Are jacks necessary? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-23-2012, 10:22 PM   #1
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Name: Linda
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Are jacks necessary?

I have a 1982 13' Burro that I just bought. I've seen pictures of other units and noticed jacks set up in the rear of the unit. Should I buy jacks to use? Where does a person buy these jacks? Thanks!
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:31 PM   #2
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It depends on how fussy you are I suppose. Its a lot more comfortable living and sleeping in a trailer that is level. I also find that I sleep better on a level bed (or possibly my your head slightly elevated). Can you do without? Yes, most definitely. Should you do without? That depends on your personal preference.

You will find there is a lot of discussion about axles on this forum. You will probably find that your trailer axle lasts longer if you take the weight off it during the off-season. You could probably use some sort of blocking arrangement, but jacks would make life easier.

My suggestion would be to do some camping without, then add them if you find there is a need for them.

Derek
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:37 PM   #3
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Thanks Derek......where do you get jacks?
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:01 PM   #4
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Camco Stack Jacks, set of four 34$ and change, free shipping at Amazon Prime. Similar available Wally Mart, auto parts, farm/home stores. These are screw type jackstands; they are not jacks in the sense that they are not designed/intended to lift weight although they will function in that manner if you apply enuf leverage to the crossbar.

There are also retractable folding stabilizers (about 16$) from Scamp Trailers and other sources. Typically, two of these stabilizers are found welded or bolted to the rear bumper of small trailers, one each side. If not provided, a jackstand such as the Stack Jack is the appropriate substitute. You do need these when the tow vehicle is unhitched. 4 to 600lbs of human being in the rear dinette of a small trailer WILL cause the trailer to pivot on the wheels, possibly lifting the tongue at least momentarily. Not a pleasant sensation; even if the weight isn't sufficient to upend the trailer onto the bumper, this movement can also dislodge chocks and cause wheel movement.

The usual tongue jack which provides leveling capability does not assist with lateral stability as you enter the trailer from the side door or move about. Customarily, two additional jackstands are placed near where the sides of the A-frame tongue (if you have one, some trailers have pole tongues) meet the parallel frame under the trailer.

The most frequent and primary role of jack stands is to stabilize the trailer in a single position and attitude and limit the effect of moving wgt. (humans) inside the trailer. I think the possible uses of jackstands (in conjunction with bottle jack for actual lifting or jacking) to provide safe and secure support during tire changes and for seasonal relaxation of torsion axles can be left for another time (or another ambitious contributor).

jack
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:16 PM   #5
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Jack.....thanks so much! Do the rear jacks go under the attached metal bumper thing or under the actual fiberglass back? I realize this probably sounds totally stupid but I am a true newbie.....thanks for your patience!
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:31 PM   #6
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Stay off the glass body and stay off of light gauge box frames when possible (there are exceptions and simple support on each side of the tongue is one and as jackstands when tire changing is a another). Get the trailer level fore and aft and place one each end of bumper and raise the screw only enuf to firmly support the bumper at the hgt. established by leveling the trailer. I'm not sure what the "attached metal bumper thing" is but if it turns out to be a "mechanism" attached to the underside of bumper, don't place jackstand under that either as it may well be the retractable stabilizer I spoke of. Little trick to deploying those; leave that to someone else's descriptive abilities.

jack
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:45 PM   #7
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. . . and there are no stupid questions but there are ... people who don't ask about what they're certain they SHOULD know. Better to know you don't know and confident enuf to admit it! Best of luck; it's not that steep a learning curve.

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Old 09-24-2012, 09:08 PM   #8
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A lot of times, folks mix the terms jacks when they really mean stabilizers. You can use jacks to stabilize the trailer. If you put a "jack" near the bumper area, DO NOT lift the trailer off the wheels. For the most part the frames are not built to handle the stress and it will twist. If you need to jack the trailer up to change a tire, put a jack close to the wheel... on the frame... not the axle.

The type of jacks or stabilizers used is a personal preference. Nearly any kind will work, it depends on your budget, how much time you want to futz around with them, etc., etc.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:16 PM   #9
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Name: Linda
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I looked at my printed out manual from this site and it shows jacks that can be bolted to the back bumpers.....I went out and looked......there are holes in the bumper but no jacks. I guess I'm asking about what I should use to help keep my unit level while parked. I checked with my local RV store and they carry inexpensive "jacks" that I can use under my back bumper that just slip under.......I'm not asking about anything to actually lift the camper.....God forbid I get a flat.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit View Post
. . . there are no stupid questions but there are ... people who don't ask
Sounds better to me, hopefully others.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:29 PM   #11
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Linda, those are often called "stab jacks." Scamp sells them: 18 inch Rear Bumper Jack

But, IMHO... I hate those things. I owned my trailer for a year and removed them. It seemed I needed a "half-hole" or different piece of wood to make them work. Besides the fact they hung at the bottom of the bumper and were loaded with road rash. Every time I deployed those suckers my hands got so dirty, I had to scrub them before I did another thing... and that included opening the door to the Scamp. YMMV

See if the jack for your tug will work for your trailer... if you ever need to change a tire. But, find out before you need it!

AND, you don't jack up a trailer to level it. You level side to side at the wheels (either boards or lego blocks) and level front to back at the tongue jack.

The jacks you are talking about are only used to stop the wobble when moving around inside the trailer.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:32 PM   #12
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So do you use anything to balance your camper?
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lfoxmont View Post
So do you use anything to balance your camper?
I don't know who is "you." I use Wayne Stabilizers and a BAL leveler.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:49 PM   #14
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trailer leveling - YouTube Here's a vid that shows the Bal leveller that Donna mentioned. I don't personally use it, I just back my trailer up onto some boards to level side to side.
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