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Old 09-11-2011, 07:49 AM   #1
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Side to side Leveling

We're new at this and having difficulty with the side to side leveling. Other than driving up onto boards (and estimating how thick the boards should be) what can we do? Would LevelEase help with this or not? Suggestions appreciated.

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Old 09-11-2011, 08:15 AM   #2
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Just how level do you have/want to be? I towed a Montana 3500RL for a while. I carried 2x8 boards with a 5/8 piece of plywood on top, screwed to the 2x8. I had four of these that spanned the length of the tandem wheels. I had a bubble level mountted on the front of the king pin frame. It got to the point that I could pull/back into a site, look at the bubble and tell you how many boards I would need. For 99% of the time it was only one board on one side and that would get the bubble at least touching the center line. Was it perfectly center? Most likely not, but it was as comfortable inside as if it were level, and the refrigerator liked it. With the board configuration that I had, each set was approximately 3 inches deep. The 2x8 width was enough to have the entire foot print of the tire firmly resting on it. The boards easily stored on each side of the truck hitch.

Most of the present day refrigertors (check your manual) allow for a 3 degree side to side offset, and a 6 degree front to back offset. If you are comfortable walking around inside, then it is most likely level enough.

Good luck. Others will be along shortly.

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Old 09-11-2011, 10:55 AM   #3
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From what I have learned leveling is important both front and back as well as side to side not so much for your comfort but rather for the safe and continued operation of your refrigerator. Other than buying an automatic leveling system it really does come down to raising one side higher than the other to compensate for low or high ground by driving up on various devices.
My wife and I are looking into The Big Foot system but it seems a bit pricey.
We are on the lookout for an automatic system so that we are not always backing or driving onto blocks.
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:19 PM   #4
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Like Wayne M said, after a while you'll get an idea of how many boards you'll need by just looking at the angle of the 5th wheel. Side to side leveling is one of the reasons we are now in a MH...push one button...done!
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Old 09-11-2011, 02:27 PM   #5
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Yep, 2x8s or 2x10 depending on tire width. I made some up in two pieces and hinged them in the middle and could be stacked to gain additional height. Now have the Lippert Level-Up system and don't carry a lumber yard anymore. Right now we're at a CG that is level front to back, but way off right to left, we presently have the curb side wheels about 5 inches off the ground to get level. Friends that are here with us have a MH and are unable to get it level with it's auto level system. The Lippert system isn't cheap either, but it uses a 6 jack system, front landing gear, jacks in front and behind the axles. Love it, makes setup a breeze. All the best
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:36 AM   #6
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Boards are extremely simple to make and use. No high tech stuff to break. I've been using them and bubble levels since 1971. It doesn't take long to get good at estimating how high you need to raise it side to side.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:13 PM   #7
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After using a pop up for 20 years, we moved up to a fifth wheel this year. I bought a pressure treated 2x10x10 and had lowes cut it in half for me. Out of the five camping trips this year we used them twice. Each time one board worked great. I did have one problem when we needed to use it on the entrance side. I just have two steps so it made that first step up a big one so I bought an adjustable portable step for times when your site goes downhillfrom your door.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:34 AM   #8
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You may purchase an inexpensive set of stick-on levels that have a scale on them that tells you how much the low corner/side must be raised to obtain level. I have a set on my 5er, and use wood planks to drive the 5er on to reach level. The good side to using wood is, it's cheap; so when you drive away and leave them behind (yep, done that) you may simply stop by a lumber yard and buy some scrap lumber to make more.
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:30 AM   #9
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Used boards, on all 4, of my 5th wheels, prior to going coach. As well as long boards, a 2ft long board comes in handy too; Both wheels up , too much, just put one on the board for 1/2 the lift. If two boards is too much then stack the 2' on, one board. If you have a 5th wheel hitch without a double swivel, you may need to bring the truck up on the same side to take the load off the pin to disconnect/hook up.
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Old 09-14-2011, 11:31 AM   #10
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First: RV levels (The stick or bolt on kind) are often calibrated in "inches of lumber" these work very very well on side to side leveling as the wheel base (Side to side) for most RV's is very close to the rest of them..

Front to back leveling (Motor homes) in time you will figure it out. But since this distance varies big time from say a Gas class C to a Diesel pusher A, it is not possible to "Factory Calibrate" what is 1" on your rig might be 2 on mine or the other way around.

But you asked about side to side, The levels are good.

What I did with my class A

I built a bunch of stair steps

Start with a 2x{Width of tire tread} or a bit wider. This should be around 3 feet long
Now cut another one 2 feet long
Now cut another 1 foot long

Exact lengths are NOT critical but may be affected by the number of axles you have (This is for a single axle by the way)

Lay the middle length on top of the long one so it's perhaps 2 inches from one end.

Glue and screw (lag bolt) them together

Lay the short on top of the middle in the same manner,,, Glue and screw.

Now I have "Stair Steps" I can (While watching my level) back onto the first step, pause, back onto the 2nd step, pause, back onto the top step.
NOTE: a 2x2 Length equal to the width could be mounted 1" from the end of the short section as a "Parking stop" if you wished.

If you want more steps.. (Up to the point where you can't put it under the trailer ny more) add 1 foot per step to the bottom 2xN
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Old 09-14-2011, 03:33 PM   #11
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Built blocks for my 89 32' Class A

Bought six treated 2x10's x 8' long.
Cut the 2x10's into 18" long pieces untill I had 28 pieces.
Put two pieces side by side, laid one piece on top at one end and screwed them together.
The "block" is now 18" x 18" with one end is 1 1/2" thick and the other end is 3" thick.
This allows for use on front tires or rear dual tires.
Made 8 of the "blocks" (using 24 pieces of 2x10).
The other 4 pieces are for "ramping" if needed.

"Blocks" can be stacked and locked together to create taller "stacked blocks".
One "block" laid down as a sloped ramp allows fine tuning of RV leveling.
A "block" can be used as a ramp to get tires up onto "stacked blocks".

These are realatively light weight and weather resistant. You can stack them outside when not in use. They fit easily into most basement storage bays. You can stack them or lay them out as needed.

Cost is minimal. They are also great to use when working under the rv. Stack them and run the front or rear tires up on them to gain ground clearance for work.

My "new" RV has leveling jacks. I still use my "blocks" to raise the rv to get under it to work. Safer that way
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:54 PM   #12
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A few pictures:

1st one is one "block" under the rear duals. Was laid to ramp up onto it.

2nd one is a group of "blocks" (4) stacked together with 2 loose "ramps" on top.
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Old 09-16-2011, 03:08 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Cougarkid View Post
A few pictures:

1st one is one "block" under the rear duals. Was laid to ramp up onto it.

2nd one is a group of "blocks" (4) stacked together with 2 loose "ramps" on top.
Thanks for the pics. They help a lot.
Question though, in your opinion, are the 18" squares wide enough to catch both tires on a dully? If not, while parked, is it OK to support under just the inner (or outer) dully?
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Old 09-17-2011, 04:08 PM   #14
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I have a bubble level above the hitch and when the 5er is in place I just check the level. Seems to work out that 1 2x6 will be the same as one full bubble in my level. So if my level is off by one bubble I just place a 2x6 on the ground beside the 5er tires then pull front enough for my wife to slide the board over and then just back on the board. For half a bubble I use a 1x6. Anything less then half a bubble is not worth the effort.

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