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Old 05-19-2016, 12:34 PM   #1
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What is the maximum slope for auto-levelers?

We just bought a brand new 2016 Forest River Georgetown 30' Class A motor home. We were delighted to find out that it indeed fits nicely in our driveway but realize that the drive slopes more than we thought. We are really nervous about leveling it because during our walk through the guy told us that we could ruin our leveling system if we tried to raise it too high. So now it is sitting there at a slant (rear high nose low) and I'm basically climbing uphill to put things away. We are very green so please don't laugh. The manual says not to let the tires lift off the ground, does that include putting them up on leveling blocks? How can we determine the slope? Really don't even know what to ask here. Just help!!!!
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:38 PM   #2
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Time to buy/make some blocks! Just be sure you have blocks both under your wheels and under the levelers. ...And welcome to the Class A world!

By the way, depending on how much of a slope, you may want to put blocks in front of your rear wheels to be sure the RV does not roll/move...and a tight parking brake!
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:38 PM   #3
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Blocks under the tires are fine, if done right. they have to be wide and long enough to support the entire tread area in contact with them. Be sure not to life the rear tires off the ground as the rears are the only things the parking brakes act on.
We have a gravel pad beside the house. It's not level so I had to leave the front tires suspended when level. Did this for 13 years with the '02 Dutch Star. With the longer rig we now have I had to build gravel pads for the front tires since we only have air leveling and no jacks. Going to have to work on that this summer
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:40 PM   #4
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Here's our solution... 2x12's cut into blocks. We have them under the foot of the jacks, raise the front with the jacks, slide a stack under the front tires, lower the jacks until the tires are on the blocks. This makes the step pretty high so you might need a stool to step up into the rig. You definitely do NOT want to hyperextend your jacks, which is why we also put the blocks under the jack pads. We also chock the rear wheels.


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Old 05-19-2016, 12:50 PM   #5
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Being nose low makes this any easy fix. Basically make two ramps out of 2 X 8 or 2 X 10 wood. Overlay the wood to basically make a stair. Something that looks like this -



Just drive up on them when parking the coach. If you want to extra fancy give them a coat of urethane.
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Old 05-19-2016, 01:07 PM   #6
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Being nose low makes this any easy fix. Basically make two ramps out of 2 X 8 or 2 X 10 wood. Overlay the wood to basically make a stair. Something that looks like this -



Just drive up on them when parking the coach. If you want to extra fancy give them a coat of urethane.

Good idea, but our driveway isn't long enough for "driving" and since we are backing in it would be a challenge to position those for the front wheels.
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Old 05-19-2016, 01:11 PM   #7
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As suggested, a set of ramps are your best option if you are unable to level your parking area.

If you have an absorption fridge (i.e.: Norcold, Dometic, Amish) your jacks are not your only concern in regard to leveling. Absorption fridges need to be near level in order to function correctly. The degree of level varies by the make and model of fridge. Being off level by more than a couple of degrees can cause problems with many absorption fridges leading to costly repairs down the road. They may appear to function but improper circulation and overheating lead to progressive deterioration and eventual failure.
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Old 05-19-2016, 01:41 PM   #8
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It sounds like the MH will "live" in the driveway when not in use. If this is true your main and immediate concern is to get it level there. There are many ways to find how far off level it is and how much the front will have to be elevated to get there. I was thinking if you had a laser level, or something long enough to reach from the front wheels to the rear, you could get that level and just measure the vertical difference between the tops or bottoms of the tires. At that point you will know the height of whatever you will use to level the MH and go from there. Others may come up with something better. IMHO, it would be better than "trial and error". You may not need a very long ramp, or on the other hand it may require a different approach.

There are some good ideas here about ramps and that is what we have always used with the TC. Since getting a MH with a longer wheelbase it requires significantly higher/longer ramps to have the same effect. With the TC we had bubble levels on the side and front with the amount of elevation indicated on them needed to level the camper. That made it easy. I'm not sure how that approach would work with a MH.

Best of luck.

Steve
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Old 05-19-2016, 01:43 PM   #9
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Ramps...but...

If climbing ramps in REVERSE be sure SMALL slope.

A friend had what did not appear to be too steep ramps and blew out the tranny backing up on them.

93 454 so maybe different now but something to consider.

Like the end stop on unit pictured above.
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Old 05-19-2016, 01:51 PM   #10
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Good idea, but our driveway isn't long enough for "driving" and since we are backing in it would be a challenge to position those for the front wheels.
Would this procedure work? First back her in as you normally would then pull straight out the length of the ramps. Put the ramps under the coach behind the front wheels and back up on to them. As long as you back straight backwards the front tires will roll up the ramps.

What I don't know is with the coach maybe five feet or so forward, what the slope of the driveway is and the height of the coach when in position if there is enough room to get the ramps in place.

Other option is a bunch of blocks for both the jacks and the front wheels. Blocks under the jacks so you are not extended too much then blocks under the front wheels to store the coach on. Once in place retract the jacks leaving the nose up with the blocks under the tires.


Also, both the 5 and 6 speed trannies Ford bolts to the F53 are very strong. Very remote possibility of any sort of harm backing up ramps. No worries there.
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:58 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by rljdself View Post
We just bought a brand new 2016 Forest River Georgetown 30' Class A motor home. We were delighted to find out that it indeed fits nicely in our driveway but realize that the drive slopes more than we thought. We are really nervous about leveling it because during our walk through the guy told us that we could ruin our leveling system if we tried to raise it too high. So now it is sitting there at a slant (rear high nose low) and I'm basically climbing uphill to put things away. We are very green so please don't laugh. The manual says not to let the tires lift off the ground, does that include putting them up on leveling blocks? How can we determine the slope? Really don't even know what to ask here. Just help!!!!
Don't listen to "the guy"..contact the mfg. My assumption is lifting the front off the ground would be fine. For me, I'd lift it as high as it would go then add blocks (as much as possible) under the front tires then lower until level. This would put some weight on the front tires which would take some lateral load off the jacks.
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Old 05-19-2016, 03:06 PM   #12
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Good idea, but our driveway isn't long enough for "driving" and since we are backing in it would be a challenge to position those for the front wheels.

Sarah,, can you back the mh in 5' further than where you want it, put the ramps in front like greenbriars, and drive forward from there?
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Old 05-19-2016, 04:26 PM   #13
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This was great help. We used a level and long board and combination of blocks to finally determine that the front needs to be raised 12 1/2". If we built the ramp shown we should be able to do this. We will need a step to step up to the steps. Is this just too high to raise it? We have a cement driveway so we can't modify it at all.
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Old 05-19-2016, 04:32 PM   #14
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Sarah,, can you back the mh in 5' further than where you want it, put the ramps in front like greenbriars, and drive forward from there?
Nope, but the blocks we use work fine.
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