Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Stabilization Jacks

Stabilization without Hydraulic Jacks

We considered hydraulic levelers when we bought KoKo. We decided against them for several reasons. We did not want the toe stumper control unit in the cab. Levelers can malfunction. They cost more than we can see a benefit.

Some people have hydraulic levelers because they do not want to go outside to level the rig. We cannot wait to go outside. That’s part of the life style we bought into. Usually, we can level the rig in less then five minutes. Given enough room, more often than not, we can level the rig by moving and watching the level gauges in the cab.

So leveling is not an issue for us, but stabilization is a minor issue. Here’s why. While I am reclining in the rear lounge reading and enjoying life, Dorothy is in the kitchen preparing yet another scrumptious meal. Her motion makes the rear lounge bounce a little, interfering with my good life. I am sure you can appreciate my predicament.

The solution: I had a brand new set of stabilization jacks left over from a previous rig. There are the kind seen on popups and lighter fives. I found that there is plenty of space to install them on the extension frame and that clearance would no problem. When retracted, they are above both the bump bar and the gas tank, entirely out of the way.

Installation consists of drilling four holes in the extended frame. I mounted the jacks about 45 degrees to the extended frame, which allows for good access to the screw mechanism used to extend and retract the jack.

Jacks Retracted:



Jacks Extended:









It is only necessary to crank them down a half turn after contact. This puts about 80-100 pounds of pressure on the extended frame, just enough to add some additional rigidity to the rig. The rig is stabilized, it is not jacked up. There is not enough pressure to bend the extended frame.

Downside: It’s about 25 inches from the frame to the ground and even the long reach of these levelers is not enough. I had some of those inferior yellow colored not Lynx brand leveler blocks and found they can be stored out of the way behind the bumper.

Leveler blocks, used just for jacks, are stored in the U of the bumper, saving bin storage space.

Yes, I have to get on the ground to access the levelers and crank down the stabilizer. Exercise! However, I only put them down when we will be at one location for a few days.

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