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Old 04-02-2015, 09:01 PM   #1
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Bottle Jacks for stabilizing

Do any of y'all use manual bottle jacks for leveling/stabilizing your unit? If so how many, 4 or 2, and what ton capacity do you use?
Seems they would be less weight and less expensive than on-board automatic levelers.
Pros and cons? Thanks!
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Old 04-03-2015, 06:38 AM   #2
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They maybe less weight than an on board system, but most small bottle jacks probably won't go tall enough without stacking some wood underneath them, which means even more stuff to bring along.
I started off with the tripod type screw up stabilizers but got tired of crawling on my back under the MH to place the stands and screw them up until they were stabilizing the unit.
I than installed 2 scissor jacks on the back frame rails and made a long socket adapter to reach outside of the MH and could use a drill or ratchet to raise and lower.
I used these not to level my MH but just to stabilize it getting in and out and moving around in unit to keep from waking my wife as she slept.
Worked for me on my class c
hope this helps
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Old 04-03-2015, 06:51 AM   #3
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I use 1 12 ton air/hydraulic jack-jack from Harbor fright..

Yes one.

I over jack,, then replace it with a jack stand and blocks

WHY: the bottle jacks do not hold their extnsion,, Seales and check valves are less than 100% so they sink slowly down.

The pinned and latchd jack stand does not do this. Plus it is less expensive.
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Old 04-03-2015, 07:24 AM   #4
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Wa8yxm, what kind of air compressor do you use? One from Harbor Freight also?
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Old 04-03-2015, 08:32 AM   #5
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What volt drill do you use for your scissor jacks? We had a trailer before our C and I had to use that manual tool to get enough "umph" under our jacks!!
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Old 04-03-2015, 09:24 AM   #6
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I did this way back when we bought a Midas Mini in 1977. Don't remember the size of the bottle jacks, but they weren't very big. If you are considering the difference between using bottle jacks and an on-board leveling system, the cost of the jacks is obviously much less, but the convenience of pushing a button/switch to level is great.

Pro: A leveling system is just more convenient. I remember arriving late at a campsite in a driving rainstorm, leveled the coach from inside, went to bed and postponed hookups until the next morning.

Con: As you said, leveling systems cost more. Considering the weight of a motorhome, I don't think the additional weight of a leveling system really matters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by larrydp View Post
Do any of y'all use manual bottle jacks for leveling/stabilizing your unit? If so how many, 4 or 2, and what ton capacity do you use?
Seems they would be less weight and less expensive than on-board automatic levelers.
Pros and cons? Thanks!
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Old 04-03-2015, 12:25 PM   #7
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You would have to be VERY careful as to where you positioned the bottle jacks. The factory installed levelers are bolted directly to the vehicle chassis frame well away from the sides. I doubt that you will find any structural members of the frame around the perimeter of the coach unlike a trailer where the body usually sits on a perimeter frame. Wouldn't take much jack pressure to destroy a fiberglass side panel with a wrongly placed bottle jack. Think you should rethink unless you plan to go right to the vehicle frame underneath.
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Old 04-03-2015, 08:30 PM   #8
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Good thought. Thanks!
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Funhaus
What volt drill do you use for your scissor jacks? We had a trailer before our C and I had to use that manual tool to get enough "umph" under our jacks!!
I used a 1/2 drive electric Dewalt hammer drill with the hammer function shut off, I just plug it in, if i'm not hooked to shore power I use the genny.
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Old 04-04-2015, 06:27 PM   #10
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Ha! I knew my 18 volt drill wouldn't do what you were talking about!!
Thanks!!
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Old 04-05-2015, 06:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Wa8yxm, what kind of air compressor do you use? One from Harbor Freight also?
Crafstman 4 gallon 150 PSI pancake job I got back in 2006.

I have had some el-cheapo compressors... Do not last long,, Never tried Harbor Freight's
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Old 04-06-2015, 06:39 AM   #12
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Thanks!!! Sounds likes great way to go!
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