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Old 07-16-2017, 11:07 PM   #1
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2514G not very "stable" - Stabilizer jacks question

We have a 2014 Rockwood 2514G, and one of my complaints is that the crank down scissor style stabilizer jacks do not provide much stability. Our old camper had the old style ratchet down jacks that folded up, and although they were kind of a pain, they made that thing rock solid stable when set up correctly.

Wondering if any of you have upgraded these jacks, or what you do to provide some stability to these campers. Again, I'm thinking of upgrading, but experimenting with these parts gets expensive quick.

Thanks!
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:39 AM   #2
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Take a look at JT Strongarms. They're not cheap but they do work.
Link: https://www.lci1.com/jt-strong-arm
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:34 AM   #3
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I've looked on that site, but all I can find is products for 5th wheels and other larger trailers, nothing for PUPs.
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Old 07-17-2017, 11:45 PM   #4
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2514G not very "stable" - Stabilizer jacks question

This works very well on our HW276--I put it by the stairs/door to keep the wall from flexing outward when stepping in or out of the trailer.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B001U...oXL&ref=plSrch
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Old 07-18-2017, 01:04 AM   #5
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This works very well on our HW276--I put it by the stairs/door to keep the wall from flexing outward when stepping in or out of the trailer.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B001U...oXL&ref=plSrch

X2. Use three of these. Near steps, rear and under slide. They really help on our PUP. Good luck
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Old 07-18-2017, 05:28 AM   #6
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cheaper here
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Old 07-18-2017, 09:08 AM   #7
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So after searching the JT's site for 45 minutes and not finding anything for PUP's, I stumble across this on Amazon this morning:

https://www.amazon.com/Lippert-19102...VH5HR7C3K629T7

Besides cost, any thoughts?
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Old 07-18-2017, 02:06 PM   #8
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I'm going to get hammered for this (I have been before), but here goes.

Stabilizer jacks are NOT "leveling" jacks.
OK, that's out of the way.

First, until you take virtually all the load off the trailer suspension and tires...both of which are very 'flexible'...you'll have movement. Short of putting the thing on blocks, there's a limit to what you can achieve.

The Lippert accessory rods will address side-to-side movement (as illustrated), but will do zero for fore-and-aft movement...again as illustrated. The depiction covers one dimension but not the other. Half a loaf, or you buy two and apply one side-to-side and the other on another jack fore-and-aft. Or spend $500+ and buy two sets and install them in both directions. Maybe.

Perhaps all that's overkill. Here's where I get my butt kicked. I, like many, use a cordless drill to raise and lower the jacks. I have a pretty good drill, so I lower them on high speed, then, I shift the drill to low gear and add about an inch or so of lift on the "low" side of the trailer first. I rarely am able to get the trailer perfectly level side-to-side, so I use that as an opportunity to slightly jack the trailer on the low side to get closer to level. THEN I use ONLY high speed on the drill to lower the jacks on the "high" side of the trailer. By staying in high gear, the drill does not have the oomph to "jack" the trailer and throw it out of level. I can move the bubble about one mark on the Hopkins level. In other words, just a little. https://smile.amazon.com/Hopkins-085...+trailer+level
I like the Hopkins, because it has a straight edge on the bottom that lines up with the bottom of the frame and makes it a snap to install.

THEN I go to the tongue jack and add a couple of cranks to take up the slack and square up the door frame of my HW PUP.

Yep...NOT INDICATED. Breaks the rules. And works like a charm. My PUP is quite stable and level, because a bit more load is on the hard points and not just the tires and suspension. Cranking the tongue jack "by eye" to square up the door opening is also important, because a typical PUP frame is about as stiff as overcooked spaghetti. You can open or close the top of the door opening at least an inch using the tongue jack after setting the stabilizer jacks. And once the rear stabilizer jacks are set, torquing the tongue jack does little to throw the trailer out of level, but it does wonders to bend the frame and adjust the door opening.

