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Old 04-28-2016, 08:26 AM   #1
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1994 Jay series saftey concerns and more.

Just purchased a 1994 Jay series 1207.In decent shape I think.It needed a good cleaning inside and out.So scrubbed down the out side and pressure washed it before setting it up.Good news was it survived the pressure washing and no leaks.

Set it up in my building to start cleaning the canvas and inside of camper.Here are a few of my saftey concerns.That have left me a bit discouraged.

1.There are no saftey plates that slip over the lift supports!I would not want to be in this thing if it decided to come down.I know Jayco does not think there needed.But I feel it does and it being 22 years old I am going to come up with something like many other brands have.Maybe angle iron to slip in place?Any suggestions?

2.I guess its normal for the sides to move side to side when you push against them.After all that roof weight and the AC unit to one side rather then in center of roof being held up with cables and four corner lift pieces.You would think the lift pieces would have a locking pin ones its up.There not holding any weight.Again no saftey plates and as it moves I think what if it fell down?I guess it would be quick.But it would be painfull.No way would I sleep in this thing in a storm or stong winds.Plan to add ground anchors and rope or ratchet straps to my camping supplies.To tie off to the roof corners.If there predicting a storm blowing in.

3.Pull out bed bunks.There held up with those tiny poles?I would not sleep far out on the bunk.Maybe on the edge on the inside.I am 6'4 280 pounds.Any one added extra support?Possibly made of 2x4's one across the botton of the bunk and one coming down.Like a T shape?One of those poles is already slightly bent from the previous owner.Told my wife she gets one bed and I get the other.To lighten the load.

4.I will be pulling the camper with my GMC Colarado.I need mirror extenders.Because I can not see to make lane changes and left turns would be a problem.The AC unit also blocks rear view mirror sight.Found a set I might order from E trailer KS3891 unless someone has a better solution.Do not really want my chrome scratched on my truck mirrors attaching an extender mirror to it however.But do not want to cause a wreck either.

5.My camper has surge brakes.I did not even know this until I went to hook it up to bring it home.My little truck pulls it fine and stoping seems to be OK.But I do not know if the surge brakes are working?According to the sales man who helped me hook it up to my truck.When I slow down to stop the trailer brakes apply to brake the trailer?I have no trouble stopping but can not tell if the camper it braking or not?

Any helpful hints on any of these 5 saftey concerns would sure make me feel better.Both while in the camper and while on the road.
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Old 04-28-2016, 09:47 PM   #2
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OK and maybe not!
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:56 AM   #3
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As far as #1 and #3 I wouldn't worry about either. I had a 1988 Jayco 1208 prior to my current unit and I'm assuming it's the same system for the roof and the bunk supports on your trailer. Mine was 26 years old when we sold it and the lift system worked perfectly. I've never heard of a unit collapsing because the lift system failed. If it gets hit by a falling tree or has 5 feet of snow on it sure it's probably going to come down but during normal use I wouldn't imagine it ever falling. As for the bunk supports I've also never heard of one collapsing. People have been sleeping on the same system held up by the same poles for years now. If yours is bent I suspect it was abused in some way. I'd replace it and not overthink either of these things. The only thing I would be worried about is wood rot where the lift arms attach to the roof and where the bunk ends attach to the trailer (as well as the floor of the bunk end itself). If everything is solid don't worry about it.

As for #2 the thing won't survive a hurricane or a tornado but it will survive higher winds then you'd imagine. We also had made a tie down kit in case of severe weather but never used it. My thought was always if the weather was going to be that bad that it could knock over the trailer we'd put it down and either find a hotel or head home. We never needed to do either one during all those years of camping. Worst wind damage we ever had was when we lost our awning to a mid day wind storm while we were out. The trailer was fine.

As for #4 I have those same mirrors and can't recommend them enough. For the price they are really hard to beat. One of the few things nowadays where you feel like you got more than you paid for. They do vibrate a bit while driving but I don't need to read the license plate of the car next to me, I only need to know its there.

#5, it can be hard to tell if surge brakes are working. Unlike electric there is no way to manually activate them without also activating the TV brakes. When the TV slows the trailer "pushes" in to the TV hitch. The trailer coupler pivots and has a hydraulic actuator inside and when it pushes against the TV the pivoting action happens and the actuator in the tongue is compressed. The actuator sends brake fluid to the wheel cylinders to apply the brakes. To see if they work I'd start by disassembling them and inspecting them. If all looks good jack up one side of the trailer, spin the wheel, and have someone actuate the coupler. You can do that easier by disconnecting the drawbar from your truck and locking the ball on your trailer. You can then use the extra leverage provided by the drawbar to apply the brakes. If they stop while spinning you know they work. If you want to adjust them that's pretty easy and there's plenty of instructions online.

