Question about unhitching a caravan on uneven terrain.

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 17, 2023 at 13:57
ThreadID: 145252 Views:1152 Replies:10 FollowUps:3


Hi all,

I did see one topic on my question, but was not fully satisfied with the overall consensus.

So we have a 12ft Jayco Starcraft that we want to bring to our place from where we are currently keeping it.

We have a steep driveway that leads into a level grounded single carport. I'm worried that it's going to be hard if not impossible even, to unhitch as the vehicle will be at roughly 20 to 30 degrees offset.

My idea would be to park it, trailer brake on, chock the wheels, jockey it up till there's some pressure off the ball, then reverse into it a tad to allow it to come off. But I'm just not sure if that will even work at this rather extreme angle?

Thank you for any insight and help!

Aiden.
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Reply By: GarryR - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2023 at 14:28

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2023 at 14:28
My son in law has a 3.5t tandem tipper trailer that has to be parked into the back of the shed, with a small angle downwards for the landcruiser. He needs to place 2 pieces of 100mm thick pine slabs under the jockey wheel to achieve the height to remove the trailer from the vechile. Removing the trailer off the ball does not seem to be a problem, nor does re-hitching the trailer.
When both the trailer and vechile are on the same level, it is no problem. His apron from the shed door would be approx 12 - 15 degree. it is just a bit harder to line up the ball on such an angle, as he needs to back up just a little more for the coupling angle coming down. Sometimes it takes 2 of us to hook up to make it easy.
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AnswerID: 642647

Reply By: Gbc.. - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2023 at 14:34

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2023 at 14:34
my garage is similar but the car faces uphill. because the trailer is on level ground it doesnt tend to drag on the ball so it isn't a big issue. Ball couplings can bind on angles like that though so I have an offroad rotating ball hitch - all good. The trailer isnt going anywhere when you unhitch so no need to chock either., just make sure the jockey wheel is on the level part as well first.
AnswerID: 642648

Follow Up By: Genny - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2023 at 15:24

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2023 at 15:24
"The trailer isnt going anywhere when you unhitch so no need to chock either"

To quote Sir Humphrey Appleby, "That's a very courageous view, Prime Minister."
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FollowupID: 922234

Reply By: Member - Jim S1 - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2023 at 16:07

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2023 at 16:07
If your hitching/unhitching proves very difficult, maybe a boat winch installed at the back side of the level ground would make things possible.
Just tossing ideas around.
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AnswerID: 642651

Reply By: Aiden C - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2023 at 16:56

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2023 at 16:56
Thank you all for your insight. I should add, that I've managed to get out tandum trailer off before, but figured a caravan, being so much heavier, would be an issue. Would that even matter? or no different to the tandum?
AnswerID: 642652

Follow Up By: Gronk - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2023 at 20:08

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2023 at 20:08
The hitch should come off easily. What you may need to do is NOT put the handbrake on the van, but place chocks front and back of the van tyres, say 50mm away, which lets the van move slightly as the hitch comes up.
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FollowupID: 922244

Reply By: PeterInSa - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2023 at 18:28

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2023 at 18:28
Re ( Ball couplings can bind on angles like that though so I have an offroad rotating ball hitch - all good. )
We have the standard Ball coupling on our L.Cruiser/21'6" Tandem caravan with a slope not as steep as yours and need some effort to un couple. Your slope more so, the rotating ball hitch may be the way to go.

AnswerID: 642653

Reply By: Hoyks - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2023 at 21:56

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2023 at 21:56
I'd certainly keep an eye on the rear of the van roof when pushing it up the slope as it will be much higher relative to the driveway than when sitting on level ground and you don't want to put it through the roof/front of the shed.

A wiggle and the ball should come away, failing that, pull the cross pin from the receiver hitch and it should come out as you drive off.
Chock everything too.
AnswerID: 642655

Reply By: Mikee5 - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2023 at 09:25

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2023 at 09:25
Consider what Hoyks said about height. Using your sketch, if you project a line rearwards along the vehicle roof line you will see the dramatic increase in height at the rear of the caravan. Be careful.
AnswerID: 642659

Reply By: Member - Bigfish - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2023 at 13:34

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2023 at 13:34
Get a decent off road hitch. The 50mm ball is a mongrel to get on/off when on a decent angle.
AnswerID: 642662

Reply By: Aiden C - Thursday, Jan 19, 2023 at 05:48

Thursday, Jan 19, 2023 at 05:48
Thank you guys, luckily the garage is very high and clearance won't be an issue, yet, I will have my wife spot that's for sure.

Also, thanks for the ideas, I'll be giving it a shot with in the next week, I'll update here for anyone's future reference.

I'm competent at backing, but this driveway, its a b*&tch, steep and it also angles into the car port, good fun. I’ll take my time, chock the wheels, park brake on and see how I go getting it to release. Wish me luck!

Thanks again for the replies, your all legends.

Aiden.
AnswerID: 642673

Follow Up By: Member - DOZER - Thursday, Jan 19, 2023 at 11:45

Thursday, Jan 19, 2023 at 11:45
If you own a 4wd, use low range, if you dont, consider borrowing one, even hiring one to do the job, as it sounds like a clutches/auto temperatures worst nightmare.
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Reply By: Member -Dodger - Thursday, Jan 19, 2023 at 15:13

Thursday, Jan 19, 2023 at 15:13
If you find it is difficult try the ARC rotating ball hitch much easier to use and is also a lower profile.
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Cheers Dodg.

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AnswerID: 642680

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