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Old 12-15-2013, 07:33 PM   #1
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Those who work on your own coaches - question

How do you lift your rig for servicing things under it (i.e. oil and filter changes, fuel filter changes, transmission service)? I'm thinking series of boards (like 2x10's or 2x12's) cut at different lengths, stepping up the height would be an inexpensive way to get some clearance under the rig for maintenance.

Jack stands look expensive to handle this kind of weight, and jacks are even more expensive to handle this kind of weight. I'm thinking anything I could handle doing myself, I wouldn't need much more ground clearance. The boards idea seems like a cost effective way to get it up high enough, SAFELY, without spending fortune on jacks and jack stands.

For those who DO use jacks and jack stands, what jacking points are you using? I'd guess that is a chassis specific question, but this is still very new to me, so I don't know yet.

Any information is appreciated.
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Old 12-15-2013, 07:45 PM   #2
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My ground clearance is sufficient that laying out on a tarp is all I need to lube the drive train, chassis, change oil, differential, transmission fluids and filters.
If on pavement a shop crawler comes in handy but if on less firm ground the tarp is all I need. I don't crawl under a raised motorhome.

BTW, I have levelers, jack stands, and plenty of options to drive up onto to raise the coach but I chose not to.
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:00 PM   #3
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Unless you are old big and fat like me you can do most of that stuff yourself without lifting the camper. I start the engine and let the air bags air up then I have enough room to crawl under there without lifting anything. There is plenty of room to work under the chassis with the air bags down but is a bit tight for me to crawl under the obdy when the air bags are down and everything is close to the ground

My friend changed all of the springs on my leveler jacks with out doing anything other than crawling under the coach and changing them.
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:07 PM   #4
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I have enough room to go under with a creeper and do what I need
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:23 PM   #5
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I use the leveling jacks on the coach to raise the front of the RV (since it is a front engine gas coach) and then place jack stands under the frame for safety.

You can purchase heavy duty jack stands at Harbor Freight for around $80 a pair.

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Old 12-15-2013, 08:33 PM   #6
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Thanks for the responses folks, and keep them coming.

The reason I'm asking is, we have a noise in the rear due to the ride height being too low. It's causing too much driveshaft angle. I want to get under it to to adjust the ride height valves, but I want to make sure the rig is high enough that if I happen to move the valve the wrong direction (or any number of other stupid mistakes ), I don't get crushed if the air is released from the bags while I'm under there.

I'm only talking about raising it 6"-8" or so. At this point I'm thinking 2x10's stacked, with a long one on the bottom of the stack and progressively shorter ones as height increases (in effect making a ramp) would handle far more weight than the 30K this thing weighs (loaded). With the boards bolted together so they can't slide as you drive onto them. If you wanted to be really fancy about it, you could even cut a lot of angle onto the leading edges of the boards so you aren't driving the coach up an instant 2" step with each board it traverses.

I'm just not to thrilled at the idea of jacking something this size up with a jack, or being under it while it's on jack stands (no matter HOW much they cost lol).
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:48 PM   #7
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I'm sorry but after reading both your posts I think I have to question your skill level to do this reasonable simple job with complete safety.

While I understand what and why you are trying to accomplish this please consider spending a few dollars to have it adjusted by a pro.

Please center my whole post around your safety.
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:57 PM   #8
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On my gravel drive next to the house,I have a 1 foot+ drop off at the end,
made with railroad ties.
When backing in,there is plenty of space to get under for the oil filter and a
big tub.
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:00 PM   #9
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I dont think you can get a propper measurement for your ride height, if your frame is lifted with your jacks. Driving up on boards should work, but I'd run the front wheels up the same amount. Dont think you'll need 6-8" though.
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96 Wideglide View Post
I don't think you can get a proper measurement for your ride height, if your frame is lifted with your jacks. Driving up on boards should work, but I'd run the front wheels up the same amount. Don't think you'll need 6-8" though.
I was definitely planning to raise all 4 corners equally and do it on a perfectly level concrete surface. You are probably right about not needing 6-8" but better safe than sorry.
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:10 PM   #11
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I trust the Jack Stands, but use my leveling jacks as back up. I only raise it to lube the king pins. The creeper works great on pavement.
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottRussell View Post
Thanks for the responses folks, and keep them coming.



I'm only talking about raising it 6"-8" or so. At this point I'm thinking 2x10's stacked, with a long one on the bottom of the stack and progressively shorter ones as height increases (in effect making a ramp) would handle far more weight than the 30K this thing weighs (loaded). With the boards bolted together so they can't slide as you drive onto them. If you wanted to be really fancy about it, you could even cut a lot of angle onto the leading edges of the boards so you aren't driving the coach up an instant 2" step with each board it traverses.
I built the ramps exactly like you're talking about out of treated 2"X8"X8' boards cut into 3 pieces of 4', 2.5' and 1.5'. I used 3" long deck screws to attach them. I also cut the ends of each piece at a 45 degree angle to make it easier to drive up on them. I built four of them in order for all the rear wheels to be supported while working on the engine.
My 34' Gulf Stream is on a Spartan chassis with leaf springs instead of air bags and the tires are not as wide as the larger rigs so the 8" is just the right width for them.
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:21 PM   #13
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This is what I use.
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:27 PM   #14
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I built ramps like Muncie_6spd described. I went four high using treated 2x12's for an over all lift of six inches. No danger of anything collapsing and I have enough clearance to slide under the front and rear axles on a creeper. for long term storage, I put blocks (cribbing) under the jack pads so the coach settles on them when the air bags bleed off pressure. A garage and a concrete floor don't hurt either.

Wow Bill. Those are nice looking ramps - must be pretty heavy though. Mine are no lightweights either.
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