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Old 06-13-2018, 06:53 PM   #1
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Bottle jacks as levelers?

Has anyone used hydraulic bottle jacks as levelers? I'm tired of the lego blocks and want to find out if bottle jacks can do the trick. Found the 8 ton jacks on Amazon, and it elevates to 17" height. If not high enough, I can use a few lego blocks. But I'm concerned about the stability, and also if the hydraulic pressure will hold overnight.
Any feedback is greatly appreciated!
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:03 PM   #2
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A couple of things... First, 8 tons seems like way overkill - even if you're trying to lift one corner completely off it's wheel(s) - the whole rig weighs less than 6. And second, I think a scissor jack might be easier to use and less likely to "deflate" over time.

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Old 06-13-2018, 07:12 PM   #3
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I think that if you do not get close to level with driving up on the blocks, ( I use 2x6 lumber 4 feet long... 2 of these are usually enough although once I had to drop the wheels on one side off the parking pad and still use both pieces of lumber on the other side) you can twist the frame trying to level using a lift like that to do ALL the heavy lifting
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:04 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by DaveJordan View Post
A couple of things... First, 8 tons seems like way overkill - even if you're trying to lift one corner completely off it's wheel(s) - the whole rig weighs less than 6. And second, I think a scissor jack might be easier to use and less likely to "deflate" over time.

Dave
I was hoping it's easier to crank than scissor jack but I see now you can use a drill with an adaptor Is this one for 24" high enough for Sprinter?
Thanks!
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:46 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by HomeOnWheels View Post
Has anyone used hydraulic bottle jacks as levelers? I'm tired of the lego blocks and want to find out if bottle jacks can do the trick. Found the 8 ton jacks on Amazon, and it elevates to 17" height. If not high enough, I can use a few lego blocks. But I'm concerned about the stability, and also if the hydraulic pressure will hold overnight.
Any feedback is greatly appreciated!
Great idea! Do it!
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:03 PM   #6
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I have 2 bottle jacks that I used with my 84 Chevy class C. Mostly used them as stabilizers but was not afraid to raise that coach a couple of inches with them to make it level. My main objective though was to make people walking around less noticeable if I was resting.
I would be very careful where you place any jack with the sprinter and use MB's recommendations for the location of their jack. The frame is a unibody design and that makes me nervous with the maximum designed weight nearly used.
I had a oil leak in the rear differential because a tire guy put his jack under the pumpkin to service the rear tires. Cost me $325.00 to have MB service fix it.
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:54 AM   #7
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I was hoping it's easier to crank than scissor jack but I see now you can use a drill with an adaptor Is this one for 24" high enough for Sprinter?
Thanks!
I'd think that 24" would be sufficient for most cases...and you can always put blocks under it if you need to.

It looks to me as though they might be expecting that jack to be more-or-less permanently attached to the RV. Which might not be a bad idea...if you can find a good spot.

As someone else mentioned, it is important to find a spot for the jack which will lift a structural member rather than something that will bend or break...

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Old 06-14-2018, 09:10 AM   #8
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You are expecting a lot from a hydraulic jack. They will all leak in time regardless of the cost or brand. Just the nature of the beasts.
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:19 AM   #9
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My concern would be twisting the frame if you are using individual jacks to level (as opposed to stabilize). You can only crank one jack at a time, unless you are going back and forth between 2 jacks, moving each a small amount.
Someone else should chime in if I'm wrong, but it was my understanding that actual leveling jacks all work simultaneously when deployed to level a coach or trailer?
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:12 PM   #10
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Talked to a MBS technician about the bottle jacks, jacking point, and weight bearing on the frame. He didn't think the prolonged elevation would cause damage to the frame as long as the correct jacking points are used. He also thought 8 ton bottle jacks are less likely to break seal than a 4 ton. For the front, he recommended the jacking points in front of the front axle (image below), as mentioned in the MBS manual.



I think if I use this set up, I'll put a few blocks, which I already have, underneath the raised wheels for additional safety.
All that I'm trying to achieve is save the hassle from repeatedly driving up and down the blocks to level my rig
Any comments?
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:16 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by MillMitch View Post
My concern would be twisting the frame if you are using individual jacks to level (as opposed to stabilize). You can only crank one jack at a time, unless you are going back and forth between 2 jacks, moving each a small amount.
Someone else should chime in if I'm wrong, but it was my understanding that actual leveling jacks all work simultaneously when deployed to level a coach or trailer?
Why would a single jack twist the frame? If my rig is unleveled to begin with, to level it would alleviate the stress on the frame wouldn't it?
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:49 PM   #12
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drive up on blocks to begin with to get close to level, then use your jacks to get ON LEVEL and keeping from moving when walking inside... keeping your tires ON THE GROUND

nothing different than what any TT user would do...

you rarely get perfectly level with driving up on blocks, but get that last 5-10% using your leveling jacks... at least that is what I do...

