Stabilizer Jacks Necessary? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-09-2020, 04:09 AM   #1
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Name: Amy
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Stabilizer Jacks Necessary?

Hi - I am going camping at three different Florida State Parks for week. Is it necessary to deploy the rear stabilizer jacks for such short stays (2-3 nights each)? Also, the trailer came with a set of Camco leveling blocks. Are these ok, or should I get wood? (And if wood, what size?) I recently bought my firs travel trailer (Casita), and this is my first trip. Thank you - Amy
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Old 03-09-2020, 04:52 AM   #2
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The stabilizers do just that, they keep the trailer from moving like you are walking on jello. Makes the stop feel more stable.
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Old 03-09-2020, 05:59 AM   #3
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Stabilizer Jacks Necessary?

With a small 13í trailer itís actually possible to lift the tongue and drop the rear bumper if you sit or lie down all the way at the back. Thatís a whoop-de-doo you wonít soon forget! Danger is it could roll off the blocks or escape the chocks if that happens.

So yes, always deploy the stabilizers. I drop the tongue 6 turns of the jack handle, lower the stabilizers, then raise the tongue back to level. That takes enough weight off the tires to eliminate most of the bounce as you move around in the trailer.

Camco blocks are fine.
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Old 03-09-2020, 06:00 AM   #4
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I certainly would use the stabilizers anytime I were staying in the trailer while it is disconnected from my tow vehicle. If I just pulled into a place somewhere along the road to get some shut eye for the night with the trailer still connected to the TV, probably not.
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Old 03-09-2020, 06:00 AM   #5
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Your Camco blocks are fine. In a developed park you may not need anything to be level side to side. The stabilizers will make your trailer more comfortable. Not necessary but worth taking a few minutes to deploy. Crank on them only enough to stabilize as opposed to jacking it up. Be sure to chock your wheels. Walmart has decent chocks in the auto dept. You need 4 Enjoy your first trip!
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Old 03-09-2020, 07:16 AM   #6
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I have the plastic, leveling blocks. I rarely need them to level the trailer, but I almost always use them for the tongue jack and the stabilizers. Putting 3 or 4 of these blocks under the foot of the jacks saves a lot of cranks, both when lowering and when raising the jacks later.
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Old 03-09-2020, 07:56 AM   #7
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Stabilizer Jacks Necessary?

Cranking?... donít need no stinking cranking... LOL!

That why I love my old-style Atwood stabilizers. Just flip the lever and they drop down and lock. Crank the tongue jack to transfer weight. Okay, okay... there is cranking, but no tools required and no kneeling down to get under the trailer.

Seriously, though, if you do have the new BAL stabilizers they have their benefits (like better support and the ability to change a tire). But cranking is a downside. Lyleís suggestion is a good one.
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Old 03-09-2020, 09:47 AM   #8
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I burned and ground off the original Attwood "drop-down" stabilizers completely off my trailer. I now have 4 BAL 7,500 Lb rated scissor jacks bolted up to my welded on mounting plates. The jacks just bolt to the plates so if I ever need to replace one, it's simply a matter of removing a few bolts, rather than needing to burn and grind them off the frame to replace them. I have two behind the wheels, mounted on the reinforced portion of the frame, and two under the front "A" frame bends. I carry a cordless drill and just chuck a 3/4" socket in it to run them up and down. I can deploy all four of them in less time than those silly old Attwoods would take to set up. And I can use them to raise the trailer off the ground to change a tire if I need to. Something that I wouldn't recommend trying with those Attwoods. The Attwood stabilizers are only rated for about 400 Lbs. My jacks are rated for 7,500 Lbs each, which is about twice the weight of the entire trailer. Overkill? Probably, but they're great.
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Old 03-09-2020, 10:52 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
I burned and ground off the original Attwood "drop-down" stabilizers completely off my trailer. I now have 4 BAL 7,500 Lb rated scissor jacks bolted up to my welded on mounting plates. The jacks just bolt to the plates so if I ever need to replace one, it's simply a matter of removing a few bolts, rather than needing to burn and grind them off the frame to replace them. I have two behind the wheels, mounted on the reinforced portion of the frame, and two under the front "A" frame bends. I carry a cordless drill and just chuck a 3/4" socket in it to run them up and down. I can deploy all four of them in less time than those silly old Attwoods would take to set up. And I can use them to raise the trailer off the ground to change a tire if I need to. Something that I wouldn't recommend trying with those Attwoods. The Attwood stabilizers are only rated for about 400 Lbs. My jacks are rated for 7,500 Lbs each, which is about twice the weight of the entire trailer. Overkill? Probably, but they're great.
Along these lines, does anyone know what the new 17' Casita's stabilizer jacks are rated at?
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Old 03-09-2020, 10:56 AM   #10
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If I'll be the only one using the trailer I don't use the stabilizers. Any rocking of the trailer is in sync with my own movements and doesn't bother me. When I know others will be in and out the stabilizers are quite helpful.


