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Old 10-08-2019, 02:40 PM   #1
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Bottle Jacks for more stability while staying static for a long period of time

Hello all, my wife and I are full timing and figuring things out as we go along. We will be in one spot for the winter and wondering if investing in several bottle jacks to place under the jack points while in the one spot will reduce the bounce? I figured those are the places where you actually life the AS in order to change the tire so it should be able to handle at least some long term weight.



I was not planning on lifting the tires off the ground but just giving it 2 more points of contact with some weight on those instead of the axles will further stabilize it.


Anyone have any experience with this?



TIA
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Old 10-08-2019, 02:49 PM   #2
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Yes that should help a bit, but you also might want to consider X-chocks, as mentioned in many other threads:

https://www.google.com/search?ei=2PW...4dUDCAo&uact=5
Recent thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f457...ck-193100.html

Of course these X-chocks work only on trailers with two or more axles. Maybe yours is a single axle?

FYI this Jacks etc. sub-forum is full of ideas:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f457/

Good luck,

Peter
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:40 PM   #3
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Long term stability

Go to Harbor Freight or Northern Supply and buy 4 of the screw type 4 legged jack stands. There way less money than bottle jacks. All of the Airstreams at Land Yacht Harbor in Melbourne, Fl. use these when leaving the AS in place for the long haul (years and years). Position them at the marked jacking points under your AS and just put a little bit of tension on them. Not to tight. Do not want to flex the frame and make it hard to close the door.
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:55 PM   #4
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I agree with Peter. Some type of tire chock that contacts both tires will help a lot (if you have a multi axle trailer). Generally the movement is more front to back than up and down.

If you do use jacks, I suggest less expensive jack stands instead of hydraulic bottle jacks.

From my personal experience, on my 34' trailer, the jacks stands will work better, weigh less, fit into a smaller space, and will not leak fluid. I think this is what I have>
https://www.amazon.com/Ultra-Fab-Pro...0571669&sr=8-5

Measure before you purchase. I have another set of 4 screw jacks that are too tall to fit under my Airstream.
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Old 10-08-2019, 04:07 PM   #5
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+1 in the x-chocks, assuming you have a tandem axle rig. X-chocks with the normal stabilizer jacks gets us pretty rock-solid.
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Old 10-08-2019, 06:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by NeuroNerd411 View Post
Hello all, my wife and I are full timing and figuring things out as we go along. We will be in one spot for the winter and wondering if investing in several bottle jacks to place under the jack points while in the one spot will reduce the bounce? I figured those are the places where you actually life the AS in order to change the tire so it should be able to handle at least some long term weight.



I was not planning on lifting the tires off the ground but just giving it 2 more points of contact with some weight on those instead of the axles will further stabilize it.


Anyone have any experience with this?



TIA
Hi

What size / model / year trailer (or coach) are we talking about here? There are a *lot* of possibilities .....

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Old 10-08-2019, 10:01 PM   #7
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My only contribution to your thoughts are about minimizing cutting into paint from what ever you support the trailer with that might break the paint seal and create a point to promote rust on the frame down the road.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:33 PM   #8
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Warning... this is very dangerous.. never get yourself under a live load!!! Always have someone nearby to call for help..

I do this.. on our 34'

LOCK the wheels using X-chocks. Slightly lift the AS using a bottle jack. Snug the screw jack up to the frame where the axles are mounted.

This will put a minimum load on the jacks and significantly secure the vertical 'bounce' of the trailer.

I then put down the stabilizers. nice and stable afterward.. but adds some time to arrival/departure

So, if you will continue....be careful, all this is a guideline.. and you assume all responsibility.

Get some:
- One 5 Ton bottle jack
- 4 - aluminum 'screw' jacks... These are on amazon .. Camco Olympian Aluminum Stack Jacks
- wood block per screw jack and extra for bottle jack, to 'spread' the load. These should be 2x8 or 2x10 at least one foot long.

Step:
1- Level trailer
2- properly place wood block and bottle jack between the tires or at the "jack" point on one side
3- place wood block and a screw jack ahead of the front and behind the rear.. align with the vertical plate where the axles are bolted.
4- using the bottle jack, lift the trailer only about 1/4-1/2"
5- snug the screw jacks against the frame.
6- repeat the above on the other side.

You can adjust the 'level' a little bit using the bottle jack and very carefully the tongue jack.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:10 AM   #9
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+1 in the x-chocks, assuming you have a tandem axle rig. X-chocks with the normal stabilizer jacks gets us pretty rock-solid.
I agree with this also. After adding the X-chocks, the trailer is ROCK solid.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:25 AM   #10
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We use the X-chocks to stabilize Blue Streak found this to be VERY helpful.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:31 AM   #11
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Bottle jacks should only be used for occasional lifting and not long-term use. The o-rings providing the sealing may leak a minuscule amount eventually leading to no support even tho they may appear to be up. And unless the ram is kept greased, the exposed chrome plating will eventually pit or at least develop a light haze rust leading to seal failure when retracted/extended several times.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:08 PM   #12
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Thanks all for the replies, I have a 30' Flying cloud, currently using X chocks which help a lot, there is still a bit of residual bounce on occasion.



