Blocks - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-23-2016, 08:05 AM   #1
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 16'
Michigan
Posts: 18
Blocks

Hello,

I just purchased a used Scamp 16' this summer and am getting ready to pack it up for winter for the first time. I've read a couple threads on putting the trailer up on blocks to take pressure of the axel and tires while it's sitting over the winter.

I have a pair of heavy jack stands that I otherwise don't use. Would those be okay for blocking up the camper? I understand that you don't want it blocked up on the axle itself. Would someone be able to send me a picture of what those jack stands or blocks look like, something showing their camper on blocks? I've never owned a camper before and for some reason I'm having trouble wrapping my head around this.

Also, we didn't use the water tanks or toilet at all, though I know the previous owner had at some point in the past. Should we still put some antifreeze in? The tanks have been empty since we've owned it, and probably for a year or two. I'll save the real dumb question of how to flush that out for the spring when the snow melts and we're planning trips again.

Thanks and I apologize for probably asking the same dumb questions all newbys post.
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Old 10-23-2016, 08:56 AM   #2
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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Welcome, Steve! Congratulations on the "new" trailer!

Here's how I store. Using a floor jack I raise one side of the camper on the frame from in front of the wheel, as close to the axle as possible. Then I slip the jack stand in from behind the wheel under the main frame rail just behind the axle and lower the trailer onto the stand. I make sure the tires completely clear the ground, realizing the rubber inside the axle will continue to relax a little as it sits.

Repeat for the other side.

I then deploy the stabilizer jacks and level the trailer, since I use it as an office retreat sometimes. Others like to tilt the trailer to aid water runoff. On many eggs, the roof is curved enough it probably doesn't matter.

Ours sits on concrete, but if not, I'd put something under the jack stands, tongue jack, and stabilizers to keep them off the ground and out of standing water.
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Old 10-23-2016, 09:16 AM   #3
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Name: Lyle
Trailer: Scamp 16, previously Scamp 13
None
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Alternate method any good?

Another method I've heard about, but not sure if it is any good:

1 - Raise stabilizers.
2 - Lower tongue as much as possible, this will raise rear of trailer.
3 - Place jack stands snug below the frame rails, in front of bumper.
4 - Raise tongue jack to level. This should raise tires off ground, or at least take the bulk of pressure off of them.
5 - Additional jack stands can be placed at front corners of the trailer to relieve stress on the tongue jack and stabilize the trailer more side to side.

Comments on this method would be appreciated. I know some folks say this could rack the frame, but I don't see the physics of that, at least no more than road travel would. Most trailer shops just use a floor jack at the rear of the trailer to jack it up.

Do we "over obsess" about how we jack these trailers, possibly left over from when lighter weight frames were being used?
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Old 10-23-2016, 10:11 AM   #4
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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Lyle, I am not convinced the newer frames, while stronger than the older ones, are rigid enough to support the entire weight of the trailer from the ends. They are designed for the majority of the weight to be supported in the middle near the axle attachment.

What I described is Scamp's recommendation. It takes no longer than your plan and I don't have to do all that hand cranking of the tongue jack. I bought a set with two jack stands and a light-duty floor jack for $30 on sale. The whole process takes about 5 minutes.

Full disclosure: I have been accused of being obsessive by my wife and others.
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Old 10-23-2016, 11:20 AM   #5
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 16'
Michigan
Posts: 18
Thanks for the reply. I think I get what you're describing here. I have a hydrollic type jack and some jack stands like you'd use on a car doing work. Do you think those would be suitable for lift and holding the Scamp up? I'll admit I haven't got down and looked under it really. If I just look under behind the wheels will the best spots to put the jack stands be pretty obvious? I left some cosmetic but still annoying dents on a car from putting the jack stands in less than ideal spots and I don't want to crack or dent the bottom of the scamp.

Will the tires them be completely off the ground when I leave it, but then they'll settle and touch the ground eventually? Do I leave just enough space for them to turn but not a huge gap or do I want to leave them an inch or so up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Welcome, Steve! Congratulations on the "new" trailer!

Here's how I store. Using a floor jack I raise one side of the camper on the frame from in front of the wheel, as close to the axle as possible. Then I slip the jack stand in from behind the wheel under the main frame rail just behind the axle and lower the trailer onto the stand. I make sure the tires completely clear the ground, realizing the rubber inside the axle will continue to relax a little as it sits.

Repeat for the other side.

I then deploy the stabilizer jacks and level the trailer, since I use it as an office retreat sometimes. Others like to tilt the trailer to aid water runoff. On many eggs, the roof is curved enough it probably doesn't matter.

Ours sits on concrete, but if not, I'd put something under the jack stands, tongue jack, and stabilizers to keep them off the ground and out of standing water.
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Old 10-23-2016, 11:40 AM   #6
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Lyle, I am not convinced the newer frames, while stronger than the older ones, are rigid enough to support the entire weight of the trailer from the ends. They are designed for the majority of the weight to be supported in the middle near the axle attachment. ..
I have relived some weight on the torsion axle by lowering the tongue, placing jack stands under the frame toward the rear (Location B in photo) and then raising the tongue. However I have considered the construction of the trailer and I will no longer do this. Instead I will only jack near the axle (photo location A).

