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Old 03-21-2017, 07:39 AM   #1
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Sloped Driveway Questions

Recently bought a Whitehawk 28dsbh which we are storing at a local RV storage facility. My expectation was that a day or two before a trip, I would bring the camper home to wash, wax, sanitize, stock, and pre-cool the fridge. I wanted to park on the street for this since our driveway is a bit steep (4 degrees).

After looking at city ordinances, it seems that we cannot park any RV on any city streets except when loading/unloading. Therefore I will need to instead park on my [steep] driveway for these maintenance activities and for overnight parking.

A few questions:
- Should I remove my equal-i-zer sway bars prior to backing up my 4 degree slope. The manual says yes for "significant transition in grade which puts excessive strain on the hitch, e.g. backing from a at street to a steep uphill driveway", but I'm not sure if 4 degrees is significant.
- How should I block the tongue jack on such a slope?
- Should I attempt to level the trailer? I would need to at least level it to <3 degrees to run the fridge, and completely level to drain the fresh tank (for sanitizing) and extend the slide-out.

Here's some reference photos:

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Old 03-21-2017, 08:07 AM   #2
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The fridge is a notorious appliance that isn't happy unless the camper is level. So I would level it. Watch dragging the bumper backing into and pulling out of the driveway. You may need quite a bit of blocking for the tongue jack. So have a bunch available and I would use a pair of the X Chalks between the wheels
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Old 03-21-2017, 08:14 AM   #3
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When in my driveway with weight distribution bars, it seemed to be much harder to uncouple the trailer. Sometimes I used a rubber hammer to tap the bars loose. I would definitely recommend removing the bars. When traveling between storage and the house I would not use my WDH at all due to the time and effort needed and relatively short distance and speeds traveled between these two locations.

I would invest in some GOOD tire chocks. Not the cheapies. I use 4 rubber chocks and set them firmly before uncoupling. I never 'blocked' the tongue jack. I used blocks of wood under the tongue jack to help get more vertical length. It's sloped so I would lay one board horizontal across the drive, then lay boards with one end on the high side of the driveway and the other end resting on top of the horizontal board so the jack was not resting on a slope. It's possible you may not be able to get the front high enough (before the back scrapes the driveway) to get level in your drive depending on the slope and length.

I would get it parked and see what you are left with before deciding to push out the slides and run appliances.

If all that fails, call the city office and ask for a parking variance for a day or two.
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Old 03-21-2017, 08:37 AM   #4
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So.... you cannot park any RV on any city streets except when loading/unloading. Does it specifically say what 'park' means and what time limit there is for 'loading/unloading'?

Just a thought: If you keep your tow vehicle connected and stay on the street in front of your house and driveway, you could get all but the wash and wax done overnight (overnight for sanitizing, the fridge could be started before you leave the storage area).
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Old 03-21-2017, 10:03 AM   #5
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So.... you cannot park any RV on any city streets except when loading/unloading. Does it specifically say what 'park' means and what time limit there is for 'loading/unloading'?
(2) It shall be unlawful for any person to park, or permit to be parked, on any public street a truck in excess of 12,000 pounds licensed gross vehicle weight, a truck tractor, semitrailer, bus, manufactured home, recreational vehicle, special mobile equipment, or trailer.
(3) This section shall not apply to any motor vehicle which is actively loading, unloading or performing a service.

RECREATIONAL VEHICLE. Travel trailers including those that telescope or fold down, chassis-mounted campers, motor homes, tent trailers, and converted buses that provide temporary human living quarters.
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Old 03-21-2017, 10:07 AM   #6
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I have the same situation, a relatively steep driveway, this is what I plan to do. I will head to Harbor Freight to purchase 4-6 solid rubber wheel chocks. I plan to back my TT onto our driveway, I will remove the WDH bars prior to backing onto the driveway. Once the TT is located where I want it, I will have two 18" long pieces treated 6x6 post cut at the angle and bolted side by side so the top of the pieces are level, then I will added 2x10x18" treated lumber to stack on top of the wedged 6x6 post. When the TT is leveled, I will use my x-chocks for additional stability.
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Old 03-21-2017, 10:19 AM   #7
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We have a very similar ordinance in Denver about parking on the street, but enforcement is complaint based only. Maybe it's the same where you are? I don't park it out front for more than 3 days just to limit my chances of getting 'busted'. It helps to be friends with all the neighbors.

My camper wont fit on my driveway so I'm continuing to run with the beg for forgiveness vs. ask for permission route. We have 4 other campers on the street. Thankfully the city has 'bigger fish to fry'.
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Old 03-21-2017, 10:27 AM   #8
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I would check with the city on getting permission to park anyway. There is a similar bylaw here. If you call you can get an exception to load and unload overnight. As long as it's not a regular occurrence they let you have 24 hours load or unload. They do the same exception if you're moving and have a truck parked overnight.
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Old 03-21-2017, 10:37 AM   #9
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My TT is parked on a sloped stone pad next to my driveway. I level it with blocks and jack stands when it's going to be parked for any length of time. That way I can run the 'fridge and extend the slideout. It's already been mentioned, but always make sure your trailer is level when you run the refrigerator - running it when the trailer is not level can actually damage the 'fridge.

No reason to leave your WDH bars in place for backing into your driveway, UNLESS you think your hitch might drag as you start up the driveway. I've found that I can leave the WDH bars on mine until I'm fully backed in, and take them off with no problem.

