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Old 08-20-2003, 10:05 PM   #1
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Jack placement

Just curious as to where & how many jacks fellow AS' use when setting up camp? Two in the rear, one on the tongue of the trailer? Thanks

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Old 08-20-2003, 10:15 PM   #2
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I have the four stabilizer jacks that are mounted on the frame underneath. I also use the main jack and that is all I use. With the four wheels, four stabilizer jacks and the main jack up front, it makes for a solid feel when inside.

I also use the chocks that fit between the tires, locking the wheels so they canít roll (when needed). I like using them on a dual axle; I think it's much safer than a block of wood.

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Old 08-20-2003, 10:42 PM   #3
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I have none except the electric tongue jack but it feels ok

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Old 08-20-2003, 11:26 PM   #4
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We use two in the rear & the front tongue jack- along with wheel chocks.
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Old 08-21-2003, 07:36 AM   #5
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My trailer has only the two stabilizers at the rear bumper, none in the front.

If I am alone, I do not set the stabilizers unless I am going to be there for more than overnight; sometimes not even then since I don't feel my own motion in the trailer. i am more likely to set them in nice weather than in bad.

With the wife, for overnight stays, I usually set the rear stabilizers unless we have to make an expidited departure the next morning..

With the wife, for longer stays, I set the rear stabilizers plus two aluminum jackstands, one on each side of the A-frame just where it goes under the body.
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Old 08-21-2003, 12:17 PM   #6
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I chock the wheels, and use 4 stabilizers jacks.
This way we have the 4 wheels, the tongue jack, and the 4 stabilizers.
It's bit of a chore, but it does make the trailer feel very secure.
Here is how we do it:
first we level the trailer side to side and front to back. The we place the rear jacks snugly under the designated areas below the frame, behind the rear axle. I turn the screw out until the jack sits nice and snug against the trailer frame. Now i lower the tongue ever so slighty, so that the rear jacks have about 1/4 to 1/2in clearance. I take up the slack by again turning out the screws until they sit tight against the frame. Now I raise the tongue jack a bit, and place the front stabilizer jacks near the tongue of the trailer, just underneath the belly pan, where the tongue disappears inside the belly. You can see where the frame rails run if you look closely.
So i lift the front of the trailer a tiny bit more than necessary and adjust the jacks accordingly, for leveling front to rear. Now the trailer sits firmly on the jacks, is level and secure, without undue stress on the frame.
The wheels are still carrying the weight of the trailer, but the suspension is unloaded about 1/4in, which is enough to eliminate most vibration if moving around inside, or when the wind blows against the trailer and the awning.
You can get the same result if you can turn the stabilizer jack scews enough by hand. My jack points are somewhat far inside, which makes the jacks hard to reach. At some point I am going to install permanent stabilizer jacks. We only do this if we're staying a few days. For overnighting, we usually just level the trailer witht he tongue jacks and go to sleep.
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Old 08-21-2003, 01:29 PM   #7
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Originally posted by uwe
I chock the wheels,
Good point. I forgot to mention that I have 2 of the between-the-wheels expanding chocks. With the wheels firmly locked, the trailer has a lot less motion when folks are moving around inside.

The stabilizers, the tongue jack, and the jack stands I use have very little resistance to fore-and-aft motions of the trailer. The expanding chocks eliminate all motion in this axis.

In addition, the expanding chocks are, by far, the best way to chock the wheels that are up on levelling blocks.
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Old 08-21-2003, 06:23 PM   #8
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I use the rear stablizer jacks, front electric jack and wheel chocks. I didn't know I had stablizer jacks in the front till this year and haven't used them as of yet.

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Old 10-07-2003, 09:20 AM   #9
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Can the stabilizer jacks be driven with an electric drill?

I was told [by someone - probably the AS salesman...] that the stabilizer jacks could be raised/lowered using an electric drill. Is this true? 1/4"? 3/8"? Cordless?

And while I'm at it, to what extent can the jacks (I'll have four of these) be used to level the trailer? If (as I'm guessing) they can't be safely use to level the trailer, are there leveling blocks for twin axle trailers?

Assuming the "average" campground, what would be the maximum height needed for a leveling block? Three 2" (nominal) boards? Four? More? Less?

Thanks for your help...
Dave Jenkins
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Old 10-07-2003, 09:41 AM   #10
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Stabilizer jacks are for just that stabilization. Do not use them to "level" the trailer. doing so will place undue stress on the frame and could twist windows and doors.

The trailer MUST be leveled by the wheels. Either up on boards, lego levelers or a pile of dirt. Be sure to do both wheels if you have a tandem. Supporting all of the weight on one axle of days is not a good idea. The severity of site pitch seems to be based on the type of facility. State and count parks are usally the ones that require the most leveling. RV resorts seem to require the least. I carried 2 bags of the lego style levelers for our 31 footer. Sometimes I needed them to help the stabilizers reach the ground.

As to the drill method. Any 1/2 or 3/8 inch cordless drill will work. you will just need to get the proper socket end and a stub to be accepted in the drill. We used our 9.6 V Makita to do the job for a number of years.
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Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. -- Plato

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Old 10-07-2003, 09:56 AM   #11
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Our unit has been driveway bound but I have been using 4-6 stands (actully 2 brake drums and 4 stands). The coach sits on a slope so I have the wheels chocked. Tounge jack fully extended on pile of timber. Two stands on the "A" frame. The brake drums under the rear bumper (not enough room for the regular stands) and 2 stands under the frame just behind the axle (It's exposed on my vintage) to take the bounce out of the suspension. Feels nice and solid. I weigh enough that with the stabilizers at just the ends I still cause the suspension to compress as I walk the length of the coach.

I plan to add a crank down stabalizer under the rear of the coach. I will proably place it about 3ft behind the axle and not at the bumper. My concern is at the bumper I may drag it and damage it. Undecided if I will add this set up at the front.

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