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Old 09-19-2017, 11:06 AM   #1
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Parking on sloped driveway

Thanks to all the forum's support and help, we are back from Chilliwack, LOVING our new 21, and can't wait to take it out again!

To get it better situated on our sloped driveway, attempting to take pressure off the rear axles, while at the same time trying to level the trailer,
Pete made this ramp.

The tongue is as far up as it can go.

Here are some photos.

Is there a better solution than this one? What can be done to improve it?

It is a little too unlevel to be comfortable in right now. (My granddaughter was hoping to have a driveway sleepover in it). Are we too un level to run the fridge?

Does this way of parking the trailer for storing it on our driveway hurt anything ?

Should we, during Chicago's winter, keep the trailer the way that it is now ---with its
stabilizers down and our wheel stops set? Or would it be better to raise them up?
(We do plan on purchasing wheel covers for protection...)

I am afraid, that, with this current set up, that hitching the trailer back up for trips is going to be difficult, due to the increased height of the tongue. It seems to me that in order to mitigate that, I would need to raise the rear wheels of my truck to compensate, -but perhaps there is an easier way?

Really appreciate the forum's help to figure this all out...
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Old 09-19-2017, 11:29 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nrgtic4 View Post
I am afraid, that, with this current set up, that hitching the trailer back up for trips is going to be difficult, due to the increased height of the tongue.
I can confirm that it will be more difficult to hitch the trailer to your tow with the sloped driveway. My driveway is about the same as yours and I have a lot of trouble at times as there is very little wiggle room to get the coupler over the ball. It can be done, of course, but I've had my moments with this situation.

Edited: In re-reading your post, I think that raising the rear wheels of your tow would make it worse as the angle of the ball would change for the worse. I could be wrong here...
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Old 09-19-2017, 12:34 PM   #3
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My comments are in red below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nrgtic4 View Post
Thanks to all the forum's support and help, we are back from Chilliwack, LOVING our new 21, and can't wait to take it out again!

To get it better situated on our sloped driveway, attempting to take pressure off the rear axles, while at the same time trying to level the trailer,
Pete made this ramp. The ramp is fine and should help to more evenly distribute trailer loads to the wheels.

The tongue is as far up as it can go. You have the front stabilizers down. You could leave the stabilizers in place, raise the front jack leg and add additional wooden blocks above the existing block. Then raise the front of the trailer higher with the jack until it is level (make sure the rear stabilizers are retracted when you do this). Once the trailer is level, put the stabilizers down again, using blocks below them if necessary. Reverse the process for lowering the front of the trailer in order to hitch up.

Here are some photos.

Is there a better solution than this one? What can be done to improve it?

It is a little too unlevel to be comfortable in right now. (My granddaughter was hoping to have a driveway sleepover in it). Are we too un level to run the fridge? Once you level as described above, there will be no issues with sleepovers or running the fridge.

Does this way of parking the trailer for storing it on our driveway hurt anything ? This will not hurt anything.

Should we, during Chicago's winter, keep the trailer the way that it is now ---with its
stabilizers down and our wheel stops set? Or would it be better to raise them up? I would leave the trailer with the front lower than the back for long-term parking. This will promote drainage of water and snowmelt off of the roof.
(We do plan on purchasing wheel covers for protection...)

I am afraid, that, with this current set up, that hitching the trailer back up for trips is going to be difficult, due to the increased height of the tongue. It seems to me that in order to mitigate that, I would need to raise the rear wheels of my truck to compensate, -but perhaps there is an easier way?

Really appreciate the forum's help to figure this all out...
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Old 09-19-2017, 12:37 PM   #4
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Rather than that ramp thing, you could just put a block under the front wheels to just closely level the wheels, which would be good enough. This will effectively drop the wheels some, bringing the trailer closer to level.

You are more than good enough for the fridge. Using a conservative 3° allowed tilt, in 21' you could be out over 13" front to back.

Confirm your level with a real level inside on the floor or on the counter.
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Old 09-19-2017, 01:58 PM   #5
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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.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nrgtic4 View Post
Thanks to all the forum's support and help, we are back from Chilliwack, LOVING our new 21, and can't wait to take it out again!

To get it better situated on our sloped driveway, attempting to take pressure off the rear axles, while at the same time trying to level the trailer,
Pete made this ramp.

The tongue is as far up as it can go.

Here are some photos.

Is there a better solution than this one? What can be done to improve it?

It is a little too unlevel to be comfortable in right now. (My granddaughter was hoping to have a driveway sleepover in it). Are we too un level to run the fridge?

Does this way of parking the trailer for storing it on our driveway hurt anything ?

Should we, during Chicago's winter, keep the trailer the way that it is now ---with its
stabilizers down and our wheel stops set? Or would it be better to raise them up?
(We do plan on purchasing wheel covers for protection...)

I am afraid, that, with this current set up, that hitching the trailer back up for trips is going to be difficult, due to the increased height of the tongue. It seems to me that in order to mitigate that, I would need to raise the rear wheels of my truck to compensate, -but perhaps there is an easier way?

Really appreciate the forum's help to figure this all out...
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Old 09-19-2017, 02:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by float5 View Post
You have a bad situation and I guess that we just would not even do it.
No way that I would have anyone stay in that trailer and I would watch out when in it.
Good grief! I couldn't disagree more. Chocks and a block and you're good to go. That's a pretty mild situation. I have seen some that would make me hesitant to go inside but your situation isn't one of them.

Ron
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Old 09-19-2017, 02:22 PM   #7
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I agree with Ron on this one. Plus there is no indication--at least to me--that the stabilizers are shouldering any more weight of the trailer or there are any different forces on the trailer (mainly because of the ramp) than if it were on level ground.
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Old 09-19-2017, 02:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Good grief! I couldn't disagree more. Chocks and a block and you're good to go. That's a pretty mild situation. I have seen some that would make me hesitant to go inside but your situation isn't one of them.

