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Old 04-23-2021, 06:39 AM   #1
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Name: Jack
Trailer: Casita Liberty
Virginia
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Using a Front Trailer Hitch

I have a Casita & a Chevy Colorado. I have about 10 inches of clearance to park my Casita in the backyard. I have wasted money on trailer movers, they do not work on grass. Backing the Casita in was always an adventure. Then I saw a front trailer hitch on YouTube. I had one installed for a total cost of $350. I can now just drive it to its parking space. I can do it without any help. ( But I use the wife most times. )
Added 2 pictures, where I start backing from & the tight turn I have.
Attached Thumbnails
NEW 1.jpg   NEW 3.jpg  

House 1.jpg   House 2.jpg  

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Old 04-23-2021, 07:19 AM   #2
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Glad that this worked for you.

I am curious though, as it seems to be straight and clear, what is the issue with reversing the trailer into place. I am probably missing something.
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Old 04-23-2021, 07:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
Glad that this worked for you.

I am curious though, as it seems to be straight and clear, what is the issue with reversing the trailer into place. I am probably missing something.
Thanks for your question. I would be backing up from the road, across my driveway & front yard, and making a sharp 90 degree left turn. Then straight back to the backyard.
It would take me about 5 or 6 tries to get it parked without scraping the corner of my house or the fence post.
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We enjoy Whole Plant Base food
If I won the award for laziness, I would send somebody to pick it up for me.
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Old 04-23-2021, 07:37 AM   #4
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Name: Jack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
Glad that this worked for you.

I am curious though, as it seems to be straight and clear, what is the issue with reversing the trailer into place. I am probably missing something.
Added 2 more pictures.
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Old 04-23-2021, 08:24 AM   #5
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I’ve been thinking of putting one on my F150. I have a difficult to reach parking spot at an angle. The long wheelbase of the F150 makes it that much harder.

I have used my Honda Element just to back in at the house. Infinitely easier!’ But no way is the Honds rated to tow an Escape 19.
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Old 04-23-2021, 08:26 AM   #6
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How about a picture showing what you see from the driver seat when hooked up?
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Old 04-23-2021, 08:45 AM   #7
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I'm about to install one on my 4Runner. I'll see if I can remember to take some pics.
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Old 04-23-2021, 10:23 AM   #8
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I installed a 2 inch receiver on the front of a 2X4 half ton for towing a boat trailer out of the water. Rear wheels would lose traction if I backed into the water. No problems, should work for a TT as well.
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Old 04-24-2021, 05:05 PM   #9
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I'll post when I can. When towing you are pushing the camper & you see a camper in front of you. But what you do is watch the driver's side of the camper. Since I already know the other side fits, all I need to do is watch one side. I put something on the ground, so I know when to stop.
I had bought 2 different trailer movers & they do not work on grass.
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Old 04-28-2021, 03:50 PM   #10
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Thanks for posting that. I have a similar situation but with only about an inch to spare either side of my Escape 21C. I was thinking of getting a trailer mover, but after your experience I don't think it would work, since I have quite an uphill slope over grass to the gate. I also thought about widening the gate (there is lots of room), but am worried about the hitch bottoming out on the slope when backing in. Has that been an issue with your front-mounted hitch? I am new to this, greatly intimidated by reversing, so at present the trailer is in a storage facility, but it would be nice to store it at home. I suppose the other thing I could do is get Jim to come and reverse it for me, I believe we live in the same town.

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Old 04-28-2021, 07:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
How about a picture showing what you see from the driver seat when hooked up?
I have seen cases where the front hitch was mounted off center towards the passenger side. I tried to find the videos or pictures illustrating this some time back and had no success.

In my case, I would be making a left turn, so the view from the driver's seat with a centered front hitch would actually be very good.

Backing the trailer in, I have taken to putting a number of little temporary markers on the driveway just inside the curved target path of the trailer wheel.

However, the driveway is at a 20% grade down from the street, which is at an 8% grade, so the mirrors only offer a very limited view, particularly before I break over the vertical grade change at the sidewalk. The angled concrete curb on the edge of the trailer access area makes it challenging as the tow vehicle will get bound up against it if I don't get the curve "just right".

