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Old 01-13-2021, 05:07 PM   #1
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Jack Stand Placement

Next week I'm going to replace the shackles on the 5'er with the 1/2" thick shackles. I have two 12-ton jack stands. I also have a 12-ton bottle jack. I could use the jack or I suppose I could just use the hydraulic leveling jacks. I want to do both axles on one side at a time. I'm planning on placing the jack stand(s) under the I-beam frame. It seems jacking up one side torques the frame. Should I lift both sides and use both jack stands, one on each beam? Also, should the jack stands be close to the axles or can they be near the rear of the RV? I don't want to screw up the frame or anything else for that matter.
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Old 01-13-2021, 08:31 PM   #2
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Personally, I would raise the complete frame up and block both sides with jack stands or concrete blocks with a board on top. Safety is always or should be your first concern. I used to move and block mobile homes , and a lot can happen real fast...




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Old 01-14-2021, 07:19 AM   #3
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i want to do the same thing! our fifth wheel is 42 feet long and weighs just over 16,000 lbs. my plan was to hook the trailer to the tow truck and then raise one side of the trailer using the leveling jacks on that side (the trailer has the lippert 6 point leveling system). then put 12 ton jackstands under the frame just outside where the spring shackles attach to the frame. i would then lower the frame onto the jackstands to remove pressure from the leveling jacks. then pull the wheels and do the bearings, brakes, shackles, etc on one side.

will this work? do i really need to hitch the trailer to the truck for stability? could i raise one side and put the jackstands under the frame and then raise just the rear leveling jacks which would leave the front jacks extended to provide stability just like when the trailer is stored?
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:47 AM   #4
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Over the years I have jacked up & blocked my 5er numerous times for various reasons.

My preference is to leave it on the truck however lifting without the truck is no big deal.

The toughest part of the job is getting the height just right so that the shackle bolt can be removed easily & put back in after you have replaced the shackles.

Lift & block the trailer so that the wheels are off the ground. Use the bottle jack under the bottom spring leaf to precisely raise or lower the axle so that the spring & shackle line up just right. It will take some jiggling & good strong language, maybe some blood, but aligning wheels & spring to trailer is easier than aligning trailer to springs & wheels.
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Old 01-14-2021, 10:35 AM   #5
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I have a couple of lighter weight jack stands. I plan to place one of them under the axle to keep it from moving before I remove the old shackle bolts. Hopefully, it will keep it in place.
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Old 01-14-2021, 04:18 PM   #6
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Well I stumbled on a thread on Vanleigh Facebook group of a person who had problems which turned out to be a frame issue. Lippert engineer got involved flew down, determined the cross member between the I-beams was broken (at the welds). Owner asked what he thought caused it and among the possible reasons, was placing a bottle jack on one I-beam forward of the wheels. So I decided to call Lippert and ask about this process I was contemplating. He said it was fine to lift just one side on the I-beam with a bottle jack but I should place it as close to the rear hanger bracket as possible (in general). After further discussion about what I intended to do, I gave the whole thing more thought and changed my mind. I have to take the RV to a heavy equipment truck shop for inspection and to pack the wheel bearings so I'm just going to ask them to swap out the shackles for me. I'm not as young as I used to be AND I remembered that every time I try to work on my car I end up regretting it.
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Old 01-14-2021, 04:46 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bigchick View Post
i want to do the same thing! our fifth wheel is 42 feet long and weighs just over 16,000 lbs. my plan was to hook the trailer to the tow truck and then raise one side of the trailer using the leveling jacks on that side (the trailer has the lippert 6 point leveling system). then put 12 ton jackstands under the frame just outside where the spring shackles attach to the frame. i would then lower the frame onto the jackstands to remove pressure from the leveling jacks. then pull the wheels and do the bearings, brakes, shackles, etc on one side.

will this work? do i really need to hitch the trailer to the truck for stability? could i raise one side and put the jackstands under the frame and then raise just the rear leveling jacks which would leave the front jacks extended to provide stability just like when the trailer is stored?


