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Old 05-02-2019, 06:49 PM   #1
Irishman2014
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Rapid Jack vs. bottle jack

Hello all. We're still in the process of equipping our TT with some basic necessities and trying to determine how best to jack the trailer up in the event that we need to change a flat tire. We have road hazard protection, but I'm certain that there will come a time when we'll need or want to do it ourselves. Our trailer weighs about 6500 Lbs (or more depending on all the crap we have in it) and would like to know based upon your experience if a bottle jack (maybe a 4 ton) is the best option? In my experience I'll also need a jack stand to work in conjunction with the bottle jack if the trailer is going to be elevated for any length of time. I believe this is simply because as the bottle jack ages the oil tends to shift from one reservoir to the other causing the jack to lose its holding power. The Rapid Jack eliminates this problem and it looks fairly easy to use. Thoughts?
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:00 PM   #2
chuckster57
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Rapid Jack vs. bottle jack

Bottle jacks are powerful yet compact. I carry a 4 ton. Stored in an upright position mine hasnít had any issues in over 10 years...and yes itís from Harbor Freight.
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:40 PM   #3
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The Andersen Rapid Jack is really nice if it will pick your tire up far enough for removal. I had another brand that was a total fail. The Rapid jack does work for us. But, in some situations it may or may not pick the tire up far enough. I carry 2 8 ton bottle jacks as well along with boards, blocks etc. You encounter lots of situations when trying to replace a tire/wheel. IMO the more "stuff" the better.
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:48 PM   #4
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An 8 ton bottle jack has a little more base and height than the 4 ton. IMO, it'll be a little safer under the axle.

As Danny stated, if the Rapid Jack works for your axle setup, it's also a good option. For wide spaced axles on my Bullet, it's a "no go".
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:29 PM   #5
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I believe I have wide space axles as well, so I guess I better go with the bottle jack. Thanks all.
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:49 PM   #6
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I've repaired bottle jacks....unless your using jack stands... prepare to have an accident. My business no longer repairs bottle jacks. They are cheap, they fail and they are not worth fixing...why put your life at risk?

Use tire ramps. Hydraulic Bottle jacks are unreliable and leak if tipped on their side.
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:51 PM   #7
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If you use a bottle jack, then use other stabilizing jacks are your trailer to keep it from moving and the bottle jack from popping out...crushing you.
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:39 PM   #8
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These work great https://www.homedepot.com/p/Camco-Tr...w-21/206813627
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Old 05-04-2019, 01:27 AM   #9
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I'm going to vote AGAINST the use of Trailer Aid, although you may find a use for it if you happen to have a flat in the perfect location, say a Wally World parking lot. A bottle jack (4-8 ton) with a little blocking is our preferred way to travel. We happen to have two, one that came standard on the new truck, and the 10-ton that came a few years ago from the Snap-on Tool Company....that's my first lie of the day. It was bought on sale at Tractor Supply.
But hedgewald makes a good point: Be sure to put safety first. Jack stands are a good idea if you are in the neighborhood of home.
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Old 05-04-2019, 04:52 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by notanlines View Post
I'm going to vote AGAINST the use of Trailer Aid, although you may find a use for it if you happen to have a flat in the perfect location, say a Wally World parking lot. A bottle jack (4-8 ton) with a little blocking is our preferred way to travel. We happen to have two, one that came standard on the new truck, and the 10-ton that came a few years ago from the Snap-on Tool Company....that's my first lie of the day. It was bought on sale at Tractor Supply.
But hedgewald makes a good point: Be sure to put safety first. Jack stands are a good idea if you are in the neighborhood of home.
The same can be said for jack stands. Also we're talking about changing a flat not working underneath the trailer. The tire on the other axle will prevent it from dropping to the ground
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Old 05-04-2019, 06:56 AM   #11
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notanlines, you're right I just tried it for the first time on the 5th wheel and it just barely got the other tire off the pavement, so no it wouldn't be very good on a less than a solid surface. I'd tried it earlier on my car hauler and it worked great had the other tire almost 4" off the ground.
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Old 05-04-2019, 08:27 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by hornet28 View Post
notanlines, you're right I just tried it for the first time on the 5th wheel and it just barely got the other tire off the pavement, so no it wouldn't be very good on a less than a solid surface. I'd tried it earlier on my car hauler and it worked great had the other tire almost 4" off the ground.
Lots of people make the assumption that "a trailer is a trailer"....

