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Old 07-13-2016, 09:10 PM   #1
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Ramps

For years when visiting my brother, we parked (and used) our 5th wheel in his driveway. His driveway is sloped, but I was able to just barely level the 5th wheel. We have a motorhome now.

I thought of building ramps for the front of the motorhome. The wheel base on the motorhome is 220”. When I last visited, my brother and I use is line level and determined that there is a 7” drop in the wheelbase span.



From this I figured that I would need about a 7” ramp to raise the front end to have the coach level on when resting the tires. I thought of building one, but feel uneasy about driving up on it for fear of possible over shooting. Any thoughts on this? I would probably build them out of 2x10’s. Heavy I know, but I would only have to transport them once and then leave them at my brother’s. I looked on line but could not really find anything at an acceptable price.
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:16 PM   #2
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Do you have leveling jacks, if yes, you can use shorter ramps and let the jacks handle the last couple inches.
you dont need solid 2 x 10s, I used a solid bottom, 2x 4s (1 each side), then another solid for the top piece on the rear if the coach when I work on it.

For the front when leveling, I use a single piece ramp that is like a teeter-Totter. It is braced in the center, and rocks up as the coach drives up.
See Photo.

Dan
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpinvidic View Post
Do you have leveling jacks, if yes, you can use shorter ramps and let the jacks handle the last couple inches.
you dont need solid 2 x 10s, I used a solid bottom, 2x 4s (1 each side), then another solid for the top piece on the rear if the coach when I work on it.

Dan
How high are yours?
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:22 PM   #4
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build them out of metal. the fabricator can weld a wheel stop so you will not run over the end.
this way to you can weld side rail so the wheel will run over the edge.
you and also make ramps the length you want and brace it accordingly.

good luck on your construction as metal is probably lighter the wood and stronger too. it may cost more but as it is said, you only get what you pay for.

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Old 07-13-2016, 09:25 PM   #5
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I do something similar except on the rear. I only made my ramps 4.5" 2x12's and since I am on the duallys I have 4 ramps, 1 for each tire. I back the coach up on the ramps, with a chock on top for a bit of safety but is pretty easy to back up on the ramps.
After on the ramps and still at ride height with air bags, lower jacks onto blocks due to the extra height.
Then I lower the air bags in the front which is at least another 3" and our coach is almost level.


Steve
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ed rzepka View Post
How high are yours?
2 by X lumber is 1 3/4" thick. And it tends to crack when it dries out.
You can add 3/4" plywood in between so that cracking does not matter.
Glue with construction adhesive.

My rear ramps are 3 layer (5 1/4")...no plywood.
Front ramp is sandwiched so the long piece is basically 3 1/4"
The cool thing about the front ramp is you can add blocks and middle bracing as needed.....within reason.

Dan
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spk64 View Post
I do something similar except on the rear. I only made my ramps 4.5" 2x12's and since I am on the duallys I have 4 ramps, 1 for each tire. I back the coach up on the ramps, with a chock on top for a bit of safety but is pretty easy to back up on the ramps.
After on the ramps and still at ride height with air bags, lower jacks onto blocks due to the extra height.
Then I lower the air bags in the front which is at least another 3" and our coach is almost level.


Steve
Don't have a pusher so I can't lower the air bags, but intend make blocks to lower the jacks onto them. If I do this, I will be raising the front.
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:39 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=dpinvidic;3159809]2 by X lumber is 1 3/4" thick. And it tends to crack when it dries out.
You can add 3/4" plywood in between so that cracking does not matter.
Glue with construction adhesive.

My rear ramps are 3 layer (5 1/4")...no plywood.
Front ramp is sandwiched so the long piece is basically 3 1/4"
The cool thing about the front ramp is you can add blocks and middle bracing as needed.....within reason.

Dan[/QUOTE

Interesting. If I am seeing you picture correctly, you don't even fasten the pieces together. Do you have any fear of the pieces sliding?
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:12 PM   #9
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Ed,
As you can see and read, there's numerous ways of building ramps. I've done just about all of them. Making them out of steel is pretty much out of the question as, weight will kill you. Aluminum is good but, pretty technical in terms of both design and welding. Been there done that. The ones I have now are actually very simple and, ultra durable. They are made from 1 1/8" (that is, one and one eighth) inch, tongue and groove decking plywood, found at Home Depot for about, $54.00 a sheet for 48"x96".