NOT USING blocks to drive up on to get close is just not right... IMHO
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:04 PM   #13
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drive up on blocks to begin with to get close to level, then use your jacks to get ON LEVEL and keeping from moving when walking inside... keeping your tires ON THE GROUND

nothing different than what any TT user would do...

you rarely get perfectly level with driving up on blocks, but get that last 5-10% using your leveling jacks... at least that is what I do...

NOT USING blocks to drive up on to get close is just not right... IMHO
Thanks for your input! But now I'm confused about not lifting tires. The Bigfoot automatic leveling system does exactly that to level - by lifting wheels, more than one of them sometimes.
Automatic System For Mercedes Benz Sprinter Class-C
That's how I got the idea of using bottle jacks. Am I missing something?
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:21 PM   #14
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Andersen Levelers are the best, quickest and easiest to use in my opinion. Check out this video

https://youtu.be/b4JQV15VzBc
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:22 PM   #15
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Looks to me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeOnWheels View Post
Talked to a MBS technician about the bottle jacks, jacking point, and weight bearing on the frame. He didn't think the prolonged elevation would cause damage to the frame as long as the correct jacking points are used. He also thought 8 ton bottle jacks are less likely to break seal than a 4 ton. For the front, he recommended the jacking points in front of the front axle (image below), as mentioned in the MBS manual.

[image deleted]

I think if I use this set up, I'll put a few blocks, which I already have, underneath the raised wheels for additional safety.
All that I'm trying to achieve is save the hassle from repeatedly driving up and down the blocks to level my rig
Any comments?
Looks to me like the jack has a pilot that sits in a recess (socket) in the frame. Whether you use screw jacks, scissors jacks, or hydraulic jacks, it might be a good idea to machine an adapter that matches the chassis jack and inserts into the frame. You would get more stability that way. The RV certainly couldn't slip off the jack.

BTW, the jacks you selected are HEAVY!! Do you really want to schlep four of those thing around? Maybe something lighter.

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Old 06-14-2018, 08:33 PM   #16
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The Bigfoot automatic leveling system does exactly that to level - by lifting wheels, more than one of them sometimes.
I would think that it makes sense to leave the tires on the ground and let your Sprinter chassis do some of the work with tires up on blocks before lifting a wheel(s) to level...

YES you CAN do it, but still makes no sense to me...

Use your heavy hydraulic jacks if you want to do all the heavy lifting, but doing 90% of the heavy lifting with blocks or wood under your tires to get close then using the levelers to go the final 10% makes sense to me... that way your jacks are not lifting hundreds if not thousands of pounds of camper off the ground, including suspension and tires...

FYI... I have a small TT under 5000# so I may be way off-base for your Sprinter chassis...
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:00 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by woodyrock1 View Post
Andersen Levelers are the best, quickest and easiest to use in my opinion. Check out this video

https://youtu.be/b4JQV15VzBc
DO NOT use Anderson levelers on the rear wheels of a motorhome of any kind. They will become projectiles. They are designed for trailers and non driven wheels. Don't ask how I know. Any small blocks are dangerous on drive wheels, think about it.

This is a question from a sprinter owner aka motorhome.
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:16 AM   #18
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DO NOT use Anderson levelers on the rear wheels of a motorhome of any kind. They will become projectiles. They are designed for trailers and non driven wheels. Don't ask how I know. Any small blocks are dangerous on drive wheels, think about it.

This is a question from a sprinter owner aka motorhome.
Look at this.

https://www.thefitrv.com/rv-tips/tes...mper-levelers/
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Old 06-15-2018, 03:20 PM   #19
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DO NOT use Anderson levelers on the rear wheels of a motorhome of any kind. They will become projectiles. They are designed for trailers and non driven wheels. Don't ask how I know. Any small blocks are dangerous on drive wheels, think about it.



This is a question from a sprinter owner aka motorhome.


Yes you are right and I did not pick that up concerning the Sprinter. Sorry for the misinformation.
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Old 06-15-2018, 03:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garbonz View Post
DO NOT use Anderson levelers on the rear wheels of a motorhome of any kind. They will become projectiles. They are designed for trailers and non driven wheels. Don't ask how I know. Any small blocks are dangerous on drive wheels, think about it.

This is a question from a sprinter owner aka motorhome.
Thanks for the warning. I don't plan to get more blocks. I'm already carrying twenty these blocks



Last week at Joshua Tree NP, I used all of them to level, barely, my rig. One of wheels had 8 layers (8") underneath it. And it took us ~20 min to do it.

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