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Old 02-13-2013, 07:09 PM   #1
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How do I position Camco jacks to lessen bounce

Last September I purchased a 2001, 33' Sierra (by Forest River) fifth wheel that has one 14' slide. This is my first trailer. It is set up at a seasonal park, and it will remain there. I don't plan to tow it. It has hydraulic jacks on the front corners, scissor jacks on the rear corners, and 2 tires on each side. When I sit on the sofa, and my wife walks around in the trailer, the trailer bounces a little. I would like to lessen the bounce. One person in the park said getting the tires off the ground is the solution. I'm not sure he is right.

A member of this forum mentioned these Camco Stack Jacks worked for his "bounce" problem.
camco jacks - Walmart.com
I read some positive feedback on using them, for that purpose, on the Walmart site and Amazon site. These jacks seem to be a fairly inexpensive and easy solution. I'm hoping your expertise will tell me how many jacks to use and where to position them. (I see they sell 4 in a package, and also 2 in a package.) Thanks in advance.

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Old 02-13-2013, 09:19 PM   #2
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Most of the bounce is coming from the springs. Properly placed those jacks will minimize "bounce". To do that most of the weight must be removed from the springs and tires. Think of it as a mobile home setup procedure, only leaving the axles, springs, and tires in place; which is required in most RV parks. The rear stabilizers are not designed to remove weight from the springs, only make the 5er more stable. I would use hydraulic jacks to raise the 5er and get it level. One Camco jack immediately in front, and in back of the axles, for both sides, will make a huge difference, you might try that at first and if you think more is needed, add them.
Those are my thoughts on the matter.

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Old 02-14-2013, 07:25 AM   #3
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Yeah, the rear stabilizer jacks are not intended to take all the weight off the suspension. You need jackstands under the frame to do that.

Those Camco jackstands should work fine if properly installed.

First get the trailer level side to side, using lumber or Lynx levelers or something under the tires on the low side. Use a 4' carpenter's level to get the floor level. Shorter levels aren't accurate enough.

Lower the front of the 5er to the lowest position the landing gear will retract to. Then place one of those jackstands at each rear corner of the frame and tighten them up fairly snug.

Then be sure the foot of the landing gear on each side is the same distance to solid ground, using wood or Lynx levelers or plywood or something similar.

Then raise the front of the trailer on the landing gear until it is level front to rear. Double-check to be sure the floor of the trailer is still level, side to side in both front and rear of the trailer.

Then place one of those jackstands at each front corner of the frame and tighten them up fairly snug.

Then retract the landing gear and most if not all the weight of the RV will be on the jackstands and none or almost none on the trailer suspension. Your bouncing trailer should be fixed.

But if you still have even a tiny bit of bounce, the jackstands can be manually tightened even more to remove more weight from the trailer suspension. It's no fun to manually tighten a jackstand after a lot of weight is on it, so hope your landing gear will provide enough clearance to get the job done by using just the landing gear and not having to manually adjust the jackstands.

If you decide to manually adjust the jackstands, then first remove the jackstands from the front of the frame and lower the landing gear to it's lowest level. Then the rear jackstands will be easier to manually screw up an inch or so. Then use the landing gear to level the trailer front to rear, and replace the front jackstands.

For well-built RV trailers, the jackstands placed at the 4 corners of the frame should do the trick. However, if your trailer is an ultra-light, the frame may not be strong enough to leave it that way, and you might get a tiny bit of bounce from the frame flexing, even if there is no weight on the suspension. In that case, you need two sets of those jackstands. Use one set as described above. Then after you are done, place the other four jackstands on the frame near the trailer axles and manually tighten them up good and tight.

Using hydraulic jack(s) as Ray suggested, instead of the landing gear, would work too. But I suspect it would be a lot more trouble.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:55 AM   #4
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I use one in the front and rear of the spring shackles on both sides. No need to jack up with hydraulic jacks. Just get it level side to side before you start. I just snug them up hand tight. They take a lot of bounce out for $40.
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:42 AM   #5
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I have dual axles. I placed one jack in front of the front axle and one in back of the rear axle. I did this on both sides. I didn't take any weight off the tires and suspension. I just tighted the jacks up at much as I could by hand. It helped some but not nearly as much as I hoped it would. I guess I can live with the bounce/movement. I've read about jacks that go between the tires, and tripod that stabilizes the front hitch under the bedroom, but I believe the best thing is to take some or all the weight off the tires and suspension.
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