on what we should specifically do for winter time storage (November to April) It is NOT important to us during this time period, to have the trailer level or the fridge able to safely run. The only thing important to us during the winter storage is to not hurt the trailer and it's axles and have it safely ensconced on our driveway.
All that's important to the suspension (axles) is that both are compressed about the same amount. It doesn't matter whether the trailer has the downhill tires on ramps or blocks so the trailer is level, or both sets of tires are directly on the ground and so the trailer is sitting nose-down to match the driveway slope.

Quote:
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Several people mentioned that it is better to have the trailer sloped, keeping the front lower than the back. In that case, would it be best to just forgo the ramp, have our stabilizers up and just use rubber chocks and our wheel stops (or x chocks) ?
Or is there a better way to have it's front lower than the back and sloped ?
All you're trying to do is let water run off of the roof when snow melts. If an adjustment of the jacks gives you a bit of slope with the tires still on their ramps, and that's enough to drain, the trailer can stay on the ramps. It doesn't need to be as steeply sloped as the driveway. As far as I know, people with flat driveways don't go the extreme of building up ramps for one set of wheels to tilt their trailers that much for drainage.
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Old 09-20-2017, 01:01 AM   #33
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I have no doubt that there have been many such mishaps.

We would like our trailer at home also but not at a risk to others across or on the street.
I think that this kind of comment is sheer speculation and not helpful in making an informed decision.

I think that it's clear that those of us who have had years of experience with heavy equipment don't at all view that situation as a risk to folks across the street any more than parking a car in the driveway would be.


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Old 09-20-2017, 05:38 AM   #34
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I do not see anyone putting something down between the tires and the concrete on those driveways that do not need ramps during storage. I lay down some scrap wood so that the tire rubber is not sitting direct on the ground, I also cover the tires from the elements with wheel covers. Better for the tires.
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Old 09-20-2017, 06:12 AM   #35
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I do not see anyone putting something down between the tires and the concrete on those driveways that do not need ramps during storage. I lay down some scrap wood so that the tire rubber is not sitting direct on the ground, I also cover the tires from the elements with wheel covers. Better for the tires.
The need to keep tires off the ground was debunked ages ago. Tires are designed to be on the ground for their entire lives.

Covers will keep them looking better when exposed to UV rays if you don't wish to use a protectant like 303. That temp trailer I used last year had vinyl covers over the tires for 21 years which were very brittle when we took them off, but the tires underneath still looked great.
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Old 09-20-2017, 08:35 AM   #36
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I know I feel better about keeping my tires, while in storage, off the moisture that can erode the steel belts, but you can chose not to. There are just as many pros and there are cons.
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Old 09-20-2017, 09:36 AM   #37
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I seem to recall someone on this forum or the other having a trailer at a campground and I think it was on level ground. A storm came through and the trailer was turned. Wind can do that. And many other things can happen. Suppose your trailer is sitting on a steep incline pointing down. There have to be many mishaps in such situations and one can look for them, or just use common sense.

It reminds me of the example given by someone on the fiberglass forum that a person went out in the car many times and did not wear a seatbelt and did not have a collision. So?

Also, newbies very often do not do what longtime RV owners do and will miss basic things that the "experts" would never miss. Many people do not get that being a newbie means that. Longtime owners know what they have done and think that everyone does what they do. Then when something happens, basic mistakes are seen. Even longtimers though, make basic mistakes sometimes.
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:33 AM   #38
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I seem to recall someone on this forum or the other having a trailer at a campground and I think it was on level ground. A storm came through and the trailer was turned. Wind can do that. And many other things can happen. Suppose your trailer is sitting on a steep incline pointing down. There have to be many mishaps in such situations and one can look for them, or just use common sense.

It reminds me of the example given by someone on the fiberglass forum that a person went out in the car many times and did not wear a seatbelt and did not have a collision. So?

Also, newbies very often do not do what longtime RV owners do and will miss basic things that the "experts" would never miss. Many people do not get that being a newbie means that. Longtime owners know what they have done and think that everyone does what they do. Then when something happens, basic mistakes are seen. Even longtimers though, make basic mistakes sometimes.
I think that you are manufacturing an issue where none exists. Many people safely store all kinds of trailers (campers, boats, utility trailers, and others) on steep driveways, and if the wheels are properly chocked there is minimal risk of the trailer unexpectedly coming loose and rolling away. I personally have never seen or heard of this happening. My driveway and sideyard are both sloped and I have been parking my trailers in those areas, with wheels properly chocked of course, for years without any twinge of adverse affects. To the original poster on this thread, chock your wheels properly, put down the stabilizers if you wish, and your trailer should be fine for long term storage.


By the way, the driveway that the original poster shows in this picture is not very steep at all!
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:20 AM   #39
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I know I feel better about keeping my tires, while in storage, off the moisture that can erode the steel belts, but you can chose not to. There are just as many pros and there are cons.
There must be. On Sunday I moved a plane to a new tie-down location, marked the location of the wheels and dug out recesses so I could put in concrete pads for the wheels to sit on.

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Old 09-20-2017, 11:40 AM   #40
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I know I feel better about keeping my tires, while in storage, off the moisture that can erode the steel belts, but you can chose not to.
Why are the steel belts of your tires exposed? I think you need new tires...

Seriously, if you tires have steel belts the steel "cord" (essentially cable) is embedded in the rubber. If any part of a tire degrades due to the surface that is contacting, it's the tread rubber. I have no reason to believe that wood is any better (or worse) than concrete for the rubber, and I've never seen the contact patch of a tire appear damaged after long-term parking... for many months.
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