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Techniques for lifting the RV until wheels are off the ground

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  • Techniques for lifting the RV until wheels are off the ground

    I'm about to upgrade equalizers and shackles, so I need to remove at least two wheels at the same time from one side of the rig. Morryde actually recommends lifting so that all 4 wheels can be removed simultaneously.

    I was planning to stay hitched to the TV, use a heavy-duty bottle jack and some jack stands and do just one side of the trailer at the time -- two wheels, not four. But then I saw this video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GP_wyijN79Y&t=532s

    Check out the sequence between :47 - 1:05. They (a shop that probably does it this way all the time) lower the front leveling jacks, place jack stands behind the wheels, then raise the front until the wheels on both sides are off the ground.

    I'm pretty sure my leveling jacks are powerful enough to do this -- sometimes AutoLevel leaves the wheels off the ground without me even trying!

    Is this technique a good idea? The Solitude has a really powerful *looking* frame. . . Looking for feedback.

    -Steve
    2018 Solitude 310GK, disc brakes
    Morryde CRE3000/XFactor with heavy duty shackles, V-Brackets in spring hangers
    2012 Ram 3500 SRW 6.7 Diesel, air bags
    18k B&W Companion, non-slider
    640 watts solar, 400 amp-hour Lion Safari UT 1300 battery bank
    Aims 1500 watt inverter/charger with ATS
    Blaine, MN

  • #2
    Steve

    I am actually doing this right now , repacking bearings and new tires on a Reflection 29RS , similar enough though. What I did , on a concrete floor , is run the auto level so that all 4 of my jacks are down and then manually lowered them until the wheels were still touching the ground. I then used the bottle jack stands under all four axel ends to raise the axels enough to get the wheels off. I have all of the slides in and the door locked so there is nobody inside the RV dancing a jig while it is like this. It will be like this for about a week until I get all of the stuff done that needs attention.
    Doing this will allow you to lower and raise the axels when needed to remove and install your new parts. Maintaining some support thru the jack stands or tire contact on the ground should save from any frame issues , i hope.

    Brian
    Brian & Michelle
    2018 Reflection 29RS Oct.17 build date, EMS-HW50C , Lippert Remote
    2015 Chevy 3500HD CC LB Duramax , Reese Elite 18K

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by steve&renee View Post
      Morryde actually recommends lifting so that all 4 wheels can be removed simultaneously.
      Hi Steve,

      You don't say whether the MORryde advice is to lift by the frame or under the axles. Under the axles would be fine, but you have to also support by the frame to do the work that you are planning. Hanging the axles from a supported frame is a sure-fire way to "flip" the shackles. Then, the geometry gets complicated. (ask me how I know this )

      Keeping two wheels on the ground on the other side will keep the lifted side geometry correct.

      Rob

      Cate & Rob
      (with Border Collies Molly & Angel and their kitty Gracie)
      2015 Reflection 303RLS
      2014 Ecoboost F150 with Heavy Duty Payload Package
      Whitby, Ontario, Canada

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Cate&Rob View Post

        Keeping two wheels on the ground on the other side will keep the lifted side geometry correct.
        For the shackle replacement job, I *have* to lift by the frame. (And that's what MORryde shows in their videos.)

        So you're saying MORryde is producing videos that could result in flipped shackles if I did it their way -- lift both sides simultaneously.

        I'm not clear. I think you're making a strong recommendation to lift by the frame on one side only. Right?

        -Steve
        2018 Solitude 310GK, disc brakes
        Morryde CRE3000/XFactor with heavy duty shackles, V-Brackets in spring hangers
        2012 Ram 3500 SRW 6.7 Diesel, air bags
        18k B&W Companion, non-slider
        640 watts solar, 400 amp-hour Lion Safari UT 1300 battery bank
        Aims 1500 watt inverter/charger with ATS
        Blaine, MN

        Comment


        • #5
          steve&renee amp;
          Hi Steve,

          To do what you are planning, you do have to support the frame and be able to lift/support the axles. Hanging the axles from the springs on both sides at the same time will quite likely flip the shackles. Lifting the axles too much will lift the frame off the jack stands. I found that doing one side at a time with the opposite side still sitting on the tires on the ground "stabilized" the process . . . and also required fewer jack stands and hydraulic jacks.

          Rob
          Cate & Rob
          (with Border Collies Molly & Angel and their kitty Gracie)
          2015 Reflection 303RLS
          2014 Ecoboost F150 with Heavy Duty Payload Package
          Whitby, Ontario, Canada

          Comment


          • #6
            Cate&Rob amp;

            Ok. Thanks.