Note that the frame is "doubled up" in the center section, roughly to a point shortly before the floor rises at the dinette. After that, all the way to the back bumper, it is a single channel. Along with the effects of leverage the further you go toward the bumper, I can see that putting too much load on this part of the frame could well be a problem.
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Old 10-23-2016, 12:53 PM   #7
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Name: Charlie
Trailer: '83 Burro
Virginia
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Since my Burro was apparently designed to have weight on the back of the frame with those stabilizers (i called them "landing gear") back there right where the frame members are welded to the bumper, I figured that was meant to be a support point on each side. Also, I may be in a special situation since my floor has been replaced with a heavier, stiffer unit and bolted to the frame in multiple places, so I have a more rigid frame than most, so I feel I can safely use the rear cross member (right forward of the rear wall of the trailer) as another jacking point.

Whenever I park and level the trailer, I crank the front (tongue) jack up to release the trailer from the ball, then put one of those plastic jack pads on the ground under each of those frame spots at the cross members. I jack up there with scissors jacks, then place one of the pyramid and screw style jack stands under the bumper at each side where the factory installed stabilizers used to be. A little adjustment on each spot to get it done, wheel chocks in front of and behind each tire because I'm a little bit OCD, and I'm done. There is no sign of any stresses on the camper when all of this is done, YMMV!

Froggie
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Old 10-23-2016, 01:21 PM   #8
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Currently Shopping
NW Wisconsin
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Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
Since my Burro was apparently designed to have weight on the back of the frame with those stabilizers (i called them "landing gear") back there right where the frame members are welded to the bumper, I figured that was meant to be a support point on each side. Also, I may be in a special situation since my floor has been replaced with a heavier, stiffer unit and bolted to the frame in multiple places, so I have a more rigid frame than most, so I feel I can safely use the rear cross member (right forward of the rear wall of the trailer) as another jacking point.

Whenever I park and level the trailer, I crank the front (tongue) jack up to release the trailer from the ball, then put one of those plastic jack pads on the ground under each of those frame spots at the cross members. I jack up there with scissors jacks, then place one of the pyramid and screw style jack stands under the bumper at each side where the factory installed stabilizers used to be. A little adjustment on each spot to get it done, wheel chocks in front of and behind each tire because I'm a little bit OCD, and I'm done. There is no sign of any stresses on the camper when all of this is done, YMMV!

Froggie
I was led to believe that the purpose of the stabilizers was to add stability to the trailer when parked , not too lift or to carry the weight of the trailer. Why then would you need a jack to change a flat tire on the trailer , This is a good question for Floyd
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Old 10-23-2016, 01:39 PM   #9
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Name: Charlie
Trailer: '83 Burro
Virginia
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
I was led to believe that the purpose of the stabilizers was to add stability to the trailer when parked , not too lift or to carry the weight of the trailer. Why then would you need a jack to change a flat tire on the trailer , This is a good question for Floyd
My Burro's stabilizers (when they were there) couldn't go down unless the rear of the camper was already raised, even with the tires fully inflated... therefore the jacks were needed for getting the height, or in the case of a flat, getting the remnants of the tire/wheel off the ground. My "owner's manual" that came with my '83 Burro had no jacking instructions.
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Old 10-23-2016, 02:33 PM   #10
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Currently Shopping
NW Wisconsin
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Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
My Burro's stabilizers (when they were there) couldn't go down unless the rear of the camper was already raised, even with the tires fully inflated... therefore the jacks were needed for getting the height, or in the case of a flat, getting the remnants of the tire/wheel off the ground. My "owner's manual" that came with my '83 Burro had no jacking instructions.
The owners manual for my Casita specifically states to use the rear stabilizer to stabalize the trailer only . The manual also states that the stabalizers are not designed or intended to carry the weight of the trailer. On my trailer you are supposed to place the jack on the frame as close as possible to the axle when jacking up the,trailer . Maybe your Burro is different .
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Old 10-23-2016, 02:46 PM   #11
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UP Steve View Post
I have a hydrollic type jack and some jack stands like you'd use on a car doing work. Do you think those would be suitable for lift and holding the Scamp up? I'll admit I haven't got down and looked under it really. If I just look under behind the wheels will the best spots to put the jack stands be pretty obvious?

...Will the tires them be completely off the ground when I leave it, but then they'll settle and touch the ground eventually? Do I leave just enough space for them to turn but not a huge gap or do I want to leave them an inch or so up?
A hydraulic bottle jack is fine if it fits under the frame. My 13' is too low for a bottle jack, so I use a floor jack at home and carry a scissors jack on the road. Jack stands are perfect.

To place the jack, look for the main frame rails. They are vertical 2"x3" box steel members on my 2008 and exposed so you should have no trouble finding them. Look for where the axle is attached to the frame and lift/support nearby.

