I have a very steep downhill driveway, with a small turn-around area near the house. I can get the FW turned around, but it takes about 15 minutes of back and forward. I'm wondering if it's possible to back the rig down the driveway instead. I would not have a problem steering down; just concerned about braking. Are electric trailer brakes as effective in reverse? Will the 8400lb trailer overcome the braking of the 5600lb tow vehicle and start pulling me downhill? I suppose I could put the TV in 4WD. I'm concerned because once I start backing down, I'm really committed.
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Electric brakes are usually NOT nearly as effective going backwards. Your truck brakes should be able to handle stopping the rig, just not as quickly as usual, but you wouldn't be going fast so shouldn't be an issue. Biggest concern I'd have is if the engine would quit and leave you with no power brakes.
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I'm no expert, but I think you nailed it with your 4 wheel drive, low range.
Why not try it somewhere else where you can put another tow line between your truck and the truck in front, and just tell him to keep it loose unless you beep your horn.
This would be a good idea for the first time, just to be safe. If you've got enough people to help, you can also have a person on each side with a wheel chock, to toss behind the trailer tire, if there is a problem.
Once you know for sure that the rig can be moved safely, you won't need all the extra safety help (tow cable or chocks) the next time....unless you want them?
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Opposite problem, 1/8th of a mile up a steep grade, lined closly with large trees. My wife, the artist, doesn't like straight lines. So when we were building the house she rode on the bulldozer to make sure he made a serpentine cut for the driveway. Then we decided to take up camping. First time took me about an hour...
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I have to back my trailers down a very steep driveway and turn 90* at the bottom then back across the side hill and around a couple big trees to the parking area for the trailers. This is all dirt, except the narrow asphalt driveway with dirt shoulders. The asphalt is usually covered with loose sandy dirt that the rain washes onto the driveway, so traction can be a bit sketchy.
Sometimes the trailer will try to drag the truck's front end a bit when I have the front tires turned sharp and one tire is fully on the dirt and the other on the dirty pavement. Using 4wd helps a little. Creeping along very slowly helps the most. Letting it get going too fast and then trying to stop and turn and same time doesn't work out so great.