Here is some info to help,
Originally Posted by MarkP23
Question regarding Storage of my Solaris Model T-2553. Has two sets of tires either side and one has gone flat. Mostly due to that side being old and the other side are brand new tires. Changing the flat I am planning to use a jack and place it between the two tires on the main support. Or make a ramp to role the trailer onto that lifts the flat tire off the ground.
Two things here,
1. Old tires and new tires. Heads up, "old ST trailer tires" and old valve stems along with them, 5 years old from the date of manufacture is a leading recommendation for changing ST trailer tires with even more emphasis when used in tandem or triple axles situations. There is a DOT 4 digit date code on one side of the tire that tells the week of year and year of manufacturing. Like 3512 Meaning the 35th week of the year 2012. And if by chance they have no date codes on either side, then they are way too old. Trailer tires have a hard life, they sit and do not roll, left in sun, many times are run under inflated, the high forces of turning on tandem/triple axles play havoc inside the tire and then the age thing.
The rubber itself breaking down, cracks in the treads and sidewalls can be there or sometimes not too. There may be lots of tread left, but most trailer tires age out verses wear out. Check out your date codes and plan accordingly before the first big spring camping trip.
2. To change the tire, there are a few ways to jack up the camper and not damage the axle tubes. Your ramp idea to pull the good tire up on will work. You will possibly need about 4" of wood etc. maybe a little more to get your 2553 off the ground.
For jacking, jacking by the frame directly behind the rear spring hanger. A bottle jack will work but make sure it is on a solid surface and have the end of the jack close to the frame, put wood etc under the jack verses unscrewing the end out as far is it goes to be more stable. Some unscrewing is OK, but it all depends on how stable the whole setup. Try and stay within 12" of the rear hanger on the frame. Closer is better but sometimes something is in the way.
You mentioned lifting by the center support, I am thinking you mean the center equalizer bracket or the actual equalizer itself that hangs down from the frame between the 2 tires. Do not jack directly under the triangle linkage we call the equalizer. It can pivot out of the way by accident. Ideally if you are going to jack by spring hanger bracket verses the frame, pick the rear spring hanger bracket, not the equalizer area.
Caution: I would only suggest this method to be used on very solid ground, like concrete, as if there is much trailer wiggle the jack can move.
You will need a very thick steel plate, 1/2" or thicker on your T2553 to span the 2, 1/4" thick sides of the spring hanger. Then the bottle jack under the plate. The jack has to be on very stable ground. Any wiggle and it can pop off. Suggest the frame as your first line of defense. The plate is going to hit the spring so make sure there is enough plate supported by the hanger plates to cover the piston end of the bottle jack.
See here on this frame under repair on concrete
Also heads up, when the tire is off, that axle can flop down at the equalizer. The axle is still under load from the other side of the camper being on the ground and the shackles (the short tie plates) in the center can flop down. If it comes down, it will hurt if any body parts are under it. Slide a block of wood or something solid under it if the tire is off very long or you working on something else. Shim the block in tight with little excess clearance (~ 1/16" to 1/8"). See here where the whole camper is on stands. The rear axle shackle is close to going overcenter. The bottle jack behind the brake plate is under the axle seat in this case which is preventing the axle from coming down.
Another heads up on jacking, do not jack on the axle tubes themselves out in the open area that is easy to get too. They are very thin and can bend under the camper weight if not supported exactly correct. They look heavy, but they are thin in comparison to the camper weight and they will bend. They have extra support inside the axle tube where the springs attach to handle the camper weight, but not anywhere outside the leaf spring attaching place.
Originally Posted by MarkP23
Beyotnd this, is it better to keep the pressure off the tires during storage (lifting the entire trailer off the ground) or leave on the crushed stone driveway? In lifting the trailer, I would need to know the best place to place the jacks. It would appear that if the jacks are within 18 inches of the tires (front and back), should be no issue. Could someone here confirm?
For long term storage, air the tires up to max cold side wall pressure list on the tire sidewall if they are not already. (Which is where they are supposed aired up to, to be towed with, max cold side wall pressure.)
Ideally when storing on gravel/crushed stone, have the tires up on 2 x 8's etc. to get the tires out of standing water. Tires stored in standing water is not good. Any small openings to the steel belts can aggravate rusting of the steel.
You do not need to lift the camper off the ground for storage. And on gravel if you did store it off the ground, a ground freeze/thaw may cause a shift, and it can come down jamming up the jack/block/camper. Storing a camper off the ground is outdated thinking on newer radial tires.
This may be more than you where after, I had time tonight to type and your questions are good and come up often, so I typed some extra to help explain for you and others following along.
Good luck and happy camping this season. Hope this helps