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Old 06-09-2013, 03:20 PM   #1
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Leveling Blocks Best Practices or Pictures?

Before we make our big purchase of a new DP, I'd like to get a feel for how people with hydraulic levelers augment their capability with wood blocks. I am uncertain what blocking is necessary and/or appropriate in order to level the coach but not do any damage. One thing I have seen in a primitive dirt campground is where people actually dig a hole for one of the rear or front wheels in order to get it closer to level before the jacks are deployed. Is this a good idea? Any pics you might have to illustrate best practices would be appreciated. The DP novices out here would like to learn from you veterans!

Thanks!

Roy
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Old 06-09-2013, 05:38 PM   #2
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I have HWH auto levelers. I do not have to get out, block leveler jacks, dig holes etc. I hit the auto switch and it does the rest. In about a minute it is level after dumping air and shuts itself off.
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Old 06-09-2013, 05:40 PM   #3
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ditto
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:24 PM   #4
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I went to Home Depot and had them cut me up a 2x12 in about 16 inch lengths. When I dump the air, I use an iphone app to tell me how level I am. One degree is one 2x12 under the tire. I then deploy the jacks and stabilize the coach. This has worked well for me for 12 months and 20,000 miles of full timing.

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Old 06-09-2013, 08:01 PM   #5
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Roy....With our prior RV's, slide in camper, Class C and Class A gasser we used wood blocks. As we progressed to each coach, we used less blocking. With our DP we RARELY ever use wood blocking.

Here are some reasons why:
-The DP is the largest of the coaches we've had and because of it's extra length, it's less likely to require blocks.
-We also end up with a larger/better site because of the size of the DP and find it more level.
-You can sometimes cause issues when using blocks on DP's. Once you let the air out and drop the coach, they are pretty close to the ground. If you block the rear, you can force your entry step into the ground when it's extended.
-If you block the front, you can often put undo pressure on a mud flap.
-Any site that needs a lot of blocking can put a lot of force on a chassis and crack windshields.

I generally only use a ramp to fill a hole. Occasionally, I may use under both fronts a couple of inches, but that's it.

So the moral of the story is, stay away from blocking a DP unless it's absolutely necessary. Usually you can move the coach around within the site to get fairly level. You'll find some on here who will demand another site. Sometimes though, that's not possible.
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:11 PM   #6
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I guess one of our annual summer campgrounds is way more rustic than most. It is a dirt and pine tree, no hookup place in the woods, so people have to do a lot more to improve their site. We may not even be able to go there anymore since we are looking at a 43' coach which brings a bunch of navigation concerns in this particular campground. I am just interested in being prepared for all eventualities! Any advice is appreciated!

Roy
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:12 PM   #7
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Don,

My hubby has always insisted that I use 16 inch blocks of wood under our levelers. He thinks that the wood keeps the leveler pads from sinking into softer sites and he does not want to extend the levelers too much. I am of the opinion that the coach extends the levelers way too much on the auto setting and would prefer to level the coach manually but he is insistant that I crawl under the coach to place one or more pieces of wood before I start the leveling jacks descent.... I wish that you could give him a stern talking to...

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Old 06-09-2013, 08:20 PM   #8
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We use four sets of ten Lynx levelers for really unlevel situations and some cut-up 2x4's for sandy/soft soil where the levelers just dig in. Like the others who have posted, we prefer not to have to use anything but since we really like to camp in more primitive areas we tend to need them more often than not.

We also have several three step ramps made of 2x12's we had to use to park the coach at our old house, don't need them any more as we have a nice level RV tent to park in here!
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:32 PM   #9
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We use Lynx levellers under the wheels and wood blocks under the jacks. Unlike many others with a big DP we camp a lot in public campgrounds and more remote areas where the levellers come in very handy. If you camp mostly in private parks, you probably won't need anything, but if you go more remote like we do, the levellers are really, really useful. I have pics of our setup in this post
http://wheelingit.wordpress.com/2010...veling-the-rv/

And a very recent one (just a few weeks ago) here


The Lynx levellers have been amazingly tough. After 3 years of lots of fulltime use on our big 40-foot DP, they're still going fine. We have 3 packs, but would like to buy one more.
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:36 PM   #10
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We don't like places that are so horrendously out of level which would make using blocks necessary for automatic hydraulic leveling but we do carry some blocks with us.

If the ground is too soft, we'll use wood sometimes. And there was one RV park that made it mandatory to use something on their asphalt pads. If one didn't have anything to put under their jacks, they had these cheap poly cutting boards that they gave you to use. Now we carry four of those with us that we picked up at the dollar store.

We also carry with us but don't use too often the Lynx levellers as WheelingIt has shown.

-harry
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:52 PM   #11
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If you don't you will

If you don't carry some kind of block you will eventually wish you had. Even in 5 star RV resorts the pads are not always 100% level.

Soft ground. That sinking feeling.

no parking brake on front wheels! Rear wheels off the ground. that sliding downhill feeling.......

I carry 30 stacker blocks and about 10 pieces of 2x6 in various lengths. I've come close to using them all in a couple of places.

I don't drive up on them. I use the levelers to go higher than necessary and then lower the wheels onto them. And I've had as many as 8 stackers under the jacks.
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:57 PM   #12
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I may have misunderstood the OP's question. He may have been talking about using blocks under the levelers themselves, not the tires. I never use anything under the levelers. A lot of people use blocks and pads, but for me, that's what the large PAD is for on the bottom of the jack. Using more than an extra pad under the levelers can cause issues that the manufacturer tried to avoid by limiting the throw of the leveler.

Even the places that require you to use pads on asphalt, I ask them, larger than the 12" pads that came with the coach.
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:04 PM   #13
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To clarify my question: I'm curious about best DP leveling practices (either under the wheels or under the jacks) when the capabilities of the jacks alone are exceeded.

Thanks,

Roy
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:28 PM   #14
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I have a 40' DP and I have 6 packs of the Lynx Levellers for a total of 60( I plan to buy one or two more packs) I have come close to using them all. The way I level my coach is as follows:

-pull into site
-turn on the HWH levelling system which tells me which sides are low
-then i get out my little round bubble level and it tells me if I am too far out of level for the levellers to work(some systems will tell you this)
-if I am too far out, I use my blocks. How ever many blocks I use under the front or rear, I put the same number of blocks under the corresponding jacks
-I also use jack pads because you really don't want the jacks to sink into the ground(makes them difficult to retract)

One word of caution, these levelling jacks are NOT meant to lift the wheels off the ground...ESPECIALLY the rear wheels. Yes, they can probably do it, but it is not good practice. My manual specifically says not to lift wheels off the ground. There will be those that say "oh don't worry about it. I do it all the time" But I would still advise against it.

When you are setting up your motorhome in the campsite, try to make it so the front is always the end that needs to go up, since the rear is so heavy. When I am in a situation where the rear needs to go up, I use my blocks to bring the rear up, then deploy the jacks. Also, I have been in situations where the front needs to go up, but the jacks reach their limit. So I go up on blocks, then deploy the jacks(on blocks too). Everybody is a little different in how they do things.

Oh and one more thing, do yourself a favour and DO NOT get wood blocks. They split, break slide etc. A block such as the lynx leveller(there are a few different manufactures) lock together. They don't crack or break(unless you don't use them properly) and they stack really nice. They are also really easy to make stair ramps from.
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