RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Adding scissor jacks for side to side leveling

RV Blog

  |  

RV Sales

  |  

Campgrounds

  |  

RV Parks

  |  

RV Club

  |  

RV Buyers Guide

  |  

Roadside Assistance

  |  

Extended Service Plan

  |  

RV Travel Assistance

  |  

RV Credit Card

  |  

RV Loans

Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Travel Trailers

Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  Modifications and Accessories

 > Adding scissor jacks for side to side leveling

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 6  
Prev  |  Next
Sponsored By:
vtraudt

Brighton, MI

Full Member

Joined: 08/20/2010

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 08/27/21 05:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the input (qualified or guts feeling/opinion).

Some thoughts:
Flex: if the frame flexes so much, every time I push it up with the front jack, it will flex (actually same or worse than putting one jack for example at 3/4 point in the rear)
Flex: dynamic flex (bouncing up/down during thousands of miles) would completley desintegrade the house if static lift is flexing so much that i might cause damage.
Force: only a max of 50% of the trailer weight can theoretically be lifted by one jack; it is NOT possible to lift more weight; the other half (likely a lot more) is still resting on the wheels or front jack). The 50% would mean one jack (think: middle of bumper) and front jack, all wheels off the ground. Then 3500 would be on the single rear jack, and 3500 on the front jack.
Using Tires (here: axles): I will do a trial run (already have a hydraulic jack on hand) and lifting one axle at a time to put boards under the tires (or put a jack stand under the axle) to level. Reason for investigating the frame lift option: axles not easily accessible for jacking up.
Using FRAME near AXLE: best of both worlds? Same stress to chassis, yet better accessible than axle. Will try this FIRST (tailer in driveway, tilting terrible to one side).

HAVE to get one (two) of those 'curved' and 'scaled' levels (thanks for the link!).

Gdetrailer

PA

Senior Member

Joined: 01/05/2007

View Profile



Posted: 08/27/21 06:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

vtraudt wrote:


Using Tires (here: axles): I will do a trial run (already have a hydraulic jack on hand) and lifting one axle at a time to put boards under the tires (or put a jack stand under the axle) to level. Reason for investigating the frame lift option: axles not easily accessible for jacking up.
Using FRAME near AXLE: best of both worlds? Same stress to chassis, yet better accessible than axle. Will try this FIRST (tailer in driveway, tilting terrible to one side).

HAVE to get one (two) of those 'curved' and 'scaled' levels (thanks for the link!).


Not sure what the aversion to simply backing your trailer onto a board is. Way easier than placing a jack, jacking up then placing board then dropping jack.

The way I do this is place my trailer where I want it to be parked.

Then I pull forward just enough to place my board behind the rear tire.

Then I backup just enough to get both tires onto the board.

This operation takes one time getting out of vehicle, grab board, set board and get into vehicle. A little practice and it can be done in less than two minutes.

Much, much easier, faster and safer than the way you propose.

Graduated level in inches should be very helpful. I don't have them but I do seem to have a knack for noticing approximately how much it is out of level from nearly 20yrs of towing a travel trailer.

a "2 by" is typically 1.5" thick, for less lift you can get "5/4 boards" typically sold as decking planks that is right on the money at 1" thick.

Lots of easy ways to do this without dreaming up complicated ways to do the same thing..

Seems like a lot of folks want to create a "Rube Goldberg" type of solution for everything. I prefer the direct and to the point route to all things in life.

aftermath

Washington State

Senior Member

Joined: 09/18/2005

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 08/27/21 07:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

vtraudt, I have another idea for you to consider. I purchased a Level Mate Pro system for my trailer. It is an electronic gizmo that I use with my cell phone. When I get to the campsite, I turn it on and it tells me that I am off by 1.5 inches on the driver side. I have a combination of planks and boards that I can drive up on. Bingo! I am set. I don't have to guess and make a number of tries, just put in what I need and I am good. It is a bit spendy but easy to set up and really easy to use. Used it for over a year now and it continues to simplify things for me. Google it and learn more.


