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Old 07-25-2006, 07:42 AM   #1
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Picked up my new A/S Yesterday: Some Problems

My wife and I picked up our new A/S yesterday. We're very happy with our new Airstream and can't wait for our first outing with it the first week in August. Everything went well for the most part and even arriving home and backing into my driveway for the first time went without a hitch, no pun intended.

I do have a few questions though. After I backed the trailer into it's space to the rear of our driveway, there wasn't enough ground clearance to insert the jack foot onto the power jack leg. I had to dig a hole several inches under the jack leg in order to have clearance to place the jack foot under the the jack leg and to have a paver down for the jack foot to rest on. Since this is the first time doing this, I am trying to figure out what is causing this low clearance, and suspect it may be that the even though the space the trailer is parked on looks relatively flat, that there may be a slight grade where the higher portion is towards the front of trailer. I do have those lego-type levelers and just have one under each wheel at this time.

Am I missing something. Why is there not enough clearance? Keep in mind this is the first time I parked our trailer and dealer set up our hitch and leveling with a reese stabilizer which sems to keep things low to the ground to start with. I'm hoping that everythime I have to park on a slight grade I won't have to dig a hold for the jack foot to fit under the jack leg? Any opinions will be appreciated.
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Old 07-25-2006, 08:02 AM   #2
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Congratulations on your new arrival. What a happy day that must have been. I do not know what to say about the jack head problem. If you were a little more experienced, like several years under the belt, I would say the jack was not in its full up position. However, new owners tend to check the obvious things like that.
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Old 07-25-2006, 08:16 AM   #3
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Hi Kent,

Thanks for the reply. Yes, the first thing I did was to make sure the jack leg was completely retracted to it's upper-most position. Still scratching my head. I am going out this morning to get some additional supplies and I will look at the grade. I'll snap some photos and post them if the problem with new daylight and clearer head today doesn't reveal the cause of the low clearance to me.
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Old 07-29-2006, 07:38 AM   #4
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Here's a follow-up to my original post. Well, the answer was the obvious one, the grade of the installed pad while ever so gradual, was indeed enough to cause the problem I described of not being able to lower the jack. I have spoken with the contracter and he will come back with more 'item 4' to grade and level.

Another problem I experience just yesterday after returning from bringing the trailer for a state inspection, it had rained quite hard and when I backed onto gravel that the tires sunk about 3/4" making "tracks" in the gravel. This made it quite difficult to place the levelers and chocks and I'll have to try and correct it later today after things dry up some. This brings me to the question. Is gravel not the best to use, and should I just invest in a concrete pad to avoid this mess? I want to avoid asphalt (blacktop) at all costs because of the buckling problem in heat. Or I am not giving the gravel a chance to pack down properly? This one issue has been a real downer and quite frustrating when actually having to deal with parking the trailer.
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Old 07-29-2006, 09:25 AM   #5
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Dennis ~

It must be frustrating to have the new trailer and then end up having issues with where it's parked. If the installation of the gravel is recent, then it just needs to be packed down and it shouldn't be a problem after that. That is of course, if its not several inches in depth because then it won't pack down. It might also work to set a few of the 10" square pavers in the proper position level with the gravel surface so the trailer rests on those and doesn't sink in.

Good luck with your leveling issue.