I won't got through all the details but, suffice to say, I made (5), 22" long x 8" wide x 4.5" high, out of one sheet. They are all cut, beveled, glued and screwed with high strength torx head screws. Then a bit of sanding, and three coats of spar varnish. I put handles on both sides of them made from what's called "Mule Tape". It's a 5/8" wide Nylon webbing that is strong as heck.

Yes, they are a tad heavy but, without a doubt, SERIOUSLY DURABLE. They can be used, either way, as a ramp or, a stair step system. And, I have yet to "over drive" them (or should I say, drop off the other end) Making any ramps from straight lumber core, i.e. 2"x4" or, 2"x6" or 2"x8" or 2"x10", unless augmented by sandwiching plywood on each side, will normally result in cracked lumber, in short order. Regular lumber like what's mentioned above, cannot take bridging or, stressing without damage.
Plywood however, can take bridging and stressing due to it's ability to flex and or bend. Using both has its place too. My blocks for the jacks are 4"x6"x11" that are sandwiched between two pieced of 11"x11" 3/4" exterior plywood. Again, glued, screwed, sanded and varnished, with the same handles. The flexible handles allow for stacking in the compartment, in either direction.
Scott





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Old 07-14-2016, 07:15 AM   #10
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[QUOTE=ed rzepka;3159830]
Quote:
Originally Posted by dpinvidic View Post
2 by X lumber is 1 3/4" thick. And it tends to crack when it dries out.
You can add 3/4" plywood in between so that cracking does not matter.
Glue with construction adhesive.

My rear ramps are 3 layer (5 1/4")...no plywood.
Front ramp is sandwiched so the long piece is basically 3 1/4"
The cool thing about the front ramp is you can add blocks and middle bracing as needed.....within reason.

Dan[/QUOTE

Interesting. If I am seeing you picture correctly, you don't even fasten the pieces together. Do you have any fear of the pieces sliding?
With that much weight, no, and the front is cut at an angle which helps.
This makes it much easier to strore on the coach.
My rear ramps are fastened...but I leave them at home.

Dan
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Old 07-14-2016, 07:40 AM   #11
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I have a similar situation, with a slope on the driveway going to my detached garage. If I want to work on it and need a lot of extra crawl space, I'll use that driveway.

Made a set of ramps using 2x12's, alternated board crown to minimize cracking, screwed them together as assembling. My base ramps are 3 thicknesses, but I have a 4th board that goes on top if I want it even taller. I cut the leading edge so it's easier for the tire to roll up. You can put a stopper board on the end if you want to minimize driving off the edge, but don't really need it if careful (and it really wouldn't stop you if you didn't brake).

Be sure to measure the clearances on your steps and generator exhaust, to make sure you can actually use what you build, and drive up on it.

It's heavy, but solid and safe.
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Old 07-14-2016, 11:41 AM   #12
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Best Procedure for getting onto Ramp

I have found that the best way to drive up onto ramps is to do all of the control with the brake pedal. This gives you very precise control of the vehicle.

This requires both feet, but the right foot only holds the accelerator at fast idle.

1. Apply the foot brake
2. increase engine speed by about 500 RPM (enough throttle to get you up the ramp) and hold it there.
3. Now only using the brake pedal, release brake enough to allow the vehicle to start climbing. You can push the brake at any time and stop movement....keeping the throttle steady. All control is done with the brake pedal.
4. Once at the top, you can release the throttle and apply the parking brake.

Trying to use the throttle to control the climb is very touchy and can contribute to overshooting your ramp. Works great on my car when getting on the ramps to change oil.

Sometimes i stop on top of the ramps, but want to go back another 3 or 4 inches. To do this, I actually look out the side window and find a reference spot on the ground. Then move the coach 3 or 4 inches relative to the reference spot. I can't actually see my ramps from the driver seat, so I go by feel to sense when I am at the top.

Regards,

Dan
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Old 07-15-2016, 11:45 AM   #13
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No need for ramps.

You don't necessarily need ramps if you have leveling jacks.

Just park the RV where ya want it, put blocks under the jacks and lift it up past level (in your case 7.5-8"). Put some blocks under the front tires, then let the jack down till you touch and are level. Just don't leave the wheels hanging for a long time, you don't want any big wind gusts causing an issue.
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Old 07-18-2016, 04:59 PM   #14
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Thanks for the suggestions. I have some ideas and when i get home I will take some measurements and design something I am comfortable with as there maybe some over kill. I may be back to bounce y ideas off you guys.
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