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Old 09-12-2016, 11:20 PM   #1
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Default How do you jack up a Roadtrek

Since I've had my 2005 Roadtrek 210 Popular I have been frustrated. It is so low you can't see under to see where to place a floor jack, or the pads for a 2 post lift. Not to mention all of the tanks and compartments preventing the use of a jack. And it is so long behind the axle it would need a very long jack to reach.
I became aware of column lifts that have a "fork" to raise the vehicle by lifting the tire. I found the "Ikotec" brand lift, They have an electric motor that turns a screw. Capable of raising a vehicle 36 inches. Available in 3000 and 6000 weight ratings. While not cheap, I bought 2 of the 3000 units. I was thinking that raising each end of the MH at a time, then raising the other end would work. On the front they work just fine. On the rear, because the 210 has a wider body the forks don't quite reach all the way under the tire. While not ideal it does work. I'm thinking I will have some braces welded on the forks at the bend to add some strength. On other Roadtreks or other vehicles that use the full van body they should work as designed. The fly in the ointment with my thinking was the tires on the ground move toward the end being raised. So I am going to make frame stands on wheels to allow for this. If the 2 ends are raised alternately a few inches at a time this should not be a problem. However it would be a pain in the backside to keep moving the lifts. 4 of them is the answer, but I can't afford that solution.
I emptied the tanks before raising the body.
In the picture you can see a ramp under the tire for safety.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Ikotec 003.jpg (190.1 KB, 27 views)
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Old 09-12-2016, 11:34 PM   #2
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There is room to get under the front with many of the lowboy 3 ton floor jacks. The center crossmember is no longer an approved jack point, but using two floor jacks, one at each end of the crossmember works well. Then you set it on jackstands on the frame just to the rear of the front wheels. It is best to go up about 3-4" on the front first, then go do the the rear, and then come back and do the front higher.

The rear you just lift with a floorjack on the differential case dead center, and set it on jack stands on the rear axle tubes.

When using a floor jack, the jack point does move, as you mention, but it is not usually the van you want to move, as one end will commonly already be on stands. That is one of the reasons floorjacks have wheels. The jack should move to stay under the van as you lift it, so you need to be on a good surface so it can roll.

I have done our 07 C190P this way dozens of times without issue. I have two Alcan (Costco or Northern tool) 3 ton floor jacks and a set of 4 3 ton jack stands.
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Old 09-13-2016, 12:37 AM   #3
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Hi Booster,
I notice you have a 190. As I recall it is both lighter and shorter.
Of the 3 floor jacks I have, When the longest one is placed under the pumpkin, the handle is under the vehicle. Plus, I can't see it because of the generator. If I raise the front first the jack in the back handle has very little room to move, besides not being able to get a grip on it. And as the rear raises the jack moves further under the vehicle making jacking even harder.
When I tried raising the rear first the jack handles in the front can barely move up and down.
The column lifts eliminate the aforementioned issues.
Also, I prefer to avoid using one jack under the pumpkin on a vehicle of this weight. Mine is 5140 on the rear axle. So when I used 2 jacks I still have the height restricting the handle movement issue front or rear.
You are fortunate the floor jacks work for you.
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Old 09-13-2016, 12:41 AM   #4
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.

Low Profile Floor Jack - 2 Ton, Rapid Pump® Jack




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Old 09-13-2016, 12:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deano View Post
Hi Booster,
I notice you have a 190. As I recall it is both lighter and shorter.
Of the 3 floor jacks I have, When the longest one is placed under the pumpkin, the handle is under the vehicle. Plus, I can't see it because of the generator. If I raise the front first the jack in the back handle has very little room to move, besides not being able to get a grip on it. And as the rear raises the jack moves further under the vehicle making jacking even harder.
When I tried raising the rear first the jack handles in the front can barely move up and down.
The column lifts eliminate the aforementioned issues.
Also, I prefer to avoid using one jack under the pumpkin on a vehicle of this weight. Mine is 5140 on the rear axle. So when I used 2 jacks I still have the height restricting the handle movement issue front or rear.
You are fortunate the floor jacks work for you.
The jacks we have are of a short enough stroke to move even if completely under the vehicle. We are about the same weight on the rear, but if you have it on stands in the front, the engine weight counterbalances it quite a bit, so the rear lift is really easy.

