BAL Stabilizer Jacks for Leveling Airstream

When you park your Airstream, it’s rarely on perfectly level ground.  Chocks and blocks of wood or rubber under and around the wheels can help even things out and keep the trailer from moving, but stabilizer jacks are best for keeping your home on wheels from wobbling all over the place while you walk around inside.

The Airstream part number for the original jacks is 400093-A, and the manufacturer’s number for the replacements (which are pretty much identical) is 20-8-T.

You can weld the jacks to the frame, but it’s much easier (and equally effective) to simply bolt each jack to the frame of the Airstream (be sure to bolt to the appropriate cross members).  I used self-threading bolts and drove them directly through each jack’s 1/4″ holes and into the Airstream frame.  The bolts are really only holding the jacks to the frame; once opened, the jacks stay in place because the weight of the trailer is bearing down upon them (gravity!).

You will want to be sure you are getting jacks with the extended operating arm, as it protrudes farther to the edge of the trailer than the “normal” operating arm.  If you have the shorter arm, you will have to crawl under your Airstream every time you need to extend the jack.  The operating arm is turned by a crank, but I plan on keeping a socket in my Airstream toolkit so I can operate the jack with my drill (manual cranking is for chumps).

installing stabilizers

installing stabilizers (they are on blocks because the entire Airstream is currently lifted for working on the tanks and bellypan)

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I have heard many tales of people forgetting to crank up their jacks when they leave a site.  As you can imagine, this could cause some pretty serious damage to your trailer’s underside, not to mention destruction of the jacks themselves.

Also, NEVER use your jacks to lift the trailer.  They are rated for 2,000#’s (static load) each, but they are NOT meant to lift your Airstream off the ground.

Manual:
Deluxe BAL “T” Type Stabilizing Jack (20-8-T) mounting and operation manual via Norco Industries
http://norcoind.com/bal/downloads/manuals/T-Type%20Stabilizing%20Jack%20%2820-8-T%29.pdf

Purchasing options:
http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/BAL_Deluxe_Stabilizing_Jack_p/vts-739.htm

http://odmrv.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=369

Discussion:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f43/bal-stabilizer-jacks-7640.html

6 thoughts on “BAL Stabilizer Jacks for Leveling Airstream

  1. Where can U purchase the Bal stabilizer jacks. When they are in the up position for travel how high are they. I what to install stabilizer jacks on my Argosy it has a 17′ ground clearance. I don’t want to get into a situation where they may bottom out going over different grades. Looking at the sizzor type and the are about 4 1/2 inches high in the re-track position.

  2. First question: there are TWO links for purchasing in the post. I also posted the exact original part number *as well as* a manufacturers number for replacements. I’m not sure how much more I can do for you short of actually purchasing them and delivering to wherever you’re standing.

    As far as clearance goes, 4.5″ sounds about right for these too. I just measured them on my Airstream, and the track/arm comes down about 2.25″ from the belly, but the swivel foot at the end (the pad that actually presses against the ground when deployed) hangs down about four and a half inches. Hope this helps!

  3. Thanks for the reply I have two more questions. Can you lift at all once the jack arm comes down and contacts the ground with a little tension is that it, or can I lift another inch or two just to level the trailer side to side. Secondly can I mount the jack arm the length of the trailer frame using the cross member frame also. My problem is in the front the line for the the propane is in the way. I am just trying to figure out which way to go with the Bal or Scissors jacks.

  4. You really don’t want to lift with your stabilizers. I was doing that a bit at first, but quickly realized it’s bad for the jacks and bad for the trailer. You really want to get something under the wheels (either those plastic blocks, or just 2×6 or 2×8’s) to do the lifting, then use the stabilizers to keep things solid.

    Also, and as obvious as this sounds, stabilizers go down last and up first (1. level with blocks 2. set up wheel chocks 3. put down tongue jack to level length-wise 4. deploy stabilizers). I also learned that the hard way. If you have your stabilizers down and *then* use the tongue jack, you *will* bend or break something. If you’ve got a weight distribution hitch, even unhooking that after putting the stabilizers down can cause major issues (always put stabilizers down last).

    If you run the stabilizers length-wise, they won’t really be able to do their job. The trailer will still be able to “roll” side to side on the “ridge” of the length-wise stabilizer. It would be best to either drop the propane line where it goes over the stabilizer (it’s easier than it sounds), or move the stabilizer in toward center a bit if that’s an option (though it will be harder to get to the stabilizer jack to lower/raise if you do that). If you move the stabilizer in a little, it won’t be able to do it’s job quite as well as out to the side, but it would still be way better than running it length-wise.

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