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Old 05-14-2014, 10:42 AM   #1
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'po-mans' home made stabilizer

Hi all,
I've learned so much from this forum, I though I would pay it back by sharing something I just made for my 5er. Inexpensive and very effective.

I wanted to eliminate the side-to-side sway up front that is typical for 5er landing gear. I know there are commercial solutions like the JT Strongarms and others, but I wasn't prepared to spend $300+ on a solution that I know I could work out myself.
I was stacking several pieces of 2X8 (5-6) under each landing gear foot to limit the extension, and that worked to a degree, but still was not as effective as I wanted it to be.

After a couple of attempts, I wound up with this.



For about $30 in parts (Menards) this eliminated all of the the side to side sway, and the trailer is now feels solid. I'm also using X-chocks between the wheels to control front to rear wiggle, which has never been much of a concern.
The trick is to make sure there is no axial play in the assembly. It is adjustable for any needed length with the use of the 1.2" threaded rod. Jam nuts tightened after adjusting the length, and snugging up the mount bolts at each end eliminate any play in the assembly.
It quite light too because I used 1.25" wood closet rod for the main rod. Wood??!! Yes, The only forces I needed to control is tension & compression and wood is a good material for this. Some good paint to seal it and it's good to go. I reamed out 3/4" bores in each end and glued 1/2" threaded couplers inside with JB Weld.
I mounted another simple L-bracket on top, under the front belly (you can see it in the top pic) so all I need to do is remove one side and swing it up for stowing. Everything metal is zinc plated, so protected from the elements.
This also allowed me to leave ~12 pieces of heavy board at home and opened up more front storage for better things.

Works great in the driveway and I'm looking forward to trying it during our camping trip next week.



Yeah I'm Dutch, but proud of it
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:54 AM   #2
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I'm gathering parts now! That's cool!
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:05 AM   #3
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Very cool! Are you finding the wood rod working better under tension or compression? I'd imagine tension, but I would wonder about my inserts pulling out.
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:13 AM   #4
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What is your setup/breakdown like with this?
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:26 AM   #5
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Is one brace enough?
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:31 AM   #6
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Looks familiar.
My setup with cargo jacks from Midwest wheel .
$60.00 invested and I can tighten and loosen with the handle.


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Old 05-14-2014, 11:34 AM   #7
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Few more.

All I have to do to setup is ratchet lever till tight.

Tear down involves flipping the safety catch and releasing handle

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Old 05-14-2014, 11:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKnight View Post
Very cool! Are you finding the wood rod working better under tension or compression? I'd imagine tension, but I would wonder about my inserts pulling out.
Both actually. The JB Weld is tenacious. I ground some lateral grooves into the couplers which 'grab' the JB weld. I don't expect them to pull out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
What is your setup/breakdown like with this?
Pretty easy - just remove the lower mount 1/2" bolt, swing the rod up and reinstall the bolt into the top bracket. I do need to hand screw in/out the end so it it the correct length, but very simple.
The wing nuts allow reasonably tight hand tighten, but I might keep a 3/4" open end wrench handy to snug up the bolts and jam nuts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by D-maxx dave View Post
Is one brace enough?
Yes - one bar handles both the tension and compression....just like Turbs does.
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:06 PM   #9
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Thanks!
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:15 PM   #10
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Just for comparison. ...

1) cut cargo bars to length.
2) welded a internally drilled and tapped slug into each end.
3) screwed in heim joints and locked them down.
4) made two mounting brackets.


2 cargo jacks
4 heim ends
4 solid slugs
Misc metal for brackets

I just now realized my powder coating neighbor has never called me to finish..... hmmmm phone call time.

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Old 05-15-2014, 12:23 PM   #11
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Back to my OP:

...thought I would share how it looks stowed for travel. Very easy to do and it's out of the way, and hardly noticeable.

Looking forward to using it for the first time during the Memorial Day weekend.


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Old 05-15-2014, 12:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zs325RES View Post
Back to my OP:

...thought I would share how it looks stowed for travel. Very easy to do and it's out of the way, and hardly noticeable.

Looking forward to using it for the first time during the Memorial Day weekend.


I'd be curious.
Keep us informed.

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Old 05-15-2014, 12:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zs325RES View Post
Back to my OP:

...thought I would share how it looks stowed for travel. Very easy to do and it's out of the way, and hardly noticeable.

Looking forward to using it for the first time during the Memorial Day weekend.


Wow I had to zoom in and look for it. Very clean, looking forward to your report!
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:22 PM   #14
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here are some of the joints I am using, they came out of some old stock I found in the hanger off the DC3`s. just got to go to (Menards) and get the other stuff
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:30 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by jevanb View Post
here are some of the joints I am using, them came out of some old stock I found in the hanger off the DC3`s. just got to go to (Menards) and get the other stuff
Don't forget to safety wire the jam nuts.
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:35 PM   #16
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Don't forget to safety wire the jam nuts.
these are getting welded in the tubes
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:38 PM   #17
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these are getting welded in the tubes
Then I guess any adjustment possibly needed later is out the window.
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:49 PM   #18
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1st outing report

Success!
This front bar worked so well during our 5 day Memorial Day outing I promptly went out to buy another set of hardware to make another for the rear. My Brother was so impressed that he is making a set for his Wildcat.

The front was very solid and the only jiggle I felt was when we were in the back of the rig. I was using 5 2x8 stacked boards under both rear landing gear to reduce the amount of extension, but there was still some slight wiggle.

I managed to reduce the number of components this second round and only spent $24 for the rear setup. I did replace the wing nut setup with a lock nut only where it pivots and just snugged it up. No adjustments are needed now other then where the other end is dropped and reinstalled - easy.



On the pad at home it is as solid as can be now. I'll get a chance to really test it all next weekend. Now I can leave all those blocks home

This is the best mod I've done to our 5er so far and very pleased with the results.
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Old 05-30-2014, 03:04 PM   #19
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... I was using 5 2x8 stacked boards under both rear landing gear to reduce the amount of extension, but there was still some slight wiggle...
Looks good. Do you have a similar setup on the front?

FWIW, I have found re-enforcing the rear legs and extending them to as near vertical as possible reduces movement more than stacking blocks under the pads and having them as near horizontal as possible which puts the legs in the most vulnerable position to bending which they are prone to do. The flatter the legs also lets the screw mechanism move from side to side. I have had them apart several times to try to eliminate or reduce the screw movement to no avail.
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Old 05-30-2014, 04:29 PM   #20
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Looks good. Do you have a similar setup on the front?...
I do. Check out the first page of the thread. Very happy with it.
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