Leveling Jacks

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midnightscape

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Oct 3, 2006
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The new TT I bought doesn't have leveling jacks/stands. I'l looking for recommendations on types, styles to look at purchasing. I've seen others that have the jacks "hung" right on the trailer and they just crank them down...are they welded on? Also see electric jacks, scissor jacks, stands. Please help!

Thanks,
J
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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There are two types of jacks for trailer. The most common is a stabilizer and is there to prevent rocking and jiggling but is not actually used to level the trailer, at least not more than an inch or so.  These are the typical scissor or telescoping jacks you see underneath the corners.  They can be welded or bolted on. You still level the traler by driving the wheels on blocks and using the trailer tongue jack to raise/lower the front, pivoting on the axles. One commonly used brand of telescoping stabilizer jack is from BAL. Camping World sells several kinds  too.

Actual leveling jacks are hydraulic and can be used to jack up the trailer to level. They are around $4000 a set. Bigfoot is one major brand of aftermarket leveling jack.

The electric jacks used on slide-in campers are generally not strong enough to lift a trailer safely.
 

Carl L

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On TTs in general, jacks are not used for leveling, especially on the lighter units.  The frames are not capable of jack leveling, except fore and aft with the hitch jack.  Lateral leveling is accomplished by careful siting of the trailer and using leveling blocks under the wheels.  Jacks are used to stabilize the trailer lifting it a bit off its suspension to stop it from jiggling as people move around in it. 

There are a number of schemes.  The two best that I have seen are scissors jacks welded or bolted to the frame and 'stacker' jacks.  I use both.  On the front of my trailer I have a pair of scissors jacks welded to the frame.  I can lower these without crawling under to set them.  On the rear I use a pair of aluminum allow stacker jacks.  I can easily place them under the frame and tighten them by hand as the frame comes back to meet the bumper at that point and is quite accessible.

I would not weld or fix any jack to the rear of most TTs.  The rear ground clearance of your trailer is the clearence critical for surmounting driveway aprons and road traffic bumps.  Both of my fixed rear jacks were trash within a few months of use and had to be removed.  .    If your axles have been flipped to provide more general clearance of the trailer frame, that might well be another matter, but with a stock set up, avoid fixed rear jacks.  Stackers work just fine and are cheap and easy to store.
 

midnightscape

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Oct 3, 2006
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OK, well I think I will skip the leveling jacks and go with a stabilizing jack...the BAL long one that goes all the way across the back looks alot easier/better than messing with 2 separate scissor jacks.

Thanks for the info guys, I appreciate it.
Jason
 

Carl L

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midnightscape said:
OK, well I think I will skip the leveling jacks and go with a stabilizing jack...the BAL long one that goes all the way across the back looks alot easier/better than messing with 2 separate scissor jacks.

Before you do, go to the product reviews on Camping Worlds site.  The single review there is devastingly bad.  I read it anf switched to invidual scissors jacks on the front.

I would really hesitate to stick a set of jacks projecting below the frame to the rear of the trailer's axles, unless you have very good ground clearance as you would with flipped axles.  I scraped two jacks off my trailer on driveways learning that lesson.  :(
 

midnightscape

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Carl Lundquist said:
switched to invidual scissors jacks on the front.

Just scissors on the front is enough to stabilize?
After looking into the BAL I was wrong in thinking it goes all the way across the back, just 2, 1 on each corner. I do hear you about the clearance of the jacks on the back, I do not have flipped axles. That was the first thing I noticed about the camper is how low it sits to the ground.

Jason
 

Carl L

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Just scissors on the front is enough to stabilize?

They do take most of the load, yes, but no they are are not enough.  However, stacker jacks are easy to put in place in the rear and are entirely adequate.  In fact, my wife does that chore when we set up.  I got to crawl under to set the original equiipment pivoting-leg jacks on the front.  Bad enough on gravel, real  misery in a rainstorm.
 

midnightscape

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Carl Lundquist said:
They do take most of the load, yes, but no they are are not enough.? However, stacker jacks are easy to put in place in the rear and are entirely adequate.? In fact, my wife does that chore when we set up.? ?I got to crawl under to set the original equiipment pivoting-leg jacks on the front.? Bad enough on gravel, real? misery in a rainstorm.

OK, I had to google stacker jacks, wasn't real sure on what they were. Worked with them when I borrowed a popup camper this summer. I found that bottle jacks are cheaper in my area, would they do just as well?

Jason
 

Carl L

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Bottle jacks?  Hydraulic jacks?  I would not think so.  Really the stackers, see HERE, are the simplest and cheapest solution.  They set up easily and deliver just enough lifting force avoiding any chance of frame distortion.  Hydraulic jacks are pretty powerful.  I have one for tire changing.
 
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