Park Casita on incline? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-13-2011, 11:24 AM   #1
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Name: Jane
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Park Casita on incline?

Please forgive the total newbie questions, but I searched the internet and didn't find an answer.

We're taking delivery of our new to us Casita (17' SD) on Thursday and would like to park it in our driveway, but there is a 10 degree incline (I used a protractor so this is a pretty accurate measurement). I've attached pictures - yes that's the street in front also on an incline. We would park it on the left side which has the least driveway/street angle. Would it be safe to park it on our driveway using chocks and raising the tongue jack as much as possible? Also, although it has the high lift axle, does anyone know if it would bottom out (yikes!) at this incline? Are there other questions I should be asking?

thanks very much!
Jane
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:26 PM   #2
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Good ?'s and I don't know what to tell you, my egg parks flat on the floor of what was the Permian sea many many years ago.
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:41 PM   #3
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Jane,

To find out if your trailer will bottom out back it in very slowly with someone ready to scream STOP if it looks like the bumper will hit. Empirical but quick.

We had to flip the axle on our Fiber Stream to get it up the drive without bottoming.

We park on a slightly lesser incline than yours but the same principles should apply:

Get or make good chocks, big ones.

After tongue in raised off hitch (and as high as you feel comfortable toward level) use stabilizing jacks and make sure trailer is Very Firm in all dimensions. We got a 12" block to put under the tongue jack so it would go up far enough and not be too wobbly. I beveled the bottom so that it conforms to the slope and is level on top for the jack. We also have blocks/risers for the jacks.

When in the trailer I always try to minimize abrupt or forceful movement, think earthquake... When I have work to do I move to the street.

Hitching and unhitching should be done very carefully with chocks in place.

Hope this helped,
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:14 PM   #4
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Tom U,
Your advice is excellent.
Though our drive and parking pad are Florida pancake flat, when we visit my parents in hilly Missouri, it's another story.... and more than a 10 per cent grade.
I've seen utility trailer bury the tongue in driveways, as well as long box trucks burying the bumper backing in.
My only additional advice to the OP is take the driveway at as much of an angle as possible when backing in or driving out (until clear of the dip) to avoid burying the bumper or tongue. It looks like a quite wide and long driveway in the photo, and the angled approach may help keep the OP out of trouble.
We do the same not only at Mom's house, but steeply angled approaches to gas stations. etc. It can be quite helpful. At Mom's, the top of the drive is fairly level, but we still chock all the wheels, fore and aft.
Sherry
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:12 PM   #5
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If you don't need to use the trailer or have the refrigerator running in your driveway then just don't level it.... that jack up that high would make me nervous as i had to do that when i parked in the rear of my yard. I also have my block of wood with a raised perimeter around the edge so the jack skid plate doesn't slide off. Sure would be nice to have an anchor point w/chain of some sort at the rear bumper so it doesn't accidentally roll down the driveway if a block gets kicked out
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:12 PM   #6
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Thank you all for the thoughtful advice! I'm glad to know that we don't have to level it for storing. I think we'll try backing it up with someone ready to scream "stop" when it is clear that it won't make it. We're not experienced backing up so will find someone who is and go from there.

Thank you again - a great and generous group of people!
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneM. View Post
Would it be safe to park it on our driveway using chocks and raising the tongue jack as much as possible? Also, although it has the high lift axle, does anyone know if it would bottom out (yikes!) at this incline?
This picture taken at Cambria, CA (near Hearst Castle) in 2006:

Name:   Cambria.jpg
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Robert and I actually camped in our trailer on a similar incline, so it can be done.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Frederick L. Simson View Post
Robert and I actually camped in our trailer on a similar incline, so it can be done.

Wonderful! Thanks! As you know, Morro Bay is 20 minutes south of Cambria -- isn't this a lovely area?
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:52 AM   #9
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I second the anchor point with a chain. Especially on asphalt. Better safe than sorry, and if not really needed is at least good for peace of mind.