I was curious as to what kind of jacks to use, bottle jacks were the first that came to mind. I do like the idea of the screw stands, I'll defiantly take a look at that.



I believe there are "Jack" locations behind the wheels, I am not sure if there are any in front. (it is currently getting worked on so I am unable to just take a look :P ).
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:52 PM   #13
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On my 34' there was bounce in the frame, I assume due to length. When I was parked long term I used four jacks stands but not on the jack points. I placed two jack stands on the frame rail in front of the axles and two just behind the axles.
ps: I used a large 2x wood block below and a small one above the jack stand
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:16 AM   #14
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My advice: You're in a trailer, get used to some level of "bounce." We camp host for months at a time without moving during that period. All we do is level the trailer, drop the stabilizers and live in it. Simple, guaranteed not to damage the trailer or ourselves. We got used to the "bounce," it's really no big deal. If that's not your cup of tea, maybe an Airstream isn't the right RV for you - there are other brands out there that have no issue being lifted entirely off the ground via scissor jacks, or an auto-leveling system. The latter is more common in motor homes, of course. Good luck, hope you find a great solution that works for you.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:22 AM   #15
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My preference is to use a scissor stabilizer jack that is always attached to the trailer. Adding the JT Strongarm kit adds even more stability. My wife was not happy with the trailer wiggle and the JT Strongarm took care of that. (This is on a non-AS trailer. I'm still looking at a potential AS to acquire.)

I would not use bottle jacks simply because I don't care to haul that much weight around.

If scissor stabilizers not appropriate, then the aluminum screw jacks are a great alternative. They are very lightweight, easy to store (they stack on each other once the screws are removed) and effective.

Here's how I would use them:
1. Get the trailer level.
2. Lower the front of the trailer about 1/2" using the tongue jack.
3. Place two screw jacks as far to rear, under the frame. Adjust the jack so that it is almost touching the frame.
4. Raise the front of the trailer about 1" using the tongue jack.
5. Place two screw jacks as far to front, under the frame. Adjust the jack so that it is almost touching the frame, but leave enough room for the tongue to come back down ~1/2".
6. Lower the tongue so that the frame comes into contact with the front jacks.
7. Adjust jack stands as necessary to fine tune the level of the trailer.

I use the tongue jack because while the jack stand screws have a handle on them, it can be quite difficult to turn when the weight of the trailer is on the jack stand.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:24 AM   #16
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I agree with the X-chocks plus - what I found this summer is the stabilizer from Valterra: https://www.campingworld.com/univers...zer-34337.html

Lightweight aluminium, probably a two foot top brace you put under the frame (as far back as possible), then snug the legs using the ratchet strap so the legs are probably over three feet apart. This gives the stabilizer a very large top contact with the frame and a large base.

We used these for 5 weeks this summer in Colorado. They take awhile to figure out and you have to lay down to tweak them so it's not for one or two night stay but for longer stays these are great - rock solid on our 29' Ambassador. We haven't used these for "extended stays"... only 10 days so I can't comment on that but these work for what my requirements were: quick, clean, lightweight, reasonable in price.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:28 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocinante View Post
My advice: You're in a trailer, get used to some level of "bounce."
. . .
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:32 AM   #18
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Mount the stabllizers!

I started out with inexpensive aluminum jacks, but they were kind of a hassle. Then I got the mounted jacks for about $750 and no regrets. Now when we dock, I rip around with my cordless makita and a socket and I'm stable in no time.

They also help with fine tuning your levelness.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:44 AM   #19
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. . .
They also help with fine tuning your levelness.
Using stabilizer jacks to adjust level is generally not recommended, unless they are positioned very well, and the operator knows exactly what he or she is doing IMO. The Airstream OEM jack point locations are not designed for this load. Other locations may be OK, but that opens up a new can of worms which has been covered extensively in other threads:

https://www.google.com/search?q=jack...com&gws_rd=ssl

Peter

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Old 10-16-2019, 10:50 AM   #20
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Most of the bounce is from the center of the trailer that is supported by the wheels. I have a couple HF bottle jacks and we put one under each axle mounting plate and that helps a whole lot. You just need to put a few pumps on them to keep the center of the trailer from moving up and down. You already have your leveling jacks to support the ends. Now if you are going to be in one place for a while then adding more jacks might be worth while.



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