As some of you may know, we want Arrow to be our mobile boutique. What you may not know is that she will live on the side of our house as a storefront too. Only when we take her out camping, will we empty out the inventory and put in our camping gear. The logical place for her to live is next to the house, at the end of the driveway…right where our vegetable garden is. And that means the door would be up against the fence and not facing out into the garden. Squeezing between and fence and Arrow is not the most inviting way to enter a store. And a different spot to park her just is not an option based on our lot layout. So, what to do?
First, some of the garden needs to go. Honestly, not a terrible thing. It is pretty large for a home garden that we started to teach the girls where food comes from. Since then, the garden has turned into a maintenance headache because of the busy lives we live. As much as we would love to keep and maintain the entire thing, it just isn’t a reality at this point. We would still have a decent amount of garden space left so that is not a big deal.
This is where I thought of a video I had seen a year or more ago that Ron Paulk put out. He is the creator of the Smart Woodshop. It’s a deep and interesting YouTube hole if you are looking for one. Long story short, he needed a way to move his incredible woodshop trailer around easily in tight spaces without the use of his truck. For a man with a LOT of tools to call this one “his new favorite”, I had to check it out. Its called the Trailer Valet XL. Ron attached this new favorite tool, the Trailer Valet XL to his double axle enclosed woodshop and proceeded to move it all around his warehouse with ease. A hand crank or drill attachment did the trick! It was amazing! Could we get one of these? Are they expensive? Will it work on an Airstream? Will it work on grass (more like dirt since it is currently a garden)? Can it go up our driveway since it is slightly uphill. We live in central Florida, and if you have spent any time in this area, we are fresh out of elevation changes. A 10’ hill is about as much as we get around here. These are all the questions that were running through my head.
After much debate and thought, we decided that having a concrete pad poured is the best long-term solution for Arrow. Not because of the Trailer Valet XL, but because all the other alternative pavements would be messy or expensive. We thought of grass…maintenance nightmare. We thought of gravel…eh, it gets messy and dirty quickly in the humidity here. We thought of crushed shell…it gets tracked into and around everywhere but where you want to keep it. We thought of pavers…too expensive. So we came back to concrete. And concrete is what we did.
With the concrete poured, we ordered out Trailer Valet XL. But I still had my doubts to whether it would work for us or not. I could not wait for it to arrive. It wasn’t long before I had it in my hands and was attaching it to Arrow. To make it happen, I pulled Arrow into the driveway as far up as I could, but still get the Acadia out of the way. After wheel chocking and unhooking her, I moved the Acadia out of the way on busted out the Trailer Valet XL. It hooked up easily and away I went. I cranked and she moved. Until she didn’t…the wheels just spun. The pit in my stomach grew as I thought it wasn’t going to work.
Some of the online complaints were that the wheels just spun. Sweat was dripping since it was July in Florida and my solution was failing. Then I saw it…the wheel chocks. I always put them between the dual axles since it will stop the trailer no matter which way it rolls. This time was no different. Turns out, the Trailer Valet XL will not allow you to drive your trailer over your wheel chocks. I instantly had the excitement back as I moved them to the rear of the trailer and tried again. She moved! And she moved easily! Insert whatever happy dance you have here (you don’t want to see mine).
With the Trailer Valet XL, I was able to move Arrow up a slight incline and into place. I easily maneuvered her back and forth a few times to get the trailer as close to the fence as possible. So there she was, in her home, on concrete, with the door facing the correct direction! Amazing! What a great piece of hardware. I did not have any trouble attaching it to the trailer nor did I have any trouble moving her (aside from the wheel chock situation).