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Old 07-29-2006, 09:26 AM   #6
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Concrete is one of the better ways to go, except that it has an adverse effect on rubber tires. If you park on concrete you should put something under the tires. The storage area for my TT is blacktop and I have no problems with that. When I had a popup I stored it at the house on a gravel area. One problem that I had with that was the amount of moisture (yes it does rain in Phoenix a little) that came up from the ground and caused the bottom of the SOB to rust. As far as chock issues on loose gravel, you can always get the chocks that go between the front and rear wheels.
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Old 07-30-2006, 07:59 AM   #7
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Thanks Brad & & AZflycaster. I am going to wait and see what the gentleman that installed the gravel pad and ramp says when he comes back to make the necessary corrections. I'm also going to run it by a friend who is a general contractor and see if he has an opinion on the subject in regard to the specific layout on my property. My gut says is that the gravel woill work fine as long as the base is level and compacted properly as you said, the gravel isn't too high - which it seems to be at the moment where the pad is. The correction will probably require it be thinned out some. I'll get all my pics together before and after the correction to better show what my scenerio involves in achieving a reliable parking pad.
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Old 07-30-2006, 08:43 AM   #8
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You really do not need a jack stand. Any piece of steel or aluminum at least 8x8 inches and 1/4 thick will do. I always carry one because you never know how level the site may be you get at a state park or campground. I also carry a bunch of 1x8 and 2x8 boards to level the wheels or prevent them from sinking in if the ground is soft. I make them with 45 degree ends on them and just long enough to fit between the wheels. I paint them so they will not get wet. I use the chocks that fit between the wheels. They are alot more secure than the little plastic ones you jam under the wheels especially on grass.
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Old 07-30-2006, 08:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightdi
You really do not need a jack stand. Any piece of steel or aluminum at least 8x8 inches and 1/4 thick will do. I always carry one because you never know how level the site may be you get at a state park or campground.
Dwight, Thanks for the reply. This also brings to mind how the dealer left me with my tongue jack stand. According to my A/S owner's manual, the Power Tongue Jack stand is supposed to have the metal foot attached with a threaded bolt. My dealer left it so when I raise the jack, the metal foot/stand falls off (it's not bolted on). He said he did this so I can place the foot/stand in my pickup bed and attach the trailer brake cable to it. I have since found a better place to attach the trailer brake emergency cable to my truck's bumper. I now have this loose foot/stand that I have to store and then pull out to place under the jack leg each time I park the trailer. I wasn't provided with any bolt to re-attach it and plan to ask about it.

Do you or anyone here know if this a common practice to leave the foot/stand off?
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Old 07-30-2006, 01:49 PM   #10
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The stand is not normally attached to the post. In fact, there is no hole in either my stand or the post that could be used to attach the foot. I have had 3 Airstreams and this has been the case in all three. I don't know of anyone in our unit who leaves the foot attached.
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Old 07-30-2006, 02:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahaska
The stand is not normally attached to the post. In fact, there is no hole in either my stand or the post that could be used to attach the foot. I have had 3 Airstreams and this has been the case in all three. I don't know of anyone in our unit who leaves the foot attached.

And I know at least one person that doesn't even have the jack foot I actually have one for my new to me 1980 Excella but it wouldn't fit with the block I was using. Typically I have a nice sized chunk of treated wood that I normally use under the jack as a pad.

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Old 07-30-2006, 03:03 PM   #12
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I am without foot also. I do have this very neat plastic cone that works great. It's bright red and tough to forget. If the foot was this color, I might have one of those too. I need to talk to the PO . BTW this is where I keep the Airstream right before a trip. I keep it there after a trip untill the boss says, "When is the pill headed to storage?"
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Old 07-31-2006, 08:15 AM   #13
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Thanks all for the clarification about the jack stand foot. I have seen the plastic one shown in your photo AZflycaster. I may pick one up as it would be less harsh to store than a metal stand. I suppose the plastic mold is up to sustaining the front weight of my classic 31? It looks as it is supporting your's just fine.
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:09 AM   #14
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Beware

Quote:
Originally Posted by classic67
Thanks all for the clarification about the jack stand foot. I have seen the plastic one shown in your photo AZflycaster. I may pick one up as it would be less harsh to store than a metal stand. I suppose the plastic mold is up to sustaining the front weight of my classic 31? It looks as it is supporting your's just fine.
Only one problem with the tall plastic cone. If the site you are parking isn't level, there may very well not be enough travel in the jack first, to get the cone under the jack and second, to lower the front of the trailer enough to level the trailer.

I sometimes have just enough space to get the metal foot in there and once or twice I have had to use no foot at all. A flat metal plate cimes in really handy for those occasions.

The longer the trailer, the more likely you will run into this problem.
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