Open Roads Forum

Print  |  Close

Topic: Moving 5th Wheel by Hand

Posted By: Skline01 on 05/25/09 06:36am

I have an unusual question and with the experience on this site I thought perhaps someone else might have dealth with this issue. I want to park my 5th wheel at my daughters for 3 months. I really need to place the 5th wheel in such a way (because of slides and access to awning, etc) that the pull vehicle has to be detached well before the trailer is in position. My son-in-law believes that he can use the same car movers (basically little platforms with wheels on them he puts under each tire) he uses to turn vehicles in his garage to put under the front feet and at least one axle and push the trailer into position by hand (we would have to do the opposite when it is time to leave). I am very skepical because of the weight of the trailer vs that of a car. The little platforms are rated to hold the weight that would be on them - but I think pushing the trailer (Weight overall is about 13,500 pounds) even on a flat surface will be very difficult - any experience or ideas. Thanks for you help

USMC Mustang 8989

Posted By: five'er on 05/25/09 06:42am

Please get out the video camera when you do this and post when done. I think you have reason to be skeptical. I pushed my 3000# tent trailer by hand a few times when we had it. Was not that easy! Good Luck.

I see this ending really poorly.. I would not attempt it.. I can see landing gear snapping.. runaway trailers.. run over feet and people.. Bad Bad Bad

* This post was edited 05/25/09 12:11pm by five'er *

2009 1500 Dodge Sport QC, Prodigy Brake Controller, 2009 KZ 266 MXT

Posted By: bstark on 05/25/09 07:11am

During RV factory tours, you will very often see them moving trailers sideways from build station to build station in that very manner but they are using industial rated platforms under the wheels and the floors are absolutely flat and smooth and they have manpower in large numbers. A 13,500lb trailer will be VERY hard to push by hand, regardless of those dolly wheel platforms. I do believe it could be moved with help however from some other motive source such as a car or tractor. Using a farm tractor would be my preference and one that is ballasted so no surprises ocurr when the (likely around 1,800lb) pin-weight comes onto the front end loader or rear three point hitch attachement. Putting one of the trailer's axle wheel sets on those platforms would of necessity mean finding some whay to 'tie' or chain the other axle up to prevent the equalizer beam allowing that axle to drop when the weight comes off that axle as you jack the other one up. You'd have to go up a long way with the one axle to clear the wheels off the ground with the other. While the trailer is suspended on the single axle, consider any overloading of the suspension and tires of that axle you might be doing as well; even for a short time, it might damage something. It would be far preferrable to have all four wheels on those platforms.

I would prefer to research sizable (heavy) tractors such as large bobcats with ballast weighted rear and a loader bucket rated to lift a ton or more to position the trailer that last distance and if you choose to use those platforms under the jack legs be carful not to depend on the legs to withstand lateral movement as they are not designed for any of that at all.

Good luck.

Today is just the tomorrow you worried about yesterday!

Posted By: bdonpap on 05/25/09 07:32am

I'm not saying it can't be done, but it sounds like a lot of things could go wrong in a hurry.

1998.5 Dodge CTD, QC, SB, Guages, EZ, Suncoast VB, Mag-Hytec DD pan
2003 KZ Sportsmen, 32' Triple Slide

Posted By: snavemit on 05/25/09 07:45am

We had a high wall PUP and while at the RV dealer we were able to push it around real easy. When we got home and tried to do the same thing on our paved driveway it was VERY difficult. The RV shop told us the reason was the shop has very smooth our driveway was not. Concept is fine, but don't think you will be successful unless your driveway is silk smooth.

Posted By: hotbyte on 05/25/09 07:45am

Once moving, that would be a lot of momentum!

2018 Minnie Winnie 24M

Posted By: AGBAT on 05/25/09 07:58am

I agree that you are likely headed for trouble BUT, try a come-a-along whinch to do the pulling with. You will need an anchor point to pull against but if you are pulling at the pin you will have a lot of leverage. You imply you do not have a lot of manuver room, so you may have to move the angle of the whinch as you go. You will be surprized how much force you can put on a dug in anchor being pulled at a low angle. I have used an electric whinch to move up to two tons on a single axle trailer across grass. Harbor freight has an electric 6,000lb portable winch for around $75, if I remember the add correctly. Good luck!

Posted By: PapPappy on 05/25/09 08:01am

The problem I see is the fact that the 5er isn't balanced on the wheels. Using the "car movers" won't work, unless you are able to counter balance the rig so that it's all on the axles......and then, as noted, there is a lot of weight to move.

A conventional TT could be moved around with one of those motorized "tugs", but a 5er is a different animal..

Good Luck....and double check that the insurance is up to date!!

