rear stabilizing jacks - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-13-2007, 10:21 AM   #1
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Trailer: Trillium 13 ft
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Hi all,
My Tril has rear jacks attached to the bumper. apparently the old owner haven't used them, they are stuck, repainted, all rusty, etc.
we did not go out with it yet, still under make-over operations

my questions:
1- how important are they? I guess the trailer will bounce a bit especially with people using the back dining/sleeping.
2- how can I loosen them up? or should I just remove them and weld 2 new jacks?
3- other alternatives?

thanks,
Mo
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Old 05-13-2007, 11:10 AM   #2
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Trailer: 74 Honey Boler
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They are very important!!!

This is so timely, We have a '74 Boler in the restoration stage. I installed the new water tank yesterday and removed the front bunk. I didn't have the jacks on. While we were painting inside last night, we felt the whole trailer rotate and land on the bumper, then bam!, back on the leg up front. There are jacks under the back end now It was fine for a month, but with the new weight of the water, and taking most things out of the front was too much.
Good luck,
Jeff
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Old 05-13-2007, 11:11 AM   #3
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As far as i am concerned they are very usefull to stabalize the trailer.If they are a screw type jack i would try some paint remover then some penitrating oil to see if i could make them work.
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Old 05-13-2007, 12:02 PM   #4
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great, so I will make sure they work.
i put WD40 to loosen them up. but just in case, what's an alternative? regular jacks or wood?
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Old 05-13-2007, 12:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
great, so I will make sure they work.
i put WD40 to loosen them up. but just in case, what's an alternative? regular jacks or wood?
I've found WD40 to be largely useless... There's a good recipe for a bore cleaner that makes a great penetrating oil, cleaner, etc ...

Here's the recipe for Ed's Red Bore Cleaner
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Old 05-13-2007, 12:29 PM   #6
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Yeah, good idea, I will try Birchwood Casey's gun scrubber... since I already have some.
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Old 05-13-2007, 02:28 PM   #7
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Have you walked to the rear of your trailer when it`s not connected at the hitch and just sitting on the front jack?....Interesting experience! ... ......rear stands of some type are required on a regular small trailer, maybe not on a fiver which has a lot more front weight.....Benny
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Old 05-13-2007, 05:43 PM   #8
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We chose NOT to permamently attach rear stabilizers mainly because of the hilly terrain we live in as well as on and off various ferry slips. I'm concrened about snagging them on something back there. We chose instead to use a pair of 'loose' import car jacks (Honda in this case) so we can palce them where needed, one for either side.

I use an 18.4V cordless hammer drill (usually packed, charged in our trailer) to raise and lower the jacks. The front jack is still the manual crank, but plans this year include to 'cut the crank' and weld on a 3/4 nut in its place to raise n lower that end of the trailer. As a back up (in case the 18.4V'er dies) I have a speed handle wrench packed along.

Remember these things ar supposed to be used for stabilizing, NOT jacking!

Level the trailer with wood or commercially available wheel levellers.
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Old 05-15-2007, 05:40 AM   #9
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Name: Gerry
Trailer: Boler 13 ft / 31 ft Holiday Rambler
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I installed 2 jacks about a foot under the body in the rear of my 13ft Boler last year and as said they are very important so the trailer will not tip over backwards when you stand in the rear of trailer when un-coupled from TV.
As said also they are not for jacking trailer off ground just to stabilize it so it is still important to try and park level and just do minor ajustments with them and the set up time was cut down from 45 minutes to about 15 and this is great if it is raining.
I also plan to put 2 in front of trailer so it will not be so wriggly while just raised on the tounge jack but as said...these are stablizers not lifting jacks and I try to leave most of the weight on the tires and if I have to lift one side or the other I do it with boards under the wheels.
To free the frozen jacks try PB Blaster. It is the best penertrateing oil I know of.
You may have to spray it and let it sit over night but it will loosen up most anything.
Gerry the canoebuilder
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Old 05-15-2007, 06:00 AM   #10
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On my 4500 I had the type that would pull out slightly and then pivot down to face the ground. Then they could slide up and down in small increments to reach the ground as long as the front jack was low. Once they were the height I wanted I then raised the front to make them touch the ground.

Anyway they were frozen in place when I got the trailer so I soaked them over and over with penetrating oil until they would move with a hammer.
Once they moved they loosened up a lot and were fine after that.

I also use those aluminum screw/platform jacks they sell all over and they even have them at Wal-Mart.

You do need something or it is difficult to live in the rig.
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Old 05-15-2007, 07:49 AM   #11
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ok. I'll bite...

