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Old 01-22-2023, 10:34 PM   #1
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Trailer dolly

We have an Escape 19. We are looking for dolly recommendations to use to turn our trailer around. Our parking space is not wide enough for the tow vehicle and trailer to make the turn. The space is level, with a compacted gravel surface. We know we want big tires. Do we need one powered by batteries, or can a person swivel the trailer manually. Any experience or recommendations greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-22-2023, 10:48 PM   #2
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I used the typical hand dolly for my Scamp 13. On level concrete it was doable.

Tried it on my E19. Big grunt. Made a battery powered dolly and it worked to a degree but wasn't great.

I think that the commercial ones available are a better design and do work quite well.

On a positive note because it was too much effort to use the dolly to get into my tight parking spot I just got better at parking it with the truck. But that's not always an option.

There should be some threads about power dollies. It's been awhile though.

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Old 01-23-2023, 01:33 AM   #3
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I used to move my pop up with a manual dolly. When we got our 17 i tried the same and pretty much hurt myself every time. So i researched and went with the ac5 power dolly from kaad engineering. They have different versions but i got the electric plug in that i run with an extension cord. Works great and is quite convenient.

This unit was about half the cost of others out there. Plenty powerful, stable, and just does the job. I too have to get into a narrow space with a right angle turn.
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Old 01-23-2023, 05:43 AM   #4
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We have a similar situation with our 17 and bought something called the Trailer Valet. It is much cheaper than a motorized dolly, but it uses a chain and gearing to make moving the trailer easier than just using a basic dolly. It also has a built in locking mechanism to prevent the trailer from rolling away. We got a good deal on it from Costco online earlier this year.
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Old 01-23-2023, 08:30 AM   #5
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We use the Trailer Valet as well. It works great for us on our level driveway to move our E21. But I'm not sure it will work on gravel. You would probably want to pave the area or get something designed for gravel.
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Old 01-23-2023, 08:45 AM   #6
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We have been using the Trailer Valet XL for about 9 years in out driveway. With this model, I recommend the Dewalt right angle drill. They make a variety of products. This works for us on concrete.

The tandem axle makes it more difficult than a single axle. You can't simply spin it. It turns in to a 3 or 5 or 7 point turn around depending on your skill, or sun spots...or something. Some days are easier than others!

On gravel, you may have another problem but they, and others, sell a wheel dolly which might help. Here's the link to their growing list of products. Check out the videos to see how it works. Good luck!

https://trailervalet.com/products/

Glenn
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Old 01-23-2023, 08:59 AM   #7
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Agree with the gravel concerns. Our paved driveway has about a 3-4% grade and trailer valet has worked great. The issue with the trailer valet on gravel is that most of the weight of a trailer is over the axle, so traction at the tongue can be an issue. I suspect this would be an equal concern for motorized dollies.

If the surface is level and the gravel is truly compacted it very well might be fine - I seem to remember Trailer Valet having a decent return policy so it might be worth a shot.
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Old 01-23-2023, 02:03 PM   #8
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I, too, have an AC5 which I use to pull my 2014 Escape 21 into my driveway. I like to pull my trailer in head first as one more obstacle to theft.

My puller required an attachment point separate from the hitch. So, I had essentially a 2" box receiver welded to the side of the trailer frame, just rear of the yoke.

Our driveway is fully paved and nearly level except the apron at the street where the angle is still very shallow. This puller works great, however if there is moisture on the pavement, it sometimes looses traction. Given my experience, I would rely on this puller only on surfaces that are dry, very hard packed or paved, and where there is little or no incline.

I can provide images that show it attached to the trailer if anyone is interested.
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Old 01-23-2023, 03:00 PM   #9
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Crushed limestone fines (aka "choker")

If your gravel is larger sized rocks, try topping it off with some choker. Not sand, but various smaller sizes of bits of gravel. It compacts well, locks into gravel and can provide a slightly better surface for the wheels. It's used as a base for laying pathway brickwork and rural RR bike paths.
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Old 01-24-2023, 01:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch Dobbs View Post
I, too, have an AC5 which I use to pull my 2014 Escape 21 into my driveway. I like to pull my trailer in head first as one more obstacle to theft.

My puller required an attachment point separate from the hitch. So, I had essentially a 2" box receiver welded to the side of the trailer frame, just rear of the yoke.

Our driveway is fully paved and nearly level except the apron at the street where the angle is still very shallow. This puller works great, however if there is moisture on the pavement, it sometimes looses traction. Given my experience, I would rely on this puller only on surfaces that are dry, very hard packed or paved, and where there is little or no incline.

I can provide images that show it attached to the trailer if anyone is interested.
As some context for my use. I use it on gravel, also up a driveway apron incline, and even went up a curb by accident when i mislined my approach. I think it would do fine on a paved slope.
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Old 01-24-2023, 02:28 AM   #11
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Shortly after ordering our 2019 e19 I bought the Parkit360 Force, it was a must in our driveway, I opted for the 10k unit with larger tires. My driveway is paved but not perfectly flat. The unit is very powerful and can move the e19 in practically any direction.
Let me know it you need any additional information.
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Old 01-24-2023, 03:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Effie View Post
Shortly after ordering our 2019 e19 I bought the Parkit360 Force, it was a must in our driveway, I opted for the 10k unit with larger tires. My driveway is paved but not perfectly flat. The unit is very powerful and can move the e19 in practically any direction.
Let me know it you need any additional information.
I just saw an email from Costco with Costco Next products advertised. The Trailer Valet RVR5 is a lithium-powered remote control unit with caterpillar treads, 5500 lb, 550 lb tongue weight capacity. There is a deal from 1/24 to 1/26, 20% off plus member savings, $2320. Otherwise, $3499 without the Costco discounts.