2017 Toyota Tundra, Double Cab, 5.7L V8
2006 Airstream 25 FB SE
Equalizer Hitch

Gdetrailer

PA

Senior Member

Joined: 01/05/2007

View Profile



Posted: 08/27/21 09:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

aftermath wrote:

vtraudt, I have another idea for you to consider. I purchased a Level Mate Pro system for my trailer. It is an electronic gizmo that I use with my cell phone. When I get to the campsite, I turn it on and it tells me that I am off by 1.5 inches on the driver side. I have a combination of planks and boards that I can drive up on. Bingo! I am set. I don't have to guess and make a number of tries, just put in what I need and I am good. It is a bit spendy but easy to set up and really easy to use. Used it for over a year now and it continues to simplify things for me. Google it and learn more.


Link to Amazon page for Level Mate Pro HERE

Spendy for sure, but takes the guessing out of the picture..

Huntindog

Phoenix AZ

Senior Member

Joined: 04/08/2002

View Profile



Posted: 08/28/21 04:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is more to this than what meets the eye.
Most trailer frames are "cambered".
This is running weld beads at specific locations and patterns on the frame rails. This process slightly bends the frame, and more importantly strengthens it while adding a springyness to it. This allows for a lighter frame to be used, as the cambering puts the strong points just where it is needed. The locations/type of cambering are determined by the engineers,based on the expected loads for each trailers design. I became somewhat educated on this when having a sidebar dialog with Jbarca on a frame repair project he was undertaking. Curious about what I was reading, I grabbed some 10' metal stock from my pile and sparked up the welder. It was very enlightening. Each weld bead I ran caused measurable movements in the straightness of the stock compared to an identical unwelded control piece. More importantly the feel of the cambered stock changed dramactically. It felt more alive, with a definant springness that made it want to bounce back to its unloaded state as load was applied to it. The control piece felt dead and weak in comparisson. with out the "bounce back property of the cambered piece. IOW, applying enough force to permanently bend it was much easier.

As to what this means to what you plan on doing: I would only apply such force at a location that it was designed to take it. A jack as close as possible to the wheels should be pretty safe. Other than that, is a roll of the dice. You could end up applying force in a direction where the cambering is in the wrong direction to the force you are applying. Nothing good could come of that.
Your frames cambering can be in different locations and directions, and can be impossible to see once the trailer is built.


* This post was edited 08/28/21 06:04am by Huntindog *


Huntindog
100% boondocking
2021 Grand Design Momentum 398M
2 bathrooms, no waiting
104 gal grey, 104 black,158 fresh
Full Body Paint, 3, 8K axles, Disc Brakes
17.5 LRH commercial tires
1380 watts solar,
2020 Silverado High Country CC DA 4X4 Big Dually.



JRscooby

Indepmo

Senior Member

Joined: 06/10/2019

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 08/28/21 06:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

vtraudt wrote:

Thanks for the input (qualified or guts feeling/opinion).

Some thoughts:
Flex: if the frame flexes so much, every time I push it up with the front jack, it will flex (actually same or worse than putting one jack for example at 3/4 point in the rear)

It's yours you can do what you want.
When you lift the front normally the whole house/frame pivot as a unit on the suspension. Your added jack would stop that pivot, and extend the span. (lay a 2X10 on supports 6 feet apart, walk on it. Now put the supports 10 feet apart. Feel the bounce?)


Quote:

Flex: dynamic flex (bouncing up/down during thousands of miles) would completley desintegrade the house if static lift is flexing so much that i might cause damage.


First, miles do show on a TT. But the design expects force applied upward from the suspension and tongue. That force increases and decreases, but the location does not change.

Quote:

I will do a trial run (already have a hydraulic jack on hand) and lifting one axle at a time to put boards under the tires (or put a jack stand under the axle) to level. Reason for investigating the frame lift option: axles not easily accessible for jacking up.


Axles are not accessible True. But IMHO, the frame ain't much better. OTOH, placing a board is much easier, and moving the trailer is a piece of chicken.

Quote:

Using FRAME near AXLE: best of both worlds? Same stress to chassis, yet better accessible than axle. Will try this FIRST (tailer in driveway, tilting terrible to one side).


