Like any good camper, we have to incorporate some method of stabilization. This prevents the trailer from tipping over when we get inside it. That would not be a good situation to be in. Since our trailer is pretty tall by conventional over-the-road camper standards, the stabilizer jacks also have to be fairly tall. When they're collapsed, this height becomes length. So we had to find a way to fit these rather large jacks into a rather small trailer, while minimizing the effect on ground clearance. No problem. First, we ordered this pair of Bal stabilizer jacks from Amazon. (If you wish to purchase these jacks, use that link; it will help us to continue to make these posts!)
We planned to mount the jacks flush with the top face of the trailer frame, so that they would hang down beneath the trailer as little as possible. We mocked up a few different mounting configurations to get a better sense of which would be best. Note that as the jacks are deployed, the "feet" move closer and closer to the action end of the jack (where the drive nut is located), until the legs are nearly vertical.
Because of the action of the jacks, we didn't really like this arrangement. When deployed, the feet would be very close together, thus preventing them from offering much stability. However, we did like the convenience of being able to deploy both jacks from one location at the back of the trailer.
Here we tried an asymmetric layout, but we didn't like this either. It just looked dumb.
Finally, we decided to mount them in this arrangement. This will have the feet as close to the sides of the trailer as feasible when deployed, for maximum stability. Initially, we planned to mount them flush with the top of the frame as stated earlier, to maximize ground clearance when stowed. However, that would have required drilling through the frame rails in order to have access to the drive nuts on the jacks. While doable, this is a fair bit of work. To save some effort, we moved the jacks down about one inch, so the drive nuts sit fully below the frame rails. The sacrifice in ground clearance is minimal, we feel. The jacks have a very low profile to begin with, so this should not (hopefully!) cause any issues.
I cut some lengths of U-channel to fit and used the jacks to locate the channels before welding them in place. Drilling the holes was pretty straightforward, again using the jacks themselves as a guide.
"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
- Bilbo Baggins
We're just an adventure-loving couple with a puppy looking to share our stories with the world.