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Old 12-13-2018, 10:00 PM   #1
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Unhitching on an incline

Have a question about unhitching my 27' travel trailer on an incline. After backing and getting level, I go to raise and unhitch. Even though I have the wheel chocks placed, when the ball "pops" out of the hitch, there is a small lurch forward. Is this usual and will this cause problems? I'm thinking it can't be good on the front jack, seeing this is the only thing holding the trailer up. I've even pulled forward enough so there would be no "play". Still there is just enough lurch to make me nervous. Should I be? Understand I'm a 62 yr old rookie. lol
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Old 12-13-2018, 10:09 PM   #2
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Are you using regular chocks or X chocks? X chocks work pretty well in situations like yours. You could also try pulling the breakaway switch, but that would have to be left off until you rehook. If your anything like me you'd forget about putting that back together.
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Old 12-13-2018, 10:17 PM   #3
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Regular chocks. Thought about the X chocks, but haven't yet.
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:45 AM   #4
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Unless you have a way to wedge the regular chocks into the tires, on an incline. there is going to be some movement when unhitching.

Some folks will pull up slightly (or back up) on one chock before putting the second chock in and allowing the trailer to settle back between the two before unhitching, thus helping to wedge the tire to keep it from rolling.

X-Chocks help do this too since you crank them between the tires.
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:03 AM   #5
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Let me ask you guys this. How hard is it on the front jack. It on moves an inch or less. Just concerned it might damage it.
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:36 AM   #6
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I have many trailers. Utility, dump, flatbed, racecar, TT etc.
They ALL move slightly when unhooking.

The key elements are how much movement and how much weight is on the jack and also if the jack pad/foot slides or stays stationary.

Without knowing your variables, it is impossible for us to recommend whether your movement is acceptable. It does sound like your movement is minimal but again, we are not there.

Try the chocking procedure I recommended or get some X-chocks or something similar to help with the movement.
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:52 AM   #7
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Trailer moving when unhooking!

I have the X Chocks! They say right on them "Do not use when unhooking unit!" They won't interfere with regular chocks BUT you shouldn't use them until the trailer is level! Used more to really steady unit after disconnected and leveled.
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:58 AM   #8
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My tag trailer did that, jack slid a bit but didn't bother it. if it moves much and the jack doesn't slide, it might bind.
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Old 12-14-2018, 10:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomm1947 View Post
I have the X Chocks! They say right on them "Do not use when unhooking unit!" They won't interfere with regular chocks BUT you shouldn't use them until the trailer is level! Used more to really steady unit after disconnected and leveled.
Manufacturers say a lot of stuff to CYA. (cover your a**)

My x-chocks are the first thing to go in and the last to come out.
I can slide the tires if trying to pull the trailer without removing.
They do a good job. Don't be afraid to use them.
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Old 12-14-2018, 03:13 PM   #10
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These are assumptions, so you know what that means.

You mentioned an inch or two of movement before the wheel chocks prevent additional movement.

Assumption 1: the tongue jack on your rig is adequate to withstand that small bending moment. Given your consistent parking in this location, it's not too expensive to upgrade the tongue jack to one rated for more weight...and more resistant to bending. I did this on my rig because I frequently setup lakeside on a sidehill, and the tongue jack must resist the natural twisting motion related to elevated to downhill tires and chocked uphill tires. There is always a little slop in the setup that torques the tongue jack a couple inches one way or the other.

Assumption 2: Your wheel chocks are "decent." In your case, junk wheel chocks might be the death of you. You need two premium ($30 per pair) wheel chocks for this service, and they need to have good "traction" with the pavement. You might look at solid rubber. (A pair of these will be $80) Steel X-Chocks are good, too, but these might do the trick, and nothing can break on these big lumps of rubber.

Assumption 3: You use a hammer or rubber mallet to drive the wheel chock under the tire as much as possible. A few gentle taps will improve initial engagement.

Assumption 4: After chocking the tires, you allow your trailer and TV to roll forward a bit to fully engage the wheel chocks to minimize "slop" in the system. You may discover that you must ease the tension on the hitch ball after doing this or the coupler will have a hard time releasing the hitch ball.
RELEASE THE LATCH on the coupler before backing the TV an inch so you don't push the trailer backwards.

Assumption 5: You are using a wheel dock and a drop leg - NOT A CASTER on the tongue jack. Casters have their place, but a caster is a very weak link in the chain in situations like this. Also, the long drop leg can be nestled far up in the tongue jack to further stiffen the jack tubing.

Assumption 6: IF YOU USE WOOD BLOCKING under the tongue jack, it should be extra long and stable...oriented up and down hill. A 6" x 6" or 8" x 8" block about 3 feet long will not roll or skid as easily as a small stack of 2" x 8" blocks. If you use wood blocking, it's better to not use a drop leg, because the jack pipe will bite into and grip the wood block.

