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Old 09-24-2005, 07:39 PM   #1
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Jacking up an Airstream

Here is how I relieve the load from the axles when parked for extended periods of time or if the campsite is not level. Pictured is the equipment needed to make the job easy. The wood rounds are used to spread the load of the screw jack on terra firma or asphalt. Without the wood base the screw jack will sink into soft ground or mar asphalt on a hot day. There is not enough room between the tires to use the screw jack lever unless you are under the Airstream so use a hydraulic jack. Raise Airstream using the hydraulic jack on a level surface ( not like the picture itís only a visual clue ) until both tires just come off the ground and adjust the screw jack centered snugly against the frame. Within seconds the axle rubber relaxes and the tires are firmly on the ground. Remove the hydraulic jack and repeat on the other side. Put down your stabilizers and your done. Each side takes only minutes to do. Remember to retract your stabilizer jacks any time you adjust the front electric jack. Failure to retract the stabilizers may damage them even if the front jack is adjusted a small amount. Donít forget to remove the jacks before you pull out.These screw jacks are very stable and will stay where set and not unscrew on their own with the weight of the Airstream on them. This method works for me, your results may vary.
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Old 09-24-2005, 08:22 PM   #2
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hi tinsel loaf

nice pictures.......so colorful and clear.

i'm not exactly sure if/why one should do this......relieving the load? once the jack is removed the weight is back on the wheels/tires and therefore the axles right? so what does this accomplish? i suppose if the trailer was parked for a very long time this might exercise the rubber but imagine it would have to be do mulitples....like real exercise.....like just driving it round the block a few times. and the trailer does settle back down to the same position/height when the jacks are removed....right? i'm not seeing how this helps with an uneven camping site, unless lifts are slid under the tires while off the ground?

also, it looks like the jack is on the frame, but the manual does suggest that there are specific "jack points" which are the only spots we should use for jacking (like to change a tire/wheel). these points are marked and near the ends on most of the trailers....i assumed the frame has been beefed up under the markers....to support lifting.

so i just wonder if you've checked with inland andy or some other air guru on this proceedure?

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-24-2005, 08:41 PM   #3
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I tried the manufacturer suggested jack points towards the rear but could not close the door when raised at those points. I remove the weight so the axel rubber does not get a memory sitting for a long time and gets most of the weight off the tires and bearings. Does it help? Maybe, maybe not, but it can't hurt. I found it is a good jacking point to do wheel service and adjust the brakes.
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Old 09-25-2005, 03:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
once the jack is removed the weight is back on the wheels/tires and therefore the axles right? so what does this accomplish? 2air'
2air, the distinction is, I believe, between the screw jack, which stays in place under the frame, and the hydraulic jack, which lifts the trailer so that the screw jack can be placed to eventually take the weight. Most of the weight is left on the screw jack, with just a little on the tires to stabilize the trailer. This is also what I do. The trailer is then left with a screw jack under each side frame. Also, this is the guru approved strong point for jacking the trailer, rather than the factory labelled parts. It is an enormous girder, clearly visible. I hope this helps.
Nick.
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Old 09-25-2005, 03:51 AM   #5
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and here is a link to Andy's explanation:
http://www.airforums.com/forum...ng+point+frame
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Old 09-25-2005, 05:15 AM   #6
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so where did you get the screw jacks from?

john
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Old 09-25-2005, 06:26 AM   #7
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For what it is worth, when I toured the Jackson Center Airstream factory, the tour guide emphatically stated that in all the years he had worked at AS only one Airstream had experienced an axel going bad. Certainly among the many units sold during his 40 years, some must have set for extended times and perhaps some were in constant use but whatever their use the system did not deteriorate.
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Old 09-25-2005, 06:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtaylor537
For what it is worth, when I toured the Jackson Center Airstream factory, the tour guide emphatically stated that in all the years he had worked at AS only one Airstream had experienced an axel going bad. Certainly among the many units sold during his 40 years, some must have set for extended times and perhaps some were in constant use but whatever their use the system did not deteriorate.
RTaylor
I would take a major exception to that statement...I have seen many, many failed axles, now by failed if he means it didn't break and fall off the trailer...okay...but my definition of failed is when it no longer meets the orginal specfications...and I know there are many, many of those axles out there...I have an 80 model sitting in my yard that the axles are shot, the trailer is gutted and the torsion arms are pointing upwards....and the top of the wheel arches are about level with the rims...

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Old 09-25-2005, 07:46 AM   #9
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I consider my old axles as failed and they sat loaded for 13 years. Prior to that the trailer was used as housing so it sat a lot then.
Andy did tell me that it was a good idea to relieve the load when storing - it will help get extra life out of them.
I am already planning on jacking my new axles for winter storage this year.

My Old Axles prior to replacing.
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Old 09-25-2005, 08:02 AM   #10
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We got very lucky with our Sovereign...it was at an RV Resort, on jack stands for 25+ years, so the axles still have plenty of life in them. You can see pictures of it, when it was still at the RV resort, on the member's pictures page.

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Old 09-25-2005, 08:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickcrowhurst
and here is a link to Andy's explanation:
http://www.airforums.com/forum...ng+point+frame
The place that Airstream identified for jacking up my 30' trailer are so far to the rear of the trailer that they are impossible to use. So, when I was at the factory for service this past July, I asked where a good point was to place the jack. The service guy told me to place the jack anywhere on the the frame, as it appears that Tinsel Loaf has done, except that he also mentioned (the same as Inland's Andy did in the link you provided) that you have to be careful to place the jack far enough in so as to not bend the C-channel on the outer edge of the frame.

John
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Old 09-25-2005, 09:49 AM   #12
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so where did you get the screw jacks from?

john
John, I got mine from Wal-Mart. They have a set of four hardened alloy stands for very little money. They are usually in the RV section, near the toilet chemicals in most stores I've been in. They are adjustable in steps, rather than with a screw, but they fit just right under the frame, with a wood pad top and bottom to spread the load. I use one each end of the axle frame on each side, total four. I use the gap between the wheels for the hydraulic jack. The trailer is then supported on 4 stands, one front hydraulic jack, 4 corner stabilizers, just touching, and 4 tires, just touching. Can't be too sure!
Nick.
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Old 09-25-2005, 11:17 AM   #13
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I bought the jacks from McMaster Carr, Inc. Los Angeles, California.
Just a note: I noticed the photo’s makes the frame look like it is slightly bent where the jack is placed. This is not the case. I put a straight edge on it and it is not stressed, The frame is perfectly straight. The shape of the belly pan and the dark paint from the jack head gives it that impression through the lens of the camera. I hoped the pictures helped.
Remember your results may vary.
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Old 09-25-2005, 01:47 PM   #14
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sometimes slow on the up take......

thanks nick,

that makes more sense to me and now, rereading the first post i see this distinction.

so far the 34 hasn't nested in one spot for more than 2 weeks, with 10k miles towing since new in april.....now this winter i might "settle" in one southern locale.....guess i'll look into this.

also i'd like to lift the side for tire rotation....and jacking near the middle seemed logical, while contrary to the book.

regards
2air'


Quote:
Originally Posted by nickcrowhurst
2air, the distinction is, I believe, between the screw jack, which stays in place under the frame, and the hydraulic jack, which lifts the trailer so that the screw jack can be placed to eventually take the weight. Most of the weight is left on the screw jack, with just a little on the tires to stabilize the trailer. .
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