Pulling PUP Into The Garage

Discussion in 'Camper Storage / Winterizing & De-Winterizing' started by Strongbad, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. Strongbad

    Strongbad New Member

    Sep 8, 2017
    Hi guys. First post and first time camper owner.

    The family and I are experienced tent campers and felt that a PUP was the next logical step in evolution.

    I would like to pull my PUP into my garage for storage. My driveway is fairly inclined and I don't feel good sticking it in the driveway with just wheel chocks.

    My garage is only 6" wider than my camper, which leaves a novice "backer" a bit nervous.

    I looked at powered tugs or dollies, and while they seem like they would do the trick, are pretty pricy.

    I found a few boat guys who have rigged up a winch, bolted to the garage floor and used that to pull the trailer into the garage. That seems to be a good route but was wondering if anyone here has experience doing that?

    I was thinking I could rig up the emergency brake cable to the winch so if the cable broke somehow, the ebrakey would trigger.

    I could even put a railroad tie behind the wheels in the case of a rollback.

    Let me know what you guys think.

  2. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Oct 10, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    I believe another possibility is to add a hitch to the front of your vehicle and in so many ways push it in. That way your vehicle has control of the camper at all times and it would be easier to see what it's doing in front of you. Just not sure how easy it is to install a hitch in the front or if it is possible on your vehicle.
  3. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
    If it is possible to back it into the garage then I would do that. Just take your time. You only need to do it once a year.
  4. pasobuff

    pasobuff Member

    Aug 6, 2012
    Upstate NY
    I agree on backing it in. If you are nervous about backing up, find a place to practice - empty parking lot, your own driveway etc....get some cones or something else you can see (and won't hurt if you run over) and practice backing through them.....start a bit wide and move closer as you gain confidence.

    This will also help you as you travel - as sometimes campsites can be a bit challenging depending on where you camp.....

    Also, either have someone back you up so you don't hit the garage wall (or whatever is against it) - OR - measure from the spare tire/bumper to where the wheels hit the ground and add at least 6 inches for some leeway....then put a wheel chock such as a railroad tie or piece of wood to let you know when to stop! If you don't want to leave the chock there, make note of where the vehicle is in relation to the garage door and use that to gauge how far back you are.....practice makes perfect!!!

    So many people forget that being able to back up is SOOOOOO important!!!!!
  5. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2012
    Back it in... just take it slow & easy! You'll get it[:)C]
  6. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
    Even though I stink at backing up my camper. I still back my camper almost into the garage. My garage is at a right angle to my driveway, which is 26' wide. It takes me a while but nobody is watching and I get it done.
  7. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2016
    King George, Virginia
    My POPUP trailer jack has the flat pad or swivel wheel that you can use on the bottom of the front tongue jack.. Easy to exchange...
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Google images ETRAILER.COM I think sells them

    If your driveway is concrete it would very easily be moved by hand. I have rigged my old sear lawn mower to move it as well... Of course having the hitch on the front would work best but my Sears LT1000 already had a hitch bar installed on the rear.

    Looks like this photo I found online
    google image

    My other problem was my trailer just barely fit inside my garage. I had to remove some shelving on the back wall to be able to close the garage door..

    I did this for a couple of years but now I have real nice setup in my backyard next to my small woods so I built-up a neat little camp site here complete with fire pit mixed in with long wood pile... My trailer site is almost out of site.... Love to watch my NASCAR and Football games out here haha... I just back in there now to park my OFF-ROAD POPUP and now I can do some back yard camping as well. Great for testing out new mods etc... I also run a 20AMP 120VAC service out to this area as well...

    Roy Ken
  8. JLBlair

    JLBlair New Member

    Aug 9, 2017
    rvanderwerf likes this.
  9. rvanderwerf

    rvanderwerf Member

    Jul 20, 2017
  10. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    Mt Pleasant, MI
    Mine is a tight fit as well, and in a crowded parking lot no less, so I got a trailer dolly. It's a piece of cake - I keep the breakaway cable in one hand while I'm pushing, and DW walks next to the camper with a set of chocks for emergency deployment in case it gets away from me. It's a slight incline going up to my garage door and I can easily push my 3k lb camper by myself all the way in - DW is there for safety only.
  11. Eskimorob

    Eskimorob PUP life

    Jul 5, 2016
    I have a 2 car garage with two single openings which gives me about 2-3 inches on both sides when backing the pup in. The driveway has a pretty good grade to it so I'm backing up hill. Since I know I only have inches to spare, I use the drivers side mirror to back in, relying on the fact that if I'm really close on the drivers side, that I'm not rubbing the awning bag on the other side. The whole maneuver takes several trips in and out of the drivers seat and around the camper to make sure I'm lined up correctly and then to check clearances as I back her up. As soon as the tongue clears the door, chock the drivers side wheel and unhitch. I can fine tune the position using the wheel on the tongue jack once the driver side wheel is chocked. The whole thing takes a long time, probably 10 minutes, but I'm very careful with this, don't want to hurt anything. Just as careful when pulling out.
  12. NorcrossFlyer

    NorcrossFlyer Member

    Oct 26, 2015
    North Georgia
    I used a Trailer Valet on my pup due to the slight incline and garage floor lip. Expensive ($350) but it got the job done.
  13. Deesko

    Deesko Member

    Feb 16, 2017
    Possibly overkill in prep work compared to the other suggestions but I am a project manager and web app developer so extra work upfront for less work on an repetitive ongoing basis is my natural tendency... (that and I had all of the materials laying around so it was a free solution).