I have been evaluating power trailer movers and am thinking I may gave a front hitch a try as it appears you can end up spending "quite a bit" on a trailer mover.

Aside from the problems with limited traction, another significant issue is that the $500 to $2,000 designs rely on an attachment to the trailer's coupler to oppose the torque imposed by the powered wheels. These arrangements severely stress the coupler as the power movers apply a tremendous amount of stress to the shoe under the ball.

The shoe is only designed to keep the tongue from hopping off the ball while you tow, which is an order of magnitude less than the stress which imposed by these dollies.

I've read reports on the Airstream forum of how some of these attachments have failed catastrophically in use. One power dolly vendor reports the coupler failure rate as being 6%; he fabricates a custom attachment to bolt to your frame and provide a separate point of connection.

The Trax brand dolly attempts to control and limit this stress with a turnbuckle, but I see limitations even with their approach.

Getting something like the AirTug LD or HD models, which basically have additional wheels to eliminate the stresses imposed on the trailer coupler, starts moving the dolly prices into the realm of $2,500 to $3,500. So, I figure I owe it to myself to try a front hitch at some $350.
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Driveway Plan View.jpg   Trailer Tug HD tt-hd-electric.jpg  

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Old 04-29-2021, 06:11 AM   #12
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I put one on my F-150

Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
I’ve been thinking of putting one on my F150. I have a difficult to reach parking spot at an angle. The long wheelbase of the F150 makes it that much harder.

I have used my Honda Element just to back in at the house. Infinitely easier!’ But no way is the Honds rated to tow an Escape 19.
My F-150 is 2WD and this makes the truck lower than most. Actually it makes it to low and I have never tried moving my trailer this way. I have to be careful pulling up to curbs when parking now. It has given me a real sense of where the front of my truck is.

The load capacity is 500# or about half of what my tongue weight is so even if I weld up an adapter to raise the hitch 6 inches I won't try it. I may finally use it for a bike rack on short trips. I got it from etrailer and it stayed in the box for over a year and by the time I started to have misgivings about installing it, it was to late to return it. So I installed it out of stubbornness.

I welded a receiver on the front of my 60hp MF and I have moved my BigFoot around with that but it makes the tractor a little light in the rear so I will have to weld up a weight box for the back.
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Old 04-29-2021, 09:09 AM   #13
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Name: Jack
Trailer: Casita Liberty
Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Scanlon View Post
Thanks for posting that. I have a similar situation but with only about an inch to spare either side of my Escape 21C. I was thinking of getting a trailer mover, but after your experience I don't think it would work, since I have quite an uphill slope over grass to the gate. I also thought about widening the gate (there is lots of room), but am worried about the hitch bottoming out on the slope when backing in. Has that been an issue with your front-mounted hitch? I am new to this, greatly intimidated by reversing, so at present the trailer is in a storage facility, but it would be nice to store it at home. I suppose the other thing I could do is get Jim to come and reverse it for me, I believe we live in the same town.

Attachment 140590
I have a slight slope also. Never had trouble bottoming out. After 2 years the only trouble I had was it had rained & I got stuck in the yard. Now I walk down the yard before I drive over grass. Trailers movers will not work on grass or gravel or up a slope. Here is some pictures.
Attached Thumbnails
Front Hitch 2.jpg   Front Hitch 1.jpg  

Front Hitch.jpg  
__________________
Been with my sweetheart since 1969
Burned by Snoozy, Now a Casita owner
We enjoy Whole Plant Base food
If I won the award for laziness, I would send somebody to pick it up for me.
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Old 04-29-2021, 10:28 AM   #14
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Name: Jack
Trailer: Casita Liberty
Virginia
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I use these to guide me when using the front hitch.
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312wKPd8ZgL.jpg  
__________________
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Burned by Snoozy, Now a Casita owner
We enjoy Whole Plant Base food
If I won the award for laziness, I would send somebody to pick it up for me.
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Old 04-29-2021, 01:12 PM   #15
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Hmm. The Curt 31033 front hitch lists a 300-lb. rated tongue weight capacity while our last measured tongue weight was 540-lbs.

While I anticipate the hitch has a robust safety factor, 540-lbs. is close to twice the rated capacity, and I don't know what the limiting factors are, such as capacity of the vehicle at the mounting location.

Hmm.
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