Lister 5/1 Diesel

Lister Restoration & Rebuild

Obtaining & Restoring Your First Engine

Chapter 7 -

Trailers, Mounting and Rallying Your Engine

I had not intended to go as far as I did in writing this book, as I am not a writer by profession, and my time is at a premium most weeks and weekends. The thing that pushed me into writing in more detail was the lack of data and books on engine rebuilding and restoration. I looked for information, and found very little in the way of data that I felt would be useful to anyone who would want to get involved in engine restoration. Certainly I would want to get a better idea of what was involved before I took the plunge, especially if I was a beginner.

It is easy for me and other skilled fitters to carry out engine rebuilds and overhauls without constant referral to instruction manuals, while the unskilled watch over our shoulder with some envy (we hope !) But we must also remember that while we have our engineering skills, we would (or should) be similarly in awe of someone who has skills in a different area, where we would be the beginner and the roles are reversed. I may be able to illustrate this better by the following example:

Since we bought our first pony, Sparky, in 1990, I have learned from my wife how to handle him, feed him, earn his trust and finally, (but not intentionally) help nurse him through a serious illness last winter. In all that time, I was the beginner and Rita was the skilled instructor. We now have four ponies, and I have reached the point of having earned their trust and confidence, but I would not be considered a skilled horse handler, as that takes years and years of work and experience, just as I have in my own field.

In this book I have tried to show that it is not all black magic and mystery inside engines, and the average guy in the street can pull them to bits and reassemble them without any exceptional skills, just a bit of patience and common sense.

The extra non-engine sections that follow are really bits and pieces that may be of interest and help to those wanting some background in related subjects such as trailer construction etc.

There are four appendices at the end of the book, these cover tightening torques, gaskets, washers and the last section gives some brief explanations of some engine terms used in the book (it is not intended for experienced readers, although you may find some of it to be of interest)

We can now continue with the extra sections on trailers and engine mounting.

These sections were not written originally with an international audience, so my apologies if so many of the references to suppliers etc are UK orientated.

Now that your engine is finished, it is time to look into the method of mounting and transporting it to rallies and shows. Most engines are bought for eventual display, together with another piece of equipment such as a pump, generator or agricultural implement.

We will use the Lister 10/2 as our example, mainly because I have one, and my experiences will hopefully be of interest to others in the same position. It may also help avoid some of the pitfalls that I fell in to during the construction of our trailer.

Having decided what you are going to do with your engine, you will need to be able to store it, transport it and run it. The following sections cover the things we did to get our engine on the road.

Having decided on what your engine is going to drive, or not, as the case may be, you will have to put it on to something so that it will be mobile. There is not a lot of sense having an engine at home while you go to the rallies without it.

A trailer is the simplest solution to the transport problem, as long as you have a car or van to tow the trailer that is within current legislation. There are limits on the ratio of weights between the car and trailer, and you will also have to look at the new driver licensing regulations that start in January 1997 for NEW drivers.

A modern single or twin axle trailer can be assembled over a weekend from parts bought commercially. Or you can make your own from scratch to your own layout, subject to the trailer meeting braking, lighting and other safety regulations.

The Lister 10/2 weighs 1129 lbs which is as near to half a ton as makes no difference. That plus water and fuel and tools and other bits and pieces will add up to 1650 lbs pretty quickly, and that is without any driven implement.

Add a decent dynamo or alternator, plus a switchboard and you are looking at over a ton of equipment. If your engine is hopper cooled, then the trailer will have to support the cooling water weight (number of gallons x 10lb) as well, while it is standing in the rally field.

Assuming a LOAD weight of say 2300 lbs, your trailer chassis will weigh between about 600 to 850 lbs including wheels and brakes, thus you are designing for an all-up maximum weight of around 3140 lbs.

I have used Indespension equipment as an example here, and have used it on my own trailer. Whilst having no connection with the company I have been very pleased with their service and the performance of the kit they sell.

Looking through the Indespension catalogue, you can either use a pair of single suspension units or the later 'Superride' axle beams with two suspension units per beam. Taking the total trailer design weight at 3140 lbs or 1427 Kg, we can select either a single axle of 1500 Kg capacity, or two smaller axles of 750 Kg capacity each. The axles are available in a range of widths to suit various loads, and the wheels can be under the platform of the trailer or outside, depending on the load platform width required. Single suspension units will have to rated at half the total AXLE capacity.

