Trailer Dollies - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-24-2006, 10:49 PM   #1
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I have not mastered backing up my trailer. Today I left her at a lot that will require me to back her into my assigned space. I did it today because the spaces next to mine were empty. In future, I doubt I'll be so lucky. I have a tongue wheel and I was able to push the trailer back the needed 3 feet to get it to fit where it was supposed to go. I can forsee that I may have to align the trailer and move it back into my spot manually in future. Would a trailer dolly be useful for this purpose? More useful than the tongue wheel?
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Old 07-24-2006, 11:06 PM   #2
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Benita:
When I first got the Burro I had already purchased a trailer dolly from CW. Unfortunately our situation means backing it up a couple of short slight inclines. I am super strong but not that strong. No way for me to muscle it up. I had to buy, at great, unexpected cost a Powercaster (120v powered dolly), or not have a trailer at all.

My conclusion is that a manual dolly is MUCH easier to use than the jack-with-wheel on the trailer. But, and it is a big But, the pavement needs to be level, firm, and pretty much without potholes in order to move a trailer by muscle power alone. I hope this is helpful.
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Old 07-24-2006, 11:13 PM   #3
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More useful than the tongue wheel?
I think it might be, and my reason it would is, in a word, leverage.
What makes it work is the long lever handle relative to the short fulcrum distance (between hitch ball & Dolly wheels). The net effect is to make the trailer feel like it weighs a lot less than it actually does. The drawback would be that it is only controllable on a flat level surface, and you'd need as much room in front of the hitch end of your trailer as you would if you were using your car to position it. That only applies for a manual Trailer Dolly. A powered Trailer Dolly would be a VAST IMPROVEMENT!
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Old 07-24-2006, 11:16 PM   #4
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But, and it is a big But, the [b]pavement needs to be level, firm, and pretty much without potholes in order to move a trailer by muscle power alone.
Per said it right! Don't try it on gravel...
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Old 07-24-2006, 11:20 PM   #5
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A powered Trailer Dolly would be a VAST IMPROVEMENT!
Alas! Vast improvements will probably cost vastly more than the budget will allow. My next trip is being planned to extend only so long as my gas money allotment is less than 50% of the sums budgeted at departure. I'm allowing a buffer in case prices rise midway through my journey. The goal is to go AND to return home.
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Old 07-24-2006, 11:24 PM   #6
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AND to return home.
The older I get, the less important that part seems...
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Old 07-25-2006, 05:39 AM   #7
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I have not mastered backing up my trailer.
Isn't that why parking lots are built with lots of empty bays away from the destination they're serving? For trailer-reversers to practice in?

My reversing ability has varied from pretty good to pretty poor, depending on how much of it I'm regularly doing at any one time. I have two maxims that work for me:
- practice away from observers in non-critical surroundings, before trying to do it for real under pressure;
- do not let pride get in the way - if a reverse is going wrong, pull forward and start again.

Andrew
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Old 07-25-2006, 08:24 AM   #8
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They say that if you put one hand on the BOTTOM of your steering wheel, and move it in the direction you want the trailer to go. Sounds good, anyway !!

I can back up my flatbed utility trailers, by looking out the back window, put them on a dime, and give you nine cents change. You can see what obstacles are in the way, over the bed of the trailer.

The travel trailer is not so easy !! I guess it is because then you also have to use your mirrors, so that you can avoid trees, and things that won't get out of your way A back-up camera, like my motor home has, would be a great addition !
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Old 07-25-2006, 08:37 AM   #9
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"What does a Trailer Dolly do?"
Just sit there and look pretty, of course! Des
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Old 07-25-2006, 09:05 AM   #10
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The travel trailer is not so easy !! I guess it is because then you also have to use your mirrors, so that you can avoid trees, and things that won't get out of your way A back-up camera, like my motor home has, would be a great addition !
I THINK pre-hack there was a topic by jrnutpaul explaining how he had added a video camera to the rear of his trailer....viewable from inside his tug. Maybe he'd like to come back and start a new topic with the same information?
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Old 07-25-2006, 09:18 AM   #11
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Two things...

First, practice makes perfect. Backing is not difficult, just different. Go practice in Andrew's parking lot. Practice a lot. Don't get flustered and don't be confused. Think through how your rig articulates, what goes which way when you do what. After umpteen years of trailer backing, I still screw up occasionally. Use the "hand on the bottom of the steering wheel" trick. Then practice backing... SLOWLY and REPEATEDLY. You WILL get good, and it won't take as long as you think.

Second, having a neighbor who has one of these helps:


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Actually, one of the problems with trailer dollies and small tractors is that you can't see around your trailer while you're backing like you can with tow vehicle mirrors. It can actually be much more difficult and time consuming because you have to get off and look to see where you are in relation to things around you. The short(er) wheelbase of the tractor allows for backing in tight areas, but trust me when I tell you that it isn't any easier than backing with a car or truck.

Roger
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Old 07-25-2006, 10:05 AM   #12
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You might find HAVING those other trailers there will make it easier for you.

I can back with an inch to spare on either side with objects to manuaver around.

Put me in an empty field, I can't back withing 10 feet of where I want!

It may be the visual cues on either side.. gives focus. I have stopped and laid out a few chunks of rocks or other stuff when backing in fields or wide open campsites. It just seem easier for me to have a target. In my driveway at home, which runs parallel to my property, I have an 8ft 4x4 with red reflectors as targets and I use the long 4x4 as a chock as well.
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Old 07-25-2006, 04:56 PM   #13
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For me, using a trailer dolly at home on the driveway is a lot easier than the jack wheel, especially with a slight uphill with the 13' Boler......on my 17' I don`t have a jack wheel and moving it with the dolly on level pavement is fairly easy, tends to get away going down the slight incline, can be done, but difficult to pull up the slight incline....the tires of the dolly have to be filled to being almost hard with air, otherwise you struggle.......I believe the keys to moving a 17' around with the dolly is your body weight, (245 lbs), and foot traction.......gravel would pose a problem.......I use the dolly because it is quicker than hooking up the truck or garden tractor.........I tried a number of times to try backing up using that hand at the bottom of the steering wheel and since I didn`t use that system from the beginning, I can`t get used to it now......just use side mirrors and don`t let it start to jack knife ....pull forward and make your correction....... gets a bit hairier to parallel park on a street with meters and the 13' in tow, requires about 3 meter spaces to get in and takes up 2 parked, and hope no one boxed you in tight, when you want to get out,LOL.....When I came home with my youngest son`s new car trailer, the first thing I had him do was to back up down the "S- shaped" driveway a few times, since he never backed a trailer before....after he did it about 3 times, I was amazed and told him he could probably park it about anywhere.... thought about getting a powered dolly as my next toy but better half wasn`t pleased so scrapped the idea.... ...Benny
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Old 07-27-2006, 05:21 PM   #14
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BOLER STROLLERS, as they are called here are better than the tongue wheel mainly because they have 2 wheels n tires and also are inflatable so they are easier to use off pavement!

I MAY be wrong, BUT I believe that Hope is one of the few remaining Canadian cities where you still can legally park a trailer n a tow vehicle on a city(?) street.....

We always take ours camping with us, as I have a preference for setting up sideways in a camping spot and usually end up "sharing" it with others around me, even the 17's!
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