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Old 11-06-2014, 05:15 PM   #1
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Homebuilt RV Ramp

My SMI Air Force One is supposed to arrive any day now. This will be my first attempt at working under the coach and the air will have to be bled down completely. So, I need some clearance for my big belly! I did a search for some plans but didn't really find what I was looking for so I started from scratch.

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I created these ramps to give myself 7.5” of extra room at the axle. I used some 1x12’s I had laying around. I’d have used 1x10’s if I had enough to save some weight … these buggers are about 60# each! Still, I’m not planning on carrying them when we travel so it’s just a matter of storing them in the shop.

My dimensions for length started with my tire’s contact area. At the rear they have about 14” of total contact area (close enough for these purposes). I wanted to have plenty of room so I made the top tier 24”. Then, to make the ramp gradual enough, I increased each lower tier by 6”. So, for each ramp I cut boards in the following lengths: 24”, 30”, 36”, 42”, and 48”.

To accommodate moving I drilled four holes in the 36” board and tied a piece of line into each one. The larger holes are 1-5/8”, a size that was chosen to accommodate the knotted line. (Quick tip: when drilling with hole saws, drill from one side until the pilot bit penetrates the bottom, then turn the piece over and drill from the other side. Makes for a cleaner hole and it's much easier to pull the plug out of the saw.) The smaller holes are drilled perpendicular to the larger ones and are 5/8” to easily accommodate the 1/2" line. Pull the line through one and tie an overhand knot; push the knot into the hole. The pull the other end through and tie it off at your desired length.

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I just guessed at the position of the larger holes, but it worked out. From the ramp end I measured 12” for the first hole and 20” for the second. If you scale the length of the ramp up or down you could easily adjust the measurements accordingly. I’ve moved the ramps a few times and this dimension seems to work pretty well for me.

Finally, I used some 2-1/2” deck screws I had on hand to put them all together.

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I could have trimmed the corners off of each piece to give a more ramp like approach, but it’s not really necessary. The tires climb the ramps nicely and, thankfully, my belly now fits under the coach with room to spare.

Hope this is helpful for someone.
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Old 11-06-2014, 06:02 PM   #2
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Nice job!
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Old 11-06-2014, 06:09 PM   #3
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Looks great! I'm about to build something similar with some planks so thanks for the pics and all!!!
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Old 11-06-2014, 06:12 PM   #4
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Nice job!
I did the same thing, with 4 layers. Make sure you block the front wheels. It will work fine. I also put in an Air Force one system, I like it
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Old 11-06-2014, 06:48 PM   #5
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I would also leave the edges of each board like you did. That gives you a little bit of an indicator which level you're on as the coach climbs up. Similar to the plastic Tri-Levelers I had for my truck camper.
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Old 11-06-2014, 07:01 PM   #6
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Nice work! Don't want to throw cold water on your project, but all that weight of the rig on the outer tire is very hard on that tire's sidewall. JMHO
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Old 11-06-2014, 07:06 PM   #7
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My home-built set (4 ramps) are not nearly as nice as yours, but do the job. The added height under the MH makes chassis service safer and easier access. While under the MH, remember to change your air dryer filter/valve kit, be a good time to change if your maintenance schedule is approaching. You'll already have the air system bled down anyway.
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Old 11-06-2014, 07:44 PM   #8
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Nice work! Don't want to throw cold water on your project, but all that weight of the rig on the outer tire is very hard on that tire's sidewall. JMHO
If it were a long term situation I would agree. However, for the few minutes/hours necessary for basic maintenance this is a completely acceptable procedure.
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Old 11-06-2014, 08:07 PM   #9
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Mine are only 3-steps but.. Basically same design sans the rope

(I pull mine out using the RV Wonder tool (Awning Hook)
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Old 11-06-2014, 08:34 PM   #10
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Very nice. You could make two sets if needed to put under each rear wheel.


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Old 11-06-2014, 09:57 PM   #11
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"lymanlouis".....Nice ramps. I do the same to work on mine. My new Freightliner chassis is lower than my Monaco was. I'm thicker too!

On a side note.....I installed the SMI on both of my coaches. When installing the airlines, buy some of the corrugated split wire loom wrap and install it around the airlines for added protection.

Also......they give you a large screw that is used to hold the cable from the brake pedal piston to the floorboard. (You'll understand when you look at the directions). I never liked the self tapping screw and when I installed the system on various vehicles, I used a bolt and locknut to secure the cable to the floorboard (drilled through).
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Old 11-06-2014, 10:57 PM   #12
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I did kind of the same except I use mine to level the rig @ a CG. I am using 2 2x12's (both tires sit on them with extra width) for the rears and 1 2x6 for the fronts.
I added a 1x4 under the front of the boards to help with getting the MH up and started. I have a 2X6 or 2x4 under where the tire will sit depending on how much I have to raise it to be level. Yes I am concerned about the extra weight but I'm Planning on keeping them in the toad trunk. So far they have worked. I will take some pic's tomorrow if it isn't SNOWING.
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Old 11-06-2014, 10:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
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On a side note.....I installed the SMI on both of my coaches. When installing the airlines, buy some of the corrugated split wire loom wrap and install it around the airlines for added protection.

Also......they give you a large screw that is used to hold the cable from the brake pedal piston to the floorboard. (You'll understand when you look at the directions). I never liked the self tapping screw and when I installed the system on various vehicles, I used a bolt and locknut to secure the cable to the floorboard (drilled through).
Excellent advice....I I'd the same.
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Old 11-07-2014, 07:36 AM   #14
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Very nice ramps, They look good and sturdy.
Now build yourself some chocks for the front wheels.
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