Bill & Claudia / DD Jenn / DS Chris / GS MJ
Dogs: Sophie, Abby, Brandy, Kahlie, Annie, Maggie, Tugger & Beau ">
RIP: Cookie, Foxy & Gidget @ Rainbow Bridge.">
2000 Winnebago "Minnie" 31C, Ford V-10
Purchased April 2008"> FMCA# F407293
The Pets

Posted By: davelinde on 05/25/09 08:11am

Assuming you could get it moving (which I doubt) I would be worried about the stress on the landing gear, since you'd need movers under the front too. IF it moved I'd wonder how to stop it... that would likely be no problem since it will be hard to move, BUT if it decides that gravity is pulling it in some direction it just COULD roll on it's own and I doubt anyone could stop it.

Maybe get a forklift? Or maybe a new site...

Dave Lindemulder
Tammy, Mark & Kirsten
04 Dodge 2500 4x4 SLT QC/SB HO-CTD/48RE
01 Volvo VNL660 singled VED12
09 Heartland Cyclone 3210

Posted By: SCClockDr on 05/25/09 08:25am

My take!

  1. The landing gear are nor engineered to take lateral stress and are at risk of bending/collapse if one should snag up for any reason. This poses both a safety (collapse) and logistical issue (bend).
  2. Consider a multi-hitch strategy. ie. back 5th into approx position, unhitch, move TV re-hitch etc. (A slider hitch would help with this approach ie. provides a small moment arm aft of the rear TV axle)
  3. To pivot, dolly one pivot wheel and hitch at approx. < 90 deg. and back to do the pivot. (Watch your rear cab pillar.)

I would be more concerned with STOPPING it than getting it moving.

Good luck with what ever you decide.

George & Cathy
08 Titanium 28E33SA, XM, Honda EU 3000is, Trimetric, RotoChocks, LP Reg. Mod, 2 Gal Accum., WiFiRanger GO2/Mobile
04 Ram 3500 5.9 DRW, PAC PRXB E/B, 4" MBRP SS Exhaust, Gauges, Aux Tank/box, BrakeSmart.
ETCS (ss) USN Ret

Posted By: oldelmer on 05/25/09 08:29am

I would think of you are trying to move this on a black top driveway, the little wheels of the rollers would sink into the blacktop with all that weight. And if its location is in a hot place, like Texas, they definitely will sink.

2010 Montana 3150RL
2011 Dodge RAM 3500 DRW, 4x4,6.7 CTD, Auto, 3.73, CC/LB
Line-X Spray in Lining
KSH Tool Box/Fuel Tank Combo

Posted By: tvman44 on 05/25/09 08:45am

I am glad I don't have to help, that is about 3 times the weight of a car.

Papa Bob
1* 2008 Brookside by Sunnybrook 32'
1* 2002 F250 Super Duty 7.3L PSD
Husky 16K hitch, Tekonsha P3,
Firestone Ride Rite Air Springs, Trailair Equa-Flex, Champion C46540
"A bad day camping is better than a good day at work!"

Posted By: luvlabs on 05/25/09 08:49am

I've seen hand jacks used to move travel trailers but not fifth wheels. You should probably ask your local RV dealer how he moves things around the lot. I'm thinking forklift for most of these guys - but under the pin.

2017 Winnebago Navion 24V
2014 Tiffin Phaeton 36GH (sold)
2012 Tiffin Allegro 32CA (traded)
2012 Honda Fit

Posted By: sirwilliam on 05/25/09 09:16am

Please have someone standing on the sidelines taking a video of this operation from start to finish. Maybe you could make enough money from sending it to "America's Funniest Home Vidoes" to pay for the damages incurred. Hopefully no-one gets injured. Please save yourself a lot of grief and what could be a very hazzardous situation and don't try this. Park your 5'er in an appropriate spot to access all you have mentioned. If a 5'er was meant to be moved by hand then there would be a procedure laid down for this. Play it safe....................[emoticon]

2012 Greystone Metallic, Chevy K3500HD LTZ, 11600 GVWR, 24500 GCVWR, X-cab, LB, LML Duramax 6.6ltr/M-74 Allison 1000, 3:73 Eaton G-80 "Locker" 11.5" Differential, 2009 Citation Classic 26RLS5W......

Posted By: othertonka on 05/25/09 09:42am

Consult a Mobile home mover. They move/slide double wides together on site all the time. Maybe they can give you a bid or suggestions on how to do it. Just a thought.

2004 Southwind 32VS 8.1 Workhorse chassis
2002 CRV Toad
U. S. Gear Unified brake system
Retired Fire Captain, SFD

Posted By: paulshaunaalan on 05/25/09 09:53am

Is the trailer being parked on level concrete by any chance? If so you can do what Newmar does in their factory. They have made small skirted platforms with air hose connectors. They put the rig on them (Legs and wheels). Then when they want to move it, they apply air from a compressor. The platforms work like a hovercraft and lift the rig and allow it to be moved by a single person anywhere they want. just move it slowly. To stop it in an emergency just shut off the air and it stays put.


