Camper Jack Question

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FJ40 Cruiser

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Nov 11, 2006
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Inverness Florida
First off, I?m real glad to finally find a forum for slide in campers.  I love mine since I can drive my truck without the camper around town and I can still tow my toys with the camper in it.

My question is about the jacks.  I have a Travel Lite 890SBRX that has the original Acme jacks.  One of the front jacks is bending at the mounting plate and both front are very hard to turn.  Impact wrenches won?t even turn them (they are greased regularly).  I want to replace them with something easier to use like electric jacks.  Does anybody have any recommendations for reasonably priced jacks and where to buy them?  I am also concerned about the lifting height.  I had a F-250 4x4 that could barley get under the camper.  I now have a F-350 4x4 SRW that appears to sit 4? higher. 

Thanks in advance for any help.
 

PancakeBill

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Benson - Tucson, AZ. West Yellowstone,MT
Mornin!
I had HappiJac electris on my last camper, they worked great.  Atwood is another.  The StablLift is an interesting concept, but I have seen it in action.  Probably great for nice flat ground, but...  How often is it nice and flat? 
I have an F350 4wd SRW and I could get the campper about 8 inches over the bed.


 

FJ40 Cruiser

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Inverness Florida
Gary and Bill thanks for the reply and info.  I already emailed stable lift and the rep is going to call me back in a few hours.  I never thought about that lift being used on uneven ground, I really appreciate the heads up on that.

The Rieco-Titan appears to be the tallest lift and should work for about the same money. 

The hydraulic lifts are a lot cheaper and I think they would be fairly easy to operate but I?m concerned when they say the pumps are easily rebuildable or serviceable.  I don?t want to have a problem in the morning when I?m loading the camper in the middle of nowhere to go home. 

Again, thanks for the input.  I need to make a decision soon since I have a trip planed for early December.
 

PancakeBill

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I replaced the hydraulic jacks I had on the 2nd camper with the recirculating ball crank jacks.  Thing you need to remember, it gets pretty tall when it is at the load height.  I am just shy of 6' and I was carrying something to stand on.

 

FJ40 Cruiser

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Inverness Florida
Thanks to all that replied.  Just to follow up I went with the Rieco-Titan jacks mainly due to how high they lift.  I have a F-350 4x4. 

The only problem I encountered was the powerhead on the front 2 jacks would not fit under the transition from the main part of the camper to the cabover portion.  I solved the problem by adding offset brackets for dual rear wheel applications.  The brackets move the jack forward enough to clear the cab over, but watch the rear doors of the truck, they can hit the jack foot if the are up all the way. 

Loading time has gone from 2-3 hours to about 25 minutes and with no sweat and a lot less stress.  Should have done it sooner.  Thanks again.
 

Strikenmike

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Feb 13, 2008
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Danville, IL
Greetings Everyone.

Assuming that you do not plan to remove your camper during a trip, can the electric leveling jacks be removed (conveniently) from a truck camper while you are traveling?
 

PancakeBill

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Yes they can be removed, but you never know when you might need them.  I used my rear jacks when changing a flat to steady the truck while on the jack.  On my first camper, with the three jack system, I would remove them.  I wouldn't remove the 4 jack system unless there was a clearance problem.

 

Strikenmike

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You make a good point about emergencies.  I had planned to take them with me and simply reinstall in the case of emergency.  That is why I asked how easy it was to take on and off.  I suppose storage space would be a real issue also if I take them off.  I know it is stupid, but they look so clunky hanging on the rig the way they do.  Oh well, this is the least of my problems.

Thanks again
 

Marsha/CA

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We had a slide in truck camper for over 10 years.  There were several times that we camped on uneven ground and would "drop" a jack (or two), unhook the brackets from the truck and raise the camper while still in the truck bed to level it out.   

When we camped for longer than overnight, we would drop the jacks to the ground to stabilize the truck.  It felt really solid. 

Another reason I would not remove the jacks is that if the camper caught on fire, if time allowed, we could raise the jacks and drive out from under the burning camper hopefully saving the truck.

Re lifting the camper high enough to get the truck under.  We eventually gave the truck to our son.   He has a Ford 250 4x4 which sits much higher than our Chevy dually.  He has to raise the jacks almost to their fullest extension.  My feeling is that when you extend that jack to nearly it's full extension, it may not be as strong as it is when it's down further in the sleeve.  Just my humble opinion, but for me I feel the full extension of the jack is unsafe.   If this were my situation, I would puts wood blocks of 4 x 4 under the jacks to give more height and not allow the jack to extend so fully.  If you are using hydraulic crank jacks, that might be a problem for shorter people, but ours were electric.

I've seen "stable-lift" in action, it is very "tippy" on uneven ground.

Marsha~
 

PancakeBill

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Camper on fire, and unloading?  Nope.  If the fire is that slow, take the time to put it out, pull propane tanks, or just get the heck out of the way. 

Carrying the jacks would be a pain, and they aren't light, so putting on and off wouldn't be worth it.

Look at alll the bolts, think about the process.
 

Strikenmike

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Danville, IL
Yah, Bill I think you are probably right.  They look a little clunky hanging off the side of your camper.  So, if you really have no plans to use them during a trip...I just thought, maybe....but I guess not.  I tend to over-think most projects.

Thanks, to all.
 
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