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Old 05-22-2006, 04:10 PM   #1
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Question Jacking the Caravel

Well, I have been thru alot of old posts and threads on jacking the Airstream and associated damage from guestimating the correct jacking pad point. I can't pull out anything concrete. Where is the correct pad on our Caravels? Once we establish that.....how about a durable jack pad marking system...any ideas?
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Old 05-22-2006, 09:26 PM   #2
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Old 05-22-2006, 09:33 PM   #3
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Hi M ranch, I assume that you are asking about jacking the trailer up to change a tire , for example ? I place the jack right under where the bracket for the axle bolts to the frame (or as close as I can get).

If you are asking about the jack stands, I place two in front where the frame enters the bellypan and two under the rear bumper where it exits the belly pan.

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Old 05-22-2006, 11:32 PM   #4
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Mine has jackpad squares behind each tire, and that's where I put the stabilizer jacks, though I think Chris might have a better idea, and it would be easier to get to.

As for jacking a tire off the ground, I think you're supposed to jack it up from the axel mounting flange. However, and I know this will cause me to go directly to trailer hell, I have jacked it up from the frame at the rear bumper. Nothing bad happened, and in a pinch, I would probably do it again. But remember, it's my trailer to ruin, I'm not recommending you do it to yours.
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Old 05-23-2006, 06:22 AM   #5
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Surprise, I actually know the answer!

While in the midst of the "new axis axle" replacement, I removed the banana skins behind the axle. Lo and behold, there was a faded sticker on one of them that said "Jack Here" and an arrow pointing to the FRAME directly aft of the end of the axle mounting plate! Yes, the frame.

On close inspection of the frame with the belly skins off, I could see how the PO had jacked in the designated location--the bottom flange of the frame was slightly indented/bent there (on both the curb and street sides).

Now, having said that, I've always jacked at the bottom of the aft end of the axle plate, just forward of where it angles up to the frame (this keeps you from marring the belly skin, which you will certainly do if you jack on the frame). You have just enough room to angle a floor jack into that location. Considering the fact that the "correct jack point" results in deformation of the bottom flange of the frame, I'm going to stick to using the back end of the axle mounting plate.
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Old 05-23-2006, 06:27 AM   #6
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Roger, since you are obviously not afraid to use your welder, I have a photo of a custom-made Airstream bottle jack adapter. Using this, it is very easy to use a bottle jack under the axle mounting flange, and you will not have to schlep around a floor jack to change a tire. I will have the trailer and the adapter here Thursday, so I can give you any measurements you may want from it. Here is a photo:
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Old 05-23-2006, 06:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Using this, it is very easy to use a bottle jack under the axle mounting flange, and you will not have to schlep around a floor jack to change a tire.
Funny you should say this. I "schlepped" around a steel floor jack for a few years, but you can hardly lift one of those suckers. It's now aluminum and easy to handle. I have a longer list of schlepped items--generator (seldom used but like a parachute, good for the mental health) and air compressor.

I got stuck in the sand at the Big Dune just south of Beatty CA a few years ago--the terrain changed suddenly and there I was, TV and Airstream up to the axles. This had all the makings of skeletal remains, if you know what I mean. So I slowly deflated the TV tires and managed to "refloat" around 12 psi, down from 80 psi. Now what? The nearest service station was in Amargosa Valley, about 20 miles. It was a slow drive. Got there, neither station had air! So now it's 30 miles to Beatty. I ain't never goin' nowhere without a compressor.

About a year later, I dropped the trailer near Goblin Valley to do a little back country exploring and I sank into sand again. No sweat! Got the air compressor, so I quickly deflated the tires and moved on. However, when you leave the air hose in the bumper locker of the trailer ....and it's 40 miles back...oh, the humiliation. If I'd had my gun, I'd have been an immediate candidate for the Darwin awards.

But I do like your device. Floor jacks don't roll so well on dirt, so when you jack it's a contest between the jack slipping off the axle plate or pulling the Airstream sideways. But if it were simple, all those other people would be doin' it and we wouldn't be so special!
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