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Old 09-11-2012, 10:23 AM   #1
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steep driveway - new unit?

Hi all,

We recently moved to a home that has a very steep driveway. At the time of the move, we had an older 29' class C motor home. A very long story short - we couldn't get the motor home up the driveway. The angle from our drive to the road was just too steep. We ended up putting the motor home in storage which not only was VERY inconvenient but cost us a lot of money. Mice got in the engine and had a feast on the wiring.

We REALLY miss our motor home and would love to purchase another one (class A this time) but don't want to put it in storage. Are there any units that sit higher and would be able to negotiate the angle into our drive? The UPS truck and a builder's truck have made it up our drive but we're just not sure about a motor home.

We would love to have your input.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:44 AM   #2
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test drive to your driveway ???? Ok,, silly question I guess, but if you were buying local that would make sense to me. Main thing I figure is the overhang behind the rear axle,,, that varies bunches between sizes/models... And don't forget if it has leveling jacks,,, many stick down a lot lower than others.... When in doubt,, Stop, get out and look ! To heck with what others think...
I might add, if it's just the transition from the street to driveway, you might be able to come up with some shim material, such as 2x12's or such just to help make that one (ditch so to speak) more manageable... (thats what I'd do) That extra 1 1/2 to 3" thickness in the lowest part might make all the difference. I don't mean big ramps, just something to get rid of the transition..
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:01 AM   #3
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We did spent a day building these great wooden ramps for the class C. The first time we used them one flew out, we were suspended in air and had to get out the hydraulic jack. We're kind of afraid to try that again.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:05 AM   #4
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We had the same problem.Very steep driveway.When we tried to back up it because of the coach overhang the bottom of the trailer hitch digs in to the driveway. We solved this problem by going to a local RV store They have Weld on steel rollers to solve draging problems. We put two of the rollers ($30 Each) on to the bottom outside corners of the hitch. Now our 32ft classA coach backs right up the driveway.We have been doing this for two years now with no damage to the coach or driveway.Hope this helps you
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:08 AM   #5
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have a similar problem ,our drive will only accomadate 30 feet,we live on a dead end cul-d sac ,a mile off the highway the road is windy and hilly . a prerequisite be foe we purchased was bring it to my house and put it in my drive . we have purchased 2 units a 2001 holiday rambler :c" and our current rig. if they dont cooperate before the buy you know customer service will dissapear after the purchase
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:41 AM   #6
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While I put those on my first class c,
I would be leary of using the rollers for long term protection on most rv's...

while great for OOPS protection, wouldn't, couldn't it tweak the frame that is intended to only hold up the living quarters not the complete rv ?!?
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:37 PM   #7
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Same issue for us. I figured out the angle between the driveway and street (dust off your high school geometry). And then went looking for units with at least this much rear clearance.

If I recall, Ford recomments 7 degrees of rear clearance after the MH is complete. Almost no manufacturers follow this recommendation, but the one we found (07 Georgie Boy 3325DS) did. If we have full gas and water it scrubs, so I added air bags in back to get another 1.5 inches of clearance. It has worked great for 5 years now.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:51 PM   #8
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I have a very steep driveway and when we replaced our Class C with the 35' Class A Winnebago we definitely had a major problem. The solution was installing an air lift kit. When the bags are pumped to full capacity (100 psi) it raises the rear bumper of the rig by almost 4". That is enough to give us the clearance we needed. We purchased the kit from Air-Lift (one of our forum sponsors) and a great company to deal with. Before we drive down the driveway it takes about 40 seconds to raise the back with the onboard compressor and remote control and then when we reach the street we drop the air pressure down to 35 psi which gives us a more pleasant ride. When we get home we just do the reverse. I have attached a picture which will give you an idea of the slope of our driveway and the MH overhang.
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:38 PM   #9
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You don't have a steep driveway.

My driveway is 40 degree angle, a third of a mile long, gravel, with some turns. If I come in from the east, I can make the turn and it pulls it's way up, slowly, but it goes.
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:26 PM   #10
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Many thanks for all of the suggestions. When we first tried getting the class C up the drive we did go in from every angle both forward and backward. We also purchased some bolt on rollers that were attached to the hitch. I haven't calculated the angle yet - I'll post that later. I did attach 3 pictures to give you an idea. We think the problem is just getting the motor home onto the drive. Once the unit is all on the same plane we won't have a problem. There is a little swale at the bottom of the drive. When the back wheels drop into this we have problems.

I do appreciate all of the other suggestions. It definitely gives us an idea what to shop for.
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:02 PM   #11
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Are you saying the added rollers did not work? Did you loose contact with the tires and the driveway?

I have a compound angle drive way and ripped the electrical off of my hitch the first time I tried to back out of my driveway. I made my own rollers and have had no problems since then. I do feel it pushing up on the rollers (the back end lifts up) but that's what they are for!

I would sure figure something out to keep it at home. I don't see why fully inflated airbags and rollers wouldn't work.

Good luck!!
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:34 PM   #12
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I see your problem !
all those American flags

The Inlaws driveway in memphis was worse than that...
the street dropped off into a mini ditch for runoff and then jumped up 6 inches or so to their driveway...
what they did (since the city would not let them 'fill in' the curb dropoff) was get a steel grate the width of the driveway that let's the runoff go under/through it and makes for a 'straighter' run from the street to the driveway angle....
the grate was 12" or so wide and 20 feet long so the tires don't drop into the swale
(and they actually got the city to chip in on the cost)

but other options WILL be cheaper
good luck
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:00 PM   #13
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That's fixable, but you're not going to like the cost.
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:30 PM   #14
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The problem when we tried using the hitch mounted wheels our back tires lost traction. The slope at the bottom of the driveway is about 15 degrees. Another problem is that the street crowns in the middle so when the rear tires drop into the swell at the bottom of the drive the front wheels are at the top of the crown thus compounding the issue. We did look into having the driveway redone but that estimate was around $14K.
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