            -Steve
            2018 Solitude 310GK, disc brakes
            Morryde CRE3000/XFactor with heavy duty shackles, V-Brackets in spring hangers
            2012 Ram 3500 SRW 6.7 Diesel, air bags
            18k B&W Companion, non-slider
            640 watts solar, 400 amp-hour Lion Safari UT 1300 battery bank
            Aims 1500 watt inverter/charger with ATS
            Blaine, MN

            Comment


            • #7
              steve&renee amp;
              Hi Steve,

              I just remembered another "learning" from when I did a similar project. When I did the first side, I discovered that the axles wanted to move toward each other (not sure why), making getting the new hardware installed, more difficult. For the second side, I made a "spacer" from a piece of exact fit 2x4 before starting disassembly. I screwed a longer piece of 2x2 to the edge of the 2x4 to keep it from falling out. This made reassembly of the second side much easier.

              Rob
              Cate & Rob
              (with Border Collies Molly & Angel and their kitty Gracie)
              2015 Reflection 303RLS
              2014 Ecoboost F150 with Heavy Duty Payload Package
              Whitby, Ontario, Canada

              Comment


              • #8
                In reference to the axles moving, I use a ratchet strap secured to a landing gears/levelers (the mounting holes work great) and wrapped around the hub to pull the axle back into position. Rachel straps make great light duty come-alongs. Between a ratchet strap to move the axle fore and aft, and a bottle jack under the axle for vertical adjustment I can replace springs, shackles, bushing... without a lot of effort.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I understand the jacking issues for replacing the equalizers and shackles now. But for other jacking purposes, does anyone have an opinion about the technique shown in the video link of post #1: lower front landing gear, place jack stands behind the rear axle, raise front landing gear until wheels are off the ground?

                  -Steve
                  2018 Solitude 310GK, disc brakes
                  Morryde CRE3000/XFactor with heavy duty shackles, V-Brackets in spring hangers
                  2012 Ram 3500 SRW 6.7 Diesel, air bags
                  18k B&W Companion, non-slider
                  640 watts solar, 400 amp-hour Lion Safari UT 1300 battery bank
                  Aims 1500 watt inverter/charger with ATS
                  Blaine, MN

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by steve&renee View Post
                    I understand the jacking issues for replacing the equalizers and shackles now. But for other jacking purposes, does anyone have an opinion about the technique shown in the video link of post #1: lower front landing gear, place jack stands behind the rear axle, raise front landing gear until wheels are off the ground?

                    -Steve
                    Steve,
                    Assuming your Solitude has the Lippert Level Up system, the manual has this warning:

                    The Level-Up LCD 5th Wheel Leveling System is designed as a leveling system only and should not be used for any reason to provide service under the trailer, e.g. changing tires or servicing the leveling system. Lippert Components Inc. recommends trained professionals be employed to change the tires or perform other services on the 5th Wheel.

                    I'd bet it does not matter if it's the hydraulic or electric version--Lippert will say "nope".

                    Since you asked for an opinion, I suggest following Cate&Rob (Rob's) advice. Of course, you are responsible for your own safety and if in doubt of your ability to accomplish the task hire a professional.

                    Howard
                    Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

                    Howard, 2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      steve&renee amp;

                      Hi Steve,

                      I have heard of the trailer jacking technique that you describe and I went back and looked at the video that you linked on your first post. I can see how this works on a relatively light trailer (as in the video) but I would be a lot more cautious on a heavier trailer such as your Solitude.

                      I know that the suspension manufacturers all say to never lift by the axles. What they are really talking about is to not do what is shown in the attached picture (taken from the video that you linked). A point load lift at the center of the axle tube yikes!!

                      I lift with a hydraulic jack using a saddle that fits smoothly to the axle tube between the U bolts. Less than 2" of lift will have the tire off the ground and the trailer frame is still carried by the suspension.

                      Lifting by the frame requires about 4" of lift to get the tire off the ground (hanging by the springs) and now the support of the frame and body are completely different. I know of trailers sitting on concrete blocks under the frame where the slides won't go in/out properly because the frame is supported differently than when the weight was carried by the suspension.

                      The trailer sits on its suspension for all of it's (upright) fabrication and factory/dealer adjustments. It should always stay this way (in my opinion) unless briefly supported by the frame to change a spring or suspension component.

                      I store my Reflection with four of these fitted jacks between the U bolts and the weight off the tires. Bearing or brake work can be done at any time. See pdf attachment.

                      Rob
                      Attached Files
                      Cate & Rob
                      (with Border Collies Molly & Angel and their kitty Gracie)
                      2015 Reflection 303RLS
                      2014 Ecoboost F150 with Heavy Duty Payload Package
                      Whitby, Ontario, Canada

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by colan View Post
                        Rachet straps make great light duty come-alongs.
                        Hi Colan,

                        I completely agree. A fairly robust ratchet strap should be part of everyone's tool kit for use exactly as you describe. (This is how I got the axles on the first side of my spring replacement project back into place). The 2x4 spacer avoided the need for the strap when doing the second side .

                        Rob

                        Cate & Rob
                        (with Border Collies Molly & Angel and their kitty Gracie)
                        2015 Reflection 303RLS
                        2014 Ecoboost F150 with Heavy Duty Payload Package
                        Whitby, Ontario, Canada

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by steve&renee View Post
                          I'm about to upgrade equalizers and shackles, so I need to remove at least two wheels at the same time from one side of the rig. Morryde actually recommends lifting so that all 4 wheels can be removed simultaneously.

