UHaul CT 13 Tire Change question... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-06-2013, 06:46 PM   #1
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Name: Diane
Trailer: u-haul ct13
Virginia
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UHaul CT 13 Tire Change question...

Would someone please advise me as to where to place a jack for tire change. I carry a small Hydralic jack, and want to be able to change my own tire if need be. Thanks
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:09 PM   #2
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I would think this would be in the service manual... and manuals for the CT are available in the Document Center (Fiberglass RV - Document Center - U-Haul)
Fiberglass RV - Document Center - U-HaulRepairManual... but no, it has lots of detail on work they know needs to be done on these trailers, but no general service information.

For a normal trailer, this would be in the owners manual; however, the manual which U-Haul made for renters says - not surprisingly - to call for assistance.
Fiberglass RV - Document Center - UHaul Camper User's Guide

In general, the idea is to jack on the frame (not the axle tube) immediately behind (not in front of) the wheel. The U-Haul frame is not box tubing like most other eggs, so it may be a good idea to look for a specific reinforced jacking point in roughly that area of the frame. The biggest trick is to get the jack to lift without slipping on the frame...
Diane, do you mean that you have a bottle jack, or a service (floor) jack? They typically have different styles of lift pad. A service jack is more commonly used for this sort of job, but a bottle jack is more commonly carried in an RV (in part because it is smaller).
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:23 PM   #3
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Also, I recall various people talking about the tube frame that they think U-Hauls have... but U-Hauls don't have tube frames. I don't think you want to jack on the round steel tubing that you see around the bottom of the trailer - that's just "nerf bars" to protect the body. The real frame is in two straight pieces, further back under the body. Sorry if this is obvious to you - it isn't obvious to others.
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:41 PM   #4
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Name: Diane
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Brian, I have a bottle Jack. Did not want to harm the trailer and the top of the jack is quite small so do you mean behind the wheel? Following the axal? Still not exactly sure where to put the thing Duhhh...
Also does anyone know how often you should change out the tires to new ones. I heard about every three years.
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D Davis View Post
Brian, I have a bottle Jack. Did not want to harm the trailer and the top of the jack is quite small...
Yes, that's the challenge of a bottle jack. The top is a little disc, usually with teeth so it will grip, so you need to be careful to put it against a flat enough surface to it doesn't slip, and a strong enough part so it doesn't dent the frame.

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... so do you mean behind the wheel? Following the axal?
Yes, far enough back to not have the axle bracket in the way (which is not very far back with the original U-Haul axle mounting), and further back than the centre of the wheel (so that the trailer tends to tilt forward onto the tongue jack, not back, for stability). Does that make more sense?

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Also does anyone know how often you should change out the tires to new ones. I heard about every three years.
That's another topic which will likely launch a long and tedious debate. I would only suggest replacing a three-year-old tire with lots of tread if I made my living selling them. Two years would be even better, in that case...

Six years seems to be the commonly cited and reasonable rule of thumb. I don't see a need for replacement that frequently, but that's only my personal opinion.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:30 PM   #6
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Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
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I have a couple full size service or floor jacks and have jacked right at the axle bracket with no problem. Also have a couple of the small sized service jacks from Sears which are rated at 2 tons and work good if on a hard surface. Not too expensive and often on sale. More stable than a bottle jack too, but I do have some of them also although seldom use them. Sometimes Sears will sale price the service jack with a couple jack stands, not the greatest stands but better than nothing, but only useful if on hard pavement. For on dirt large wood timbers like 6 X 6 or larger is best. Don't use concrete blocks, they can break or crumble. When you have a wheel off, even if you are putting another right on, you want something under the vehicle or trailer in case the jack slips or fails.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:30 PM   #7
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Got it! Thank you so much Brian from Alberta!
Bob, Thank you for the advice also! I kinda was thinking ...if I hit the road what would I need to do the job. Maybe triple A, HA!
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:41 PM   #8
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I jack right on the arm of the axle. You don't have to lift the trailer much to get the wheel off.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:52 AM   #9
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Glad to be of assistance.

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Originally Posted by Jared J View Post
I jack right on the arm of the axle.
This makes sense, but whether or not you can get the jack under the arm depends on the size of the jack base, the spindle length, and the tire width. The arm angle matters, too... up angles wouldn't work so well. Of course you need to be able to reach behind the wheel and crank/pump the jack under the trailer; probably not so difficult for higher trailers, but more challenging with the low riders. And of course it's not recommended by the axle manufacturer, but it should be fine with the right jack (including the right shape of the saddle on the jack). It's easier with a beam axle... and still not recommended

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You don't have to lift the trailer much to get the wheel off.
Right - if you jack right at the hub, you only need to lift enough to compensate for the tire compression, because the suspension stays compressed by the load of the trailer. Of course, it's not as stable because the trailer can still move on the suspension.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:35 AM   #10
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If you have AAA it is very inexpensive to add the RV option, about $20 for me. And Good Sam sometimes has a good deal on their road service. I just got it for 15 months for $79. When I was working I did plenty of road calls, but with a fully equipped service truck, now I'll let someone else do it for me.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:08 AM   #11
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I use a hydraulic scissors jack I bought at sears years ago. It has a larger base and larger head. If the CT frame is anywhere similar to the VT you can set the jack about 1 foot under the outside edge of the trailer right in front of the tire and be under the frame flange which is over 2 inches wide at that point to jack the trailer up. With that width a bottle jack will easily match up. I would use a piece treated deck board about 16" long to go under the base as a stabilizing support.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:47 AM   #12
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Name: Pete
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Jacking a U-Haul camper

The guy I bought my U-Haul from had had a couple of adaptors made up to help the hydraulic bottle jacks hold position on the round tubing. They also distribute the weight nicely.

Basically, they're half-cylinders of thick-walled stainless tubing, with stainless nuts (big enough bore for the pistons on the bottle jacks) welded on the outside. You slip the adaptor on top of the bottle jack and then slide it under the tubing.

They originally were supposed to serve as auxiliary levelling jacks, but he claimed to have used them to change tires too.

Pete
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:03 AM   #13
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I use a bottle jack on the flat part of the longitudinal frame member just behind the axle. In the illustration this is near #15 or #6.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:18 AM   #14
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I welded a V shaped piece on to a couple of those screw type trailer supports to use as stabilizers for the front of the trailer when set up in a campground. Had to shorten the screw jacks. This is not the answer to the original question but Pete's response reminded me of these so I thought I would mention it
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