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Old 08-27-2015, 11:27 PM   #1
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Light Weight Ramps

We just sold our place and will be moving to a condo. It will give us a lot more time for travel.
However I was all set up to do my servicing and made wooden ramps which I would always park on when not using the Coach.

My question is does anybody know where I could buy some sturdy light weight ramps that can be lifted by an old guy. I need about 3 or 4 inches to make it comfortable for Servicing.
I would like to put them in my truck when we are on the road. The truck would stay in the rented parking stall.
Any Ideas would be appreciated.
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Old 08-28-2015, 08:07 AM   #2
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I made 6 ramps out of 4" x 6" treated posts. Took a chain saw and cut graduated angles on each ramp. Ramps are 3' long. The only thing I haven't done is attach a handle to each, which I intend to do. They are not that heavy and really work good when I need to lift the coach for any purpose. I also use them with my pickup truck.
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Old 08-28-2015, 08:51 AM   #3
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Wood is probably your best bet.
To make moving and storage easy, dont glue/screw them together.

You can drill one or two alignment holes, and drop a carriage in to keep them from sliding
When you drive onto them.

Each 2x10 is 1 3/4 inches thick.

Dan
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Old 08-28-2015, 09:34 AM   #4
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service ramps

Quote:
Originally Posted by narampa View Post
We just sold our place and will be moving to a condo. It will give us a lot more time for travel.
However I was all set up to do my servicing and made wooden ramps which I would always park on when not using the Coach.

My question is does anybody know where I could buy some sturdy light weight ramps that can be lifted by an old guy. I need about 3 or 4 inches to make it comfortable for Servicing.
I would like to put them in my truck when we are on the road. The truck would stay in the rented parking stall.
Any Ideas would be appreciated.
I made my own (see the attached pics). They are light weight and best of all, cost nothing as I used scrap wood laying around the shop. You can make them any height you want within reason.

It is important that the rear duels be supported the full width of both tires plus a little. Same for the front tires. The bottom boards are treated for ground contact.
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Old 08-28-2015, 09:42 AM   #5
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I guess wood is what it will have to be. I was hoping there were commercial ones available.
I like the idea about having them come apart. It makes sense to keep the weight down.
That will be my next project.
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Old 08-28-2015, 10:28 AM   #6
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Dan,
Great idea with the carriage bolts. I was thinking of gluing dowel pins on one board and having matching wholes on the lower boards. your idea is much better and makes storage a lot easier.
Not the one who started the thread, but very glad I read it.
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Old 08-28-2015, 01:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narampa View Post
I guess wood is what it will have to be. I was hoping there were commercial ones available.
I like the idea about having them come apart. It makes sense to keep the weight down.
That will be my next project.
Will these work?
http://www.amazon.com/Pair-Plastic-4...60_SR160%2C160_

They are only 3" high and are made of some kind of plastic. They have 4400 lb capacity. They weigh only 10 lbs (not sure if that is each or for the pair). Check amazon.com, they have a good selection of auto ramps in various sizes and weight capacity. Some are steel and some are plastic.

I have no experience with these. Just remember seeing these type of ramps on amazon awhile back so I searched just now and found this pair. Watch the shipping prices since they are somewhat oversized.

Good luck,
Jack
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Old 08-29-2015, 04:45 PM   #8
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These look interesting. Rated at 30,000 lbs, I assume per pair.

http://www.amazon.com/Andersen-Mfg-3...words=rv+ramps
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Old 08-30-2015, 03:18 PM   #9
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Wal Mart sells some that are fiberglass, rated high enough to support the front end of a diesel dually pick up.
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:00 AM   #10
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Be careful...the Amazon onew listed are rated for 4,400lbs FOR THE PAIR.

I purchased these:

Valterra Blocks

These got somewhat good reviews, but some had complaints when they were used on dirt or gravel. I think they will be fine for me becasue I only use them on the front axle

Dan
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Old 08-31-2015, 11:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpinvidic View Post
Be careful...the Amazon onew listed are rated for 4,400lbs FOR THE PAIR.

I purchased these:

Valterra Blocks

These got somewhat good reviews, but some had complaints when they were used on dirt or gravel. I think they will be fine for me becasue I only use them on the front axle

Dan
The ones I posted are rated at 30,000#, assume per pair since it doesn't say.

http://www.amazon.com/Andersen-Mfg-3...words=rv+ramps
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Old 08-31-2015, 01:27 PM   #12
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Well Gang,
While there are some, plastic, nylon and other composite type ramps out there, there's a bit to consider when making a choice. Some of the construction techniques and types of material of the plastic ones leave a bit to be desired, at least for my application and weight carrying/supporting capability is concerned. While we all would like ultra-light weight, superior weight capability ramps, I have yet to see some that are of those two traits.