    Measured the width of garage door & marked the dead center of the door on the floor with a permanent marker. That mark is my center point for everything.
    Then I measured the distance from both garage walls to that dead center mark on the floor and used those two measurements as my references so I could mark a straight line all the way through the garage space from the garage door to the back wall of the garage. That line is dead center of my garage space the entire length of the garage space.

    I took a piece of bright red duct tape and ran it the entire length of that dead center line so now I have a red 2" wide "center mark" to use as a reference. If the center of the PUP is on the center of that piece of tape, I'm golden.

    Then I took a 10 ft long 1" x 4" and put a piece of that same red duct tape all the way down the center of that board.

    Next, I measured the bumper on my PUP and made sure that the bumper was actually centered on the entire exterior of the PUP, including the awning and exterior doors, door handle etc.

    Once I had the dead center mark of the entire width of the PUP on the bumper I took my battery operated, wireless back up camera and stuck it on the bumper (it mounts with a magnet), double checked to make sure the camera itself was actually dead center of the outer edges of the PUP and then marked both the left and right outer edges of the camera mount with the same red duct tape. This means I know exactly where to consistently stick the camera every single time. Line each side of the camera up with those two red tape marks and the camera will be dead center of the pup every time.

    Next I took some measurements, did some trial and error to verify and then drew a vertical line on the actual in-cab screen for my back up camera with a black permanent marker to reference the dead center mark of the PUP on the actual in-cab screen.

    When its time to back it into the garage, I lay the 1x4 in the driveway with the red duct tape lined up exactly with the red duct tape line inside the garage. I put a couple of small pieces of 2x4" on each side of the 1x4 to keep it from moving at all because of wind etc. and that gives me a reference point for lining up the PUP in the driveway before I actually reach the garage door.

    I back the PUP up into the driveway, line up the black mark on the in-cab camera screen with the center of the red duct tape on the 1x4 and ease it up the driveway & into the garage making sure the center mark on the camera screen stays in the center of the red duct tape line and viola, slides right into place without much fuss.

    It just takes a little getting used to NOT looking back through the mirrors etc and trusting your reference marks but once you get past that urge to turn and eyeball it, it works like a charm every single time.

    Here's the specific camera I used as there were a lot of options but a lot of them required you to run power wires to the camera etc. This one is completely wireless and self-contained, pops on and off and you could move it to use for other purposes as needed (backing into CG spots etc).

    TRR likes this.
  14. chambo

    chambo Active Member

    Apr 27, 2015
    Southern California
    Back 'er in. As long as you have more than 0" inches of clearance you should be fine. Practice, take it slow, and don't be afraid to pull forward and reset. It can be done, but it will take practice. The next time you pull up to a campsite with tight clearance or a tricky bend you'll be glad you had the practice with your driveway.
  15. TRR

    TRR Active Member

    Nov 3, 2014
    Alabama USA
    For some reason, this makes me think of this:

    Deesko and JPBar like this.
  16. Daisy on my toe

    Daisy on my toe Member

    Jun 21, 2017
    Chicago area
    We always just get it to in front of the garage with the truck then put the wheel on the front an push it in manually. My husband can do it by himself.
  17. Deesko

    Deesko Member

    Feb 16, 2017

    Expect my "stop bullying me" post and threats to delete the internet any minute now.


    I will say though, when we get home from camping at 9 or 10pm, the kids and wife are all asleep in the truck, everybody's exhausted and I'm facing having to park the PUP in the dark then carry 3 kids upstairs to their beds and then unload the TV...

    It's nice to just pull up, lay that one board down in the driveway, turn the camera on & back the pup right in nice and easy. Takes me 1 or 2 tries max, no jumping in and out of the TV 15 times or needing to wake anyone up to be a spotter etc. Most of the time the PUP is in the garage, unhooked and the garage door closed before anyone else even wakes up.
  18. Sneezer

    Sneezer Active Member

    Aug 8, 2015
    DFW, TX
    I can't park in the garage, mainly because the garage is full of stuff so nothing parks in it. Even if it was empty priority would go to my wife's van which would not leave enough room for the pup. Pretty sure it is too long anyway unless I remove some shelving.

    I do have a concrete pad on the side of the house where I store it. I have to be careful when backing though due to neighbor's fences and a utility line meter housing. I can only come in from one direction in the alley, and if my neighbors are parked in their driveway then it is impossible to get it backed in. There have been times when I had to go into work late just so I could get it backed in after they left for work.

    Extended trailer mirrors make a huge difference, especially when you are at an angle. I cannot see over the top of the pup so I have to rely on mirrors. I have the outside angled to look straight back, and the inner mirror angled out to catch the blindspot. This works really well to see the angle of the trailer when backing at an angle.

    That being said I really want a powered dolly. I cannot move mine by hand as it is too big and heavy, and my driveway is on an incline. It might be easier with a front mount hitch, but by the time you pay for the hitch and install you are at the cost of a power dolly anyway.

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