We used Superride beams in our trailer, as we wanted the extra rigidity that the beams would give the chassis. Our trailer was originally designed to carry tanks for our horses supply of water, and we wanted to be able to carry at least one ton of water at a time. We had two 175 gallons ex- NATO portable plastic tanks, and a 300 gallon white polythene fixed tank which was sited at the field. (this is where the original Lister 'D' engines came in, to power the water pumps) The finished trailer rode extremely smoothly, much better than we expected, and we used it for the first time to collect the 10/2 engine on a round trip of about 250 miles without incident.

We drew up a trailer chassis made from 50 X 50 X 5mm steel box section, with 50 X 50 X 90 box for the drawbar. Because the mountings for the suspension units would need holes through the 50 X 50 box at a critical point, we doubled up on the section at that point and welded another piece inboard on both sides. The length of the trailer was restricted by our front garden, so we designed the last 0.7 metres of the chassis to hinge up, or be taken off for parking and for small loads where we would not need the full length. The construction was all welded, with full-length welds at each intersection of the box sections.

The choice of box section was made for three main reasons:-
1) It was stronger than angle or channel.
2) It could be fabricated and provide mounting points more easily.
3) It is more resistant to bending stresses and corrosion.

The only downside is that it is more expensive than other materials such as angle iron or channel, and of course it is heavier.

The coupling was a 'Triplelock' type, which included hydraulically damped braking and gas spring handbrake to comply with the latest regulations. The mounting of the coupling was by four M12 bolts with nyloc nuts. This type of coupling has an integral lock in the head which has a good quality barrel and key. The additional security provided was more than sufficient to offset the extra initial cost.

Once we had the chassis made, a few snags surfaced;

The first was that we had designed a deck for the trailer made of 18mm plywood, and that was to be mounted on welded 20 X 20mm angle around the inside of the chassis (in three sections plus one for the hinged rear) Once we had welded the angle in place, we lost the opportunity of bolting the mudguard supports through the side of the frame, and had to bolt through the top. It would have been tidier to come through the sides, and we would revise this arrangement next time to allow a smooth top along the chassis and deck (although we had to have the axle beam bolts in the top, whatever happened) We have since fitted welded-on angle iron brackets.

Another snag which surfaced was the position of ropinglashing points. We use ratchet straps which need a strong hook or eye on the chassis. Our fabricators welded eight hooks on the chassis, but the positions were not good if we were to use the steel hooks on our straps, as the hooks went on sideways and could slip off, even when tight. We will be replacing them this winter with more hooks in the right places.

The braking system was quite simple, and we had no problems with the standard parts supplied by Indespension. Both axles were braked, and we had to use cable brake linkages as they were standard for the Superride beams.

The brake cables were chosen for length between each axle and the brake equaliser, and the rod between the equaliser and the towing coupling was similarly chosen to suit the relative positions of the two ends. The equaliser assembly simply bolted onto the ends of the four brake cables, which in turn are held in a bracket which is part of the front axle.

The brake linkages were assembled and working in an evening, and it was mostly mechanical assembly. All parts were well greased on assembly, particularly the brake cable ends into the back of the brake assembly, and the brake cable outer sheath ferrules where they fit over the mountings on the brake backplates. These will not get looked at very often, and being near the ground will tend to get splashed during rain.

The equaliser assembly was another nut and bolt job, with grease being applied to all the exposed threads and pivots.

The handbrake is powered by a gas spring, and complies with new legislation for trailers with auto-reversing brakes. Once adjusted, ours held the trailer, engine and Vauxhall Midi on a steep gradient without problem; I had to try it out, just to make sure !

Nothing unusual here; we fitted side marker lights to the double mudguards, as they stick out about a foot wider than the Midi. The hinged rear section of the deck carries mounting points for the lighting board as well as the main frame at the hinge point.

We fitted rear fog lights as well as other standard lights; not because we expected to use the trailer in winter, but simply as a common-sense move. It must be false economy not to fit them, having paid out so much for the rest of the trailer. To avoid the light cables to the side marker lights flapping in the breeze, we sleeved them in PVC tubing and clipped them to the inside edge of the mudguards.

Our body was a flat platform of 18mm Plywood, with all surfaces painted with polyurethane varnish (3 coats) before fixing down to the welded angles inside the frame work. We did not drill the angles to fit the wood, but had 'joggled' strips of steel made up, which fitted over the edge of the angles and was then screwed into the plywood. This avoided a potential rust problem if we had drilled the angles for screws. The wood sits on a layer of sealer which is placed all round the angle before the wood is put in place. There were four pieces used, which used up 4 litres of varnish and two litres of white spirit for thinning and brush cleaning.

