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RVing message boards => Popups, folding/tent trailers => Topic started by: violajack on August 01, 2017, 01:34:33 PM

Title: Fitting a pop up in a tiny garage?
Post by: violajack on August 01, 2017, 01:34:33 PM
I'd love to get a good sized pop up for our family of 4 (soon to be 5), but there are no reasonable storage options around us. I'd love to be able to put it in my garage. Problem - it's an old house with a tiny door. I have never towed anything before and have zero practical trailer maneuvering skills, although I've read about it and watched videos. I doubt I could use our SUV to push a pop up into the garage and would be interested in a powered trailer dolly.

The opening, trim to trim is about 90". Most pop ups I'm seeing are 84" wide. This is literally 3" of clearance on each side to get through the door. Is this possible? Good idea/bad idea for a newb? Would a powered trailer dolly give enough precise control to pull that off?

Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Trailer-Valet-Dolly-2-5-Ball/dp/B01LZYZB10/ref=sr_1_1?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1501612289&sr=1-1&keywords=power+trailer+dolly

Otherwise, are there narrower pop ups out there that I could consider?
Title: Re: Fitting a pop up in a tiny garage?
Post by: Joezeppy on August 01, 2017, 01:52:28 PM
If there is little to no slope in your driveway, most popups can be safely manhandled as long as they have a wheel on the tongue jack. With a couple of helpers it should be a breeze to push it into the garage. The powered dollies move pretty slowly so that should be a good option for you as well.
Title: Re: Fitting a pop up in a tiny garage?
Post by: HappyWanderer on August 01, 2017, 01:56:00 PM
I used to keep our pop-up in the garage, and wish the motorhome would fit!

You should be okay with a helper to assist, and pushing it by hand is an option.
Title: Re: Fitting a pop up in a tiny garage?
Post by: violajack on August 01, 2017, 02:06:34 PM
Unfortunately, it does also have a downward slope to it, not too severe, but more than I'd want to wrangle 3000lbs of trailer down. I'm not sure what the grade would be, but I'm sure we'd need breaks on the dolly, if not an actual motor. If everything were lined up properly when it's put in, it could be safely pulled straight out with the SUV, correct?
Title: Re: Fitting a pop up in a tiny garage?
Post by: OutdoorFT on August 01, 2017, 02:18:39 PM
should be able to, as long as you can get the SUV to it without hitting anything. Just take your time and adjust if you arent going straight.

Im not sure on widths of popups, but if you shop around you may find a smaller one.
Title: Re: Fitting a pop up in a tiny garage?
Post by: Rene T on August 01, 2017, 03:10:57 PM
With those dimensions, it would be a chore for a newbie but practice makes perfect.  Is your driveway very long? If it is, as your backing up you can very easily make a correction before you get to the door opening. The other thing is once you start to back in and if you find you need to make a correction, just get a hydraulic floor jack with wheels on it, jack it up and slide it to the middle of the door opening. Then release the jack and continue backing in.
Title: Re: Fitting a pop up in a tiny garage?
Post by: blw2 on August 01, 2017, 04:02:48 PM
back in our pup days, I looked into those powered dollies.  Not in my budget then.
But I ran up against some zoning issues at my old house, and had to park the pup in the backyard.  that meant moving the double gate through the privacy fence, and a long pass up the side yard to get to the gate. I had maybe 20 ft or so that was just inches wider than the pup
Now I'm a bit like towmater, and like to claim that I'm the worlds best backer-upper.... but threading that needle wasn't going to happen.

I also considered a front bumper hitch....which might be an option for you to consider

OR if you have a riding lawn mower, those are good options for better maneuvering

What I ended up doing was getting two things from harbor freight tools
   a non-powered trailer dolly
   and an ATV winch.
pulled with the winch and steered with the dolly
It was a pain in the neck but worked ok

If you are on pavement, and the pup is small enough you might find that you can push it around with the non-powered version of the dolly.  i still use mine to garage my 19 ft boat
Title: Re: Fitting a pop up in a tiny garage?
Post by: muskoka guy on August 01, 2017, 04:25:46 PM
Go out to a parking lot, and set up some cones. Practice backing up until you can put it between the cones. Of course, put the cones the same distance apart as your garage door. With some practice, you will be backing up like a star. You might as well get practiced up, you are going to need to back it into a campsite sooner or later. Have someone spot you, so as not to back into anything when trying it for real. A trick to backing up a trailer is to hold the steering wheel at the bottom. Looking in the mirror, which ever way you want the trailer to go, that is the way you move the wheel. Good luck. I used to back our big landscape trailer into my garage. It was the same way, inches on each side. It was 20 ft long.
Title: Re: Fitting a pop up in a tiny garage?
Post by: violajack on August 01, 2017, 05:52:58 PM
Thanks everyone, it sounds like this might be less crazy than I thought. It's unfortunately also a very short driveway, maybe 16 ft, then sidewalk, then narrow street (depending on how many cars are parked), so not so much room to get things lined up, which is also why I thought of the trailer dolly, so I can swing the front out into the street in a way that I may or may not have room to do while hooked to the SUV depending on how cars are parked on the street.

There's a car repair place next to us and some major construction going on across the street, so I've watched some really big trucks come through and maneuver their way into driveways, as well as many tows get backed into the shop next door. It's doable by the pros at least. I've just never done anything other than watch.
Title: Re: Fitting a pop up in a tiny garage?
Post by: blw2 on August 02, 2017, 02:25:02 PM
yeah, if you are going to just back in with the tow vehicle...once you practice trial and error and get your site lines down it's pretty easy.  (I'm mean looking in your mirrors and lining up say for example your left trailer wheel with that crack in the driveway, and the right edge of the trailer against that line in the bricks...)
In my case there was no way to make the turn.  I have backed my boat and other trailers though in more of a straight shot many times