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Trailer parking on a slope-- thumbs up, thumbs down, or thumbs flat?

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  • Trailer parking on a slope-- thumbs up, thumbs down, or thumbs flat?

    FO (Farm owner, not BO who leases her section) has asked me to park my two horse bumper pull in a place that's not level. Will that screw up my rig over time?

    The choices are one side lower than the other or butt high. In either case, I'm worried about what this does to tires, axels and whatnot. Should I be? I'd hate to ask for something different if it's not really necessary.

    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat

  • #2
    I guess it depends just how unlevel it would be (an inch or two or 6" or more?) but I would say no. I always try to park it as level as possible.
    First, say to yourself what you would be. Then do what you have to do. ~Epictectus


    • #3
      The first issue I'd worry about is a runaway. Obviously you can chock the wheels.

      The second issue I'd worry about is torsion, ie if the ground is so unlevel that it is tweaking the axles in dramatically different directions. With a trailer, the wheels are close together, so this is not such a big deal.

      The third issue is that it is really annoyingly hard to hook up a trailer that is parked on a sideways slope, especially an inconsistent, unlevel slope.

      I'd be more inclined to park butt-high than on a sideways slope. Once you've unhooked, adjust the jack so your trailer is parallel to the ground.

      Of course, it's hard to know without knowing the slope in question. Few people park their trailers on level concrete. They're parked on dirt which naturally end up with the wheels at different elevations.
      If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


      • #4
        For an extended amount of time I would avoid parking on something that is not side to side level but wouldn't worry much about front to back level. Front to back uneveness won't hurt the tires near as much as side to side. Block it good.


        • Original Poster

          Thanks to those who respond and a shameless bump up for that authoritative, monday-morning-at-work-getting-problems-solved (even if they aren't mine) crowd.

          The ground is positively wavey in the spot the BO chose. The rig is currently parked butt high (as the lesser of two evils), but the land also slopes off side-to-side. Had I parked perpendicular, one side really would have been lower. Can you picture this?

          In any case, more than 6" variation. So the whole thing looks slightly slanted and one tire (yet not both on the same side!) a bit more compressed than the others. I could level this some by lowering the jack while parked even if that's a PITA for hooking up.

          Do you like that last solution? Or does this additional info change anything for you equipment-care gurus?
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat


          • Original Poster

            Yet another bump

            A week later. Still crickets?

            The armchair saddler
            Politically Pro-Cat


            • #7
              Originally posted by mvp View Post
              FO (Farm owner, not BO who leases her section) has asked me to park my two horse bumper pull in a place that's not level. Will that screw up my rig over time?

              The choices are one side lower than the other or butt high. In either case, I'm worried about what this does to tires, axels and whatnot. Should I be? I'd hate to ask for something different if it's not really necessary.

              First, you need to be realistic.

              What are your choices?

              If you have no choice, either park where he says or keep the trailer at home.

              Sometimes parking it 10 ft. forward or back will even it up some.

              How many other trailers are on the property? Where are they parking?

              Is the FO one who would easily take a suggestion or is he/she my way or the highway?

              Even a 12" variation is not much.

              You failed to mention a couple of pertinent things: How often do you use it? What make is it? What type axle? Gooseneck, bumper pull, number of horses it will pull, etc.

              For instance if it is a 6 horse trailer sitting there empty, the strain on the tires and suspension is of no consequence.



              • Original Poster

                Good questions!

                I don't know the FO well and while there are flat places on the farm, sections of it are leased out to various other people/businesses. I absolutely will talk to BO or someone in possession of a flat spot if need be. I was trying to figure out if I were making a mountain of a mole hill.

                This is the only horse trailer belonging to a boarder at this barn on the place.

                I parked in the spot the BO said, as close to a building as possible while trying to keep it level. Because of the way the ground slopes, getting more level, front to back, might create less level side to side. It would also move it away from the building and encroaching on a field that gets hayed. Moving up is probably not what anyone had in mind.

                The trailer in question is a 2-horse aluminum BP with dressing room. It does have a set of rubber mats (extra, for show stalls) in the front of the horse compartment and a medium vinyl-sided show trunk in the dressing room. So maybe 250# ahead of the axels, but not all up in the nose. I don't know if that's enough weight up front to matter.

                Rubber torsion axels, I'm pretty sure.

                At this point I think I'll only use it 4 or 5 times a year.

                Thanks again for taking my fussy plight seriously. I try hard to take care of my equipment and here I know that I don't know how.
                The armchair saddler
                Politically Pro-Cat


                • #9

                  I have two expensive hobbies in my life - horses and boating. My guy is a fanatic about safety and boating and the care of his precious baby that floats. There is no harm in parking a trailer tipped forward or tipped back - they are designed to do that to some extent. We have our boat parked on our driveway which is pretty steep - we just chock the wheels and it sits there 365 days a year. No harm, no foul. Just the way our driveway is it is tipped down towards the hitch with the back higher than the front. I would be reluctant to tip it side to side as that seems to be a bit more precarious. I think you are good to go - don't lose any more sleep over it. If you really don't like where it is parked can you suggest another location or offer to level out that area with a few bags of topsoil and/or sand?