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Old 09-22-2011, 10:51 AM   #1
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1974 25' Tradewind
Bardon , Queensland
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 27
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Help leveling a permanent install on unleveled ground

Hi all,

I installing an 1974 Tradewind at our property. It will stay in the same same spot for a number of years as a office / studio.

The site we have chosen is one of the most level spots on the property but it still falls about 3/4 foot to 1 foot from bumper to hitch with aft being the higher ground.

Being a permanent installation, I'm not overly concerned with future drivability thought when it has to be towed out eventually, we need to be able to do that - but it doesn't need to be roadworthy as such. In fact, we are in Australia and it can't be legally towed without some compliance work anyway. We bought it from port to the site on a flatbed truck.

My questions are:
1. What is the best method for leveling? Stands or chocking up the wheels? I have laid a gravel pad and and I'm thinking of using concrete pavers to level it straight under the wheels which sounds more stable. Or given the long install, are stands better? If concrete blocks are OK, can I jack it up and slide them under? Should I jack the hitch / tongue or is the standard hitch jack OK?

2. How do I stop it rolling down the (slight) hill? If it is on the wheels, I imagine chocks at the wheels are the best way to go. Taking that approach, would I then need to leave it attached to the tow vehicle while leveling?

Any help greatly appreciated.

PS check out the blog Australian Airstream Trailer

Thanks.
Matt.
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:38 AM   #2
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Personally, I would put it up on blocks. Most of the weight should be supported by the tongue and under the wheel attachment locations. You could put blocks just in front of and just to the rear of the wheels. You can also put jacks to stabilize the rear end. There should be existing leveling jacks you could put blocks there as well and just forward of the bumper. The frame rails that the axels attach to go all the way to the bumper. You want some sort of wood between the blocks and the trailer so you don't damage the under skin and be careful you stay under the beams or you will go right through the skin. Stay away from holding tank locations that are metal boxes that hang below the belly skin.

Perry
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:41 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by mattmorphett View Post
Hi all,

I installing an 1974 Tradewind at our property. It will stay in the same same spot for a number of years as a office / studio.

The site we have chosen is one of the most level spots on the property but it still falls about 3/4 foot to 1 foot from bumper to hitch with aft being the higher ground.

Being a permanent installation, I'm not overly concerned with future drivability thought when it has to be towed out eventually, we need to be able to do that - but it doesn't need to be roadworthy as such. In fact, we are in Australia and it can't be legally towed without some compliance work anyway. We bought it from port to the site on a flatbed truck.

My questions are:
1. What is the best method for leveling? Stands or chocking up the wheels? I have laid a gravel pad and and I'm thinking of using concrete pavers to level it straight under the wheels which sounds more stable. Or given the long install, are stands better? If concrete blocks are OK, can I jack it up and slide them under? Should I jack the hitch / tongue or is the standard hitch jack OK?

2. How do I stop it rolling down the (slight) hill? If it is on the wheels, I imagine chocks at the wheels are the best way to go. Taking that approach, would I then need to leave it attached to the tow vehicle while leveling?

Any help greatly appreciated.

PS check out the blog Australian Airstream Trailer

Thanks.
Matt.
To make sure the trailer is "level" you should place a small level in the bottom of the freezer.

That will assure you that the reefer will work properly, as it "must" be level, and the trailer does not.

Andy
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:23 PM   #4
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1974 25' Tradewind
Bardon , Queensland
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 27
Images: 5
Thanks Andy and Perry.

Perry, what I was thinking about was one inch high concrete pavers acting as large shims under the wheels on either side to get a level but what you are talking about is higher blocks that would sit between ground and chassis rails. Is that right? Is the benefit of your approach that it would leave the axle unsprung - as it were?

...whereas my original idea of pavers under the wheels would mean much of the weight is carried by the suspension, axles and tyres.

Is consesus that it is a bad idea to let those components carry the weight in a permanant installation for a long time?

Thanks.
Matt.
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mattmorphett View Post
Thanks Andy and Perry.

Perry, what I was thinking about was one inch high concrete pavers acting as large shims under the wheels on either side to get a level but what you are talking about is higher blocks that would sit between ground and chassis rails. Is that right? Is the benefit of your approach that it would leave the axle unsprung - as it were?

...whereas my original idea of pavers under the wheels would mean much of the weight is carried by the suspension, axles and tyres.

Is consesus that it is a bad idea to let those components carry the weight in a permanant installation for a long time?

Thanks.
Matt.
Assuming that your axles rubber rods still have some life left, the majority of the weight must be removed from the axles. That will help save what life may still be in those rubber oods.

If the weight stays on those rods, for an extended period of time, it will destroy those rods, no matter what brand the torsion axles may be.

Andy
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Old 09-22-2011, 05:16 PM   #6
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Look under any permanantly installed house trailer or even a house with a crawl space and you will see stacks of Congrete (cinder blocks) under the main beams. It is also a good idea to anchor the trailer to the ground with the screw in anchors that they use to hook telephone pole guy wires to. In Florida all trailers have to be anchored in this way. I don't know what sort of winds you have down under but they can carry a trailer away real fast. Think Airstream Kite here or maybe blimp.

Perry
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