Just curious why?

Discussion in 'Stabilizing Your Camper' started by kitphantom, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    What is the reason for the order: level, raise roof, then stabilize? Why not set the stabilizers before raising the roof? Does it matter crank versus spring arms?

    With the renovation, we now have a place on the front to place stack jacks. DH moved the LP cradle back to close to the original placement, and there is space under the angle iron he used closest to the pup to place the stack jacks. They are far enough apart from center line that they are making the pup more stable on that end that we've ever been able to have it. The original rear stabs are gone, though the place they attached is still there. DH is thinking he will put a corner piece between them and piece that connects the frame to the bumper, for close clearance sites. We put the stabilizers under the pup yesterday for the first time in the renovation, since we were finishing up the spring arm installation and so will be having the roof up to work inside. Didn't know that thing could be so solid!
     
  2. Dusty82

    Dusty82 Active Member

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    The way it was explained to me was that if you stabilize the pup before you raise the roof, you could put the lift mechanism into a bind, causing bad screen door fit. When the top goes up, the frame flexes a bit as the weight of the top comes off of the trailer box sides and ends, and is taken up by the lifting arms, and the frame members beneath them. Deploying the stabs after the top is up and the awning is rolled out of the bag lets the frame settle into position. If the stabs are already down, the frame has no place to flex, and the settling occurs in the lift arms, causing poor screen door fit.

    That might sound like a whole lot of hogwash, but I know that in our case the door fits A LOT better than it did when I was stabilizing before I raised the roof.
     
  3. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    Ok, many, many discussions on this topic.

    I can speak for Fleetwood/Coleman pup's. First you would level side to side then front to back. Then raise roof and put stabs down. As for lowering the roof, raise stabs then lower roof.

    I wrote a letter to Coleman as to why you raise or lower roof without stabs down. Their answer was the frame needs to flex as to not cause the cables to possibly bind.
     
  4. bud121156

    bud121156 Western North Carolina

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    These reasons mentioned have been my understanding too.
     
  5. samtgrizz

    samtgrizz New Member

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    The important thing on raising the roof Coleman/Fleetwood is to level it. As said before, stabilize after you raise the room. I raise the roof, stabilize and then pull out my slide out.
     
  6. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    I suggest you look at the '68 and '69 Coleman owner's manuals.
    It was logical at the beginning to stabilize first. Apparent that lift system is too fragile for that, can't think of another reason for changing the order and suggesting premature wear. They also weld on a support to the lift system at some point in time ('96, welded on guide channels) to strengthen it.

    I agree with Coleman's original order and my PU enjoys that, do as you will!
    [RTM]

    Happy camping.
     
  7. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

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    The raised roof has a certain amount of "play" in it to allow for the wind and such. The roof, like the frame itself, was designed for a certain amount of flexibility, but if things were out of kilter, it could (and has evidently) cause some damage. Along this same line, Starcraft, also says it's a bad idea to raise the roof when the camper is way off level for the same reasoning. First order of business, as already posted, is to level side to side, then fore and aft, raise the roof and then do the finishing touches. I've noted a couple of things with this leveling, especially for a period of time - after the camper has set for awhile and beed walked and slept in (and maybe rain), it will require some snugging up so it will not develope the "wiggles". Also, I noted one time when tying off the awning (to a couple of trees) for some upcoming wind, that it pulled the roof over too far in the awning direction and thereby caused the door to bind. Have since discovered better for this Starcraft's awning to be tied down at an angle to the ground (and then staked) rather then tying it off horizontally like to a tree.
     
  8. Goldens

    Goldens Member

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    On our external lift arm campers you level, stabilize, raise roof. There isn't a risk of binding the lift mechanism because it's all outside the camper. :) If you want the manual for your '80s era Palomino, send me a email. I have converted mine to PDF, it is 8.1Mb in size. Covers all models. Palomino only changed there manuals every decade or so back then.
     
  9. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    I think I understand the reason for leveling, since it seems like the roof might be stressed if it was too off-level. With the renovation, we've fixed the play where the arms are attached to the pup, and that has made the roof stability better.

    I had wondered if it made any difference with the external spring arms like we have, or the crank ones, as far as the order of raising the roof and stabilizing, so I'm glad for Goldens input.
     
  10. slyspyder

    slyspyder Lake Saint Louis, MO

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    Oh my...are we going to discuss this again? This can get interesting :)

    Read your owners manual....my Rockwood manual says to level, stabilize THEN raise roof, so that is what we do.... go by your owners manual for your pup....your lift system.....your brand.....
     
  11. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to bring up an older topic, which by the way, I have read older threads on.

    I had never seen the explanation for the order and never had a manual for ours, being as we're the 3rd owners and had not been able to obtain one, until Goldens offer.

    Being an information person, I wanted to know if there was a reason for the order, or if it was like the end of the roast beef being cut off before roasting.
     
  12. Dusty82

    Dusty82 Active Member

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    I'd like to point out that some of the older owner's manuals had some bad info in them. The manual for our '75 Coleman, for instance, says to level the pup with the stabs. It also says to change the tire by unhooking the pup, dropping the tongue jack as low as it will go, dropping the rear stabs as far as they'll go, then cranking the tongue jack up until the tires are off the ground. [:O]

    The manuals were changed later on when they figured out that this was a bad move, but the point remains that unless you've looked at newer manuals, you wouldn't know about the changes.

    Basically, it never hurts to ask.
     
  13. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

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    I meant to post something when I read your post but got distracted ... then forgot about it!

    Anyway, to add to the ongoing "raising of the roof/stabilizer" saga, something I've never seen posted (or missed it if it was) - Starcraft says to do the initial leveling, then raise the roof, drop the stabilizers and taking care of that chore. But they also have a special note after the roof has been raised, and it says ... "front and rear stabilizers must be in the down position prior to extending front slide out bunk." As best I could find out from the Starcraft tech folks, this had something to do with keeping the front bunk from coming out of it's track.

    Just wanted to keep the saga going!
     
  14. top magoo

    top magoo New Member

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    this is all brand new news to me... for the 3 years or so we've had our pup, i have always leveled it and put the weight on the stabs because i (obviously incorrectly) assumed that the trailer needed to be absolutely level before raising the roof.

    this as completely caught me by surprise and as soon as i get my camper back from, of all things, roof repairs, i'll give this new method a try.
     
  15. Orion

    Orion Member

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    The difference in how you do it may be due to the way the frame is made. The frame on my 1975 coleman is a lot stronger then on the 1994 Jayco I'm currently rehabbing. The metal on the frame is almost twice as thick and it is boxed compared to C channel. So all these manufactures may have a reason for doing it different ways. I would read the owners manual and see how they say. I had issues with the door no matter how I put it up on the coleman... [?:~{]

    Orion
     
  16. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

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    When you say C-channel frame for the Jayco are you talking the trailer tongue (A-frame) ...? Although I've never owned a Jayco, have a fishing buddy who does and his has the regular box main frame and then the C-channel tongue.
     

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