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Codders

Level a twin axle that's already sited

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Hi Everyone,

 

Just looking for some advice regarding leveling a twin axle that's already pitched.

 

My setup is a Sprite Quattro 6 birth twin axle.  I don't tour with the van, it's setup on a year round pitch and doesn't move.  Indeed, I don't even have a tow bar!  

 

Recently a new pitch on our site became available, and using the movers, we relocated the caravan.  However, I think the spirit level we used was faulty, as after suspecting the van wasn't quite level (side to side), I brought my larger spirit level from home.  Turns out I need to raise the far side by around 2 inches!  Part of this is (I suspect) because I have a flat tyre due to a split valve (suspect the ground keeper caught the tyre with ride on mower!).

 

The problem is that the 'van is fully setup with awning attached.  As mentioned, the caravan doesn't move, so we've got everything setup as a permanent home effectively.  

 

As it's the far side that needs to be lifted, I'm thinking I can do this without impacting too much on the attached awning.  I'm thinking to jack up with the car jack and stick some blocks under the frame.

 

Can this be done?  The van is on a slight slope, so will need to use wheel chocks I guess, as I cannot hitch to a tow bar.

 

Your thoughts welcomed :-)j

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4 minutes ago, Codders said:

Hi Everyone,

 

Just looking for some advice regarding leveling a twin axle that's already pitched.

 

My setup is a Sprite Quattro 6 birth twin axle.  I don't tour with the van, it's setup on a year round pitch and doesn't move.  Indeed, I don't even have a tow bar!  

 

Recently a new pitch on our site became available, and using the movers, we relocated the caravan.  However, I think the spirit level we used was faulty, as after suspecting the van wasn't quite level (side to side), I brought my larger spirit level from home.  Turns out I need to raise the far side by around 2 inches!  Part of this is (I suspect) because I have a flat tyre due to a split valve (suspect the ground keeper caught the tyre with ride on mower!).

 

The problem is that the 'van is fully setup with awning attached.  As mentioned, the caravan doesn't move, so we've got everything setup as a permanent home effectively.  

 

As it's the far side that needs to be lifted, I'm thinking I can do this without impacting too much on the attached awning.  I'm thinking to jack up with the car jack and stick some blocks under the frame.

 

Can this be done?  The van is on a slight slope, so will need to use wheel chocks I guess, as I cannot hitch to a tow bar.

 

Your thoughts welcomed :-)j

I would put a trolley jack under the axle / chassis rail, jack it up, slide a scaffold board or similar under the wheels.

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Jack directly on the axle, nowhere else or serious damage can be caused.

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Thanks to you both for your replies.

 

I don't have a trolley jack.  Would a car jack work?  The one I have is rated to 1200kg.  The van miro is 1320, but I'm thinking the hack is only lifting half the weight and  should therefore be ok?

 

A scaffold board sounds like it'll do the job - nice suggestion.

 

Thanks again

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You may find it hard work with a car jack, try it and see. If it doesn't have a flat top to it, a piece of wood between the caravan and the jack would be good. When I said to jack on the axle / chassis rail, I was meaning the chassis rail at the axle location, nowhere else.

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Remember that having jacked up the axle the suspension will allow the wheels to move down, so you will have to jack up an awful lot more than the estimated 2" to get the levelling blocks/board under the wheels and the van to be level when the jack is removed and the suspension is compressed again.

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Jack and planks without doubt.  But surely you can adjust the awning pegging to accommodate? 

 

Bonn.jpg

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Personally I wouldn’t want to jack it up without the car attached especially on a car jack with a fairly small base of support. Depending on the slope even with a chock it might still want to slew sideways.

Surely someone else on site could just hitch their car on to steady it whilst you jack it up, there’s bound to be a friendly 4x4 owner with 10 minutes to spare for a cuppa!

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4 hours ago, sleepyfolk said:

Personally I wouldn’t want to jack it up without the car attached especially on a car jack with a fairly small base of support. Depending on the slope even with a chock it might still want to slew sideways.

Surely someone else on site could just hitch their car on to steady it whilst you jack it up, there’s bound to be a friendly 4x4 owner with 10 minutes to spare for a cuppa!

Unlikely with a twin axle.

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I’d give it a go with the jack you’ve got. It’ll either work, or not. If the other side wheels are chocked, I can’t see a twin axle moving.  As said, don’t jack on the chassis rail, they’re too flimsy to bear the whole weight of the van and may twist and bend. The axle or it’s mounting plate on the chassis may be awkward to get at with a mover fitted. 

 

Don’t forget get to raise the steadies on the far side before you start. 

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In addition to chocks and handbrake I would engage the motor mover before jacking.   If it’s a Powertouch like ours that will effectively lock the wheels on the side opposite the side you are jacking and prevent slewing. I have to do this when I use a trolley jack on our TA (with only a SA mover) so that I can rotate the non-driven wheel to enable fitting the second Alko wheel lock.

DrBob

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You need to secure the front of the chassis to prevent slewing.  Hitching to the car is best but otherwise you should chock the jockey wheel, bearing in mind that it can swivel. 

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Get yourself one of These cheap enough and handy for the car

(links to a trolley jack on eBay for £24)

 

Andy

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18 hours ago, AJGalaxy2012 said:

Unlikely with a twin axle.

 

 

15 hours ago, Fireman Iain said:

I can’t see a twin axle moving.

 

The reason I mentioned  it is because I’ve had one go on what looked like fairly level ground.

 

I’d already unhitched, then decided I needed to tweak the levelling , two small metal chocks were in place on the offside wheels and the jockey wheel was in a milenco jockey pocket, jack was on a 4 foot scaffold board on the nearside to give it a solid base.

 2 tonnes of van still slewed sideways slowly bending the alko scissor jack beyond its design limits and consigning it to the site dustbin.

 

 

 

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Thanks for all your suggestions :-)

 

Think I'm going to go for the trolley jack. as know my luck, I'll end up damaging the car jack and then having a puncture on the way home!  :-D

 

thanks again

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As you're going to level your 'van and not touch it for at least  a year, why  you don't do the job properly and  take your pegs out of your awning, ( you will probably have to re peg it anyway ) raise your steadies, which you will do anyway, put things away in the 'van, which you will do anyway and use your motor movers.  Get your boards ready and level your 'van without the added stress or expense. 

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image.png

Been there - done that.

Some years ago my wife was taken ill while away in the 'van. With a little help from neighbours, I also towed the 'van slowly to a new location on the site with the awning still attached, as the pitch we were on was booked by someone else for the weekend, and we wanted to stay a little longer than planned, before attempting a journey home.

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If it were mine I would have levelled it up sitting the axle tubes on axle stands on scaffold boards before setting up the awning. Take the wheels off and store them out of sunlight. Rock steady pitch without the vagaries of deflating tyres. Why didn’t you deal with the flat tyre at the time and how often do you check and correct  the tyre pressures? Deflating  tyres are going to put excessive strain on the steadies. 

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