Ron
Lisa and Pete, I also agree with Ron .Pat
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Old 09-19-2017, 02:45 PM   #9
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Lisa and Pete, I also agree with Ron .Pat
I also wouldn't' trust those levels . Check with a torpedo level on the floor at the door . Looking at your picture it looks a little high at the front , So I would check with another level . Also refrigerators can be off in the cabinets . I was always taught to put a little bubble level in your freezer and if the bubble is in the middle circle , doesn't have to be totally in middle you have your refrigerator very good . Pat
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Old 09-19-2017, 03:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Patandlinda View Post
...doesn't have to be totally in middle you have your refrigerator very good...
This made me smile as it reminded me of when Baglo (I think?) made the comment that if the trailer or refer doors didn't slam shut or slam open, the trailer was level enough. Still makes me smile whenever I "level" my trailer...pretty close is good enough for me.
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Old 09-19-2017, 03:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patandlinda View Post
Lisa and Pete, I also agree with Ron .Pat
I agree as well. My driveway is sloped and I use one of those landscape blocks for the tongue. I use the process described by Dave Walter to get the block under the tongue. There is nothing wrong with having the weight of the trailer on the front stabilizers for the short time it takes to retract the tongue to add blocks under it.

Plus it doesn't have to be that complicated. I also leave the the front lower than the rear for storage to allow all the PNW rain to easily drain. I do this even between trips when I have the fridge off. I only level the trailer two days before departure to bring the fridge down to temp and to load our gear. If the trailer is sloped most of the time, there is no uneven weight between the axels. You can easily level the trailer and stabilize it for overnight guests, then return it to sloped condition when not in use.
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Old 09-19-2017, 04:07 PM   #12
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I see no one else who has a ramp due to the slope and is sitting on stacks of wood barely as big as the stabilizers, nor do I mostly see people who have the ice and snow of Chicago with such a situation. One stabilizer slipping off and the rest can go, and the trailer, and I don't know what or whom that trailer can hit if it goes down the driveway. Maybe nothing and nobody. While we had plenty of snow and ice in Iowa, even Texas has ice storms.

Sure, I have seen trailers sitting up very high on sloped driveways but we would not do it. This is what forums are for, to get different opinions. Only you, the OP, know your whole situation and can hopefully best evaluate it. I can only give the same caution that I often give to people seeking such advice, which is not to take opinions given as correct when on a forum and do your own looking at your situation. Only you, the OP, will be there and be responsible if something happens, not any of us.
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Old 09-19-2017, 04:34 PM   #13
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I live in a place where it is winter more that half of the year. I don't have an issue with leaving stabilizers extended (like the four single-leg stab jacks that are currently deployed in my driveway), and I would certainly not expect a jack to freeze in place - they're not immersed in water to freeze into a block of ice.
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Old 09-19-2017, 04:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nrgtic4 View Post
Is there a better solution than this one? What can be done to improve it?
I like Jim's idea:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
Rather than that ramp thing, you could just put a block under the front wheels to just closely level the wheels, which would be good enough. This will effectively drop the wheels some, bringing the trailer closer to level.
Dave mentioned in the current thread Tongue jack cranking bad (post #31) has his front (lower) tires against the type of ramp normally used to raise one end of a vehicle to work on it:

(The ramps are the black plastic parts, the one on this side is visible under the trailer's steps and behind the step on the ground.)

I would run the front tires up onto ramps like this while leaving the rear tires on the ground - instead of using the wood ramps - until the trailer is nearly level or the trailer almost lifts off of the hitch ball, whichever comes first.
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Old 09-19-2017, 05:17 PM   #15
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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.

Brian, Jim, what is the advantage to leaving the
rear tires on the ground and running the front tires up onto ramps ?

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!
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Old 09-19-2017, 05:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nrgtic4 View Post
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?
As long as your wheel chocks are in place your set-up is safe. Chocks do a very good job of stopping any forward movement and any very slight forward movement makes them captive and unlikely to move. You'll find that out if, when hitching up etc. there is a slight forward movement. It takes a pretty good kick to get them out from under the tire. Or just back up to take the tension off.

If the trailer can't move forward then the blocks etc. can't be pushed over.

The only thing that would make it more secure would be to use the "X" type wheel locks. I rarely use my stabilizers but I leave them down all winter with a bit of load on them on the theory that's it unloads the suspension a bit.


Ron
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Old 09-19-2017, 05:40 PM   #17
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I agree with Ron on this one. Plus there is no indication--at least to me--that the stabilizers are shouldering any more weight of the trailer or there are any different forces on the trailer (mainly because of the ramp) than if it were on level ground.
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.


So theirs should be fine as long as they do not try to level with the stabilizers.
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Old 09-19-2017, 05:41 PM   #18
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Brian, Jim, what is the advantage to leaving the
rear tires on the ground and running the front tires up onto ramps ?
The idea is just to get the trailer closer to level; the rise under the front tires brings them up to the height of the rear tires. There's no need to lift the rear tires, and the higher you put them up (such as on the big wooden ramp in your photo), the higher you are placing the tongue.
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Old 09-19-2017, 05:44 PM   #19
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When I've had to camp on really steep spots (like having to add 2x8s under the Andersen ramps, I set a pair of X-chocks between the wheels for safety. Crank those suckers down and you can' even DRAG the trailer....

X-Chock Tire Locking Chock, 2-Pack - BAL 28012 - Chocks & Levelers - Camping World
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Old 09-19-2017, 05:48 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
...
The only thing that would make it more secure would be to use the "X" type wheel locks.
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.
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