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Old 03-19-2009, 09:05 AM   #1
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Question Leveling Question

I was recently asked by another RV'er why my front wheels were off the ground. I said I just auto leveled the RV and due to the slope of the site the jacks lifted the front tires off of the ground. His understanding was to leave the front tires on the ground to keep from damaging the ball joints.
I asked another RV'er about this and he thought it was ok for the front tires to be off the ground but not the rear tires since the transmission park and the emergency brake rely on the rear tires being planted on the ground. (I'm not sure I've ever seen my rear tires leave the ground after leveling but this sounds logical.)
I find no mention of any jacking limitations in my manual other then "Jacks must be down before operating slides"
Is leveling manually and just putting down the jacks to stabilize the RV a better way to go. I guess a little front/rear slope is ok as long as I don't roll off the bed .
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:36 AM   #2
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The ball joints could care less, They are going to carry thousands of pounds of RV so what's a few hundred pounds of wheel to 'em?

However.. You should always keep BOTH rear wheels and at least one FRONT wheel on the ground. here is why

RV parking brakes, for the most part, are drive shaft brakes, should the rig attempt to move forward or back, the parking brake, if set, will prevent it. But if just one rear wheel is off the ground, the parking brake does not work

The jacks are not designed to prevent forward backward movement, they are designed to deal with up/down. You could bend the jack and or the mounting

Now as for the front wheel, Imagine a "Stiff Breeze" (The joke about the log chain, when it's hanging parallel to the ground, that's a "Stiff Breeze") I've had 100MPH plus breezes in my rig (Trust me, that's stiff)

IF you have both back wheels on the ground front/back movement is controlled but what about side to side? Just one front wheel in solid contact and side to side is kept in check, Again if the rig moves sideways.. Bad things can happen to your jacks
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:31 AM   #3
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Thanks John,
Good point on front wheels. I think I'll manually level in future and stop before front tires leave the ground. Lowering the front a few inches over 40ft is probably not noticeable anyway. Also another thread mentioned that if the auto leveling failed it could twist the RV and damage slides etc.
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:39 AM   #4
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The rig also needs to be level enough for the fridge to work properly and not self destruct.

The guidelines for leveling modern RV fridges state that if you are comfortable living in the rig, then it's level enough for the fridge to work properly.
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:56 AM   #5
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Dirk,
Your comment about the fridge causes me to ask another question. If your going up a long grade is this steep enough to be a problem for the fridge? I normally run my fridge with propane on the road.
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:31 PM   #6
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There is never a problem when moving.

There is always enough rocking motion to prevent problems.

I always run with my fridge on, as do many if not most others.

I don't know how long it takes to damage a cooling unit by being off level and not moving, but I believe it to be hours not minutes.
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:28 PM   #7
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Thumbs up

Thanks for the info.
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:57 PM   #8
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I carry 4 sets of the leggo type leveling blocks and if needed I drive up on the appropriate number so the tires are supported by them.

I rarely need them but when I do I am glad I have them.
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:34 PM   #9
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I use the leggo type also. In addition I carry several 2X12X16 boards and use them under the tires where necessary. I always use as many under the jack as I do under the tire next to it.
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:03 PM   #10
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I've seen windshields move when the front jacks get off the ground - happened to me in a Southwind some years ago. I can't explain why - the front cap shouldn't move any more when jacked than when driving down the road, but it happens.

I avoid getting the wheels off the ground and carry enough wood blocks to keep at least a bit of weight on the wheels when the site is far off level.

My jack company (Equalizer) says not to worry about bending my jacks and my rear wheels get locked (air brakes) anyway when parked. The "knee action" jacks that HWH offered for a while, however, can be bent easily.
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:13 PM   #11
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I think all the wheels should be on the ground.
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:25 PM   #12
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One thing to consider is what your front suspension is designed to do, support the weight of the coach, or support the "hanging" dead weight of the tires and rims, and other suspension components!

The operators manual for every coach I have owned recommended that you not have the front wheels hanging above the ground. Recommends that you should place something under them to prevent the front suspension from seeing any "hanging" weight.

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Old 03-25-2009, 10:12 PM   #13
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I just bought a monaco night. 2005
This may sound dumb, but should you dump air,level, then pop out slides. OR what order. we got it from the bank & thay know less than i do. also
new to forum.
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:50 PM   #14
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claude m welcome to irv2.
You should always level your coach with jacks before putting out your slides.
The Monaco manuals states otherwise I have heard. You want the chassis frame as firm and level as possible as to not cause a twisted frame and possibly pop windshield or bind your slides in their openings. You have some auto operations I believe to do this and auto is OK if you are on level ground otherwise level manually.
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