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Old 08-13-2010, 10:30 PM   #1
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Why do people put wooden blocks under front legs and stabilizers?

I'm not trying to act stupid but by adding large blocks of wood under the front and rear jacks and stabilizers do anything but reduce the time it takes to lower or raise the legs?

Inquiring minds would like to know.
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:38 PM   #2
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Well, I don't put wooden blocks under my scissor jacks that I have on all four corners, I do however put a block under the tongue jack. For some it is to give the jack a wider "footprint", so it won't sink in soft ground. My tongue jack didn't come with a foot at all, so I bought a small one at Tractor Supply, but it is small. I camp mostly in the mountains on gravel sites, not paved, but feel blocks don't help me since my corner jacks hane a nice 3 x 6 inch foot print already. One place I had to use some because I ran out of jack length. Hope this helps relieve some of the tension in your inquiring mind.
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:38 PM   #3
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Stability.

Other than spreading the weight over a larger area, it provides lower ground pressure and helps stabilize the trailer.

The less you have to extend the legs(jacks, stabilizers), the less movement of the trailer.

Try it. Next time you're at you trailer, extend the jacks(stabilizers). Push on the trailer(sides or back). Notice the movement. Then place a wider pad(pieces of wood or Leggo block ) under the jacks(stabilizers). Push on the trailer again. Notice the change.
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Old 08-14-2010, 06:25 AM   #4
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I put them under there for added stability. At the beach, if I don't use them, the jacks never really get tight enough due to the sandy soil. The blocks give them a firmer hold.

Here are home when I have them down while we are working on the trailer, I don't use them since the trailer is on pavement.
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy View Post
I'm not trying to act stupid but by adding large blocks of wood under the front and rear jacks and stabilizers do anything but reduce the time it takes to lower or raise the legs?

Inquiring minds would like to know.
Iggy you ask a very important question. As several has mentioned it makes for a larger footprint. On 5th wheels I've seen some who only use a short 4"X4" under the landing gear legs - the danger in using such a narrow pad is the trailer can be knocked off them when hooking up causing the trailer to drop down on the truck bed. Causing a expensive repair! IMO the pads needs to be at least 10" X 10".
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:58 PM   #6
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Tradition - T r a d i t i o n, ... don't be messing with our camping traditions now.
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Old 08-14-2010, 03:05 PM   #7
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Tradition example:

Start with a cage containing five monkeys.
In the cage, hang a banana on a string and put stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana.

As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the monkeys with cold water.

After a while, another monkey will make an attempt with the same response - all of the monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Keep this up for several days.

Turn off the cold water.

If, later, another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it even though no water sprays them.

Now, remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one.

The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm.

Replace the third original monkey with a new one. The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well. Two of the four monkeys that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.

After replacing the fourth and fifth original monkeys, all the monkeys which have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs.

Why not?

"Because that's the way it's always been done around here."
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Old 08-14-2010, 03:20 PM   #8
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:55 AM   #9
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I use blocks under the front jacks to simply reduce the amount of travel. And one block under the rear just for a bigger footprint. The rear is more ofmjust habit but the front is required cause of how high my trailer is. Even on a flat site if I don't have blocks under it the jacks will fall out when you pull the quick release.
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Old 08-15-2010, 11:46 AM   #10
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I even put handles on my wooden blocks because I am lazy and my hands are small. Note two thicknesses just in case.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pondlady/4893955585/
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Old 08-15-2010, 11:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pondlady View Post
I even put handles on my wooden blocks because I am lazy and my hands are small. Note two thicknesses just in case.
woodenblocks | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
So, you're one of the monkeys that won't climb the stairs. Or, are you one of the monkeys doing the beating for no good reason?
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pondlady View Post
I even put handles on my wooden blocks because I am lazy and my hands are small. Note two thicknesses just in case.
woodenblocks | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

PondLady
You sure have come a long way.
Great idea for the handles and pics.
I guess you just nailed three 2" x 6" or are they 2" x 4" ?
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:38 PM   #13
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I climb the stairs, water or no water. Because I am fearless, or really want a banana. Either that or I am as dumb as a bag full of hammers.

They are 2 x 6's glued and screwed.
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:51 PM   #14
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We use wooden blocks under our jacks so they don't have to travel so far. It also gives a larger footprint. I was also lazy and have chords on mine so I can just pull them out when were done. Our Georgetown sits somewhat lower in the front so I have to use a block to level it sometimes. when that happens, the front jacks have to extend further. So I add an extra block so it doesn't have to extend so far.
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Old 08-15-2010, 05:04 PM   #15
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Just like I figures

It is very interesting how many people have looked at this question.
Some simple things like adding wood under each leg is a common accurance but many people may not know why.

This really is the reason I asked the question in the first place.
Great Job!
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Old 08-16-2010, 09:29 PM   #16
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It's all about stability on the terrain you are on. Also the shorter your legs are the less flex will be in them.


Sounds like most have stated all this already so I'll leave it at that.
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Old 08-17-2010, 05:03 AM   #17
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I made my wood blocks out of 4x6 air dried oak. Painted them fluorescent orange and have fun with them trying to build squares, bridges and houses if I don't use them all while camping. Maybe I like to monkey around a little bit.
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:23 AM   #18
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Well thanks Iggy for asking the question. It is something I never would have thought about! I use blocks under the rear stabilizers almost all the time, because even with an electric switch, it takes forever to get those buggers to the ground. I never thought of it being an additional stabilizing feature. But in accordance with Mr. Black up there, it sure makes sense! Dang, now I'm gonna start doing it to the front landing jacks also! For the second time today...who wouldda thunk!??!
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:47 AM   #19
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Well thanks Iggy for asking the question. It is something I never would have thought about! I use blocks under the rear stabilizers almost all the time, because even with an electric switch, it takes forever to get those buggers to the ground. I never thought of it being an additional stabilizing feature. But in accordance with Mr. Black up there, it sure makes sense! Dang, now I'm gonna start doing it to the front landing jacks also! For the second time today...who wouldda thunk!??!


GREAT. This is why I asked the question so others may know.
I actually knew the answer but was sure the new folks didn't.
This is the purpose of this informational forum.

Knowledge is power.
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:06 AM   #20
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Made ours out of 2x8's made into a 12x12 box for the corners and one that is only 4" deep but still 12x12 for the tongue jack. They help keep the trailer stable due to not having to extend the stabilizers as far as has been said before. I'll post a pic when \i get a USB cable.
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