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Main Forum => General Discussion => Topic started by: Geojude on September 27, 2011, 03:39:15 pm

Title: Leveling jacks
Post by: Geojude on September 27, 2011, 03:39:15 pm
Being new to the RV experience, I have a question re: leveling jacks.  We got our 2006 2552 last weekend (thanks for the welcomes to the forum!), and it is equipped with leveling jacks.  However, it has not been used for almost two years, although it was garaged during this time.  I am reluctant to lower the leveling jacks because I'm afraid they may become stuck due to lack of use.  Any thoughts?  Please keep in mind that I am not terribly handy when it comes to DIY (but I'm getting better!)

Title: Re: Leveling jacks
Post by: TomHanlon on September 27, 2011, 04:15:18 pm
Go ahead and lower the jacks. They are self lubricating, so you should lower and raise them a few times. Then you should be aok.
Title: Re: Leveling jacks
Post by: lmichael on September 27, 2011, 06:55:15 pm
I've had leveling jacks on both my PCs with no problems.  Your jacks should not get stuck, but there is a manual way to get them to move.  Should you have any problems, just let us know and I'll get the instructions out.
Title: Re: Leveling jacks
Post by: Geojude on September 27, 2011, 09:44:39 pm
Took it out tonight and tried them out.  They seem to work fine - just have to get the hang of leveling the rig out.

Title: Re: Leveling jacks
Post by: kevin on September 28, 2011, 04:11:18 pm

My jacks suffer operator error

I have a little note I still refer to that reads side or side THEN front or back   Then OFF
 :-D (i just peeked at note to make sure)
if (when) I don't push the OFF button I seem to loose the left front jack, as announced by a BOING of the spring thingies.

Title: Re: Leveling jacks
Post by: lmichael on September 28, 2011, 09:37:55 pm
Strange. Mine turns off when I turn the ignition key off.  The installer in Elkhart told me what you said: sides first, then front/back.  To get an initial quick idea of level/out of level, I leveled the pc then put one of those travel trailer levels above the control to see side to side condition, and one on the door to see front to back condition.  That way I can judge the slope of the site as I move into it.
Title: Re: Leveling jacks
Post by: Ron Dittmer on September 29, 2011, 11:20:18 am
I do not have leveling jacks, but admittedly have always been curious about them.

We camp most often in primative camp grounds where on occasion, the campsite is quite sloped, so much that leveling blocks cannot be stacked high enough.

With leveling jacks, do you find yourself in similar predicament?  Do you say at times......"That parking pad won't work with my jacks" ?

Do the jacks extend down so far, and are strong enough as to actually lift the front and rear tires off the ground?

If on a slope, is there risk of the jacks getting too much horizontal pressure as to collapse, fold, or even damage them or the rig?

What are the expectations with leveling jacks?  Do they offer the same as blocks with the same "slope limitations", offering the convenience alone?  Or do they offer more than blocks can provide?
Title: Re: Leveling jacks
Post by: Bob Mahon on September 29, 2011, 12:40:22 pm
I've had jacks on all but 2 of my motorhomes and have seen others do some really dumb things with them.
Jacks provide a convenient and flexible method to level and stablize a rig on a moderately sloped site but are not a universal solution.
A word of caution: do not ever lift the rear tires off the ground because the coach will be free to roll.
Yes, you can block the front wheels but you'll still be taking a chance. Especially so with tilt-away jacks.
Title: Re: Leveling jacks
Post by: TomHanlon on September 29, 2011, 04:06:59 pm
Been there, done that. The rear end was really low and I was raising it when the rear wheels lifted off the ground and the motorhome rolled back about two feet. The jacks folded forward and when the wheels hit the ground the parking brake stopped it from rolling any more. No harm to the jacks. I retracted the jacks and everything was ok. Now I am a lot more carefull about how high the rear is being lifted. It did scare me at the time, but a good drink fixed that also.  :-D
Title: Re: Leveling jacks
Post by: Bob Mahon on September 29, 2011, 05:39:38 pm
Scary story. You got lucky.

At one of the CGs we stopped at the fella in front of us in an Eagle DP had a flat right right inner rear tire (one of those 22.5 inch bus wheels requiring 450 ft. lbs. of Torque on the lug nuts). Instead of calling a tire shop he decided to remove the wheel and take it for service.
He extends the rear jacks as far as they'll go but no dice. Wheel is still on the ground. In his infinite wisdom he stacks 4x4s under the jacks and tried again, getting the right side up with plenty of ground clearance. Then he decides he wants to rotate the wheel to make things easier and releases the parking brake.

A mighty CCW tug on the Torque multiplier to break a lug loose and, of course, the left wheel rotates forward; running the Eagle off the 4X4s. The Eagle, in majestic effort, swoops across the drive and attacks the Bluebird across way.

