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Old 07-27-2021, 05:14 PM   #1
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Default Ramps or Lifts for access under RV?

Hey folks:
I have a 2008 Roadtrek Versatile 210 and even after having the chassis lifted about 3" last off-season, there is not enough room to get underneath and replace a macerator discharge hose. Does anyone have a recommendation for a set of ramps/jacks/lifts that ae relatively inexpensive, yet safe and effective to gain access for simple DIY repairs and maintenance?

Thanks in advance,

Grizwald
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Old 07-27-2021, 05:26 PM   #2
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you are dealing with 9000#


( our friends lost their son under a car in the driveway)


I use 2 10- ton floor jacks to lift the van


it's really important to be on a stable surface, my driveway is concrete- asphalt may crumble when hot


I lift the front of the van slightly and get jack stands secured underneath.


lift the van again, raise the jackstands and etc


then I move to the rear and lift, place stands, lift, raise stands and etc.


I go back and forth from the rear to the front raising incrementally



once I have the van at working height ( as low as possible) I have a total of 8 jack stands underneath on the chassis and frame rails



( and the floor jacks off to the side, they cannot be trusted to hold a load)


push/pull/shake the van- make sure it is secure


KNOW that any high torque tool use can move the van or make unstable


KNOW that removing parts can change a balance point and make unstable



if you are doing suspension work and secured on the frame, floor jacks can be used to move the suspension up or down to line up the attachments of shocks or etc.
be careful not to unbalance the weight on the stands



really important to keep kids, dogs and distractions away


if you are not comfortable with any of this or interested in buying a few hundred dollars worth of jacks and stands, find a shop



mike
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Old 07-27-2021, 05:52 PM   #3
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I also use jacks and stands, but as mentioned you need a good surfaces and some experience and care to do it correctly and safely.


For an at home, occasional use, setup, screwed together 2X10 built up ramps are plenty solid, but be sure to put sturdy stop blocks on the tops so the tires drop in, cradled, between them, plus very good wedge blocks on the wheels that are still on the ground.
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Old 07-27-2021, 11:34 PM   #4
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Ramps made from the orange blocks work for me. Front, rear, or side but never all four wheels. Don’t forget a wheel stop.
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Old 07-28-2021, 12:03 AM   #5
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ramps built from 2x10s are by far the safest way to go. If you make them long enough, I see no need for wheel stops. If you use one for each wheel it is exactly like parking on the ground. Put it in park and set the brake and it will be just fine.

Lift.jpg
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Old 07-28-2021, 12:19 AM   #6
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I have ramps made out of 2x12s like Avanti and I also use 10 ton jack stands when I want to support the van from the front or rear frame horns. A little 3 ton stand is OK to stick under the lower control arm for a brake job. I buy the stands that have the bottoms of the corners plated in so that they don't sink into dirt or hot asphalt. I also have a collection of steel plates that I put under them most of the time.
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Old 07-28-2021, 02:41 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Stevemo View Post
I have ramps made out of 2x12s like Avanti and I also use 10 ton jack stands when I want to support the van from the front or rear frame horns. A little 3 ton stand is OK to stick under the lower control arm for a brake job. I buy the stands that have the bottoms of the corners plated in so that they don't sink into dirt or hot asphalt. I also have a collection of steel plates that I put under them most of the time.
I made mine out of 6by6 and 2by12 high enough to work under comfortable and put 2by4 blocks at end to cradle tires on top of ramp and braced all up the ramp. Works great
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Old 07-28-2021, 04:46 PM   #8
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I like the idea of 2 X 12 ramps.
I use 20 tons bottle jacks backed up with 3 or 4 stands all around.
Bottle jacks are not stable due to the small footprint. So yes when applying force on a breaker bar for example may push the truck to fall of the jacks.

As mkguitar wrote, never ever skimp on security. No matter how much more time it takes to get it secured and stable.... it's cheap compared to injury or even death.

It is not only happening in movies.... A man died last week crushed under his car in my neighborhood.

Good luck

@Robert: can you post pics of your ramps ?
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Old 07-28-2021, 10:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
ramps built from 2x10s are by far the safest way to go. If you make them long enough, I see no need for wheel stops. If you use one for each wheel it is exactly like parking on the ground. Put it in park and set the brake and it will be just fine.

