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Old 02-11-2024, 07:40 PM   #1
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Tire Change - Jack Point

I'm trying to put something together to safely lift my MiniLite for emergency tire changes. I prefer the more traditional approach of a bottle jack versus ramps that and I have a few on hand. Dexter seems to recommend jack via the frame as well.
I did a few measurements and the frame is around 16" from ground. I suspect with the drop of the torsion arm would make it something like 20" plus. There's no issue getting a base to bring the bottle jack up close enough but I would like something to pin down the jack pad to the frame. The place being right between the axles. Just enough to get the pump handle through and facing out. The plan is to fab a simple socket. With a pipe long enough to keep the 4 ton bottle jack vertical. A small lip clamps the adapter over the axle spacers. Originally I was going to make a saddle to cup the axle at its hinge point. A lot lower and safer but from what I've been told this is where the twisting damage can occur.
Am i missing anything, is the new idea practical?
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Old 02-11-2024, 11:30 PM   #2
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I would cut some square blocks from pressure-treated 2 x 6 lumber. I suggest you stack two and screw them together, then stack 3 and screw them together plus retain a couple of single ones. Screwing 2 or more together prevents slipping. They will also work quite well under the tongue jack or stabilizer jacks if needed. This approach will likely account for any type of ground or surface. It also prevents the jack base from sinking into any soft ground.

Bob
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Old 02-12-2024, 08:36 AM   #3
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Thanks Bob. Good suggestion and handy for lots of things.
Looking back at the pic's I see the dust plugs are missing on the backing plates. Frustrating some of the loose ends FR leaves.
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Old 02-12-2024, 08:49 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by gorbur View Post
Thanks Bob. Good suggestion and handy for lots of things.
Looking back at the pic's I see the dust plugs are missing on the backing plates. Frustrating some of the loose ends FR leaves.
The axle manufactures today, (or even for a while now) often don't put dust caps in the brake adjusting slot. That's not a FR thing.

Looks like you have torsion axles.
If so, there no reason not to jack on the bracket that bolts to the frame.
That is how I did my trailers with torsion axles.
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Old 02-12-2024, 09:34 AM   #5
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No need for any special adapters. Here’s a couple pictures showing how to lift your Mini Lite.
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Old 02-12-2024, 10:03 AM   #6
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Thanks, Good pic.
This summer I'll be doing a fair bit of travelling on unimproved & haul roads. Notoriously soft shoulders. Inevitably that's where I'll loose a tire. Just planning for the worst so I want to make a tire change as quick and safe as possible.
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Old 02-12-2024, 10:12 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by gorbur View Post
Thanks, Good pic.
This summer I'll be doing a fair bit of travelling on unimproved & haul roads. Notoriously soft shoulders. Inevitably that's where I'll loose a tire. Just planning for the worst so I want to make a tire change as quick and safe as possible.
In looking at the pictures ITAT posted, you'll need some larger blocks for the jack stands too. Probably using 2 x 8 material would be better.

As to plugs in the backing plates where brake adjustments are made, those were likely left out at the factory where the wheels and axles were made or wherever the brakes were last adjusted. That's not Forrest River. Replacements are available at any auto parts store.

I did notice where the wheels on one side were removed, the wheels on the other side were not chocked.

