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Old 08-22-2013, 12:43 PM   #1
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How to jack 5th wheel down on to its tires

I don't have any experience with RV's - just trying to get this Holiday Rambler off a property we acquired. We don't have a manual to go by.

It has the three axles up on two I-Beams so the tires are just touching the ground.

To get it back down, can I . . .
  1. use the stabilizer jacks to take the load completely off the I-beams so as to remove the I-beams ? OR
  2. Using floor jacks - jack the frame up at points just in front and back of the wheel sets. It appears there must be a frame running almost the entire length of the trailer.
Thanks a lot if you have an idea - I just don't want to bend anything.


-Kent



Some photos :



As it sits


From the rear, underneath, the left ends of the axles on an I-beam.



The front jacks (and some stored ladders)


The rear scissor jacks (those two vertical legs between the scissor jacks are actually part of a big sink behind the trailer)
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:54 PM   #2
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Option 1 runs the risk of bending a stabilizer. As the name implies, those jacks are designed only to stabilize the 5th wheel, not to carry the weight of the entire rig.

I'd go with option 2 on one side of the rig at a time. I'd use some lengths of 2x8 on top of the jack heads to spread the load over a foot or two of the frame to minimize the risk of frame damage.

It looks like you have Mor-Ryde, torflex or similar axles that are fastened directly to the frame. If you had a Dexter leaf spring-type suspension system, you could jack the axles up on each side individually by jacking under the spring pads.

Rusty
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:32 PM   #3
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Ok, thanks a lot.
That's kind of what I was thinking.
Yes, the axles are fastened directly to the frame.

Btw, the tires and front tag imply 80psi tire inflation - does that sound about right ?
I wasn't sure if that's a maximum or what.
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:03 PM   #4
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They're probably load range E tires, so 80 PSIG would be the safe route to take since you don't have individual wheel weights. 80 PSIG is where a load range E tire can carry its maximum rated load.

Rusty
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Old 08-22-2013, 05:07 PM   #5
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Stabilizers not designed to hold up trailer with wheels off ground.

Use hydraulid bottle jack, I like to place them UNDER the shakle that holds the springs to the axle if it's leaf spring, else under the end mount on the springs (Where springs join frame) put 'em BEHIND the wheels by the way.

Now raise is just enough to pull the I-Beam out using the front jacks (They will raise the trailer) or the bottle jacks

LIFT both sides as close to each other as you can

Pull the I'beams out and then lower the bottle jacks.
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:08 AM   #6
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I agree with lifting at the frame. NEVER use stab. jacks.
Also, see if the tires are even rated for 80PSI max, they may not be.

How far are you pulling it with those tires?
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:13 AM   #7
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The tires say 80psi on them. I just asked because on cars, that's usually a maximum, not what's recommended for the particular vehicle.
It sounds like in this case, 80psi would be about right.

As to "how far" - we're going to sell the 5th wheel, so we won't be towing it ourselves.
But the tires have been off the ground and look almost new, so I think they'll be all right for a tow.

Also, just so I get this straight, are both front and back jacks called "stabilizer jacks" ? Or just the back ones - but the front ones can be weight bearing.
I've worked around a lot of machinery and so on, just that this is some new territory for me.

Thanks very much for all your help everyone !

-Kent
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Old 08-24-2013, 12:40 PM   #8
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Both the front and rear jacks are called stabilizers. The full weight of the RV should NOT be placed on them.

Rusty
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Old 08-24-2013, 12:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by RustyJC View Post
Both the front and rear jacks are called stabilizers. The full weight of the RV should NOT be placed on them.

Rusty
Not on this fifth wheel.
Front jacks are landing legs, and you have to put weight on them, just not the FULL weight. They're meant to lift up the tongue.
Just cause tires "look" new, doesn't mean they are good. But that's the buyer's problem then.
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:21 PM   #10
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I stand by my statement. The FULL weight of the 5th wheel should not be placed on these jacks, which is precisely what I stated in post #8. The front landing legs/stabilizers on ANY 5th wheel have to carry the pin weight of the 5th wheel, but that doesn't mean that they, in conjunction with the rear jacks, should carry the full weight of the 5th wheel with all tires off the ground.

Rusty
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:05 PM   #11
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Ok, so then the method posted #5 is not advised ? - it'd put too much weight on the front jacks ? Sorry, wa8yxm - sounded good to me ;-)

It sounds like it'd be better to put bottle jacks or the like on the frame, in front of and behind the wheels, take out the I-beam, then jack it down.

-K
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:35 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by RustyJC View Post
I stand by my statement. The FULL weight of the 5th wheel should not be placed on these jacks, which is precisely what I stated in post #8. The front landing legs/stabilizers on ANY 5th wheel have to carry the pin weight of the 5th wheel, but that doesn't mean that they, in conjunction with the rear jacks, should carry the full weight of the 5th wheel with all tires off the ground.

Rusty
If you had the 5er on jacks then the front landing gear would not be holding all the weight. The jacks would be holding the weight that the axels would have been holding. So it would never be possible to put all the weight on the front jacks.

Another thought on getting it off the I-beams...let the air out of the tires, wedge blocks or pavers under them, then air them back up. It would lift it the thickness of whatever you put under the tires. If it is "just" touching the frame then it shouldn't take much to clear the I-beams. Good luck.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:42 PM   #13
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Just back the truck under it and pull, when the screeching stops you are good to go!
Or use the bottle jacks.
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:59 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by kbarb View Post
Ok, so then the method posted #5 is not advised ? - it'd put too much weight on the front jacks ? Sorry, wa8yxm - sounded good to me ;-)

It sounds like it'd be better to put bottle jacks or the like on the frame, in front of and behind the wheels, take out the I-beam, then jack it down.

-K
No, he is right.
Lift up the rear stabilizer jacks completely.
Then jack up on the frame behind the axles, and take out the beams.
The landing legs on the front will be fine.
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