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Old 10-13-2019, 07:19 AM   #1
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Question How steep is too steep?

We have a 2018 Shasta Oasis 26RL Travel Trailer - I pull it with a Dodge 1500 Ram with the proper anti-sway, weight distribution hitch. We are within the truck limits both with towing and payload capacity.

We are considering buying a piece of land that has a pretty steep driveway. The driveway is "modified" - which I guess is a small pressed gravel/dirt combination. It's packed fairly well - but I'm worried about getting our RV to the top.

My plan would be to:

1) Put the truck in 4WD low
2) Tanks would be empty
3) Say a prayer ;-)

Seriously though - are there any recommendations for this?
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Old 10-13-2019, 07:32 AM   #2
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Without seeing a picture of the drive, it's really hard to comment on how difficult it might be.
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Old 10-13-2019, 07:38 AM   #3
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This must be an extremely steep driveway to require 4 low and such. If your truck has gone up the drive without the trailer without problems it should do fine pulling the load with the rig in normal camping mode.
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Old 10-13-2019, 08:28 AM   #4
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As mentioned without knowing what the driveway looks like we are simply speculating.

As I come out my lane (also inclined and modified/packed gravel) I need to use 4x4 to keep from spinning the tires. My rig weighs 11k.

I've been doing this for 20+ years with many different R/Vs with no issues.

You can see my lane behind the photo of the flower. That's the best picture I could find quickly.Click image for larger version

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Old 10-13-2019, 10:09 AM   #5
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My driveway is pretty steep for a short distance right at the start. Itís gravel and never packs down as UPS and other visitors always spin their tires when coming up it. When pulling my trailer up it I donít fool around, I stop at the bottom and put my TV in 4x4 low and crawl up it without spinning a tire. This is better than getting a run at it in 2wd and bouncing around all my trailer contents. If you have a 4x4 why even question it, use it, thatís itís purpose!

With a full water tank my trailer weighs 7500 lbs at the cat scale.
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Old 10-13-2019, 10:19 AM   #6
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I agree no pic hard to speculate. How long how steep, any sharp turns, transition from road to drive way if climb starts right away. Lots to consider
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Old 10-13-2019, 01:08 PM   #7
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We have a packed gravel road base driveway that is almost 1/4 mile long and very steep - 15% grade in several places with curves. Using 4x4 low, my husband has pulled our travel trailer up without any difficulty. Now turning it around at the top of the driveway is another matter. Imagine not a 3-point turn but rather about a 33 point turn!
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Old 10-13-2019, 01:21 PM   #8
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I used to live in Asheville NC every where there drive ways are crazy being in the smoky mnts. Most of the time you need 4X4 'S JUST TO GET INTO YOUR DRIVE way, mine was that way I took my TT up it L 4x4 it was a 34 foot never a problem. Then went to 31 C Class towed my Saturn and it also made it. only problem it dragged the hitch I had to install air bags to raise read to stop it.
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Old 10-13-2019, 01:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaDog View Post
This must be an extremely steep driveway to require 4 low and such. If your truck has gone up the drive without the trailer without problems it should do fine pulling the load with the rig in normal camping mode.
IMHO thereís a huge difference between going up in just the truck and pulling thousands of pounds Of dead weight behind you. Much more traction is needed to pull the trailer up the hill.

My advice would be to do as you said and be prepared to get out of a jam if you lose traction, meaning be prepared to back it back down the hill.

Maybe stop half way up in just the truck and see if you slip trying to start from a dead stop.

Good luck!
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Old 10-13-2019, 02:00 PM   #10
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We had a 35 ft 5th wheel that we pulled up a pretty steep asphalt driveway. It is steep enough that that we had to have casters mounted on the frame in the rear to keep the 11 ft. overhang from causing the bumper to scrape the driveway. We pulled this up the hill in 2 wheel drive most of the time, but would switch to 4 wheel when it was wet - especially when leaf-covered. Never had to go to low range, though. We do the same now with our current 5th wheel that weighs 10-11,000 pounds loaded. TV is a 2011 F250 Fx4 diesel.
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Old 10-13-2019, 02:08 PM   #11
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I have to back our 27' TT, up a 14į incline driveway, to get it in our parking spot. I use 4 Low to do it.
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Old 10-13-2019, 02:48 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ShorePatrol View Post
We have a 2018 Shasta Oasis 26RL Travel Trailer - I pull it with a Dodge 1500 Ram with the proper anti-sway, weight distribution hitch. We are within the truck limits both with towing and payload capacity.

We are considering buying a piece of land that has a pretty steep driveway. The driveway is "modified" - which I guess is a small pressed gravel/dirt combination. It's packed fairly well - but I'm worried about getting our RV to the top.