I like the tires to completely clear the ground so I can give them a spin every now and again to keep the bearing grease moving. Mine settle an additional 1/2-1" after I park it on the jacks. I use the lowest setting on my jack stands that keeps the tires off the ground.
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Old 10-23-2016, 03:02 PM   #12
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Name: Charlie
Trailer: '83 Burro
Virginia
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Steve, it looks like we're doing an apples-to-oranges comparison here. Since the Burro has an all heavy channel and square tube mainframe and the relatively heavy plywood deck bolted directly and securely to it, I can see safely jacking at virtually any point on the frame. I have never been under a Scamp to see what they have there. As such I'll retreat and say my comments should only be applied to the Burro design rather than universally.

Since I have my unit configured semi-permanently with the bed (and 220#+ of me) in the very rear of the floor plan, I feel better about having my jacks situated near this load bearing part. As for storage, I like this same layout because it evenly lifts everything off the ground and puts the load on the strong perimeter of the frame. Again, this is my unit with its own configuration, YMMV.

Best regards,
Froggie

Regards,
Froggie
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Old 10-23-2016, 04:14 PM   #13
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006 "Missing Link"
California
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Originally Posted by LyleB View Post
Do we "over obsess" about how we jack these trailers, possibly left over from when lighter weight frames were being used?

Yup and a few others
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Old 10-23-2016, 04:30 PM   #14
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Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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Originally Posted by LyleB View Post
Do we "over obsess" about how we jack these trailers, possibly left over from when lighter weight frames were being used?
And we need to remember a number of those "lighter weight frames" are still in use on older trailers. If a newbie to this forum read some of the information that works for stronger frames, they may do damage to their trailer.
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Old 10-24-2016, 12:30 PM   #15
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Name: RB
Trailer: 1992 Casita Spirit Deluxe
Virginia
Posts: 120
I took one look at the channel frame on my '92 Casita and knew immediately that I'd be jacking it at a point where the frame was doubled.

In the case of the 16 footer, that means behind the axle where the frame is doubled to make the step up to the rear floor from the aisle. It's easy to get at because of the raised floor in that area, and is within a foot or so of the axle mounting point.

Any old scissors jack does a fine job under there, and I always have some blocks of wood handy to help deal with not-level campsites, so it's never a big deal to jack the trailer up.

When I wintered it last year I left it on its feet, but this winter I'll probably put it up on stands or blocks.

Having watched the trailer wiggle around when pulled over speed bumps as the frame flexed, I'm not interested in supporting its weight at the corners.
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Old 10-24-2016, 02:04 PM   #16
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Name: Darral
Trailer: Scamp Standard 13' 2010
Tennessee
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I always use jackstands and I always sit them as close as I can get to the axle. I will NOT support the Scamp with the wheels off the ground on the bumper! Floyd doesnt have to answer this as it simply should not be done- support off-the-ground-wheels as close as you can get to the axle. That way you're covered with ANY trailer!

Here's a pick of mine looking towards the front of the trailer on the "road" or "drivers" side. I personally dont care for "Blocks" to do this. Plus, the jackstands are adjustable for unlevel ground. I DO use a 2 x 12 x 12 concrete stepping stone to place the jackstands on to help support them.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/50351683@N08/5164785967/
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Old 10-31-2016, 07:34 AM   #17
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 16'
Michigan
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This is how I ended up. The weight is partly off the wheels but due to some really wet ground I couldn't get the wheels high enough to turn. Please let me know if it looks like I'm doi g something detrimental to the Scamp here so I can undo it asap.
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Old 10-31-2016, 08:17 AM   #18
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Name: Darral
Trailer: Scamp Standard 13' 2010
Tennessee
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Just some opinions here from someone that does this.... Looks like you may be using "wood" under the jackstands, I would DEFINITELY get the 2x12" square concrete "stepping stones" to set them on. If they bury up, you could use two stacked. After going to the trouble, I would DEFINITELY make sure my tires are off the ground!

This is being picky, but I turn my jackstands so the frame sits in the "cradle" of the stands. Probably wont hurt a thing, but that's just what I do. Otherwise, you're definitely on the right track!

There'll be another zillion opinions...these are just mine.

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This is how I ended up. The weight is partly off the wheels but due to some really wet ground I couldn't get the wheels high enough to turn. Please let me know if it looks like I'm doi g something detrimental to the Scamp here so I can undo it asap.
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Old 10-31-2016, 08:34 AM   #19
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Yup! Exactly what Darral said. Good observation on the jack orientation. My eyes missed that.
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Old 10-31-2016, 08:44 AM   #20
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 16'
Michigan
Posts: 18
Thanks Darral. I saw your first post mentioning the stones and had a duh moment. The jack was sinking almost as fast as the scamp was going up. I could barely turn the wheel to start but by tye time I got the stanns in place it all settled on me. I'm going to see if I can scare up some stone blocks and reset it. Thanks for all the pointers.
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