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Old 06-20-2014, 09:41 PM   #1
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Safely getting under air suspension coach

How have you guys been safely getting under your coaches that have air suspensions? With the air dropped and no longer having a building to use I need a safe way to access the underside. Can I block the frame and if so how without damaging anything? Also, I no longer have a way to store large wooden ramps that would be needed to lift a 42' x 44,000 lb coach.
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:26 PM   #2
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You can usually add steel square pipe between the suspension and the frame to support the coach. On my coach I raise the air suspension to the max. and then slip in the pipes. Then I can lower onto the supports. Some times you can buy and use trailer hitch extensions, some have reported using 12" extensions from Harbor Freight.
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:56 PM   #3
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With the suspension aired up and the levelling jacks retracted, block under each jack to within 1" of jack using substantial timber sections.

Then dump the suspension so the MH settles down on to the blocks.

Of course this assumes that there is enough height to get under when the MH is in normal running configuration.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:23 AM   #4
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Ed, I had the same concern, so I bought two of the 6-ton safety stands from Harbor Freight. When I need to work under there I use the air bags to raise the coach, then put the jacks under the area in which I will be working.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:29 AM   #5
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Use manual control or leveling system to get it as high as you need then jack stands or blocks.

Be careful adding things between frame rails and suspension as things can go funny fast.

Best to use jack stands rated for weight.

If frame manufacturer is still in buisness you could contact them in writting for advise for proper support points and possibility of wedge blocks.

Other problem with blocking inside frame is getting them in there.
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
Ed, I had the same concern, so I bought two of the 6-ton safety stands from Harbor Freight. When I need to work under there I use the air bags to raise the coach, then put the jacks under the area in which I will be working.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
I agree on the use of jack stands. I prefer a support that has a wide base rather than a piece of 'square pipe' or blocks. As a little kid I had experiences with stacks of blocks falling over, I don't trust 'em!
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Old 06-25-2014, 03:16 PM   #7
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Re those Harbor Freight (and other) "6 ton jacks", be aware that most are sold in pairs and it's the pair that is rated for 6 tons, i.e. 3 tons each.

Even at 6 tons each they might be inadequate for many diesel pusher coaches. Rear axle weights are typically right around 20,000 lbs or 10 tons for single axle coaches and 23k-25k for tag axles.
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Old 06-25-2014, 03:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
Re those Harbor Freight (and other) "6 ton jacks", be aware that most are sold in pairs and it's the pair that is rated for 6 tons, i.e. 3 tons each.

Even at 6 tons each they might be inadequate for many diesel pusher coaches. Rear axle weights are typically right around 20,000 lbs or 10 tons for single axle coaches and 23k-25k for tag axles.
I agree, the HF website doesn't clearly state that the rating is for BOTH stands together. I bought the 12 ton stands to be sure my DP would be supported. Waiting for sale price or using a 25% discount coupon makes it a little less painful in the pocketbook, but safety really doesn't have a price.

EDIT: The website doesn't specify that the rating is for both stands, but if you download the manual it states, "Capacity is for evenly distributed across two jack stands"
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:22 PM   #9
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Anything in the way of a jack stand that I would trust is going to be heavy/awkward/hard to handle.

I just back up unto solid 2" x whatever blocks - the same ones I use to put under the jacks or level the coach in some situations. Maybe 3 layers high generally gives me enough room to do a LOF without getting too grubby. Something like that under the tires is pretty stable. I don't get the willies under there working on it like that anyway!
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Old 09-26-2017, 04:20 PM   #10
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This is what I fabricated to support an air ride coach to safely work under it
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