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Old 03-18-2013, 11:35 PM   #1
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Jacking-up a Fifth Wheel

I recently took delivery on a Jayco Eagle HT fifth wheel. I want to balance the wheels, and have been told different things about jack placement. Some say to place the jack under the axle, others say to jack it up by placing the jack under the frame only. Looking for input on which way is the proper jack placement.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:48 AM   #2
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Skip the jack, consider picking up a Trailer Aid. It makes wheel maintenance easy.

The only drawback is that a tow vehicle is required.

Amazon Link
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
I recently took delivery on a Jayco Eagle HT fifth wheel. I want to balance the wheels, and have been told different things about jack placement. Some say to place the jack under the axle, others say to jack it up by placing the jack under the frame only. Looking for input on which way is the proper jack placement.
Take the time to read the owners manual that came with your unit. Section 4-4 specifically addresses how Jayco wants it done.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:01 AM   #4
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I've read different things. I think most trailer and axle manufacturers say to jack up by the trailer frame only. But that's not exactly what I do.

1) If I just want to get one wheel up off the ground, driving the other wheel up on blocks of some kind (or a device like the afore mentioned Trailer Aid) works well.

2) Also, if I just want to get one wheel up off the ground I will put a bottle jack on the spring plate close to the end of the axle and jack up the wheel just enough to get it clear of the ground.

3) But, if I want to get both wheels up off the ground on the same side of the trailer I'll jack up on the frame (takes a good jack and likely lots of blocking).

When you are jacking up a fifth wheel, leave the trailer attached to your truck if possible and definitely use good wheel chocks and do not get under the trailer unless you have the frame supported on strong jack stands. Trailers do fall and kill people.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:53 PM   #5
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RVhiker and the others have it nailed, especially about not getting under the unit. Elsewhere on this forum there is mention of some kind soul who was trying to help a CG neighbor, got under, and then the landing gear suddenly gave way, crushing the man to death. Anyway, Trailer Aid works really well for one wheel at a time, and when I want both wheels on the same side off at the same time, the jacks go directly under the spring plates, in between the spring u-bolt nuts. One jack per axle. And definitely Never never jack the unit up anywhere near the center of the axle - it will bend and throw your alignment out.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:47 PM   #6
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Thank You to bad99ram....owners manual states, "place the jack under the main frame rail. It must be just ahead of the front tire or just behind the rear tire" I wish I had thought to refer to the owners manual. DUH!
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:58 PM   #7
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Since how to jack up a trailer is both a safety and warranty issue (since Jayco says to jack only by the frame) I'd like to make another comment.

In the case of a bad tire discovered while driving, I'd slow down and get off the road to as protected an area as possible that is reasonably close, and maybe decide to slowly drive with only one "good" tire on one side until I found such a spot - accepting the idea that maybe that "good" tire may be damaged, too, due to being overloaded.

When I find that protected spot, it may be on a slant, hill and/or on soft dirt. With the equipment I carry (a bottle jack and various blocks) jacking up the trailer by the frame could be extremely hazardous due to soft dirt or a slant or hill (the danger being due to how high up the frame is, soft ground giving way, and stack of blocks failing due to a slant or hill). In such a case, I'll either jack up at the end of the axle only until the tire is high enough to get off, or I'll drive the good wheel up on blocks to get the bad wheel up off the ground. For me, safety trumps whatever Jayco or Dexter says. I have found - as I think most have - an axle jacked up at the end just to raise a tire up off the ground does not damage the axle.

Everybody should figure out exactly what they're comfortable doing in the case of a tire failure, as I can guarantee that eventually a trailer tire will fail, maybe in the worst possible place.
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:50 PM   #8
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X2, RVhiker. Even though the manual says to use the frame, I don't see how there is any way to bend or otherwise damage the axle by jacking directly under the spring plate, considering that is exactly where all the weight is concentrated when the unit is on its wheels. And you nailed it on the soft ground and high frame creating a potential safety hazard due to tall blocks or long jack travel if they slip or give way. IMHO, if you are uncomfortable jacking under the spring plate in this circumstance, the best way would be to use a Trailer Aid. There can be no warranty issues with that method.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:15 PM   #9
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I always lift by the spring plates. I would never use one of those trailer aids. I do not like the idea of them. When you raise up one axle until the other axle is off the ground, you just put two axles of weight on ONE axle. Not a good idea to me.
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:52 AM   #10
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I have a Trailer Aid, but it won't get the tires on our 321RLTS off the ground. Is it ok to block underneath the Trailer Aid??
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