                          I was planning to stay hitched to the TV, use a heavy-duty bottle jack and some jack stands and do just one side of the trailer at the time -- two wheels, not four. But then I saw this video:

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GP_wyijN79Y&t=532s

                          Check out the sequence between :47 - 1:05. They (a shop that probably does it this way all the time) lower the front leveling jacks, place jack stands behind the wheels, then raise the front until the wheels on both sides are off the ground.

                          I'm pretty sure my leveling jacks are powerful enough to do this -- sometimes AutoLevel leaves the wheels off the ground without me even trying!

                          Is this technique a good idea? The Solitude has a really powerful *looking* frame. . . Looking for feedback.

                          -Steve
                          I’m in the process of doing the same thing although I used. 4 ton and 6 ton bottle jacks on cribbing to lift one side and then placed 2 jack stands under frame for support. Had to use floor jack to take weight/tension off of axles to remove spring hanger/ bushings. Both axels are supported by 2 additional jack stands. Never lift trailer by jacking under axles.....good way to bend axles. I always jack against frame. I was not comfortable using leveling system to lift and support trailer. Takes lots of cribbing though for both jacks and jack stands and you can only do one side at a time unless you have a small mountain of cribbing and have cornered the market on jack stands.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cate&Rob View Post
                            steve&renee amp;

                            I can see how this works on a relatively light trailer (as in the video) but I would be a lot more cautious on a heavier trailer such as your Solitude.

                            Rob
                            Relatively light trailer => relatively light frame, n'est pas?. Pretty sure the frame on my Solitude is much more substantial than the one on the Reflection. (In fact, my 310GK is the baby Solitude, but I think they all use the same heavy-duty frames.)

                            So I think that just because the Solitude is heavier than the Reflection, the beefier frame definitely needs to be accounted for in the lifting equations. All I'm saying is that if you think it's OK to lift a Reflection the way they did in the video, I don't think you've made a case for *not* lifting a Solitude the same way. . .

                            -Steve

                            2018 Solitude 310GK, disc brakes
                            Morryde CRE3000/XFactor with heavy duty shackles, V-Brackets in spring hangers
                            2012 Ram 3500 SRW 6.7 Diesel, air bags
                            18k B&W Companion, non-slider
                            640 watts solar, 400 amp-hour Lion Safari UT 1300 battery bank
                            Aims 1500 watt inverter/charger with ATS
                            Blaine, MN

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cate&Rob View Post
                              steve&renee amp;

                              Hi Steve,

                              I have heard of the trailer jacking technique that you describe and I went back and looked at the video that you linked on your first post. I can see how this works on a relatively light trailer (as in the video) but I would be a lot more cautious on a heavier trailer such as your Solitude.

                              I know that the suspension manufacturers all say to never lift by the axles. What they are really talking about is to not do what is shown in the attached picture (taken from the video that you linked). A point load lift at the center of the axle tube yikes!!

                              I lift with a hydraulic jack using a saddle that fits smoothly to the axle tube between the U bolts. Less than 2" of lift will have the tire off the ground and the trailer frame is still carried by the suspension.

                              Lifting by the frame requires about 4" of lift to get the tire off the ground (hanging by the springs) and now the support of the frame and body are completely different. I know of trailers sitting on concrete blocks under the frame where the slides won't go in/out properly because the frame is supported differently than when the weight was carried by the suspension.

                              The trailer sits on its suspension for all of it's (upright) fabrication and factory/dealer adjustments. It should always stay this way (in my opinion) unless briefly supported by the frame to change a spring or suspension component.

                              I store my Reflection with four of these fitted jacks between the U bolts and the weight off the tires. Bearing or brake work can be done at any time. See pdf attachment.

                              Rob


                              Hi Rob,
                              Just joined the forum and was reading this thread as I was preparing to manually adjust my brakes on my 2020 mk2670. Thought they were the never adjust when I bought it from the dealer, but he obviously didn't know enough. Partly blame myself since I pay so much attention to detail. Anyways, I was wondering about your saddle attachment for lifting between the U-bolts. I assume you mean the axle section between the U-bolt and the tire. I've seen mixed opinions on the internet about where you can or should jack up your trailer. I went and bought some wood today to make cribbing to give my bottle jack and jack stand extra height if I do it by the frame. I did it this way before by placing the bottle jack on some wood close to the leaf spring hanger and then a jack stand to the rear of the bottle jack. I just want to adjust my brakes and wonder is it safe to jack under the axle tube for this? It would be easier if it's safe on the tube. If I went this way, I would still need some cribbing and a jack stand to support the frame. Any recommendations on attachments for a bottle jack for jacking under the axle tube. Thanks.
                              2020 Imagine MK2670
                              2020 Chevy Silverado 2500 Gas 6.6L

                              Comment

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