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Old 10-20-2013, 10:57 AM   #1
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Jacks in the middle

Hey folks,

Because I have nothing better to do (Ha!) I have been wondering why the hydraulic jacks on our Classic Mohos (mine's an '86 345) are so close to the midline and the rear ones are almost in the middle of the coach? It must be for structural reasons but it seems kinda silly since it really limits their utility.

Is anyone familiar with the history of this design choice?

Of course, my interest has nothing to do with the fact that my coach fell off her jacks while I was reaching for the honey. That's The Honey, not My Honey.

It also has nothing to do with the fact that I told myself, after I deployed them, that they really weren't quite right and I'd fix them tomorrow.
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:11 AM   #2
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I'm not too clear on what you mean by "fell off her jacks" . Did you have tall blocks under them? Not a great idea if so. A two-by is about all you want to have under them, and then they don't fall far. Did you fall off all four of these three foot high blocks you apparently had your MH perching on!?!?!?

I think the jacks have to be where they are..... unlike a trailer, there is a huge amount of weight, like 2 to 3 times the weight of a similar length travel trailer, and the strongest structural members are evidently the axle assemblies, as they are designed to take the weight. The jacks must be inboard of the wheels and brakes, and so that puts them exactly where they are. I'd also point out that the jacks are not really meant to take the whole weight of the coach, just to tilt it enough here and there to level it, and you should choose a spot which is within a foot or so of grade if possible.

I think this might be in your owner's manual somewhere.
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Old 10-20-2013, 01:59 PM   #3
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Yes, just tipped her in a generally forward direction and not even on any extra footings. But I have temporarily taken some furniture out of the curb side so I may not adequately have compensated. The jacks may not have been seated as well as I thought. They just folded up under the coach. Facing forward! I was amazed at how hardy they are. I managed to get them back in the right position with a little fancy foot and driving work. No harm done! Amazing.
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Old 10-20-2013, 02:21 PM   #4
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This story only makes sense if you had lifted the whole weight of the coach up on to the jacks. This would not be a smart thing to do. When you deploy the jacks, always lift the lowest point until the coach is level, then bring the other jack or jacks down to simply hold the coach steady. The jacks are not meant to hold the whole weight of the coach. Is this making any sense to you?
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:54 PM   #5
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From what I gather, we have 'stabilizing' jacks, even though they are referred to as Leveling Jacks.

Keep reading through the threads here on the Classic Motorhome section of the Forum. I believe Andy even goes so far as to offer his sage advice and warn against using the jacks as levelers.

Will say this, even when using these as stabilizers, as set of wheel chocks are essential.

Thanks, Derek
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:39 PM   #6
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I don't know the brand of jacks you have but I have HWH folding jacks and they are leveling jacks and they will lift the coach of the ground. This is not a good idea because when you lift the rear wheels you no longer have a parking brake so the coach will roll away. The jacks are also designed to be driven off in the forward direction with no harm in the event you forget they are down. Some of us may admit to having done this.

The jacks are mounted on the frame near the axles because that is where the frame is designed to carry the weight. The problem is the axles are already mounted there so they have to fudge a little to get the jacks to fit.

The ideal situation other than being on level ground is to park with the front end downhill. That way you can lift the front to level without loosing the parking brake of the rear wheels. If you are on a slope on dirt the rear wheels can slide just by taking some weight off them without being lifted off the ground. The tires hold much better on asphalt if you need the bring the rear up a bit. You can also twist the frame if you do not use the jacks in pairs the lift the coach evenly. You need to be careful and use some common sense but when used correctly the leveling jacks are great.

The jacks on the trailers are stabilizers as Andy has said because they are mounted on the ends of the frame not near the axles where the weight is designed to be carried. It is very easy to bend and twist the frame if you try to lift a trailer with the stabilizers.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:06 AM   #7
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Forgot which time was which

I believe I have the HLH ones (I'm not in the coach right now or I'd look it up). But I did forget: The time I fell off the jacks was when I was the last one in the campground and got a slanty site. I was really tired and so I didn't think to reread the directions on the jacks, otherwise I might have turned the coach around and faced down instead of up. I think that was a big part of the problem. So I was taking too much weight on the rear jacks and didn't deploy the front jacks at all. And I said to myself, "Self, we better make sure to fix this tomorrow." A few minutes later, while, getting settled, I leaned to the street side of the moho and there was an earthquake. Or so I thought, because we live in California.

It was the next time that I camped in a nearby site that I made sure to park with the nose down.

Thanks for the thoughts!
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:15 PM   #8
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You might have taken almost all the weight off the rear and left some on the front wheels. Since the brake or shaft lock (drive shaft) only locks the the rear wheels. I have read others here who didnt block the front wheels and when they lifted the rear ones off the ground during leveling it rolled fwd. So you may have been very close to that point and when you went for the honey... That was one of the reasons I got 2 big wheel chocks from Northern tools. From my understanding they are designed to do that if it rolls.
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Old 10-23-2013, 09:34 PM   #9
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Chocks are in my future and present

Thanks Mxbuoy, yes, chocks are the thing. If I had reread the instructions before I lifted it I might have thought to do that. I've now had several opportunities to level the coach properly and we have used chocks and small pads under the wheels to make most of the difference.

My feeling about it now is that I really can't rely on the jacks to do much more than the subtlest adjustments and I'm looking a lot harder for a nice, mostly level site. You've probably seen how high some of the neighboring monsters are in campgrounds these days. I don't know if they're better equipped for this or living in a dream world as I was that night.
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Old 10-24-2013, 08:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenniflow View Post
.... You've probably seen how high some of the neighboring monsters are in campgrounds these days. I don't know if they're better equipped for this or living in a dream world as I was that night.
Probably a little bit of both. Since they have had an additional 20 years to work out some of the issues. Also, most only know enough to get in and drive it and are ignorant about what all could happen (as I have been about lots of trailer/moho stuff!)
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:00 PM   #11
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Learned the Hard Way and the Easy Way

Yes, I like to cover the waterfront: Learn things the easy way, forget, then learn them the hard way, and then sometimes even forget those! Learned enough ways how NOT to do stuff that I wrote a book.
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:49 PM   #12
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Actually you can get the front end pretty high as long as you keep the rear on the ground. This is at a friends place in S. Dakota but we had a similar set up at a park in Bar Harbor.

Click image for larger version

Name:	Trip July 2011 Grand Teton & Yelowstone 420.jpg
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Size:	500.3 KB
ID:	198683

Anybody who hasn't driven or fallen off their jacks, probably hasn't used them very much.
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:23 PM   #13
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Actually you can get the front end pretty high as long as you keep the rear on the ground. This is at a friends place in S. Dakota but we had a similar set up at a park in Bar Harbor.

Attachment 198683

Anybody who hasn't driven or fallen off their jacks, probably hasn't used them very much.
I guess from now on when I see anything like that I'll think of it as Smart-Parking......
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:52 PM   #14
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Smile By Way of Thanks, see this post:

To thank the folks who have contributed to this thread, may I now direct you to a video you'll probably enjoy at:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f311...ml#post1371449
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