Hope all this helps you.
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdlx277 View Post
snip...
5.My camper has surge brakes.I did not even know this until I went to hook it up to bring it home.My little truck pulls it fine and stoping seems to be OK.But I do not know if the surge brakes are working?According to the sales man who helped me hook it up to my truck.When I slow down to stop the trailer brakes apply to brake the trailer?I have no trouble stopping but can not tell if the camper it braking or not? ...snip.
IIRC, YEARS ago my dad rented a TT with surge brakes. Whenever he backed up an incline, like backing up our driveway, the trailer brakes would apply (because the TT was pushing the TV). He had to wedge something in the mechanism to stop the brakes from applying in those situations.
My point: If there was an out-of-way place to try backing uphill, it may be a quick test of the surge brakes.
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Old 04-29-2016, 02:20 PM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions it helps set my mind at ease.I will test the brakes and see if there working.I went on a shopping trip and came home with things I plan to use to help ease my concerns.Here is my list and plans to do with them.

1.I got 4 pieces of 1'' angle iron 48'' long.I will paint them so they will not rust.I will slip them over the lift supports and use some type of straps to secure them from falling out.Maybe tie straps and just cut them off when done.Might even dip the ends in that plastic stuff like they use on pliers and cresent wrenches

2.I checked my side to side sway and it is only about 1'' maybe a little more of movement.From what I have been reading thats normal?But to set my mind at ease.If a storm comes up.I got a set of four auger screw in the ground anchors and some rope and I have plenty of ratchet straps I could use to secure it.There is some sort of bike rack rail or something like that on my roof.I could tie off from.Could tie to the bottom of a tree.Or even my truck for one side.I know I know do not forget and take off.

3.Found the KS3891 mirror at Farm&Fleet it fits my truck well.Have not taken it for a road test or adjusted it to see yet.But it fits like a glove.So will get a second one before my first camping trip.Does not look to awful on my truck either.

4.I got four cargo bars the kind that rachet.That many use in the truck beds.At Harbor freight and cut a few pieces of 12''x12'' ply wood to slip between the bottom of the bunk and the cargo bar rubber foot.My thought is to place one end of the cargo bar on the ground and the other end against the bottom of the bunk.I was thinking 2 for each bunk.Just place on ground and up against bottom of bunk and ratchet just enough that it will stay.Might relieve the pressure on the factory poles a little?

Will check the wood a little more.But every thing so far seems to be in good shape.
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Old 04-29-2016, 02:58 PM   #6
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When we had a pop-up we bought these: Buy Pop Up Popup Camper Trailer Support Post Safety Braces Lift & Roof Brace Parts motorcycle in Salisbury, Maryland, US, for US $50.00
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Old 04-29-2016, 05:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmanAZ View Post
IIRC, YEARS ago my dad rented a TT with surge brakes. Whenever he backed up an incline, like backing up our driveway, the trailer brakes would apply (because the TT was pushing the TV). He had to wedge something in the mechanism to stop the brakes from applying in those situations.
My point: If there was an out-of-way place to try backing uphill, it may be a quick test of the surge brakes.
There's a good chance that jdlx277's trailer has free backing drum brakes which will not engage in reverse.
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Old 04-29-2016, 06:07 PM   #8
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My FIL has a boat trailer with surge brakes, and the only way I can tell they are working is that I don't feel the truck being pushed as I slow down. Not sure whether or not your trailer is heavy enough for you to feel that push though. As howlin4you noted, if you have the free wheeling drums the backing test won't work - I can't test the boat trailer for that very reason
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:12 PM   #9
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I have only pulled it home a short distance so far.But my little truck did not seem to be braking any harder at the stop sighns.However I was taking it easy and slowed before the stops.

Have been working on my saftey concerns.The 48'' angle irons fit niclely.Then the covers still go around them.So there consealed I added a plastic zip tie not snug to hold them in place.Just lift the zip tie and pull them out from the bottom.

Added the cargo bars 2 on the front bunk and 1 on the back.Climbed into the bunks and gave them a weight test.No problems there everything is firm and stable.

Took the truck for a mirror test and all is well with that.Will probably get another mirror for the passenger side.

Its my wifes turn she is cleaning the inside.Removed the curtains to try to wash.If they still look bad.She will make new ones.
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