Once fitted, the frame of the trailer stands proud of the wood by about 2mm, and we use a piece of 5mm neoprene sheet over the wood if anything dirty or heavy is carried, together with some plywood to spread the load. Point loadings for the 18mm ply are quite high, but you don't want big gouge marks every time you drag or carry something on it. Having got a decent finish on the plywood, we didn't want it chewed up too quickly. We subsequently covered the whole deck in 3mm aluminium checker-plate.

Our load was to be spread over four wheels, so we went for 155 X 13 radial tyres on 4 1/2J four-stud wheels. This gave us a maximum wheel loading of 425 Kg, or 850 Kg per axle, which was inside the maximum of the two axles but over what we needed for the water tanks. To use the axles at a higher or full rating we would have to change to 165 (522 Kg per wheel) or 175 (670 Kg per wheel) tyres, and we could fit the larger tyres without changing the rims, although we do not want to run the trailer at 2 1/2 tons at the moment. (The maximum axle load is 1300 Kg per axle or 2600 Kg total - 2.55 tons)

The advantage of the present setup is that we can use the same spare wheel for the trailer as we have for our own caravan.

Don't forget, the design loading for the tyres and axles must include the total trailer weight as well as the load weight.

MUDGUARDS. Double mudguards of plastic were chosen, as they were available ex-stock and we couldn't make anything like them near the price. We had to make up fixing brackets from steel strip , but that was all. The mudguards are well outside the rest of the trailer body, so you will need side marker lights on them, one red/white dual unit per mudguard. Make sure that the fittings holding the mudguard in place are sturdy enough to take the shocks that will inevitably be transmitted from the main frame in use.

The frame was shot blasted and powder coated in semigloss black. It is quite durable, and will take a lot of abuse. Paint can of course be used if you want to hand or spray paint in your own colours. If you use a shot blaster, make sure the frame is taken into your painters and coated in primer within 24 hours. We also insisted on etching primer before coating so that corrosion would not be a problem later on.

Bolts, nuts etc. were all metric threads, and were all zinc plated. It is not worth the money saved to use black or self colour fasteners, as they go rusty on the first day of rain, and make everything look awful with running rust stains. We did use some stainless fittings on the mudguard, as the plated bolts rust very quickly once you have been through a winter with the trailer in use. 'Penny' washers were used on the mudguards to spread the load of the fixing bolt over a wider area of the plastic, otherwise the nut or bolt pulls through in no time. These were also in stainless.

To tow a two-ton trailer, your car or van must be able to perform the job with a decent reserve of power and braking. You cannot tow an unbraked trailer over 750 Kg under current legislation, and your car or van will have a recommended limit on both braked and unbraked trailer towing weights. Overseas weights and regulations differ. Note that cars have different limits to vans as follows:-

The Vauxhall (Bedford) Midi Diesel 2.2 Litre has an unbraked limit of 730 Kg, with no upper limit on braked trailers, but a Train Weight limit (van and trailer together) of 3500 Kg. The van carries its GTW on its vehicle plate inside on the passenger side, just behind the front passenger seat. All commercial vehicles that are not car-derived carry such plates.

A Volvo 940 2.3 Turbo Estate has a maximum unbraked trailer weight of 750 Kg, while the braked trailer weight increases to 1275 Kg. The 90% rule applies to most cars and vehicles, where the trailer weight must not exceed 90% of the cars unladen weight. The heavier your car, the heavier your trailer can be.

Thus a commercial vehicle has a slight advantage in the towing stakes, as it is governed more by the Train Weight than the 90% rule. This does allow heavier trailers to be towed by vans and Land Rovers etc., but the basic common sense rule of loading the trailer properly and setting the nosewheel weight (90-110 lbs) correctly still apply.

You are responsible for the car and trailer when towing, so get it right before you go on the road, and once there, keep it maintained in good roadworthy condition.

This combines the elements of structural steel fabrication with the display requirements of a nice finish. If you are going to use wood, I would not recommend it for use as part of a road trailer. It is OK for static displays, or where an engine trolley as an assembly is carried by a trailer, where you can rely on the trailer chassis for absorbing road shocks.

The sort of work that my engine was purchased for was rock crushing. The engine was bolted down to a steel framework which carried all the machinery required and the fuel and water.

