Added BAL Stabilizer Jacks to Rear of My Casita - Fiberglass RV

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Old 08-07-2015, 07:31 AM   #1
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Name: Harvey
Trailer: '84 Scamp 13' & 2001 Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe
Posts: 305
Added BAL Stabilizer Jacks to Rear of My Casita

Couple of years ago I found an ad on Craigslist (from a semi-local RV Dealer) for a set of 4, BAL crankdown stabilizer 'jacks' for a lightweight trailer. Ad said they wanted $25 for all 4. Figured for sure it must be a misprint as these things sell for upwards of $60-70 a pair in the box. I called the dealer (about 35-40 minutes away) & she confirmed that was the correct price for all 4 jacks; that each already had installed, one of the round, 6" steel basepads which is usually an extra cost option, & they'd came off a brand new pop-up trailer that the new owner wanted some kind of 'power' jacks. I've never liked the Atwood type, 'swing down' stabilizers, & I was then working on (still working ) an '84 Scamp 13 that some PO had welded auto 'scissors' jacks to the rear bumper that I for sure wanted to change out. Also had on hand a brand new, in the box, pair of BAL stabilizers that I'd bought when JC Whitney had a big sale & free shipping. Anyway, when we bought our 2001 17SD in January this year I began planning how I'd add the BAL stabilizers to replace the existing Atwood type jacks. For the past 2 days I've been crawling around under the rear of my Casita, measuring & 'eyeballing' the chassis . My main problem was the difference in height between the outer frame rail & the lighter, smaller steel angle where the rear of the BAL would have to rest. I knew from experience in building my teardrop trailer that the bracket at rear of the BAL did not require a great deal of strength, just something to provide stability & support. I considered using heavy duty 1/8" thick aluminum angle but just couldn't get 'comfortable' with it . I looked around the place & found a piece of 1/8" thick steel 'C' channel with 3 1/4" web & just over 2" walls. Cut a couple of 2 1/2" long pieces from that & 'lopped' off one wall & a 'smidge' of the web; ended up with a couple of 'L' brackets 2 1/2" X 3 1/16" X 2" which would set the rear of the BAL jacks level with the bottom of the side rail 'C' channel. Clamped, marked, & drilled the brackets, & then did the same for the trailer chassis (broke 2 hi-speed steel bits while drilling 'pilot' holes for the actual size [5/16"] holes) but that was of small matter. I tell ya, it ain't as much fun doing that kind of stuff at 75 as it was at 55 . Got 'em installed & they work great, much easier on my old bones than wrestling with the Atwood jacks. Still haven't removed the Atwoods but that'll come later. May use an alternate method & just drill out the hinge pin & leave the base of the Atwoods, unless someone wants 'em bad enough to figure out a way to cut 'em off. In that case, they can have 'em gratis as long as they don't cut/scar up the trailer chassis too badly. I still hafta un-mount the 'new' BALs & prime/paint the new brackets, & various other scratches/dings the Casita chassis has acquired over 14 years. I think when I add the other BALs to the front of the Casita, I'll just mount 'em on a strip of 3-4" wide steel strap & bolt that to the trailer chassis about where the tongue emerges from underneath the trailer. There's no 'center' angle piece(s) between the side rails in that area. Meanwhile the 2 BALs at the rear along with the tongue jack should do fine; in fact I may never actually get around to adding the front jacks... The BALs do appear to be hanging a little low but I was careful to check the 'angle of departure line' from the bottom of the tire to the rear bumper, & they actually have a little more clearance than the Atwoods.

A few pix of my 'redneck' engineering job -
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Old 08-07-2015, 07:34 AM   #2
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Name: jim
Trailer: 2016 2ndGen Escape19 Prairie Schooner pulled by 2014 Dodge Ram Hemi Sport
Posts: 6,242
Nice work....

Never in doubt, often wrong
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Old 08-09-2015, 06:43 AM   #3
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Name: jim
Trailer: Escape 21 Nov.2016
Posts: 242
We just added rear jacks on our Snoozy we put them on rear frame pictures will come later this helps with stability we bought them on amazon for $65 well worth it
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Old 08-09-2015, 07:02 AM   #4
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 23,916
These stabilizers are great. Have a pair on the rear of Ten Forward. Fold up completely out of the way as Harvey's picture shows. Nothing to scrap off like some stabilizers that hang down and nothing to remember to grab before pulling out of a site. Truly a one and done mod
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 08-09-2015, 07:23 AM   #5
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Name: Kevin K
Trailer: 17' Casita
Posts: 3,040
Replaced mine also on my 99 Casita after the original ones came down and got all bent with in a hour of each other last March in AZ. They work great.
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Old 08-09-2015, 08:49 AM   #6
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Name: jen
Trailer: 1980 13 ft. burro
Posts: 821
I have had these on my list of things to investigate for the Burro. Glad to hear that people like them.
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Old 08-09-2015, 08:55 AM   #7
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Name: Floyd
Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
Posts: 5,036
Eggy-Sue (the pull-it surprize) has the Bal stabilizers with the crossmember....
These are strong enough and placed right so that there is no more need to carry a jack for servicing or changing a tire. They are more stable and easier to deploy than the kickstand style which came with the trailer... even though the stock ones work just fine.
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:38 AM   #8
Name: Marcia
Trailer: '00 Burro 17' WB
Seattle, WA
Posts: 43
I like the idea of these. (We are still using the very basic hand-screw tower style with yellow plastic blocks.) I tried to find them online, they appear to be the BAL C Jacks, is that correct? Also they come in a wide range of sizes from 19" to 31". What size did you find appropriate?
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Old 08-09-2015, 12:21 PM   #9
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Name: Harvey
Trailer: '84 Scamp 13' & 2001 Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe
Posts: 305
Originally Posted by floyd View Post
Eggy-Sue (the pull-it surprize) has the Bal stabilizers with the crossmember....
These are strong enough and placed right so that there is no more need to carry a jack for servicing or changing a tire. They are more stable and easier to deploy than the kickstand style which came with the trailer... even though the stock ones work just fine.
Floyd - those appear to be the newer 'C' series BAL jacks (or the earlier version) which combine the strength of 'lifting' jacks with stabilization of the lighter weight jacks. Those are great but considerably more expensive than the lightweight BALs I used. Not exactly sure but I think the capacity of my jacks is around 450# or so per jack. I wouldn't attempt to use mine for lifting. I have used the same jack on my teardrop to lift/level the trailer but then I have 4 of them on the TD & my total weight is under 1300#. When I bought the jacks for my TD, I'm pretty sure they had a weight written capacity on the box. The new set of BAL lightweight jacks has no such numbers on the box. Also, the lightweight jacks only come in 2 sizes (stabilizer heights), 17 1/2" & 20". The 'C' series jacks are substantially stronger & come in more heights (up to 31" I believe). Pretty sure the 'C' jacks (or their predecessor) are what came factory on my 32' fifth wheel, & I used them for leveling if it didn't involve more'n an inch or so. One visible indicator of the different types (besides much heavier construction) is the 'C' series have a 'nut' or equivalent on the end of the rod where the socket of the crank handle fits. The lightweight jacks have a coarse threaded rod with 'lugs' 'pinched' in its sides where a 'slotted' crank handle fits to raise/lower the jack. Best price I've seen on the 'C' series is $75-80 each, & if you shop carefully the lightweight jacks can be found for under $70 pair. If you need/want to lift at least a portion of your trailer, the 'C' series are probably a good investment; if you only want 'em as stabilizers, the lightweight jacks are completely adequate for most FGRVs.

Those sure look good on Eggy-Sue

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