Putting your trailer on jacks for the winter - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-02-2010, 09:34 PM   #15
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I jack mine up to take some of the load off the tires and torsion axle as described by others. I use the stabilizers at the rear, a pair of jacks towards the front and the tongue jack. IMO that spreads the load over 7 points along the frame rather than 3. I take a little more load off the tires and axle than I would while "stabilizing" the trailer for camping, but I don't take all the load off.

It makes it a little harder to steal and I hope it helps with the added weight of the snow load that I doubt those in the warmer areas experience.

Jim and Michel may have a point, but I think a stable non moving load spaced out over 7 points of support has got to be a lot less stressful on the frame than the forces one might experience on only 3 points travelling down our typical highways at 60 MPH.
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Old 11-03-2010, 04:33 AM   #16
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Where is Frederick? From memory, he found that jacking up just the extreme four corners of a Fiber-Stream so the wheels were off the ground was enough to crack the frame.

Jacking up any trailer by the corners puts a lot more bending load into the frame than sitting on the axle and jack.

I suspect this is why Scamp say to jack at the axle, though 'near' the axle might be a better description.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:54 AM   #17
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When I replaced my axle this summer, the person who did sell it to me and made the installation, strongly suggested to me to jack it up the way I showed, especially with the climate we have here, unless I would like to pay him again for a new axle in 5 years.
He said that the rubber suspension would be shut after five years if not done, when sitting for six months on its weight with temperature going in between +10C to -25C.

Since they are doing that job for the last 30 years, he also mentionned that jacking it (even just a little) at the 4 corners was really a bad idea as they saw so many caravan and pop-ups having the frame bent, mainly because of the snow weight on the trailer. The weight of snow can go from 6.4 lb/ft3 to 31.8 lb/ft3, if it's ice, it will go to 58 lb/ft3. So let's say you get 6 inches of wet snow on your little 13' Boler, you're adding near 1200 lbs on it. So if you think about doing at the 4 corners, you better just leave it alone and don't put anything.
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:01 PM   #18
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Ok, Raya, I apologize. Poor wording.
My trailer, my climate, and, as I said clearly before, my opinion.

Yes, I have the advantage of a long, long camping season (year round, if we wish.) Less time in storage than many others here.

My personal opinion, clearly stated here, is that people may do more harm than good to their trailers by improper jacking than letting it rest on a modern axle and modern radial tires.

If your manufacturer recommends it, obviously, follow their guidelines and do what you need to retain warranty.

Sorry.

Sherry (not on jacks... except to stabilize, ever.)
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:55 PM   #19
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This is what I read from the online Scamp manual as part of winterizing the trailer.

3. Running gear: Jack up the axle and block it up to take the weight off the suspension. Leaving the weight of the trailer on the suspension for extended periods while stored is extremely hard on the torsion axle. The rubber tends to compress and not relax as fully as before. Relieve tire pressure to 10 to 15 pounds while stored. This extends tire life.

Since our Scamp is less then likely to see home this winter, it will remain with us here on the shores of Shawano Lake unless we get a bug up our rear to haul it home to where everything we need to put it up off the ground is. So not only will it sit grounded, it will also be naked as was all it's predecessors for the winter.
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:39 PM   #20
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[QUOTE=Michel, Bouchard;228412]When I replaced my axle this summer, the person who did sell it to me and made the installation, strongly suggested to me to jack it up the way I showed, especially with the climate we have here, unless I would like to pay him again for a new axle in 5 years.

Mike, has your 37 year old trailer had an axle replacement prior to the one you installed?
According to your mechanic your trailer should have had 7.4 axles replaced during its lifetime. I'm not saying you didn't need an axle. I am saying I personally would take any advice this person gave me with a grain of salt.
Do a survey of our members and you will probably find many 30 + year old trailers that are preforming OK on original axles.
Some of this putting on blocks may have started because prior to the advent of radial tires everyone had bias ply tires which developed very noticeable flat spots when parked to long.
With the advent of radials and improved materials and design this is not as great a problem with bias ply tires anymore.
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:21 AM   #21
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Sherry,

All good here

Maybe we'll meet up at a rally sometime. Preferably in Florida!

Raya
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:35 AM   #22
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Hi Perry, there is so many variables, it's hard to know where to draw the line

The "new" 73 Boler I got last spring had its axle replaced only 4 years ago and was totaly shot. I trust the previous owner telling me it was replaced 4 years ago, the shipment sticker from Dexter was still on the axle with the date of shipment to a Caravan dealer in Chateauguay that the the installation. I think that the previous owner was jacking it, at least it was when I went to visit it last spring. But I suspect that the axle installation wasn't properly done, they did weld it to the frame and I think that they most probably have over heated the rubbers inside the axle, so this would be the reason of its short life.

