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Old 08-23-2016, 09:49 PM   #1
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Preparing for a flat when (not if) it happens

My apologies if I am annoying anyone with all my recent posts, and my sincere thanks to all of you that have provided me answers and guidance so far

It occurred to me this afternoon that I am totally unprepared for the eventual flat trailer tire I assume will happen at some point while dragging this thing along behind me Well, not totally unprepared, because I have a spare tire and a torque wrench. But I have no jack or jack stands, and I don't know if I have the right size socket in my tool kit (Checking that is # 1 on tomorrows to do list) for my wheel lugs.

So I'm looking for advice on the following, for my model trailer (ST240BH). It has 2 axles that are connected via the leaf springs:

1) Loaded weight will be in the 5800 to 6500 lb range. I assume a 4 ton jack is sufficient? Been looking at the hydraulic jacks on-line. I've seen floor jacks too, but the hydros are a lot smaller. What style, capacity, and brand would you recommend?
2) If I understand correctly, you are supposed to jack up the frame, and as close to the flat tire as possible. Looking at my trailer there is not a lot of space that looks appropriate. I think the frame is an I-Beam, but I only see what looks like an L. On the curb side there is a gas line running next to the L, and appears to be mounted a bit lower than the frame.


So basically what I'm asking is what type of jack I should get, and where I should put it when the time comes to use it?

Thanks again for your wisdom and guidance!
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:36 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by smw57 View Post
My apologies if I am annoying anyone with all my recent posts, and my sincere thanks to all of you that have provided me answers and guidance so far

It occurred to me this afternoon that I am totally unprepared for the eventual flat trailer tire I assume will happen at some point while dragging this thing along behind me Well, not totally unprepared, because I have a spare tire and a torque wrench. But I have no jack or jack stands, and I don't know if I have the right size socket in my tool kit (Checking that is # 1 on tomorrows to do list) for my wheel lugs.

So I'm looking for advice on the following, for my model trailer (ST240BH). It has 2 axles that are connected via the leaf springs:

1) Loaded weight will be in the 5800 to 6500 lb range. I assume a 4 ton jack is sufficient? Been looking at the hydraulic jacks on-line. I've seen floor jacks too, but the hydros are a lot smaller. What style, capacity, and brand would you recommend?
2) If I understand correctly, you are supposed to jack up the frame, and as close to the flat tire as possible. Looking at my trailer there is not a lot of space that looks appropriate. I think the frame is an I-Beam, but I only see what looks like an L. On the curb side there is a gas line running next to the L, and appears to be mounted a bit lower than the frame.


So basically what I'm asking is what type of jack I should get, and where I should put it when the time comes to use it?

Thanks again for your wisdom and guidance!

1st of all our trailers have frames f/ LCI / Lippert & are NOT strong enough to 'jack' trailer up WITHOUT a 4"X4"X12" timber.
2nd: Try wheel lifting ramp.
3rd: Try 'jack'ing by placing jack under plate holding axle to spring pack or to springs directly as close to axle center-line as possible. Another owners group suggests members make / build a timber that fits from front / back of spring pack around axle to take pressure when 'jack'ing. Saves damaging axle tube.
Lastly do yourself a favor get as big a hydraulic jack as you can lift, move, & handle (safely)by yourself. For safety minimum XYZ #s your trailer weights loaded . . .
Most of use who have Driven professionally carry 2 trailer spares.
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:41 PM   #3
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I use a 6 ton bottle Jack. A 4 ton may work well for you. The bottle Jack takes up less space and the head fits well on the frame. I use 4x6" blocks under the Jack to get it to the desired height before jacking it up. I also use a flat piece of 1/8" metal in between the Jack and frame to spread out the force a bit.

If your not hooked up to the tow vehicle, be sure to chock the opposite wheels so the trailer doesn't shift. I suggest a jack stand under the frame or axle near the wheel just in case the bottle Jack fails or the trailer shifts.

If all you have is a torque wrench, you will need a breaker bar or a lug wreck to remove the lug nuts.
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Old 08-24-2016, 05:39 AM   #4
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X2 on the 6 ton bottle Jack and 4"x6" wood blocks, that is what I use/carry in my trailer. Don't forget to check the tire pressure in all your tires and the spare tire frequently.
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Old 08-24-2016, 06:08 AM   #5
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The first time I jacked my 5r, I called Crossroads Customer Service to ask where they recommended jacking it up. They told me on the frame close to the tire you are replacing.

I was like you though, didn't put much thought into it until I had to. Good thing the first time I had to was in my driveway.
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Old 08-24-2016, 07:43 AM   #6
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The best preventative is to upgrade tire quality and capacity from the oem tires which tend to have little or no safety margin
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Old 08-24-2016, 07:57 AM   #7
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The best preventative is to upgrade tire quality and capacity from the oem tires which tend to have little or no safety margin

Very true!
I also agree with Alchemistic where he stated get a big jack. I carry a ramp, plus a 20 ton bottle jack. I've tried raising mine with an eight ton, and it ain't fun.
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Old 08-24-2016, 10:01 AM   #8
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4 ton bottle jack works on mine, to frame. It is an I beam. You only see L cause the plastic belly liner hides 1/2 of it. After you get it jacked off ground,place a few of your blocking blocks(legos or 2x6's)under spring u bolts at axle in case of jack failure as a safety measure.
as far as socket , you may need a spark plug socket as it is a thinner wall than a regular socket. You may need a breaker bar and get a short length of pipe to extend it for leverage.
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Old 08-24-2016, 10:34 AM   #9
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If just changing a flat tire, then it is OK to use a bottle jack on the axle tube between the U bolts. But it should have a curved face or a block of wood added to distribute the weight.