You can't make this stuff up and it's almost as much fun to watch some of these people as it is to see the antics at a public boat launch.
Title: Re: Leveling jacks
Post by: lmichael on September 30, 2011, 11:25:06 am
Ron, the jacks are a convenience and provide quick leveling without digging out the leveling blocks and driving up several times to get level.  However, I do pass up sites that I believe are too sloped for my jacks--I have also moved to another site after trying several times to get level.  Blocks would have been better on some of those sites.  The jacks can lift front and back wheels off the ground, so you do have to be careful.  I, too, have raised the back wheels off the ground on a backward slope with the same roll back result.  I'm now much more careful and observant.  I am going to buy blocks (now that I have a toad to store them in) to provide more options.  Since you've used blocks for so long and can probably judge what's needed to get level, I would think jacks would be a needless expense for you.
Title: Re: Leveling jacks
Post by: Ron Dittmer on September 30, 2011, 12:15:25 pm
Thanks all for the commentrs on leveling jacks.

lmichael specifically, thanks for the clarity that sunk in for me.  I understand better now in regards to expectations.

I see that leveling jacks have value, especially when I get more "senior" in life.  I am sure having them installed on my older rig is always an option I could exercise later.  

You mentioned "Since you've used blocks for so long and can probably judge what's needed to get level".  Actually those little Hoppy Levels work great on determining how high the blocks should be stacked so I get the rig within an inch of level at the first attempt.  Each tick mark on the Hoppy level represents one inch.  I count how many marks the bubble is off and know right away how many blocks I need.  I use the bright orange Lynx Leveling blocks that are one inch high each.  So basically how many ticks from "level" equates to how many blocks high the stack needs to be.

I also have Hoppy Levels inside the cab by the driver.  When we pull into a site, sometimes I can position our rig around on the parking area to get level enough without blocks, using the inside levels as my guide.

Still pushing a few buttons would be very handy.  We didn't want to spend the money for them at the time, and I was also a bit concerned of the complexity of installation, and general reliability.  It just seemed like a lot of mechanical stuff that I could do without.  Maybe in my later years, I will have different priorities.  That option is always on the table.

Thanks Again all.
Title: Re: Leveling jacks
Post by: pyrthkr on September 30, 2011, 03:41:10 pm
We don't have jacks on our 2008 2551 & our folks are always commenting "don't you wish you had jacks?".  We seem to have adjusted & can pretty much eyeball a site when we 1st arrive to determine whether or not we'll be able to wrangle her in.  Haven't even used blocks yet but i can see that in our future as we are staying at more & more "primitive" sites.  Come to think of it, the worst places we've stayed (as far as being level) are on public streets!  Seemed to be an awfully large expense for the payback on a new unit but I wouldn't turn up my nose at a used unit w/jacks.

Enjoy your rig,

Title: Re: Leveling jacks
Post by: Ron Dittmer on September 30, 2011, 04:25:13 pm
Because we most often camp in primative campgrouinds, it is common for us to deal with uneven parking pads.  The worst I recall was a site we had in Crane Flats campground in Yosemite NP.  Fully stacked with blocks, the rig was still sloped badly.  I would have looked for another site but it was slim pickings.  A travel trailer would have been better there.
Title: Re: Leveling jacks
Post by: mciai2000 on October 01, 2011, 05:19:06 pm
the only reason I had them installed on my new rig was space savings.  With 4 people in our unit space is a premium.  Those blocks always seem to take more room up in the storage compartment than you think they would.  I could eyeball the level of the site pretty quickly.  I hope to not use blocks now.

Title: Re: Leveling jacks
Post by: Barry-Sue on October 01, 2011, 06:05:10 pm
Just to emphasis a previous postingby RMMPE.  The leveling jacks are not just for leveling they also make great stabilizing jacks on level sites.  I put them down just enough to steady the PC that way I get no motion when we move about inside.

Title: Re: Leveling jacks
Post by: TomHanlon on October 01, 2011, 06:12:28 pm
I have had them on every motorhome I have owned and would never be without them. Some time I don't use them. Some time I level with them. Some times I steady with them. I can do all this because I have them. If I didn't have them then I would be out of luck.
I have heard that there are three level sites in the mid-altantic area but I have only found two of them. :-D
Title: Re: Leveling jacks
Post by: Bob Mahon on October 01, 2011, 06:31:13 pm
And I found one of the others, Tom.
Title: Re: Leveling jacks
Post by: Geojude on October 04, 2011, 12:15:42 pm
Thanks for all the help.  We took the PC out for its maiden voyage this past weekend and the jacks worked fine.  Didn't take much to level it out, especially if you do it like the manual says  :-D

Title: Re: Leveling jacks
Post by: GoPhoenix on October 05, 2011, 04:02:29 am
I have leveling jacks and wouldn’t be without them.  It does make short work of leveling, but equally important to us is the stability.  We often stay for a month in Florida, and the jacks keep the coach from moving/shaking when walking around or when leaving/entering through the door.  And as for the cost, you’ll get a lot of that back when you sell or trade – makes them relatively inexpensive.