We live in an older house built in the 1920s. Unlike today, people back then did not subscribe to the ‘bigger is better’ mantra that dominates today’s capitalistic society. So we live in a sub-1000 square foot home with a modest garage set in the rear of the property. That gives us a long and narrow driveway to park our Airstream in.

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This photo shows how the driveway looks before the new fence and gate were installed. The old fence is on the right with the jasmine bush on it. On the opposite side is the property line with our neighbor’s side yard.

Being able to park the Airstream at our house was an important factor for us. Having to pay for storage was going to add another $100 to the monthly cost of ownership. Initially, we had the trailer parked just inside the sidewalk since some of the bushes hadn’t been cleared to push it back more. It was this big silver thing that sat in front of our house that everyone could see from a mile away. Not the most subtle way to keep a travel trailer at your house.

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Since we have been home this last year, I have made some improvements to the storage situation. More bushes were cleared to allow the trailer to set further back in the driveway. Just recently, a fence was built to allow us to remove the original fence that separated the back yard from the drive way. Now we can push the Airstream all the way back and have the door open up to our back patio. It also pushed the trailer close enough to a clean-out sewer pipe so I can have the Airstream always connected to the sewer system when it is at home. It made the Airstream almost a part of our small house and gave us another indoor space to go to and also doubles as guest quarters when friends come visit.

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The problem is that now we are dealing with only about a foot of clearance on each side when we back the Airstream down the driveway. On top of that, there is a big palm tree on the opposite side of the house I must get around before I am able to straighten out for the push back. Here is a little video of how the space looks.

This is what backing it up looks like. Before the new fence and gate. Note the big palm tree on the driveway.

Most of the time, it takes me a few tries and some maneuvering to get her down the driveway. Every once in awhile, the stars align and I nail it in one shot. Of course I have no video footage of that.

over and out,
dan

Categories: how-tovideo

6 Comments

Roger · May 16, 2011 at 9:42 am

Good job Dan (and Marlene)! I have always meant to video my spot but it is nowhere near as tight as yours. I have 14′ between our house and fence. However, I have a hard 90 degree turn to get going up the pea gravel. One day I will post it.

I am sure you have tried backing in from the other direction, looking over your left shoulder. Of course your neighbor might want to move their bimmer. At least you would not have a blind view of the palm tree.

Keep it up, as you know, practice, practice, practice.

Roger

tiffany · May 16, 2011 at 9:54 am

I don’t know which is more stressful, being the driver backing in or being the guider showing the way (O: great post!!

dan · May 16, 2011 at 10:38 am

@Roger I hadn’t thought about coming the other direction! I might be good to have view of the tree as I am backing up. The other thing I do that isn’t shown in this attempt is sometimes I cat the corner of the lawn just a bit to get a better angle into the driveway. It would be tough to do that coming from the other end.

@Tiffany Thanks! Marlene and I certainly do not have the communication part down as much as we should. We use our phones or walkie-talkies usually to communicate while I am doing it but sometimes I hear instructions like “You need to go THAT way more” as she is gesturing the direction to go in my blind spot. 🙂

Roger · May 16, 2011 at 3:48 pm

It sure looks like you have enough street there to get really straight before you start up the drive. You also have a cutout for the drive part. I have to go up over a curb so I made some wood ‘ramps’. Actually a 2×4 on a 2×6 on a 2×8 to help lessen the curb impact on the tires.

Here is where our trailer lives: http://goo.gl/QspGy

Here is a street view of my path to park it: http://goo.gl/nig9A

However, you know that by doing this at home it makes us that much better in a campground!!

Tito · May 24, 2011 at 10:53 am

I am sure your neighbors just love looking at that big silver thing next to them

dan · May 24, 2011 at 11:20 am

@tito better than having them looking thru our kitchen window and into our house. That is assuming they can see thru the weeds growing on their side yard. Thanks for reading our blog.

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