Stabilizer Jacks Necessary? - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-20-2020, 02:44 PM   #61
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Name: John
Trailer: Black Series HQ19
Smith Valley, Nevada
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Geronimo,

Most, or all, of the battery drills I have, have an adjustable clutch that limits the torque to a value you set. It's a simple ring right behind the chuck, that click stops at various values. It's not about the size of the chuck, it's about the adjustment of the clutch. Even the 3/8 chuck models can have a startling amount of torque when the jack reaches its limit. And those jacks don't like high torque.

It's misleading to those unfamiliar with these delightful tools, to compare them to an old fashioned high torque corded heavy duty drill. Not anywhere near the same thing or even in the same ballpark. Modern light battery drills are easy to use, and very convenient without being dangerous or expensive. I have a cheap Home Depot one in the trailer that is very nice and never threatens to to break my wrist, or flip me over.

3/4" "RV" sockets, made to fit RV jacks and cordless drills, are easily available in the Walmart RV section. That size also fits most RV lug nuts, so once the nuts are loose, the drill will spin them off.

I recently had to open some holes up to 1/2" while out on the road and installing a new hitch. My 1/2" chuck fit that size drill, and with the clutch adjusted to high torque, I was able to do the job. Having a 1/2" chuck makes the tool more useful, but it doesn't determine the applied torque, just the drill sizes that can be used with it.

Besides, your Oliver has electric jacks. No drill needed.
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Old 03-21-2020, 02:52 AM   #62
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Name: John
Trailer: Oliver Legacy Elite II
Hawaii
Posts: 49
Thanks Raspy. You are correct in the comparison of an old torque monster Millers Falls to what's out there on the market today. And yes, I happen to be aware of what equipment my trailer has. That said, I still carry a drill on board, and have loaned mine to several fellow campers who were cranking the ole fashioned way. They became instant converts to the joy of battery drills.

Regardless of which drill one carries, it sure is nice to have one in the tool box!

Mahalo!
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Old 03-21-2020, 02:23 PM   #63
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Name: Larry
Trailer: Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe (aka: Tweaker's Casita)
Southwest Ohio
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Registry
Checklists

Having just left something behind when I was camping last week, here are the (now) current versions of my checklists:

CAMPGROUND SETUP CHECKLIST
  1. Fill fresh water tank (if no water at camp site)
  2. Level camper side-to-side by driving onto leveling blocks
  3. Deploy wheel chocks (one chock on each side, forward and back, of each wheel)
  4. Disconnect electrical connection from tow vehicle & stow multi clamp
  5. Raise trailer tongue; remove weight distribution trunion bars; lower trailer tongue
  6. Disengage trailer tongue lock; raise tongue to disconnect trailer from tow vehicle
  7. Disconnect safety chains
  8. Disconnect trailer emergency brake-away cable
  9. Pull tow vehicle forward to clear trailer tongue
  10. Raise or lower trailer tongue to level forward-to-rear
  11. Open shower drain valve (if applicable)
  12. Deploy stabilizers
  13. Connect surge protector & electric & bug guard (if electric is available at camp site)
  14. Connect water (if available at camp site)
  15. Unlatch exterior kitchen vent flap
  16. Turn on fridge
  17. Insure that water heater is full
  18. Turn on water heater
  19. If appropriate, set up external TV antenna or attach cable-TV
  20. If appropriate, deploy awning
CAMPGROUND DEPARTURE CHECKLIST
  1. (Re)check tire pressures
  2. Insure that everything inside is stowed; cabinet doors & fridge are latched; lights off
  3. Close windows & bath vent
  4. Close blinds & pull tight
  5. Turn off fridge or switch to propane
  6. Turn off water heater, AC, stove & water pump
  7. Turn furnace thermostat off
  8. Turn off TV-Cable switch
  9. Close fantastic fan
  10. Latch exterior kitchen vent flap
  11. Partially empty fresh water tank
  12. Disconnect & stow water hoses & cap city water connection
  13. Disconnect & stow campsite electric cable & surge protector & bug guard
  14. Close & stow awning
  15. For external TV antenna & mast, lower & stow TV antenna & mast
  16. For cable TV, disconnect & stow external cable
  17. If appropriate, insure that propane tank valves are closed
  18. If possible, lower trailer tongue slightly to raise rear of trailer
  19. Raise rear stabilizers
  20. Raise trailer tongue above height of tow vehicle hitch ball
  21. Raise front stabilizers (if installed)
  22. Close exterior shower drain valve (if applicable)
  23. Set up hitch alignment guides
  24. Back tow vehicle’s hitch ball under trailer tongue
  25. Stow hitch alignment guides
  26. Drop trailer tongue onto tow vehicle’s hitch ball & engage trailer tongue lock
  27. Raise trailer tongue to insure that trailer tongue lock is engaged
  28. Install weight distribution trunion bars
  29. Connect trailer emergency brake-away disconnect cable
  30. Connect safety chains
  31. Wind up and latch the trailer tongue jack
  32. Stow tongue support blocks
  33. Connect electrical from trailer to tow vehicle with multi clamp
  34. Retrieve & stow wheel chocks (one chock on each side, forward and back, of each wheel)
  35. Pull trailer forward about two feet
  36. Verify that braking controller is engaged and can activate trailer breaks
  37. Retrieve & stow trailer leveling blocks
  38. Door latched & locked, step stowed
  39. Perform safety circle check of trailer & tow vehicle & campsite
  40. Visit dump site
  41. Close & cap black and grey valves; and “Y” swiveled up
Please chime in if I've missed anything
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Old 03-21-2020, 02:33 PM   #64
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Check tire pressures?
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Old 03-21-2020, 03:47 PM   #65
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Name: Larry
Trailer: Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe (aka: Tweaker's Casita)
Southwest Ohio
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Registry
Checklist ++

