We have a similar problem with our driveway, our TT is very low. Had to take the spare tire off that was stored under the front, have to use 6 2X10's placed just right to get from the street to the drive and back out again. It is a bit of a pain but the option we have is getting a new driveway graded differently for $5,000 or so. Have not really heard about the axle flip but might look into it at some point.
Good luck, hope you find a great solution.
* This post was
edited 03/28/12 09:03am by an administrator/moderator *
ME '63, DW 64, (DS 89 tents on his own, DD 92 not so much), DS 95
2013 Premier Bullet 31 BHPR
Why not try fixing the driveway apron if it's been a long standing problem? How about just giving it more ramp with some additional asphalt or concrete, depending on it's make up. If it's made out of asphalt, you can buy bags of cold patch (or fresh hot asphalt) to do it. If it is concrete, buy some bags of concrete mix to create additional ramping.
If your making it easier for yourself, your neighbor will probibly see it as making it easier for him, too.
BTW, welcome to the world of Skylines. I just bought our 93 Skyline Nomad last fall & we love it.
In order to get into my driveway, you have to drive up over the curb (angled curb). There is only one trailer that has ever gone in and out of the driveway without dragging -- that is the fiver I have now. It has the Paktron skid wheels (caster) on it just in case. The other company that makes these is UltraFab. The thing to search for is "rv skid wheel". Now some comments about these from someone that uses them. They are a last resort type of thing. You need a setup where they will touch down only in the case of where you are about 1" from touching down on something else anyway. Even then, you want to avoid putting all of the weight of the trailer on these wheels because of the frame issues. If they touch down, but none of your regular wheels come off of the ground, you are not putting the full weight of the trailer on the wheels. So there is dragging, and then there is dragging hard. You need to watch out for the latter. From the OPs description, they are dragging hard. My recommendation to the OP is to put the smallest wheels possible on for the last resort (I just bought a set for a new trailer from e-trailer -- they only hang down 3" -- they make them even smaller).
That said, the OP needs more than just the wheels for the last resort. More ground clearance is highly recommended. Do the axle flip or add a subframe and then put on larger tires (this will also give you more load margin on your tires and reduce the chances of a blowout). Now back to my fiver. I have the largest caster wheels Paktron makes. They do not touch down going in and out of my driveway because I have adequate clearance. But I was still hanging tires in midair due to the steepness of the curb.
When I noticed this, I knew it was not good for my springs or tires. So I got a bunch of 4x4s and cut them to the contour of the road and driveway entrance. Screwed them all together side to side to make ramps. Found I had to have them wide so that they would work for both the trailer wheels (wide wheelbase) and the narrower track of the truck. I used these for a while, but they were barely wide enough. I had to hit them perfect (also had to lay them down perfect -- I had the measurements written on them to help place them perfectly with the aid of a tape measuer). They were already very heavy, and increasing the width would have been problematic for weight and storage in my garage. Also, since I was not able to get each 4x4 cut perfectly to the contour, there was a lot of stress between individual ones that resulted in breaking screws that held them together. But it was a good proof of concept.
I weld. So I made four ramps last summer out of 1x1x0.125 inch angle iron. They have 5/4 deck boards on top of them. There are many feet on these things that stick down to contact the road or driveway to fit the contour. I will have to take a picture tonight and post it here for this to make sense. But each one is narrower than the ramps they replace, so storage is easier. The weight of each is the same. You loosely bolt two together for use on one side of the driveway (hence 4 ramps total). Each one is marked where it goes, and measurements from reference points are written on them so they can be placed in the proper place. They work extremely well. I used to really have to mash down on the accelerator in the PSD to get both the trailer up over the angled curb, and then each axle of the truck up over the curb. Now it glides right in.
I thought about the apron, but the problem is that everything is fixed. We are in town, so there is a fixed height difference from the road to sidewalk level and a fixed distance from the curb to the edge of the sidewalk, so there is not much to be done to change the hypoteneuse of the triangle. If there were a way we would have changed it a long time ago.
We do have a weight distribution hitch and not knowing any better (This is the first we have had one) we left it on and that scraped. I had already decided that had to come off the next time we pull in or out.
I would LOVE pictures of this ExRocketScientist I am really thinking I need to attack this on multiple front. An axle flip is definitely in order. (Although I am a little scared of getting the camper out of the drive to take it to the spring shop) I'll have them re add the skid bars and I think I will get the skid wheels just for touchdowns but not to carry the weight. Actually I am wondering if when I have the mechanic rebuild the skid bars if I should have him do it just slightly shorter to make up the extra height that the skid wheels would add. I also think I need to do some sort of ramp at the end of the driveway to smooth out the angle of the driveway apron. The problem is it is a somewhat narrow street (We can only park on one side of the street and if anyone is parked in the street the combines have a hard time making it down the street, so it can't be too long or Scott wont be able to make the turn with out going off the side of the ramp rather than the end.
I'll try to get some pics so you can see what we are dealing with.
Thanks to everybody for their posts and ideas, every one adds to my knowledge and gives me more ideas of how to handle this. Keep them coming! You guys are the best!
I think you are on the right track. We have a similar issue in our back yard with a low spot. The WD bars come off, the gutter gets loaded with 12 foot 2x4s, and we place two 2x8s behind the tires at the low spot and have no problem after that. While you will have to step higher to get in after an axle flip, it will gain you more utility. One other thought... I put a front receiver hitch on the front of my jeep cherokee and use it to get the camper into tight places. The weight of the tongue pushes the nose of the jeep down quite a bit (lifts the rear of the camper) combined with steering near the tongue, it allows me to approach dips/curbs from a sharper angle and still be able to maneuver the trailer easily.
(BTW the Cherokee does not tow the camper, it is only the mule)