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Old 04-19-2015, 10:56 PM   #1
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Safe Access to Underside of Coach

I would appreciate receiving recommendations for a safe approach to raising our coach (2003 Monaco Windsor 40 with the HWH computerized air levelling system) so that I can get underneath for inspections, oil changes and other maintenance.

Thank you.
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Old 04-19-2015, 11:05 PM   #2
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Safety says never crawl under your coach when the jacks are down, (jacks could fail) BUT people (including me) do it all the time. You could drive up on blocks or upon one side upon the sidewalk.
Manual says use safety jack stands.
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Old 04-19-2015, 11:42 PM   #3
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Ray,
I got some 3/4" reconstituted rubber horse stable mats at Tractor Supply and cut them into graduated squares so that I can stack them into ramps. Using these, with a square of 3/4" plywood on the top, I can drive the coach up on the ramps and gain at least 6" additional clearance. I suppose you could just as easily make the ramps out of wood. Either way, it makes maintenance under the back end a lot easier.

Roy
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:46 AM   #4
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If you get under the coach, safety says it should never be raised up using the hydraulic jacks or the air bags.

If you want to build up the wheels, like Roy, then you should fully deflate the air bags once up on the blocks.

Another method is to jack up the coach with the jacks, then place properly rated jack stands under the frame, then release the jacks. Make sure the jack stands are on solid ground, and not on gravel or concrete blocks that give way under load.

Some people use wood cribbing to support the frame. This needs great care to make sure it can support the weight. There have been reports of people being crushed when unsuitable wood blocking failed.

Never use concrete blocks (cinder blocks) as any part of the support structure. These can easily fracture and cause a collapse (even when used as a support layer under the main support method.)

Many professional shops won't attempt to lift a heavy coach, instead they drive the coach over an inspection pit.
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Old 04-20-2015, 03:23 PM   #5
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I have heard of jack stands failing (My Brother) I have seen jacks fail (No injury) I can crawl under my rig "Full Down) and just did last week).

But alas.. you have a different rig, Not many I can do that with.
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Old 04-20-2015, 03:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
I have heard of jack stands failing
Anything can fail. But jury-rigged solutions usually fail more often than properly maintained, professionally engineered, and properly rated solutions.
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:11 PM   #7
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Adam makes a good point about deflating the air bags once you get the coach up on ramps. I haven't been doing it but probably should.

Roy
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Old 04-21-2015, 08:59 AM   #8
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I bought a set of the Harbor Freight 12-ton jack stands. Anytime I need to do some work under the MH, I raise the air bags all the way up and place both the jack stands under the area where I will be working. Remember that the 12-ton rating is for the combination of BOTH jacks!

12 Ton Jack Stands
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
I bought a set of the Harbor Freight 12-ton jack stands. Anytime I need to do some work under the MH, I raise the air bags all the way up and place both the jack stands under the area where I will be working. Remember that the 12-ton rating is for the combination of BOTH jacks!

12 Ton Jack Stands
I wouldn't trust Harbor Fright to lift anything off the ground, not even my Cat.
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:53 AM   #10
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I have a 35 ton air over hydraulic jack that I use to raise it up and then set it down on a pair of 22-ton jackstands.

Mike.
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Old 04-21-2015, 11:44 AM   #11
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When we are at the S&B, it is some what easy for me to get under the MH. We have a place that has a slope to the ground and by placing the MH in the correct position, I can easily sit up under the MH. I have to start the MH up and reposition it to get to the other end, but that is OK as it stays on its wheels. On the road, if the MH needs anything then it goes to a shop that has all of the tools to handle the MH.
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Old 04-23-2015, 10:19 PM   #12
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Thank you all for the input. Much appreciated.

Ray
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