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Old 04-06-2012, 10:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by first5thwheel View Post
I suppose I could do it that way rather than make a base for the jack. I am leery of jacking on any of the undertow, my gut instinct tells me to stick to the frame, are other's in the forum ever jacked before via the frame?

And here is another thing I thought of, the trailer is not hitched to my truck so maybe I should brace the front and take the weight off the leveling legs so that I do not but any twisting force on those, I would hate to mess those up while jacking ?????
Drive the good tire up on a 4-6" block. You may still need a little lift on the flat tire so use your jack to lift at axle as close to tire as possible.

Or you can buy the ramp they make for this...
Amazon.com: Camco® Trailer Aid Plus: Automotive

Not all us have access to our frame rails...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ralper View Post
The "Big Foot" automatic leveling system I have on my 5er lifts all four tires off the ground at one time.
Jealous. :-)
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:55 PM   #16
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While some trailers have an exposed frame that a jack can be placed under some trailers have an enclosed under side which means the jack must be placed under the axle spring shackle or axle shock absorber mount. in some cases (ie: my kountry Aire triple axle with Mor Ryde) it is necessary to place the jack under the axle as close to the inside of the wheel as possible. A floor jack is extremely difficult to use under the axle there fore a Hyd bottle jack is more convient. the larger the tonnage of the jack the easier it is to lift the trailer. I use a 12 ton jack for on the road and a 20 ton for at home. A decent bottle jack can be purchased (12-20 ton) from Harbor Freight/Norther Tool for about $40. NEVER trust a jack without using a solid support under the axle. further do not recommend removing all the wheels at the same time unless absolutely necessary. If necessary just do one axle at a time as opposed to one side to prevent any twisting of the unit. If the unit has Dexter or kelsey hayes axles then they are built strong enough to jack under the axle in the above mentioned method. they are imo propably stronger than the Lippert built frame. Just my .02 cents of 60 years tire changing experience.
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:54 AM   #17
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If you google "twisted Lippert frames" you will literally find many references to this problem with Lippert frames. What my experience has been is that the frame is not designed for a spot weight point of 4500 lbs. It is designed for the longitudinal load of 4500 pounds. But the axle / spring point is designed for that 4500 lb load. lifting there distributes the weight to the spring shackles as designed, not on a point of the frame - as NOT designed to carry that weight at that point! But go ahead, we all know Lippert is a frame expert company.
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:10 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Palpatine View Post
If you google "twisted Lippert frames" you will literally find many references to this problem with Lippert frames. What my experience has been is that the frame is not designed for a spot weight point of 4500 lbs. It is designed for the longitudinal load of 4500 pounds. But the axle / spring point is designed for that 4500 lb load. lifting there distributes the weight to the spring shackles as designed, not on a point of the frame - as NOT designed to carry that weight at that point! But go ahead, we all know Lippert is a frame expert company.


My whole purpose of my post is to jack this unit and to do this properly. I am the one who is "green" at this and that is why I have posed the question to the forum in the first place.

Your explanation makes perfect sense and if you have been jacking like this without damages to the undertow and you have been doing it this way for many, many years then there must be merit to what you are saying.

My intention is not to doubt you or question your methods. What you are saying makes perfect logical sense. And it does seem odd to lift on whole side of the rig to get a tire 1 inch off the ground. That would be allot of pressure on the I-frame. (mine is exposed and not concealed).

It becomes confusing when a manufacturer (such as the post diagram from the other member) and then a garage and other internet posts say do it via the frame, and then your experience has been just the opposite.
Maybe you could understand my confusion.

I guess the old saying will go... Live and learn. Thank you for your advice. It is very much appreciated.

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Old 04-07-2012, 02:28 PM   #19
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I just replaced the tires on our 'new to us' 29 FT Alpenlite. I left the unit under the RV cover and arranged with Discount Tire to change out the tires as I brought them in. As I wanted to also repack the bearings and check the brakes....I did one axle at a time. I simply placed an 8 ton bottle jack under the spring/axle bracket and lifted the tire off the ground to remove it...placed a work stand under that end and slightly lowered the jack to have the axle 'just sit' on the stand, while leaving the jack to carry the load.

I then did the other side the same way. The rear axle was carrying it's load the the jacks/stand carrying the load for the front. I do not see the need to have the unit attached to the truck or supported by the frame by other means....unless I'm removing both wheels on one side as the below photo shows. In this photo, on our prior unit, I was replaceing the running gear with Dexter's HD suspension parts.




