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Old 02-18-2019, 07:20 PM   #1
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X-chocks: Good, bad or equal?

I like the concept, because they don't rely on the surface you're parking on.

But [Overanalyze = ON] axle mounts are generally focused on vertical forces rather than horizontal. Is there any evidence, anecdotal or otherwise, whether it's a good or bad idea to use them vs the more traditional ground-based blocks?
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:06 PM   #2
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If you are semi handy with woodworking, you can make clamp on wheel chocks. Not that hard to do and I can attest to, they will hold the trailer from rolling away.

I made these for my T2499 which weighed 6,500# loaded.


I then altered them to the tire spacing on my T310SR which weighs 9,950# loaded.


By clamping on the tires;

It helps reduce some of the wiggle inside the camper.
It allows the wheel to be chocked when you are up on leveling boards a lot easier then using ground wheel chocks.

I would for sure use a tire holding chock or a ground wheel chock on both sides of the camper, not just one side.

As far as which will hold more, a ground chock or a tire holding chock, both can hold the camper from rolling. For a tire holding chock to allow the camper to move, the camper has to slide on the ground assuming the tire holding chock can handle tire lock up. That is a lot of force. If the camper is sliding dragging wheels, you have bigger issues...

That said, the metal bought X chocks or other varieties may not be rated to hold the camper from rolling. Check the fine print, they should declare it. I forget the brand I saw that on, but it declared they are not to prevent rolling. Some say they are stabilizing only. I can attest to the wood homemade ones will lock up the wheels if installed correctly and at least 4" wide.

Hope this helps.

John
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:22 PM   #3
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Thanks John, but that wasn't the thrust of my question. I have no doubt that they're quite effective.

What I'm really asking is whether the force applied horizontally between the two axles could serve to force them apart from each other, leading to alignment/wear problems. Given their popularity, I'm guessing that effect would be negligible, but I hadda ask.

Considering them for my (very first TT) '99 T1950, if that makes a difference.
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Old 02-18-2019, 09:39 PM   #4
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AH OK, got it now.

I'm not seeing any wheel alignment issues from using these. The force is straight inline with the tires and springs. The shackle links at the equalizer area will pivot out as the tires are pushed and the springs flex some. And the tire compresses some too. There is no extra large bending forces into the axle tubes. If you are thinking the chocks are strong enough to bend the axle tube permanently, starting at the U bolt area of the springs, (the overhang starting location of the axle spindle) the axles are actually fairly strong there. The axle spindle is inserted and then welded into the thin axle tube. The U bolts and axle seat is over the spindle tube joint so it is reinforced in this overhanging load area.

The side thrust of making a turn on tandem wheels is far greater on the axles and suspension then the exerted pressure of the tire wheel chocks. Especially the store bought kind like the X chocks. They can only create so much force against the tire. A sharp turn where the wheel runs into a pothole or curb can do damage or bend an axle tube as the wheel itself is applying large force on the axle spindle and the tube holding it. The axle tube is often the weak link in the system.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 02-19-2019, 05:00 AM   #5
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Makes sense; thanks.

I probably wouldn't have needed to ask, but I've never had occasion to get intimate with axle/leaf assemblies--and the weather at this time of year doesn't encourage one to worm his way under there for a good look.
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:34 AM   #6
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John I made some exactly like yours! The lever action ones are a lot easier and that's what I now use and they store a bit easier. They are adjustable and have a lot of leverage so I would use caution on twin axles not to crank them up they should lock without a lot of force. They hold pretty well and you really don't need to crank on them just enough to push into the tire a little bit. I did kind of drove off with one still on the wheels I didn't get too far. I noticed it was pulling a bit hard kind of like I had left the hand brake on!
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Old 02-19-2019, 04:30 PM   #7
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Do the lever action style require occasional tweaking, or are they pretty much set-and-forget? The convenience seems almost too good to be true.

Care to recommend a brand?
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Old 02-19-2019, 05:23 PM   #8
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I have to admit I have no clue who made mine they came from Grizzly tools they were the cheapest by $20 for the pair they are exactly the same as the other offerings. Once you adjust the clamping force they really should never have to be readjusted. This is not really a life or death application like breaks it just keeps the trailer from rolling away and makes life inside more comfortable. I have used mine on some pretty steep grades as I adjust the stabilizer jacks it stays put. You will need to measure the wheel spacing some of the bigger stuff need a wider chock.
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Old 02-19-2019, 06:22 PM   #9
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I do not know about the X chocks, but on the wood homemade ones I can tell by morning when the tires have cooled down you can add a little more tension to get back to where you were when you unhitched.

The dear wife tells me real quick when the camper starts wiggling... The longer the camper, the worse the wiggle. On your T1950 being shorter, the X chock or the wood chocks will do a lot to help tame the wiggle.

