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Old 03-11-2020, 08:09 PM   #1
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TT Clearance on uphill driveway

I am considering buying a Rockwood 2608BS. However, I live in the mountains and my driveway goes up hill from the street. Any idea on how to calculate whether or not the tail of the travel trailer will scrape the street before entering the driveway.
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Old 03-11-2020, 08:17 PM   #2
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Was involved in this same discussion in another thread - my own personal opinion is, if you're not sure AND it's a "go/no-go" part of the decision (meaning if it can't make it up your driveway, you will NOT buy that TT), then you need to just tow the exact unit you want and see if it can navigate it, using your own TV. There are so many variables in the equation (the slope, the pitch, the gutter depth, the wheel size, the crown of the main road, hitch height, etc.) that you would need to be an MIT PHD to calculate it out, AND THEN only if the measurements were all exact!
Just rent the same model or see if the dealer will allow you to do the on-site test . . .
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Old 03-13-2020, 01:31 PM   #3
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TT Clearance on Uphill Driveway

Hi GoneSouth10, thanks for your feedback. Unfortunately, there is no place in the Denver Metro area that rents the Rockwood 2608BS. I may have to think of some scientific measuring method. Or maybe I'll ask some of my neighbors--lots of travel trailer in the community-- and I might get lucky and meet a mathematical scientist. By the way, does all 29'11" travel trailers place their wheels in the same place or the same distance from the rear of the TT?
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Old 03-13-2020, 01:54 PM   #4
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Hi GoneSouth10, thanks for your feedback. Unfortunately, there is no place in the Denver Metro area that rents the Rockwood 2608BS. I may have to think of some scientific measuring method. Or maybe I'll ask some of my neighbors--lots of travel trailer in the community-- and I might get lucky and meet a mathematical scientist. By the way, does all 29'11" travel trailers place their wheels in the same place or the same distance from the rear of the TT?
Not sure you'll be able to do it scientifically, but one thought would be to find a trailer that IS close to the Rockwood, drive it up the transition and see how close it comes. While you can plan/extrapolate the measurement variances between two similar trailers (axle height, bumper height, distance from hitch to axle and axle to bumper, etc), it's really the actual road transition that's going to make the difference.
For example, if the transition between the road and driveway is a single uniform angle (i.e., the theoretical angle of say 10 degrees between the flat road and the flat driveway matches reality), you'll get a pretty good idea if the Rockwood will work versus your "test" trailer.
But if, for example, you have some serious crown on the road or a deep rain gutter/depression between the road and driveway, your trailer's wheels will drop considerably relative to that theoretical angle, you've got a whole bunch more variables to factor in (e.g., if you've got 10 feet from your TT axle to your back TT bumper and the main road is flat, you may have room for that back end to "dip" as you pull up the driveway, but if the road has a crown and it actually rises up 8" or so in that 10 feet from the low point of the gutter (i.e., the fulcrum), then you've got 8" less clearance than you thought you had).
Of course, the differences in the actual road transition also impact what solutions may be available as well - if the problem is the depression from the rain gutter, seems you could "ramp" over that with well placed 2X10s or something . . .
Good Luck!!
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Old 03-13-2020, 03:00 PM   #5
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Based on a factory visit to the Flagstaff/Rockwood plant a couple of years back, I expect that all of the trailers of the same length are in fact built on the same frame. What differs is the floor plan and probably location of the water and waste tanks. So for the OP, finding another Flagstaff or Rockwood trailer of the same length should answer your issue. One caveat, this may not hold true for significantly different model years. The other two things that will make a difference are the specific tow vehicles and hitches used.
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Old 03-13-2020, 03:15 PM   #6
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Thanks to all you guys. I have one more compound question. Is there such a thing as an adjustable hitch that could lower the front of the travel trailer or maybe air bags under the rear tires that can be deflated? By the way, I am an old southerner, from New Orleans living in the mountains of Colorado; back home we tend to make things fit or invent ways as we go---smile.
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Old 03-14-2020, 10:26 AM   #7
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Probably not a lot of help, but I have similar concerns with my not so steep dirt/gravel driveway with my Wolf Pup 16BHS! 21.5' ball to rear "bumper". The road is significantly crowned and about 16-20' from the road my drive humps downward toward the road a lot. I had the hump smoothed down some and the center flattened out. Helped ease my dragging worries some.
Still, I do not install the load bars on my WDH until I am out my drive. If going south I run over to the high school parking lot or north pulling into the "trucks must stop here" pull off for trucks to review the loss of brakes emergency pull off near the bottom of the hill. Not having the bars installed is to allow the TT rear to tilt upward when transiting from my drive to the road, otherwise I'd drag my black pipe ;(
I have a factory rear platform I've never used because of my drive. This summer I plan on moving my TT axle from on top to below the springs. Kit already in hand.
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Old 03-14-2020, 02:46 PM   #8
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Perhaps you could fabricate a model of the back half of the trailer with 2x4 and screws to get a rough idea. Then trainer wheels.
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Old 03-14-2020, 02:55 PM   #9
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Still, I do not install the load bars on my WDH until I am out my drive. If going south I run over to the high school parking lot or north pulling into the "trucks must stop here" pull off for trucks to review the loss of brakes emergency pull off near the bottom of the hill. Not having the bars installed is to allow the TT rear to tilt upward when transiting from my drive to the road, otherwise I'd drag my black pipe
I believe this would gain you at least an inch or 2 in the rear...

