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Old 09-14-2012, 01:29 AM   #1
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Jacks down question

Tonight we put the jacks down, checking the leveler gauges in front of coach and back. All looked fairly level. Then when we were outside sitting under a tree for cocktail hour we noticed that a) only three of the jacks were touching the ground, the right rear was not. and b) the left front tire was about an inch off the ground. I say the jack up doesn't matter, but the tire off the ground was not. My DW says the opposite - jack off is not okay but the tire doesn't matter. So how about it. We are having a friendly wager.
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:41 AM   #2
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Well: we have four point jacks, each ram is rated for 12,000#'s
I checked with
Newmar, no problem
Spartan, no problem
HWH, no problem
Reyco Granning (front axle manufacturer), no problem

So I do it, sometimes for months at a time. Just NEVER the back axle!
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:41 AM   #3
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I think I would let the remaining jack down till it just touched the ground, without upsetting the level of the coach. The front wheel off the ground is of no consequence, as the jack units are plenty strong enough to support the weight of that corner, and having the wheel off the ground is evidently necessary for the coach to be level.

I have found that right or wrong, you should always allow your wife to win arguments such as these, makes for "smoother camping", don'tcha know.
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:45 AM   #4
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I've leveled mine many times where a jack will not hit the ground and many times a front or both tires are off the ground. When the coach is level, it just doesn't matter. With the exception of never have a rear tire off the ground.

The first time I encountered a rear jack not on the ground, I was compelled to get both rears on the ground. Then I found out I had to then raise the front higher to compensate. Since there was no more stabilty walking around in the coach, I put it back the way it was. I don't like jacks extended more than necessary.
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:51 AM   #5
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Leveled coach nicely, noticed left rear jack was not touching ground and right rear tire was almost off the ground. Dropped the jack down, which put left side to high, didn't want to lift the right side to compensate because i wanted the tire to remain on the ground so we lived with the bathroom door closing on its own for a few days.
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:52 AM   #6
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We experience the same thing often, with 1 jack slightly off the ground. I just extend that jack till I feel it just touch and shake the coach. If I'm careful it doesn't usually even move the bubble. The rear/front tire off the ground issue is interesting. I hate any one of them being off, but there's been a few times when it just wouldn't level out any other way.

As far as the rears, not ok to be off the ground, but the fronts being ok. I never knew that. Sounds good, I just don't understand the logic or reasoning. Anyone care to explain it and educate me a little more.
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:54 AM   #7
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The only thing that can keep the coach from rolling off the jacks is the rear wheels.
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
The only thing that can keep the coach from rolling off the jacks is the rear wheels.
And how does the coach roll with 3 or 4 jacks pressed into the ground with a total force of 14,000-35,000 lbs? I can maybe see it if they are the kick-down (knee action) type of jack rather than a straight-down hydraulic ram, but otherwise it ain't gonna roll anywhere.
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:08 AM   #9
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We had a '96 Southwind coach that would pop the windshield out of its molding if the front wheels were lifted off the ground. The front end of the Ford chassis lacked rigidity and without support at the outer edges (the jacks were closer together and somewhat behind the front wheels) the front end torqued enough to cause windshield problems. It didn't seem to happen immediately, but if we were parked for several days it would work loose.

I don't worry about it with the present coach - the chassis is much stronger and the design of the windshield support is very rigid.
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:13 AM   #10
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with the rear jacks off the ground which means no brakes, and a slope to the ground which is usually the reason we use the jacks, some of that downward pressure would be diverted by gravity in the direction of the slope and could damage the jacks..... maybe....
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:53 AM   #11
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i wanted the tire to remain on the ground so we lived with the bathroom door closing on its own for a few days.
I put one of these at the top, outside corner of my bathroom door. I'm not claustrophobic, but the dogs feels ignored when the door closes and tells me so.



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with the rear jacks off the ground which means no brakes, and a slope to the ground which is usually the reason we use the jacks, some of that downward pressure would be diverted by gravity in the direction of the slope and could damage the jacks..... maybe....
If you're at a site that off level, you need to move.
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:10 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
And how does the coach roll with 3 or 4 jacks pressed into the ground with a total force of 14,000-35,000 lbs? I can maybe see it if they are the kick-down (knee action) type of jack rather than a straight-down hydraulic ram, but otherwise it ain't gonna roll anywhere.
Since this was asked....

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As far as the rears, not ok to be off the ground, but the fronts being ok. I never knew that. Sounds good, I just don't understand the logic or reasoning. Anyone care to explain it and educate me a little more.
I gave him the only reason for doing so. Personally I agree with you, but everybody doesn't. I do know when I'm under my MH, in my sloped driveway, I will not do so unless the rear tires are on the ground. Just a weird personal quirk I have.
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:23 AM   #13
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I wouldn't get under it, but what about choking the front wheels at a camp ground. Would it be ok to have the rear wheels off the ground?
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:08 PM   #14
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The jack off the ground means the RV will be a bit less stable, It may "Wiggle" a bit as you walk around.. And by that I mean a bit more than normal. You can do the manual override to put the jack on the ground.

As for ONE FRONT wheel being off the ground.. The myth is that the suspension is designed to hold up thousands of pounds of motor home will have issues supporting a few hundred pounds of tire and wheel..

No, it won't, if it does your ball joints or other parts are out of spec and better you find that out "jacks down" than "Pedal to the metal"

I've had ball joints fail (on a car) at zero MPH, and though not fun, Tis not dangerous

'Failing at 55,, Is way less fun and way more dangerous.
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