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Old 01-22-2015, 06:43 AM   #1
paz
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Bottle Jack vs. Hydraulic Levelers

We just switched from a motorhome to a 5th wheel, and here is the first of what is likely to be many questions. We are long time RVers, but this is our first 5th wheel.

Can you use hydraulic levelers to change a tire or do I need to carry a bottle jack? The levelers are capable of easily lifting one side of the coach, but would it be better to have a 5-ton bottle jack available for both emergencies and routine servicing such as tire rotation and wheel removal for packing bearings. The GVWR of the trailer is 17k.
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Old 01-22-2015, 06:52 AM   #2
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Bottle Jack vs. Hydraulic Levelers

In my opinion the purpose is to get the tire off the ground. How you do that should not matter. I would never trust any jack if I were getting under the coach. Something under the frame for safety (jack stand) would be a must.

Russell
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Old 01-22-2015, 07:33 AM   #3
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Don't know if your levelers are rated for it or if they'd lift the wheels off the ground enough to change a tire. They'd probably get most of the weight off the axles so lifting one with a jack shouldn't be that difficult. You should bring a jack stand to hold the axle up safely though.
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:22 AM   #4
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If you are asking if you have a flat tire how would you change the tire on the trailer? Will this is how I have done this a couple of times when I used to use Chinese tires on my trailers.

I use a product called "Trailer Aid" mounted on a 2X6 to raise the good tire up on it to support the trailer on the side of the flat tire. This will support the trailer safely and you will not have any jack-failures to worry about. I then will raise the axle slightly with a 1 1/2 ton hydraulic floor jack so the good tire can be installed. I have found that the axle will drop down after the flat has been removed and it is difficult to re-install the spare tire. I carry a small sears hydraulic floor jack in my boonie box.

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Old 01-22-2015, 10:25 AM   #5
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I put a some wood blocks under the levelers on the side to be lifted so the jacks don't overextend. Zip the lug nuts off with an electric impact wrench, take off the tire and replace the tire. No stands under the frame. I'm not going under the trailer so they are not needed. Have done it this way several times on the side of the highway.
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Old 01-22-2015, 02:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimcumminsw View Post
I use a product called "Trailer Aid" mounted on a 2X6 to raise the good tire up on it to support the trailer on the side of the flat tire. This will support the trailer safely and you will not have any jack-failures to worry about.

I have a question about doing a tire change this way. I know the weight carried by two tires/wheels normally, would be mostly all carried by the remaining tire/wheel in the event of a blowout. The equalizer would still be trying to distribute the weight to the blown tire's axle.

My question is: Does putting the full two-axle weight on just one tire, damage the tire that is not blown? Wouldn't that severely overload the "Good" tire??

To help keep on topic... We just got a 2007 Excel and it has hydraulic landing gear and stabilizers. Should the need arise, I can use both the hydraulics and a bottle jack, to facilitate a tire change. I do need to get an electric impack to keep in the truck though...
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Old 01-22-2015, 03:41 PM   #7
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Though I have done it, and on a motor home, use of hydraulic levelers to change tires is NOT recommended.

Fact, a bottle jack does a better job

For tire changing I can park the bottle jack under the axle and lift directly (I like to place it under the springs/axle crossing, this is where the axle supports the RV after all)

but if you use the leveler jacks you are putting negative pressure on teh suspension, Some folks think this does damage, I disagree, but it is so easy to pick it up with the bottle jack (A 12 ton air/hydraulic job from Harbor Freight) I mean two fingers on the air valve and it jack-jacks it up (the jack has two pumps, one is a hand pump, the other works like a jack hammer off compressed air, hence I call it a jack-jack)
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Old 01-22-2015, 03:54 PM   #8
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If you can lift the tire with the leveling jacks, do it but support the axle with a good jack stand.

I always carry a pair of 12 ton bottle jacks--bought very cheap at Harbor Freight. The problem with them is that every stroke lifts very little. It takes quite awhile to jack up a tire.
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Old 01-22-2015, 05:06 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies. The jacks should have no trouble lifting one side of the trailer. Someone mentioned blocks under the jacks, which would probably be necessary. Of course, proper jack stands would be a good idea even for changing a tire, and would be absolutely necessary for any work under the trailer.
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:12 AM   #10
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You would have more risk using bottle jack over your hyd levelers. I carry a cheater pipe as well as torque wrench to insure lugs are properly re-tightened. You will find that your jacks will raise you rig effortlessly. Leave the heavy bottle jack at home .
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMD_Driver View Post
I have a question about doing a tire change this way. I know the weight carried by two tires/wheels normally, would be mostly all carried by the remaining tire/wheel in the event of a blowout. The equalizer would still be trying to distribute the weight to the blown tire's axle.
No: For the amount of time that the tire is being used to support the additional load this will not damage the tire.

My question is: Does putting the full two-axle weight on just one tire, damage the tire that is not blown? Wouldn't that severely overload the "Good" tire?? Again No: I have changed two failed tires using this method and the tire that was good and supported the trailer had no issues done the road.

To help keep on topic... We just got a 2007 Excel and it has hydraulic landing gear and stabilizers. Should the need arise, I can use both the hydraulics and a bottle jack, to facilitate a tire change. I do need to get an electric impack to keep in the truck though...
You should have a torque wrench to insure that the proper fastening torque is applied to the wheel studs. I do not like impact guns for fastening purposes since they are not torque wrenches.


See my answers in red to your questions.

Jim W.
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Old 01-23-2015, 11:11 AM   #12
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Thanks for taking time to address my concerns. I carry a torque wrench in the truck. Impact would be for quicker removal.
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Old 01-23-2015, 02:28 PM   #13
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A simple device called TrailerAid Plus is all you need to do road side service or general maintenance. Bottle jack not required.

Maybe someone with far better computer talents could post a pic of one.

Thanks
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:41 PM   #14
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A simple device called TrailerAid Plus is all you need to do road side service or general maintenance. Bottle jack not required.

Maybe someone with far better computer talents could post a pic of one.

Thanks
Here ya go!

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