In the above photo I did block the frame in the front/aft of the axle. While the wheels were installed....I placed my blocking under the unit, forward/aft and unit a 20 ton jack ( because that's what I have) under the frame and using a 4x4 cut to length that has an index for the top on the jack at it's base, lifted the unit just high enough to place several sections of lumber for the unit to sit on. I then lowered the jack so the frame 'just sits on' the blocking. Jack holding the majority of the weight. The front is done the same way.

I can now remove the wheels and work on the suspension. At all times the jacks are supporting the weight and the blocking or stands are providing additional support/stability.

I just replaced the tires on the Alpenlite using the one axle method. There I took those 2 tires and the spare down to have mounted and packed/checked the bearing/brakes in the process. When I was done, I mounted those and did the back axle and tires. The tire store was close so didn't see a need to have to take the tires off twice by having them mount the new tires at the store.

When time permits in the coming months, I will be installing Dexter's EZ Flex suspension on the unit and will do the one side at a time as in the above photo.

As others have mentioned, I would do one axle at a time using the spring bracket as a lift point. Lifting the frame to change a tire seems like a lot of addition work.

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Old 04-07-2012, 02:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Workshop View Post
I just replaced the tires on our 'new to us' 29 FT Alpenlite. I left the unit under the RV cover and arranged with Discount Tire to change out the tires as I brought them in. As I wanted to also repack the bearings and check the brakes....I did one axle at a time. I simply placed an 8 ton bottle jack under the spring/axle bracket and lifted the tire off the ground to remove it...placed a work stand under that end and slightly lowered the jack to have the axle 'just sit' on the stand, while leaving the jack to carry the load.

I then did the other side the same way. The rear axle was carrying it's load the the jacks/stand carrying the load for the front. I do not see the need to have the unit attached to the truck or supported by the frame by other means....unless I'm removing both wheels on one side as the below photo shows. In this photo, on our prior unit, I was replaceing the running gear with Dexter's HD suspension parts.




In the above photo I did block the frame in the front/aft of the axle. While the wheels were installed....I placed my blocking under the unit, forward/aft and unit a 20 ton jack ( because that's what I have) under the frame and using a 4x4 cut to length that has an index for the top on the jack at it's base, lifted the unit just high enough to place several sections of lumber for the unit to sit on. I then lowered the jack so the frame 'just sits on' the blocking. Jack holding the majority of the weight. The front is done the same way.

I can now remove the wheels and work on the suspension. At all times the jacks are supporting the weight and the blocking or stands are providing additional support/stability.

I just replaced the tires on the Alpenlite using the one axle method. There I took those 2 tires and the spare down to have mounted and packed/checked the bearing/brakes in the process. When I was done, I mounted those and did the back axle and tires. The tire store was close so didn't see a need to have to take the tires off twice by having them mount the new tires at the store.

When time permits in the coming months, I will be installing Dexter's EZ Flex suspension on the unit and will do the one side at a time as in the above photo.

As others have mentioned, I would do one axle at a time using the spring bracket as a lift point. Lifting the frame to change a tire seems like a lot of addition work.

workhorse
Thank you thank you thank you.... the pictures are worth a 1000 words. This is just how other members are doing it. But in your picutures the jack does not seem to be on the U-bolt? Your thoughts ? If I am not mistaken it appears the bottle jack is directly on the leaf spring where it joins the hanger?
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:33 PM   #21
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Here's several additonal photos.

One is with the jack below the spring plate...




One is with the equipment I carry. As I downsized from an Excel 34 ft unit, which had a storage compartment for such things, to a 29ft with less storage....I purchased this weather proof tool box from Lowes and was able to get all my jacks/stands and several other items in. I now carry it in the back of the truck when we travel.




This photo is of the jacks. I let the 8 ton bottle stay with the Excel when we sold it and kept the 6 ton for the Alpenlite. Just before I sold the Excel, I purchased a 12 ton compact because it fits under a flat tire easier and so much easier to jack. LOL




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Old 04-07-2012, 04:54 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Workshop View Post
Here's several additonal photos.

One is with the jack below the spring plate...




One is with the equipment I carry. As I downsized from an Excel 34 ft unit, which had a storage compartment for such things, to a 29ft with less storage....I purchased this weather proof tool box from Lowes and was able to get all my jacks/stands and several other items in. I now carry it in the back of the truck when we travel.




This photo is of the jacks. I let the 8 ton bottle stay with the Excel when we sold it and kept the 6 ton for the Alpenlite. Just before I sold the Excel, I purchased a 12 ton compact because it fits under a flat tire easier and so much easier to jack. LOL




workhorse

Wonderful !!!!! Now I see exactly how you are placing the bottle jack under that spring in the other picture. The close up solved my question.