As far as brands, Bal has made a lot of good products. I cannot speak to their chock, but I can to the brand.
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Old 02-19-2019, 06:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mainah View Post
John I made some exactly like yours!

I did kind of drove off with one still on the wheels I didn't get too far. I noticed it was pulling a bit hard kind of like I had left the hand brake on!
Ah yeh... I tried the drive off with the wood chocks once too. Didn't get far, hardly moved at all as the wheels drug. They where harder then normal to get loosed up after that ordeal. It seems, it has to happen at least once to burn it into the memory cells too, not forget!

Hey, it makes good campfire stories!

I do agree storing an X kind of chock is easier than the wood ones, the long threaded rod is the issue, but I have adapted well and have no need to change right now.
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Old 02-19-2019, 06:38 PM   #11
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Now that I think about it, it does make sense that it should be pretty much a one-time setting, as long as it's locked in. Any attempt to roll would be thwarted by the cocking of the "X".

Sold. Thanks!

Bought this thing in November; been tinkering and researching and tinkering over the winter as time, budget and energy allow. Hope to have all my ducks (including solar augmentation) lined up by the time warmer weather rolls around.

I'm pretty confident that I'm almost there. Biggest nut to crack though, is the search for good boondocking locations. I have no interest whatsoever in sardine cities.
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Old 02-19-2019, 06:44 PM   #12
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Not really worried about wiggle; stabilizer jacks should take care of that if need be. But I anticipate parking on some fairly sketchy terrain, so want to ensure I don't wake up in the middle of the night thinking I imbibed a bit too much.
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinstaafl View Post
I'm pretty confident that I'm almost there. Biggest nut to crack though, is the search for good boondocking locations. I have no interest whatsoever in sardine cities.
I do not know which end of PA you are in, but I can throw this out for boondocking CG's.

The Adirondacks of upper NY. Oddly enough I use to live 3 hours south of that area and never went up there. Now 30 some years later we go back (over 750 miles one way) for the last 10 years camping in the Adirondacks. Most all of it is off the grid camping with many sites right on the water. But there are lots of trees and you are under tree cover a lot which is part of not needing AC during the summer. Solar may have a hard time unless you have portable panels. We have converted the camper to being a power mizer, use 2, group 27 batteries and run the Honda genny a few hours to recharge.

This year we are we expanding the road trip into Vermont where many of the state parks are off the grid.

There are lots of places to camp. More places then time to see them all.
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:57 PM   #14
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South-central PA, on a small mountain near Harrisburg. We can see the capitol building when the leaves are off the trees.

While we're of retirement age, we both still work, so trips tend to be limited to only 2-3 days for the most part. Appreciate the recommendation, though. No doubt we'll head up there at some point.

I do spend 7-9 days every year solo during deer season, but that's a whole different type of getaway. Will probably take a shot at that with the T-1950 this year.
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Old 02-19-2019, 10:04 PM   #15
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I have both a set of BAL X-chocks in one of my trailers and a set of the original/deluxe BAL chock clamps (like the X-chocks but smaller) in the other.

Personally, I prefer the deluxe style, which is harder to find at a store these days.

I think the X-chock probably provides a little more stability in that it prevents more tire rotation, but the product itself seems to have more flexibility to it.

I like the original/deluxe style because even though it might not be quite as effective, it seems easier to use. Easier to crank it out from the closed position- I have to usually put the X-chock on a picnic table to crank on it to extend it part way before going to the tire. Quicker to clamp into the tires overall.

I've seen some other brands of clamp style chocks like the original BAL, but that use a lever instead of the wrench to operate. I've never had the lever style, but it seems like you can control the pressure on the tires more with the wrench style.
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Old 02-20-2019, 06:22 AM   #16
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My biggest reason for the wheel locks is uneven terrain I lock them up unhitch then set the leveling jacks. There is a flea market in NH I go to twice a year and I park in the same spot, by the time I have it level the tongue is all most on the ground and the back is 1 1/2 high!
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Old 02-20-2019, 06:31 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunline Fan View Post
I have both a set of BAL X-chocks in one of my trailers and a set of the original/deluxe BAL chock clamps (like the X-chocks but smaller) in the other.

Personally, I prefer the deluxe style, which is harder to find at a store these days.

I think the X-chock probably provides a little more stability in that it prevents more tire rotation, but the product itself seems to have more flexibility to it.

I like the original/deluxe style because even though it might not be quite as effective, it seems easier to use. Easier to crank it out from the closed position- I have to usually put the X-chock on a picnic table to crank on it to extend it part way before going to the tire. Quicker to clamp into the tires overall.

I've seen some other brands of clamp style chocks like the original BAL, but that use a lever instead of the wrench to operate. I've never had the lever style, but it seems like you can control the pressure on the tires more with the wrench style.
The ones I have do have a adjusting bolt for tension once they are set they really don't need to be tweaked just lock the lever. They actually have a padlock feature!
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