The problem with jacking at the frame is that you must raise the trailer too high to get the tire off the ground. On the side of the road with unlevel ground this creates other risks.

I've seen tire shops lift the trailer by jacking on the axle tube, but as close to the spring pack as possible. With 5200 lb axle tubes over 12 yrs I've never had a bent axle or tire wear issues.

I've never had problems using an 8 ton bottle jack either.

My other advise, always check tire pressure in the spare before hitting the road, a spare with almost no air pressure in it is worthless.
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Old 08-24-2016, 01:14 PM   #10
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Just a note on the ramp method to change a tire. I realized on my last tirp that my Camco Tandem Trailer Aid from my old Jayco won't work on my Sunset Trail. That secure stance suspension is nice feature to stabilize the trailer, but the gap between the tires are too wide for these off the the shelf trailer ramps the camping stores sell. Basically the suspension compensates and leaves the tire not on the ramp on the ground.


So basically I have a nice unused $30 ramp for sale....sigh
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Old 08-24-2016, 06:08 PM   #11
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If just changing a flat tire, then it is OK to use a bottle jack on the axle tube between the U bolts. But it should have a curved face or a block of wood added to distribute the weight.

The problem with jacking at the frame is that you must raise the trailer too high to get the tire off the ground. On the side of the road with unlevel ground this creates other risks.

I've seen tire shops lift the trailer by jacking on the axle tube, but as close to the spring pack as possible. With 5200 lb axle tubes over 12 yrs I've never had a bent axle or tire wear issues.

I've never had problems using an 8 ton bottle jack either.

My other advise, always check tire pressure in the spare before hitting the road, a spare with almost no air pressure in it is worthless.
I agree. This is the best method.
Always done it this way and never had a problem. Better than hyper-extending the suspension.
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Old 08-24-2016, 06:44 PM   #12
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I keep this Big Red 2 1/2 Ton Hydraulic small floor jack in my truck at all times. I've jacked up one tire on my 5er with no problems (also using a 6X4 block of wood), and I can change the tire. Now would a 6 Ton be better. Maybe; more is always better I guess, but it can be done with a smaller ton jack. Remember your jacking up one tire not the whole camper.
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Old 08-24-2016, 10:00 PM   #13
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NorthernTool has 8 ton jacks on sale for 22.99. 17" total height.

All this talk of flat tires has me wanting to buy a jack now.
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Old 08-24-2016, 11:23 PM   #14
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The best preventative is to upgrade tire quality and capacity from the oem tires which tend to have little or no safety margin
Here's a link to the company that makes the tires I currently have (they appear relatively new), but I know little or nothing about them. Looks to be made in USA, company headquartered in Goshen, In.

http://lionsheadtireandwheel.com/Vail-Sport-Radial-Tire

Anyone know anything about these?
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Old 08-24-2016, 11:33 PM   #15
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So I checked and my lugs are 3/4 " I'll need a deep socket to provide clearance for the center of the wheel. Off to harbor freight (again) for that and the breaker bar.

Picked up a 12 ton hydraulic jack today at harbor freight for $30. Taking it back tomorrow to get one that works

Going thru my scrap wood pile to get a 4x4x12, and some 2x6's
Lot of stuff to haul around and hope you never need to use
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Old 08-24-2016, 11:37 PM   #16
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So I checked and my lugs are 3/4 " I'll need a deep socket to provide clearance for the center of the wheel. Off to harbor freight (again) for that and the breaker bar.

Picked up a 12 ton hydraulic jack today at harbor freight for $30. Taking it back tomorrow to get one that works

Going thru my scrap wood pile to get a 4x4x12, and some 2x6's
Lot of stuff to haul around and hope you never need to use
The wood blocks can be used for leveling Jack supports also, front Jack blocks, etc. Can never have too much wood...
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Old 08-24-2016, 11:49 PM   #17
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Lionshead tires are made in China. Made by Zhongce Rubber CO LTD

A popular "China Bomb" tire. Which means, be careful with them.

By the way, there is NO ST tire made in the USA.
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Old 08-25-2016, 06:14 AM   #18
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Wow...
Are you saying you would replace them, or just make sure to keep them at proper pressure/loading? Not looking to throw money away, but I have two other people in the tow vehicle with me and thousands on the road next to me, and I want to be responsible and as safe as possible.

The Sep issue of Trailer Life has a writeup on Maxxis ST tires. Also made in China, but under stricter quality control (their claim). Not looking to dive into the whole ST vs LT thing, but if I have "China Bombs" on my trailer, how loudly are they ticking? I don't want or need that worry.
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Old 08-25-2016, 06:31 AM   #19
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Wow...
Are you saying you would replace them, or just make sure to keep them at proper pressure/loading? Not looking to throw money away, but I have two other people in the tow vehicle with me and thousands on the road next to me, and I want to be responsible and as safe as possible.

The Sep issue of Trailer Life has a writeup on Maxxis ST tires. Also made in China, but under stricter quality control (their claim). Not looking to dive into the whole ST vs LT thing, but if I have "China Bombs" on my trailer, how loudly are they ticking? I don't want or need that worry.
I'm in the same boat (slow boat FROM China 😊. I've swapped out the China bombs on my previous trailer for piece of mind. One blowout later. It's a ~$500 insurance policy. Maxxis makes a good tire.

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Old 08-25-2016, 08:40 AM   #20
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I keep this Big Red 2 1/2 Ton Hydraulic small floor jack in my truck at all times. I've jacked up one tire on my 5er with no problems (also using a 6X4 block of wood), and I can change the tire. Now would a 6 Ton be better. Maybe; more is always better I guess, but it can be done with a smaller ton jack. Remember your jacking up one tire not the whole camper.

Papa-T,

This is a great option for me since I could keep it under the seat in the the TV. How heavy is your 5er?
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