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Old 02 September 2015, 09:19   #1
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Check your tyre changing equipment!

I've had two flats on my trailer over 15 years.

The first I don't remember being much of a problem. I was towing the trailer with a different truck than I have now. I believe it had a scissors jack as standard equipment that I used under the trailer axel.

This last tire change was dicey, but worked out with the help of a passing tow truck driver. I was on Interstate 5 and the tire was on the traffic side so was real nervous that I would be taken out by some texting twit. The tow truck operator showed up about halfway through the tire change.

The problem was that my new truck came with a bottle jack and it is too tall to get under the trailer axel.

I had to jack the frame of the trailer instead, not a good way to get the job done. The tow truck guy pulled his floor jack out of his truck to lift under the axel. When the job was done I offered to pay for the service, he declined, a great guy.

Mentally check your tire changing equipment and make sure you have everything you will need to do the job without a guardian angel. I had thought I was prepared, but wasn't.

I just purchased a scissors jack and made a storage box that is attached to the trailer tongue so it will be available for the next flat tire. The spare, a star wrench for the lug nuts and the box all are secured with a cable lock. It had been a year or two since the wheels had been off the trailer and the lug nuts were a struggle to get off, even with the star wrench. I will be spinning those with an impact wrench and some grease on the threads a little more religiously as well.
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Old 02 September 2015, 11:18   #2
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Originally Posted by 4str View Post
I just purchased a scissors jack and made a storage box that is attached to the trailer tongue so it will be available for the next flat tire.
Being in Arlington (edit: or are you in Arlington, CA? I assumed Texas.), I'd assume you're a lake boater? If so, you're probably better off than ocean boaters.

Having the jack on the trailer is a recipe for rust in (or near) the ocean. I'd hazard a guess that a normal jack wouldn't last a year.

I think the ideal would be to have a small floor jack and a socket and breaker bar in the tow vehicle (along with a couple of 4x4 blocks to keep the trailer in place - also useful for disconnecting the trailer without it running off), and the spare tire on the trailer. Not that I do that, but still...


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I will be spinning those with an impact wrench and some grease on the threads a little more religiously as well.
Wise move. I saw a guy who had a flat; he spun two of the studs out of his hub trying to remove the lug nuts (he was lucky - not going far, and had a double axle trailer.)

I hit the exposed threads with penetrating oil when I think of it, as well as greasing the studs when I pull the wheels.

jky
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Old 02 September 2015, 11:33   #3
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Being in Arlington (edit: or are you in Arlington, CA? I assumed Texas.), I'd assume you're a lake boater? If so, you're probably better off than ocean boaters.

Having the jack on the trailer is a recipe for rust in (or near) the ocean. I'd hazard a guess that a normal jack wouldn't last a year.


jky
No, Arlington WA. Almost all salt water boating in Puget Sound. I think there is an Arlington in every state.

Rust is an issue I thought about. The box is in a place it will not get wet when launching and is constructed so that it should shed rain and spray pretty well. Condensation is my primary worry. You may be right, I'll monitor and post again here next year.

Scissors jacks are not very expensive so this is something that could be replaced every few years if rust is a problem. I can see me forgetting to throw in the trailer jack when hitching up the trailer - thats why I built the box. We'll see.
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Old 09 October 2015, 18:54   #4
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This got me thinking. I went back and examined the contents of my "towing box" - the one that goes with the boat trailer whenever it moves.
  • Bottle jack and extended handle
  • Wooden block and plank - to support jack/nose/hit wheels, etc.
  • Wheel chocks x 2
  • Trailer specific tools in dedicated box
  • Spare bearings and one set of brake parts
  • Spare lamps/cable ties/connector plug
  • Bearing grease and gun
  • Gloves ('cos I'm a pussy)
  • Spare boat roller and fixings
  • Spray electrical cleaner, grease, WD40
  • Extending wheel brace with assorted sockets to suit trailer
  • Spare wheel (pressure checked)
  • Warning triangle
  • Cleaning rags
The tow wagon has hi-viz kit and a torch as standard.
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Old 11 October 2015, 18:42   #5
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Aye, the jacking thing got me once as well. - Ever tried jacking a trailer with the scissors jack that comes with a bog standard (EU - I guess you might have bigger jacks In the US!) saloon car?

Went under ok - but the top of the jack has an interesting bit of pressed steel that locks firmly into the mating feature of the car's sill...... and is f***ing dangerously slippy when used on a trailer axle without said mating feaure!!!!!

I now carry a small bottle jack with a "u" shaped bar on the top..... it also saves me dismantling the boot / trunk to extract the jack from inside the spare wheel....
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Old 12 October 2015, 09:09   #6
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Aye, the jacking thing got me once as well. - Ever tried jacking a trailer with the scissors jack that comes with a bog standard (EU - I guess you might have bigger jacks In the US!) saloon car?

Went under ok - but the top of the jack has an interesting bit of pressed steel that locks firmly into the mating feature of the car's sill...... and is f***ing dangerously slippy when used on a trailer axle without said mating feaure!!!!!

I now carry a small bottle jack with a "u" shaped bar on the top..... it also saves me dismantling the boot / trunk to extract the jack from inside the spare wheel....
I've had similar challenges with scissor and bottle jacks - and for a while carried a Draper airbag which inflated from the car exhaust ,,, OK until I changed car and trailer ! The feed hose doesn't Volvo oval exhaust pipes and my new trailer is longer so it wont reach the axle. Even then it was a bit hot and miss.
This is my latest attempt - which does seem to work perfectly (though not tried in a roadside emergency) and all is to hand when needed.
Time and Murphy will tell
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Old 12 October 2015, 15:29   #7
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I've had similar challenges with scissor and bottle jacks - and for a while carried a Draper airbag which inflated from the car exhaust ,,, OK until I changed car and trailer ! The feed hose doesn't Volvo oval exhaust pipes and my new trailer is longer so it wont reach the axle. Even then it was a bit hot and miss.

This is my latest attempt - which does seem to work perfectly (though not tried in a roadside emergency) and all is to hand when needed.

Time and Murphy will tell

Which winch is that Jeff, electric?


.....sh1t happens.......
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Old 12 October 2015, 15:43   #8
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Which winch is that Jeff, electric?


.....sh1t happens.......

You getting one Dave http://www.dutton-lainson.com/categories.php?cat=37
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Old 12 October 2015, 17:14   #9
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Time and Murphy will tell
I bet Murphy overrides time....

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Old 12 October 2015, 17:28   #10
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I've tested the car jack which works under the loaded trailer. I have invested in a wheel brace that fits the trailer nuts - not the same as the nuts on the car wheels. Carry penetrating oil in the car to ease them if required.
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