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Old 10-13-2007, 12:18 PM   #1
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1977 31' Excella 500
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Help! Where and How to lift to block for permanent

We are going to live in the camper for a while. It is sitting on a slope. It is level from front to back but the side is about 10" lower on the roadside. This is just a guess on the inches. We need to park it here as it is lined up with a old trailer that we are going to use the septic,electric,and water. It will also provide windblock. How do we lift the side up and where can it be blocked safely. We dont want to hurt the trailer. What is the best support to use. We would like to support 4 corners. I will get a picture and try to post it.
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Old 10-13-2007, 12:38 PM   #2
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My first thought would be to pull it up onto the block rather than jack it up and then block. How about staggered 2x6s or 2x8s up to a railroad tie? A railroad tie should give you about 8". Depending on how long you are going to be parked you might want to jack it up a little further on the axle mounting plates to take some, not all, the weight off the axles and tires. This will extend the life of the axles and tires. Don't use the stabilizer jacks to jack it up they are not designed for the job, just to prevent rocking and rolling when in a final position. To take the weight I would use auto safety jacks on a good stable base, but watch where you put them. Make sure they are under the frame.
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Old 10-13-2007, 01:44 PM   #3
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Marshall, Thanks. Where are the "axle mounting plates" ?? "some, not all, the weight off the axles and tires" Is it ok to lift the tires completely off the ground? I would use auto safety jacks on a good stable base, but watch where you put them. Make sure they are under the frame. Where is the frame at the corners to block it after it is up and level?
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Old 10-13-2007, 05:41 PM   #4
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You can't miss the axle mounting plates if you peek around the inside of the tires. They are the 3/16" flat metal vertical plate that runs along the inside of the wheels and the axles and shock absorbers are bolted to. While you are taking a look see check the axle mounting plates are straight and not bent or bowed. Also check the angle of the arm that comes off the axle itself and connects to the wheel. It should have a downward angle. If it is horizontal the axle is living on borrowed time and if it has an upward angle the axle is pretty well shot.

There are also reinforced jack points but it is easy to make a mistake and poke a hole in the belly pan, or worse. I would put jack stands under the frame where the A frame comes into the body at the front of the trailer and under the frame in front of where the frame joins the bumper, but as far forward as possible. If you jack the trailer up so high the wheels are off the ground you will make it unstable and put to much flex on the middle of the trailer. You just want to lift it an inch or so just to get some of the weight off the tires and axles. Do NOT jack up the axles themselves. If you have an electric jack it's an easy job. 1.Get the trailer where you want it and reasonably level. 2. Lower the front which will raise the rear. 3. Put jackstands under the frame at the rear as far forward as possible. 4. Raise the front and put jackstands under the tongue as far back as possible 5. Lower and snug the stabilizer jacks.
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Old 10-13-2007, 06:02 PM   #5
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PS
Your original title says "permanent". In your text you say "for a while". My suggestions above were meant for months not years. If you are talking really long term I would go a lot beefier and remove the wheels and store them.
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Old 10-13-2007, 06:16 PM   #6
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Being that I am quite sick. Ms, Brain Tumor, and for two years a spinal leak (which is the worst) It will be permanent, at least years. I am very happy you are helping me. I am going to print this and take to my neighbor where the trailer is and see if he will help. What is beefier? Railroad ties work?
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Old 10-13-2007, 06:24 PM   #7
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We have a rally that we attend every year where we park on the side of a hill that runs own to a lake. Instead of ramping up the 10 - 12 inches to level the units, we dig holes to lower the high side. If we ramped up the low side that much, you would need a ladder to get in the door. Just another option...
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Old 10-13-2007, 07:09 PM   #8
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"Permanent" Foundation

Quote:
Originally Posted by netlace
It will be permanent, at least years.
Now you are getting into an area I don't know much about. If you are talking about years there may be other things to consider. Whatever is supporting the coach may settle over time if it is just on dirt. This may cause the trailer to loose level over time. If you remove the wheels you could lower the trailer so that it is easier to step up into. I don't know what winters are like in your location but you might want to consider some kind of skirting to keep the bottom from getting cold. Maybe insulated skirting. You might find it more convenient to hook up your propane to a couple of 100# tanks or a 250# tank instead of the smaller propane tanks mounted on the tongue.

If you have limited finances you might contact your local social services agency. They often have access to low cost or free services for helping making housing meet the needs of people with significant medical conditions.
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Old 10-13-2007, 08:53 PM   #9
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Here is a Picture from my cell phone. After looking at it it may only be about 6-8 inches.
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Old 10-13-2007, 09:17 PM   #10
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The door steps are on the ground. The trailer is backed in. The low side is the roadside. I thank everyone for there time in posting. Any ideas of a cheap skirting? I still want it to look nice. I have a 17 year old daughter. I dont want her too imbarrassed! She nearly died when she saw the trailer. She would have if she saw the inside. It needs so much. But I am hopeful. Thank you Marshall.
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Old 10-13-2007, 09:50 PM   #11
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Lowering the high side wheels 1/2 the grade tilt, and raising the low side the remaining tilt measure is as painless as it gets.

With the 31' trailer I would be jacking from in between the wheels and blocking near ends of axle plates (outside the wheels) to make four pylons, 6x6 pressure treated would be ideal, chainsaw chain and railroad ties often don't agree.

I used a small gasoline powered cultivator to loosen exactly the amount of dirt needed to be moved to set the railroad ties I sank into the ground and that was another near-painless move - no real digging, just scooping.

If you can put twin ties in side-by-side in front and behind the two axles where you can use them to stack the cribbing on top of - so two of the ties - pylon sets pictured here Airstream Forums - View Single Post - jacking - help appreciated would let me sleep better at night.

Being close to a building will help with possible wind damage - but there may be local city or county ordinances about having anchor straps to ensure trailer liftoff does not happen until there is enough thrust to lob trailer beyond the city or county jurisdictions
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Old 10-13-2007, 09:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netlace
We are going to live in the camper for a while. It is sitting on a slope. It is level from front to back but the side is about 10" lower on the roadside. This is just a guess on the inches. We need to park it here as it is lined up with a old trailer that we are going to use the septic,electric,and water. It will also provide windblock. How do we lift the side up and where can it be blocked safely. We dont want to hurt the trailer. What is the best support to use. We would like to support 4 corners. I will get a picture and try to post it.
dig a hole on the high side....

say about 10" deep.

kevbo
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Old 10-13-2007, 11:05 PM   #13
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Thank you to all , Wabbiteer your picture is why I contacted you. It helps alot. I have a lot of good advice. I dont want to bury my steps by digging to deep. I know now (I think) where to jack from I am still worried about where to brace the 4 corners. This is new to me and being a girl I am not familiar with the terms.
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Old 10-14-2007, 01:56 AM   #14
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For the same reasons the bumper - tail can droop from too much weight on the long frame lengths having lots of leverage, it is possible to do harm by lifting too much from near the end of the rear frame - some trailers have stabilizer jacks (#37) seen in the diagram) but if not thats the best place good for inserting stands or props that snug up to the frame rail and snub vibrations but not take 'real' loads.

The frame rail beams runs inboard of the axle mounting plates - are welded to them actually. I hate to say it but its up to you to divine the right spot smack center in the frail rail...

The cast aluminum screw type jacks that are self-limiting with their lift strength from a short adjustment handle and hand-operation are ideal.

A set of good wheel chocks AND having a paranoid lookout to spot a trailer shifting while the jack-squad is busy are very good thngs.
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