Lifting tires off ground when storing for extended period? - Fiberglass RV
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Old 02-09-2017, 07:31 PM   #1
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Lifting tires off ground when storing for extended period?

#1. What is "extended period " mean? a month; 3 months over winter? etc.

#2. If we took it for a spin around the block every couple weeks, would that be enough distant to protect the tires from "flat spots"?

#3. What technique do you use? lift with jacks on axle; lift on frame, etc.?
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Old 02-09-2017, 10:16 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David & Terry View Post
#1. What is "extended period " mean? a month; 3 months over winter? etc.

#2. If we took it for a spin around the block every couple weeks, would that be enough distant to protect the tires from "flat spots"?

#3. What technique do you use? lift with jacks on axle; lift on frame, etc.?
The reason people do this is
1) to eliminate tire "flat spots" and cracks/stress on just one section of the sidewall
2) to take weight off the suspension so the damping (usually rubber torsion parts) keep their springiness.damping ability longer.

Your question 1) I only take the time to do this if the trailer will be out of service for a few months. But, I suppose if I did it every time I parked, my axle life might be extended.
Question 2) yes, probably. But the axle would still be holding up the trailer all the time, so it wouldn't save any wear/tear on the suspension.
Question 3) A jackstand on the frame very near where the axle attaches.
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Old 02-09-2017, 10:33 PM   #3
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Trailer: 2018, 21ft escapeó 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie
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My trailer sits from October into May ( winter months ) with the weight off the axle / tires. The trailer is supported with wooden blocks positioned under the frame on both sides of the axle .
The tires are covered and rotated periodically during storage.
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Old 02-10-2017, 07:00 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
My trailer sits from October into May ( winter months ) with the weight off the axle / tires. The trailer is supported with wooden blocks positioned under the frame on both sides of the axle .
The tires are covered and rotated periodically during storage.
Belt and suspenders type, huh.. you take the weight off and then rotate them periodically..
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Old 02-10-2017, 08:01 AM   #5
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There are many opinions, because there is no exact science here. Our forum thrives on topics like this.

I consider extended period more than four months (winter). I put the Scamp on stands and lower the tire pressure to ~25psi. I put the stands under the axle right next to where the axle is attached to the frame (mine is welded). Don't place them away from the attachment points or you could bend the axle.

If you would take it for a spin every few weeks, you would avoid the flat spots because the wheels would never stop the same way. However, you would have to keep them at the prescribed pressure. I believe lowering the tire pressure for the winter and pumping up in spring is beneficial, or at least harmless.

Some of us give the wheels a spin occasionally while on those stands, to keep distributing the grease. Also beneficial, or at least harmless.
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Old 02-10-2017, 08:17 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
My trailer sits from October into May ( winter months ) with the weight off the axle / tires. The trailer is supported with wooden blocks positioned under the frame on both sides of the axle .
The tires are covered and rotated periodically during storage.
Ours is stored exactly the same way. We go over every couple of weeks to check on it, spin the tires, dream about camping season I think we are breaking her out in April this year, though! May seems too far off!
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Old 02-10-2017, 08:21 AM   #7
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Well said, Paul. No harm in the practices, and possibly good. I do the same, except I favor placing the jack on the frame, not the axle.

Emily, you've nailed the single most important practice for long-term storage: checking on the trailer regularly, inside and out. Catch little problems before they become big problems.
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Old 02-10-2017, 08:24 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by RandyNH View Post
Belt and suspenders type, huh.. you take the weight off and then rotate them periodically..
Yes ; in fact today is a scheduled rotation day . At 10:00 AM I will rotate the tires on their axis 5 turns clockwise and at 12:00 Noon I rotate the tire 5 turns counter clockwise . I have never had a bearing or tire failure while my trailer is in storage so I stay with what works for me .
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Old 02-10-2017, 08:30 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Yes ; in fact today is a scheduled rotation day . At 10:00 AM I will rotate the tires on their axis 5 turns clockwise and at 12:00 Noon I rotate the tire 5 turns counter clockwise . I have never had a bearing or tire failure while my trailer is in storage so I stay with what works for me .
Steve, I don't know if you are joking, but I'm laughing because my (engineer) husband really DOES put the exact time he's going over and what exactly he's going to check or do, into his schedule! It's an appointment that he keeps (and I like to tag along for!)
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Old 02-10-2017, 08:51 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Yes ; in fact today is a scheduled rotation day . At 10:00 AM I will rotate the tires on their axis 5 turns clockwise and at 12:00 Noon I rotate the tire 5 turns counter clockwise . I have never had a bearing or tire failure while my trailer is in storage so I stay with what works for me .

Steve,

I was taught that the gap between rotation directions was temperature based.
I use the formula
(max daytime - min overnight) x Rel Humidity x FudgeFactor.

This is in hours and temperature in Fahrenheit.
FudgeFactor depends on the grease type used.

Here is my setup for today

(75 - 57) x 0.55 x 0.3 = 2.97

So if I rotate forwards at 10 like you, then backwards needs to be done at 12:58.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-10-2017, 09:05 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by widgetwizard View Post
Steve,

I was taught that the gap between rotation directions was temperature based.
I use the formula
(max daytime - min overnight) x Rel Humidity x FudgeFactor.