Assumption 7: MOST IMPORTANT - your butt is not sandwiched between the trailer and TV when you disconnect. If you have an electric tongue jack, either get a wireless remote for it or fabricate a wired remote (paralleled with the main rocker switch) that allows you to stand clear as you lift the coupler off the ball. You can do this a hundred times without problems, but sooner or later, something might go wrong, and you don't need to get crushed.
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Old 12-14-2018, 03:30 PM   #11
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Right about x chocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomm1947 View Post
I have the X Chocks! They say right on them "Do not use when unhooking unit!" They won't interfere with regular chocks BUT you shouldn't use them until the trailer is level! Used more to really steady unit after disconnected and leveled.
You are absolutely right. I had x chocks on and my trailer started moving. It probably moved a foot maybe a little more. Scared the stuffings right out of me. DO NOT USE THEM ALONE ON INCLINES!!!!!!
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Old 12-14-2018, 03:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarrysPony View Post
You are absolutely right. I had x chocks on and my trailer started moving. It probably moved a foot maybe a little more. Scared the stuffings right out of me. DO NOT USE THEM ON INCLINE!!!!!!
If your trailer moved a foot or more with x-chocks installed, you did not have them properly installed/tightened.
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Old 12-14-2018, 03:43 PM   #13
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Trailers should have a parking brake just like a car.
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Old 12-14-2018, 03:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5picker View Post
If your trailer moved a foot or more with x-chocks installed, you did not have them properly installed/tightened.
Wrong I had double checked them and I had tightened then as tight as u could get them. Because of the situation with the site u had to lift trailer towards the farthest it would go. It just started moving as soon as it released from the hitch. By the way I do recommend them just not for your only chocks to stop trailer from sliding.
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Old 12-14-2018, 03:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbnt18 View Post
Have a question about unhitching my 27' travel trailer on an incline. After backing and getting level, I go to raise and unhitch. Even though I have the wheel chocks placed, when the ball "pops" out of the hitch, there is a small lurch forward. Is this usual and will this cause problems? I'm thinking it can't be good on the front jack, seeing this is the only thing holding the trailer up. I've even pulled forward enough so there would be no "play". Still there is just enough lurch to make me nervous. Should I be? Understand I'm a 62 yr old rookie. lol


After chocking tires on trailer. Put tow vehicle in neutral to release tension then put back in park and then release trailer.
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Old 12-14-2018, 03:56 PM   #16
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When we had our Roo, I could park it temporarily in our driveway. This is what I had to do. I used 4 regular chocks only.

Click image for larger version

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The picture shows the original manual jack that had a wheel on it, but I quickly replaced that with a Husky Brute 4500 electric jack with a regular round foot plate. I would put the TV in neutral and let it settle against the chocks before unhitching. It didn't move much. In order to get it level front to back, I had to raise the front end and put the A frame on axle stands then retract the jack enough to get that stump under the jack foot and then raise it higher to be level.

I've since bought X-chocks but I only install them after I'm levelled.

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Old 12-14-2018, 04:31 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbnt18 View Post
Have a question about unhitching my 27' travel trailer on an incline. After backing and getting level, I go to raise and unhitch. Even though I have the wheel chocks placed, when the ball "pops" out of the hitch, there is a small lurch forward. Is this usual and will this cause problems? I'm thinking it can't be good on the front jack, seeing this is the only thing holding the trailer up. I've even pulled forward enough so there would be no "play". Still there is just enough lurch to make me nervous. Should I be? Understand I'm a 62 yr old rookie. lol

I have the same situation when I back into my driveway. When I place my wheel chocks, I tap them in snug with a rubber mallet. Using this method, the movement when the coupler comes off the ball is very minimal and I've never worried about it. I also use X-chocks, but not until after the trailer is level and the stabilizers are down.
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Old 12-14-2018, 05:26 PM   #18
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As others have said my x-chocks are the first item on at set up and the last item off at takedown. When used properly the wheels are firmly locked.
I did see a tt on a pretty good slope slide when on a wet grassy site. I have never had any issues with the unit shifting with x-chocks only and my parking site is on an incline of about 5%. I would suggest both good quality chocks and x-chocks to minimize the risk for the unit shifting when unhooking if on a steeper incline or on a wet dirt or grassy area
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:06 PM   #19
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Excellent advice all around. I especially like the idea of "pre-loading" the wheel chocks by allowing the trailer to move slightly in the downhill direction before placing the other set of wheel chocks on the "uphill" side. After that, engage a set of X-Chocks, and you will have a stable setup. I wish I had this advice for the last 20+ years when we were using our TT. I wore out a couple of tongue jacks by carelessly letting the TT slip after I thought it was properly secured.
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Old 12-14-2018, 10:11 PM   #20
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I bought a set of real heavy duty rubber chocks from Harbor Freight for about $6-7.00 each. good grippers on both the tire side and deeper grooved on the ground side. One problem with putting X-chocks on the tires before leveling is if on a good size hill or slope you will lock up the tires to one another and then lifting or dropping the tongue you will load up the one tire more as they rock to match the new angle making less equal weight loading. I all so chock the down hill side then let the TV settle in neutral so the trailer is tight to the chocks.
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