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Old 12-04-2015, 07:22 PM   #1
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Questions From a Newbie

Hello All,
We just purchased our first 5th wheel/toy hauler, a KZ Sportster 355TH12. The wife and I couldn't be happier. It has everything we've ever wanted in a camper except ... enough storage in the garage area.

This brings me to my first question - have you added cabinets to your unit? I've contacted KZ about doing this and they didn't say I couldn't/shouldn't but asked for my VIN to pull up the plans. I'd like to install one or two overhead cabinets and maybe a small tool box/cabinet.

My second question concerns jacking your toy hauler or 5th wheel to change a tire. How do you do it? My previous campers have been small and I could use my truck's jack to lift them. This Sportster is quite a bit bigger and a triple axle. The owner's manual says to use a hydraulic jack but I don't want to carry around a jack capable of lifting 5 tons! It would probably be pretty big and bulky. I was cruising the web and came across the Andersen Rapid Jack. Have any you used it? Would you recommend it?

Thanks in advance,
Eagle Fixer (Ret)
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Old 12-06-2015, 12:08 PM   #2
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I'm afraid I'm of little help to your question but thought I'd wish you a happy welcome from a fellow newbie. I can assure you that the answers to your questions are here. LOTS of really handy, smart, and super nice people!

Anthony
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Old 12-06-2015, 12:37 PM   #3
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Does your RV have the 6 point hydraulic Level Up system? If so, the easiest way to change a tire is to put it in manual mode and lift one side of the trailer. Lippert used to advertise this as a added benefit of the system when it first came out but now advise against it. The shift in policy is liability based and has nothing to do with whether the system can handle the task. If you don't have the Level Up system, a compact hydraulic jack in the dovetail storage box is your best bet...
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Old 12-10-2015, 02:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by anthonynalli View Post
I'm afraid I'm of little help to your question but thought I'd wish you a happy welcome from a fellow newbie. I can assure you that the answers to your questions are here. LOTS of really handy, smart, and super nice people!

Anthony
Thanks Anthony. I seem to be getting crickets on this one. I'll keep looking around. I have all winter to find answer. Probably won't make our maiden voyage until April or May.
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Old 12-10-2015, 02:14 PM   #5
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Does your RV have the 6 point hydraulic Level Up system? If so, the easiest way to change a tire is to put it in manual mode and lift one side of the trailer. Lippert used to advertise this as a added benefit of the system when it first came out but now advise against it. The shift in policy is liability based and has nothing to do with whether the system can handle the task. If you don't have the Level Up system, a compact hydraulic jack in the dovetail storage box is your best bet...
No, it just electric jack in the front.
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Old 12-10-2015, 07:17 PM   #6
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To change a tire I use a bottle jack...12 ton bottle jack is very small. I put it under the axel or spring hanger of the tire needing changed and Jack it up...it's really that simple don't over think it, even if you have to get on the axel some to avoid hitting the tire. You are only lifting the load of the spring on that axel not the entire trailer.
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Old 12-11-2015, 11:38 AM   #7
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I use the same, bottle jack. Takes little room
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Old 12-12-2015, 08:49 PM   #8
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To change a tire I use a bottle jack...12 ton bottle jack is very small. I put it under the axel or spring hanger of the tire needing changed and Jack it up...it's really that simple don't over think it, even if you have to get on the axel some to avoid hitting the tire. You are only lifting the load of the spring on that axel not the entire trailer.
Thanks Wild Card. I used to maintain F-15s for a living so I tend overthink things as if it's carrying 30 or 40 thousand pounds of bombs. A bottle jack is exactly what I need! Our 5er has a 13K lbs. GVWR so a 10-ton bottle jack should be more than enough and I can get one at Wally World, Harbor Freight, or Home Depot for under $50.

As for the cabinets and TV, they're a no-go. KZ didn't install the extra hardware necessary to mount either. They do have awesome customer service though. Within a day of emailing my question, they responded and answered all my questions and even gave me some suggestions on other storage options.
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Old 01-09-2016, 11:15 AM   #9
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I used a small floor Jack to lift one of my axles to remove a tire that had a nail in it. I was nervous also as this is my first "new" to me TH and a triple axle WW. Was pretty easy. Just went at it like a car/truck. I just blocked up the 1st and 3 axle. Lifted the 2nd. Took tire to America's Tire. Got repaired. Reinstalled.
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Old 01-09-2016, 11:20 AM   #10
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Bottle jack, jack stands for safety. They store in the pass-through in the front of my trailer. Insured by Murphy's Law, in that if I didn't have them, I would get a blow out every ten miles.
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:35 PM   #11
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I haven't done cabinets, but a friend has. They go up as cabinets do.. Find the studs, install cabinets. I'd probably run a horizontal brace (something trim looking) across any free hanging cabinets that I'd add.

For a tool box, I've been buying Harbor Freight units. Most of their stuff is junk, but the "US General" brand of tool boxes (ball bearing) are actually really good... What I installed in the RV is a 7-drawer chest.
It cost <$200 for ball bearing drawers and has a drawer lock. It's made to hang off the end of a roller chest.

I built a wooden frame for it to sit on to out of 2x4s, bolted that frame to the floor:


Then put the box over it, screwed the tool box into the frame:


The space under that cabinet was kinda "dead" anyway.. I like it enough that I may add another right next to it.


Here's a "mod" to the traditional bottle jack. Those jacks are great, but often if you HAVE to change a tire, you're not doing it on a perfectly level surface. This helps make sure I don't ever slip off an axle:

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Old 01-14-2016, 12:18 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by cb1000rider View Post
I haven't done cabinets, but a friend has. They go up as cabinets do.. Find the studs, install cabinets. I'd probably run a horizontal brace (something trim looking) across any free hanging cabinets that I'd add.

For a tool box, I've been buying Harbor Freight units. Most of their stuff is junk, but the "US General" brand of tool boxes (ball bearing) are actually really good... What I installed in the RV is a 7-drawer chest.
It cost <$200 for ball bearing drawers and has a drawer lock. It's made to hang off the end of a roller chest.

I built a wooden frame for it to sit on to out of 2x4s, bolted that frame to the floor:


Then put the box over it, screwed the tool box into the frame:


The space under that cabinet was kinda "dead" anyway.. I like it enough that I may add another right next to it.


Here's a "mod" to the traditional bottle jack. Those jacks are great, but often if you HAVE to change a tire, you're not doing it on a perfectly level surface. This helps make sure I don't ever slip off an axle:

Wow! This is awesome! Thanks for the info. Know what I'll be doing as soon as it warms up.
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Old 01-14-2016, 03:27 PM   #13
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Old 01-14-2016, 03:29 PM   #14
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The guy I bought my camper with gave me this it works great 12 minutes tire change and back on the road.


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