BAL Storage & Carry Mod (Completed)

Discussion in 'Leveling Your Camper' started by Dubbya, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    Aug 2, 2011
    Steinbach, MB
    I recently purchased a BAL 28050 light trailer axle leveler and despite its' shortcomings, I love it. Since the jack screw and trunnion must be well greased, it can be difficult to prevent the greased parts from getting all over everything they come into contact with and removing them lends toward the possibility of misplacing them.

    Searching the portal and the rest of the net revealed that, by and large, most owners use a 20"x20" insulated nylon pizza bag with nylon carry straps. It's a pretty good plan if you can find one locally, but I'm still looking just the right bag (it has to match my eyes! [;)]) at the thrift store.

    I recalled seeing one of the members here (sorry, I don't recall who it was and couldn't find the post to link to) had made an ABS tube to store the jack screw and trunnion in. Since I already had the 1-1/2" ABS pipe, I "liberated" that idea incorporating a piece of extruded foam pipe insulation for the lubricated jack screw to slide into.

    I cut the ABS pipe 14-1/2" long, cut the pipe insulation 11" long then folded two strips of masking tape in half lengthwise, leaving four 3" sticky ends which were fastened to the foam. This allowed me to pull the foam through the ABS pipe so that the end would be flush with the end of the ABS pipe. With this done, I tore off the ends of the tape.

    I inserted the greased jack screw into the bottom end of the foam first so that there would always be some grease at the bottom, then removed the jack screw, put on a 1-1/2" test cap and riveted it in place to close up the storage tube. I then drilled an 1/8" vent hole through the side of the test cap and pipe to prevent the jack screw from getting stuck inside the foam like a rubber boot in a mud bog.

    The jack screw is inserted into the top end of the tube with the top one inch sticking out of the pipe insulation, the trunnion is dropped right on top and a 1-1/2" test cap is used to close up the top of the storage tube.

    [​IMG]

    The next problem with storing the BAL is that the base tends to open up when you least want it to. This often results in pinched fingers, bruised shins, knee caps and/or sore toes. I solved that by fabricating a pair of clips out of 1" PVC pipe. Sawing a 3/4" strip out of the pipe seemed about right here, so I cut the pieces to 1-1/2" wide, positioned them about where I thought they should go and solvent welded them together. To stiffen up the joint, I added a few strips of PVC and applied a couple of heavy layer of PVC solvent glue, leaving it to cure overnight.

    The clips snap to the lower pipe on the outer portion of the frame so that when the BAL is collapsed, the clips snap onto the inner portion of the frame. With the clips in place, the frame never opens up while being carried or placed.

    Just to keep it handy, the parts tube was secured to the outer edge of the BAL frame with self-adhesive Velcro buttons (they're what I had on hand). I'd considered mounting the storage tube to the frame permanently but decided that being able to remove it easily would make getting the screw and trunnion out easier.

    Lastly, carrying the BAL around can be a little awkward so I picked up an extension cord carry strap with a molded handle. With the trunnion removed, the thin end of the strap wraps around the outer portion of the frame between the trunnion mounts so that the trunnion can still be inserted or removed without removing the carry strap.

    [​IMG]

    In the end, the carry strap is a little too long but I do like the fact that it's removable. I'd estimate that the total cost for this might be around $7.

    [​IMG]

    In my mind's eye, I'd envisioned a nylon webbing strap with a carrying handle. At either end of the handle are Velcro (hook and loop) straps that would wrap around the storage tube and outer frame. I don't want to drill any holes in the frame and couldn't find anything locally that was cheap. Bah, what I have will do for now.
     
  2. Ken1967

    Ken1967 Can't wait to Camp!

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    Apr 9, 2010
    I guess I haven't thought about it being a problem to stow. I was keeping it just inside the travel door... but that door came open once on us while going to camp and I was worried we lost the BAL and wrench. Fortunately we didn't. After that I just set it in the cargo hold. It sits across the top of the slide out bin (which is where I put the wrench) and is easy to get at when we begin set up.
     
  3. campfreak

    campfreak Active Member

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    Jan 13, 2011
    Now that is pretty cool. I am going to have to do that one of these days.
    Good job!

