Steep drive and twin axle!

Dec 30, 2020
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We have just bought a house with a steep drive on a fairly busy road. The plan is to keep our twin axle (7.92m length) at our house.

We tow it with a Discovery so have the option of lowering or increasing the height of the car, due to the busy road we will have to drive on and won’t be able to unhitch and use motor mover or get a front tow bar.
Does anyone know what sort of gradient we will be able to tow it up without it grounding out?
 
May 7, 2012
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We have a steep narrow drive running onto a hill in the other direction and with a lamp post just where you might mount the pavement reversing in. We bought a mover to get it in. We managed to get out with shorter caravans for some time but our Argente was just a bit too long to get it out at the top without grounding when towed which might be a problem for you if you tow upwards to get out or if you tow down the back end could ground.
The mover did the trick initially as you could run it out with the jockey wheel up to raise the front end and that may be the answer. If you are on a main road you will want to get it in quickly and again a mover should be the answer. If it is so steep the mover struggles you can edge it up one side at a time in short bursts.
 
Dec 30, 2020
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Thanks, we have a mover but I don’t see how it would help as we would need to unhitch it on the road which we won’t be able to do.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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The approach and departure angles will depend on the caravan and the the design of the caravan, so without details no one could answer you specific question. However each caravan manufacturer should publish their specifications that includes front and rear clearances. And in reality unless someone has the the exact same combination, I doubt anyone can give you a copper bottomed answer.

I am somewhat confused about your statement that you can't unhitch on the road and use the caravan mover to position the caravan. A car and caravan will take up far more road space when trying to manoeuvre onto a drive way than the unhitched caravan even at 7+ M long.

Caravan movers are designed to manage a certain maximum weight of caravan, and will normally be rated to cope with a 1:4 gradient. You will need to check your caravans and mover specifications .
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Difficult to say, but it does seem likely that you may ground out and remove the rear end?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Thanks, we have a mover but I don’t see how it would help as we would need to unhitch it on the road which we won’t be able to do.
Surely if you were to fit a front towbar you would still have to unhitch and manoeuvre on the road. or is there room on your drive. A friend had a similar problem of insufficient ground clearance and finished up putting the van into store and taking the kit across when going out on a trip.

Stopping on the road. Engaging mover and swinging it into the drive is quicker and less disruptive to traffic than manoeuvre unless your reversing skills are good.
 
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Dec 30, 2020
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Thanks all, yeah the current plan is to drive straight up on the drive with car attached and then once off the road, unhitch it and motor mover into place. I will see if I can find the figures for clearance on our particular caravan.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Thanks all, yeah the current plan is to drive straight up on the drive with car attached and then once off the road, unhitch it and motor mover into place. I will see if I can find the figures for clearance on our particular caravan.
The issue is the rear overhang. We have twin axle and it is not just the entry but als0 the exit. On exiting the car may be level, but as you move forward the rear end will drop and may catch.
 
Mar 17, 2020
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Suppose no space to drive in forwards as you suggest but stop and unhitch just before rear end is grounding? Motor mover then takes over with jockey wheel up.
If this allows unhitching with a minimum amount of the van obstructing the road then that's the price to be paid unfortunately. Couple of cones set out before you actually do the deed might be possible.
 
May 7, 2012
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Not sure why you cannot use the mover from the road if you are allowed to stop for a short time. We have always done this, although we do not live on a busy road. You do need to get the wheels in a position where you can just swing the caravan round on to the drive and this is pretty quick once you have done it a couple of times. The grounding bit may be a red herring as it needs a pretty steep slope for it to be a problem and you can always use the jockey wheel to raise either end if need be.
If you are not allowed to stop on the road unless you can drive in and get the car past the caravan after that possibly you will have to look at storage.
 
Dec 30, 2020
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The other issue also would be getting off the drive, hitching up on the road would be tricky and can be time consuming especially trying to do it when the bikes are on the back.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Even with “accurate” diagrams of the options the only real way is to do some trial runs with and without hitching when your road us at its quietest. Otherwise using storage or a different caravan are the fallback options. Our storage site has full wash down staging and our friends with their larger new caravan do all the storing and destoring at the site.
 
Dec 30, 2020
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One of our reasons for moving house was to have the caravan at home and not at storage, so storage isn’t an option. I think the plan is we will have to do something with the drive to take the sharpness out of it, somehow! Once we are in then I guess we will need to work it out!
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Perhaps I don't fully understand your problem but it seems you may not have thought out your move well enough :(.

You cannot beat using a caravan mover for precision positioning, and I am sure it would be the best and safest solution, as well as providing the best approach and departure clearance.

I am also sure that using a mover will be quicker and cause less disruption to traffic.

