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Old 08-26-2011, 07:38 AM   #1
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To Jack or Not to Jack..that is the question

Well...in Maryland we survived the great east coast earthquake of 2011 with no damage. Now mother nature wants to toss a hurricane at us! We are forecast to have less than 40 kts of wind and a lot of rain so I am not too worried. BUT...how many opinions are there out that as to whether a 40' diesel pusher should be jacked or left on all fours (tires that is) if there were a major storm coming. Yah... I know I could just leave town.... :-)

Norm & Ruth

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Old 08-26-2011, 09:47 AM   #2
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My motorhome was on it's tires during hurricane Wilma in '05. The storm came right over us in S FL with 110 mph winds. Fortunately for me the winds first blew straight at the rear of the mh, then, after the eye of the storm passed, the strongest winds blew head-on to the front of the mh. We had very minor damage (mainly some scratches). I think if the mh had been broadside to the storm we would have faired worse. A large old railroad container that was stored about 200 feet from our mh was sitting broadside to the winds. It was flipped over during one strong gust. So in my case wind direction may be more important than jacks or no jacks. In your case 40kt winds should be ok either way.

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Old 08-26-2011, 11:03 AM   #3
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If it were me, I would have it as close as ready to leave as possible, and rear facing the oncoming wind if possible. No power cords or water hoses attached, and jacks up. Be sure to police the area and pick up, secure, or put away anything that might blow around and cause damage - Gas Grills, lawn chairs, firewood, etc.

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Old 08-26-2011, 11:25 AM   #4
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It might be prudent to use the jacks as stabilizers- seems like the winds could cause considerable rocking?
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:52 AM   #5
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I'm in Southern Maryland. We have a 5th wheel, and I put the jacks down. I think the extra stability will help on a MH as well. Although, I don't think the winds here will be too extreme.
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:57 AM   #6
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I would think the jacks would help stablize the rig but make sure all slides are in. We've only been in winds as high as 60 mph gusts. They sprang up in the middle of the night and turned my large slide topper into a parachute. $300 later it was fixed.

Good luck...

Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

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Old 08-26-2011, 12:22 PM   #7
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Side loads are not recommended on jacks and if they get bent you will no be able to make an escape if you need to. I would lower the jacks until they just touch the ground so they provide some stability and so the tire friction prevents any side motion. If the jacks are supporting all the weight of the coach and the coach is on a concrete or asphalt pad there is very little friction between the metal jack pads and the hard surface and I would not be surprised to hear that a 100+ mph wind gust hitting the coach broadside would slide the coach. Light jack contact with a hard surface and tires supporting the weight provides the best and safest stability in my opinion.
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:07 PM   #8
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I think if the winds are strong enough it would blow it over either way. But I would have slides in jacks up and ready to get out of dodge.
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:11 PM   #9
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I would be concerned about the side loading of the jacks. While I agree that jacks up you'll get buffeted around, still, it beats bending a jack.

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Old 08-26-2011, 04:31 PM   #10
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If the winds become that strong, and you have not departed the area yet, you are at more risk traveling on the highway to try and outrun the winds. Traveling at 60 miles an hour, and a wind coming in at 100 mph, in my math mind and depending on direction of travel, you have 160 mph wind or there about.

You either commit to stay in place and take your chances, or you pack up and leave while you have the chance. Jacks up or down are not going to make that much of a difference in my opinion.

If the winds are 46 mph (40 kts) and that is all you get as major gusts, you "should" be okay. However, weather is unpredictable. I have been in sustained 45 mph winds and just pulled the slides in with jacks down.

Good luck and I hope it does not come near you.
Wayne MSGT USMC (Ret) & Earlene (CinCHouse)
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:53 PM   #11
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Mine is sitting beside my shop. Jacks down, slides in and hoping for the best.
It's almost 8pm here and the wind and rain have been howling since 2pm. Offshore buoy reports are 35' waves and gust close to 50.

I'm in my sticks and bricks weathering it out.
Poppy & Grammy
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:26 PM   #12
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I pray for all our MH friends caught in harms way. I would think jacks up and back of coach to the wind. I would also try to cover windshields. A couple layers of cardboard adhered with duct tape would help some.
Steve and Linda Along with Ivan the Terrible [ 12lb Pap] and Angelina [13lb pap]
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:26 PM   #13
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My thoughts and having been through several hurricanes, the RV has wheels and I use them. So no sense taking a chance and having the RV damaged or destroyed and your own life placed in danger. One big issue is flying debris that can penetrate the RV, not just roll it over.

I do not understand these folks that insist on "riding it out".

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Old 08-26-2011, 09:47 PM   #14
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My MH sat through Wilma with the jacks down level with the air bags dumped.
It was sitting N & S, Wilma came from the West. Lost 2 big Max covers, 1 fantastic fan lid under one of the Max covers, 1 rear window awning ripped completely off.

The 21' patio awning had one of those add on brake clamps on the end cap of the roller. End cap didn't move but all rivets holding the roller to it twisted out.
The slide out awning somehow got moved past the end of the roller.

National Hurricane center said it was going to come in way up by Tampa 250-300 miles North of my location. My only way out would be to drive North. So I stayed put.
National Hurricane center was wrong and in came in a lot farther south.


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