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Old 05-16-2016, 06:08 AM   #1
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Storage Question

All,
We went on our first trip of the year this weekend and decided to put the trailer in a storage facility closer to where we plan to camp this summer. We believe that it will be worth the money to store in the mountains where we camp so we won't have to put the wear and tear on our truck and we won't have to spend the extra money on fuel pulling up the mountain each weekend. That said, when pulling into our new spot today I notice that some of the folks with travel trailers did not put their support jacks down while in storage. I've always put all of my jacks down assuming they would keep the rig more stable and better supported. So I ask all of you, what do you do? Do you put your stabilizer jacks down while storing your rig or do you simply go with the tongue jack, axles and wheel chocks? I'm interested to know what the best practice is. If I don't need to put everything down and can save time for the pickup/dropoff then I'm all for it. I just don't know that I trust that to be good enough. I appreciate your comments.
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Old 05-16-2016, 06:27 AM   #2
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When I put ours in storage I don't bother to lower the stabilizers. There's nobody inside to care if the trailer rocks. I guess I just afraid that I'll manage to forget to raise them before I try to drive off. After a few months in storage my usual check and double check procedures get rusty and I forget a step or two.
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Old 05-16-2016, 07:11 AM   #3
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I don't put my stabilizers down either. As was noted earlier, it doesn't matter if it rocks and I don't want to forget to retract them. Also, when I go to pick it up I want to get done quickly as I live in Phoenix and it can be very hot. I do see some people deploy the Jacks but not many. I am more concerned with making sure I flip the battery disconnect switch.
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:12 AM   #4
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I've always put the jacks down when it is in storage. I do agree with others that not putting them down would make it quicker to hook up and go, but it only takes a few minutes. Though it is true that while it is in storage without the jacks down the trailer will rock & roll if you walk around, but I've always put them down as I will often be out there working on the trailer and need to extend the slide-outs in order to access the entire trailer.
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:39 AM   #5
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Seldom put the stabilizers down when in storage. I currently have a motorhome and the only time I put the leveling jacks down is if I have to open slides when it is stored.

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Old 05-16-2016, 03:36 PM   #6
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Throughout the season the jacks stay up. When the camper goes into hibernation for the winter, I like to take some of the load off of the tires, so the jacks go down.
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Old 05-16-2016, 06:29 PM   #7
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I don't have a small trailer anymore, but I found that if the trailer is stored for a long time in between travel, the tires will go out of round and it will take a few miles to get them riding smooth again, also it may make the tires last a little longer, My boat trailer is stored about 6 months of the year and I jack up the trailer off the ground, the tires look new after 6 years, but I will not go over 6 years with out changing trailer tires, my Voltage, I changed after 2 years, but they were the china bombs....I jack all 6 tires off the ground when it will be sitting for more then a month.....Yes a lot of work, but with all the bad news on trailer tires, I want to give them a little more of a chance?
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Old 05-16-2016, 07:33 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by RVNevada View Post
I don't have a small trailer anymore, but I found that if the trailer is stored for a long time in between travel, the tires will go out of round and it will take a few miles to get them riding smooth again, also it may make the tires last a little longer, My boat trailer is stored about 6 months of the year and I jack up the trailer off the ground, the tires look new after 6 years, but I will not go over 6 years with out changing trailer tires, my Voltage, I changed after 2 years, but they were the china bombs....I jack all 6 tires off the ground when it will be sitting for more then a month.....Yes a lot of work, but with all the bad news on trailer tires, I want to give them a little more of a chance?
Rich,

You are definately old school.

That's how the old timers did it when I was a kid. Jack up the vehicle, set the frame on cinder blocks and take the wheels off.
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Old 05-16-2016, 08:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jcs1377 View Post
All,
We went on our first trip of the year this weekend and decided to put the trailer in a storage facility closer to where we plan to camp this summer. We believe that it will be worth the money to store in the mountains where we camp so we won't have to put the wear and tear on our truck and we won't have to spend the extra money on fuel pulling up the mountain each weekend. That said, when pulling into our new spot today I notice that some of the folks with travel trailers did not put their support jacks down while in storage. I've always put all of my jacks down assuming they would keep the rig more stable and better supported. So I ask all of you, what do you do? Do you put your stabilizer jacks down while storing your rig or do you simply go with the tongue jack, axles and wheel chocks? I'm interested to know what the best practice is. If I don't need to put everything down and can save time for the pickup/dropoff then I'm all for it. I just don't know that I trust that to be good enough. I appreciate your comments.
Living in Arizona leaving the legs up or down really doesnít make much of a difference as someone said the rocking is irrelevant as no one is inside to feel it anyway. But if you live in the snow beltÖ. This is where the debate can begin,the front and rear legs on the TT or fifth stabilize the trailer but offer no give, while the suspension in the middle always offers the sag provided by the springs.Now if you think that wet snow can weigh over 30 lbs per cubic foot and if you allow 4 Ė 8 feet of snow to pile up over the winter, that can amount to a lot of weight and the suspension will give risking (in theory) to bend the frame, if left that way for months at a time.