When you have close to 17,000 lbs. climbing up on anything, it better be capable of holding that kind of weight without adverse effects. This is why I just build my own. They are 1 1/8th in. plywood, glued and screwed together and then three coats of marine grade varnish applied. They will last way beyond the amount of time we have this coach, for sure. Yep, there's no doubt about it, they're not light and, not small. But, I have the available space to store all of what I think I might need, in given situations, including even at home.

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Old 08-31-2015, 09:11 PM   #13
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Now that I like.
Could you give me the dimensions?
Are they about 3 inches high?
The condo I bought has a workshop in the basement. They will be my first project.
It looks like you have 4. I would only like to have only two for the front wheels.
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Old 08-31-2015, 09:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narampa View Post
Now that I like.
Could you give me the dimensions?
Are they about 3 inches high?
The condo I bought has a workshop in the basement. They will be my first project.
It looks like you have 4. I would only like to have only two for the front wheels.
narampa,
Glad you like and approve of them. Lots of guys, including me, have made ramps/leveling blocks/jack blocks from stuff they have laying around. Well, yes, that works, and for the most part, works just fine. But, I didn't have any "stuff" just laying around. And, based on what I wanted in the end, trying to scavenge home building sites (there's quite a few around where we live here in Lake Havasu City AZ) where there's small piles of cut-offs, I could not find what I needed.

So, I figured I'd just bite the bullet and, spend some money for the wood I wanted for the project. What I purchased, would be a bit on the expensive side for you, for just two of these ramps. You see, the wood I bought is called "floor decking" and, it's One and one-eighth inches thick. It's also Tongue and groove stuff. It's for underlayment on second story decking and floors. It's some seriously strong plywood.

And, it ran me right at, $59.00 a sheet which, was the normal 48"x96". Now, I checked my tire width and, it's right at 8" wide. So, my thoughts were, if I made the ramps 9.25" wide, they would support the entire full width of the tread and then some. And, by cutting the dimensions listed below, I could get 5 ramps out of a sheet of that wood, for the height I wanted. I carry 5 because I never know what I might need while in the out back.

Now, the ramps consist of four layers of that plywood. Basically, that amounts to right at, 4.5" high, on the higher end. And that's perfect for my application. I use them for "assisting" in leveling, maybe not all of what's needed to level.
But anyway, I ripped (5) at 9.25" wide and that basically used up all the plywood. Then, I set the saw for 31" and cut two at that, for each full length piece. Then I set the saw for 15" and cut two from the remaining pieces. So, I'd have two at 31" and two at 15" for one ramp. Now, before I glued and screwed things together totally, I'd set the saw blade to 45 degrees and cut the bevels.

Then, I poured on the glue and used Torx drive construction screws from Home Depot for the clamping and assembling. When they were all assembled, I ran the belt sander over all the ends and sides just to "true" things up a tad bit. I could have used a router for all the edges but, I improvised by tilting the sander a bit.

When it was all said and done, I blew them all off and, in 105 degree heat here in Lake Havasu City AZ, I applied the first coat of Marine Spar Varnish. That soaked in like a sponge. I gave it about 24 hours to cure. In this heat, that was about 15 hours too long but, I was in no hurry. I gave them a light sanding with some 220 and, applied a second coat.

Another 24 hours later, on went the third coat. Now, in reality, I could have lived with the second coat. After all, these are RV ramps, NOT A GRAND PIANO!! But, I wanted them to look nice, just for my satisfaction. So, on went the third coat. That's the max I'd put on because, while with a fourth coat it would look like a grand piano, I didn't want the weight of the coach "Pushing" that varnish around, even after it was fully cured.

So, three coats it is. Now, what's not shown in the picture's are, I've recently (yesterday) put nylon webbing handles on them, on both sides because they can be loaded/stored in either direction which means I'd need a handle on both sides to handle them while using them. The handles are just like the other blocks you see in the back side of the compartment.

The varnish ran me about $32.00 a gallon and, I used three quarters of that for seven ramps and four other blocks. I made some for a friend.

It was fun making them and, they're stout as the day is long. I don't even think about putting 17,000 lbs. on four of them if needed. They can handle four times that much with ease. Now, as for their weight, I've not weighed just one of them but, if I had to guess, I'd say one would weigh about, 10 lbs. or so. So, I'm hauling around 50-60 lbs. of those ramps which, does not include the other blocks you see in the photos.

But, it's done for life. I will NEVER have to build another set. And, you can actually use them "upside down" which, would make them infinitely adjustable in height, not just 2.25" or, 4.5" high. Good luck.
Scott
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