Originally Posted by Himcules
where did you store the spare? in the basement? i would imagine that takes up quite a bit of valuable space... anywhere to mount the spare i wonder...
you could save some space with moving to a 3/4" torque wrench that has up to 500 ft lbs. and similar break bar to remove the lug nuts. 2 wrenches will take up less space than that extra air tank and impact gun (not as fast or easy mind you
as for the jacks, how about making an extension to the handle?
i've spoken to rv techs who have admitted to using the leveling jacks to lift and insert jack stands before. not sure i would want to do that as normal practice but in a pinch and alone on the road, i would (and then lower them on jack stands of course). i've seen how easily the auto leveling mode has lifted my 390bh's tires off the road when trying to level.
I agree on all your comments, and did in fact use a BIG wrench and breaker bar on that coach in AK, however the wheels on my Berkshire 390 are recessed far enough that I'm not sure a 12" socket extender would work well. We would have been SOL with the cruise tour bus in AK, if it had been the drive axle with recessed wheels, rather than the tag axle wheel.
The bottle jack has to be on the ground so that the pump handle is also close to the ground. You don't want to be under the coach when you have it on a jack, although we were in AK, but we had two bottle jacks, and the raised rail of a Freightliner XCS chassis is 31+" off the ground.
Wooden cribbing (4x4s, laid on their side, not end grain) would do well under the jack, but the jack pad would penetrate the wood if used on top of the jack. Half inch steel plate would take care of this. Ive seen wooden cribbing routinely used legitimately (approved by site lift manager) to support tens of tons, but those applications were not "wobbly" as a vehicle resting on its tires can be. The problem is the jack pumps up 6 1/2" to a total extension of 19", and there is another 17" to go before contact with the bottom of the raised rail. A 2x12 under the jack reduces this to 15 1/2", and that translates to eight 4x4s in pairs, laid in crosswise layers on the 1/2"steel plate, up to the bottom of the rail. The time to try this is when you don't have a flat. If I got a flat on a narrow high crown road (like the Top-of-the-World Highway in AK), I wouldn't even try to change it.
I would only use the leveling jacks to purchase another inch or so if I needed to get a jack under a rail (as on a chassis having a lower rail).
When you start researching the equipment needed if you go the pneumatic route, you will very quickly discover that a serious (1200 ft lb) air wrench is a costly item, and there is an accumulator tank (12" dia x 24" length), with a regulator and a 1/2" ID snubber hose between the tank and the air gun, and an assortment of 3/8" NPT fittings. It's easier to stop a MAC Tools truck and buy the air impact wrench off the truck, than to find the heavy stuff online. The tank hooks up to the 125 psi chassis air source on your Berkshire with a smaller diameter, 50 ft hose and 1/2" fittings, so you have to wait a minute for accumulator tank recovery between wheel nuts. All my hoses are engineered polymer (the green stuff from Sears or Pep Boys, also available online). I anticipate pre-constructing the wooden 4x4 cribbing pieces and 1/2" steel plate into a single unit, so that I can deal with placement of one item, not nine items, without getting under the vehicle.
When I get around to getting a spare, it will just fit in the back of my towed vehicle with the back seats down, but of course I'd have to drive it around town everywhere I go.