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Old 09-16-2013, 09:50 AM   #1
snowbirds R us
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trailer aid ramps

Has anyone used the "trailer aid" ramps to drive onto to raise the axles and change out a flat tire on a large rv like the Montanas? Some of the reviews that I have read, state that it does not raise the affected axle high enough and others say it is great. I guess the great responses might be from those users with a smaller trailer. I was going to make me some ramps out of 2x8's but though the store bought ones would be lighter. Any thoughts?
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:05 AM   #2
mhs4771
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An alternate solution, although rather pricey is the Level-Up System. Can raise the tires on one side or all four at the same time. As for the Trailer Aid, think about it this way: When going over those Speed Bumps that many CGs like to install, when the front tire is on the top of the bump, is the rear tire off the ground?? The Trailer Aid I've seen in the stores wouldn't raise the leading tire much more than that speed bump. Just my thoughts.
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Old 09-16-2013, 12:27 PM   #3
dsprik
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This has been been one of those subjects here on the forum that has been flogged to death. Get ready for a BUNCH of opinions/facts...
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:06 PM   #4
BB_TX
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I have never used them. But I guess the difference in experiences is due to the different amounts of axle travel in different types of suspension systems.
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Old 09-16-2013, 02:25 PM   #5
Rainer
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I've successfully used a pyramid made of the yellow Lego-like leveler blocks. Only once on my Monte, but three times on my previous trailer. You'll probably hear from folks who'll howl about this, but rather than a theoretical concept, I've had actual real world experience with this method.

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Old 09-16-2013, 02:43 PM   #6
rapidrobert
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I tried them. Had to replace the axles after doing it... Drove about a 1000 miles and all four tires were worn out. That's why I now have mor-Ryde IS suspension,
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:14 PM   #7
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Most here know I'm not a big fan of the ramps or axle devices advertised to ease tire changes. Yes I know a few here swear by them. I also know these devices were originally designed for much lighter trailers than the current generation of fivers. For those applications I can't argue their usefulness. Just hear me out and think about this. The "few" times your are going to be in need of changing a tire during the ownership of your fiver you need to realize that should you simply use a jack under the axle, you are not lifting #12,000 ... you are not lifting #6000 ... you are lifting more like #2,650 like on my 3150RL. Should you use a device that allows one axle to support the weight of the other in whatever fashion, you're putting about #5,000 on that one spindle as some of the weight is taken up by the other two wheels as well as your truck. Some compare this static load of #5000 to running over a speed bump as you travel. I'll have to disagree as the speed bump is a momentary weight shift and a good portion of the weight shift is dealt with via your springs or torsion arms. And in closing, since it's been some time since I fell off the turnip truck and I have access to load cells, I'm talking real numbers ... not just guessy maybe figures. My only disclaimer here is that I only lift a tire off the ground enough to remove it (about 1").... the higher you lift the tire, the more weight you are ultimately picking up.
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:20 PM   #8
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I've done it a couple of times. I have two.. One is the Trailer-Aide.. and the other.. can't remember the name of it.. but it looks like a big aluminum teardrop. Both work very well. In fact, I always carry the teardrop on with me. For short stays, it's great for a minor level up. Sure it only raises one wheel.. but, it's enough to make the bubble get on center. Some would say no-no as it puts too much weight on one wheel.. Can't say I'm concerned if it's not for a long period.
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:51 PM   #9
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From the Lippert Level Up owners Manual:
"LIPPERT COMPONENTS, INC. RECOMMENDS THAT A TRAINED PROFESSIONAL BE
EMPLOYED TO CHANGE THE TIRE ON THE UNIT. ANY ATTEMPTS TO CHANGE TIRES
OR PERFORM OTHER SERVICE WHILE UNIT IS SUPPORTED BY THE LCI LEVEL-*UP WITH
AUTOMATIC LEVELING SYSTEM COULD RESULT IN DAMAGE TO THE 5TH WHEEL AND/OR
CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH."

But wouldn't it be a convenient way to change a tire...

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by mhs4771

An alternate solution, although rather pricey is the Level-Up System. Can raise the tires on one side or all four at the same time. As for the Trailer Aid, think about it this way: When going over those Speed Bumps that many CGs like to install, when the front tire is on the top of the bump, is the rear tire off the ground?? The Trailer Aid I've seen in the stores wouldn't raise the leading tire much more than that speed bump. Just my thoughts.
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Old 09-16-2013, 04:58 PM   #10
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CORattler ... I'm not arguing with you, I'm just commenting on a quote from the manual. Sure Lippert recommends that a "trained professional" change your tires ... today's RV owner just doesn't have the know how to complete such a task.
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:16 AM   #11
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Bingo?
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Old 09-17-2013, 04:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Ozz


Bingo?
Assuming that Ozz is not declaring a possible victory at a game of chance, I feel compelled to provide my two cents worth here. I personally do not think there should be any difference in changing a tire, regardless of the circumstances. Basic safety rules should always be followed. Therefore, my take on the proper way to change a tire from a safety aspect is that the frame must be supported in a safe manner. I carry crib blocks with me all the time and a bottle jack. Regardless of how the fifth wheel is raised (Level-ups or jacks), I cannot in good conscience recommend any method of tire removal unless the frame is supported and the rig is immobilized. I will only add that, in my opinion, previous posts have correctly addressed the weight safety issued related to the use of a "trailer aid" type ramp. We are getting our first rig with the Level-up system and if I have a flat, I would have no problem raising the rig with the system since the system is more than sufficient to hold the weight. I will still put my crib blocks under the frame for the simple reason that the best systems can fail. The best example I can give relates to the mining industry. Would a mechanic attempt any kind of a repair on a truck bed or dozer blade that is only supported by the hydraulic system of the truck or dozer itself. The answer should be a firm and resounding no! Anything supported by hydraulic or electric means should be cribbed and immobilized (wheel chocks). I think the Lippert statement provided is nothing more than a legal disclaimer, but I believe in essence, it is correct. The Level-up system should not be used as the sole method of support (purely from a redundant safety measure). The above is only presented as food for thought but it does represent my opinion of which to me is a strong opinion since it involves safety and a potential situation that can cause injury or worse. With all that said, (and I apologize for the length), you are free to rationalize any method that you elect to, but at least give the safety aspects of what you are doing a long, serious thought!!
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:12 AM   #13
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I don't know about all of you but the pro's at the shops I go to ussally just put a jack under the axles and change the tire. When I'm on the road and have to change a tire I USUALLY drive the good tire up on a couple of leveling blocks to take some of the weight off the bad tire/axle and then proceed to change tire.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:07 AM   #14
snowbirds R us
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Thanks for all the well thought out input on both sides. I think, as I usually do, will take the safety route. I feel the other ways have merit too. But, sometimes Murphy's law rears it's ugly head and snags us sometimes with the unexpected. So, I guess I will continue use the heavy floor jack and block the frame. Again, thanks for the helpful insight.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:14 AM   #15
Captain Joe
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I'm retired. Too much work. I just dial roadside assistance, make a sandwich, eat some cookies, drink some lemonade, and demonstrate some patience. Why pay for a road side assistance program and not use it. I love watching other people work.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:16 AM   #16
Rainer
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Captain Joe

I'm retired. Too much work. I just dial roadside assistance, make a sandwich, eat some cookies, drink some lemonade, and demonstrate some patience. Why pay for a road side assistance program and not use it. I love watching other people work.
Except when roadside assistance shows up to do the work and they really don't know what they're doing!

With my fiasco in August, the roadside dude was going to put the bottlenose jack right under the axle and start pumping away. 3000 pounds of pressure on just an inch diameter tube. I don't think so!
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