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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  Modifications and Accessories

 > Best stabilization upgrade(s)?

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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 05/03/21 12:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

the e-man wrote:

We are working through the same issue. Too much movement in a longer travel trailer. Thanks for the suggestions so far - looks like I have a few more things to try.

Here is what we have tested so far.

Hush Pad under jack stand. It's a nice thick pad. But it didn't decrease motion significantly.

Stabilizer jack pads. These are nice. Provide some protection for the scissor jacks from the ground. But they didn't decrease motion significantly.

New chocks. Ours were old. Trying a new set. They are plastic but don't interlock with the leveling blocks. Motion increased as it is hard to secure these on the side where blocks are in place.

Super Grip Chock. These are placed between the wheels similar to an X Chock. This did reduce some of the motion and we are happy with the improvement. As others have mentioned, we use these in conjunction with regular chocks.


Your wasting a lot of money and time.

Instead of buying bunches of gimmicks, try a cheap set of car jacks (hydraulic or scissor) located near the center point of your trailer as a test. For testing purposes, you do not need matching jacks, you can use what you have. Once you put jacks under the center point, you want to adjust them tight enough to take some of the downward movement when walking or moving around in the trailer. You do not need to lift the trailer off the wheels.

If this helps, buy a couple of low cost $20 auto scissor jacks for the center support. You want to use the screw type scissor jacks, not hydraulic since hydraulic jacks often will creep down over time.

31 feet is a lot of space to not have "supported" by something solid and what is happening is the tires and springs are, well springing as they were designed.

In essence the frame is flexing or bending and that sends waves of movement all through the trailer. Tires and springs are not solid, they are designed to flex and the longer the trailer you have the more flex you will get unless you put something solid in place to reduce the weight on the tires and springs.

To reduce (you cannot fully eliminate) the flex you must have something solid between the other end supports.

Instead of having 30 ft between the stabilizers you cut that to 15 ft, now you only have 15ft of span that can flex or bounce which will reduce bounce and movement to a tolerable level.

TFin04

Michigan

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Posted: 05/03/21 01:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks guys, I think I will try a couple of the aluminum jack stands in the center of the trailer and see how that does. I know it's never going to be perfect, just looking for a bit of improvement. That seems the like easiest and cheapest place to start.

Thanks!

GrandpaKip

Flat Rock

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Posted: 05/03/21 03:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yosemite Sam1 wrote:

the e-man wrote:



Here is what we have tested so far.

Hush Pad under jack stand. It's a nice thick pad. But it didn't decrease motion significantly.

Stabilizer jack pads. These are nice. Provide some protection for the scissor jacks from the ground. But they didn't decrease motion significantly.

New chocks. Ours were old. Trying a new set. They are plastic but don't interlock with the leveling blocks. Motion increased as it is hard to secure these on the side where blocks are in place.

Super Grip Chock. These are placed between the wheels similar to an X Chock. This did reduce some of the motion and we are happy with the improvement. As others have mentioned, we use these in conjunction with regular chocks.


To prevent bouncing motion, you have to put enough tension buy raising the trailer on the jacks to the point that it is not resting totally on the tires.

This is not a good idea for most trailers. They are not designed to be lifted from the ends. Those are not jacks, they are stabilizers. Even though my BAL stabilizers are rated for 6k pounds each, I certainly wouldn’t try to raise the tires with them. Real danger of doing the frame serious harm.


Kip
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Yosemite Sam1

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Posted: 05/04/21 09:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GrandpaKip wrote:


This is not a good idea for most trailers. They are not designed to be lifted from the ends. Those are not jacks, they are stabilizers. Even though my BAL stabilizers are rated for 6k pounds each, I certainly wouldn’t try to raise the tires with them. Real danger of doing the frame serious harm.


So why did the manufacturers themselves locate their stabilizers at both ends (mine does and motorized).

It's not meant to lift the tires as it also serves as support to the trailer.

Can the jacks do more harm on the farm than the pounding it is getting once you travel on those weather-beaten national park roads?[emoticon]

djtkach

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Posted: 05/04/21 09:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As already noted, add jacks about mid-way down the frame to take out some of the flex. Also add some side-to-side support. JT Strongarm seems to be a great recommendation but here's a cheaper fix for a DIY:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXjLHfDYtdU

Note you don't need to prop the steps like he did if you add jacks mid-frame.