The engine has to be bolted down to a structure that will carry the weight, and absorb braking/accelerating forces acting on the engine through the trailer frame. The weight of the engine and the turning moment under heavy braking are very considerable, and you must make sure that your trailer and engine frame will carry these forces, and more, for its design life.

Start with your engine and, say, a dynamo and switchboard of total weight of 1700lbs. The engine and dynamo will be bolted separately to the frame, with adjustment provisions to allow your drive belt to be correctly tensioned.

If you are going to leave the pair on the trailer permanently, then the basic 50 X 50 X 5 mm box section trailer chassis can be used in its doubled up form as already mentioned earlier.

If you want to be able to take the engine off, so that the trailer can be used for other carrying, then you will have to devise a method of lifting off half a ton of engine plus the framework plus the dynamo. We have a 30 CWT Yale chain hoist with which we can lift display equipment off the trailer, and we can fit other items on fairly quickly.

The perimeter frame is manufactured from 50 X 50 X 5mm box, with an outline that surrounds the engine and dynamo with an overlap at each end. The frame then has four cross pieces welded in to bolt the engine and dynamo to.

The frame is fairly low profile, and after providing adjustment slots for the dynamo belts, we had it coated in black. Then we made hardwood decking to cover the frame up, and make it look as though the engine was bolted to the wood.

The frame is bolted directly to the trailer chassis, with bolt heads fitted into recesses under the wood that the engine 'sits' on. The nyloc nuts underneath have 50mm square X 10 gauge steel plates under them to spread the localised load over a wide area, and to stop the trailer frame distorting.

The engine and dynamo are bolted to the frame by 9/16" or 5/8" high tensile plated bolts, with welded nuts on a plate inside the tubing. A spring washer of rectangular section is used under the head of the bolt, as the welded nuts are not locking types.

If you can find BSF bolts, then they will do very nicely, otherwise use Unified or Metric. Make sure that you use high tensile bolts rather than any old hardware.

The wood can be either full width and cover everything, or just cover the rails of the chassis. You could get 3" X 2" hardwood timber machined out to take the box section, or make up a deck of tongued and grooved pieces of something that will look nice and dark when varnished.
As you will no doubt spill oil and diesel on the deck, make sure that you have varnished it with a decent polyurethane varnish in a 75% gloss. The full gloss can look a bit out of place sometimes, but it is all a matter of preferences.

Messrs. Trimite manufacture various gloss levels in their paints, but the specialist suppliers will have to be consulted if you want something that is nonstandard in colour or finish. Ronseal are a company that come to mind, as does the 'International' brand of boat finishes.

If your engine requires a tank for cooling, then this will have to be constructed and fitted so that it will have sufficient height above the engine to allow a thermo-syphon flow to start, but not too high that it looks ridiculous. The tank can be made in the time honoured fashion from old drums, or it can be fabricated from scratch.

Old (or new) drums are ideal as they come cheap or for nothing, and they are universally available. If you do get hold of a secondhand drum, check what it has had in it, as some pretty awful chemicals are transported in 45 gallon drums.

After cutting the top out, leaving the thick rim in place, fit a pair of inlet and outlet stubs and a drain tap to the bottom. The position of the engine pipes will depend as much on the visual aspects as the actual engine requirements. The stubs should be soldered in for preference, or the more up to date among us can have steel stubs MIG welded into place. Soldering is more fragile, but does allow removal with some ease.

Paint the inside of the tank with a primer paint that is anticorrosive, and there you are. Note that the steel holding bars that you see on water tanks can be fabricated from 3/8" or 1/2" (10mm or 12mm) steel bar; make a thread on one end to go through the tank stand (Making sure that no threads appear above the stand) and form the other end into a hook after heating to red heat with a blowtorch. If you have a local blacksmith, he will probably do both jobs for under 20 for a set of four rods.

Tanks can be rolled up from sheet and welded, or you may be lucky and come across a thin gauge cylindrical tank at a scrap yard. Note that galvanised storage water tanks are very heavy, and can be as much as three times the empty weight of a 45 gallon drum.

Pipes between the engine and tank should be flexible, to allow for movement of the engine when running. It looks better (in my opinion) to use a long rigid pipe with a joint at each end, than have a long wobbly rubber pipe, or worse still, the convoluted 'fit anything' rubber hose. (It is not my intention to nitpick my way through everyone's favourite installation, but it is not a major problem finding the correct parts if you know where to look in the first place, and know what the parts should be in the second place, or vice-versa)

Pipe diameters should be no less than the inlet and outlet pipes on the engine, and if possible they should be larger. Pipe resistance over long lengths of hose with joints in is quite considerable, and the larger pipe bore will help to offset this.

