Trailer stabilizing question

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J&DLV

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2012
Posts
14
We just got back from our second outing with our trailer, and found the stability to be a fair bit worse this time than our first trip. Both camp sites were gravel, so I don't think it was the surface, though the first one was deeper, larger gravel and this was very small gravel on a very level site. It seemed to my husband that the stab jacks themselves have a lot of "play" in them - indeed, when I was using our drill to retract the jacks, they seemed to be quite wobbly as they retracted. Is this normal, or should we be tightening the bolts on the jacks, or asking the dealer for help?

Edited to clarify - this is a brand new 32' trailer, and so far we have maybe 220 miles total towing on it.

Any suggestions and advice is much appreciated!
Jules
 

tvman44

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Sep 4, 2009
Posts
1,633
JT Strongarm Stabilizers work wonders for stabilizing a trailer.
 

pondguy

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Jul 14, 2009
Posts
200
Location
Dickson City, PA
I found chocking between the wheels helped a lot! You said 32', so I will assume dual axles. My 30' was a little wobbly until I added them.

These are supposed to be very good http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/x-chock-tire-locking-chock/43891 but I found these http://www.thecamcostore.com/Menu.cfm?SupCategoryId=10000&SubCategoryId=276&ProductId=2177 at WallyWorld.

Make sure you are level also. The stab jacks do help when snugged up, but I found if you are not level, it moves more.
 

J&DLV

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2012
Posts
14
Tvman - thanks for the product suggestion. I'll pass that on to my husband - he'd be the one dealing with anything attached to the trailer, though I think he's reluctant to add to the trailer after only owning it for a couple of weeks (though he may change his mind!).
Pondguy - we have the Bal X-chocks and used them, plus the trailer was level without needing leveling blocks (the site was very level). The first time we camped, we did have the yellow "Lego" type leveling blocks on one side as the site wasn't level - no clue if that has any impact on stability.

We're taking the trailer to the dealer next weekend for a couple of warranty issues so we'll ask them to check the jacks and just make sure everything is good, then we'll further investigate additional options to help.

Thanks again for the input.

 

Mopar1973Man

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Jul 4, 2011
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3,485
Location
New Meadows, Idaho
On soft ground like gravel I typically use a few 2x4's under the stabilizer jacks. Then once the jack makes contact with the ground firmly I add 1/2 turn to the jack then stop. Then sets the jack firm and the trailer usually is very stable. I've rarely had to re-tighten or reset a jack.
 

Foto-n-T

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Jan 1, 2012
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1,121
Location
Cody, Wyoming - Sometimes
As Gary said, they shouldn't wobble.  The self tapping screws that hold them on (if they aren't welded) could be quite possibly loose.  It's quite possible that the person who installed them at the factory didn't get them tight.

I'm not a big fan of the cordless drill method for stabilizer jacks but that's just me.  I use a ratchet and socket so I can get them down with some pressure on them myself but on the other hand our rig weighs 16k pounds.
 

Mopar1973Man

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Jul 4, 2011
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3,485
Location
New Meadows, Idaho
Like my jack pivot to some degree and wiggle when free hanging. But once planted in the ground and tighten slightly there is no movement.

I also not fond of the cordless drill idea also you have no idea of how much or how little torque you put on the jack.
 

J&DLV

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2012
Posts
14
Thanks for the further input. The jacks are wobbling when extended as well as retracted - certainly when they're not extended to the ground, it's easy to wobble them with your hand. We use the drill to extend them as it's quicker, but we also have the manual crank which we can use to fine tune if necessary.

I should have been more specific with my initial question as well. We do have wood blocks under the four scissor jacks and tongue jack, so the jacks are extended maybe half way. We also have the x-chocks in the wheels which definitely make a huge difference. My main concern was that there was a decrease in the stability from our first trip to our second, which were only two weeks apart - which is why we wondered if it's the "play" in the jacks causing the issue. The only other difference between trips is that my husband cut down the wood blocks for under the jacks so now they're about 12 inches long (maybe 6 inch square) whereas before they were about 2.5 feet long - I think that might have undermined our base as well.

Thanks again!
 
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