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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 05/04/21 09:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yosemite Sam1 wrote:

GrandpaKip wrote:


This is not a good idea for most trailers. They are not designed to be lifted from the ends. Those are not jacks, they are stabilizers. Even though my BAL stabilizers are rated for 6k pounds each, I certainly wouldn’t try to raise the tires with them. Real danger of doing the frame serious harm.


So why did the manufacturers themselves locate their stabilizers at both ends (mine does and motorized).

It's not meant to lift the tires as it also serves as support to the trailer.

Can the jacks do more harm on the farm than the pounding it is getting once you travel on those weather-beaten national park roads?[emoticon]


Stabilizers are meant to , well, stabilize.

The idea is to stop downward movement, not suspend in mid air.

Takes much less beefy material to just stop downward flex movement than it does for lifting and supporting dead weight.

So most items sold or marketed as "stabilizers" simply do not have heavy enough materials to safely lift and fully support 2K lbs- 3K lbs at each corner.

As far as bending the frame, the longer the frame the more bend or sag there will be when unsupported in the middle. If you are using the stabilizers correctly there is a considerable amount of weight still resting on the axles, so the axles are contributing to keeping the frame from over flexing.

The main take away is to reduce movement you need something solid under the frame. The longer the trailer is the chances of needing to add an additional support in between the stabilizers will increase.

Adding a jack of some sort halfway between the stabilizers will reduce the unsupported span distance and will restrict or reduce downward movement of the axle suspension.

This is a similar problem that you may find in a home where the floor joists/beams may be slightly undersized or span between is greater than recommended. Often in many cases with homes you can sister up and add extra material to joists or beams to reduce the floor flex.. Or if in the case of a basement or crawl space you can add in an extra support column to reduce the unsupported span.

Some bounce movement is good as it cushions your feet and legs when walking but sometimes it may be too much or some folks may not get used to it or are more sensitive to the movement and bounce.

You only need to stop the downward movement from the suspension not lift the tires off the ground.

Yosemite Sam1

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Posted: 05/04/21 10:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:



The idea is to stop downward movement, not suspend in mid air.


Anyone saying trailer should be suspended in mid air?

Gdetrailer

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Posted: 05/04/21 12:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yosemite Sam1 wrote:

Gdetrailer wrote:



The idea is to stop downward movement, not suspend in mid air.


Anyone saying trailer should be suspended in mid air?


Umm, YOU did.

And I quote from the first page of this thread..

Yosemite Sam1 wrote:


To prevent bouncing motion, you have to put enough tension buy raising the trailer on the jacks to the point that it is not resting totally on the tires.


Perhaps you just worded it a bit incorrectly but it sure sounds a lot like one is to lift the trailer using the jacks to the point of mid air.

"Not resting totally" can be easily interpreted as another way of saying taking all of the weight off the tires which means tires almost or not touching the ground.

Better way of saying this is using only enough jack pressure to stop the downward movement..

You want to leave weight on the axles, all you want to do is to take out the downward movement of the springs and flex of the tires so the frame can no longer drop or sag when walking about in the trailer.

Huge difference between the two ways of saying it.

Yosemite Sam1

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Posted: 05/04/21 01:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

Yosemite Sam1 wrote:

Gdetrailer wrote:



The idea is to stop downward movement, not suspend in mid air.


Anyone saying trailer should be suspended in mid air?


Umm, YOU did.

And I quote from the first page of this thread..

Yosemite Sam1 wrote:


To prevent bouncing motion, you have to put enough tension buy raising the trailer on the jacks to the point that it is not resting totally on the tires.


Perhaps you just worded it a bit incorrectly but it sure sounds a lot like one is to lift the trailer using the jacks to the point of mid air.

"Not resting totally" can be easily interpreted as another way of saying taking all of the weight off the tires which means tires almost or not touching the ground.

Better way of saying this is using only enough jack pressure to stop the downward movement..

You want to leave weight on the axles, all you want to do is to take out the downward movement of the springs and flex of the tires so the frame can no longer drop or sag when walking about in the trailer.

Huge difference between the two ways of saying it.


Geez, ok then. And thank you for Engllish lessons.

Just don't let my college English professors know.. I might have to surrender my A+ grades to them, lol.

Sjm9911

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Posted: 05/04/21 01:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I dont have a long TT, but i do find that chocking both side of the rig helps a ton. You allready bought 2 new chocks, try using all 4.


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