van stability when parked

Submitted: Tuesday, Oct 26, 2004 at 23:07
ThreadID: 121537 Views:18045 Replies:5 FollowUps:2
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i came across an old posting on another site by motley ( posted a year or 2 ago) & want to asked basically the same questions pete had in mind
bushtrackers dont come with stabilising legs as standard so
1 how do you level the van on uneven sites
a/ north south (use jockey wheel )
b/ east west
2 how do you stop jiggling of the van
3 has anyboby had legs fitted
4 are they necessary
ive seen numerous photos of jacks & stands etc & heard of chocks & filling the jockey wheel with silicone or the like but all seem work arounds
when we did a tour of the pheonix factory in aug they were doing away with thier bumper mounted style & going to an under van type easy swing down & probably usable for tyre changes

i would appreciate any feedback on the above

thanks in advance
Stephen & Deborah

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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Tuesday, Oct 26, 2004 at 23:36

Tuesday, Oct 26, 2004 at 23:36
We have had 4 swing down legs fitted to our van for 3 years. The type I have are made by Preston Chassies in Melbourne, BUT I WOULD RECOMMEND THE VEHICLE COMPONENT TYPE (Brisbane based) as they are much stronger than what we have fitted to our van.

I would also recommend having 2 swing down legs fitted to the rear of the van only. and at the front we now use and axle stand placed under the A frame, and find this more stable than having legs in the front corners of the van.

The rubber tyred Jockey wheels allow too much bounce when they only contain compressed air. Others who have filled jockey wheels might be able to advise on how they find them.

As for using them to jack up van, FORGET IT, they are only suitable to steady the van, not as a jack. With the simplicity load sharing suspension, you HACE to place a jack under the spring for the wheel you want to raise to get it high enough to take the wheel off. Simply raising the side of the van by the chassie rail will only bring the load sharing into play and both wheels will stay on the ground for a considerable time.

Some members like Turist Bob and Conrad have large square drop down jacks fitted on their A frames, and they find them very good for controlling the height of the front of the van and give excellent stability. There only down side that I can see is that they are large and would be rather heavy.

Side to side adjustment, we use pieces of treated pine timber 50mm thick (2")under one set of wheels. If you go for the air bag suspension then you can get the van level on sloping ground of about 150mm (6"). It would be vary rare to have to use more than 2 thicknesses of timber 100mm (4") to get the van level.

As for {2 how do you stop jiggling of the van } The older you get the less jiggling that occurs. {smile}

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Reply By: Deleted User - Wednesday, Oct 27, 2004 at 00:16

Wednesday, Oct 27, 2004 at 00:16
Stephen & two bobs worth if I may

Minimun requirement is two VC rear stabilisers. BT will fit these while manfacturing the chassis as it requires welded brakets. You can use the jockey wheel for the front but it needs to be filled with silicone. The best jockey wheel is the Mako Mule. Light weight car stands can also be used under the front chassis.

For east/west levelling use a good quality four tonne jack under the centre of the springs. It give about 100mm of adjustment and is usually all that is needed. Simply, easy and no maneuvering required.

I went away from using timber for levelling when I witnessed someone nearly get shortened when the timber was ejected from under a wheel at a considerable velocity. This can ocurr particularly when wet and slippery.

The jack of course is also used for wheel changes.

I concur with Brian and the only way you will lift the van for a wheel change is with a jack and a four tonne one at that. You'll be surprised at how much effort is required.

I can also vouch for the reduction in jiggling activity with advancing age and the equation aint linear either............ [said with a far away and reflective grin]

AnswerID: 565193

Reply By: Cobradave - Wednesday, Oct 27, 2004 at 04:49

Wednesday, Oct 27, 2004 at 04:49
I have recently fitted a VC 2 ton drop down jack in the centre of the drawbar and 2 VC legs at the rear. It is the solution imho.
The rubber filled tyre of the Maco Mule was solid but still too wobbly and otherwise a hassle to use.
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Follow Up By:- Wednesday, Oct 27, 2004 at 05:54

Wednesday, Oct 27, 2004 at 05:54
I have two rear VC legs fitted for stability and on the BT as well ...Hahahahaha ! I like the VC drop down jack especially now they have the fold up that sits parallel with a-frame for travelling.

The east/west for me is with 4 tonne jack ...BT sat on jack at Copeton with both wheels off ground on one side ..its that effective. I'd like to stick a piccy in the thread of the jack but the site is not pic friendly in the threads ....

Filled jockey wheel tyre is a must if you dont want to have to pump it up every other week.

Sorry guys !!! I'm still jiggling regularly so stabilty is a priority ...

Anthony (ItalianStallionSmile)

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Follow Up By: Motley - Wednesday, Oct 27, 2004 at 06:37

Wednesday, Oct 27, 2004 at 06:37
Aah! What a difference a few years makes.

I just want a stable platform between the bed and the ensuite for those middle of the night trips!

Life's too short to drink bad wine.

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Reply By: Cobradave - Wednesday, Oct 27, 2004 at 06:53

Wednesday, Oct 27, 2004 at 06:53
Sorry Pete, as far as I'm aware, VC products are not suitable as human prosthetics.
AnswerID: 565195

Reply By: Tellem Bugrem - Sunday, Oct 31, 2004 at 18:02

Sunday, Oct 31, 2004 at 18:02
G'day All,

Whilst at Copeton (did anyone have a level site?), Liz and two of our neighbour ladies were in our van discussing cupboards etc. The van lurched, turned a little and fell off the levelling blocks, much to the amazement of the girls inside. The blokes were outside discussing water level indicators etc and it was just as well we weren't lying underneath discussing wheel alignment and jacking points!!

We did not have stabilizer legs, the handbrake was on and I had only chocked the wheels on the uphill side. Lesson learnt and thankfully no casualties.

When it was announced that the third prize in the Wednesday raffle was a set of VC legs (Behind the re-raffled Webasto Heater and Conrad's wind deflector), Liz told me she didn't want to win any of the first two prizes, just the legs. Well, all those who were there saw that she got her wish!!

We changed our post-Copeton itinerary and went to Brissy where the good blokes (Rob and his boys) installed the prize stabilizers. Rob advised to use them in the "angled out" position rather than the vertical position. I had remembered that some of the stabilizers I saw in use at Copeton were set in the vertical position. Obviously, the spread or "angled out" position will provide greater stability. (Think of how easy it is for a square to become a parallelogram).

All our camps will now see wheels chocked on both sides, vehicle stand under A-frame apex, and of course, the stabilizer legs angled out. As Brian says, this set-up should be adequate, but if you are still concerned that the van could take off through vandals or tricksters removing chocks, raising legs and knocking out the vehicle stand, then try Griff's and Anthony's idea of pegging down the emergency brakeaway-brakes cable.

Cheers...........Rob & Liz
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