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Old 02-12-2024, 10:28 AM   #8
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Thanks again,
A quick google found some from Carlson, already on order. You got to love the Internet.
Sorry to pin the blame on FR. Just a bit of frustration on my part. Not a big issue at all. To date more issues in electrical rather than mechanical but still.
Overall the Minilites been good value and happy with the purchase.
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Old 02-12-2024, 10:29 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by gorbur View Post
Thanks, Good pic.
This summer I'll be doing a fair bit of travelling on unimproved & haul roads. Notoriously soft shoulders. Inevitably that's where I'll loose a tire. Just planning for the worst so I want to make a tire change as quick and safe as possible.
I carry a length of 2x8, using it to give the jack (or stand) a solid surface to sit squarely on. It's long enough to spread the load over soft ground and wide enough for stability. It doubles as part of a stack of leveling blocks (4', 2', 1') made from the same material, if my Andersen Camper Levelers won't lift high enough. I beveled the ends.
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Old 02-12-2024, 03:19 PM   #10
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I basically jack my trailer up in the same spot that ITAT shows. I have a bunch of 2x3's that I use for cribbing to put the jack on. I also use those under my stab jacks.
I'll give ITAT the benefit of the doubt on the missing chocks on the opposite side of his trailer and think that he has the trailer hitched up to his TV.
My question on ITAT's setup, it looks like he has the jack stands under the axle bars. If the jack did slip, wouldn't that possibly bend the axle?
At the international rally a couple years ago, Dexter took a look at my trailer and jacked it up. They put their stands under the frame on the outside of the wheels and jacked as shown in the picture.
I'm thinking about Gorbur's adapter. I like the idea but am wondering if using it would be problematic. The tube has to fit over the top of the jack which could make positioning the jack a pain. You have to make sure that the lip doesn't get hung up as you jack up and it will make extending the screw top of the jack harder. Am I over thinking this?
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Old 02-12-2024, 05:03 PM   #11
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The tube has to fit over the top of the jack which could make positioning the jack a pain. You have to make sure that the lip doesn't get hung up as you jack up and it will make extending the screw top of the jack harder. Am I over thinking this?
Very much appreciate the feedback. I'll give the lip a good amount of clearance. It should be able to slide freely along the spacer bar and be able to take it on and off easily.
Might put a thumb screw on the lip to hold it in place. I could place the bracket first then more easily align the jack to match.
Its good to know how ITAT, yourself and others are doing it. At least I'm marching in the right direction.
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Old 02-12-2024, 07:49 PM   #12
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FYI, the pictures that I posted in post #5 above are not from my trailer. I actually saved them from an older post on this subject just to show the proper lift point and method. I agree that the tires on the other side should be chocked unless the trailer is connected to the tow vehicle.
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Old 02-13-2024, 12:28 PM   #13
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I wish Ryobi made cordless car jack. I carry an inflator and an impact wrench so a jack would be nice to add.
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Old 02-20-2024, 12:11 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by gorbur View Post
I'm trying to put something together to safely lift my MiniLite for emergency tire changes. I prefer the more traditional approach of a bottle jack versus ramps that and I have a few on hand. Dexter seems to recommend jack via the frame as well.
I did a few measurements and the frame is around 16" from ground. I suspect with the drop of the torsion arm would make it something like 20" plus. There's no issue getting a base to bring the bottle jack up close enough but I would like something to pin down the jack pad to the frame. The place being right between the axles. Just enough to get the pump handle through and facing out. The plan is to fab a simple socket. With a pipe long enough to keep the 4 ton bottle jack vertical. A small lip clamps the adapter over the axle spacers. Originally I was going to make a saddle to cup the axle at its hinge point. A lot lower and safer but from what I've been told this is where the twisting damage can occur.
Am i missing anything, is the new idea practical?
If double axel use Anderson curved tire changer block! Drive one tire on it and the other lifts off ground allowing it to be changed!
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Old 02-20-2024, 12:52 AM   #15
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Changed tires multiple times on my Mini Lite, including twice on an Alaska trip. Never used a jack on any of them. We had the stackable plastic leveling blocks, so I built a ramp in front or behind the tires, depending on which was flat. Then I pulled the trailer forward or backward onto the ramp, set the emergency brake, and chocked the opposite side. I removed the flat, repaired the tire with my plug kit, and inflated it with my 12v compressor. I put it back on, towed it off the ramp, and picked up the blocks. Much more secure than trying to use a jack on a sloping gravel shoulder!
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Old 02-20-2024, 11:29 AM   #16
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With a solid axle and leaf springs, couldn't I put the bottle jack under the axle at the leaf spring connection and lift? That way I don't need to lift the frame high enough to take up the suspension before getting the tire off the ground.

I always hook a trailer to a tow vehicle for stability and chock before lifting trailer
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Old 02-20-2024, 12:17 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Tlmgcamp View Post
With a solid axle and leaf springs, couldn't I put the bottle jack under the axle at the leaf spring connection and lift? That way I don't need to lift the frame high enough to take up the suspension before getting the tire off the ground.

I always hook a trailer to a tow vehicle for stability and chock before lifting trailer
Yes, people have been doing this since the invention of jacks and suspension carried vehicles.
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Old 02-20-2024, 09:55 PM   #18
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If double axel use Anderson curved tire changer block! Drive one tire on it and the other lifts off ground allowing it to be changed!
Dear GORBUR... I agree with the above. We have something similar but it's DIY. We have three 2x6's each long enough to span both tires on our tandem axle trailer. Bottom board is longest. Each is 6 inches or so shorter than the one below. Each has a 45 degree angle cut on the lead end so a tire can roll up on it. I have used them to EASILY raise a flat up so it can be changed safely. They also are used to help level the trailer side-to-side in 1.5 inch increments if needed. Stored in our front compartment.
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