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Old 10-03-2018, 03:22 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by castolon View Post
A tire going flat will not overload anything. YMMV.
I beg to differ. No-one should be worried about overloading the jack (and who cares about breaking a $30 scissor jack, anyway), but your trailer frame is not designed to be supported from the corners - hold it up on the jacks alone and the frame is very likely to bend.

That's why you never want to use the stabilizer jacks for changing a wheel. (Not because you might break the jack!)
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Old 10-03-2018, 04:30 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by rush0001 View Post
I beg to differ. No-one should be worried about overloading the jack (and who cares about breaking a $30 scissor jack, anyway), but your trailer frame is not designed to be supported from the corners - hold it up on the jacks alone and the frame is very likely to bend.
That's why you never want to use the stabilizer jacks for changing a wheel. (Not because you might break the jack!)

Well, you might have a point. However, evidence to the contrary does not support that concern.


If such were the case, supporting the unit only by the tongue jack would place enormous strain on a much longer moment arm, axle(s) to hitch, than would any other point on the frame.


In this case, the entire weight of the forward frame rests on a single point, with lengthy bending forces at work. I'm not aware anyone ever has reported a frame bending from that application in a static, parked situation.


Additionally, the same situation exists to a much greater degree when towing, and is exacerbated by continuous frame flexing due to road conditions and pitching motion in general. This belies a concern that frame damage could occur from applying forces greater than mere stabilization to a corner.


Notably, the Jayco owner's manual I have says this about stabilizer jacks:


Quote:
WARNING
DO NOT USE THE STABILIZER JACKS TO LEVEL THE RV. It is important
to remember that the stabilizer jacks are to be used only for support while occupying and moving around the RV. They are not designed to support the weight of the RV. (emphasis mine)
Now, any person researching jack specifications knows the last sentence to be utterly and completely false as mechanical strength is not at issue. I suggest this is a liability dodge by Jacyo rather than an engineering concern. Notice that the warning applies only to the jack, not to the frame (and thus not to any potential damage to the frame). The clear message that we are to accept is that a jack will be damaged, nothing else is implied (and Jayco leaves little to the imagination about things they don't approve of).


Were it otherwise, Jayco would have included a specific point about that, as they do for numerous other things involving freezing, animal/insect damage, wind damage, etc., etc.


I am not advocating using a stabilizer to level. Using them to substantially level a unit (say beyond a half bubble or so) indicates a lack of understanding about how to get a unit reasonably level while initially parking it.
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Old 10-03-2018, 05:17 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by castolon View Post
Well, you might have a point. However, evidence to the contrary does not support that concern.


If such were the case, supporting the unit only by the tongue jack would place enormous strain on a much longer moment arm, axle(s) to hitch, than would any other point on the frame.


In this case, the entire weight of the forward frame rests on a single point, with lengthy bending forces at work. I'm not aware anyone ever has reported a frame bending from that application in a static, parked situation.

Our "guest house" at Camp is a 54 year old travel trailer. The jacks are old and not attached to the frame, thus manual adjustments are needed.

The trailer's frame is quite rusty.

Over Winter the ground freezes and the level goes bad. Every Spring I have to pull the jacks and readjust. I level it with the tongue jack, then put in the 4 stabilizer jacks and crank them up real tight.

With only the tongue jack, I can't get the door open because the frame bends. With all 4 stabilizer jacks all is good.
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Old 10-03-2018, 08:23 PM   #24
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@castolon as you wish, I am not going to argue with you.

@OP as a newish RVer I was also interested in this question. I think what I have taken away is:
If you are putting it in long-term storage and are not going to look at it again until the Spring (and you are concerned about bending the frame), then leave the stabilizers up. If you are parking it in your driveway and might want to get in and out during the winter, then you might want to put them down. Either way, parking the tires on a couple of pieces of plywood is not going to hurt.
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Old 10-07-2018, 09:26 AM   #25
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Winter Storage

I keep ours up in case of frost heaves. This way the trailer shifts on the axle and not the frame.
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:36 AM   #26
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Does anyone use one or two of the plastic leveling squares under each tire for this? Was thinking of doing this instead of wooden boards since I have a set of the plastic squares. Any downside?
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Old 10-07-2018, 04:46 PM   #27
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Would it make sense to put the trailer up on blocks I wonder? Then there's no strain on the tires all winter. Just a thought.
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Old 10-07-2018, 05:00 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by gypsmjim View Post
Our "guest house" at Camp is a 54 year old travel trailer. The jacks are old and not attached to the frame, thus manual adjustments are needed.
HAHA! With a trailer that old, the frame is probably heavy duty. A lot of the modern trailers have light frame components which are likely engineered to put weight on the axles rather than where jacks could be used to lift the weight off of the tires.
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Old 10-07-2018, 06:22 PM   #29
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The only reason they tell you not to use the jacks to level the trailer is because of the weak attachment point to the frame. This type of jack doesn’t do well with side force (like wind). Get the tires airborne and the jacks will easily fold over.
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