By the way, if you have a caster wheel on your tongue jack, consider replacing it with a pad like this: https://smile.amazon.com/Standard-Tr...J7ZH8ESZAXG543 I like this one, because it can save your bacon when you have a high lift or low lift to get level.

The caster wheel does nothing to reduce movement in any direction, even if in something like this: https://smile.amazon.com/Camco-44632...5%3A2470955011
I have the wheel dock, and I love it, but the tongue jack is as flexible as a wet noodle, so in addition to replacing the caster with a foot, the shorter the tongue jack (less cranked down) the better, so put some solid blocking under it to shorten the shaft extension. https://smile.amazon.com/Valterra-A1...5%3A2470955011
Just be sure to leave plenty of up/down movement to reconnect the ball if you approach at a different angle when you hookup after the weekend.

Being "level" means a lot, because "most" of the loads are vertical. I use a leveling wedge on the downhill tire, and if I must, I dig a hole for the uphill tire, but I get the bubbles on the Hopkins levels as close to center as possible. My wedge: https://smile.amazon.com/Camco-44573...ailer+leveling
Anderson makes something better but more expensive: https://smile.amazon.com/Andersen-Hi...ailer+leveling
If I had it to do over, I'd buy the Anderson.

There's one time this method does little to help. In "intimate" situations, the whole camper becomes a reenactment of "if this van's a-rockin', don't come a-knockin" but we all have our little crosses to bear.
As I said, the vertical loads are taken care of very well, but the side-to-side stuff is another matter.
Turns out, however, that normal day-to-day life applies few side-to-side loads on the RV.

The scissors jacks under the trailer are little different than the scissors jack that came with my truck to change tires, so they are quite capable of lifting a heavy load...2000 pounds or more. The problem is the frame, which is "mild steel". "Light" and "strong" are incompatible, so you must used good judgement when you add a bit of "lift" on the stabilizers. If you use your factory-supplied hand crank, it's EASY to overdo the lift. The strength of your wrist to resist twisting as the drill does its work helps limit how much torque you can apply. But I experimented with the hand crank, and I assure you that I could crank the jack right through the floor of the camper with that crank. Caution is advised.

Except as noted, my PUP is adequately stable, and as with how much torque I apply to the jacks, a bit of discretion in the other matter also does wonders to avoid attracting unwanted attention.

Let the butt kicking begin.
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Old 07-18-2017, 02:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by cousin_eddie View Post
So after searching the JT's site for 45 minutes and not finding anything for PUP's, I stumble across this on Amazon this morning:

https://www.amazon.com/Lippert-19102...VH5HR7C3K629T7

Besides cost, any thoughts?
Another individual posted quite some time ago that he had the same problem with the TT being wobbly, his solution was to purchase 4 cargo bars (like what you would use in the bed of a pickup), he placed 1 end against the jack and the other diagonal up to the frame and then tightened into place. Worked for him, had the bars for the truck also.

On our 26RR, I went to HF, purchased 4 additional scissor stabilizers which have the hex head (same as OEM), installed 2 to each side ~ everything is much better and don't have to carry additional items.

Many ideals, many applications, good luck with what you choose.
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Old 07-18-2017, 02:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jimmoore13 View Post
There's one time this method does little to help. In "intimate" situations, the whole camper becomes a reenactment of "if this van's a-rockin', don't come a-knockin" but we all have our little crosses to bear.
As I said, the vertical loads are taken care of very well, but the side-to-side stuff is another matter.
T
Ain't no stabilizers out there are gonna keep our pup from moving in these types of situations
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Old 07-18-2017, 10:00 PM   #11
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Jim - Nobody on this thread called them leveling Jacks, so I'm not sure who that was directed at. Also, if you read the OP, I have had other pop ups before, which were stable while set up. I fully understand what can and can't be done, and I'm still unhappy with unstable my Rockwood is. And no, I don't leave the caster on the jack while set up....

