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Old 12-04-2011, 07:08 AM   #1
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Jack pads, when to use and what

New to RVing. Have a 34 journey. When do I need to use jack pads and what should I use? Heard poly cutting boards good. Haven't used anything yet but I have only parked on concrete thus far. Thanks for the info.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:13 AM   #2
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I use two 2x10s drywall screwed together for each pad. I see no reason to use them on concrete or pavement, but if it is rocky or sandy, it keeps debris from getting on the top side of the jack pads. I also screwed some nylon grab handles on each so it is easier to retrieve and carry them to and from the jacks.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:16 AM   #3
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We use some jack pads purchased at an rv supply store (maybe Camping World) that have lasted for 5 years (200+ nights per year). The only time we do not use pads are when on concrete only one night. I have no experience with using cutting boards as jack pads - we use some thin ones to put under tires when we store on concrete for three months in winter. I suspect they might break, where the commercial ones are fairly flexible. Many people use wood. We tried that and did not like storing wet, dirty wood between stops.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:23 AM   #4
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I've never seen anybody do it, but discarded truck mud flaps might work. Hmmm... I think I have one or two out back. Maybe cut to 10x10" squares.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:30 AM   #5
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We use pressure treated 46 wood blocks and have done so for 2 years of fulltiming. We use them on softer surfaces (sand, gravel, dirt) and asphalt (which can get soft when hot -> as we discovered the first time we parked on it and our jacks sunk into the ground!). We also use them (together with Lynx leveling blocks under the wheels) whenever we need to level on uneven ground.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:56 AM   #6
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I use 2x10 squares with plywood screwed on both sides. I drilled a few holes in each; so I can move them with the awning rod. I use them when I might sink in or damage the surface. I also painted them yellow; so I don't forget them too often.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:57 AM   #7
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We use 2 pieces of 12" X12" X 3/4" treated plywood screwed together with a piece of nylon rope attached to retrieve them. They go down any time we're off the pavement to keep the jacks from settling in soft or uneven ground. We also use them if we camp in cold weather to keep the jacks from freezing to the ground.

If the pads freeze to the ground you can just raise the jacks, drive a few feet then free the pads from the frozen grond. The first time out in cold weather (February of 2001) we didn't use the pads and I had to crawl under the motorhome with buckets of warm water to free the jacks

Some campgrounds with asphalt pads want you to use pads in hot weather to keep the jacks from sinking. About the only time we don't use them is on level concrete pads
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:31 AM   #8
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Some scrap wood 2X10s or whatever. When they crack or get worn get new scrap wood. The Lynx levelers work nice to add some height if needed. It is rare for us to camp on a concrete pad so we need something. One site in a state park was so sandy the rear jacks burrowed in about a foot.

When we pick up to leave I put the blocks on the passenger side floor of the toad. Any dirt can be shook out of the floor mat at the next stop.
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:49 AM   #9
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I made some 12"x12" ones out of 4"x4" sandwiched between 3/4" plywood. Everything is glued with construction adhesive and screwed. I drilled 2 holes in one side and looped a piece of rope for a handle and used u-shaped nails on the inside to fasten the rope. I can hook the rope with my awning tool to drag them out. The rope also gives me a carrying handle. I wanted the extra height so I had more room for adjustments on un-even or sloped ground. It also takes less time to retrack the jacks. I use mine on everything so as not to damage any surface or sink into dirt. They work perfectly!
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunner View Post
I've never seen anybody do it, but discarded truck mud flaps might work. Hmmm... I think I have one or two out back. Maybe cut to 10x10" squares.
I've considered cutting some from road gators.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:00 AM   #11
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I found a 24" X 30" X .30" Truck mud flap in my back yard. Enough to make 4 - 12" X 12" pads and still have a 24" X 6" piece for whatever. Now, I have to warm it up enough and get it flat enough to run it thru my band saw.

If it was summer time in AZ, I could just put it out in the driveway and it would be flat in not time. If they flex too much, I can always screw them to the top of my existing blocks for a little cushion.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:03 AM   #12
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Andiamo;

For years I have used 12"X12"X3/4" Lexon Plastic Pads. I don't use them on concrete but I always use them on asphalt parking lots out of respect to the owners. Blacktop gets soft when it gets hot and I have seen a lot of damaged blacktop from RV jacks. One time I observed an RVer punch his jacks right down through new blacktop.

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Old 12-04-2011, 09:14 AM   #13
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I have purchased the commercial plastic pads at Camping World. They are big enough to fit under any jack system. They are similar to the hexagonal leveling blocks sold there also. One side is hexagonal and that side goes down on concrete or very hard surfaces, the other side is flat and is used on grass, dirt, or other soft surfaces. They are very light in weight. I also have a 3/4" x 12" square piece of treated plywood that I can use. Wood is porous and will suck up liquids, including oils. Oils an other liquids can be detrimental to rubber. I am presently using a combination of the two in my storage unit while the jacks are being worked on. The plastic pads are on the ground, and the 3/4" plywood is on top. The plastic allows for the "leakage" from other stored units to just flow around the system.

The pads can also be used to place the tires on when storing the unit for the same reason of absorption by the tires.

whatever you use should fit the entire footprint of the jack, or the foot print of the tire(s).

Happy trails.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:36 AM   #14
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Currently, I only camp on sand and my jacks don't leak, so no problem with oils.
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