I picked up a Trailer Valet to help me with fine positioning of my trailer. It works like a trailer jack and can move your trailer better than a trailer dolly would, because it uses gear reduction to achieve movement that you would not have the strength for with a dolly.
Instead of painstakingly backing up your tow vehicle until the ball and tongue match, you can just get your tow vehicle close, and then use the Trailer Valet to position the tongue over the ball.
It works pretty well on level and close-to-level ground. I have a grade, and I found that if I release the brake without holding the crank, that the crank can spin. No trouble if I grab the crank before releasing the brake. A steep grade would defeat it.
Unfortunately, on the second use, after I wrote this article, the handle of the Trailer Valet has broken. It’s a casting, and the rectangular part where the handle connects to a shaft on the Trailer Valet has split along one of the edges. The manufacturer sent out a replacement via priority mail as soon as they received my email about it. I’ll report if that one holds up.
The Trailer Valet mounts to rectangular frames only. It won’t work on a tubular frame. It is likely to interfere with weight-distributing hitches, and I am going to have to position mine carefully once I get the WDH, for both to work at the same time.
I remove mine once I’m done moving the trailer, but there is also the option to invert it and leave it on the frame while driving. Many purchasers have commented that the Trailer Valet parts rust, so it’s better to store it out of the weather when not in use.
This is a useful gadget, and I can recommend it with reservations:
- I had a part break too soon. Although the manufacturer replaced it quickly, if I had needed to move my trailer in a hurry out of the spot the Trailer Valet helped me get it into, I would have had to improvise some sort of crank.
- It’s not able to conquer more than a mild grade, and it won’t handle a tongue weight over 550 lbs.
If you can live with those limitations, it will allow you to do things that just wouldn’t be possible otherwise. I maneuvered my trailer into a place my tow vehicle would not have fit.
The manufacturer is taking pre-orders for a new version that uses a motor rather than a crank.