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Old 12-27-2009, 10:56 PM   #1
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Trailer: 13 ft Compact II
Washington
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I have never changed the tires on the Compact II that I have. I need to remove one of the tires as it keeps loosing air.

Where do I place the jack? Under the leaf spring assembly on the axle? Or the frame?

Thanks,
Fran
74 Compact II
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:11 AM   #2
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Escape 13 ft 2010 ('Ladybug') / 2003 Subaru Forester/ 2012 Toyota Highlander
British Columbia
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Quote:
I have never changed the tires on the Compact II that I have. I need to remove one of the tires as it keeps loosing air.

Where do I place the jack? Under the leaf spring assembly on the axle? Or the frame?

Thanks,
Fran
74 Compact II
Fran:

I believe the correct place to put the jack is under the frame.

Brian
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:20 AM   #3
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Name: Jake
Trailer: Still looking
Ontario
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Quote:
I have never changed the tires on the Compact II that I have. I need to remove one of the tires as it keeps loosing air.

Where do I place the jack? Under the leaf spring assembly on the axle? Or the frame?

Thanks,
Fran
74 Compact II
Hello Fran:

NOTE FIRST: Before jacking up the trailer, ensure that you block the other wheel/ tire with blocks or bricks, (in front & Back of the wheel) to ensure that the trailer does not move, once up on the jack.
ALSO: Begin to loosen the wheels studs (the side you will be working on) while the wheel is still on the ground, with a tire iron, then hand tighten them back up,
(gloves are good) so they are easy to remove once the wheel is in the air.

You can actually you can place the jack under the axle/ leaf spring, provided you place the jack on the flat part where the leaf spring is attached to the axle, ensuring it is centered and secure.
It is always best to have a jack stand available and once the wheel has cleared the ground, jack up a little more, place the jack stand under the axel or Frame, then slowly let the jack down a bit to rest on the jack stand, for added safety.

I hope that helps?

Happy new year and good luck with the project.
Jake.
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:57 AM   #4
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You can put the jack either on the frame or axle/spring juncture, if you do the latter you won't have to jack as far. If you jack up the axle put a jack stand under it, ditto if you jack up the frame. If you can, not a bad idea to hitch up your TV for stability.

Mike

Quote:
Hello Fran:

NOTE FIRST: Before jacking up the trailer, ensure that you block the other wheel/ tire with blocks or bricks, (in front & Back of the wheel) to ensure that the trailer does not move, once up on the jack.
ALSO: Begin to loosen the wheels studs (the side you will be working on) while the wheel is still on the ground, with a tire iron, then hand tighten them back up,
(gloves are good) so they are easy to remove once the wheel is in the air.

You can actually you can place the jack under the axle/ leaf spring, provided you place the jack on the flat part where the leaf spring is attached to the axle, ensuring it is centered and secure.
It is always best to have a jack stand available and once the wheel has cleared the ground, jack up a little more, place the jack stand under the axel or Frame, then slowly let the jack down a bit to rest on the jack stand, for added safety.

I hope that helps?

Happy new year and good luck with the project.
Jake.
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:20 PM   #5
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Trailer: 1973 Compact Jr and 1980 Bigfoot 17 ft
Texas
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Francene,
I'm not sure where the balance point is on a Compact II, but on my Compact Jr. I put the jack under the frame behind the axle. If it's not hitched to the TV and you place the jack under the frame but in front of the axle the trailer will tilt backwards because there's too little weight on the tongue.
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Old 12-30-2009, 02:29 AM   #6
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Name: Jen
Trailer: 1972 Compact Jr
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It is always best to have a jack stand available and once the wheel has cleared the ground, jack up a little more, place the jack stand under the axel or Frame, then slowly let the jack down a bit to rest on the jack stand, for added safety.
Jake -
I had never used jack stands before, but I'm sure glad I used them last summer when I removed the axles to replace the leafsprings on my '72 Compact Jr.! I was going to have both tires off, so of course I needed to set it on SOMETHING. I borrowed the stands from a neighbor and in the end, they probably saved my life.

After I'd done the ground work on the project (including wire-brushing and repainting everything I could see, replacing the leafs with new ones, painting inside the wheelwells from robin-egg blue to black to match the previous owner's exterior paint job, etc.), I jacked up the first side to get the first wheel back on. I had to lift it just "that much" more to fit the wheel in place. Though the jack was on a flat, concrete surface, as I cozied up to the trailer and got super involved in putting the wheel back on, the trailer twisted off the jack and crashed back onto the jack stand, just perhaps 2 inches below. Had the stand not been there, the trailer would certainly have crashed to the ground, and because the OTHER side was jacked up, may have continued over. I had scrambled backward, but I wonder if I'd gotten away fast enough to escape the trailer if the stands hadn't been there.

