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Old 11-01-2009, 12:33 PM   #1
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trailer on jacks for the winter

So I put 4 jackstands on each corner of the frame this morning. The intent was to take weight off the tires so I do not get any flat spots.

As I worked each corner the tires would vary as high off the ground they went. Then it dawned on me the axles themselves seem to be dropping.

so do I need to:

1. Get more jack stands for axles to have tires clear the ground?

2. Leave as is, as the bulk of the weight is off the tires and it is OK if tires touch ground?

3. Rookie you screwed this up...try this instead ?

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Old 11-01-2009, 02:02 PM   #2
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Re: trailer on jacks for the winter

Quote:
Originally Posted by markbrit
So I put 4 jackstands on each corner of the frame this morning. The intent was to take weight off the tires so I do not get any flat spots.

As I worked each corner the tires would vary as high off the ground they went. Then it dawned on me the axles themselves seem to be dropping.

so do I need to:

1. Get more jack stands for axles to have tires clear the ground?

2. Leave as is, as the bulk of the weight is off the tires and it is OK if tires touch ground?

3. Rookie you screwed this up...try this instead ?

Don't put the jacks at the four corners of the frame. Move them towards the axles by 2 or 3 feet. I like to put the front jacks right where the A-frame rails tie to the main chassis rails.

I take my tires off for the winter and store them in an unheated shed. Prevents any chance of UV damage for a full 6+ months. If you want to leave them on, no problem. Don't take any more weight off them than you normally would with your stabilizers while camping.

It is a good idea to have something between the tires and the ground. If you park on concrete, it can leach the oils out of the tires. Place a board or something between the tires and the ground.

If you park on an unpaved, non-gravel surface, definitely place boards under the tires to spread the weight. Otherwise, the tires will sink into the ground. Same for the jacks. I like to at least quadruple the footprint of the tires and jacks. More if I have enough boards.
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Old 11-01-2009, 03:51 PM   #3
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There are a lot of myths around vehicle storage and, while some concerns may be valid, most of it comes from car collectors who may drive a vehicle 1 or 2 thousand miles a year. Often those vehicles also have low profile high performance radials that are far more susceptible to flat spotting than the more pedestrian rubber most of us are driving on.
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete...jsp?techid=42&

The only flat spotting experience I have ever had was while living in Northern Ontario with winter temps routinely -30 or -40 overnight. Just from overnight it felt like the tires were square and there was no suspension either. I have never heard first hand of any other situation where flat spotting occurs. My truck is used almost exclusively for towing and sits in the garage on concrete from sometime in Nov. to sometime in Mar. My son's Trans Am is a toy and sits even longer and for weeks even in summer. My brother has 3 Corvettes--yeah, I chose the wrong profession--and they sit even more. If we don't notice flat spotting in a vehicle we're driving, I'm not going to worry about it in a trailer I'm towing.

My trailer is stored at home on the lawn on 2X10 planks and I pump the tires up to 60 psi.

Removing the wheels may be a myth too, but one that I will agree with Steve on. No vehicle should be supported by the frame with the wheels left dangling "stretching" the springs. It's just not natural

On my 2499, Sunline specifically indicated the jack points on a drawing in the manual--on the frame about 12-18" from the axles. Unlike a truck, jacking or supporting the axles is specifically prohibited.

So, you would need 4 stands within 18" of the axles to support a typical tandem axle trailer. You have to play with the jack and tongue to try and equalize the weight on each stand so the trailer sits in its "towing position". And you have to have enough support that the jacks don't sink into the ground as it freezes and thaws several times in fall and spring. IMHO, not realistic and not worth the hassle. I would venture that virtually no one who stores their trailer off site bothers with this--there's just not enough benefit.

Henry
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Old 11-01-2009, 04:27 PM   #4
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The trailer is outside on blacktop driveway. I could always lose the jackstands and slide a 4 x 8 piece of plywood under the tires I have laying around. Also to care for the UV I have tire covers.

Thoughts?
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Old 11-01-2009, 06:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markbrit
The trailer is outside on blacktop driveway. I could always lose the jackstands and slide a 4 x 8 piece of plywood under the tires I have laying around. Also to care for the UV I have tire covers.

Thoughts?
I have seen hundreds (if not thousands ) of TT's stored without jacks in campgrounds, storage lots, rv dealers, and so on. I don't there is likely to be a flat spot problem with or without jacks.

I put my trailer on jacks so it is nice and stable where it sits at home as we use it as a guest house sometimes. For winter, I choose to remove the tires to keep them out of the elements all together. Probably not necessary, but I do it most years. Even when stored at home in the camping season, I set the jacks.

One thing I do is to make sure the trailer is nose down (in my storage situation - tail down may be needed for other situations) so that water runs off the roof a little faster and easier. It's only down a couple of inches, but when the snow starts to melt, the water drains off quicker with less chance of big ice forming under the remaining snow if there is another freeze.

Plywood isn't so good as it will delaminate and self destruct if allowed to lay on the ground or driveway. Most of us prefer 2x8's cut to various lengths. Some prefer long pieces that will span both tandems. Others use smaller pieces on the reasoning that if a 4 or 5 foot piece of 2x8 gets loose, it can do quite a bit of damage to the undercarriage of the TT. I use individual pieces per wheel. Lynx Levellers work well, too.
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Old 11-02-2009, 08:22 AM   #6
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Thank you for good feedback. Things like this get me curious so I called Dexter axle this morning.

Tech support said the tires dropping down to the ground after the frame was jacked up is due to the shackle link flexing down. Tech said it is normal.

His solution is to jack up one side of the axle just enough to get tires off ground and support with a wood block or jacks stand. Only one stand is needed per axle as the other side would stay supported off the ground.

Since I have the trailer on jacks already I will investigate this option. Chances are I am in overkill mode, but hey I am 1/2 way there already.
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