Why not just level with a jack? - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-04-2015, 11:09 AM   #43
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Jon, I am not sure what you mean? It forms a tripod. how is that possible to twist? It is either level, or it is not. The wheels are still on the ground, but with less weight the without the supports. I suppose that could put some torque on the frame, but much less then hitting a speed bump with only one wheel.
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:09 AM   #44
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I have to agree with Jon about not using "Stabilizers" for leveling. Most are not attached in a manner designed to support much weight and I would hesitate putting much on them, especially when there is a large difference and a lot of lifting is required.


Even on a very light weight tent trailer we have in our RV fleet, I still use blocks and boards to level before putting down the stabilizers,


I guess that's what they are called "Stabilizers" and not called "Leveling Somethings".
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:18 AM   #45
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I carry a few boards in my storage area...to level ...drive on one, two or three stacked boards and presto..LEVEL!! What is the big deal!! I have been doing it for over 30 years! Don't forget reload your boards when you depart.

Boards level right to left....tounge Jack levels front to rear. My trailer has four corner stabilizers built in....warning: do not use stabilizers to level trailer.

Happy Camping!
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:24 AM   #46
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Why not just level with a jack?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
Jon, I am not sure what you mean? It forms a tripod. how is that possible to twist? It is either level, or it is not. The wheels are still on the ground, but with less weight the without the supports. I suppose that could put some torque on the frame, but much less then hitting a speed bump with only one wheel.

The downside jack has to plant itself before the upside jack in order to level side-to-side. That was my observation when I did it.

Or to look at it another way, if the back of the trailer is slanted when you start and level when you finish it had to rotate longitudinally. Either the force of that rotation is applied at the wheels (good) or at the back of the frame (bad). By the same reasoning, when you hit a speed bump with one wheel, the rotational force is being applied at the wheels, which are designed for such forces.
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:32 AM   #47
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My "stabilizers" are welded to the frame. I have lifted the wheels of the trailer right off the ground using them, but I didn't jump around inside the trailer for fear of damaging the frame. I was just looking to get under the trailer.

But thanks for the note of caution Bob. My approach to life is definitely not for everyone. I never worried about the stabilizers. I didn't pay much to have them installed. They seem to have tolerated my abuse over the last couple of years just fine. You may think me wreck-less, and I have my opinions of you.

Trust me, if I damage anything doing this, I will let you know.
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:34 AM   #48
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If I torque the frame too much, or raise the tongue too far with the rear stabilizers on the ground, my entry door doesn’t close properly and the latch tongue won’t work or will work very hard to catch or release. Based on this, I’m convinced I’m flexing the body and that it’s bad for the trailer so I use the stabilizer/tongue jack to lightly stabilize the trailer not to jack it around.

These are my observations of the different leveling schemes from my perspective of solo camping, age, tow vehicle and trailer:
· Wood
o Pro
§ Cheap
o Con
§ Slippery when wet
§ Not always easy to climb the pile with wood-to-wood slippage
§ Can be awkward to stow
§ Takes up relatively more space
§ Doesn’t act as a chock
· Lego-type blocks
o Pro
§ Relatively cheap
§ Light and compact storage
§ Can be used for other purposes
· Front jack pad
· Back stabilizer pad
o The less the stabilizer has to extend to more stable I find the trailer (less wobbly legs)
· Picnic table levelling
o Con
§ Can be slippery to pinch under the tire especially on asphalt.
· Hint: If not on asphalt, try putting a tent stake low to the ground up against the edge of the block to keep it from sliding.
§ Doesn’t act as a chock
§ Can take quite a number of them to build a ramp up for more than two high.
§ Can take some jockeying to get the tire centered on the top of the pile.
§ Can take a couple times to arrive at the correct number of layers to achieve level
· Bal Leveler
o Pro
§ Excellent chock for that side of the trailer
§ Easy to dial in the desired level
o Con
§ Somewhat pricey
§ Somewhat limited lifting range
§ More physical effort to use
§ Can be problematic to slide around the tire.
· Hint: Try the arm-spreading mod (carefully pry apart the arms with a hydraulic jack. Prying too far can crimp the arms which ruins the leveler.)
· Hint: Put one Lego block or short length of wood to raise the tire slightly which makes sliding the leveler around the tire easier.
§ Awkward/bulky/messy to carry around
· Pizza bags have been useful for this
· Anderson Leveler
o Pro
§ Easy to use
§ Somewhat easy to store.
o Con
§ Somewhat pricey
§ Somewhat limited range
§ Can be an indifferent chock for smaller lifts
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:47 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
I am not sure why no one has mentioned the obvious. I have a pair of support jacks on the back of my trailer. I drop the tongue till the coupler is almost in the dirt. I deploy the rear jacks, eyballing the slope of the ground and adjusting the jack length to compensate. If the ground is soft, then I put down some lego blocks. Then I lift the tongue till the trailer is level, front to back. I usually get it within half a bubble left to right. If not, drop the tongue and try again.
Hummm don't know about how Trilliums rear jacks are mounted or where but if you read the manual on the Scamp the rear built in jacks are STABILIZERS only and not to be used to jack up the trailer for levelling. We have over my time here had at least one person indicate they bent the frame of their trailer using the rear stabilizers as jacks.
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:59 AM   #50
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OK, bad plan. I will continue to do this, but it is clearly not recommended. Nor is lots of what I do.