Attachment 11810
I agree with wood blocks. I made some for leveling which I can use. But with your already 3" lift, I'd be surprised if you need more than two as there aren't many places I can't go under mine after my 3" lift.
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Old 07-28-2021, 11:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by rowiebowie View Post
I agree with wood blocks. I made some for leveling which I can use. But with your already 3" lift, I'd be surprised if you need more than two as there aren't many places I can't go under mine after my 3" lift.
True, but I added the height of a creeper. Pure luxury.
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Old 07-28-2021, 11:55 PM   #11
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True, but I added the height of a creeper. Pure luxury.
You cheat. Scuffing skin and clothes while scooting around on concrete is a time-honored tradition.
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Old 07-29-2021, 02:28 PM   #12
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I also made mine from 2x10s. I have mine 5 layers high. I don’t like jacks and jack stands. I can send you my pics.
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Old 07-29-2021, 06:41 PM   #13
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Yep, 2x10 s for me also. I have a rather complete set and can raise the RT to an OK height for things like the OP mentioned (macerator hose). I replaced my hose with a thick Goodrich industrial ag sprayer hose you can buy at Tractor Supply. It is the proper ID and is a once in a lifetime job with this kind of hose, which is 125psi rated, not that you will have that kind of pressure but the woven material embedded in the hose assures a long life.

I put a quick connect on the end by the flex hose storage box on the driver's side of the RT so when that wears out again (and it will) it is a non-crawling fixing event without getting underneath the RT.
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Old 07-30-2021, 06:13 PM   #14
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Thanks for the good tips. What is the ID of the replacement hose?
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Old 07-30-2021, 07:18 PM   #15
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The hose from the RT Macerator to the connection I made for the flex hose in the storage box was a one inch ID Goodyear (I said Goodrich in my original post) 150 psi hose I bought by the foot at Tractor Supply.

A guy that posts here by the handle Topwop did the same thing and then made a nice video of it which I think is posted somewhere in this forum. You could PM him and ask for a link to his video, which was quite instructive.
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:18 PM   #16
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I’m in the process of building 4 layers up (6”) with 2 x 12s. I have a creeper so will test it. My nerf side bars have a clearance of 8” and everything underneath has a minimum clearance of 11”. Why do I need those ramps? Duh, I don’t know.
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Old 08-01-2021, 04:09 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Swishewk View Post
Thanks for the good tips. What is the ID of the replacement hose?
Attached is a pic of the hoses I ordered and installed on a friend's 2010 RT 210V. These are the same hoses on my 2008 RT 210P.
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File Type: jpg Dump Hoses for 2008 Roadtrek 210.JPG (83.7 KB, 32 views)
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Old 08-01-2021, 05:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grizwald View Post
Hey folks:
I have a 2008 Roadtrek Versatile 210 and even after having the chassis lifted about 3" last off-season, there is not enough room to get underneath and replace a macerator discharge hose. Does anyone have a recommendation for a set of ramps/jacks/lifts that ae relatively inexpensive, yet safe and effective to gain access for simple DIY repairs and maintenance?

Thanks in advance,

Grizwald
"Clark" Grizwald -

You don't say whether you also have a garage parking need as well, & since others reading here may need more garage parking - I've also covered lifts below. But they're generally not going to be cost effective for just doing work under your RV &/or other vehicles.

For cost effectiveness - either ramps rated for 9000+ lbs if store-bought or 2x10 or 2x12 will work.

But as others have said you need to have the top steps long enough to place wheel chocks front & rear - whether using one end or all 4 wheels up.

For a bit more cost, but maybe worth it if you're working on your RV &/or vehicles a lot - is a floor jack + 2 or 4 jack stands (one end or all 4 wheels up respectively) - ALL of which rated for 9000+ lbs of your RV or heaviest vehicle you'll be lifting.

If only lifting one end, then you'll need to chock front & rear of the grounded wheels.

As for jack stands - Do NOT get the Ratcheted type - as they've been proven to be fatal & injurious when the ratchets slip or are bumped. Use only the type with set-pins to hold the adjustable shaft.