The following table gives sizes of Lister tanks and positions in relation to the engine. Both the 5/1 and 10/2 engines are covered.

The dimensions of the tanks for the single and twin cylinder engines are as per the following table
(Dimensions taken from early Lister handbook (Book 103)

Engine5/1 Single cylinder10/2 Twin cylinder
Water tank height:-33.50" or 851mm48" or 1219mm
Water tank diameter:- 23" or 584mm30" or 762mm
Water tank base height above engine base:-20" or 508mm15.50" or 394mm
Fuel tank base height over engine base:-41" or 1041mm43" or 1092mm
Centre of water tank away from centre of engine (horizontally)32" or 813mm50" or 1270mm

A quick calculation will show that the total capacity of the single cylinder tank is going to be 227.80 litres or 50 gallons in round numbers, while the figures for the twin cylinder tank are 556 litres or 123 gallons. Allowing for another gallon or so in the actual engine, and the fact that you will not fill either tank to the very brim, you will be looking at 45 gallons for the single and 115 gallons for the twin.

The total weight of water is calculated by multiplying the number of gallons by ten. Add the weight of the tanks, and you are looking at 4.50 CWT and 11 CWT respectively (227 Kg and 545 Kg) Fuel will add a further 30 or 40 lbs, so you will need a substantial frame and supports if you are going to run the engine with full water capacities.

In practice, it is possible to run with much less water in the tank, but you will not get any thermo-syphon activity unless the engine has a column of water available to circulate.

One very elegant solution is that shown in the June 1996 'Stationary Engine' magazine on page 14 in David Edgington's series of 'Engine Torque' articles. He shows a 1935 6/1 with authentic tank etc., but the water tank has a smaller internal tank for display running, using probably a fifth of the water (and weight) The engine shown was restored by George Hayton and his son-in-law T. Wilkinson (we are not given Mr. Wilkinson's' first name in the article)

This engine also follows the Lister water pipe arrangement of having a single long rubber pipe between the engine and tank at each connection, although the stub length shown seems a bit longer than I have seen on standard engines (Mine is a radiator cooled unit)

Pipe clips are a period thing, and while stainless clips are now available from the vintage car movement which are similar to the first 'Jubilee' clips, I prefer to use the wire clips that are closer to the type Lister used than Jubilee types. If you can find the real thing - great.

Storage space for engine spares, oil, rags and other sundries should be on the trailer but out of view. Nothing looks worse than to have a multitude of oil cans, rags etc. scattered over an exhibit which otherwise has everything going for it. Provide a lockable compartment, usually underneath the tank stand, for those small bits and pieces, and keep anything else in the support van or car.

Starting handles should have their own spigot, bolted somewhere they can be found quickly, but out of the way of the action. The 10/2 engine has a 2" crank, so a 2" bar end with a 1/2" tapped hole in one end can be fitted to the frame. If the handle is going to travel in that position, a strap or bar to hold it in place should be provided so that it cannot fall off and cause an accident. A nylon or polypropylene bar will not go rusty with time, and can be threaded if required. Look in 'Model Engineer' for adverts of suppliers.

Fuel carriage is a bit of hazard, but decent jerry-cans can be bought new for about 15 - 20 each (new) and a couple in the proper holding frames (from ex-WD or Land-Rover) look a lot better (and are safer) than a couple of plastic drums in the boot of your car. Petrol is an especially dangerous commodity to carry around, and the Transport of Petroleum Act makes it illegal to carry more than a certain amount unless in approved containers. This does not include emergency petrol containers.

Water supplies for rallies are usually laid on, and I personally would not expect to have to carry water to a show or rally. I would take some inhibitor if I knew that the local water was hard, but bearing in mind that a 45 gallon drum of water weighs 470 lbs, it would add a huge overhead to the trailer or support vehicle weight (See water tank dimensions on previous page)

Support vehicles, or the 'tender loving care dept.' are a vital part of the display organisation, and we all need the tea/coffee and food as much as our engine needs its diesel and oil. Most wives and girlfriends/fiancees are very understanding about our hobby, but they expect to be kept warm and dry if they are stuck out in a field on a wet autumn day.