Why does everyone say "these are not for jacking the trailer up"? The ones I've seen are all >5000lb capacity. In fact, the $69/pair ones at campingworld.com are 7500lb capacity. They attach to the frame the same way your spring shackles attach to the frame (with leaf springs) or, if I remember correctly, the torsion arms; and if you have 4 of them (for a 17) or even 2 of them (for a 13) then the jacks are a whole order of magnitude oversized and the frame can take it...

On my 13, I bought scissor jacks from an auto wrecker that were singularly intended to lift a corner of a whole car which is easily three times or more heavier than a fiberglass trailer ....

In fact, for winter storage, I propose that you actually want to jack the trailer up a bit to get the most of the weight off the tires...

So, I'm not seeing it... I anticipate the popular answer will be "because all the warnings say not to use it as a jack" and to that I counter "their lawyers advise them to say that because they can't afford liability insurance for a jacking application."
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Old 05-15-2007, 08:42 AM   #12
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Well....
I never mentioned jacking at all. In fact the stabilizers I am referring to will not jack as they can not be adjusted while on the ground at all.

I know there are both Jacks and Stabilizers that are used and they do seem to be used somewhat for the same purpose.

I beleive that the reasoning is that they are intended to stabilize the ends of the trailer only and the trailers are designed to use them in addition to the contact point of the wheels/tires.

The frames are designed to bear the weight between these points and not merely the four points the stabilizers would be used.

I have seen trailers where the frame does appear to be heavy enough to support the trailer off the wheels and I have also seen trailers where I would not even consider trying this.


Quote:
ok. I'll bite...

Why does everyone say "these are not for jacking the trailer up"? The ones I've seen are all >5000lb capacity. In fact, the $69/pair ones at campingworld.com are 7500lb capacity. They attach to the frame the same way your spring shackles attach to the frame (with leaf springs) or, if I remember correctly, the torsion arms; and if you have 4 of them (for a 17) or even 2 of them (for a 13) then the jacks are a whole order of magnitude oversized and the frame can take it...

On my 13, I bought scissor jacks from an auto wrecker that were singularly intended to lift a corner of a whole car which is easily three times or more heavier than a fiberglass trailer ....

In fact, for winter storage, I propose that you actually want to jack the trailer up a bit to get the most of the weight off the tires...

So, I'm not seeing it... I anticipate the popular answer will be "because all the warnings say not to use it as a jack" and to that I counter "their lawyers advise them to say that because they can't afford liability insurance for a jacking application."
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Old 05-15-2007, 12:31 PM   #13
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Trailer: 1977 Boler 1300/2003 17' Bigfoot
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As far as loosening up seized bolts etc. I found "Liquid Wrench" worked the best on removing all the bolts and metal work from a 100 year old horse carriage I was restoring.
I let them set for an hour and then than applied a little heat with a Butane torch. Did not break or strip one bolt! You would not believe how many bolts there where in those old carriages!

As far as jacks under your TT, Do NOT jack them off the ground, use only for stabilizing your trailer. The Bolers and Trilliums have too light a tubing frame and they will flex causing problems with you door for one thing. For those who have replaced their frame with heavier RHS tubing it would probably be OK.
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Old 05-15-2007, 01:48 PM   #14
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Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
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There is a big difference between the capacity of screw jack to support weight, and the force that can be on it while the screw is turned.

The screw jacks which come with cars (e.g. the scissors units from my Toyotas and Hondas) have a decently formed thread running in a good nut with a thrust washer between the nut or screw and the part of the jack structure it turns and bears against. The jacks labeled as "stabilizing" rather than "leveling" typically have a "nut" made from a cheap bit of stamped steel with a cheesy bit of thread cut in them, tied into the rest of the structure with two tabs roughly inserted into holes. These "stabilizers" (such as the BAL Light Trailer Stabilizer Jacks I put on my B1700) are not up to the job of having the screw turned under load. I would happily pay the couple of bucks extra for proper construction, but that construction is only available in much higher-capacity and heavier RV jacks (e.g. BAL Leveling Scissors Jack)

As for the leveling method...
As Con mentioned, there is not enough frame strength in most of these trailers to withstand shifting the load from the suspension mounts to other points, even if you do it evenly to avoid twisting. With my B1700 (which has 2" wide 4" high 1/8" thick box-section frame rails), I found that I can support it entirely at the ends of the frame, suspension hanging in the air, but it bends just enough that the door does not fit properly; put the load back on the suspension, and it flexes back to normal.

That means that if you use jacks to level, pulling one wheel potentially right off the ground (the suspension travel is under 3", and sites can be off-level by more than that from side ot side), the jack needs to be very close to the axle - not out at the end of the frame - to avoid bending.

Motorhomes routinely use leveling jacks that lift wheels right off the ground. Their frames are designed to a different standard.

I don't think that this is a liability issue, as neither leveling jacks nor stabilizing jacks are intended to support something while a person is under it.
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