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Old 03-01-2016, 06:03 PM   #1
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Question Jack recommendation (portable in Van)

The jack that we currently have for our 2001 E250 is still the standard one.

It is way too small and wimpy if I really needed to change a tire on the road if the van is fully packed with gear. I fear it would topple if I really needed to change a tire.

I am looking for a recommendation that is both durable and strong and steady, and yet still compact enough to fit in the side bins.

Thanks
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Old 03-01-2016, 06:15 PM   #2
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There's a discussion with some options here:

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...ck-6297-2.html
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Old 03-01-2016, 07:18 PM   #3
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Thanks for the link to the 2013 postings.

I found the Safe Jack most interesting.

Recommendation on configuration basically appropriate for Sportsmobile Van Conversions (which most likely be loaded for treking)?
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Old 03-01-2016, 11:47 PM   #4
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I have used the stock jack succesfuly a couple times while off road. With the vans lift, the jack won't go quite high enough, so i carry a couple wood blocks to shim it up. They give it a wide base that's more stable and also help when the jack wants to sink into the ground. It's plenty strong enough to lift my van while loaded, and reasonably stable if it's on a solid base. Sure there are better options, but most are much heavier and bulky. I have a RB though, with a EB, you could have a lot more weight with the additional storage. If you haven't already, I'd try your stock jack at home to see how it performs while the van is loaded. It's unlikely to topple over if you have the wheels blocked and the parking brake on, and should be strong enough to lift it.
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Old 03-01-2016, 11:52 PM   #5
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Just tried the 48" hilift extreme jack and I'm happy with it. You will need some upper body strength, nerves, common sense and gloves.

Makes a lot of sense with a frame truck.
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Old 03-08-2016, 11:01 PM   #6
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I have a small bottle jack that has picked up my van a few times without any problems.
It's all about setting up the jack and vehicle for maximum safety and security.
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Old 03-09-2016, 04:30 PM   #7
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I'd like to hear more about this.

I like bottle jacks; pretty reliable. But on a bad surface you've not only got to carry a base (mine can fit in a Hi Lift plastic base) but the top needs to securely meet the frame rail, axle, or whatever you're pushing on. I should get around to fabricating a cap; anyone done that?

The other issue is height. With a big blowout your van can be on the wheel rim. That means you may not be able to get the jack under the axle near the outside, and it's a very tough and scary lift if it's further inboard. Can you reach the handle and still stay outside the death zone? I've had to dig a hole to get the jack under, but then it doesn't lift high enough. I've carried a jack stand so I can lift, put jack stand under, then put blocks under the jack and lift again. Lots of dirt roads have ruts, and even smallish ones mean that getting under the axle when you flatted can be tough. Some bottle jacks give a bit of extra lift with a screw top or telescoping arms, like the Ford. i'm now thinking of getting a second jack instead of the jack stand; more versatile.

I tried scissor jacks, they have a very low profile and lift high. But the force required to turn the screw at either end can be a problem.

I'd love to hear about simple solutions.
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:27 PM   #8
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After a meet & greet with w/ some of the gang from Phoenix Expedition Portal, I fired my hi-lift jack...... Never used it, nor did I look foreword to having to, just sketchy. "Stumpalump" showed me his Harbor Freight aluminum racing floor jack that is popular w/ dune runners & sandrail crowd. I now have a 2.5 ton, 18+inch lift unit tucked into the box of my Aluminess front bumper.
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Old 03-10-2016, 12:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob_gendreau View Post
I'd like to hear more about this.

I like bottle jacks; pretty reliable. But on a bad surface you've not only got to carry a base (mine can fit in a Hi Lift plastic base) but the top needs to securely meet the frame rail, axle, or whatever you're pushing on. I should get around to fabricating a cap; anyone done that?

The other issue is height. With a big blowout your van can be on the wheel rim. That means you may not be able to get the jack under the axle near the outside, and it's a very tough and scary lift if it's further inboard. Can you reach the handle and still stay outside the death zone? I've had to dig a hole to get the jack under, but then it doesn't lift high enough. I've carried a jack stand so I can lift, put jack stand under, then put blocks under the jack and lift again. Lots of dirt roads have ruts, and even smallish ones mean that getting under the axle when you flatted can be tough. Some bottle jacks give a bit of extra lift with a screw top or telescoping arms, like the Ford. i'm now thinking of getting a second jack instead of the jack stand; more versatile.

I tried scissor jacks, they have a very low profile and lift high. But the force required to turn the screw at either end can be a problem.

I'd love to hear about simple solutions.
They make stuff for them if this is what you're thinking of:
3 Piece Starter Kit – Safe Jack
Attached Thumbnails
jack kit.JPG  
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Old 03-10-2016, 09:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
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They make stuff for them if this is what you're thinking of:
3 Piece Starter Kit – Safe Jack
Yeah, I'm familiar with those Bogert accessories. They've been discussed here before. I'd prefer to fab my own. Love to see the measurements on the plate and tubing on those though, if someone has bought 'em. I think I might use a piece of C channel; it's just too wet right now to climb around under the van to see what fits.

Interesting about the small floor jack. I've got a 2500lb one for use at autocross and track days (with my street car, not the van ) and IIRC it couldn't lift the rear corner of the van, even flat (my rear is close to 5k lbs). A 5k one though would be perhaps very usuable. I'd hack the wheels off and use a skid plate. One must be very careful using them on crappy ground though, since one needs to account for the arc of the lift. If rocks impede the slide of the base then the pad will move off the axle and kerboom.

And I could chuck the Hi Lift I bet. But the downside of that is losing what I consider the best use of the Hi Lift, which is to raise a stuck wheel. Typically in that scenario you can't access the axle so you have to lift the wheel directly; using a frame rail requires a very high lift even if you tie off the suspension droop, which is a PITA (a bit less if you've pre-rigged a way to do that, which I haven't). I just don't think any other jack can lift a wheel like a Hi Lift.
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