Good thing your street is level - mine isn't! When we head out next, I'm going to hitch it up and park it on the street overnight so it's ready to go in the morning - we want to be able to arrive with plenty of daylight left. But I'm not going to start the 'fridge until it's time to go, because it won't be anywhere close to level.

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Old 03-21-2017, 10:41 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by eng45ine View Post
I have the same situation, a relatively steep driveway, this is what I plan to do. I will head to Harbor Freight to purchase 4-6 solid rubber wheel chocks. I plan to back my TT onto our driveway, I will remove the WDH bars prior to backing onto the driveway. Once the TT is located where I want it, I will have two 18" long pieces treated 6x6 post cut at the angle and bolted side by side so the top of the pieces are level, then I will added 2x10x18" treated lumber to stack on top of the wedged 6x6 post. When the TT is leveled, I will use my x-chocks for additional stability.


I would go this route. Figure out a way to stabilize and level it in the driveway. I would definitely take the bars out before backing.

Reading crap like this makes me so thankful I don't live in the city.


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Old 03-21-2017, 10:48 AM   #11
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If you have a 4x4 we usually back up in 4 wheel low, helps the tranny!
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Old 03-21-2017, 10:56 AM   #12
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We took delivery of our new TT on 2-20-17, we brought it home and I was very intimidated attempting to level it due to the angle of our driveway. Our driveway isn't that steep, but steep enough to make me very nervous about leveling it. The angled 6x6 blocks and the rubber wheel chocks will give me some comfort, but the tongue being high off the concrete will take some getting used to.
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:37 PM   #13
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We're in a similar situation. I was anxious the first time I parked in our driveway but it's old hat now. As you can see in the pics, I can't bring it completely level but it's close enough that the refrigerator operates perfectly.

I back up with my WD hitch (Andersen) engaged. Then I chock the vehicle before disengaging the hitch. Since these photos were taken I've purchased heavy rubber chocks and X-chocks and install both when chocking. Notice that I also use Andersen levelers on the front axle. I do this because I don't want the rear axle to sit for an extended period of time with a heavier load - bringing the front axle up prevents this and the levelers also help chock the vehicle a bit.

To elevate the tongue jack and provide a higher landing surface for the front stabilizers, I use standard 8"x8"x16" concrete cinder blocks paired with 2"x6" lumber to distribute the load over the blocks and to protect my driveway. IMPORTANT note on cinderblocks - if not used properly they can break. However, if you place the blocks with the hollow cores in the vertical, not horizontal position, you'd be hard pressed to find anything stronger for this application. A standard cinder block (ASTM C90) has a net compressive strength of 1,900 psi. There's no way a trailer is going to break those blocks. Place them with the hollow cores in the horizontal, however, and they may break.

I don't store the trailer in my driveway for extended periods, but I'm comfortable enough with this setup to bring it home for a couple of days of maintenance and washing, to do mods, or to spot it the night before or after a trip. Otherwise I keep it at a storage yard. Hope this helps.



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Old 03-21-2017, 12:41 PM   #14
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Thank you! The photos are very helpful. Do you have any issue with your leveling blocks being non-flat (not perfectly perpendicular to the jack feet due to the slope of the driveway)?
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:46 PM   #15
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Thank you! The photos are very helpful. Do you have any issue with your leveling blocks being non-flat (not perfectly perpendicular to the jack feet due to the slope of the driveway)?
Nope! I thought I might need to shim the leveling blocks out (which you could do if you need to) but I guess my slope isn't severe enough to warrant it. Both the tongue jack and front leveling feet sit firmly on the blocks...there's enough play in them to do so without any bending or damage.
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Old 03-21-2017, 01:23 PM   #16
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X chocks for sure on both sets of wheels. With your driveway you will most certainly have the nose of the trailer pretty high to level it off. The X chocks will lock the trailer in place along with standard wheel chocks. Obviously you'll need some blocks for your tongue and stabilizer jacks. I would remove all sway and WDH hitch parts as well before backing in. Sounds like fun!
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Old 03-21-2017, 02:50 PM   #17
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Just to satisfy your curiosity about the fridge, here's the specs from my 10cf Norcold.

"CAUTION: The refrigerator is made to operate within 3
off level side-to-side and 6 off level front-to-back (as
looking at the front of the refrigerator). Operating it at
more than these limits can cause damage to the cooling
system and create a risk of personal injury or property
damage. Make sure the vehicle is level before you
operate the refrigerator."
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:08 PM   #18
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We have an ordinance like that also. A quick call to the police dept and we can do it for a few days. No biggie. The worst they can say is no.
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:22 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by nosnhojm View Post
After looking at city ordinances, it seems that we cannot park any RV on any city streets except when loading/unloading. Therefore I will need to instead park on my [steep] driveway for these maintenance activities and for overnight parking.
You can thank Cousin Eddie and Nat'l Lampoon's Christmas Vacation for that! "$#!+3R$ FULL CLARK!"

All joking aside, I know your pain. In my neighborhood, your car can't even touch the grass on the side of your driveway without getting a ticket...
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Old 03-21-2017, 05:22 PM   #20
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We also have a parking ordinance like that but if we go over to the police station we can purchase a 1 night permit for the huge sum of $1. It's a $50 ticket otherwise so I make the trip to the station as part of the prep work.
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