Every life has a meaning, for some that meaning is to be a cautionary tale to others. (insert picture of me ) But I gotta tell you, I am having a blast! YMMV
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Old 06-04-2015, 12:09 PM   #51
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Can someone splane it for me using small words and speaking slowly?? While I don't jack on the axle myself, I just don't understand the concern about jacking up a trailer on its axle for fear of bending it or something, versus driving down the road and hitting pot holes, bumps, drop-offs, road construction sites, etc.

There is a zillion times more force and shock applied to the axle in a nanosecond when a wheel drops into a pot hole at 60 mph than it will ever experience from it being raised slowly with a jack. Then there are also those older campers with shot torsion rubber where the entire trailer pounds directly down on the axle constantly as it goes down the road.

If some snowflake axle can not take the force of being jacked up without it being damaged in some manner, I sure don't want it on a trailer connected to my vehicle. I don't know where you drive, but I have experienced these types of hazards numerous times with no damage to the axle.
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Old 06-04-2015, 12:42 PM   #52
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Why not just level with a jack?

The torsion axle we're talking about consists of a thin-walled hollow square tube with rubber cords inside. It is bolted or welded to the frame and does not move up or down with the wheels. The upward force when the wheel hits a bump causes the arm at the end of the axle to pivot. That is translated into a twisting force on the rubber cords. As they twist, they get shorter and thicker (think squeezing water out of a towel). They press against the walls of the axle tube, which slows and eventually reverses the twisting, and the axle arm and wheel go back down.

So, the axle tube is engineered to resist the twisting forces of the rubber inside, not to take lifting forces. The twisting forces are distributed across the inside surface of the tube, not concentrated at a point. It's a totally different concept than a solid axle with leaf springs, which is meant to go up and down.
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Old 06-04-2015, 01:05 PM   #53
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I agree with Jon. The flailing away of the wheel-end sending impacts to the brackets fastened to the frame is not the same thing as the point load of a jack on the tube connecting the two sides. The tube is just keeping the rubber in the right place and perhaps incidentally help keep the left side in the same lateral position compared to the right side.

In Dexter literature, the "spring" is a square torsion bar. The rubber is not holding up the trailer because it's much less torsionally stiff than the steel bar, but is possibly damping the torsion somewhat to natural losses in rubber (hysteresis).
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Old 06-04-2015, 05:33 PM   #54
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As other have tried to convince you, the jack is NOT a good idea.
A set of "Leggo" blocks, otherwise known as Linx Levelers are easy to use and a lot more stable. Another method is wedge blocks.
Leveling is most important for the refrigerator, both side to side, and fore/aft. We have a two way bubble level attached on top of the frame, beside the hitch jack. I gives us a quick check of level status. I had also supplanted the scamp factory bubbles with more accurate ones that are calibrated to show how much blocking you need under the low wheel.
A bit more work setting up, but the feeling of security is worth it.
Oh! be sure to chock the wheels before unhitching.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Timber Wolf View Post
After a full year of fairly frequent “Scamping” I finally last week needed to level the trailer side to side for the first time. In the past our campsites have either been level enough or slightly uphill on the side our heads are on when sleeping so I never bothered. But this time I had to add 4 ¼” of blocks (a 4X4 and 1X4) under one wheel to get the trailer where I wanted it. My first thought was I am going to order a Bal Leveler when we get back. I just now looked at them online and thought “I am not spending $80 and carrying that thing around for the few times I will need it”. Then I thought, why not just use the little bottle jack I carry anyway to level the trailer if I need it? I have a little 6 ton jack that is pretty handy and it seems to be no more trouble to crawl under the trailer with a couple of wood blocks if need be and just jack up the axle on the low side with a few pumps on the jack handle.

An advantage to the jack is getting the trailer where you want it and then level up “in situ”. With the Bal I assume you lay it down and back over it. Not that big of a deal I admit but a small advantage to the jack. Not that backing up on the wood blocks was a problem, but it did take three tries to get level. With the jack I just get my daughter to watch the level and tell me when we are level. Easy-peezy as she would say. I know some of you love your Bal, and it does look like a nice unit, but what would be wrong with the little jack?
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Old 06-04-2015, 06:19 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timber Wolf View Post
[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana] But this time I had to add 4 ¼” of blocks (a 4X4 and 1X4) under one wheel to get the trailer where I wanted it.
How about a shovel - just shovel some dirt where it is needed.

Otherwise get the Linx Levelers. Jacking isn't a good solution.
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Old 06-04-2015, 06:58 PM   #56
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Actually, jacking could end this thread. Abruptly.
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