You might also mount some HDuty caster wheels to the rear bumper to drag on the ground in that situation.
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Old 03-14-2020, 02:56 PM   #10
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Perhaps you could fabricate a model of the back half of the trailer with 2x4 and screws to get a rough idea. Then trainer wheels.
The problem with that approach is without the "front half" of the equation (everything from hitch height, characteristics of the TV, how the hitch moves relative to the angle of the TV, length from axle to hitch, etc.), just doing the back half is a WAG. It may give you a rough idea, but it could be the difference between being able to navigate the transition or not once you get the actual TV and TT involved . . .
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Old 03-14-2020, 03:04 PM   #11
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My brain is too old for mathematics, but a "drop hitch" might work. Lowering the hitch 6" will raise the back of the trailer, possibly enough to "make the grade"...
https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories...BoCCboQAvD_BwE
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Old 03-14-2020, 03:47 PM   #12
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Use your TV , tie String on the hitch .as long as the TT. Measure and tie a ribbon here the wheels R. Back or drive in the driveway about where you would if it was the TT consider the turning radius keep the measurement the same where the wheels r. Where the string hits the drive or road is as far as you r approximately going. Maybe a temporary bridge could b used ���� or find someone with a similar TT and try that �� good luck Bill
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Old 03-14-2020, 04:24 PM   #13
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How about air operated wheels on the back of the trailer and air bags on the front of the truck. Pretty crazy but you did say design as you go?
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Old 03-14-2020, 05:50 PM   #14
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Just get some heavy duty casters for the back and go for it.
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Old 03-14-2020, 08:53 PM   #15
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How about what they taught us in high school geometry? You basically have a triangle from the back wheels of the trailer to the back bumper low spot on the trailer then along the frame and back to the wheels. Just make a proportional drawing of this and cut it out of card stock (used to be shirt cardboards or Railroad board) or whatever. Then draw your driveway as proportionately as you can for the slope. then take the "trailer card" you cut out and see how well it goes up the driveway drawing. Not perfect, but, at least a start. You didn't say if your driveway was gravel or paved, but, if gravel, you might be able to change the entry angle of the drive so the trailer clears it. Remember to "adjust" your trailer card to allow for the truck hitch tilt, but, you mainly want to make sure the trailer clears until the back wheels of the trailer are on the driveway. Once the wheels are on the driveway they should lift the trailer up enough to clear. Good luck!
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Old 03-14-2020, 09:29 PM   #16
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Our old trailer had rollers on the back frame under the bumper! They were strong enough to support the weight of the trailer when going over a steep grade! Or a dip in the road. Now this trailer was very low to the ground. I had to almost lie down to lower stabilizers! They saved me a few times. Algonquin park at Pog Lake has a very steep down then a little bridge then a steep up. Ive seen lots a trailers and RVs grind their front and back bumpers.
Im putting a set on our new trailer even though it is almost 14" higher than the old one. For 25bucks ill save much more in damage im sure!
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Old 03-14-2020, 10:11 PM   #17
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Yep, my old trailer had those wheels, too. That was when the bumper could withstand the weight of the trailer! Some new bumpers say if you put anything on them other than a tire, you void the warranty! But your thought reminded me of my old trailer, which was also low to the ground. When I had to replace the shackles on it (yes, we had it a long time), I got slightly longer shackles. It raised up the back end a fair amount and I didn't have to use the wheels anymore. The amount it raised by, didn't seem to affect the stability of the trailer, either. When we got our Windjammer, years later, they had a recall because the torsion axels were too close to the body of the trailer and if you hit a pothole, the tire could damage the underside of the trailer. Their fix was to put a box underneath between the axels and the frame which raised up the trailer about 4 inches which really helped our clearance. Our OP may want to consider a way to raise his frame a bit (don't know if he has springs or torsion) if the trailer doesn't clear. Maybe he could discuss this with the dealer or manufacturer before buying. That way he gets the trailer he wants and clears his driveway, too. We store our TT in our barn and had an opposite concern when we got the adjustment on the Windjammer. Our barn is 12 feet tall and we had to worry about hitting the rafters as we backed in. It just cleared, though, so it worked for us, and the extra frame clearance has been really great. Hope he can work something out.
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Old 03-15-2020, 06:49 AM   #18
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I used a ramp made from 2x6’s to raise my former trailer as I backed into my driveway. Also consider if you are pulling or backing up, how are you getting down?
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Old 03-15-2020, 11:55 AM   #19
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Thanks to all you guys for you suggestions. However, yesterday I went to a TT dealer to measure from ground to the rear of the trailer. I noticed that the rear of the TT is sloped upward, i.e., rather than being level, the back of the trailer, it is an upward slop of about 3 to 5 degrees. It suddenly dawned on me, why not back the trailer in. By the time the rear of the trailer can meet the upward slope of the driveway, the rear wheels may begin their upward trajectory, lifting the tail up. This is just a hypothesis, and will need real world testing. What do you think?
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Old 03-15-2020, 12:00 PM   #20
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Simple but probably expensive:. Get a flat bed to haul it in.
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