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Old 03-09-2020, 12:11 PM   #11
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In my friends 16' Scamp (brand new.) 4 of us were to have a breakfast. The night before I was asked. " Do you think I need to lower the rear stabilizer jacks ? " I replied I like to put jacks under my 13.' " Lil "Bigfoot. My wife Karen and I, were seated. the plates and coffee were on the table. the syrup and butter in place all utensils ready for use. Linda had a stack of Cakes on a plate at the stove. Rick stepped to the rear of the trailer to sit. The next moment, all of the dishes coffee cups etc. are on the back wall of the trailer. The frying pan has slid off the stove the plate of pan cakes is over on the dinner table's seat. syrup, butter spilled. We grabbed for coffee cups. Hot frying pan captured safely. What do we do ? How do we get upright, out ? Well Rick moved toward the front of the trailer Linda was at the stove. the trailer tipped forward, onto the front jack. Rick and I put the rear jacks down, and we finished breakfast. The jacks always go down.

Later Kenny
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Old 03-09-2020, 12:13 PM   #12
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In heavy wind or storms the stabilizers do stabilize. Feels more solid. See my previous thread about this question. Some good replies there too.
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Old 03-09-2020, 12:17 PM   #13
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never forget

Jon I will never forget the first time I did this! Quit a feeling!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
With a small 13í trailer itís actually possible to lift the tongue and drop the rear bumper if you sit or lie down all the way at the back. Thatís a whoop-de-doo you wonít soon forget! Danger is it could roll off the blocks or escape the chocks if that happens.

So yes, always deploy the stabilizers. I drop the tongue 6 turns of the jack handle, lower the stabilizers, then raise the tongue back to level. That takes enough weight off the tires to eliminate most of the bounce as you move around in the trailer.

Camco blocks are fine.
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Old 03-09-2020, 12:36 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by AmyFL View Post
Hi - I am going camping at three different Florida State Parks for week. Is it necessary to deploy the rear stabilizer jacks for such short stays (2-3 nights each)? Also, the trailer came with a set of Camco leveling blocks. Are these ok, or should I get wood? (And if wood, what size?) I recently bought my firs travel trailer (Casita), and this is my first trip. Thank you - Amy
The leveling blocks are nice to put under the stabilizer jacks if in softer ground. We always use boards under ours just because that is what we had. We always put a board under the jacks so they can't push into the dirt or pad. Some places ask you to not put down jacks unless you put a block under them to prevent damage to the concrete or black top. Always put down the stabilizers when you unhook from the tow vehicle and put chocks against both trailer tires before you unhook. We had a friend that only chocked one tire and when he got the trailer high enough to pull out from under hitch the trailer pivoted and rolled. Fortunately there were several of us around and was able to stop it from going away. If you don't unhook the trailer from the vehicle then you don't need to put down the stabilizers but you will get more movement. Just remember to put them up before you pull out if you put them down. Always unhook the cord from the tow vehicle when parking overnight.
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Old 03-09-2020, 03:01 PM   #15
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Name: Amy
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Walt P said something a lot of solo campers say: stabilizer jacks not always necessary. I guess I’ll put them down. I need to practice anyway. Kenny - Loved the imagery of the pancakes flying - but would hate for that to happen!

I saw a Casita at Ft Desoto Park in Pinnellas County, FL, last year. I don’t see many if FL. Hope to run into some of you nice fiberglass “egg”people sometime. (And thanks for the backing/parking tips!)
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Old 03-09-2020, 04:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
With a small 13í trailer itís actually possible to lift the tongue and drop the rear bumper if you sit or lie down all the way at the back. Thatís a whoop-de-doo you wonít soon forget! ....
I remember the time I did that in my pop-up camper just by walking to the back.. I quickly moved forward and the tongue came back down before any damage was done.

Now if you stay hitched up then the stabilizers are not needed (but will make it feel more stable)... unless the hitch comes undone.
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Old 03-09-2020, 09:00 PM   #17
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Sequence of steps:

1) Level camper side-to-side as necessary by driving onto leveling blocks
2) Deploy wheel chocks
3) Disconnect electrical and safety chains from tow vehicle
4) Raise tongue to disconnect hitch
5) Pull tow vehicle forward to clear trailer tongue
6) Raise or lower tongue to level forward-to-rear
7) Deploy stabalizers

Folliow steps in exact reverse order when hooking up to leave.

(It's important to retract the rear stabalizers prior to raising the tongue when hooking up -- otherwise you may put more weight on the rear stabalizers than they are designed to hold.)
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Old 03-09-2020, 09:08 PM   #18
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Name: Peg
Trailer: 1995 Scamp
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I have sold the Casita and kept my 13’ Scamp and I never put the stabilizers down. It’s just me and I’ve never had it feel tippy. Stabilizers are a pain in older campers.
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Old 03-10-2020, 03:12 AM   #19
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Name: Amy
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Thank you! I copied this and saved to print for my trip. Super!
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Old 03-10-2020, 03:21 AM   #20
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Name: K C
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Even if you have a 13' trailer and are unhitched you may or may not need some type of support at the back end if you are going to walk all the way into the back end. But guess what, there are side entry trailers with stuff at the back end so that you can't walk into the far back end so they don't go boom and fall down when you walk in. Buy my 13 foot trailer has a rear entry door and sure enough I will make the rear end drop down if I walk into it without the stabilizer jacks under the back end.. Do some people have trailers that are unhitched and can do without levelers.. yes they do. Do some people have trailers what will drop at the back end if it is unhitched, yes they do. This is a basic physics issue. So while some say it will and others say it won't they are both right and yet they are both wrong because it really all depends on the distribution of weight and not the length of the trailer.



The wheels are the fulcrum point of a see saw and you can lift up the far end if you have the kind of travel trailer I do where I can stand right at the opposite end from the tongue when it is unhitched.
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