If that is not an option, just get one of these.

https://www.menards.com/main/tools-h...4445157776.htm

It is what the truck guys use and will lift a Roadtrek like it is a bicycle and should give you a lot of room.
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Old 09-13-2016, 01:36 AM   #6
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Thanks for the input guys. I don't think the 2 ton is strong enough and the 5 ton only raises 22 inches less the height of the diff. Again, I don't like a jack under the pumpkin. I used to do this on many cars until I damaged a rear diff cover doing so.
The Ikotec raises 36". In the picture my MH is only raised less than a third of that.
Admittedly, the jacks cost much less.
I didn't mention my old age and physical problems as they have nothing to do with the general subject, but for me, I find the columns so much easier to use.
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Old 09-13-2016, 11:20 AM   #7
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I dunno- my jacks and stands have a combined cost of under $200 and i can lift a multitude of vehicles.

including my pleasure way- often the rear is lifted under the differential, with the weight held by jackstands on the frame rails.

especially since probably the main reason to lift the van is to remove a wheel.

with jackstands at the frame and a jack at the pumpkin, I can more easily install shocks etc

mike
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Old 09-13-2016, 12:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deano View Post
Thanks for the input guys. I don't think the 2 ton is strong enough and the 5 ton only raises 22 inches less the height of the diff. Again, I don't like a jack under the pumpkin. I used to do this on many cars until I damaged a rear diff cover doing so.
The Ikotec raises 36". In the picture my MH is only raised less than a third of that.
Admittedly, the jacks cost much less.
I didn't mention my old age and physical problems as they have nothing to do with the general subject, but for me, I find the columns so much easier to use.
The Ikotec web is evasive.

It does not specify the lifting weight.

One line says the Ikotec 3000 model can lift a 6,000 lb vehicle.
Another line says "with lifting capacity of vehicles up to 5000 lbs."

Lifting a 6,000 lb vehicle on one wheel does not equal to lifting 6,000 lbs.


I suspect the "3000" model has a lifting weight of 3,000 lbs,
which is 1.5 tons.



Not trying to say you made a bad purchase. Just curious.


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Old 09-13-2016, 12:13 PM   #9
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Some of the following will have been covered by other posters.

The Ikotec looks like it would be handy to have and easy enough to use provide you have space to move and store them. The $$$$$ involved would make it too expensive for a lot of folks. The 2500 lb label visible in the photo you posted would seem to indicate that it is maxed out or possible overloaded with the rear corner weight of a 210. Good idea to use the ramp as you did.

Long custom made wood ramps would be a cheaper alternative but they wouldn't give much lift as the design would have to ensure that there would be no way to damage the fiberglass. You'd have to then continue the lift with bottle jacks or a floor jack and then support with stands.

Similarly, new front coils and rear air lift bags might give as much as 2" lift thus permitting that much more clearance to position bottle jacks or other traditional home garage lifting tools.

You're limited in what you can accomplish if weight remains on the wheels. A tire rotation for example is easier when the van is up on four stands.

I can use a fairly small 8 ton bottle jack to put my van up on four stands. I have to use blocks under the jack though and remember to remove some blocking during the multi-stage lowering process else I end up with the van stuck on the fully retracted bottle jack. One of the places I use the bottle jack is hidden from view by a waste tank but it is very easy to position it by feel. Only my arms would be under the van while using the bottle jack.

The are two images in this topic: http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f8...ss-b-2452.html - they show lift/support points for newer and older vans.
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Old 09-19-2016, 02:46 AM   #10
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I appreciate all of the comments.
I spoke with the Ikotec USA guy, he said the lift was engineered with an adequate safety margin to be safe in my application.
The negatives are cost and size. When not being used the front of the lift goes under the MH so it takes up little floor space.
As for cost, it is worth it, as the bending, getting down low ETC are a challenge for me.
As for tire service, I can lift the MH with the Ikotec and use stands (which I would use regardless) I can then use the lift to move and position the tire if desired.
These can used for other vehicles as well.
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