How many jacks? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-19-2011, 08:11 PM   #1
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How many jacks?

Going to pick up a 17' Casita tomorrow and when I first saw the unit, it had the 2 standard attached jacks in the back and the current owner had 2 vehicle jacks in the front, all holding the frame.
What do YOU use? Is the standard eqpt, the 2 in the rear sufficient or do I need 4?
Of course, the tongue jack (wheel) was in use as well.
I'm new to this so don't know what is really needed and what is nice to have and what is not needed at all :-)
It seems to me that unless the 4 jacks (if one uses 4) would have to be pretty well balanced with the tongue and the wheels and they may suspend the frame off the ground, if that's what you want. Do I want to?
Thanks,
Richard
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:19 PM   #2
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Hi Richard. I use two stabilizers in the back, two in the front and the tongue jack. It makes it solid as a rock and no, I wouldn't suspend the frame off the ground with this method... it may tweak the frame because the stabilizers are at the ends of the frame.
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:24 PM   #3
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I have a 13 footer and also use 4 jacks plus the tongue. The back two are crank downs. Once my trailer is leve, I bring them down tight to the ground, then give them a small 1/8 turn more. Under the door, and also opposite on the other side of trailer, I use small scissor jacks. I tighten them up under the frame, and again, give them jsut a tweak more. This keeps my trailer from bouncing when I move around.
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:52 PM   #4
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Four will do the job.
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greybeard View Post
Going to pick up a 17' Casita tomorrow and when I first saw the unit, it had the 2 standard attached jacks in the back and the current owner had 2 vehicle jacks in the front, all holding the frame.
What do YOU use? Is the standard eqpt, the 2 in the rear sufficient or do I need 4?
Of course, the tongue jack (wheel) was in use as well.
I'm new to this so don't know what is really needed and what is nice to have and what is not needed at all :-)
It seems to me that unless the 4 jacks (if one uses 4) would have to be pretty well balanced with the tongue and the wheels and they may suspend the frame off the ground, if that's what you want. Do I want to?
Thanks,
Richard

I simply use what came with and are attached to my 13' Scamp. The rear stabilizers and the tongue jack seem to work well for me.

Here's how I do the stabilization and leveling. After leveling side to side with a BAL leveler. You can use plastic leveling blocks or wood blocks if you like the main thing here is to level by raising the low side wheel.
Then I lower the tongue to about 1/2 bubble below level. Deploy the the stabilizers and raise the tongue back to level. All level stable.
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:15 PM   #6
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Like Byron, I use two rear and the tongue jack. I don't use the BAL levelers, though. I use "legos" under the wheels, which also include wheel chocks. I haven't been anywhere that the rear stabilizer jacks weren't about to level the trail side to side.

My class-A RV (totaled by a tree during hurricane Irene this year) only had three leveling jacks (hydraulic), and they worked perfectly. You could easily raise the wheels off the ground, and it was still rock solid.
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:14 AM   #7
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One 16' stick built, two 20' stick builts, and now our second Casita 17, never used more than two jacks in the rear plus the tongue jack. The only time I ever used the tongue jack wheel was when the 16' broke down and we used the wheel in winching it aboard the flatbed truck. All the rest of the time the wheel has lay in the garage.
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Old 10-20-2011, 06:25 AM   #8
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I believe the number of stabilizers is in direct porportion to the length of the trailer. A 13' trailer may use two, a 25' trailer four or more. Those inbetween, the number needed/wanted to prevent trailer hop when someone is sitting and someone else is walking around. If you camp by yourself, you may find you don't need any stabilizers. Although I'd suggest putting something at the rear to prevent the tongue from leaving the ground when all the weight is at the back.
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:24 PM   #9
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On the Casita 17, the added front stabilizers eliminate the sponginess. They are cheap and easy to install. We used a pair of stack jacks in the front for awhile before I installed the stabilizers. They work great too.

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Old 10-24-2011, 06:28 PM   #10
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Two stackajacks under the A-frame tongue in front; retractable bumper jacks aft AND the tongue jack. I also have a folding wheel jack on the right side of the tongue and never use it for lateral maneuvers as I have a sloping driveway. A ton and 1/2 egg may not seem like much to the Rookwood types but it ain't no garden cart. Once it's chocked (even at a relatively level parking space in campground) those chocks stay in place; if I miss the coupler laterally, I pull forward and try again.

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Old 10-24-2011, 08:12 PM   #11
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Thank you all for the great input and options.
I suppose we will do a bit of trial and error.
I ask the question because we just got the Casita, never did this before and it came with 2 read jacks attached and obviously supplied by the manufacturer. Additionally, the previous owner gave us two scissors jacks he had under the A hitch, close to the trailer.
I am just getting used to trying to level and thought if I really don't need the front 2 it would be a lot easier :-)
Also thought if the manufacturer thought 2 jacks were needed in front they would have provided them (hopefully).
So we will try various combinations when we get on the road.
Thanks again.
Richard
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:48 PM   #12
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Could be that misuse of nomenclature (certainly by me) effects what we think we are doing and what we need. I said I have bumper jacks but of course they're stabilizers as they have no ability to jack or lift anything. On the other hand, jacks can be used as stabilizers, as is the case when the trailer has been leveled fore and aft by the tongue jack and screw or scissor jacks are put under the legs of the "A' for a wider stance. You don't actually have to do much more than get them snug and the tongue jack may still be bearing the weight.

Sometime you might need to level trailer in a situation which isn't optimum (like my sloping driveway). In that case you max out elevation on the tongue jack, put in the platform jacks to bear the load while the winder foot is retracted to allow a concrete block, dimensional lumber, or what have you to be placed under the foot. Its a case of leveling the ground rather than the trailer. You could switch back and forth adding pads under each in turn but there are limits; my limit is one solid concrete block (8" under each stackajack. This can look precarious and can BE precarious. If you engage in this sort of levitation, make sure of your wheel chocks; stay on your feet while you wind the crank, and keep your eyes on the trailer. Better yet, just take this as a hypothetical illustration of the usefulness of jacks (plural).

jack
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:11 AM   #13
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On my scamp 16 I use the two rear stabilizers and the tongue jack most of the time. If I'm staying somewhere for a while I use 2 additional screw jacks towards the front.

It's probably worth mentioning that it's not just about stabilizing the trailers. The more weight you can lift off a torsion axle, the longer it will last. It reduces the compression of the rubber rods.

David
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greybeard View Post
Going to pick up a 17' Casita tomorrow and when I first saw the unit, it had the 2 standard attached jacks in the back and the current owner had 2 vehicle jacks in the front, all holding the frame.
What do YOU use? Is the standard eqpt, the 2 in the rear sufficient or do I need 4?
Richard
Hi Richard,

You have enough opinions to show that there are many possibilities, all of which will work. Like Byron and mcbrew, we use two rear jack-stand-type stabilizers welded on the back bumper that came with the trailer originally, which also level the trailer side to side to a modest degree. We lower the tongue until the rear stabilizers can be deployed, then raise the tongue back up to level. We have two tongue jacks installed, one on each side of the tongue (one with wheels). Using both tongue jacks usually allows us to level it side to side as well if the ground is moderately level. If not, I have occasionally put one piece of ĺ inch plywood under a wheel. Picture attached.

Unless there is something seriously wrong with the ground level, the whole process takes less than 5 minutes and provides a solid footing when we are inside. We donít lift the trailer enough to put the wheels off the ground, just enough to put some of the load on the rest of the frame. Easy and effective.

Rick G.
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