Also get the jack & stands rated for the full load that you'll be lifting - not just for the one wheel or one end (1/2) of the total weight of the vehicle, because you don't want any one jack stand or the jack compromised if any other of the 4 corners' stands/jack are unsupported or drops/fails.

The most expensive option are the lifts, which make sense if you're doing a lot of vehicle work, restoring cars/trucks, &/or need to make extra parking spaces with a lift. They range for several $100+ for portable & fixed scissors lifts - to $1-4000+ for built-in 2 or 4 post lifts.

However - I would not recommend anything but a 4 post lift if you're looking to park 2 or 4 cars on & under lifts, due to needing stability in the case of earthquakes &/or tornado/hurricane/wind forces that can set a 2-post lift off-balance, failing & then losing 2 or 4 cars.

4 Post lifts come in singe or double wide flavors depending on your needs & garage layout, in order to double your parking capacity in one or both garage bays.

However, you need to have the necessary interior clear height in your garage for the lift carriage height + the bottom vehicle height with a couple/few inches clear above it + the top vehicle ht. + a couple-few inches clear above it to the nearest ceiling/rafter/joist/lights/roll-up door/etc. above.

Usually you would put the lightest, shortest, smallest, least used vehicle(s) on top. So you'd probably keep even the less used RV on the floor space(s), & that's where you put your little weekend driver sports car or resto project or "Dad's old car" on top.

If you have adequate garage clear height - then a 4 post lift will be less costly than expanding or rebuilding your garage, and often less cost if you can raise the clear height of your garage a bit or raise it's roof. The needed minimum clear height will vary by lift design & manufacturer/model, and by what vehicles you'll be parking in there.

This is especially so for those of use with small city lots lacking space to expand at ground level for more cars, &/or have zoning &/or CCR/Homeowner Association restrictions on expanding their garages for more cars - &/or where less expensive steel sheds & prefab garage buildings are prohibited by any of the preceding.

If you have enough floor area to fit in 1 or 2x or 3x single car lifts or 1 + 2 or 1+ 2 + 1, then you'll be well served to have at least one single lift for working on a vehicle, without needing to move out 3-4 cars just to work under one. If you're lucky enough to already have a 2, 3 or 4 car garage with enough clear height & width to do single post lifts - then you could opt to keep one bay (parking slot) open to park your RV on the ground level, & then have 1 single vehicle service lift, plus one or more single &/or double vehicle lifts to expand your indoor vehicle parking storage capacity.

However, in some cases with a tight 2-car garage you can only use a double 4-post lift, & just have to move 2 vehicles under & 1 or both on top. For example in our case - we have space/zoning/cost limitations - and our 1921 "2 car" garage was made for Model T's & wagons, and as such it's only 18' W. x 17'-6" D. out-to-out including the 2x3 walls & x 7' Clear H. - so we must both raise the interior clear ht. & do one 2 vehicle 4 post lift to get 4 parking spaces in our garage.

In these types of garages & in some tight 1-car garages you may need to use a manufacturer & model who can allow you to customize the footprint & height of the lift(s) to fit you situation. Also, some offer 4-6-8 post lift designs to fit vehicles in tandem parking garages with 2 cars one in front of the other in the garage & on the lift.

As above for jacks/stands/ramps - the lift should be rated for the combined weight(s) of all vehicles which would be using them.

In some areas you may still need city/county permits, and especially if you may have to saw-cut your existing floor-slab to insert & tie-in with reinforcing rods for deeper footing pads under the lift leg bases - depending on your garage floor slab's thickness, reinforcement & weight rating vs. the lift's specs.

So while you can certainly build some cost effective 2x ramps to change your hose - if you also need more garage parking spaces - the lift option may be your better long term solution to do eventually.

Good Luck & Be Safe!
Tom
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Old 08-01-2021, 05:37 PM   #19
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I bought heavy duty ramps to lift my 94C210P They are Rhino Ramps Max rated at 16000 lbs gross vehicle weight they worked good for me
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Old 08-01-2021, 05:40 PM   #20
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A 10K+ lb four post for $1K?
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