Lastly, the process you've described is one of the many ways I have tried to get this thing stable. It has not worked for me at all. When all you have for "stablizers" is flimsy stamped scissors jacks, things are going to move. That was the whole point of my post - My old PUPs had the older, more rigid stabilizers, and I had no problem. This thing, no matter what I do, if my kid rolls over in the front bunk, the camper shakes so bad it wakes me up in the back bunk. If thats what passes as acceptable now, I need to find an older camper.
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Old 07-18-2017, 10:03 PM   #12
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Extxn - That's actually not a bad idea, and kinda follows the same logic as the JT's stabilizers. Hehe, now if I just had some of those laying around to try it.

Due to the cost I might try the JT's on the back first, and see how it does. The front already has the tongue jack, giving it a bit of a three point. If I can stabilize the back, the front might get better on its own. I'd also like to find a better way of blocking the tires, it seems like everything I try tends to come loose unless I keep checking them.
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Old 07-18-2017, 11:24 PM   #13
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I'm not familiar with you unit and don't know if there is enough room but adding a scissor jack in front the axle will provide a lot of added stability. More maximum benefit you should have equal pressure on each of the scissor jacks. My rig has six 7,000 pound capacity scissor jacks...one at each corner and one on each side in front of the forward axle. To equalize the pressure I first make sure the trailer is completely level (I use the LevelMate Pro bluetooth system

( https://www.amazon.com/LevelMatePRO-...m/dp/B01FGGSWP )

and Andersen leveling blocks
( https://andersenhitches.com/Products...r-leveler.aspx ).

Using a hammer drill with the torque release set at about 80% I run each jack down until the torque release activates. After that I give each jack 1.5 turns with the hand crank. It's important that the scissor jack are providing an equal amount of pressure at each point. The equal pressure ensures you do not "twist" the frame.

A problem with standard scissor jacks is the extremely small footpad. When it's in position the weight is resting on a pretty small area. I added 12x12 High Density Polyethylene pads which are permanently bolted to the jack foot. Those pads are commonly known as "scuffplate wall liner" and are used inside big (53') semi trailers to protect the walls from being punctured by fork lifts. You can usually find them at facilities that sell/lease/repair those trailers.

http://www.mydigipub.com/publication/?i=280511#{"issue_id":280511,"page":382}
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:39 AM   #14
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i've noticed on my 2318G is that the stabilizers seem kind of loose where they mount to the frame. Have to figure a way to tighten them up and make them more robust. They are not heavy duty whatsoever, but they should hold the trailer firm and stable.
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:58 AM   #15
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I have a 5er and not a PUP... I have JT Strongarms, electric stabilizers, blocks under steps(helps a ton)and X-chocks. I plan(assuming I live) to add manual stabilizers in front of the front axle. Honestly. I think if I blocked it every 2 feet I will still get wiggle. We live in a concrete slabbed house and am spoiled i guess.
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Old 07-19-2017, 12:54 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by cousin_eddie View Post
Jim - Nobody on this thread called them leveling Jacks, so I'm not sure who that was directed at. Also, if you read the OP, I have had other pop ups before, which were stable while set up. I fully understand what can and can't be done, and I'm still unhappy with unstable my Rockwood is. And no, I don't leave the caster on the jack while set up....

Lastly, the process you've described is one of the many ways I have tried to get this thing stable. It has not worked for me at all. When all you have for "stablizers" is flimsy stamped scissors jacks, things are going to move. That was the whole point of my post - My old PUPs had the older, more rigid stabilizers, and I had no problem. This thing, no matter what I do, if my kid rolls over in the front bunk, the camper shakes so bad it wakes me up in the back bunk. If thats what passes as acceptable now, I need to find an older camper.

I hear you. I had a nice old 69 Nimrod with those old stab jacks. Made that camper rock solid. And I am also woken up every time the kids move in other bunk or our 90 lb lab flops down somewhere. Those stabilizers mentioned before really have helped us. I'd say a good 90 + % of movement is gone now. A bit of a pita to set up and take down but worth it. Good luck.
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Old 07-20-2017, 01:22 PM   #17
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Ain't no stabilizers out there are gonna keep our pup from moving in these types of situations
Indeed!
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