This is in hours and temperature in Fahrenheit.
FudgeFactor depends on the grease type used.

Here is my setup for today

(75 - 57) x 0.55 x 0.3 = 2.97

So if I rotate forwards at 10 like you, then backwards needs to be done at 12:58.

Hope this helps.
Thanks Jim for the information . I was using a rule of thumb formula I got from an engineer buddy which did not have temperature compensation built into the formula.
I am using synthetic grease so I'll need to get the friction coefficient from the manufacturer
Does orientation of the axle relative to magnetic north and south have any affect ? My trailer is parked with the tongue pointing to "True North"

**My Mom was right , I should have finished engineering school **
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Old 02-10-2017, 09:21 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
......Does orientation of the axle relative to magnetic north and south have any affect ? My trailer is parked with the tongue pointing to "True North"
I think you already know the answer to that if you are honest. THAT is the main reason for the curb-side tire failures that we see.
You need to re-aim at Magnetic north ASAP (and dont forget its moving all the time so daily adjustments should be performed..)

I have a new product coming out on April 1 that will do all this automatically...
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:06 AM   #13
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It seems that some of you are obsessed with this "problem". But, if you keep your trailer in very hot or very cold places, you may be justified.
We are in N. E. Iowa. We park the trailer on a concrete pad on the North side of our garage. So it is mostly in the shade. I lower the stabilizers at the rear while the hitch is low, then jack up the hitch so some of the weight is off the axle. I do this mostly so the thing stays put. No need to mess with air pressure.
16 years with our 16 ft Scamp. and no problems with tires or suspension.(although we did get new tires after about ten years ... "just in case")
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:54 AM   #14
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I've kept my Scamp on jack stands from day 1 of ownership when I'm not traveling. Last fall I replaced the tires with Maxxis. The wheels/tires are sitting in my shop in a controlled environment and deflated to 25 lbs. (winter parked) Keeping rubber out of the "elements" as much as possible DEFINITELY slows dryrot.

I do NOT use any "tire dressing" on ANY of my tires.

FWIW everything I mentioned above is recommended by tire experts and have read all the information multiple times.

I sure dont "time" my spins...but when I think about it, I do go down and occasionally spin the hubs.

Overkill? Maybe. Am I happy? Yep...and that's all that matters to me.
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Old 02-10-2017, 11:37 AM   #15
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I guess what we need is a scientific experiment to settle this once and for all. We need someone to buy two identical Scamps, park them side by side, perform identical maintenance on both, take and use them both on every trip (guess that means we're looking for a couple with two tow vehicles, sleeping, cooking and eating in separate trailers). Store one on jacks and the other on the ground. Continue for 20 years and assess the axle condition. Then we'd need to recruit several dozen other couples to do the same to control for climate, driving habits, frequency of use, and other variables.

Until that happens, I will continue to do what Scamp recommends:
"Removing weight from axle: Jack up the axle and block it up to take the weight off the suspension. The tires don't have to be off the ground. Just take the main weight off the axle. Leaving the weight of the trailer on the suspension for extended periods while stored is extremely hard on the torsion axle. The rubber will compress and not relax as fully as before. Relieve tire pressure to 10 or 15 pounds while stored. This will extend your tire life."
from Winterization Checklist - Scamp Trailers
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Old 02-10-2017, 11:50 AM   #16
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If you go the jack stand route Tractor Supply sells some combo bottle jack, jack stands. Powerbuilt 3-Ton All-in-One Jack - For Life Out Here.
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Old 02-10-2017, 11:56 AM   #17
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That's pretty neat. Another thing I do, I have an old "scissor" jack I use with my cordless drill. Works great and is fast. (along with jack stands)

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If you go the jack stand route Tractor Supply sells some combo bottle jack, jack stands. Powerbuilt 3-Ton All-in-One Jack - For Life Out Here.
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Old 02-10-2017, 12:03 PM   #18
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Name: Michael
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Alberta
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Two things damage tires on an RV when it is stored. One is sitting in the same position for extended periods and the second is the UV light from the sun.
If my trailer is to sit for a month or more I lift the wheels off the ground. I installed four 5000 lb scissor jacks, two on each side slightly ahead and behind the axles. They have the capacity to lift the trailer completely of the ground and raising each a little at a time in succession evens the pressure on the chassis. This not only saves my tires but also relieves the tension on my suspension.
I'm a boondocker so I use these jacks quite a bit to level my unit in the back country and then use the original stab jacks that came with the trailer for added stability.
I have grease fittings on my axles that I use prior to each camping season.
I cover my tires to protect from sunlight when ever my unit is parked.
I drop the tire pressure to 20 psi each fall before storage.
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Old 02-10-2017, 12:22 PM   #19
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Trailer: Surf-Side
Manitoba
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Question - I was told years ago that radial ply tires should always rotate in the same direction . When my tires are rotated on my vehicles they are rotated front to back always on the same side of the vehicle. Is it OK to swap sides on a trailer thus reversing the rotation direction ?
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Old 02-10-2017, 12:28 PM   #20
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Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B
British Columbia
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Escape advises to swap front to back. Not side to side.
Since I have a single axle, I can strike that chore off my list.
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