I would suggest you don't attempt to manoeuvre the caravan on or off the drive with the bikes on the caravan, take them off as this will give you less to worry about.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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The other issue also would be getting off the drive, hitching up on the road would be tricky and can be time consuming especially trying to do it when the bikes are on the back.
When you rush things to tend to forget details and the last thing you need is for the caravan to disconnect from the car a mile or so down the road.
 
Oct 22, 2016
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I have a Swift single axel just over 7 metres and much the same problem, except my approach is from our more or less flat drive down a one in four slope, onto our car parking space which is one in sixteen. sloping down and away from the entrance. The problem comes when the jockey wheel leaves the one in four and runs along the one in sixteen slope.

My solution is, push the jockey wheel up inside the A frame, as far as it will go, having made sure the van is pointing in exactly the right direction (once the jockey wheel is up, there is no possibility to change direction.) then let it run slowly down – the rear corner steady pipes just clear the slope, by about three inches. The fun bit is getting it back up the slope, motor mover and a bit of help from wife and I.

My initial problem is, making the turn into our drive, due to parked cars and traffic, solution pick a time when I can approach from the south and make a wide turn, late evenings night time make things easier when traffic is less frequent.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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Thanks, we have a mover but I don’t see how it would help as we would need to unhitch it on the road which we won’t be able to do.
It might help us to understand your predicament better if you could explain what prevents you from unhitching on the road.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Holders,
A picture tells a thousand words. A photo of your drive with approx measurements will help us guys help you.
My TA has a single mover not the quad. Even the quad will not spin an a sixpence like an SA.
I too don’t understand why you can’t unhitch on the road?
Bottoming out can be solved using long planks , strategically placed to soften the initial angle change of the drive.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Holders,
A picture tells a thousand words. A photo of your drive with approx measurements will help us guys help you.
My TA has a single mover not the quad. Even the quad will not spin an a sixpence like an SA.
I too don’t understand why you can’t unhitch on the road?
Bottoming out can be solved using long planks , strategically placed to soften the initial angle change of the drive.
I don’t think he has moved into the house yet from what I understood from one of his posts. Could still take pictures though to aid pre planning.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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We have just bought a house with a steep drive on a fairly busy road. The plan is to keep our twin axle (7.92m length) at our house.

We tow it with a Discovery so have the option of lowering or increasing the height of the car, due to the busy road we will have to drive on and won’t be able to unhitch and use motor mover or get a front tow bar.
Does anyone know what sort of gradient we will be able to tow it up without it grounding out?
Hi Hodders What make of twin axle do you own , can you put a picture of it with the bikes on and the steep drive of your new house it just depend what motor mover you have ..
I am in agreement with Dusty why you cannot use the mover .
 
Mar 27, 2011
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Using a mover to turn in a drive, unless it is very wide needs a lot of room to turn into it, it’s completely different to turning in with a car where the wheels are at the front, because the wheels are halfway along the caravan if you stop on the main road you would have to stop right out in the middle of the road then swing the van round whether using single motor on the one wheel or both motors at the same time in opposite direction to turn it quickly you would still have to be way out to give the van room to line up with the drive, by the time you did that you’d have cars backed up the road, when I bring my van to the house I start with the van half way across the road then swing front round line up with the drive and easy from then, but it’s a quiet road with half a dozen cars a day so easy, I’m sure some of the clever old caravanners will understand what I mean.

BP
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Using a mover to turn in a drive, unless it is very wide needs a lot of room to turn into it, it’s completely different to turning in with a car where the wheels are at the front, because the wheels are halfway along the caravan if you stop on the main road you would have to stop right out in the middle of the road then swing the van round whether using single motor on the one wheel or both motors at the same time in opposite direction to turn it quickly you would still have to be way out to give the van room to line up with the drive, by the time you did that you’d have cars backed up the road, when I bring my van to the house I start with the van half way across the road then swing front round line up with the drive and easy from then, but it’s a quiet road with half a dozen cars a day so easy, I’m sure some of the clever old caravanners will understand what I mean.

BP
I DO understand what you mean, but we don't have enough information to be able to accurately assess the situation. However we have been told its a busy road, and that will probably mean it has a decent width of pavement which should mean there is reasonable scope for allowing for a movers turning circle without having to make several back and forth attempts to affect more than one lane of traffic. Using a tow vehicle will almost certainly affect both lanes of traffic.

It would be enormously helpful if the OP will provide more detail.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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I do hope the OP responds to all the pointers raised. It is frustrating when we get no feed back😢😢
 
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Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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One of our reasons for moving house was to have the caravan at home and not at storage, so storage isn’t an option. I think the plan is we will have to do something with the drive to take the sharpness out of it, somehow! Once we are in then I guess we will need to work it out!
If as you stated ' one of the reasons for moving house was to have the caravan at home', then with the greatest respect, perhaps the house with the very steep drive isn't the house for you?
 
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