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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Jack Failure Disaster

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notsobigjoe

southeast

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Posted: 05/05/22 08:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From what I remember with my dads 1966 Beeline truck camper. He would lift it slightly off the truck, level it and pull the truck out. I remember him turning those winder jacks 7 turns each and he didn't stop until it was on the wood he used to support it. He gave that camper to me and I have tons of polaroid's but I did it the same way he did on my old F150 3/4 ton. I can't remember but maybe about 2 inches with 7 turns. Too much time has passed. I also remember it was very flexible and stable. I'm glad your project turned out great. Good camping to you....
Joe

mkirsch

Rochester, NY

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Posted: 05/06/22 08:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

4" higher in the front, as in, for storage? I would think that's primarily for rain runoff than anything else. 4" seems like a lot in any case.

"Jack deflection" was the final catalyst that caused your jack failure. You should not have any appreciable jack deflection. If the jack is deflecting you need a flatter more stable surface or you need to jack the camper up more evenly.

Why did you only go with 3 jacks, if you were going to add structure anyway?


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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 05/06/22 10:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP, why are you concerned about having the front higher? The more level you can keep it, the less chance of another failure.
And no it wouldn’t be for water runoff, especially with a barrel shaped roof.


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RickW

Sacramento CA

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Posted: 05/06/22 06:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The "rule" I learned is to keep the front level or higher than the rear, and don't raise (or lower) any one jack more than 4 inches at a time.

A corollary is don't unload on a downward sloping driveway or you may see a TC that tries to walk.

Two inches at a time works for me.


Rick
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DanLevitan

NC

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Posted: 05/07/22 05:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the jacking advice. I played around with the jacks a bunch this morning. I really like having three feet that stay seated. I got it level and installed a couple level gauges on the corner. I had always "eyeballed" it before and now I see that was a big mistake. I started out raising it 1/2" at a time, then 1" which is 5 turns for me. Those little levels are very sensitive. I now realize I was going way too much at a time before. I may stick to the hand crank for a while till I feel more comfortable.

I took the opportunity before I load it to confirm my CG. I balanced the camper on a beam until I found it's happy place. It turns out my CG was only 1 1/4" aft of the original middle jack point. I'm happy because I thought I might have to move my A/C from the rear to a more centered spot, but now I think it's okay as is.

I got the camper high enough to repair the spot where my black/gray tank T-handle brackets smashed through the LP compartment when it fell. I ended up using a bottle jack to undent the metal LP box and put it all back together as the rain started.

Today I also got a good look at the plumbing that got crushed. Looks like I have to replace everything on the outlet side of the black and gray tank shutoff valves down. It sucked the first time, so I'm not looking forward to the sequel. Fortunately I can make those repairs on the truck.

Tomorrow should be a good day to load her back on the truck. I'm still not excited about taking it to load height, but the more I use the jacks the more comfortable I get. Thanks again for all the feedback.

DanLevitan

NC

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Posted: 05/07/22 06:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mkirsch, My camper originally had 3 wing mounted jacks but when I got it 2 of the 3 had rotted off. During the rebuild I switch to 4 corner jacks but hind sight being 20/20 I realize I didn't sufficiently beef up the corners enough to safety use the corner jacks. Now that the interior is back together I was hesitant to undertake the proper corner improvements to keep using the corner jacks. Just too much to take back apart for access. I also never liked when I used the 4 jacks how one was always unseated. Switching back to 3 jacks was an easier choice as all the work was on the outside and was pretty easy. If I had the money I would love a Stable-lift but they are just way too expensive.

DanLevitan

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Posted: 05/11/22 06:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm happy to report the new jacking setup worked great and I got my camper loaded back up safe and sound. I feel much smarter about the procedure and really appreciate all the help everyone provided. I will be delivering my camper to my painter Saturday and will post pictures when I get it back.

joerg68

St. Ingbert, Germany

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Posted: 05/12/22 02:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wish you best of luck and many happy travels now that you have it all sorted out! A beautiful camper, and I am sure it will look great when painted!


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PastorCharlie

NC

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Posted: 05/14/22 04:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

House movers use a three-point lifting system. More stable.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 05/15/22 08:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well kudos for sticking it out and fixing it… again.
I presume you don’t plan on loading/unloading this thing very often?
Seems like way too much stress (mentally and maybe physically to the old camper) to take it on n off the truck a bunch of times.

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