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
Check tire pressures?
Good catch!! Item #0 before you leave home and also (potentially) item #1 when departing the campsite. (See adjustment I just posted to the list above.)

I have a small electric tire air compressor/inflator that I usually take with me when I go camping.
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Old 03-21-2020, 03:52 PM   #66
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Name: Harry
Trailer: Parkliner
Virginia
Posts: 27
My 2-cents on the stabilizers. I had the rear stabilizers lowered in place on our 2013 Parkliner, which came only with rear stabilizers. The first time the "chef d'equip" aka the Boss, stepped in the our new home on wheels, she got seasick. Too much bounce for her delicate stomach (princess and the pea syndrome). Returning home, I ordered and installed stabilizers on the front. As the new stabilizers came with an unneeded new hand crank, I cut off the hand crank end and filed a flat stop on the shaft. As with others, I found my cordless impact wrench was overkill and went to a cordless drill with adjustable torque. End result, the Parkliner was now solid enough for the Boss and I had an easy way with the electric drill to extend/retract all 4 stabilizers. So, unless it is a comfort stop, all 4 stabilizers get deployed. Obviously, we never had a rear tip issue.
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Old 03-21-2020, 05:25 PM   #67
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Name: Ray
Trailer: scamp
Indiana
Posts: 271
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW Cat Owner View Post
Tried that once and I didn't have the strength in my hands to hold on to the darn thing. Plus, the noise is horrible. I've been next to campers using them and .... um, yeah, it's noisy. And I'd like to keep my hearing, thank you very much. (yeah, yeah, wear ear protectors)



Basically anything tight around my belly kills it due to various reasons. Why I wear dresses now. Bending over far enough to do the stabilizers puts too much pressure on the affected area.

My cordless tire wrench doesn't make that much noise doing this. I can also use a drill. But I carry the wrench for tire problems on the road. I charge the battery before I leave and frankly I could change like 10-15 tires on a charge. Now when I do tires it makes a lot of noise. I hvae ear protectors. But when I use it on the camper it is relatively quiet in that it doesn't "impact". And because of the lack of impacting there also is a lack of a need for a lot of torque. And so holding it doesn't seem to be a problem.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:58 AM   #68
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Add to the list: "Go to the bathroom one more time before pulling out."
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Old 03-22-2020, 01:00 PM   #69
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Name: John
Trailer: Oliver Legacy Elite II
Hawaii
Posts: 49
Larry B:

Thanks for the check list. I compared it to my own, and found an item I need to also do.

I believe that a good check list can save grief. Sure we all look for flat camp sites. But even a "low slope" one can introduce complexities that can have consequences we were not thinking of at the time.

