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Old 03-24-2014, 12:56 PM   #1
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Leveling Just One Axle

During the last year I have seen a couple of different cases where people level a double axle trailer by placing blocks under just one of the tires. It looks rather odd and as a matter of fact this is what caught my eye. Other than being easier, is there a good reason to do this? And, perhaps more importantly, can it do any harm?

I just saw a thread on a SOB forum and no one seems to know if it is damaging or not. One person said something about it being OK for regular axles but not so good for the torsion types. Any enlightenment would be appreciated. I am specifically looking for the prospect of damage.
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:20 PM   #2
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Was the other axle just dangling in the air or was it more like on uneven ground? Seems to me that if you put all of the weight on just one of the axles it would be putting a pretty good strain on it. I've read in these forums that it's not even good to use those blocks to raise up one axle to change the tire, you should use a jack at the proper lifting point to avoid any damage.
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:38 PM   #3
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Leveling the axles unequally is not a problem for a short period, the weekend. It is not a good idea for longer periods and the rubber in the axles will take a set over time.

With that in mind you want to store the trailer Parallel to the Ground it is stored on rather than level. If it is parked in your drive on an incline you can run the jack up or down to level it the day or so before you go out to load and start the frig.
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:00 PM   #4
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Rich,

The second tire was still in contact with the ground. The first tire was up 4 or 5 inches and the whole set up looked rather strange.

If doing this stresses the axle, I don't think it would matter if it were 1 day, 2 or 7. And no, this trailer wasn't in storage.
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:03 PM   #5
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Certainly standing on one leg puts more weight on the blocked axle but I can't imagine it is a big deal in the short term as there are no shock loads when you are parked. As noted above, I wouldn't leave it that way all winter...

As for not pulling the trailer up on blocks to change a tire, most of us do it all the time either to do the brakes/bearings or to change a tire. Heck, I've towed my trailer (as per the owner's manual) on three wheels for a few miles (off a limited access highway to the nearest tire store). Got some funny looks but no problems doing it.

These rigs really are tough and capable.

Mike
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:53 PM   #6
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We've never done it, but I've been tempted on some sites that very off-level front-to-back. Fortunately I've so far always managed to pull off "levelity" (a word my wife coined this weekend) with just the tongue jack, possibly with some extra blocks under the jack.
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:59 PM   #7
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Skater,
Yes, my wife invents words, too. "Levelity" is related to the word "levelization", which is the process of achieving levelity. Makes life interesting, doesn't it?
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:02 PM   #8
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As the load increases on the loaded axle the other wheel will drop. The net difference of 4 or 5 inches is the result. This is not a problem for a short period, a weekend or changing a tire.

The important thing to remember is the relationship when storing or prolonged parking. Even if unused for a period of time this type of axle will take a set. When I bought my trailer, and it was only 3 years old, it had sat in Fl. for that period. The axle were shot with less than 1,000 miles on them. The rubber rods in the axle tubes needs to be flexed.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:12 PM   #9
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Thanks for the input. I don't think I will be doing this on a regular basis. We will continue to "levelize" using the process we usually do.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:53 PM   #10
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We use the orange levelers which are 1" each. Sometimes we will use one additional leveler on one axle to get it "just right". There is never more then 1" difference between axles.
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:06 PM   #11
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A driveway I sometimes use at home is inclined down front to rear, but level sideways. When parking there for some time I put blocks under the rear tires to level the front and rear axles, presumably to equalize the weight on each axle.

This can be tricky with standard chocks because they don't fit snug under the rear tires, so I chock the front tires and use X-chocks as well. Many options but secure chocking is important on inclined parking.
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:50 PM   #12
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Why is this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
Leveling the axles unequally is not a problem for a short period, the weekend. It is not a good idea for longer periods and the rubber in the axles will take a set over time.

With that in mind you want to store the trailer Parallel to the Ground it is stored on rather than level. If it is parked in your drive on an incline you can run the jack up or down to level it the day or so before you go out to load and start the frig.
If on inclined ground one uses different height blocks under the wheels to level the axles left to right and front to rear and the tongue jack to level the trailer front to rear it would seem that the trailer doesn't know that the ground is not level. Why then would I want to park the trailer parallel to the ground?

I think if one draws a force and moments diagram it will show that when parked parallel to inclined ground there is more weight and also lateral loads placed on the lower points than when parked on level ground.

If I'm mistaken please set me right. I need to understand this because my driveway is not level left to right or front to back and I'm leveling when I park.



Thanks,

Al
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
?..it would seem that the trailer doesn't know that the ground is not level...
Thanks,

Al
It doesn't matter to the trailer, but the fridge cares...it likes level.

I think the point is, use blocks under the axles in small increments to get the stuff level sidetoside, then use the tongue jack for fronttorear
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:18 PM   #14
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If one wheel is in a pothole, leveling the ground, i.e.: one axle, seems to make sense for a weekend camping trip... Of course it would be easier with a short to mid-length trailer to just move the unit forward or backward a couple of feet. I've never had that situation. I use the orange blocks and frequently I've found that there was two inches OFF from side to side, even on some slabs. I'd bet that the slabs were level when laid, but many seem to be laid cheaply so the slab heaves and often breaks due to tree root growth and freeze and thaw cycles.

I changed from 15 inch t 16 inch rims by lifting one axle at a time until the other one was off the ground.

I feel that it's safer to use the blocks to ramp up a wheel than have the trailer fall off of a jack (saw THAT happen once. Ugly.) In addition to the flat blocks I have the integrated chocks which can lock the wheel in a pretty secure cradle. It also feels safer to change tires with the tow vehicle hooked up.

I'd never leave one tire dangling in the air for longer than it took to change a tire or do other maintenance.

Paula
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