Auto Leveling

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Repairs & Maintenance' started by jfondren3, Dec 5, 2019.

  1. jfondren3

    jfondren3 New Member

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    I know taht the jacks on the PUP are stabilizers only, which given how week they seem it makes sense. I have wondered and researched if adding something like the Ground Control TT Leveling System would work on a PUP? I've never found anyone that's done it online. Since it has four leveling jacks and a leveling tongue jack that work together, would it still tweak the frame? Would using leveling blocks under the tires like normal keep it from tweaking the frame?

    Yes, I get that most people wouldn't spend $2-3k on their PUP for something like this. I like my PUP and I also value convenience. I've also spent money on much worse investments in life, so I'm not affraid of the money aspect. I just want to know if it would work or not.

    Thanks.
     
  2. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    It is my understanding that you never want to level a pup using its frame.

    Auto levelers use the frame to level. RV's that have auto levelers are designed to take the stress and twisting that are caused by them. Pups are designed to be leveled with either the tires and front jack. Leveling via the pup frame will most likely cause short and long term damage including, but not limited to wall separation and frame damage.

    You could also damage your lift system if twisting of the frame throws the system out of balance.
     
  3. jfondren3

    jfondren3 New Member

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    Possibly twisting the frame is why I haven't done it so far. Just the thought of hitting a button like I do for my roof is really appealing and would make the PUP perfect for me.
     
  4. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Even the main frame rails on a pup aren't beefy enough for the stress loads the self leveling jacks would exert.. Trailers and MoHo's that have them all have basically a large almost "I" beam main rails where these jacks would attach..
     
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  5. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Not a great idea. If you level the tires first, how long does it really take to put down the stabs? 3 minutes tops? I can see if you wanted to level by it, but from your post you said you would still level the tires side to side? Get an ellecteic toung jack if thats an issue. Tbh, the ellecteic jacks while less work are slower. I never found putting the stabs down hard or time consuming. If your pup is lifted get some blocks for under the stabs, mount them under the pup if speed is a factor, so you can slide them in and out next to where there needed. Sounds like a lot of time and energy for not much reward. Have fun!
     
  6. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    My pop up frame seems pretty strong. The way people talk around here you would think the frames are made out of tin foil. You could always beef up the frame, without a lot of effort.
     
  7. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    Don't let your eyes deceive you. "Seems pretty strong" and "are pretty strong" are two different animals.

    Pup frames are strong. Strong enough to take the pressure of the weight of the pup, but only in one direction - downward. Exerting upward force on the corners of a pup requires completely different reinforcement. Everything depends on the engineering of the design and what the design was intended to do. Pup frames were not designed for upward force, other than raising the roof.

    Example: Highway bridges are made to hold hundreds of tons of weight (downward force), but you only need a fraction of upward force to lift them off of their base. (Yes, I work for the highway department.)
     
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  8. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    Bla, Bla ,Bla
     
  9. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    I want auto stabilizers like my TT had.
     
  10. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    They may seem strong but they are not
     
  11. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    @1380ken - Sorry that facts and physics bore/offend you. You can do with the information what you like. Either learn from it or keep making your same miscalculated mistakes. But PLEASE don't give out advice that could be harmful or damaging to others.
     
  12. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Just an FYI.. The 2 main frame rails on my TT are 1/2 inch thick (maybe 3/8ths.. snow is piled up around it to get an accurate measurement) , 6 inch high steel "I" beams (I'm certain these plus twin 3500lb axles make up almost half the total (dry) weight of the trailer) .. Same frame style that is used on Keystone 5th wheels with auto-level ..
     
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  13. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    ^^^^ This..
     
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  14. J Starsky

    J Starsky Well-Known Member

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    My old 1984 starcraft has a serious frame under it. Not some namsey pamsey 2000's "thin as you'd go" utility trailer looking frame - old gal's got serious looking beef under that body.

    That said, I've removed & replaced leveler jacks on a 90's bounder, twice, because cousin Joe twisted/bent the ram at the baseplates. They are rated over 10k lbs IIRC. https://www.etrailer.com/Accessorie...MIvcX0taSf5gIVBhgMCh2DRgkbEAQYAyABEgLX2fD_BwE

    If the forced used to destroy that jack was under the pup, you would probably make a pretzel out of a frame. You'd never pull the thing home, unless you only made right turns... LOL Just the massive bolt mounting plates themselves would not line up on a pup from too well.

    Honest, stop by a welding shop and get an expert opinion before venturing further. Good Luck if you do~!
     
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  15. jfondren3

    jfondren3 New Member

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    Other than cost I figured that there is a reason that no one does it. But I wanted to check with others on here to see if it really is because of the frame rails. Maybe one day I'll upgrade to a drill for the stabilizers instead of cranking them by hand. I'm able to knock out three of them in the time my daughter does one, so that has worked for us so far.

    Thanks for all the replies.
     
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  16. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    I think the idea behind the frame isnt that the frame cant take it, but the stuff on it cant. It will get all out of wack. Small nailes scews and lightweight small timber building on the walls etc. Not much holding the pup together. Now twist that a bit a few times and there goes the stability of the walls, door, lift system etc. Kind of like new construction trusses. Its just not ment to be stressed that way.
     
  17. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    This is all lay mans physics backed up by nothing. Have you done a simulation in solidworks to determine that the frame is only designed to take force in one direction. What exactly are the design features that make it able to take force in a certain direction and not the opposite direction?
     
  18. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    1380ken if you want to skip the "bla, bla, bla" , go directly to the bottom paragraph. If the rest of you want to possibly learn something new, read on.

    I've worked closely with structural and design engineers for the past 30 1/2 years. The concepts of sound structure and design tends to rub off on you after awhile and you learn a few things.

    @1380ken If you knew what you were googling, you would know that Solidworks simulation has nothing to do with the original topic. But I will be willing to bet that running a Solidworks simulation on the design of trailer frames, the simulation will show more possibilities of failure from upward pressure than downward pressure. But as the name implies, it is a simulation, not an actual design failure test.

    But getting back to topic, failure in a pup frame is not the argument. Flex (displacement) is the argument and flex is everywhere. Flex is a factor in design. ALL trailer frames flex. The bigger the camper, the tendency is more the flex. Too much flex (while bouncing down the highway or using stabilizers) can create joint failure in anything that is above the frame.

    When a camper is built, the weight of everything on top of the frame flexes the frame the ever so slightly downward (greater deflection toward the corners) creating a "normal" state of stress. The use a leveler will now place upward flex on the area (corner) of a camper that has a "normal" downward flex, there will be upward movement creating twist in the frame and movement above the frame. Movement can be magnified in everything above the frame. The movement, if too great, can eventually cause failure everywhere there is a joint. Campers that have the greatest flex have the greatest failure rates (wall corners separating, door frames out of square, seams splitting, etc...) You will see these complaints in a lot of 5th wheel forums.

    This is the same reason why using your stabilizer to level is a very bad idea. Not to mention that this can also lead to frame deformation (permanent deflection).

    So the point is, if you choose to create flex using levelers on a frame that was not designed for the additional upward flex, you do so at your own peril.

    Next question.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
  19. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    No offense but everything that you say is BS.
     
  20. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    Just curious. Do you have some life experience or educational background that would make you an expert at this topic? I'm all ears, Ken! What's you background??

    Until there's an answer, I'll assume you are backing up your statement with only your degree from the "Looks Pretty Strong School of Engineering".

    No offense.
     
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