I humbly suggest that you not disconnect your second safety chain until you are done leveling the trailer. Hence:

Arrival: Move Item 7 to after Item 12

Departure: Adjust the list to connect at least one safety chain before lowering the the trailer off of stands or blocks.

Having a safety chain connected when making changes could save it from taking a trip without your permission.

Thank you for your excellent safety efforts.
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Old 03-22-2020, 02:30 PM   #70
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Smith Valley, Nevada
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Geronimo,

That is a very good suggestion and one I have not been following. Safety chains on before lowering the trailer. In my case, I have a McHitch automatic coupler, so the connecting procedure is different than lowering it onto the ball, but the safety chain recommendation still applies.

When I first looked at Larry's list, it seemed too long. But there is nothing there that can be left out without a possible problem. It's so easy to forget to lock the door, or retrieve the wheel chocks, etc.

In my case, my trailer has a parking brake, and it's even hard to remember to release it before driving off!

BTW, the parking brake is something I think all trailers should have. It is a huge safety improvement and allows one to make leveling adjustments when disconnected, without fear of the trailer taking off. Or just park on a non-level surface, with an added level of confidence.
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Old 03-22-2020, 03:06 PM   #71
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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Great list by Larry. In step #4 of the setup checklist, instead of the multi-clamp I use a Husky Towing 81497 connector storage kit, which is simply a plastic piece that the 7 pin plug slides up in to keep it off the ground and out of the weather. Attaches to the tongue jack tube, although on our Casita I had to make a separate attaching tube because we have the Ultimate Jack. Available at Amazon, Walmart online, and other sources.
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Old 03-22-2020, 04:02 PM   #72
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Name: Ray
Trailer: scamp
Indiana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryB. View Post
Having just left something behind when I was camping last week, here are the (now) current versions of my checklists:

My check lists are not as detailed. Really mostly in my mind. BUT I have a clipboard with dry mark on the back. I have any written materials on the front, and then as I go through my mental checklist I make notes if there is a problem on the back and those notes stay till they are fixed. I also do things in stages.

Mostly my camper is ready to pull out on short notice. And I have used it for responses a quite a few times. So as much as possible I keep the stuff in it and ready to go. I have a separate set of clothing and medical supplies. I have food. The biggest thing I have to do if I have to quick roll is bleach and fill my tanks. That is about an hour.

I also keep a tote of camper stuff that is extra or that doesn't get stored in the camper. If I know I am going I have it ready well ahead of time. If I take something out to be cleaned repaired or replaced it or a representation of that goes in the tote.



Back to the clip board. I keep it with me when I am getting ready to go or working on the camper. It has a place to hang by the door of the camper. Every time I don't complete something or there is a problem that is not ready a note about it goes on the clip board. The last thing before doing anything like leaving is to check the clip board. It should be empty. I find that my mind can do the check list fine. What causes me to forget things is that when I get to it in the mental check list if I can't complete it then.
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Old 03-22-2020, 07:32 PM   #73
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Name: John
Trailer: Oliver Legacy Elite II
Hawaii
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ComputerSpook:

Good idea on the clipboard. I have our check list printed on both sides of a single sheet of heavy bond paper. Then have it professionally laminated. One copy is labeled as the
"OLLIE COPY" and the other as the "BEAST COPY".

Generally my wife executes the inside Ollie Copy, while I work the outside ("The Beast") copy. Frankly that way I stay out of her way, and she mine. Each has a designated place to stay. Mine is in the Drivers Side back of seat pocket. Hers in the silverware drawer. Funny, before we were always "looking for a copy" of the check list. I'm sure that my copy was the one that was always misplaced. :0

During the season, if we decide to add or change an item, we write it on a printed (not laminated) copy. At the end of the season I update the checklists and have them laminated and ready to go for the next year.

Two last thoughts: First, even if we don't use an element of the checklist, I recommend checking it anyway. Only takes a second. More than once, this has resulted in a "save" vs. an "OOPs". Finally, when you have all the time in the world, I highly recommend that you swap roles with your partner occasionally. You never know when he or she may HAVE to do both jobs.
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Old 03-22-2020, 08:10 PM   #74
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First item should be find checklist then.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:45 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
First item should be find checklist then.
But where will the list be kept that has on it "Start here", and "find the checklist"?

Then the next item on the checklist would be "perform the items on the checklist"

Then the last item would be "put the checklist away"
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