The shop that gave me the advise, they only do that, RV suspension, it's their business, may be they could make more money not telling it to customers ? But you are right, 5 years is to take with a grain of salt. It may be true with the long 30 feet trailers using Dexter double axle they are used to work on, when you think a trailer that size can easily accumulate near 7000 lbs of snow during winter.

When we got our previous Boler, a 73 in 96, the original 23 years old axle was still in good shape, I know for sure that the previous owner was jacking it that way for winters, it was the father of my wife.

In any case I'm not taking the chance and just blindly follow their advise , it's only a 10 minutes job for my peace of mind.
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Old 11-05-2010, 01:30 AM   #23
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One has to be careful in jacking and blocking up the trailer. The picture in a previous post could be asking for trouble. If the blocks slip the axle tube could land on the blocks and ruin the axle. I have no idea how strong the axle bracket is, but I believe it was designed to hold the axle in place against the frame and not to hold the wight of the trailer. Here's what Dexter says about it.

Page 77 of Dexter's "Complete Service Manual"

2. Jack the trailer up put jack stands under the trailer frame so that the weight will be off the tires. Follow trailer manufacturer's guidelines to lift and support the unit. Never jack up or place jack stands on the axle tube or the equalizers.

Bold is my emphasis.
I don't think you really gain much by blocking. I know one person that blocks all the time even the trailer is only going to sit for a week.
I never block mine, I simply use it year around. I also doubt you gain that much by blocking except the exercise.
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:44 AM   #24
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More quotes from the Dexter Axle manual:

Found at numerous locations, with all their various suspension systems, whenever they talk about jacking up the trailer.
“CAUTION: Do not lift or support the trailer on any part of the axle or suspension system....Follow trailer manufacturers recommendations for lifting and supporting the unit.”

Found in their section on storage, general guidelines for all their suspension systems:
“If your trailer is to be stored for an extended period of time or over the winter, it is important that the trailer be prepared properly....Jack up the trailer and place jack stands under the trailer frame so that the weight will be off the trailers. Follow trailer manufacturer's guidelines to lift and support the unit. Never jack up or place jack stands on the axle tube or on the equalizers.”
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:53 AM   #25
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I think one difference for those of you who use your trailers year around is that you are moving the tires fairly often. From what I understand, it's not great on the tires (radials included) to sit on the same place constantly. Of course if you are using the trailer (or moving it regularly) this isn't happening.
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:34 PM   #26
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First I want to say that I don't want to be rude to anybody, sometimes my somewhat limited knowledge of English language turns my sentences into something I wouldn't have want.

The picture Byron was referencing to was taken from my neighbor's 30 feet caravan with dual axle, its brackets were made for that. Myself, on my Boler I put the blocks againts the frame as near as I can from the axle.

Don't ever use stabilizers a the corners. I saw so may caravans in winter time with their doors opened because freeze did expand the ground under them. The force may not be enough to permanently twist a frame but enough to make the door opened at least.
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:54 PM   #27
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Michel,

Totally understandable since English is not your first language (but also I can see where you would want to explain that). I spent a year in a French-speaking country and oh boy, some of the things I said (that I did not mean)

Two I can remember:

At the crowded dinner table on Easter, I told a cousin of the family I was staying with "Je t'aime" He was sitting across the table, so of course I had had to speak up and everyone heard me. Erm...oopsie, it turns out that even though that verb means both "love" and "like," the way I said it meant I'd just declared "I love you" (Should have said "Je t'aime bien," which means more of "I like you as a friend," and believe me, I won't be forgetting that!)

Another time (why are these always at the dinner table), when the mom asked me if I would like another helping of food, I said, No thank you, and then used French words that translated directly to "I'm finished." Well, she gave me a really weird look, and it took a bit of explaining for me to understand that, although we (casually if incorrectly) use these words in English, it DID sound a bit drastic, and I should have said "I have finished." Maybe she thought her cooking had just about killed me (which could not have been further from the truth).

Anyway, back to jacks and axles

Raya
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Old 11-06-2010, 07:11 PM   #28
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Michel,
Thanks for the explanation.
As for the language thing, your English is much better then my French.
I'm reminded of my working days and talking often to a customer in Montreal. Many times we had to each repeat things using slightly different words to communicate. A great learning experience for me and hopefully for him.

Happy Caravaning.
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