Getting up a steep driveway

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Jan 19, 2007
Are there any tricks to steep driveways with a class A?  Just bought a new Damon Astoria, but now the problem is getting the thing home.  :-\ 
Congrats on the purchase but sorry Can't help you  Never had that problem  always had long  and mostly level drives.
You might want to build up the steepest part of the transition, usually at the curb line, with some 2x10.s or similar materials to eliminate the wheels from dropping into a hole and dragging the rear of the coach.  The front is rarely the problem.  If that doesn't work, you will be forced to modify the drive or not park the coach at home.

Damon likes to cut the back end of the rigs at a very sharp angle  So the only "Trick" I'd suggest is this

Consider backing in, and have someone watching closely,  Back in VERY SLOWLY and have them watch to see if any part of the rig bottoms out, or gets close to bottoming out, INCLUDING THE JACKS  They should watch the back as you start into the drive, once the back tires get to the top (assuming it levels out on top) have them watch the "break" (Where it levels out) to make sure the rig does not teeter totter on the edge, and then once the front wheels clear the break you are home free.

If you choose to drive in,, Same procedure Watch the back as it starts up the incline, and the break once the front wheels clear the break.

And if it gets within six inches,  Pull/back out EMPTY as the rig will settle when it's loaded

So be sure to have your partner watching as you leave too.

Be glad you got a Damon.. Lots of rigs do not have that high angle at the rear, some the bottom is level all the way back and if you go up a steep drive with those you will do thousands of dollars in damage
Karl said:
You didn't mention what your problem is - frame dragging or just not enough oomph to make it?

The plan is to try backing up the driveway.  But there is 10' of overhang in the rear, and I've got a feeling the driveway is going to be too steep of an angle to not drag.  No concerns with the "break", it's the getting off the road part.  Thanks for all the info.
If the spot where the driveway and the road meet is too steep you can try a temporary or even a permanent ramp. If a temp ramp of dirt works then consider a permanent one with a conduit to take the water past...........
If you try to go straight up the hill from the street you may drag the rear bumper, especially if there is a deep curb drain on the street.  The best way to avoid dragging is to attack the slope from an angle.  This works whether backing in or heading in.    The sharper your approach angle that you use the better.  After the rear wheels are on the drive, then straighten out and head up the drive.  Making the wheels (front or rear) go up the drive first at an angle helps to lean the coach in the direction of the sloping drive and maintain clearance between the bumper and the ground.  Depending on how steep the slope is, will determine how sharp your attack angle must be.  In severe cases you may have to go in to the drive almost in line with the street and then after the rear wheels are on the drive cut the front hard to swing it square and proceed up the hill.  The length of your overhang beyond the rear axle will also help determine your approach angle.

Ever see those deep grooves and gouges on the street just before a service drive with a deep curb drain?  Other cars and trucks have made those marks because they went straight in.  Using this trick, you will not leave a gouge.

We have used this technique for many years and it works when going into and out of anything that involves a steep transition in angle from the street, even a high sidewalk to drive over.  You will not want to go very fast, when doing this maneuver, because it will throw things around inside, including people as the unit rolls from side to side.
We have an 05 Damon Challenger and I want to second John's CAUTION.

He said, " Back in VERY SLOWLY and have them watch to see if any part of the rig bottoms out, or gets close to bottoming out, INCLUDING THE JACKS." Note the JACKS comment.

The only thing we have ever dragged was the rear jacks. Only did it once. Took a while to figure out what the problem was. We really appreciate the upward slant of the rear overhang.

Now, backing over uneven terrain, outside assistant also watches the JACKS!

Ray D
I have a problem with steep drives and even curbs.  The lowest part on my Class C is where the waste drain is, and I have heard it scrape the ground several time, and for that reason, my greywater tank valve is held together with JB Weld.  I also had a very scary problem once when I was backing the rig down a steep hill and hit the breaks, and the front end of the RV lifted about 2 inches off the ground.

The best way I've found to keep from dragging the butt end is, if you can do it safely, take the incline at an angle.  Its the only way I was able to get the rig into the Raising Cane's parking lot, by taking the drive at about a 35 degree angle.
Dave - I'm curious ... have you gotten the rig up your driveway yet? Are you parking it in storage, on the street?
chaajoad said:
Dave - I'm curious ... have you gotten the rig up your driveway yet? Are you parking it in storage, on the street?

It made it, with inches to spare. 
Glad you made it.  Whew! 

One trick when you have a steep angle is to attack it from a sideways position so you're approaching at an angle.  That's not always realistic, however, especially if the driveway is narrow and you have to attack it straight on.  We once had a motorhome with a long overhang.  At a trailer supply store (I think) we found some small heavy-duty wheels so any drag wouldn't dig into the asphalt but would instead roll over it.  That actually worked pretty well.  I may be mistaken but I think Jerry had them welded on.  Regardless of what you do for your driveway, when you're driving with a long overhang you always have to be conscious of where you're going as well as swing-out into the next lane on turning corners.


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