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Old 07-22-2003, 07:32 AM   #1
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Not stable enough

No matter how hard I try I can't seem to get our double axle 31' Limited stable enough for the wife. I use 2x6 to level sideways drop the front a bit ,lower the rear jacks, raise the front a bit to much, then lower the front jacks and drop the front. Then I place a small car scissor jack between the duals on each side and open them with a wrench. You would think that a 7 to 8 thousand pound rig would be like the rock of Gibralter but it still has some movement.
Are we to fussy or am I missing a step?
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Old 07-22-2003, 07:52 AM   #2
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The stability of the coach when levelled depends on several factors. It sounds like you're doing everything right. Do you notice a difference on how stable it is on concrete, a crushed rock base, or soil? Does it move more the longer it's been in place?

Perhaps these hints might help.

Unless I'm levelling the trailer on a concrete pad, I always use 2x8x12 boards under the stabilizer jacks (I don't bother on concrete). Additionally, on soil or softly packed crushed rock, after the trailer has been set for a few hours, and we've walked around in it, I'll tighten the jacks again, as the soil tends to compress and allows the trailer to flex and bounce. Just be careful not to flex the entire structure of the trailer with the stabilizer jacks as it will make closing your door difficult or impossible.


Roger
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Old 07-22-2003, 07:55 AM   #3
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I didn't know you were supposed to go to such great lengths to deploy the stabilizer jacks. I just crank them down until they're firmly planted on the ground.....that's it. I'd be afraid of using the jack, because you can't feel the pressure that you're putting on the jacks if you do that.....would be too easy to over-stress them. Anyway, I don't notice any movement in the trailer when the jacks are deployed. But then again, my trailer is alot smaller than yours, and it is possible that you are being too sensitive, too
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Old 07-22-2003, 07:59 AM   #4
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Using your method you are placing a load on the jacks which they are not designed to carry. Level your trailer using the hitch jack, then drop the front and rear stabilizers so they make firm contact with the ground, without raising the trailer.

I put a Lynx Leveler block under each jack pad which gives the stabilizer a little extra base and firmness.

Jack
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Old 07-22-2003, 09:40 AM   #5
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Yes we could be too sensitive. Although we have been in AS trailers that seemed more stable than ours. I do not use blocks as big as you suggest. I will try that immediately. I have got to the point of making the door difficult to close and had to readjust. I also will try just dropping the jacks when the trailer is level. I use a cordless drill to raise and lower the jacks then finish them with a crank.
The flipper handle on the outside of the door is badly cracked. Apparently the parts are no longer available. I have taken the whole assembly apart and have it working smoothly now but may have to manufacture a new out side handle in the near future.
Thanks for the stabilizeing ideas.
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Old 07-22-2003, 09:58 AM   #6
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While at the midwest rally, Jack pointed out to me the correct torque settings for the stabil jacks. Yes there is still some play, but remember that the bulk of the weight is still on the tires and axle so there will still be some slight movement no matter how well you stabil the Airstream.

Roger is right on with soft ground. Even with blocks under the jack pads, it still can crunch down and need readjusting.

Eric
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Old 07-22-2003, 10:01 AM   #7
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Jack is correct. Not only are you stressing the jacks, but the whole trailer as well until you get the scissors jacks lifting the trailer at the axles.

Get the trailer level side to side by pulling it onto boards or blocks.

Chock the unlifted side with chocks on the ground, and the lifted side with one of those between the tire expanding chocks. Having the trailer tires chocked firmly front and rear contributes a lot to stability.

Unhitch the tow vehicle if you're going to, then level the trailer with the tongue jack, on a block if necessary.

THEN put the stabilizer jacks down, on blocks if necessary, only until they just touch without a lot of pressure. When the cordless drill stalls that's more than enough. They aren't designed to bear a load, only to keep the four corners of the trailer from bouncing when someone's walking around in it.

Roger's right about going back and adding a LITTLE more tension once the jack feet have compacted soil a bit from walking around in the trailer.
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Old 07-22-2003, 10:05 AM   #8
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Are you using some sort of wheel locks/chocks.

When we had our trailers I found that they made a HUGE difference in how the trialer felt. Rock solid with, kind wobbley without.

There is a type that goes between the wheeels and has a flip down handle. I would use one per side on a tri-axle, locking the same wheels on both sides.

One other question, Is your water tank at least 50% full? The bounce you feel could just be that you have great axles and there is so little weight in the trailer so the suspension has more give due to being un-compressed.
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Old 07-22-2003, 10:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by chuck
I just crank them down until they're firmly planted on the ground.....that's it. I'd be afraid of using the jack, because you can't feel the pressure that you're putting on the jacks if you do that.....would be too easy to over-stress them.
AND... I misread your initial post Kajendo... I read it that you leveled the trailer front to back with the tongue jack, THEN deployed the stabilizer jacks... that is, as has been pointed out, the correct way to deploy them. My error, and I appologize for any confusion! All of the other posts are correct in that you can overload your stabilizers with the tongue jack. And, of course, you level the trailer side to side with blocks, either wood or the plastic 'Lego' type.

Roger
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Old 07-22-2003, 10:25 AM   #10
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Wheel chocks are a must!

Eric
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Old 07-22-2003, 11:16 AM   #11
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I use a pair of aluminum Camper World screw jacks on the rear frame ends on my Overlander. I put them in after I am leveled and have all my BAL jacks down tight. I don't screw them up too tight, that could stress the shell, just enough to get the bounce out of the rear end. It makes a lot of difference. My rear BAL's are just behind the rear tires, too far forward to give much stability to the rear end. I guess they put them there to keep from getting dragged off or something. I would like to move them back some, maybe that is the ultimate fix?

Chas
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Old 07-22-2003, 01:31 PM   #12
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When down at the "homecoming", I plan on having them install a pair of front mounted jacks like there are on the back. Jack, Rodger and others pointed out to me that Airstream and other reputable places (Fogdall) can install these and to me having a Bambi with a bit tight storage, every little thing I can do helps!

Eric
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