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Old 08-09-2016, 07:10 AM   #1
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Leveling 5th wheel

This is my first 5th wheel so I have some questions. So sorry if this is a repeat question. Anyway, I just purchased a 5th wheel. I pick it up on Saturday. Because of the slope in my driveway, I may have a problem raising the front of the trailer enough to make the trailer level. I'm not sure how much stroke the jacks have when completely extended. My question is, does the trailer need to be perfectly level in order to extend the slideouts without causing damage to the trailer? If so, what ideas do you have to raise the front of the trailer high enough?
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:18 AM   #2
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Have you thought of putting blocks under the jacks? I would make it as level as possible before extending the slides. I would also make sure it's chocked very well if it's that much of an incline.
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:22 AM   #3
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Will you even be able to disconnect from the tow vehicle if the incline is that bad?
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:25 AM   #4
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Our last house had a driveway that had some slope to it too. A few times I parked it in the driveway to unload and dump the tanks. I did open the slides, but was always very careful doing it. General rule of thumb. If the parking area is nose high, you need to lower the legs a lot. If nose is low, lower the legs maybe 3 inches, pull the snaps pins, and continue lowering until you can unhook. That way you have some room to work with.
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:31 AM   #5
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Since you are on a slope,,, remember these things have NO parking brakes ! Use very good wheel chocks... When on a slope, (and I try to avoid it) I put the chocks down, then pull the rv up to snug on them,,, then you can unhook the tv... several times on a very slight grade the 5th wheel has moved a inch or two after the chocks are in place when unhooking the tv... not good... As far as level, if its fairly close I don't think it will hurt slides at all... And yes I keep several wood blocks for the jacks when needed... Something like 2x8's or bigger,, I had some step up 2x12's (screwed together) I used on our mh for the tires,, they are very stable, unlike a 2x4 that could fall off to one side.
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:33 AM   #6
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Will you even be able to disconnect from the tow vehicle if the incline is that bad?
Good point... Go Very slow while doing this.... Very slow.....
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Old 08-09-2016, 10:36 AM   #7
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With that much slope, one word of caution is to make sure the wheels are well chocked before you disconnect. You do not want the trailer rolling down the drive sliding on the front jacks.

Ken
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Old 08-09-2016, 03:47 PM   #8
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One other, not mentioned effect: try to get the refer as level as possible. They do not like un-level. You could add two "level bubbles" one on the front for side-to-side level and one on the side for front-to-rear level.
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Old 08-09-2016, 03:56 PM   #9
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No the trailer does not need to be perfectly level for slides to extend or fridge to work; however it is recommended to be "pretty level". I have parked previous 5vers/motorhome with 1 or 2 bubbles "out of level". (Bubble at 1 or 2 on these typical level indicators).

Slides will bind/slide to the lower end if they are extended while not level; this puts additional strain on mechanism/motor/pump. I would only extend slides out part way, just enough to get by/access into cupboard etc.

Extreme out of level and the absorption fridge will not work. Some recommend an absolute maximum of 3 front-to-back for the fridge and as much as 6 side-to-side would not be a problem. If you are more comfortable with percentages, 3 is about a 5% grade, and 6 is about a 10% grade.

I think the gauges shown above are calibrated in degrees? Maybe others can chime in....

Hope this helps,
Brian
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:01 PM   #10
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With that much slope, one word of caution is to make sure the wheels are well chocked before you disconnect. You do not want the trailer rolling down the drive sliding on the front jacks.

Ken
Welcome,
Perhaps a little more information would enable recommendations.
Wondering how much of a grade we're talking about here?
What is the surface material of the driveway?
What size and weight trailer is this?

I would highly recommend that you practice hitching and unhitching your new trailer and hitch a couple times on level ground prior to a specialized setup.

Trailers and tow vehicles on grades can be very dangerous.


Any time you're wanting to set up outside of the perimeters of the equipment (beyond the stroke range of the landing gear jacks) you may need to exercise precautions.
As others have mentioned commercial wheel chocks should be required just to park there. Pre-load your chocks in neutral making sure they alone will support your total trailer & TV in neutral before proceeding.
There are techniques for cribbing jacks and landing gear in such a way so that there is less chance of them slipping off, or the cribbing actually sliding.

Best of luck
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Old 08-10-2016, 04:31 PM   #11
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Thank everyone for there responses. My driveway material is cement, however one side of the trailer will be on dirt. As far as the driveway slope, it's not that bad. I do intend on chocking all four wheels. I will also try some secondary method to make sure the trailer doesn't move.
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Old 08-13-2016, 01:39 PM   #12
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Thank everyone for there responses. My driveway material is cement, however one side of the trailer will be on dirt. As far as the driveway slope, it's not that bad. I do intend on chocking all four wheels. I will also try some secondary method to make sure the trailer doesn't move.

I have a set of X chocks that I use when parking my 5ver. They work great but I was warned to not EVER to forget to pull them out before leaving wherever I am parked.
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Old 08-13-2016, 05:41 PM   #13
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X-chocks are not the best for a steep incline. Use old fashion wood and snug the wheels to the wood before unhooking. Then put the X-chocks in after everything stabilizes if you wish.
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