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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  Modifications and Accessories

 > Adding scissor jacks for side to side leveling

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Boon Docker

Mountain Foothills of Southern Alberta

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Posted: 08/30/21 02:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Be sure you bend your beam carefully or suffer the gravitational consequences. [emoticon] [emoticon]

ajriding

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Posted: 08/31/21 10:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Assuming you have a twin axle trailer?

You also said jacks, not stabilizers. Jacks can and will and are made to lift the trailer. We are not talking about stabilizers.

I lift the frame at the axle point. I used a bottle neck hydro jack, not scissors jack. For a dual axle I put the jack between the axles under the frame if possible, or as close to the axle as I can get if in front or behind the axles. This does not put any new stresses on the frame and lifts the frame at about where the axles hold the frame anyway. Or easier to just lift the axle, not the frame. One axle is fine and will not damage the frame, body, or door or bend anything. Your trailer goes on one axle all the time driving it around (one of 4 wheels unloaded anyway).

I do this only in extreme situations if I have to park off level and my other leveling method is too short.

Parking on ramps or boards or rocks is much preferred to me. It is easier than crawling around with a jack.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 08/31/21 10:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ajriding wrote:

Assuming you have a twin axle trailer?

You also said jacks, not stabilizers. Jacks can and will and are made to lift the trailer. We are not talking about stabilizers.

I lift the frame at the axle point. I used a bottle neck hydro jack, not scissors jack. For a dual axle I put the jack between the axles under the frame if possible, or as close to the axle as I can get if in front or behind the axles. This does not put any new stresses on the frame and lifts the frame at about where the axles hold the frame anyway. Or easier to just lift the axle, not the frame. One axle is fine and will not damage the frame, body, or door or bend anything. Your trailer goes on one axle all the time driving it around (one of 4 wheels unloaded anyway).

I do this only in extreme situations if I have to park off level and my other leveling method is too short.

Parking on ramps or boards or rocks is much preferred to me. It is easier than crawling around with a jack.


OP is talking about installing a leveler system, not mucking around with a bottle jack every time he parks the camper.


2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29

vtraudt

Brighton, MI

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Posted: 09/01/21 02:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ajriding wrote:

Assuming you have a twin axle trailer?

You also said jacks, not stabilizers. Jacks can and will and are made to lift the trailer. We are not talking about stabilizers.

I lift the frame at the axle point. I used a bottle neck hydro jack, not scissors jack. For a dual axle I put the jack between the axles under the frame if possible, or as close to the axle as I can get if in front or behind the axles. This does not put any new stresses on the frame and lifts the frame at about where the axles hold the frame anyway. Or easier to just lift the axle, not the frame. One axle is fine and will not damage the frame, body, or door or bend anything. Your trailer goes on one axle all the time driving it around (one of 4 wheels unloaded anyway).

I do this only in extreme situations if I have to park off level and my other leveling method is too short.

Parking on ramps or boards or rocks is much preferred to me. It is easier than crawling around with a jack.


I was under there yesterday; the process is certainly easy (lifted one axle at a time, but board under. But it is combersome.
If planning to keep trailer ON WHEELS, then lifting axle is easier.

If NOT using wheels, I would lift the FRAME and put jackstand under frame.

I will use this method when 'driving back/forth' (potentially several times) is not an option. And certainly in my driveway (car/trailer under angle, incline and more than 4 inches to level sideways.

For axle lifting, I am planning to make a "U" shaped top for my bottle jack. For the 'frame lifting', a square platform (with replaceable wood on top).

BB_TX

McKinney, Texas

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Posted: 09/01/21 08:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My simple brain looks at the whole frame bending thing in a much more simple way. An RV trailer sitting on dual axles is going to have 6-8-10’ hanging out past the rear axle. The weight supported by and spread over four suspension points on each side. And the weight of the RV is going to cause that rear cantilevered overhang portion to sag downward.

Now put jacks near the rear of the trailer and raise those jacks to level the trailer and that new upward force at the rear is going to start taking weigh off the suspension, and instead transfer that weight to the rear of the frame. Now the center of the frame with less support will tend to sag downward due to the transfer of points supporting that weight.

Lift at one rear corner more than the other and the frame will tend to twist.

What is wrong with that simple view point? Doesn’t need a discussion of gravity.

* This post was edited 09/01/21 09:07pm by BB_TX *

JRscooby

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Posted: 09/02/21 04:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

vtraudt wrote:


I will use this method when 'driving back/forth' (potentially several times) is not an option. And certainly in my driveway (car/trailer under angle, incline and more than 4 inches to level sideways.



I can't stand under the "potentially several times". Once to see how much lift is needed, the 2nd time to put it on the ramp. You're done.
If I needed ramp in my drive, I would bolt it together, and leave it home. Of course, if I need 4 inches when I get home from last trip, I assume I will need 4 this time.
(I have a pair of rubber mud flaps, with a 4X4 bolted to 1 end, and a 2X4 spaced right, and bolted to other side. They stay in the thinly graveled drive. I back in until trailer goes over the 2X and stops against 4X. Chocks on both sides of both wheels, the jack goes down on the 6 inch long 2X6. With the tires sitting on rubber, no need to get weedeater close to tires.


BB_TX wrote:

My simple brain looks at the whole frame bending thing in a much more simple way. An RV trailer sitting on dual axles is going to have 6-8-10’ hanging out past the rear axle. The weight supported by and spread over four suspension points on each side. And the weight of the RV is going to cause that rear cantilevered overhang portion to sag downward.

Now put jacks near the rear of the trailer and raise those jacks to level the trailer and that new upward force at the rear is going to start taking weigh off the suspension, and instead transfer that weight to the rear of the frame. Now the center of the frame with less support will tend to sag downward due to the transfer of points supporting that weight.

Lift at one rear corner more than the other and the frame will tend to twist.

What is wrong with that simple view point? Doesn’t need a discussion of gravity.


Thank you.

vtraudt

Brighton, MI

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Posted: 09/02/21 07:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JRscooby wrote:


I can't stand under the "potentially several times".


You don't have to stand under anything if you don't want to.

But if 'back/forth' is not an option (as stated), it simply IS not an option.

Hence, an alternative way is needed.

vtraudt

Brighton, MI

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Posted: 09/02/21 07:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JRscooby wrote:



What is wrong with that simple view point? Doesn’t need a discussion of gravity.


There is nothgin wrong per se with the simple few: the rear overhang when on wheels is bending the frame down under its weight/mass (gravity does it, and in addition, acceleration (from bumps) does it too.

Bend lifting up, it is bending the frame up by (simplified) the same amount.

Regarding uneven "twisting". If you drive through a pothole with one side of camper only, the same 'twisting' of the frame will occurs as if you lift on one corner only.

How much (in accurate terms and amounts) bending down (gravity, acceleration from bumps) and up (lifting, bumps) takes place is difficult to calculate (too many unknown variables).

Fact is: our trailers bend A LOT already (mostly down)

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