To Jack or not to Jack ?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by beachcaster, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. beachcaster

    beachcaster Read Only Funster

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    In the uk I just carry a spare wheel and tyre .Touch wood Ive never had a puncture yet...but my view is if I get one the AA can come out and sort it out for me while I enjoy a cuppa as well as making one for the AA man..Thats what I pay for.

    Off to Europe next month........Im sure I have european breadown of some sort......but would you take a jack with you and try and sort it out yourself.

    If so what sort of jack would you recomment for a 696 Autotrail ?
    The one that comes with it looks a bit flimsy?

    Im plated at 4000kg so can probably manage the extra weight.I will check all weights before we go.

    barry
     
  2. Popeye

    Popeye Funster

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    Lidl have a bottle jack 8 tons, fairly heavy though!
     
  3. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    Although I carried a 10 ton bottle jack in the RV for years there is no way I would have changed a wheel at the side of the road. TOOOO dangerous.
    I carried a spare and rang the breakdown company to change it. Regarding jacks, if you insist on carrying one make sure its up to the job. IMO I wouldn't rely on anything less than a 10 ton bottle jack if I had to use one.
     
  4. upmarkethippy

    upmarkethippy Read Only Funster

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    Hello, yes I would carry a jack and try and sort it out.

    As for the jack, yes the factory ones are a little flimsey and i agree that a bottle jack would be better. I have 2 Land rover discovery bottle jacks as these are telescopic, so are quite small when at there lowest so fit under axle with a flat tyre quite well, and take up little room. They have I believe a 2 tonne lift so on one corner of your m/home should be fine.

    Cheyne
     
  5. Brian and Jo

    Brian and Jo Funster Life Member

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    jack

    hi guys,being in the tyre industry we use bottle jacks every day.in my opinion NEVER buy a cheap jack,always a good quality one.for a small to medium sized motorhome i would say AT LEAST 10ton,if it is an RV then AT LEAST 15ton.we have a good quality 20ton jack on board.over the last 34yrs in the tyre industry ive have seen and heard some real nasty stories with cheap or inadequate capacity jacks.if you are going to cut back costs on anything,dont let it be your bottle jack:thumb:just my opinons.
    regards brian jo and josh
     
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  6. darklord

    darklord Read Only Funster

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    For those of advancing years or ailing health, the problem is not the jack, its the wheels. although the Discovery jacks seem fine and have a saddle to go under the axle, making them safe, they are only 2ton, some MH would need more.
    Personally, i carry a ten ton bottle jack, an axle stand, a 3ft breaker bar, with an impact socket in it for the wheel nuts, couple that with a Hi VIS overall, two warning triangles and a flashing beacon. It may seem a little over the top, blame it on me working in recovery for years, the other small point, is that one of the most dangerous places, is the hard shoulder of a motorway, the less time you spend there the better.

    When i had a rear puncture of the M4 approaching London, from start to finish, it took me ten minutes...but like i say, I used to be one of those that did it for YOU. If you ever call in a breakdown or wheelchange, you WILL be told to leave the vehicle....so if you dont carry a jack, you WILL need, warm waterproof clothing, a hivis that will go on over them, and possibly a torch, or you will get cold and wet waiting.
    Also remember, that failing to have a servicable spare, MAY not be grounds for a recovery, some companies will just get you off the Mway and call a tyres company for you which you will pay for.
     
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  7. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    dont rely on that mickey mouse thing that they pass off as a jack...

    it may be ok for an unloaded panel van but a full loaded motorhome is just too heavy for it.
    a minimum 4 ton bottle jack will be ok, the whole van weighs 4 tons... not one corner.

    if you have an Alko chassis you must take great care where you place the jack and definitely not under the axle tube itself.

    motorway punctures....... leave it to the professionals.....the hard shoulder is one of the most dangerous places in the motoring world, after India that is :Eeek:
     
  8. normanandsue

    normanandsue Funster

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    Hi guys
    I have had my mh for 2 years and have had 2 puctures in that time; one whilst in France when I changed the wheel using the manufacturers cantilever jack. Last year I bought a small trolley Jack, that meant I would not have to crawl under the mh to operate the jack.
    Last week Sue had a puncture in the mh not far from home so I went to help and took my new trolley jack out to discover it would not reach the chassis let alone raise the mh high enough to remove the wheel. Fortunately my daughter in law had AA roadside assistance who came and changed the wheel.
    If you have a jack other than the manufacturers jack test it first to make sure it is up to the job before you have a puncture.

    Also make sure your spare tyre is correctly inflated and that the tyres on your mh are not beyond their best before date; this will help reduce the likelihood of a puncture due to a collapsing tyre wall.

    And having done all this make sure your Roadside Assistance(Europe if necessary) membership is up to date.

    Norman
     
  9. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    I appreciate I will not be popular for saying this, but quite frankly I am appalled that people who are healthy enough to drive cannot change a wheel on their vehicle.

    Ok, RV drivers I can accept, as some of those wheels are huge, but anyone with a Euro type van should, in all honesty, have the ability to get them selves out of the muck.

    In Russia, if you cannot change a wheel, you do not drive. End of story.

    I appreciate there is a physical strength part of this and am willing to excuse people who are frail.. but if you are that frail perhaps you should not be driving what amounts to a big truck.
    Anything happens and you are going to be in deep trouble ( judging by the inability to change a wheel )


    Male of female, unless there is something wrong with you which may be an invalidity, I really do think there are very few excuses

    Have we, as a society moved so far away from a 'can do' attitude that we think changing a wheel is too darned dangerous ???