Newmar Cypress 39CKDB
Tow Vehicle: Peterbilt 387 w Cat C15 and 3.55 rear end, Tandem Axels, Custom ET Air Hitch.
Custom Pace American Shadow Car Trailer
Little Tow Vehicle: Yukon XL 2500 4WD 8.1L Engine

Posted By: Skline01 on 05/25/09 10:56am

Well - that got a lot of response and I really appreciate the time you all took to give it. Based upon the overwhelming majority of responses, (of which I concur) I will not attempt to do this. If we do it will be by having the local RV Dealer assist. Thanks again

Posted By: FOREVER FREE on 05/25/09 11:15am

What do you plan to do once the 5vr is in place? Are you planning on leaving it sit on the car carrier. Per your post it appears you are planning on using it since you want the slides and awning out. My suggestion would to be to talk to a local RV dealer as they usually have a cart that's designed to move them around with.

Sarah (Greyhound), Cooper & Cocoa (Italian Greyhounds) 2005 Prowler Regal AX6 365BSQS
2005 F-350 Lariat Crew Cab 4x4, DRW, 8'bed, 6.0 P/S Diesel,
Veterans, the reason we will always be "FOREVER FREE".

Posted By: Dustytuu on 05/25/09 12:19pm

An accident waiting to happen. What about the jack stands? I see the jack stands breaking or the nose falling over.

* This post was edited 05/25/09 02:49pm by an administrator/moderator *

2008 dodge 5500, diesel,Laramie
2008 Carriage Carri-Lite, 36SBQ, 4 slides,dishwasher,washer/dryer,2 fireplaces,6500 gen.
D & D
3 Schnauzers

Kindness, and good manners are important.

Posted By: MPD56 on 05/25/09 01:13pm

I can only assume that you are trying to move the trailer sideways with the little information you provided. So lets think of the basics, the dollies he uses in his garage are probably rated for less then 1300 pounds each and use casters for wheels, something like my 3 ton floor jack I use in my garage on a concert floor, the casters on the jack are really for moving the jack into position. Even with cooler temperatures in Canada, my asphalt driveway couldn’t withstand the pressure of my floor jack’s casters with less then 1500 pounds of lift, which was proven by my nephew when I wasn’t home!!

With a 13,000 pound trailer with 4 dollies that are most likely rated for 5,000 pounds you will be grossly over weight no matter what surface you are on. I would think that the weight of only one of the landing gear would be over 1500 pounds and which was stated by another poster, the landing gear was engineered for vertically lifting the front of the trailer and the reason that they don’t come with wheels like on a popup. As far as the axle weight, it is going to be the trailer weight, minus the landing gear weight, which would put it around 5000 pounds a tire if you are only going to use one axle. The tire rating on my 12000 trailer is 3000 pounds. Most of us carry a bottle jack in case we have to change a tire on our trailers, and should know that even a 1 ton jack is going to be useless.

I have rigged, moved and lifted loads, over 300,000 pounds for a living and I would never think of giving someone advice on a forum that would cause them a personal injury. This has “DON’ TRY THIS AT HOME” written all over it and should be done by the right people and with the right equipment if it is your only option. You give very little information for the members to suggest a safe alternative and your first priority should be SAFE.

I’m not trying to be negative and mean no disrespect and I’m glad you’re very sceptical.

I’m slow at typing and glad to read that you will ask a professional to assist. Good Luck and Please update us.

Posted By: Greentreena on 05/25/09 01:24pm

It would be so much easier if the 5th wheel axles could be converted to steer. Imaging the spots you could get in if all 4 wheels could turn right or left as needed.

2008 Dodge Ram 3500 6.7 Mega Cab 4x4 SRW Laramie - Big & Black
Full delete, Torque Technolgies programmer, Sinister EGR delete
Hijacker Auto Slide/ P3
2006 Triple E Topaz 310RBXL
Wife, 2 kids (Murphy the dog - RIP friend)

Posted By: fishbarned on 05/26/09 06:10am

not to sound like a jerk , but find someplace else to park it your asking for trouble on many levels

2012 Sandpiper 365SAQ, on the way
2010 Ford F-350 XLT,CC,DRW, 4x4,PSD,Tow command, 8'bed">

Posted By: ol Bombero-JC on 05/25/09 10:47pm

bdonpap wrote:

I'm not saying it can't be done, but it sounds like a lot of things could go wrong in a hurry.

OK, I'll say it - -



Even with one of the electric trailer movers - intended to move
a 5th or TT - you need LEVEL ground & braking capability . . .
or -
you will be a very small tail wagging a really BIG dog!

Posted By: cwit on 05/26/09 06:00am

It sounds to me like you have to be on a level surface. Can you block your trailer wheels from moving,unhook truck and rehook at 90degrees to push it sideways. I do this sometimes to get the back of my camper away from the road I park next to when I am home. Sweaping curve with a narrow parking spot beside it.

Print  |  Close