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Trailer stabilizer jacks ?


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Posted (edited)

Hi folks:

 

Looking for some wisdom, here. I have a 24ft enclosed, bumper pull trailer. I want to be able to load/unload a car when the trailer isn't attached to the tow vehicle, during a multi-day event, for example. Previously, I had a gooseneck trailer with scissor-type jacks attached to the under-side frame corners. The downside of those jacks, especially in the rear corners, is they often would scrape or drag when entering a steeper driveway or on a bumpy show field.

 

Any suggestions, thoughts or direct experience with stable, portable jacks that I should consider? Please post links to specific jacks, or photos of what's worked for you.

 

Thanks.

 

Edited by AdamInNH (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

In the past, I’ve been successful by putting jack stands under the frame at the back of the trailer, just forward of the rear door, then unhooking the trailer. Gives you three points of contact plus the wheels, and prevents the front of the trailer from lifting the jack off of the ground when unloading or loading a car.

 

For the show field, may want to have 2 squares of plywood or something similar to prevent the jack stands from sinking into the turf.

Edited by Ken_P (see edit history)
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At one time I had a big block of wood about 14 x14 x 24  with rope handles  I could put it under the back of the trailer  and I used it  a lot when I had to jack up a car and get under it  .

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17 hours ago, Ken_P said:

In the past, I’ve been successful by putting jack stands under the frame at the back of the trailer, just forward of the rear door, then unhooking the trailer. Gives you three points of contact plus the wheels, and prevents the front of the trailer from lifting the jack off of the ground when unloading or loading a car.

 

For the show field, may want to have 2 squares of plywood or something similar to prevent the jack stands from sinking into the turf.

Ken:

On account of their ratcheting mechanism, jack stands aren't infinitely adjustable the way a screw mecahnism would be . Did you have any issue with being able to adjust them to the proper height on various surfaces?

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After ripping off a pair of back trailer jacks when I forgot to retract them, I switch to small jack stands. Already left one pair of homemade ones behind one place. Now I hook a bungie to them and hook it up on the side somewhere to remind me to pull them out. I have a couple of pieces of plywood to put under them if the hight isn't right but normally not needed. 

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11 hours ago, Jim Bollman said:

After ripping off a pair of back trailer jacks when I forgot to retract them, I switch to small jack stands. Already left one pair of homemade ones behind one place. Now I hook a bungie to them and hook it up on the side somewhere to remind me to pull them out. I have a couple of pieces of plywood to put under them if the hight isn't right but normally not needed. 

Thanks, Jim. 
 

I think I’ll give your suggestion a try. Do you use jacks only in the rear corners or in the front, as well?

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I have been using a set of 4 Aluminum RV Jack Stands for my car trailer for years now. Each jack stand supports up to 6,000 pounds per the manufacturer. I place all 4 of them right under the steel cross member at the ramp door of my trailer spaced evenly apart. Each jack stand sits on a 1 foot square steel plate that I bought separately which helps spread out the weight on soft ground or a blacktop parking lot and also provides more stability.

 

The BEST thing about these jack stands is that they use a screw design that provides maximum adjustability. For example if the ground under the rear of the trailer is not absolutely level you can vary the height of each jack stand in very small or not so small increments to make it level. That flexibility can be invaluable when parking a trailer at and AACA Event on a grass field. 

 

Click here so see just one example of the jack stands that I have been talking about.    

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, AdamInNH said:

Did you have any issue with being able to adjust them to the proper height on various surfaces?


Nope. I get them close to the frame, then pick up the front of the trailer with the trailer jack, and that presses the back of the trailer frame into the jack stands. 
 

If you want more adjustability, you may be able to find a short set of screw jacks for the same effect.

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13 hours ago, AdamInNH said:

Thanks, Jim. 
 

I think I’ll give your suggestion a try. Do you use jacks only in the rear corners or in the front, as well?

I use the tongue jack in the front. I can usually get close on the back jacks then jack the front up a little to get the back on the jack stands.

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Personally

 

I would never load an average vehicle on or off a trailer by driving it unless it was attached to a tow vehicle.

 

Even at a car show or a swap meet - an unattended trailer detached from a tow vehicle is an open invitation to theft. 

 

Even if the grade the trailer is parked on is level - even if the trailer wheels are all blocked - if the trailer shifts while you are in the vehicle driving it on or off - the results can be disastrous.

 

My 35 foot custom built enclosed car hauler trailer is built on an 8 inch full perimeter steel tube frame - the sidewalls are built onto the perimeter frame - it weighs over 7K empty.

 

I winch all vehicles on & off whether they run or not by remote control.

 

If I was loading or unloading  a relatively lightweight vehicle like a Model T or a Model A into my trailer and had my F350 CC Dually detached for some reason - that would probably be OK - but I would not feel comfortable about it.

 

 

Jim

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  • 3 months later...
On 6/13/2021 at 4:42 PM, Trulyvintage said:

I winch all vehicles on & off whether they run or not by remote control.

I do the same.  I have seen too many cars driven into the front of the trailer because of bad brakes or the driver's bad timing. 

Winching also minimizes the possibility of leaving the top up while driving into a low trailer.

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On 6/5/2021 at 9:13 AM, Ken_P said:


Nope. I get them close to the frame, then pick up the front of the trailer with the trailer jack, and that presses the back of the trailer frame into the jack stands. 
 

If you want more adjustability, you may be able to find a short set of screw jacks for the same effect.


I've used the same method in the past, but leaving the trailer hitched to the tow vehicle is safer!

Edited by Marty Roth
Spelling typos per weak battery on remote keyboard, now on iPhone (see edit history)
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6 hours ago, Marty Roth said:


I've used the saethod in the past, but leaving the taileritched to the tow vehicle is safer!

No question. Not always convenient, though, if I to need to use the tow vehicle and stash the car in the trailer during a multi-day event. 

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I block the back of the trailer in the middle with a 6x6  and then raise the tongue until it is tight.  Never had an issue loading or unloading with the truck unhooked.   Also this gives a angle to the deck so the car will roll out on its own under the control of the winch and won't roll over me on the way into the trailer.  Having built in rear jacks would probably be more trouble than throwing the block under the back of the trailer.

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