Emergency Jack - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-30-2011, 06:50 AM   #15
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Name: Kip
Trailer: 2003 Casita 17' SD Deluxe, Towed by '09 Honda Ridgeline.
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Too many times I've thought I was prepared for an emergency but discovered I really wasn't. Glad I did this at home and realized the sizzor jack I had decided to use is not adequate as it comes.

True that we don't need to use a jack every day, hopefully never.
But when we do need a jack, we likely won't be in the best of moods and don't need any more aggrevation.

The trailer not likely to roll during a tire change, because it either is or can be attached to the TV. Also the front jack can be lowered to the ground.
When lifting the side, the angle is changing a little.

I like simplicity. That leaves 3 basic choices.

A floor jack is stable and quick and first chioce for operation, IF it can roll. On soft or rough ground, rolling can be a problem. It is also fairly large and heavy for something that may never be used while on a camping trip.

Sizzor jack is a real hassle for something this heavy.

Bottle jack is quick and fairly easy, with a reasonable weight and size, but the top of the plunger screw is small and could slip off the narrow frame as it tilts.This could result in injury or the jack plunger going through the floor of the camper.

How about a piece of steel channel or cup be bolted or welded to the frame to recieve the plunger and hold it more steady, so it can't slip.

Thoughts or Ideas?

Thanks,
Kip
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Old 01-30-2011, 08:54 AM   #16
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Trailer: 1992 Scamp 13
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I checked my owners manual and it said nothing about jacking and tire changing. However, Scamps website had this...

http://www.scamptrailers.com/Portals...ndBearings.swf
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Old 01-30-2011, 08:59 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Kip in Ga. View Post
Greg,

The handle that came with the sizzor jack works OK for a light load,.like jacking it up to meet the trailer frame. And maybe lift it a couple of inches. From that point on the offset in the handle just doesn't offer enough of a mechanical advantage to lift much weight.

Apparently the jack maker relized the problem and welded a lug on the end of the screw. One of the 4 way's "sockets" fits that lug. Probably by design. But being so close to the ground the 4 way allows very little motion, about 1/4 turn. So I went to the ratchet with an extention that would reach the jack and the ratchet itself being where I could turn it. This increased the range of motion to about 1 o'clock to 5 o'clock. Used the right hand to crank and the left to stabilize the ratchet and keep the jack from twisting around on the ground. It was still a tough crank.
Probably an extention bar on the ratchet would have helped.

Keeping in mind I was dealing with fully inflated tires. If the tire had been flat, the jack would have started out even lower and harder to screw, as Joe pointed out. Also I was working on the lighter side of the trailer.

Then after wrestling with the tire change, the thing had to be screwed back down. There was more time and energy consumed with the jacking part than with the tire changing.

Thanks,
Kip
I have used scissor jacks many times and never had a problem and the vehicles they are designed to lift usually weigh more than fiberglass trailers. You might want to lubricate the scissor jack screw, that can make a huge difference!

Even with a flat, the rim is still on the wheel so there should still be space for the jack just like with a car. If you compare weight, storage size, jacking range and price the scissor jack comes out on top. That is why most cars have them. If it is not a lubrication problem, then it sounds to me like you have a poorly designed scissor jack. Why not just get a better scissor jack instead of switching types. Other types of jacks will have some models that are poorly designed too.

Andy
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:15 PM   #18
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Trailer: 72 Boler American
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Originally Posted by Kip in Ga. View Post
Greg,

The handle that came with the sizzor jack works OK for a light load,.like jacking it up to meet the trailer frame. And maybe lift it a couple of inches. From that point on the offset in the handle just doesn't offer enough of a mechanical advantage to lift much weight.

Apparently the jack maker relized the problem and welded a lug on the end of the screw. One of the 4 way's "sockets" fits that lug. Probably by design. But being so close to the ground the 4 way allows very little motion, about 1/4 turn. So I went to the ratchet with an extention that would reach the jack and the ratchet itself being where I could turn it. This increased the range of motion to about 1 o'clock to 5 o'clock. Used the right hand to crank and the left to stabilize the ratchet and keep the jack from twisting around on the ground. It was still a tough crank.
Probably an extention bar on the ratchet would have helped.

Keeping in mind I was dealing with fully inflated tires. If the tire had been flat, the jack would have started out even lower and harder to screw, as Joe pointed out. Also I was working on the lighter side of the trailer.

Then after wrestling with the tire change, the thing had to be screwed back down. There was more time and energy consumed with the jacking part than with the tire changing.

Thanks,
Kip
I understand now, A lightweight low profile floor jack is the ticket.
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Old 01-30-2011, 02:20 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kip in Ga. View Post
I like simplicity.

Bottle jack is quick and fairly easy, with a reasonable weight and size, but the top of the plunger screw is small and could slip off the narrow frame as it tilts.

How about a piece of steel channel or cup be bolted or welded to the frame to receive the plunger and hold it more steady, so it can't slip.

Thoughts or Ideas?
Don't European car manufacturers do some version of this idea? My 1979 VW Beetle Convertible had a little square tube welded to the frame on each side that the jack head fit into.
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Old 01-30-2011, 03:27 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Frederick L. Simson View Post
Don't European car manufacturers do some version of this idea? My 1979 VW Beetle Convertible had a little square tube welded to the frame on each side that the jack head fit into.
An old guy down the road has two old Mercedes Benz cars and they four short round tubes on the frame for the one legged jack, they work pretty good.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:40 PM   #21
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Name: Kevin (Ken)
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Even if you attach a bracket on the top of a bottle jack to fit on your frame, or something with a dimple on the frame for it to fit in, it still has a very puny area of base on the bottom and no stability. It can easily jack itself right into the ground or tip over. Attaching a bracket on the top AND a big square piece of steel plate on the bottom might be acceptable - assuming it can be done - either end may be cast iron and not weldable, or not have anywhere to fasten anything. However, then you have something as heavy as a small floor jack anyway that cannot go nearly as low as a floor jack, requiring extensive labor as opposed to none.

As for the rolling issue with the floor jack, you could always carry a rectangle of plywood to put underneath if that is an issue. I've never used one on mud or soft dirt, only asphalt and concrete. My guess is that if the ground is that soft, it will just move through the soft ground as needed and not need to roll. Small floor jacks are really not that heavy, and in my view you need one for your vehicle anyway.
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:08 PM   #22
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Name: Kevin (Ken)
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Also, I'm not so crazy about the notion of using the tow vehicle or tongue jack to keep the trailer from rolling. First, either one might leave enough play for the trailer to rock back and forth enough to tip a jack over, and I doubt a tongue jack can handle much forward-backward force when extended. Second, I wonder whether the vehicle attached method might not risk damage to the trailer frame. If you jack the side up enough, the vehicle will start pressing down on the tongue not up, creating a twisting force on the frame. At the very least, I would disconnect any anti-sway/weight stabilizers first.

Ultimately, if you want to make sure the trailer doesn't move front-to-back, double-chocking one wheel is the sure way - once again, I think a couple of chocks are something you need anyway if you have a trailer that people are going to be on or in. I wouldn't trust one disconnected from a vehicle without them - one wheel double-chocked on level ground or one for each wheel on the downhill side for sloped ground.
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