I don't know why it happened, but I can tell you scared the BAJEEEZUS out of me. I'll never work on the trailer off ANY of its wheels without the jacks in place.

As for where I lift, the frame on this trailer is super lightweight and twists easily, so for regular tire changes, I place the jack under the leaf to lift the leaf (so there's no extra stretch and thereby additional lift required) and axle. I believe this spreads the load across the trailer rather than causing an unhealthy twist and unecessary lifting.

While blocking the other tire is grand, I prefer to hook the trailer to the TV whenever possible if jacking is required. The TV is a much better anchor, and while this may be a little bit of a hassle and take a couple of extra minutes, but my life's worth it, and so is yours.
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Old 01-01-2010, 08:30 PM   #7
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Trailer: 1973 Compact Jr
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The instructions for every wheel jack I have encountered always say jack the frame, never the axle. That's been true for every vehicle I've owned. Take a look at the owner's manual for your car or any other vehicle you have.

Instead of transcribing the instructions from my owner's manual I found on the web these directions from AL-KO for their caravan (trailer) jack -- they're similar enough to serve our purpose:

JACK OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS

1 Attach caravan to the towing vehicle and apply the handbrake on both towing vehicle and caravan.

2 In the case of manual towing vehicles, select 1st or reverse gear; with automatic towing vehicles, place the selector lever in the "P" position.

3 As an additional safety measure chock the caravan wheel (back and front) on the opposide to the one to be changed.

4 Clean jack mounting brackets on the caravan if necessary.

5 Remove jack from storage bag (if applicable).

6 Extend spare wheel carrier (if applicable) to remove spare wheel.

7 If the ground is soft or likely to giveway, put a plank or something similar under the base plate of the jack.

8 Slot the insert piece (fig 4/item 1) into the jack mounting bracket (fig 4/item 2) until it connects. (ed: this step fits a slot in the top of the jack to the flange on the frame)

9 Holding the jack with one hand, turn the jack handle in a clockwise direction until the base plate reaches the ground.

NOTE: Wear gloves when winding up the jack (protection against hand injury).

9.1 Before operating jack, please check jack components are not catching on side overhang of caravan.

CAUTION:
The base plate must sit flat on ground, vertical to chassis member.
If these precautions are not observed; there is danger of damage to the vehicle jack or caravan.

10 Lift caravan by continuing to turn the handle in a clockwise direction (only lift the vehicle until the wheel is no longer in contact with the ground).

WARNING
Never lie underneath a jacked-up vehicle, as this is dangerous and could result in serious injury.

That final warning is the reason many (me included) also use jack stands when I'm going to put any part of my body under the vehicle while a wheel is off. I use the jack to raise the vehicle and then place a jack stand under the frame and let the jack back down so the jack stand is taking the weight.

BTW, I agree with Jake that it is best to loosen the wheel nuts before jacking up the vehicle. And do the final tightening after the jack stand and jack have been removed.
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Old 01-01-2010, 08:49 PM   #8
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Trailer: 1973 Compact Jr
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Quote:
... You can actually you can place the jack under the axle/ leaf spring, provided you place the jack on the flat part where the leaf spring is attached to the axle, ensuring it is centered and secure. ...
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as "secure" when using a jack on the axle or spring. The reason is that these two parts are designed to move, and move they will.

Take a close look at how the spring works -- as weight is added it straightens out and as a consequence the axle moves a little to the rear. Or if weight is removed it bows more and the axle moves a little toward the front. If anything causes the force on the spring to change (you unthinkingly place your hand on the side of the trailer to steady yourself, a gust of wind strikes the trailer, somebody opens a door on the tow vehicle) it will cause the axle to move and may well move it enough for the axle to slip off the jack.

It has happened often enough that instructions for car jacks dating back to the 1920s have stated:

[b]Always jack the frame.

Never jack the axle!

BTW, Jake is right that a jack stand is a good idea, but again the support should be applied to the frame, not the axle or spring.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:24 PM   #9
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Trailer: 13 ft Compact II
Washington
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Thanks, Dana and others. I will follow all these instructions and be very careful.

Fran
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