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 > Jack Failure Disaster

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notsobigjoe

southeast

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Posted: 04/14/22 07:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DanLevitan wrote:

Yes the rear mounts only had the upper portion. I can see where I would have benefitted from having the lower mounts too. Also check out this picture of the twisted swinging bracket. Its pretty gnarly. It was the front left. The one that peeled off. The left rear then seems to have folded under and doesn't have any twist to it.
[image]


So OP I think were all pretty much in agreement bout the jack situation. The brackets on the camper side are unimpressive to say the least. Here's a picture of mine.

Front
[image]
Rear
[image]
outside rear
[image]
Box of new brackets when I removed the stable-lift a couple of years ago.
[image]
Lower attachment point on the rears.
[image]

I'm certainly not saying that your jacks needs are the same as mine because obviously I don't know. But all in all I think this was the problem whether front was too high, too low etc.... Don't let it get you down. Fixit and go camping. How about some pics of the inside, Did you remodel that part?

On my coachman Ranger which we bought from a friend I noticed one night the center of the cabover bed was sinking. The next morning I looked and with weight on it it was touching the roof of the cab. Completely rotted. That was back in my drinking days and didn't know how to do anything. Me and my dad fixed it and used for six more years.

DanLevitan

NC

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Posted: 04/14/22 08:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the pointers. It's great to get insight from everyone. There should be a sticker on truck campers that says "when lowered incorrectly it can F you up!" Live and learn.

I included a couple picture of what I'm thinking of doing with my jacks to keep them off the corners as I'm now a bit gun shy of remounting them there. It's just a mock-up but it looks promising to me. I'd welcome your feedback.

[image][image]

ticki2

NH

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Posted: 04/15/22 04:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don’t think that vintage camper was every designed to support corner jacks , they had under wing supports . While the picture of the angle iron attaching to the under wing angle and then going up the side in theory looks good I doubt if there is any backing in the side wall at that point to bolt to .


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JimK-NY

NY

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Posted: 04/15/22 07:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think you are close to a solution. That angle bracket looks good especially if you include some structural steel from one side of the camper to the other. You could also consider extending that metal plate higher on the side of the camper, maybe even a foot or so higher than the jacks on the wall of the camper. The more, the better.

The angle iron will strengthen the side-to-side support, but perhaps you also need more support for the jacks and brackets in the front to back direction. Maybe another angle iron welded on at right angles to the one you are planning to use. Even better perhaps 2 pieces of steel going front to back. One piece should be toward the top of the bracket and the other as low as possible.

Perhaps I have not described this well. What I envision is a cradle under the camper so the lifting is on the cradle not on the attachments to the camper.

notsobigjoe

southeast

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Posted: 04/15/22 07:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JimK-NY wrote:

I think you are close to a solution. That angle bracket looks good especially if you include some structural steel from one side of the camper to the other. You could also consider extending that metal plate higher on the side of the camper, maybe even a foot or so higher than the jacks on the wall of the camper. The more, the better.

The angle iron will strengthen the side-to-side support, but perhaps you also need more support for the jacks and brackets in the front to back direction. Maybe another angle iron welded on at right angles to the one you are planning to use. Even better perhaps 2 pieces of steel going front to back. One piece should be toward the top of the bracket and the other as low as possible.

Perhaps I have not described this well. What I envision is a cradle under the camper so the lifting is on the cradle not on the attachments to the camper.


https://www.truckcampermagazine.com/camper-mods/contests/truck-camper-exoskeleton/

StirCrazy

Kamloops, BC, Canada

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Posted: 04/15/22 09:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mkirsch wrote:

StirCrazy wrote:

BurbMan wrote:

JRscooby wrote:

Unless on level surface, 3 legs is more stable than 4.


Re-read what he said. Hence the reason cameras use tripods, milking stools have 3 legs, etc. Obviously more legs provide more support, but the more legs you have the harder it is to load them all equally. Three legs means each has to carry more weight, but they distribute that weight much easier.


there easier to level and tram with three legs but not more stable, cameras use a tri pod because it would take for ever to get level if you had 4 legs, thankfully we dont need that kinda of persision with our campers


Not necessarily level, but to get it to sit without rocking.

A 3-legged stool will sit stably on just about any surface, but a 4-legged stool will rock on two legs unless you find just the right spot.

Since a camper's legs are independently adjustable, the point is moot.


ahh vbut your assuming that the legs are non adjustible... what use would non adjustable jacks be to us? if your going to take physic principles and use them you also have to use them in the right context. so ya for a kitchen table on a bad made floor that is uneven a 3 leg set up will be better, unless the 4 leg system is adjustable.


