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Front stabilizer jacks


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Has anyone added jacks to the front in an effort to stop the movement when walking around in the trailer. Talking about the crank down type that can be attached to the frame. I have jack stands which will work but I don't want to crawl around while setting them up.

Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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With the front tongue jack lowered and the rear stabilizer jacks in place we don't see any need for additional jack towards the front of the trailer. There is very little movement of the trailer even on a windy day.

Horace & Dianne

Chesapeake, Virginia

2016 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Limited

2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull # 93

 

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There is quite alot of movement when walking around...or even getting out of bed. I use eight inch tall blocks under each jack to reduce the amount of jack deployment. I don't let out too much of the jack because lifting the trailer higher effects our doors...entry and bath. It just feels like there is a lot of torque on the front jack because it is a single point of balance.

Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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My wife was tired of our Elite 2 being unstable when I was coming in and out of the front door. I do weight in at 175 lbs. So I had a pair of BAL screw type stabilizer jacks that were available and decided to mount them on the main frame channels near the point where the channel turns to the tongue. That is the same location just below the front outside LED courtesy light. I drilled 2 - 5/16" holes using a titanium bit into the frame and used the included self tapping screws which held firm. All in all the trailer is very stable when we are moving around.

 

But I would like some feedback on the proper method of mating the steel screw to the aluminium frame. It has only been a month and I am willing to reinstall the jacks if I need to make modifications.

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That is exactly what I envisioned. I am interested to hear what others say about mating dissimalar metals. There may be a coating that will help.

Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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I can see how the jacks will help. Plus you can extend them with a cordless drill.

 

Ordering a pair soon.

 

Thanks for the good post.

Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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I think if it were me, I'd have installed a mounting channel across the frame first and then mounted the stabilizers to that. That way, I wouldn't be limited by the width of the frame member in how I attached the stabilizer, and I'd also have more options in where to drill into the frame. Using just two bolts per stabilizer seems like it would allow for a lot of flex, and I'd think I'd want to drill as close to the center of the frame as possible, rather than near the corner. Better yet, I suppose I could ask Oliver to weld a couple of flanges where I might want to add these. That way, I wouldn't be worried about diminishing the integrity of the frame and I could also bolt the stabilizers much more securely. It's a thought.

 

At least it might be good to have the option, but I still don't think I'd find them necessary, judging from what I experienced with the trailers at the factory. I wonder if you're taking to much weight off the tires and if that's causing at least part of the problem.

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Ken...and others,

 

I crawled under my trailer to start planning the jack installation and discovered something troubling. The coach is not touching the frame cross member that I would put the jacks on. There is a gap ranging from .25 inch on each end of the frame to .5 inch in the middle. We have had issues with the front door and the bathroom door since we took delivery and I wonder if this may be the problem. Could it be the reason the trailer moves even when jacks are extended.

 

Did you notice such an issue Ken?

 

I have contacted Jason Essery at Oliver and await their response.

 

Would like to here from anyone else after you take a look.

Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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That's the first cross piece at the front? I noticed the very same thing on the only trailer that I looked under when we were on our factory tour. You can see it in the photo below. Something is happening at that point, but I can't imagine what. The cross piece in question is just inches behind the major structural cross member, so I can see how the frame would be flexing.

 

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Jason called yesterday and assured me that a gap of up to one inch is acceptable on the cross member in question. As long as the coach is sitting on the main structure all is well.

Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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I think if it were me, I'd have installed a mounting channel across the frame first and then mounted the stabilizers to that. That way, I wouldn't be limited by the width of the frame member in how I attached the stabilizer, and I'd also have more options in where to drill into the frame. Using just two bolts per stabilizer seems like it would allow for a lot of flex, and I'd think I'd want to drill as close to the center of the frame as possible, rather than near the corner.

I agree entirely. A stabilizer jack can experience severe side loads on uneven ground and the upper mount needs to be considerably stronger than yours to be safe. I am sure that simple repetitive jarring from rough pavement and potholes will cause failure eventually. Do you want your frame to bend or break?

 

IMHO you need a stout crossmember with welded on 1/4" plates at each jack that allow for through bolting of at least four stainless bolts per jack, with locknuts and heavy flat washers on the back side. Self tapping bolts in aluminum are ENTIRELY inappropriate for this application. The strength of the cut threads is marginal and the act of installing the bolts induces stresses in the holes which will cause radial cracks to form.

 

A proper bracket will have a reinforcing gusset or support welded on each end. A flat plate that is unsupported on the ends, that is allowed to flex repeatedly, will eventually fail.

 

Aluminum is a great material for trailers but you need to take great care in how you distribute the stresses, or it will fail. Getting a cracked or broken aluminum frame repaired correctly in a small town might be next to impossible, compared to steel, which any hitch shop can put back together.... Aluminum trailers have a poor street reputation because poorly designed and fabricated ones will crack, eventually. But well built ones do not have these issues. Hopefully this includes Oliver, but time and many towing miles will tell...

 

Read the first couple of pages here.... http://www.adhocmarinedesigns.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/ProBoat-June-July-2012-Aluminum-Welds.pdf

 

While your jacks work great, that is unfortunately not a good design in terms of the the engineering.

 

If you have any doubts about my advice or that of Overland, talk to Oliver or any A&P mechanic that does aircraft sheet metal work. BTW that was me for about 20 years....

 

John Davies

Spokane WA USA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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