The other Trailer Valet products are also available with Costco member savings applied but not the 20%.

https://costconext.com/brand/trailer-valet/

etrailer list price for this unit, with discount, is $3464.

We don't need one but for those considering an electric device for maneuvering their Escape into tight spaces, there are some savings. Expensive nonetheless.

Does anyone have experience with these RVR devices?
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Old 01-24-2023, 03:30 PM   #13
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I have a Trailer Valet XL. Our driveway has a minimal slope and the trailer requires some fairly sharp turns. The Valet just did not get it it. It had a tendency to want to walk out from under the trailer hitch bending the lip of the trailer coupler. Have a look at etrailer reviews. If you are pretty flat and no sharp turns maybe.
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Old 01-24-2023, 03:53 PM   #14
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I had this problem as well for a while...Here's what I learned. Latch the coupler, then take the pressure off the dolly by jacking it up just a little. Then use the wrench to tighten. In my case at least, it keeps the dolly from leaning and rocking forward and aft.
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Old 01-24-2023, 04:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiman View Post
I have a Trailer Valet XL. Our driveway has a minimal slope and the trailer requires some fairly sharp turns. The Valet just did not get it it. It had a tendency to want to walk out from under the trailer hitch bending the lip of the trailer coupler. Have a look at etrailer reviews. If you are pretty flat and no sharp turns maybe.
The XL is a different unit. Is this the one you tried? Rating on etrailer.com is 4.2/5.

https://trailervalet.com/shop/trailer-valet-xl/

List price is $790 to $820.

This is the one that is on special through Costco. It's electric, self-propelled. Trailer Valet list price is $4045. With the Costco pricing, it's $2320. Rating on etrailer.com is 4.8 of 5.

https://trailervalet.com/shop/rvr5/
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Old 01-25-2023, 10:14 AM   #16
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I have the Parkit360 5,000 lb version. I use it to spin the Escape 21NE in place and move it on concrete. It isn't the most convenient nor is it all that easy but it does get the job done. It is 2 speed which helps when pushing up a grade of about 5%. It probably would not work on soft gravel but on hard level gravel I think it would work similar to on concrete. It might even work on slight gravel slope too, depending on how tight the gravel is. I have to use it every time I use the trailer or return with it.

https://parkit360.ca/collections/trailer-dollies
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Old 01-25-2023, 03:02 PM   #17
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I have the Parkit360 5,000 lb version. I use it to spin the Escape 21NE in place and move it on concrete. It isn't the most convenient nor is it all that easy but it does get the job done. It is 2 speed which helps when pushing up a grade of about 5%. It probably would not work on soft gravel but on hard level gravel I think it would work similar to on concrete. It might even work on slight gravel slope too, depending on how tight the gravel is. I have to use it every time I use the trailer or return with it.

https://parkit360.ca/collections/trailer-dollies
Mine is the Parkit360 10K. Its very capable as you say, but I agree it can be a pain to use. I'm actually thinking of selling mine since I've only used it 3 times in 5 years.
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Old Yesterday, 09:38 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeldomSeen View Post
I had this problem as well for a while...Here's what I learned. Latch the coupler, then take the pressure off the dolly by jacking it up just a little. Then use the wrench to tighten. In my case at least, it keeps the dolly from leaning and rocking forward and aft.
Yes did that. I think the problem was I needed to make a sharp turn from the trailer resting place which requires the tires to scrub sideways putting a lot of force at the hitch connection. The Valet with tank treads would seem likely to avoid that due to the geometry. Since then I moved the storage spot inside my 100 year old bank barn. I would never trust the Valet to back up the barn bank. The Silverado is no sweat. The 21 is much happier being stored inside.
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Old Yesterday, 10:59 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Effie View Post
Shortly after ordering our 2019 e19 I bought the Parkit360 Force, it was a must in our driveway, I opted for the 10k unit with larger tires. My driveway is paved but not perfectly flat. The unit is very powerful and can move the e19 in practically any direction.
Let me know it you need any additional information.
We have the Parkit360 5k, and wish we'd gotten the 10k. The 5k has barely enough umph to get the trailer turned around in our tight driveway. The principle problem is that we need to turn so tight that two of the trailer's 4 wheels need to skid. Outside of the being 5k only marginally strong enough, the Parkit works great.

BTW... We attach the ball to the trailer tongue before slipping the ball mechanism into the Parkit. That's much easier.
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Old Yesterday, 12:16 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by EscapeBoulder View Post
We have the Parkit360 5k, and wish we'd gotten the 10k. The 5k has barely enough umph to get the trailer turned around in our tight driveway.
I agree the 5k barely handles the 21NE but it does work for me. The most disconcerting part of turning the trailer is that I have to spin the trailer in place and like you say, 2 of the wheels have to skid. What also happens is that the wheels on my trailer tilt out of the vertical about 5 or more. I guess this is due to a rubber connection of the torsion arm to the axle tube. It looks horrible when it is happening.
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