Have you ever maxed out your BAL?

Discussion in 'My Favorite Mods, Tips, Tricks (and Blunders!)' started by ghacker, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. ghacker

    ghacker Active Member

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    Love my BAL. It's fast, easy, and always spot on. But last yr for the 1st time I got a site that tested it's limits. Maxed out the BAL to achieve side to side. Front to back was a challenge too. Almost used up all my blocking for the rear stabilizers. And had to raise up the front of the PUP so I could swing the jack up. The tongue was held at the right place for level by my Shurline tongue weight scale which I happened to have along. The BAL looked like weird because it was at such an angle. Looked like it was bent out of shape although once I lowered it, it looks and works fine.

    Trouble is, we liked the site so much last yr. we're going back again later this month. So I'm looking for any ideas on how to make it easier, and maybe safer, this year.

    I'm thinking of making up some blocking for the BAL. Not sure how strong the BAL's frame is so I'm making it fit the BAL footprint of 18"x17" out of 2x12s and 2x8s. I figure 4 1/2" high on one side under the BAL and 1 1/2" under the other wheel. It'd have a 45 deg angle on one end and the blocking will be "stepped" so I'm not trying to raise it 4 1/2" at one time.

    Anyone ever run into a similar situation? Have any brilliant solutions? Am I missing something? Thx. in advance for any suggestions.
     
  2. campfreak

    campfreak Active Member

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    Ok, I think I see what you are getting at, and it sounds like it willwork just fine, but it's another big bulky thing to carry with you. I'm trying to think of ways to use a jack, or make it in smaller pieces, but I really have no better ideas. Carry on.

    Greg
     
  3. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    I had to crank the BAL all the way up once when I had the Yuma. It worked just fine. But, it was on the door side and that made the step into/out of the trailer quite high.
     
  4. Retired Alex

    Retired Alex New Member

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    Dig a hole for the high side wheel to drop into, then you won't have to crank the BAL up so high.
     
  5. RotnMom

    RotnMom Am I there yet?

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    x2!!

    [:D]
     
  6. brianbigdogsmith

    brianbigdogsmith Camp more Camp more often

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    I picked up 4 screw jacks and use a floor jack I always carry and get most of the time in 10 min
     
  7. BelchFire

    BelchFire I speak fluent vise-grip

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    Maxed out our BAL the first (only) time I've used it. Never worked so hard in my life. I may never use it again; that thing can take the fun out of camping.
     
  8. Retired Alex

    Retired Alex New Member

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    I read on another forum that you are parking on an asphalt pad, so this won't work. Seriously, I would consider another site if it is that far off level.
     
  9. ghacker

    ghacker Active Member

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    Alex, I hear you but this site is just what I like. At the end of a small loop, open up the door and it's all woods as far as you can see. Water is 75' away and the bath/showers less than 200'. Very quiet too. Don't know if this is normal but last yr. @ 1/2 the sites were occupied by tents so not much in the way of electronics (radio, tv, gennies, etc.).
     
  10. ghacker

    ghacker Active Member

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    Don't give up on it. Most of the time works just fine. This is the 1st time in at least a dozen trips that we came anywhere close to maxing it out. You can always use a power drill if the cranking gets too much.
     
  11. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    There are some CGs where any sort of digging (trenching for tents, lowering the wheel, etc.) is prohibited. There, there are some places that are rocky or made of hard clay where digging would be impossible or nearly so.
     
  12. dion

    dion Member

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    Any chance you can rotate the camper? If you can re-orient the camper so that the axle is going across the slope instead of down the slope, you should be able to get the wheels level with each other. If the object is just to get it within the range of what the BAL can handle, it doesn't require perfection, and may not require a whole lot of rotation.

    This strategy won't work on all sites, but it's another thing to keep in your bag of tricks.

    You may be able to handle some of the re-orientation simply by the way you maneuver as you park the PUP. You also may be able to do some rotation after unhitching. It shouldn't require reminding, but I'll remind anyway, that an unhitched PUP on a slope is something to be treated with great respect. It's a SPUT waiting to happen. I'd always keep at least one wheel chocked, move in small increments, and think ahead. Consider how things might get away from you, and if you want to swing the tongue to a place that your tow vehicle can't drive to, make sure you'll have a way to swing it back without having to wrestle things uphill too much. This may not be something you want to attempt if the slope is too steep or if you have a heavier PUP.
     
  13. Appfan

    Appfan New Member

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    How about bringing a board or two that you put under he low side wheel? Then slide your BAL on top of the board(s). That would give you a couple of inches "head start" before you have to start cranking the BAL.
     
  14. ill.plainsman

    ill.plainsman happy, happy

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    GHACKER it seams you have done everything.i carry a mini air compressor and that might be your only other way to use the site. after finding the best direction to set your P/U,set your stabilizers and then chock your low wheel, bal lev the high side and let some air out of the low side. couldn't you get 2'' more out of that side? just a thought. then tighten up your stabilizers after and along with your bal as you go up. you don't want to take the weight with stabs just don't want to get to far off the ground without them touching.if this doesn't work you were evidently not meant to camp there.
     
  15. bondebond

    bondebond New Member

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    I've maxxed it out once before and gotten close a couple of other times.

    When the site was reserved via reservation system at a popular destination and the campground is on the side of a mountain, you don't always have the luxury of finding a more level site.

    I ended up using some boards to drive the low side on that were wide enough to also support the BAL. I had to add some boards under the hinges at the outermost points of the U-shape so that they would not drop down when pressure was added. My boards under the BAL and wheel directly weren't deep enough as is.

    It worked but I wasn't overly happy about it. The site was tipped on two axis, not just side to side but front to rear. Despite my best efforts with limited navigating space, I couldn't get the PUP perpendicular to the slope of the hill. It ended up that the curb side rear corner stabilizer was barely cranked down, and the road side front stabilizer had quite a supplementary block underneath it using available resources from the surroundings. It seems I wasn't the first person to deal with the extreme slope as there was a pile of large rocks and wood to choose from.

    And if the BAL is working you to death, that is indication that it needs proper lubrication. The grease that comes on it from the factory is clean and relatively clear. Good for first impressions but not the best for practical use.

    Clean the screw jack and nut of all grease and apply molybdenum instead, as it is designed for high pressure metal on metal sliding surfaces. It will be dark gray in appearance instead white like lithium grease or red(s) like other compound greases. This is the same stuff to use on whiffletrees that are screw-based.
     
  16. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    Important point about the BAL and lubrication. There are a few people here who stripped the threads because they didn't lubricate.
     
  17. chiefbowes

    chiefbowes Member

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    I added a piece of ply 3/4 plywood just a little bigger than the BAL . Then use my blocking with the ply wood on top as this gives a good solid base. i use 2x6 6" long for blocking
     

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