    Greg
     
  4. BelchFire

    BelchFire I speak fluent vise-grip

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    Mar 29, 2012
    SE Georgia
    Nice work, Dubbya. And a super-cool tutorial.

    10!
     
  5. shelmily

    shelmily Well-Known Member

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    Jun 7, 2012
    Northeast Pennsylvania
    As usual, a really great idea, and tutorial. Nice job.
     
  6. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

    6,125
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    Aug 2, 2011
    Steinbach, MB
    Thanks all!
     
  7. PeterP

    PeterP Member

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    Sep 25, 2007
    It looks factory. I wonder why BAL hasn't done this?
     
  8. Hanne

    Hanne New Member

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    Oct 20, 2011
    That's a great mod, and so nicely detailed!
    We use a pizza bag that we picked up at the local restaurant supply store.
     
  9. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

    6,125
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    Aug 2, 2011
    Steinbach, MB
    Re: BAL Storage & Carry Mod (Completed)


    I'm looking for a pizza bag or something like it as well.


    1996 Viking 2060ST / 1997 F150
     
  10. jrclocks

    jrclocks Member

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    Jun 24, 2008
    Nice job!!

    I love the clips to keep it from opening up! I gotta make these.

    I made a sleeve from PVC to cover the Screw and keep everythign else clean. It snaps over the trunion like your clips do. I didn't want to handle the greasy screw/trunion any more than neccessary.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    JR
     
  11. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

    6,125
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    Aug 2, 2011
    Steinbach, MB
    Nice! Yep, put that sucker in a pizza bag and you're all set! Good idea!
     
  12. shelmily

    shelmily Well-Known Member

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    Jun 7, 2012
    Northeast Pennsylvania
    Jrclocks, I like that idea I may have to steal that one, along with Dubbya's clips. Thanks for the ideas guys.
     
  13. shfd739

    shfd739 Member

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    Apr 16, 2011
    What pieces are needed for this? I love this way of covering the screw.
     
  14. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

    6,125
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    Aug 2, 2011
    Steinbach, MB
    Looks like 12" of PVC pipe with a modified PVC "Tee" (is that 1-1/4"?) . Just chop the ends off the "Tee" leaving the center part as a clip, then glue it to the pipe.
     
  15. wapwap

    wapwap New Member

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    Aug 15, 2011
    Dubbya, those clips are awesome! I'm stealing that for a winter project. I'll make do for what's left of the season this year.

    I'm guessing that jrclocks clip piece is a T that was ground or cut down to the shape shown in the pics. I'm adding that to my winter project list also.

    I've already got a bag, though not a pizza bag. It THIS bag from Fleet Farm.
     
  16. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

    6,125
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    Aug 2, 2011
    Steinbach, MB
    Fleet Farm! Bah, we don't have those up here... good idea though! I'll keep looking!

    Oh, when you first glue the clips together, make sure to maintain firm pressure on them so they really bond. Wait for the glue to harden then apply another two or three coats or they'll slowly come apart. Once you get them stuck together, they hold up really well to being snapped on and off.

    Oh, be sure to post a pic here when you're done, will ya!
     
  17. jrclocks

    jrclocks Member

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    Jun 24, 2008
    Yep, it's a tee with the ends milled off and then a slot opened up to allow it to clip over the trunion.

    I think this was 1" PVC, but double check me.

    Hope this helps,
    JR
     
  18. backwoodzbum

    backwoodzbum New Member

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    Jun 15, 2007
    Great ideas. Can anyone give me the dimensions for the Bal jack? I sold my last pup a few years back and let mine go with it. i have the means a resources to build another one. I think some 1" heavy wall square tubing should work. I have access to 3/4" all thread also. I need to know what is the spread area and length to pivot. Also length from pivot to the tire plates. Center to center numbers are good.
    Thanks for any help.
     
  19. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

    6,125
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    Aug 2, 2011
    Steinbach, MB
    I'll try to take some exact measurements for you tonight.
     
  20. backwoodzbum

    backwoodzbum New Member

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    Jun 15, 2007
    You can pm me or post them. i appreciate it.

    BTW I read your camper rebuild thread last night and thoroughly impressed.
     

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