Providing you have sufficient vehicles to tow a trailer and a caravan, then you can live in comparative comfort on those rallies that are a fair distance away. If you only have the one towing vehicle, then a van is better than a car for accommodation, unless you can stay with relatives or in a hotel for the night(s) We have camped out of a van quite a few times over the years, and have retained enough kit to do it again if we cannot take our small caravan. Our preference is to tow the engine to rallies where we can get home again within 4 hours maximum drive time, as we have to feed the horses etc. every day unless we can make other arrangements.

FIRST-AID Apart from the food and comfort departments, you should also carry a first aid kit; not an odd plaster and a bit of old bandage, but a full kit with scissors, bandages and burn ointment. Kits are not expensive when you consider how many accidents happen at rallies, not just the odd cut finger but burns, scalds and things in the eye. We all rely on the rally organisers to a degree for first aid treatment, but we should be self sufficient in this sort of thing without being chased to do it. Don't forget, like insurance, you never need it if you've got it with you.

First-aid spares for the engine (if a running exhibit) should include gaskets, injector pipes, one injector and pump, governor spring and an assortment of useful things like split pins, cable ties and tinned copper wire. Petrol engines will need plugs and points and a bit of HT cable for the magneto.

The more modern your engine, the less likely you are to have a sudden and mysterious failure, although diesels are prone to sticky injector valves, and diesel pipes with cracks that let air be sucked in. You will get to know 'your' engine after a couple of seasons, and it will eventually settle down to a level of reliability which will stay constant for some time, until something sticks or breaks. Bearing in mind that the engines are over half a century old, it is remarkable how reliable they are.

A few last items:

Many exhibits are spoilt by being exhibited in a way that does not show them off to their best advantage. We recently went to a rally where there was a decent if limited collection of engines.

The largest engine was very impressive, and was of such a size that it could be seen easily by onlookers without crowding the safety fence. Walking along, we were taking pictures and looking at the exhibits when we came to a number that were not only physically quite small, they were also sitting on the ground in the grass, with no display label or log sheet to show what they were to the interested onlooker.

By contrast, a couple of displays at the rally were the very model for what we should be doing: one was a Stuart Turner generating set, quite small and very detailed. The owner had brought along a small table or stand, about 20" high to bring the display up to a level where the public could get a decent view of the intricacies of the unit. A clear log sheet in large text gave all the information that you could require. The other was a small Slanzi single cylinder unit, very nicely turned out and similarly raised up on a small stand to get it into the public view.

Another item that catches the eye, and offends the engineer in us is the number of displays with over-loose flat belts driving portable equipment, or worse still, loose V belts running on bare crankshaft ends. I know that it is not always possible to know what equipment is going to be driven if you are borrowing other peoples gear, but there were other displays that day with correctly tensioned belts on loose gear/implements, and they obviously had no trouble getting the display set up correctly.

I know that 'Stationary Engine' magazine editor Gordon Wright has mentioned this sort of thing in the past, and he is right: we have to be 'Display Minded', not just engine reconditioners and restorers.

Many engine displays are based, as ours are, on a trailer which has a certain resilience built into its suspension. When the mounted or loaded engine is running, the trailer shakes about like a jelly.

Corner mounted stands help, but they are usually only a temporary fix for the problem, not a cure. Our Start-O-Matic makes the whole trailer, trolley, water and fuel tanks shake about when it goes through a vibration period which matches that of the trolley and trailer.

Looking at ways around the problem, the first item to look at is the largest and most flexible lump on the engine or trailer - usually the water tank. If this is not rigidly fixed down, it will work like a pendulum once exited by a resonance at its natural vibration frequency. A small change to the mounting of the tank made a big difference on ours, and all it entailed was some bracing at the foot of the stand for the water tank. Also, as a potential weak spot, we may have avoided a fracture there at some time in the future.

Screw corner jacks are the other item worth looking at, as they do not all clamp the supporting thread solidly once you are in place, and the four corners remain free to move in a horizontal plane while prevented from moving in a vertical plane.

The simpler and cheaper sliding pillar supports are better for being rigid, but you still need some method to get the trailer deck in place and level before you can drop them down and lock off.

Hydraulic jacks are a bit of a luxury on trailers, but I have seen an articulated exhibition trailer, 40 foot long, arrive, level up and be in use within 20 minutes, all with four main and two auxiliary hydraulic jacks built into the trailer and powered by the tail-lift hydraulics - very nice!

© Peter & Rita Forbes 2000 - 2003
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7