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Old 05-23-2016, 08:14 PM   #1
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How much tension on stabilizer jacks?

I've done some searches but got a bit overwhelmed trying to sort out where I might find what I am looking for. Question - how "tight" should I screw down the stabilizer jacks on my trailer? I know it's a subjective response but I was warned not to use them for leveling, which I don't, so perhaps I am being overly cautious in how much tension I put on them. I find that at the end of the day a couple of them may actually be loose and need another turn to get them tight again. I don't want to bend the frame but want to get as much sway as I can out of the trailer. I've started looking at the numerous stabilizer options listed here and may end up getting one. It's not bad re sway but my wife is asking if it can be a bit more stable than it is. Can I torque them down tight to the ground without causing damage? I know the longer they travel to the ground the more sway.
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Old 05-23-2016, 08:36 PM   #2
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I level side to side with wheel blocks and then front to rear with the front tongue jack. Once that is done I set the corner jacks to perfectively center the bubble on the rear of the TT and then do the same on the front. I apply enough tension to tighten the frame adding a crank or two on side showing a fraction of a bubble low. If the bubble is perfect I tighten both sides equally to a tension where the crank is firm. Usually this needs to be further tightened the next morning especially if not set up on pavement. Keep in mind these jacks are stabilizers not actual lifting jacks. The TTweight is still sitting on the axle springs. The balancing maneuver I utilizes simply transfers a little weight from one side to the other and is only used to adjust a small fraction of the bubble. You should be able to get pretty close to a dead center side to side balance with a combination of blocks of varying thickness. As far as how much tension, I start out with what an 18v drill will deliver all the way around and then adjust from there.
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Old 05-23-2016, 09:07 PM   #3
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Like bassdogs, I use the drill to lower the jacks onto wooden blocks and then tighten with the crank about 1 more turn. Then, after running out the slide, my non-slide side jacks have loosened and I tighten them again with the drill and 1 more turn with the crank.

Even if you tightened the stabilizer jacks MUCH TOO TIGHT (I'm not sure what ' torque them down tight to the ground' means to you), you will still have trailer movement.

Trailer movement can be reduced a bit by using blocks under the jacks so the jacks are not extended as far; that helps a bit. I, and others, added x-chocks (mine are Camco brand) between the tires and those helped reduce movement a lot more than expected. There is still movement, but the DW and I are OK with it. In the quest to stop the trailer from moving, some folks add diagonal bracing ('Strong Arm' is one brand) between the jacks and some install two more stabilizer jacks near the center of the trailer frame.

I hope this helps a bit. Trailer movement is normal. It's a personal thing to determine how much movement is OK.
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Old 05-23-2016, 09:37 PM   #4
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I just went outside and gave them each a bit more tension. Much better - not much sway or bounce at all now. I do have screw chocks between the wheels on both sides. Did you say you tighten them as much as your cordless drill can deliver and then a bit more? I don't go near that tight. I use the cordless drill to simply get them to the ground faster then barely tight with the drill. I give them a bit of a turn by hand to finish off. The frame "creaks" just a bit which has been my signal to stop.
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Old 05-23-2016, 09:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzhou View Post
I just went outside and gave them each a bit more tension. Much better - not much sway or bounce at all now....snip
I'd say you've won!

Regarding my cordless drill: It moves the stabilizers fast, but I don't believe it has much torque. All I really use it for is to get the jacks down to contact the wood much faster than I can do by hand. After that, I use the crank for an additional turn.
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:26 PM   #6
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These responses sound spot on, in my opinion, on how to operate the scissor jacks.

Well... except for the drill part I guess. I dont know what brand drill you guy's are using, but I am pretty sure mine would just keep raising the trailer until the scissor jack was topped out... unless I put the clutch setting on a ridiculously low number. I just use it to get them down to the blocking and once I hear creaking I stop. From there I adjust with the handheld crank handle if needed.
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:27 PM   #7
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If you really want your trailer to be solid spend $80 and do what I did.

https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=28130

Works amazingly well, virtually eliminates any side to side movement.

From my Note 5
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by blderman View Post
If you really want your trailer to be solid spend $80 and do what I did.

https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=28130

Works amazingly well, virtually eliminates any side to side movement.

From my Note 5
Well that is an awesome idea! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 05-24-2016, 08:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olyelr View Post
These responses sound spot on, in my opinion, on how to operate the scissor jacks.

Well... except for the drill part I guess. I dont know what brand drill you guy's are using, but I am pretty sure mine would just keep raising the trailer until the scissor jack was topped out... unless I put the clutch setting on a ridiculously low number. I just use it to get them down to the blocking and once I hear creaking I stop. From there I adjust with the handheld crank handle if needed.
What drill are you using? Mine is a 18v Hitachi with more torque than any of the other drills I have owned. It will take the brace to the ground block and get a slight rise in that corner but that's it. Others have reported a similar result. I did some research a couple years ago when I sought input in upgrading to a new cordless. The Hitachi was highly recommended.
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Old 05-24-2016, 10:29 AM   #10
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I might look at that drill. For now I simply have my black and decker 20V cordless and agree, it would crank the thing far too tight unless I put it on one of clutch settings, which I might do since it's an extra I had in my shop. Something smaller that only has enough torque for the job might be worth picking up. Will think on it but if what I have works then I may not want to over think it at this point. With the bit of extra tension last night and both wheel chocks in I seem to be stable enough for now.
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