Now this has never happened to me as I came from out west where the snow is light and fluffy but now that Iím here in Ontario Canada I have heard that this has destroyed more than one rig, so this winter I put my legs partially down about 3 inches off the ground and by the middle of winter the legs on the back had made contact with the ground, now I donít know if I had lowered my leg if that would have been enough to bend the frame but it did open my eyes, and as such since I donít care if it rocks during storage, I leave the legs up now.
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Old 06-07-2016, 03:22 AM   #10
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So your telling me that the snow load was so much that it bent a steel frame, but didn't cave in the wood framed roof. I find that pretty hard to believe.
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Old 06-07-2016, 03:30 AM   #11
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No what I'm telling you is that I have been told it could damage the frame.

But I will tell you that I have seen my suspension drop enough to lower my rear legs 3 inches. And I can Confirm that metal will bend especially if the fulcrum is over 15 feet from the end of the frame, the pressure due to the distance from the fulcrum is exponentially greater on the frame due to the distance than the actual weight of the snow on the roof
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Old 06-07-2016, 04:41 PM   #12
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drogers, you have a few things going on, one is the tires may have took the weight and that's why your legs were touching, and two, When spring comes and you didn't take the weight off the tires, your tires will have to spin for a few for them to get round again, if they do?? Most of us here, take the weight off the tires when in storage, I know cost is something, but don't they have inside or covered storage up your way, so you don't have to think about the RV for 4 months? The cost to replace an RV may be higher in the long run?
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:45 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by nickthehunter View Post
So your telling me that the snow load was so much that it bent a steel frame, but didn't cave in the wood framed roof. I find that pretty hard to believe.
Happens all the time a wood frame is very strong in compression while steel is weak in the longitudinal span. Point loads are a bitch. Lever action compounds it.

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Old 06-09-2016, 11:31 AM   #14
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I don't put the jacks down in storage. If the outside temp changes, the air in the tires can expand or contract. If the jacks are down, you risk too much weight being placed on the jacks.
What I do do, is move the trailer every month or so, just to rotate the tires so the weight isn't put on the same part of the tire for an extended period of time. I chalk the tires and move the rig until the chalk mark is in a different place.
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Old 06-17-2016, 01:27 AM   #15
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I just blew coffee out my nose laughing so hard. Some people need to read up on how an I Beam works. Either that or they need to start making truck frames out of wood.
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Old 06-17-2016, 01:41 AM   #16
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I just blew coffee out my nose laughing so hard. Some people need to read up on how an I Beam works. Either that or they need to start making truck frames out of wood.
Many trailer frames are C-channel NOT I-beams, not the same structural strength as a similar sized I-beam. I worked setting steel for many years and am well aware of the various metal shapes and varying strengths in the different orientations. Also manufacturers are notorious for using the lightest thing they can get away with, then make cuts and slots that they don't reinforce, creating ready made failure points. Laminated wood done properly can be as strong as steel in many cases. If you load any bearing structure in a manner for which it was not designed it can fail, and in some cases spectacularly. An excellent example was the structural failure of the I-35W bridge in MSP, as well as the Murrah building in Oklahoma City during the bombing. The building had not been designed with that type of impact in mind, new similar buildings use an updated design where the beams are fastened in a different manner to keep them on their strong axis. Engineering on most RV's is minimal at best and in many cases inadequate. Does it happen often? No, but it would only take once to ruin someone's day.

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Old 06-17-2016, 02:30 PM   #17
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Remember Aaron, we are talking about the steel frame bending before the roof collapses from snow load. We are not talking about laminated wood beams we are talking about 2 x 2's and steel frames (whether it be C channels or I beams).


So I will repeat: So your telling me that the snow load was so much that it bent a steel frame, but didn't cave in the wood framed roof. I find that pretty hard to believe.
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