Also wondering if you have room to drive in (rather than back in) and leave the trailer close to the end of your driveway off to one side? That way you wouldn't have a high tongue (think "spear"), the trailer wouldn't have as much room to gain momentum should it slide, and less worry about dragging the bumper. Also easier to then back out than back all the way to the garage -- this could be critical if you have a manual transmission.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Darnelle View Post
I second the anchor point with a chain. Especially on asphalt. Better safe than sorry, and if not really needed is at least good for peace of mind.

Also wondering if you have room to drive in (rather than back in) and leave the trailer close to the end of your driveway off to one side? That way you wouldn't have a high tongue (think "spear"), the trailer wouldn't have as much room to gain momentum should it slide, and less worry about dragging the bumper. Also easier to then back out than back all the way to the garage -- this could be critical if you have a manual transmission.

Brilliant! I hadn't considered simply driving up the driveway and unhitching and backing the trailer out. I still have concerns about bottoming out because of the way the street is angled and then the driveway angled, but again can have someone driving while I'm ready to yell if if looks problematic.

And to all who suggested the anchor with a chain - I would feel much better having something like this - a great idea.

Now to convince the spouse that we don't have to pay for storage...
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:48 AM   #11
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The anchor point with chain (or cable) would have the added advantage of increased security from theft, if a lock is added.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:04 AM   #12
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And, as I have seem, kids kicking out wheel chocks on utility trailers, and huge dumpsters in neighborhoods and track home building sites. Making them roll into the street.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:27 AM   #13
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Yikes!
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:12 PM   #14
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I use these rubber wheel chocks from Harbor Freight. They are made from heavy duty rubber so friction to tire and pavement is very high. Wheel pressure must be relaxed to remove them. Harbor freight has 2 sizes in stores but online I can only find 1 size. If I would be in your situation anchor with chain would be a must.
Good luck and congratulation.

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Old 03-14-2011, 12:44 PM   #15
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Thanks George,
Those chock's look like they will fit the curve of the 13" tire's better than the ones I got from the RV store.

Bill K


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Originally Posted by GeorgeR View Post
I use these rubber wheel chocks from Harbor Freight. They are made from heavy duty rubber so friction to tire and pavement is very high. Wheel pressure must be relaxed to remove them. Harbor freight has 2 sizes in stores but online I can only find 1 size. If I would be in your situation anchor with chain would be a must.
Good luck and congratulation.

George.

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Old 03-14-2011, 03:25 PM   #16
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or perhaps this: Sladek Corp-Wind, Storm and Theft Protection. Tie down anchors for concrete, asphalt and turf securing items that can be blown down, stolen or moved. with different weight ratings.
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Old 03-14-2011, 04:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken C View Post
And, as I have seem, kids kicking out wheel chocks on utility trailers, and huge dumpsters in neighborhoods and track home building sites. Making them roll into the street.
That is why it is important to use 4 jack stands in addition to chocks. Once the trailer is firm on the jacks the chocks (and a bumper tie down) are redundant back-ups. I really believe in KISS (keep it simple s......) We do not and will not have an anchor - jack stands work.

Also, in that vein, trying to drive forward into the driveway to drop the trailer presents problems. One would really have to do some fancy wheel work to get the tow vehicle in and out for hitching and unhitching. Personally, I would not want to try and back down a steep grade to try and hitch up - recipe for disaster. That is why a car going downhill on a one lane road yields to the car going up - much more control ability backing up than down. JMHO
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Old 03-14-2011, 07:50 PM   #18
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Thanks everyone -- great food for thought! I'm going to think very carefully about this and store locally for the first month until I figure it all out. This way I don't have to rush into anything - I'm so excited to be getting it and this will let me breathe and make sure I have everything I need before trying it.
Jane
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:39 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by JaneM. View Post
great food for thought!
Jane
Jane - Just one more wild thought. One I considered before I decided on flipping the axle and backing up.

How about a winch in the garage? You could unhook in the street and pull the cables down to the trailer tongue. Winch it up and and down. Not level but chocked and stabilized, who cares? If you need to level it to work on it or put up guests you could winch it down to the street.

Just a thought.

And - You must be so excited!!! Congratulations on the new trailer!!!!
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:52 AM   #20
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How about a new house with a better driveway?
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