For many situations, nothing could be further from the truth. There are lots of differences between "trailers" and "towable RV's". We can start with the "towing specs" from auto manufacturers, move on to "sidewall sail" square footage, wide spaced vs narrow spaced axle configuration, loading characteristics, front surface area, sway control, weight/balance issues just to name a few.

Your statement that "it worked on my car hauler and had the tire 4" off the ground" is a perfect example of "we're working with a totally different breed of trailer" when doing most anything on an RV trailer.

Thanks for pointing out the difference you found between trailer types, even when working with something as "similar" as pulling one axle up on a block to raise the other tire.....

ADDED: To clarify, I suppose my point is that when in a store, shopping for "trailer stuff" just because it's advertised to do something or work on "trailers" doesn't mean it will work on an RV. Lots of "trailer stuff" simply is inadequate or not designed for the way RV trailers are engineered or configured.
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Old 05-04-2019, 09:00 AM   #13
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I carry an 8 ton bottle jack, 2x10x12 blocks and a folding camp shovel. Shovel to help level uneven ground for jacking if by the side of the road.
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Old 05-04-2019, 12:22 PM   #14
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Anybody still use farm jacks? Looks like you can still buy them. We used to use them all the time growing up. Not sure how well they work for trailers though.
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Old 05-04-2019, 12:52 PM   #15
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Anybody still use farm jacks? Looks like you can still buy them. We used to use them all the time growing up. Not sure how well they work for trailers though.
Big, bulky, and not practical for RVs. Lifting points on the frame would not be accessible on the RV. Hi Lift jacks are better suited for lifted, tactical, and farm vehicles.
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Old 05-04-2019, 02:15 PM   #16
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Curse you all. This posting made me curious about the prices of bottle jacks at Tractor Supply. Now all my pages on Keystone Forums are festooned with dancing red bottle jack ads from TS.
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Old 05-04-2019, 04:21 PM   #17
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Curse you all. This posting made me curious about the prices of bottle jacks at Tractor Supply. Now all my pages on Keystone Forums are festooned with dancing red bottle jack ads from TS.
Oh, the power of the "cookie".
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Old 05-05-2019, 05:41 AM   #18
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Big, bulky, and not practical for RVs. Lifting points on the frame would not be accessible on the RV. Hi Lift jacks are better suited for lifted, tactical, and farm vehicles.
Agreed. They have their uses but I think the only place you could use one on a trailer would be the tongue/a-frame.

Picked up a new bottle jack (mine was pretty small) and a couple more jack stands (I now have 6) so I could do my spring bushings. Not one place I could use my jack-all (which is what a hi-lift has always been called in my life).
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Old 05-05-2019, 05:59 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by ahegewald View Post
I've repaired bottle jacks....unless your using jack stands... prepare to have an accident. My business no longer repairs bottle jacks. They are cheap, they fail and they are not worth fixing...why put your life at risk?

Use tire ramps. Hydraulic Bottle jacks are unreliable and leak if tipped on their side.
Tire ramps donít always get the job done. Weíre talking using a bottle jack to change a tire, not replace an axle assembly. The trailer isnít going to fall on you if the jack fails on a tandem axle trailer. The other axle will catch it.
Used correctly bottle jacks are safe.
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Old 05-05-2019, 04:30 PM   #20
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Bottle jack owners: Do you place the jack on the axle to change a tire? Do you use anything to increase the contact area between jack and axle?
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