The frame near where suspension mounts is a good place to jack, but will not do much to stabilize

Quote:

HAVE to get one (two) of those 'curved' and 'scaled' levels (thanks for the link!).



The vial in all levels is curved. I started with that kind, but prefer adding my marks so I don't need to convert inches to blocks. Years of pulling a enddump, I normally park where it's level, then ask wife if there is a better place.

The issues most have with leveling on blocks or boards are pretty easy to solve. Ramp moves when backing on; Often just unplug light cord so trailer brakes don't work. Or it might be the ramp is too steep for size of tires. Cut better angle, or bolt rubber flap so weight holds ramp in place when start up.
The height of ramp is wrong when get on it. Built wrong height? Solved with calibrated level. Or as often, decide need 1 block, place block someplace else. When get in that place, need 2. This is solved by moving trailer, building ramp, then return to that spot.
Huntindog wrote:

There is more to this than what meets the eye.
Most trailer frames are "cambered".


Thank you. And I bet that the trailers that have powered leveling the frame is designed from jump, it is not just added on.

valhalla360

No paticular place.

Senior Member

Joined: 08/19/2009

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 08/28/21 08:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Huntindog wrote:

There is more to this than what meets the eye.
Most trailer frames are "cambered".
This is running weld beads at specific locations and patterns on the frame rails. This process slightly bends the frame, and more importantly strengthens it while adding a springyness to it. This allows for a lighter frame to be used, as the cambering puts the strong points just where it is needed. The locations/type of cambering are determined by the engineers,based on the expected loads for each trailers design. I became somewhat educated on this when having a sidebar dialog with Jbarca on a frame repair project he was undertaking. Curious about what I was reading, I grabbed some 10' metal stock from my pile and sparked up the welder. It was very enlightening. Each weld bead I ran caused measurable movements in the straightness of the stock compared to an identical unwelded control piece. More importantly the feel of the cambered stock changed dramactically. It felt more alive, with a definant springness that made it want to bounce back to its unloaded state as load was applied to it. The control piece felt dead and weak in comparisson. with out the "bounce back property of the cambered piece. IOW, applying enough force to permanently bend it was much easier.

As to what this means to what you plan on doing: I would only apply such force at a location that it was designed to take it. A jack as close as possible to the wheels should be pretty safe. Other than that, is a roll of the dice. You could end up applying force in a direction where the cambering is in the wrong direction to the force you are applying. Nothing good could come of that.
Your frames cambering can be in different locations and directions, and can be impossible to see once the trailer is built.


That is not what cambering is.

Cambering is building an unloaded beam with a curve such that when it is loaded, the load bends it back to straight.

I've never seen a travel trailer frame with cambering...certainly no geometric weld patterns and it doesn't add springiness.

That said, I do agree that if you are going to lift the trailer, doing it at the intended support points is the best idea.


Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV


GrandpaKip

Flat Rock

Senior Member

Joined: 06/18/2013

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 08/28/21 08:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Why not use Andersen types of levelers? I put the camper where I want it, put the levelers down, roll forward or backward a few inches, watch my level, and, presto!, it’s done.
As said by HDog, frames are cambered and you really shouldn’t be screwing around with that.


Kip
2015 Skyline Dart 214RB
2018 Silverado Double Cab 4x4
Andersen Hitch

vtraudt

Brighton, MI

Full Member

Joined: 08/20/2010

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 08/28/21 08:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GrandpaKip wrote:

Why not use Andersen types of levelers? I put the camper where I want it, put the levelers down, roll forward or backward a few inches, watch my level, and, presto!, it’s done.


I may give that a try. Are those type levels tire size dependent?
I have 14" tires.

vtraudt

Brighton, MI

Full Member

Joined: 08/20/2010

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 08/28/21 08:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GrandpaKip wrote:


As said by HDog, frames are cambered and you really shouldn’t be screwing around with that.


No plans on screwing around with the frames, or change anything if they are cambered (need to check, haven't noticed; if so, would only be in the axle area, certainly not forwards/backward from there).

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 6  
Prev  |  Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  Modifications and Accessories

 > Adding scissor jacks for side to side leveling
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Travel Trailers


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:




© 2021 CWI, Inc. © 2021 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.