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DanLevitan

NC

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Posted: 04/15/22 01:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The piece I want to mount the jack to with the three pinch rings was originally a piece of steel I-beam we had left over at work. I cut off part of the "I" and turned it into a "T". I hope to bolt it onto the wing brackets for loading and unloading with 4 each 3/4" bolts and it wouldn't be attached to the camper at all. I can't image it will flex much into the camper or side to side as it is a very stout chunk of metal. My old tripod bolted to the same bracket also, but this adapts the corner jack to the wing style lift bracket. I started making the three new wing brackets today and hope to have them done next week. The old one in the picture has seen better days and I have plenty of steel to pull out of the scrap bin to work with. I had read exoskeleton article and was impressed but I hope to try something less aggressive. Thanks for the feedback.

Dave Pete

Wyoming

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Posted: 04/15/22 03:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Dan. I hope that file I sent helps, but keep in mind, I rebuilt the camper framing corners (Travel Queen likes yours) into some pretty beefy stuff before I EVER added those through bolts, and interior nuts, and tie-down eye bolts tied in too, and using interior steel custom made brackets and exterior aluminum sheet to sandwich those rebuilt corners. And yes I just LOVE my electric jacks on the corners and have abandoned all interest in the OEM Safe-t-jacks which still lie out in my field. But! If you can forget about using the camper corner (as found original because they are nothing but sketchy 1x2's) do the connection for weight and strength as it looks like you're doing. Use those under wing steel grids! Tie in to 'em! They are the real deal. And your three-jack mounts may well already be tied in to them. And I agree, a tripod style under these (one jack on one side and two on the other) may well be the best balancing act available. Except you already have the new jacks so use them and that Travel Queen 10.5' is heavy! My 8' is heavy enough. But yeah - keep it as level as possible. You'll get the feel on how far at each jack you can go before you continue your circling around the camper to the next. It makes for a good walk. Like I said. I'm now loving my electrics. Good luck. And yes we'd love to see some interior pics!

DanLevitan

NC

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Posted: 04/15/22 04:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Dave. Thanks for the file. I had read it before several time along with many of your posts, but for some reason I could never see any of the pictures so I very much appreciate you sending it to me. I can finally understand what the "grid" is. I wish I had one on my camper. I assumed it was only on the models that opted for the Safe-t-jacks. Your posts were so helpful during my retrofit. I also beefed up the corners but not nearly to the extent you described. I have done a ton of work to this camper over the last year and a half and have only begun to camp with it. I'm still tweaking stuff. The shower is a good example. The drain was higher than the flat floor. I would end up standing in two inches of water. I'm in the middle of raising the floor with fiberglass bondo adding a slope down to the drain. I've done everything from the wood repair under both wings and 90% of the cabover, new sheetmetal in areas, all new gas piping, wiring, tanks, updated water heater, new furnace, and really too much to list. I have enjoyed this project very much, but look forward to just camping with it and not working on it so much. Once I fix the damage from the tip she is off to get painted. [image][image][image][image][image][image][image]
This one is the day I picked her up. We used two forklifts to put her on my trailer.[image]

kohldad

Goose Creek, SC

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Posted: 04/15/22 06:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Glad you were able to step back and not get hurt. Glad to hear a classic survived the fall and will be camping again.

Couple things I noted as I was reading through the post. I too have manual jacks which I use a drill with. I never go 2" per rotation, but rely on the drill to tell me when the jack is taking to much road. Then I will go to the next one and work around always making sure the front is higher than the rear. I will usually only work the two front and one rear jack but catch up the other rear every 3rd rotation or so. But I don't really think your jacking method was the root cause, just what brought the other issue to fail.

When you installed the front jacks, did you put a re-enforcement plate on the inside or just rely on the wood? The front jacks sees about 2/3 of the camper weight and that isn't shared equally when you are raising the camper. Just a few screws into wood generally isn't enough strength to hold the leverage and weight when applied lifting. This is why there is always a metal re-enforcement plate on the inside of the walls of the camper which the front jack screws penetrate so the wood is squeezed between the jack and plate.

We had a '69 Franklin with the 3 jack setup and I can still remember how nervous it made me loading and unloading. Never felt as stable as my Lance does even when only 3 jacks are on the ground. Think it had to do with the single center jack being at COG carrying 1/2 the weight of the camper.

Good luck with the repairs and enjoy some camping when you get it done.


2015 Ram 3500 4x4 Crew Cab SRW 6.4 Hemi LB 3.73 (12.4 hand calc avg mpg after 92,000 miles with camper)
2004 Lance 815 (prev: 2004 FW 35'; 1994 TT 30'; Tents)


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