    Has H & S E brain washed you THAT much ??????? ( note the YOU and not us.. there are people out here still who do not listen to all the tripe they spout )


    Right.. off to get my tin hat now and prepare for the incoming abuse !!!
     
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  10. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Pours a drink, sits back, this could be entertaining.
     
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  11. beachcaster

    beachcaster Read Only Funster

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    Lucky Im not going to Russia:Smile:

    No abuse.......I always taught my kids male and female how to change a car wheel as they learnt to drive............I just think its OK to wait for help too.

    As the OP its worth saying I have always changed car wheels ...and 4x4s as well. But the steel wheel on my Ducato is a heavy old beast and as I suffer from a bad back .....I was interested to see what others thought.

    No point in screwing up your holiday just to be macho.

    If you have the time ...and you are covered and you can pull up somewhere safe...I dont think its a bad thing to wait for a pro. On a motorway I think I would........On the other hand if I was on a site or Aire....I would probably take my time and do it myself.

    I think it depends on how strong you are . and what the circumstances are. It is probably a good idea to have all the right equipment and know how to do it ..just in case.But I think no worse of those of us who might choose to wait for help.( including me )

    barry
     
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  12. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Very fair comments indeed Barry

    And just to be a bit of a devils advocate ( in other words stirer ! ) how many CANNOT change their own wheel ?
     
  13. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    I can do my car but not tried my motorhome and wouldn't know where to start.I don't think I have got a spare wheel anyway.

    Jaws you make a good point but you have to factor in that some people ( me) are not very practical.

    We are all good at something apparently.:thumb:
     
  14. jhorsf

    jhorsf Read Only Funster

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    Jaws are you serious ? are you just fishing for a bite?
    If your post is serious you must be in good health or you would not have made such a :censored:2 post as to say you should not be driving if you cannot change a wheel ,and yes even if you are joking its in very bad taste:Angry:
     
  15. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Sorry but it is not a joke.. Hardly see how it is bad taste either.
    Just an opinion, one developed after being on the road one way or tother most of my life, and seeing all sorts of problems brought on by folk not knowing the very basics of maintaining their own vehicle ( and lets face it, you cannot really get much more basic than changing a wheel )

    I dunno if I am particularly healthy.. just average really and far too fat !

    Treacle, would you not like to know how to do it if only fpor academic reasons ?

    First thing I did with each motorhome I have had is change a wheel to make sure there are no issues or problems should an emergency arise
     
  16. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    You know what.. I just reread what I posted..

    I did say if your too frail then there is a reason why you cannot change your own wheel

    Basically, just to reiterate, if you are physically able then you SHOULD, at the very least, know how to do the job..

    Sorry if if offends but hey..............

    Perhaps you could tell me why you find that offensive or fishing ????
     
  17. jhorsf

    jhorsf Read Only Funster

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    I think some people who are( to frail) will feel criticised for not being able to change a wheel, disability is a very touchy subject, I accept you did not mean to offend people and said if you are able. I can only say personally , when you go from a big strong chap who does everything to a person who is not strong enough to change a wheel you do feel inferior enough so maybe I am just being over sensetive Sorry
     
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  18. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    I think you probably are JH,

    I do think that Jaws is right in a way though.

    I remember Nikki coming home and telling me she got a guy in a garage to change a wheel for her as she couldn't do it herself, another time she called the RAC to do it.

    And on two occasion's yes two separate occasion's yes you read that right, TWO OCCASIONS>

    She contacted me to say her car was making a funny noise, when I went round to check, she had, yep you guessed it a puncture, and had been driving with it for a some time!!!!

    I just love a crisis, so if I got a puncture, I would fix it myself unless I was somewhere beautiful where I could sit down have a cuppa and wait for the man I pay a fortune for to come and fix it for me so i didn't break a nail.:Smile:
     
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  19. craig.drake

    craig.drake Read Only Funster

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    this reminds me i must get steel valves fitted, twice i have had valves split on there own luckilly while parked at home,
    although if i had a puncture i would struggle to get spare wheel off its bracket its a bad design and im afraid it would fall on me
     
  20. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    There is more than a slight difference between changing a car wheel at the side of the road and changing the wheel of a motorhome.
    Imagine this scenario....Joe camper and his wife and 2.5 kids are driving down the motorway in his Hymer 660. It weighs 3500 kgs. He finds he has a flat tyre so pulls onto the hard shoulder to change it. Wife and 2.5 kids are safely put behind the crash barrier and Joe gets his jack and wheel brace out and jacks up said camper. Takes wheel off and before he has chance to put his spare wheel on a great big dirty 44 ton Polish truck comes past and the bow wave knocks poor Joe's camper off his bottle jack. Because he didn't carry axle stands with him he is pinned under his own camper. Joe's wife and 2.5 kids are in hysterics as they run around trying to flag someone down to help poor Joe and before you know were you are you have a multiple pileup with 10 people killed. All because our friend Joe thought it macho to change his own wheel. He has probably done it 20 or 30 times in his car,but a large motorhome is a completely different ball game. Having said all that have seen the time have changed a 44 ton trailer axle at the side of the road,but I like to think have more sense now:RollEyes:
     
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