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Old 07-05-2011, 07:54 PM   #1
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Leveling jacks

Went camping this weekend and saw two motorhomes with their rear tires off the ground, one was just a few inches and the other had blocks under the jacks and were off the ground at least a foot. I guess they don't read the irv2 forem. I was waiting for a Robin Williams moment and see them slide off in the woods.
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:09 PM   #2
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Sometimes rhe campgrounds are so bad that you need to get some of the tires off of the ground. I know it is not the best option but sometimes you have no choice. I have been in this situation and have bad no problems with it. Make sure your blocks are square and check after you are level. I would not do this long term but for a day or two you can get by.
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:14 PM   #3
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they are not jacks, they are called stabilizers.
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
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they are not jacks, they are called stabilizers.
Beg to differ.

HWH calls them jacks: HWH Telescoping Jacks

Atwood calls them levelers: http://www.atwoodmobile.com/manuals/...2011.21.07.pdf

The dictionary says that a jack is a: lifting device.

Levelers are designed to lift so IMHO that makes them a jack.

Stabilizers would prevent side to side movement. The leveling jacks are not designed for that purpose. If you get the tires off the ground and get sidewise pressure (ex: high wind) the MH can shift and the jacks bend, break, collapse, or otherwise fail.

If the wheels must come up far enough to take them off the ground, drive up on pads than put an equal number of pads under the jacks. On most motorhomes the parking brake is on the rear wheels. If you take both of them off the ground I would highly recommend that the front wheels be well chocked.

Personally, if I'm in a place where one or more tire has to come off the ground to level the coach, I'm in the wrong place and need to move somewhere else.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:42 AM   #5
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ok... lets try this. Lots of resorts in northern climates, and many other places as well, cheap cabins are built. They lay some cinderblocks on the ground, a stack of 2 or 3 or 4, whatever it takes to make a 4 corner level "foundation."

And then they build the cabin on those 4 stacks of cinderblocks on the ground.

The cabins do NOT EVER "ROLL" downhill.

Why in the world would anyone think that a motorhome up on jacks is going to ROLL anywhere?
The tires are OFF THE GROUND!

My driveway is terribly unlevel, slopes badly toward the back, and even worse to the rear corner.
I've been leveling 2 different motorhomes on it for 4 years. The Pace Arrow was most comfortable pulled in forward, and hanging the front wheels, left front would be a good 6" clear of the pavement.
The Knight likes to back in. Dump the air and jack her up. The right rear corner sometimes ends up an inch or 2 off the ground.

Never a problem.

For something to "roll" it has to be on "WHEELS"
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:00 AM   #6
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Let me add my 2 cents! The jacks are provided to stabilize the coach. If a tire is off the ground the frame will flex and the slides will bot be square to extend and retract. That's not good. Driving up on wood to keep the frame from twisting is the correct way to solve the problem. That being said, I would ask for a more level site, or ask for a credit back on my card and find another rv park.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:03 AM   #7
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I note with interest the Attwood manual provided by Historyljc expressly forbids lifting the tires off the ground or putting blocks under the jack for greater height. I have Power Gear and they make the same prohibitions for the safe operation of their jacks. Both also say never lift off the ground for tire changes etc;

Just because people do it---or get away with it---or have never had a problem does not make it safe.

No matter what they are called or who makes them it seems the three manufacturers mentioned so far all believe it is a bad idea to lift your wheels off the ground with them----or use blocks to increase height.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:14 AM   #8
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I note with interest the Attwood manual provided by Historyljc expressly forbids lifting the tires off the ground or putting blocks under the jack for greater height. I have Power Gear and they make the same prohibitions for the safe operation of their jacks. Both also say never lift off the ground for tire changes etc;

Just because people do it---or get away with it---or have never had a problem does not make it safe.

