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Old 12-08-2007, 07:40 AM   #1
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I'm planning to inspect the brakes, bearings and repack bearings on my newly acquired 1999 Newmar 29 foot 5vr. I thought I saw cautions about lifting one corner of an axle at a time somewhere. I'm not sure how I will lift the entire axle at a time except to center the floor jack on the axle. Any suggestions for stabilizing the unit while jacking?
I had thought about hooking it to the truck for front support but doubt I would get much travel before lifting at the pin. I'll use jack stands once off the ground. Realy don't have to go very high to clear the tires.

I'm sure the best answer is to take it to my friends place and use his in ground floor hoist at the frame but he is out of town.
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Old 12-08-2007, 07:40 AM   #2
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I'm planning to inspect the brakes, bearings and repack bearings on my newly acquired 1999 Newmar 29 foot 5vr. I thought I saw cautions about lifting one corner of an axle at a time somewhere. I'm not sure how I will lift the entire axle at a time except to center the floor jack on the axle. Any suggestions for stabilizing the unit while jacking?
I had thought about hooking it to the truck for front support but doubt I would get much travel before lifting at the pin. I'll use jack stands once off the ground. Realy don't have to go very high to clear the tires.

I'm sure the best answer is to take it to my friends place and use his in ground floor hoist at the frame but he is out of town.
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Old 12-08-2007, 08:27 AM   #3
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Basically what you should do and what you do do can be two different things. To correctly do the job, you should be parked on a level place with lots of room around the trailer. Lever the trailer using the landing gear, and then drop the rear stabilizers. Then place a couple of jack stands under the frame just ahead and just behind the axles. Then jack the axle up under the spring perch just enough to get the wheel off. That way you will have lots of support under the trailer.
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Old 12-08-2007, 04:59 PM   #4
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Welcome to irv2.com!

As Donn said, use a jack only under the spring mounting. Anywhere inside of that bring the possibility of bending/distorting the axle. Follow this re-packing wheel bearings article.
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:46 AM   #5
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Both Dexter and Al-Ko have very nice downloadable manuals.

If I recall correctly, both say not to jack on any part of the axle or suspension, however I've jacked on the spring pack directly below the axle when I haven't had a choice, with no ill effects.

I wouldn't jack on any part of the axle tube, as you could bend it or cave it in.

Doing planned service, I'd also suggest jacking from the frame, with lots of blocking, landing jacks down, and truck hitched for extra stability.

Al-Ko manual

Dexter page
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Old 12-10-2007, 07:39 PM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback. Checking with Newmar to find out which axles I have.
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Old 12-10-2007, 07:41 PM   #7
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John, each of your axles should have a metal band around it with the specifications and Mfgr.
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Old 12-11-2007, 07:13 AM   #8
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It has been highly recommended to me by several techs to always have the trailer hooked to the truck. This takes all pressure off all landing gear. The stablilizers at the rear are not designed to hold heavy trailer weight. This also retains the three point (triangle) suspension which will not twist the frame. Just lift one side at a time is the easiest.
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Old 12-13-2007, 06:12 AM   #9
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John, I had a 29ft Kountry Star in my other life, nice unit that we enjoyed very much.

As Ray,IN indicated there shoud be a metal plate attached to the axles. My KS had Dexter axles. The web link to Dexter Axle has a lot of good information available. If you need to obtain brake or suppension parts and can't find them locally, Dexter sells direct and have found the cost reasonable.

Have been doing my own service on several different trailer types. What works for me: Ensure your level as possible, If not on concrete, use jack/stand pads beneath the jacking equipment for stability. Depending on time available, I will do either one wheel/hub at a time and/or one axle at a time. Stabilizers down if equiped and have never had the unit attached to the truck. I block the wheels that's not in maintenance. The only time I've found it necessary to block the
frame is when I'm removing both wheel/hub from the same side. As when replacing suppension parts on both axles, on the same side.

I use a 6-ton bottle jack and 4-ton jack stand per wheel. I place the jack beneath the springs "tie plate" and raise the wheel off the ground. The same as if replacing a flat. I remove the wheel, Place the stand beneath the axle close to the jack and slowly lower the jack height till the axle just sets on the stand, about 1/3 weight. If doing the complete axle, will follow the same procedure on the other side. I leave the jacks under the tie plate carrying the majority of the wieght, the stands add extra stability. With the other axle not in maintenance and the jacks/stand in use, I have had the unit sit for up to a week while obtaining parts. Reverse the procedure to install the wheel, jack..install wheel..remove stand..lower and torque lugs..remove jack.

Depending on your confort level, doing one wheel at a time might be your best bet. As it's hard to get any information on the "correct" way to jack a camper, it has been gathering information, trail and error, doing what's safe and what works for ME. As with anything in life, never do anything you don't feel is safe or correct. If you need any further assistance, there's a lot of good information on this site.

As you have a '99 unit, check your suspension while your there, lube your brake points and check the wire connections where the trailer's wire harness, brake wires, connect to the brakes backer plate at each wheel.
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Old 12-19-2007, 12:13 PM   #10
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Thanks Workshop. You have eased my mind about doing it myself. I do most of my own automotive maintennace and have certainly packed wheel bearings and done brake jobs before so I really hate to put the work into the hands of some of those I've seen in local RV service centers. Now would you mind coming over to my place and cleaning out my shop so I can the unit in there to do the work out of the rain?
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