Hydraulic Bottle Jacks

Mar 14, 2005
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Considering buying one of the above to use with both car/caravan if required!! Does anyone know of a suitable/reasonable make/supplier? I think I need one with an "axle cradle" as an accessory for use on caravan. Advice gratefully received.

John
 
Mar 14, 2005
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The safety aspect aside, I have a bottle jack at home but even though it is relatively small it won't fit under the chassis frame in the vicinity of the axle.
 
Jan 1, 2006
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John

Re bottle jacks. if your van has a flat you will have difficulty getting this type of jack under the chassis, I carry a small 2 ton trolley jack, now I tempt fate, but have never used it on the van, but have on the car. overcomes all the problems re stability and is compact enough to get under the chassis.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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If you get a flat tyre on car or caravan, a bootle jack or a trolley jack are useless in most cases as the selected lifting point is too low to allow the jack under.

Use the designated sidelift jack for the car and an Al-Ko sidelift jack for the caravan.

The exhaust airbag type are wonderful in certain circumstances, but for a caravan you need a reasonable size area of flat floor behind the axle, each side. Most caravans have too many underfloor obstructions.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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John, going to disagree here with other comments. I have a bottle jack which I have used several times to lift my caravan. Realising that a flat tyre would drop the chassis too low for the jack I made up and welded a bracket which bolts to exisiting holes in the chassis close to the axle, my bracket has a locating ring beneath to ensure the head of the jack sits securely and a side bracket again with locating ring which is welded at a height for the jack even with a totally deflated tyre. I have total confidence in the strength, function and safety of the bracket which as I mentioned earlier has been used several times.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Just a tip to get extra clearance under the chassis when you have a puncture.

Drive over your spare wheel with the punctured wheel,you then can put your jack under the chassis with the increased ground clearance.Keep the van attached to the car during this operation.

Clive S
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Thanks all - I'm even more confured as to what to buy!! My latest thought is one of the Alko sidelift jacks but the axle on my soon to be new van is BPW (Elddis). Will the Alko sidelift fit the BPW. It would also be nice to have one jack that fits car and caravan. Maybe I live in dreamland.

john
 
Aug 28, 2005
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John,

We have a BPW chassis and a good quality scissor jack is more useful and more adaptable in most situations to the fixed Alko type jack. The ability to select to jack on the axle or at some key points of the chassis is the main benefit to me.

Monkeys Husband
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Why not just call a recovery company? That,s what we pay them for!
Sometimes its just quicker to do it yourself - especially when trucking through the continent. Once waited 2 hours for assistance in France - can change a wheel in 20 minutes!!
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Thanks all - I'm even more confured as to what to buy!! My latest thought is one of the Alko sidelift jacks but the axle on my soon to be new van is BPW (Elddis). Will the Alko sidelift fit the BPW. It would also be nice to have one jack that fits car and caravan. Maybe I live in dreamland.

john
hi john, to go off thread we pick our aurora up in 2 days and counting (counting money
 
Mar 28, 2006
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Why not just call a recovery company? That,s what we pay them for!
In oz we use a hydraulic jockey wheel which converts to a jack in about 20secs. It's called a 'trail-a-mate and is available from 'maytow' itis simple to use and eliminates the need to carry the additional weight of a seperate jack.

aussie bob
 
Apr 15, 2005
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Hi Aussie Bob

Just read your reply to Emmerson when you say you use a Trail-A-Mate for wheel change and you also use it as a Jockey wheel as it doubles up. We use it as a leveller as well in fact we have for the past two years since we brought them into Europe.

How long have you been using yours? Mind you I can change the wheel on our double axel caravan without my husband now as it is so easy to operate, not having to go under the caravan and as it fixes to the brackets. Before I could not even lift the trolley jack out of the boot of the car and I certainly did not know where it was safe to lift from.

Where are you in Australia? Its a lovely country.
 
Mar 28, 2006
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hello joyce

I woudlike to know how you use the trail-a-mate as a leveller? I have had mine for only six months and am quite happy with it. It cost$331A. My wife and I live in a small town (pop 5300) called Scone. It's about 3 hours northwest of Sydney. Scone is not looking very pretty at the moment as we have had only 19 mm of rain in the past 4 mths or so and temperatures in the high 30's and low 40's.

aussie bob
 
Apr 15, 2005
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Hi Bob

When you arrive on site before unhitching you cross level your van using Trail-A-Mate by lifting on the side bracket at the required side and then lower onto your blocks.This stops you having to drive forwards or backwards onto the blocks which can slide when you are trying to get it level especially with a double axel. Then you unhitch the van and use Trail-A-Mate to level front to back if required.

When we were in Australia last year and visited your caravan sites, we found that they were mostly level and bigger than here in the UK and so you possibly you would not need to use it as a leveller cross ways. Although it may be different when you are rough camping!

You sounds as if you live in a nice part of the outback. Your temperature is very hot for us, fortunately it was not that hot when we were there!!

Joyce
 
May 21, 2008
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I use a bottle jack without problems and would certainly recommend them over scissor jacks. A trolly jack is good but to get the lift you realy need a small garage one which is bulky and heavey.

My jack is two ton capacity and only 6 inches high closed and opens to 12 inches at full extent it also has a screw out top to give a further 3 inches of lift.

One very good idea from Clive about driving onto the spare was one I'd not thought of. (nice one Clive). However I would recommend driving up a leveling ramp or piece of wood. You see, when one of my tyres burst the heat from the tyre was so great I could not touch the wheel without wearing those thick leather gardening gloves I happened to have in the car. So I wonder if the heat from the wheel might prematurely damage the spare.

One other thing I carry is a piece of 3/4 inch ply about a foot square, to put under the base of the jack on soft ground to stop sinkage.

One last thing that no one has thought of yet. Have a dry run at home, let your tyre down nearly flat and then use the jack you are going to keep with the van to change the wheel. You see, at home you can take your time, have a cuppa even. But out on the side of the road in the pouring rain at night you wnat to get going bl***y quick. Also you'll have the piece of mind that the plan actually works.

Steve LL
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I use a bottle jack without problems and would certainly recommend them over scissor jacks. A trolly jack is good but to get the lift you realy need a small garage one which is bulky and heavey.

My jack is two ton capacity and only 6 inches high closed and opens to 12 inches at full extent it also has a screw out top to give a further 3 inches of lift.

One very good idea from Clive about driving onto the spare was one I'd not thought of. (nice one Clive). However I would recommend driving up a leveling ramp or piece of wood. You see, when one of my tyres burst the heat from the tyre was so great I could not touch the wheel without wearing those thick leather gardening gloves I happened to have in the car. So I wonder if the heat from the wheel might prematurely damage the spare.

One other thing I carry is a piece of 3/4 inch ply about a foot square, to put under the base of the jack on soft ground to stop sinkage.

One last thing that no one has thought of yet. Have a dry run at home, let your tyre down nearly flat and then use the jack you are going to keep with the van to change the wheel. You see, at home you can take your time, have a cuppa even. But out on the side of the road in the pouring rain at night you wnat to get going bl***y quick. Also you'll have the piece of mind that the plan actually works.

Steve LL
What make/model is it Steve and from where did you buy.

Thanks

John
 

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