Great idea on the tool box. It is amazing how compact it all fits in there. And the jacks sit in the tool box upright. AWESOME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know this thread is going to help other green horns with this question. I cannot thank you enouph for the pictures and the blocking suggestions. I like the fact you are using one of the bottle jacks to support the hub. Great idea !!!!!!
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:08 PM   #23
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Just a thought but if still in doubt you might try calling the manufacture of your RV to ask about the proper procedure for that specific unit.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:39 PM   #24
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Hi 1ciderdog,

Yes I do have a request into the manufacterer. The trouble is my rig is a Fleetwood Wilderness, and they went bankrupt in 2009, and were bought out by a New York-based American Industrial Partners Capital Fund IV LP paid $53 million for Fleetwood Enterprises’ so now the company just specializes in the motorized coaches now.

They still use the Fleetwood name, but they are not the original manufacterer of the 5th wheels. The 5th wheel line was discontinued after the company's bankruptcy in June 2009. However Heartland acquired the 5th wheel line and I believe they re-introduced the Prowler brand in the summer of 2010. To my knowledge I do not think the "Wilderness" has been resurrected.

I am hoping however they have a data base still for all of us out here that still have rigs in operation even though the company went belly up. Here is the article I read about it:

Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. | RV Business

We will see if they respond with any jacking tips.

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Old 04-07-2012, 08:27 PM   #25
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I have jacked up my own 5th wheel and many others by the frame and have never twisted the frame. All that I have jacked up usually will even lift the front jack off the ground as well as the tires, I then place a jack stand as close to the rear axle as I can and jack up the other side. I have worked on most major brands of RVs with no problems twisting frames.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:55 PM   #26
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No longer than your trailer is you won't have a worry with jacking from the frame. Your OP sounds like a good plan. I use cut up RR ties used in the fashion you mentioned when bunking a trailer when I want the tires/wheels off.

I bent (one rail slightly) a loaded 21k 36' GN flatdeck trailer many years ago by jacking from a single point. However i've owned three 5 th wheel trailers up to 30' and always raise the trailer by jacking the frame while on my concrete driveway pad. On the road I use a truckers special shorty 12k hyd bottle jack with a 12" x 12" base for soft ground.. It slides nicely under the end of the axle tubes/U bolt or the spring plate on std leaf spring suspensions.

Asking any question on a forum will always get you differing opinions as some folks have no experience with the question topic but have a opinion/some folks have lots of experience on the subject and others are in between somewhere.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:05 AM   #27
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This is very good to know.

I am glad there are some of you in here that have jacked up your 5vers both ways and have done it repeatedly without damage either using the u-bolt's method or the frame method.


You know this has been a good thread for me, because I have never in my life jacked up a 5th wheel and changed a tire. I mean I have jacked up a trucks and cars my whole life and changed out tires, but as you know they are designed for road side jacking or jacking in general.


A 5th wheel, well that is a different story in that there are really no designated jacking points outline on the rig itself. "You know... jack here marked on the rig frame or undertow, or a warning that says "Do not jack here" kind of thing. Except the manual diagram a member posted from his owners manuals. I did not even have that in my paperwork.


I understand many of the people who have responded to this thread do it differently and I was hoping for more of a common pattern to arise in that 3 do it this way and 10 do it that way kind of thing.


What has been very beneficial is each person has given me their method that works for them and explained the detail of how they do it. That has been very helpful. And that they have done it for years that way.


I want to thank all of the members who have shared their method of jacking up a 5th wheel. I am very glad to know either way will not damage the rig's undertow or the frame, providing it is done in the manner each person outlined. One thing I knew going into this was never to jack on the axle itself. Common sense and my gut already told me that. But the jacking pressure points outlined throughout this thread does make sense to me.


I hope others who do not have the experience like me, will come away more educated on this task. And really isn't that what part of our forum is all about. "Helping each other out" Knowledge is powerful and it can save you time and $$$$$ when following the advice and wisdom of people who have been down that path before. I appreciate this forum for that and much more !!!!!!!
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:02 PM   #28
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Workshop,
Great pics and explanation. I see you have some square blocks in your storage box. What are these and what size? I assume they are for under the jacks when on soft ground. Where did you find the compact 12 ton jack? Any other items I will need to change tire? Lug tools, Torque wrench? I have a Newmar Kountry Star at about 14,000# Thanks in advance.
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