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Old 09-25-2013, 11:53 AM   #11
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Contrary to others experience, I find moving an A-Frame to be easy and very useful. Last Sunday, I didn't get my A-Frame aligned well when backing in behind my garage. I was too close to the fence and didn't want to pull out and restart. So I just chocked the wheels and unhitched. Once it was off the hitch, I lowered the front to a low level, to minimize the extension of the jack, moved the back chocks and pushed it about six feet. It was not very difficult at all across level concrete and I hit my spot easily.

Whether this is a good idea for a power jack, I don't know, but if there is a concern, then a manual trailer dolly is the fix. A-Frames are easy to move around.

Proper chocking of the tires will give you a smooth platform so that you will not notice any movement in the front wheel. Once I started using a Bal single axle tire chock, my days of wiggling trailers ended. I have a "dog bowl" for the front wheel, but have found it necessary only where the ground is soft, particularly at the beach.
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:56 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by wayfaringgirl View Post

I want a wheel so I can get darn close, but then move the trailer and inch or two to hook up, but then I'm new to all this.

I'd like the opinion of you more experienced folks who have pulled trailers for a long time. What do you think? Anyone using a caster on their power jack?
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I have been hooking up to trailer for 30 plus years, and some had wheels, that you could not remove, on them. The wheel does put a lot of stress on the shaft but I never had a failure. I would think that a power lift would have a motor instead of a handle to crank so I do not see how a wheel is going to be any different on a power lift. Plus the A Fame is light, so again I see no problem. My A Frame came with manual lift with a removable wheel. I do not use it, I get within about an 1/2" to an 1" and then drop it down on the ball. I think that I am now putting more stress on the lift then when I used the wheel as it had more wiggle.
As other have said be careful on non flat sites.
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Old 09-25-2013, 01:15 PM   #13
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The OP is talking about an A-Frame popup that weighs well under 2000 lbs so it would have maybe 200 lbs. on the jack. Having a caster on the power jack and moving the trailer a few inches should not be an issue as long as its not extended too far and you're cautious about it rolling if your hooking up on a somewhat steep grade. My previous 1999 Coleman 10' popup came from the factory with a caster on the manual jack and I used that many times to move the Coleman around to my liking on tight campsites.

Some people expressed a concern about stress on the jack, but when I unhitch in my driveway, I wonder if it might actually take stress off the jack. My driveway has a fairly good incline up to the garage from the street and I have to raise the tongue about 4' off the ground to get the trailer level. I do that by lifting it in 2 or 3 steps using axle stands and stacks of 2x10s cut into 12" squares. As the jack extends and the angle to the ground increases, there's more stress on the jack as the plate doesn't move. If I had a caster on the jack, the stress on the shaft of the jack could be relieved and the trailer will be held in place by the chocks.
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Old 09-25-2013, 01:32 PM   #14
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I will stand by my answer that I don't feel a wheel would be a wise idea. I don't feel it's really a topic to discuss/argue but it is happening obviously.

To me a wheel is only a crutch to "ease" certain steps... This is going to sound arrogant and I apologize up front as I am far from perfect. I feel that one should learn to be able to hook to the trailer with minimal movement of the tongue of the trailer IE no wheel. I also feel when it comes to parking it as stated above one needs to be able to use the TV to get it placed as they would like/need. I have always been taught and tried to live my life making things as easy on myself and my body as possible. This being said I choose to use the TV to do as much of the work as physically possible! I don't want to exert any more force than I need to at any given time! I feel this way even more so in the world of trailers as 2,000 can still cause life altering damage! Just simply trying to push the tongue a little ways with a caster can throw ones back out very simply...
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Old 09-25-2013, 02:24 PM   #15
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When I had a pup years ago the caster was really helpful for parking it behind the garden shed and I've seen other users at CGs use them to help get lined up. On a level surface using some common sense it is a safe enough choice. Take a look at the vid I linked earlier from Top Gear (under Jokes & Humor) - the hosts manually position a "full sized" (European scale) trailer with a caster.

That device does not have a caster option because the VIP 3500 has a 3500 lb limit and a caster would probably be bent pretty quickly under that load. We have the same model on our 27 foot TT. Your trailers gross weight is about 3000 lbs, so that it is a bit of overkill.

Your current device can't be (easily) converted. I believe there are other products out there that can do the job you want.

Of course there is always plan C - Keep the manual jack if it has a wheel.
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Old 09-25-2013, 02:24 PM   #16
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Thanks for all the responses.

Prior to this camper purchase all of my towing has been boats or jet skis and all those trailers had wheels and some of the boats I was involved with were longer than my camper. Most of that experience was assisting, not operating the TV so I have limited trailering, backing, hooking up experience.

My thought was to take both the plate and the wheel on trips and use whichever seemed appropriate. I purchased wheel chocks and use them when parked in the garage and take them with me when traveling.

Bryan2503S I bought those Camco things as soon as I got the camper -- they really help and I love them.

All of my hooking up to the trailer is solo so I have to keep practicing. I envy you folks with years and years of comfort with trailering.
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Old 09-25-2013, 02:29 PM   #17
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Never mind!
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:30 PM   #18
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My apologies to op. I missed that you were speaking of a small trailer. Yes, you could definitely move that around on a level, smooth surface. My bass boat is heavier and I push and pull it from the garage by hand. Again, sorry I misspoke.
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:39 PM   #19
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When I had a jet ski I could roll that all over the place so there never was a need to learn how to back up to it. That one has come back to bite me.

And yes -- my little Rockwood A128S rolls pretty easily on level ground, but it's still big enough it could hurt me if it got out of control so I will keep in mind all the safety suggestions.

You should see me back the trailer into a single garage door opening. I back a little, get out and check, back a little, check again. It takes a while. I only have 9" on each side and I'd rather go slow than tear up the trailer or the garage. I'm sure all you experienced people would get a good laugh out of watching me.
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:43 PM   #20
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When I had a jet ski I could roll that all over the place so there never was a need to learn how to back up to it. That one has come back to bite me.

And yes -- my little Rockwood A128S rolls pretty easily on level ground, but it's still big enough it could hurt me if it got out of control so I will keep in mind all the safety suggestions.

You should see me back the trailer into a single garage door opening. I back a little, get out and check, back a little, check again. It takes a while. I only have 9" on each side and I'd rather go slow than tear up the trailer or the garage. I'm sure all you experienced people would get a good laugh out of watching me.
I doubt experienced people would laugh because to get the experience, we all have done exactly what you do and still do it. Back, stop, look, back, stop, look... That's what experience teaches you. Have fun and enjoy your trailer.
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