No matter what they are called or who makes them it seems the three manufacturers mentioned so far all believe it is a bad idea to lift your wheels off the ground with them----or use blocks to increase height.
Just a thought, but consider a legal claim resulting from a problem if the manf. endorsed lifting a wheel (or wheels) off the ground. It would only make common sense they're not going to endorse the practice. CYA....
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:09 AM   #9
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On my MH they are called leveling jacks. The crank down ones on 5th wheels and tags are called stablizers. In my manual it reads (don't lift the rear wheels of the ground.) If you don't want to lift any of the wheel off the ground don't do it. I do lift the ftont wheels off the ground if nessesary for front to back leveling but I will not do it if there is a severe side slope.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:21 AM   #10
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I suspect those that don't lift the rear wheels of the ground will never convince those that do that to do so is a bad idea. And those that do will never convince those that don't that it is a safe thing to do. Read the book that came with you MH/Jacks and do what you think best. As for me I have had the situation where the rear wheels were off the ground and a short time later the wheels were back on the ground as the jacks sank just a bit and the mh rocked backwards. So for me I leave em on the ground.
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:43 AM   #11
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Just a thought, but consider a legal claim resulting from a problem if the manf. endorsed lifting a wheel (or wheels) off the ground. It would only make common sense they're not going to endorse the practice. CYA....
Sure--liability has a lot to do with manufacturers reccomendations---I guess my subtle point was to say that maybe individuals who choose to ignore manufacturer reccomendations would be wise to consider their own personal liability as they do----but it comes as no suprise to me that many disregard these warnings as they do other warnings for other products (do not point this gun at anything you do not intend to shoot---- the ultimate CYA-----still plenty of people get shot/killed by unloaded guns every year).

I choose to think that along with liability manufacturers of the levelors/stabilizers-----what ever you call them------are following engineering and design specifications which when constructed say this thing is only designed to work this way---we did not intend for anyone to be raising their vehicle off the ground so we say so in our literature and instructions----fair warning. We provide other safety measures for that circumstance where you need to lift your vehicle.

My nephew is an engineer and speaks of the number of times he has seen overweight vehicles collapse a bridge where the load limit is clearly marked-----the truck driver says "well you guys over engineer anyway that sign is just a warning to CYA". Well no as a matter of fact when we say it will hold ten tons thats is in fact what we mean.

Violate these warnings at your own peril---I make no judgements---I'll save those for the day that a falling MH--hurts someone else. Then everyone has a lot to say----especially the offender if his/her attorney will let them speak that is.

The OP ask for a comment---now they have the benefit of mine to accept or reject. It's not an argument.
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:58 AM   #12
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I agree it's not a good idea to raise the rear wheels off the ground for obvious reasons but know there may be a time when it's required. Several months ago we had a problem with our HWH system. (The system had no power) I called HWH and talked with one of their tech that gave me several things to check. I eventually found the problem and called him back. While I had him on the line I asked him about using the HWH sytem if I had a flat. He said that it wasn't a problem. The key here is to use good judgement and common sense. Be safe!!
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:21 PM   #13
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I'll throw this in to the mix. Freightliner says never use the jacks, levelers, stabilizers or whatever you choose to call the things that makes your motorhome level to raise the tire/tires off the ground. If its the rear tires you will not have any brakes and of course the air bags will be doing the supporting. I would think that on a gasser, having the axle, wheels and tires hanging from the shock absorbers would not be what they were designed for. Of course if you been successful in doing this for a cozillion years I would suggest you continue and I will hope your luck continues.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:43 PM   #14
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Funny...........Two weeks ago, there was a class A that had its front wheels completely off the ground about 1 foot. I went to sleep think what a deal !!

When I woke up the next day, and the wind was blowing 45 mph, the motohome was on the ground, the levelers bent sideways, and the owners standing outside scratching his head. Couple hours late, this huge wrecker shows up, hooks up to the thing and takes, him , his wife, his dog, and his moho down the road to a repair shop.

I have wondered for days what that must have cost him.
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