My plan would be to:

1) Put the truck in 4WD low
2) Tanks would be empty
3) Say a prayer ;-)

Seriously though - are there any recommendations for this?
I have a VERY steep PAVED driveway.
My RAM 1500 is rated to tow 7700 pounds.
My rig, and my load in the bed, total about 5000 pounds.

My tactic...4WD Auto...not low range and not full 4WD. Due to weight transfer, most of the traction is at the rear when climbing.

Suggested tactics:
  • Improve the driveway. At minimum pave with recycled asphalt. But asphalt will be much better.
  • In lieu of that, make sure it's graded to be VERY smooth. Washboard, washouts, large rocks emerging, and so on will all cause wheel hop, force slower speeds, and make the pull more difficult. If you are churning the tires on the way up, you'll tear up the driveway, and pulling the trailer will become more and more difficult.
  • Build or buy a good "drag" to smooth the driveway towing it with your truck. Illustration not a recommendation: https://www.neatfarms.com/8---x-4---...iABEgKaH_D_BwE
  • Be sure you have excellent drainage on each side of the driveway. Either the surface of the drive should stand about 12" proud of the surrounding terrain, or you should have ditches to direct water away from the surface. No drainage means ENDLESS problems with the driveway.
  • In practice, be sure you can get a running start at the driveway. This may not be possible, but starting the climb from essentially a dead stop will be very difficult.
  • At minimum, if traffic allows, make the turn into the driveway, get lined up, then back the entire mess until the rear axle of the trailer is about to go into the ditch on the far side of the "street" in front of the driveway. Then take off and build momentum from that essentially flat start. Employ your spouse and/or adult kids as "flagmen" to facilitate the maneuver if necessary.
  • Be sure your "street"-to-hill transition is gentle enough that you're not dragging the tail of your camper.

I have LOTS of experience with gravel road building and maintenance. And I have a lot of experience towing my rig on steep, washboarded gravel roads deep into the national forest. Steep dirt roads tend to get rough in a hurry, and steep combined with rough is a recipe for problems climbing hills while towing. If you need to use 4WD-Low to make this hill, you will have nothing but trouble with this property, and you'll end up paying to pave the driveway with asphalt. Think at least $10,000.
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Old 10-13-2019, 04:10 PM   #13
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just use 4 low and go slow so to prevent hopping. That will allow the suspension to walk over unevenness. The drag device shown is useless without something to compact it afterwards. Vibratory smooth drum roller is best. It will never compact like hatchdog said about his unless it has a sufficient amount of fines to bind the rocks together. You also need proper moisture for compaction. I built many rock surface mountain roads when I was a general Engineering contractor and they will work fine but need more care compared to asphalt or concrete of course. Asphalt is just the cement for the rock and fines mix about 6-7% and Portland Cement is used in concrete for the same thing.It actually takes about 10-11% with Portland Cement.
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Old 10-13-2019, 07:53 PM   #14
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Use your low gear settings before you begin your ascent. Set the tranny to “hill assist” if you have it available. MAKE SURE THE BACK END OF YOUR TRAILER DOES NOT DRAG INTO THE DRIVEWAY!!!!
.....the fun part will be your descent into traffic!!!����
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Old 10-13-2019, 10:46 PM   #15
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I don’t see the descent as a problem with brakes on more wheels than drive. Not all driveways lead to traffic either.
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Old 10-14-2019, 05:42 AM   #16
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and we still have no idea just how steep the driveway really is.
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Old 10-14-2019, 05:53 AM   #17
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Here's the driveway

I took some video for the family to check out - so you can see the driveway starting at 1:15



I appreciate everyone's reply.

After driving it again yesterday, I feel more confident that I can get the camper to the top (and back down) without issue.

There's really not much traffic at the bottom since it's a dirt county road - most of the traffic are ATV's and side by sides ;-)

Again - thanks for the discussion.
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Old 10-14-2019, 08:07 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by TheWolfPaq82 View Post
and we still have no idea just how steep the driveway really is.
X2 ....
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Old 10-14-2019, 08:12 AM   #19
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When I first moved into my PA house (25 years ago) we had a 20% grade driveway with 2b modified stone that was UP hill to get out. I used to tow a 24' Sun line behind a Dodge Dakota with 318. Yes we used 4wd to get the camper out of the driveway. the camper was never any problem, but the fun was when we would come home to find a sheet of ice on that 20% grade, you couldn't even walk down it.



Later I changed the driveway to a loop where the other exit was only around 10% grade and stopped buying 4x4 trucks.
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:06 AM   #20
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We could answer the title 50%. Then we could just say hook it up and give it a try, since he hasn’t bought the property yet. As far as pretty goes beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
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