I have done this .your leveling Jacks are able to hold much more than the weight of your trailer . Rated 11k front and 8k each back set . I have diene this many times . Shackles,disc brakes and bearings . I just Jack it up get the wheels off the ground put a couple of heave duty Jack stands under for safety and do it. Never a problem .
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Old 01-14-2021, 04:48 PM   #8
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I have done this .your leveling Jacks are able to hold much more than the weight of your trailer . Rated 11k front and 8k each back set . I have diene this many times . Shackles,disc brakes and bearings . I just Jack it up get the wheels off the ground put a couple of heave duty Jack stands under for safety and do it. Never a problem .


Donít hook it to your truck ! You will put way too much pressure on the jacks and torque on your frame jacking up one side at a time .
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Old 01-15-2021, 07:31 AM   #9
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I understand the OP will be taking the 5er in for other work but this is a suggested way to do it if a DIYer.



I assume that the 5er has self leveling. You can raise it via that self leveling feature but LCI and most likely Tiffen tell you somewhere not to do that and leave it suspended in the air. You can raise it that way but to do your work which would probably be over a couple days, use some stationary jacks under the frame as near the axle hangers the let the trailer down to just contact those jacks. You have then taken some of the weight off the levelers, steadied the unit and can safely work on it.


If no levelers which ours doesn't have. I use the front landing gear to lower the nose as far as possible then crib up the frame behind the last spring hanger using 18 - 20" lengths of 4x4 landscape timbers. I then raise the nose with the landing gear until all the tires just clear the ground. I then add my stationary jacks just in front of the front most spring hanger, raise the landing gear just enough to put a little pressure on the jacks. Been doing it this way since 1976 over several 5th wheel and TT RVs with nary a problem thought the TTs need a bit more thought.


Now, as I, too, am getting older - it isn't quite as much 'fun' now
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Old 01-15-2021, 08:01 AM   #10
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I understand the OP will be taking the 5er in for other work but this is a suggested way to do it if a DIYer.

I assume that the 5er has self leveling. You can raise it via that self leveling feature but LCI and most likely Tiffen tell you somewhere not to do that and leave it suspended in the air. You can raise it that way but to do your work which would probably be over a couple days, use some stationary jacks under the frame as near the axle hangers the let the trailer down to just contact those jacks. You have then taken some of the weight off the levelers, steadied the unit and can safely work on it.

If no levelers which ours doesn't have. I use the front landing gear to lower the nose as far as possible then crib up the frame behind the last spring hanger using 18 - 20" lengths of 4x4 landscape timbers. I then raise the nose with the landing gear until all the tires just clear the ground. I then add my stationary jacks just in front of the front most spring hanger, raise the landing gear just enough to put a little pressure on the jacks. Been doing it this way since 1976 over several 5th wheel and TT RVs with nary a problem thought the TTs need a bit more thought.

Now, as I, too, am getting older - it isn't quite as much 'fun' now

I had to move my axles under the springs to raise the 5er and while doing, install wet bolts and hangers, etc.


The above was how I got the camper raised, no problems whatsoever. The cribbed 4x4s made a large footprint and the camper sat on them solid as a rock.
Since I had to move the axles around quite a bit during the job, I rented a transmission jack to center up on the axles and hold it. The wheels on it made the job so much easier and I didn't have to worry about the axle falling off a bottle jack while I was maneuvering it around
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Old 01-15-2021, 08:12 AM   #11
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I had to move my axles under the springs to raise the 5er and while doing, install wet bolts and hangers, etc.


The above was how I got the camper raised, no problems whatsoever. The cribbed 4x4s made a large footprint and the camper sat on them solid as a rock.
Since I had to move the axles around quite a bit during the job, I rented a transmission jack to center up on the axles and hold it. The wheels on it made the job so much easier and I didn't have to worry about the axle falling off a bottle jack while I was maneuvering it around

I have a decent trolley jack that I move axles with. As long as the wheels are off, the axles move easily that way. When I converted to disc brakes, I pulled them out, sanded the useless Dexter paint and accumulated rust off then painted them that way. Also upgraded the springs and installed new wet bolts to replace the worn ones(yes, they too wear out but not quite as fast) and added a MORryde X-member in the center hanger
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