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Old 08-30-2016, 02:30 PM   #1
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Ground clearance with jacks up down to the ground

I am new to this site and to rving in general (have a boating background) and was wondering if some of the real Pros on here could give me their best opinion and experiences on ground clearance between jacks when all the way up and the actual ground on a class C (perhaps even vs a class A). No matter how hard I try, I cannot find anything on the ground clearances on any of the class C rigs. Nowhere, nada. I know it isn't much of a clearence but what is it and where do you find it? And by clearance I mean how far from the jacks when they are up going down to the actual ground. Another sort of related question is can you add bigger sized tires to raise the clearence some or perhaps even raise the jacks? You can always use blocks to bring the ground up to the jacks which is better than bring the jacks into contact with a large speed bump! Hope to hear your opinions and experiences. Really appreciated it.
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Old 08-30-2016, 03:18 PM   #2
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The bottom of the rear differential will drag long before anything else, if your rig is designed well. You can add bigger tires, but you lose clearance in the wheel wells and may drag inside the wheel wells during suspension movement and full travel turning. Bigger tires will not give you much clearance before causing more problems. What problem are you trying to fix? Going off roading with a motorhome is not a good idea, unless you have one of those built for it.
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Old 08-30-2016, 03:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rvlegaleagle View Post
I am new to this site and to rving in general (have a boating background) and was wondering if some of the real Pros on here could give me their best opinion and experiences on ground clearance between jacks when all the way up and the actual ground on a class C (perhaps even vs a class A). No matter how hard I try, I cannot find anything on the ground clearances on any of the class C rigs. Nowhere, nada. I know it isn't much of a clearence but what is it and where do you find it? And by clearance I mean how far from the jacks when they are up going down to the actual ground. Another sort of related question is can you add bigger sized tires to raise the clearence some or perhaps even raise the jacks? You can always use blocks to bring the ground up to the jacks which is better than bring the jacks into contact with a large speed bump! Hope to hear your opinions and experiences. Really appreciated it.
1. On a Ford F53 Class A landing jacks don't seem to reduce the ground clearance vs the standard Ford F53 design.
I have a 2015 Ford F53 Chassis built class A motorhome and it has LCI Hydraulic Jacks, the front jacks retract to the same height as the tie rod and are less than 12" behind the tie rod. The rear jacks are about 3" lower than the gas tank support structure, and retracted are higher than the bottom of the rear differential
.

2. Jacks can reduce the ground clearance on Class C motorhomes from 7-8" to 5-6".
I base this statement on looking at Mercedes Sprinter chassis with landing jacks and how the jacks hang down when retracted. Also also base this on personal experience having a Ford E450 Chassis Class C with HWH landing jacks and the jacks hung down about 2" below the tie rod and differential.
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Old 08-30-2016, 03:59 PM   #4
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I really do not think anyone should plan on traveling to places where the jacks may drag. If you are even considering it seek alternative accommodation. Maybe a tent in the back of a 4X4. LOL
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Old 08-31-2016, 06:01 PM   #5
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Learned a few things on here. First, my post of yesterday was on page 10 of the new posts, boy you guys post a lot! Second, you are smart bunch. Third, I was hoping to boondock some because the whole idea for me starting RVing is getting back to nature. Fourth, I am also concerned about bottoming out even on paved roads, speed bumps, gas stations etc but Tony explained the height of the jacks may not even be the lowest point on a class C.

Along the lines of number 3 above, I am not interested in just driving on the inter-state highway systems. Am more interested in the state, county and local roads going through each of the states and lets not forget about the mountain roads. A class C is smaller than an A along with all the other benefits you all already know about.

Seems like the rig is rigged. The amount of trade offs are endless. Nothing as complicated as buying a boat. Well, I am going from boating all my life to RVing so I will have to just get used to it and figure a way. Thanks for your time in responding. Still frustrated on eastern Long Island!

PS. What is the deal with the 30% increase in the cost of a rig from 2016 to 2017? Think the manufacturers should think about the price of gas going up after November, no?
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Old 08-31-2016, 08:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rvlegaleagle View Post
Learned a few things on here. First, my post of yesterday was on page 10 of the new posts, boy you guys post a lot! Second, you are smart bunch. Third, I was hoping to boondock some because the whole idea for me starting RVing is getting back to nature. Fourth, I am also concerned about bottoming out even on paved roads, speed bumps, gas stations etc but Tony explained the height of the jacks may not even be the lowest point on a class C.

Along the lines of number 3 above, I am not interested in just driving on the inter-state highway systems. Am more interested in the state, county and local roads going through each of the states and lets not forget about the mountain roads. A class C is smaller than an A along with all the other benefits you all already know about.

Seems like the rig is rigged. The amount of trade offs are endless. Nothing as complicated as buying a boat. Well, I am going from boating all my life to RVing so I will have to just get used to it and figure a way. Thanks for your time in responding. Still frustrated on eastern Long Island!

PS. What is the deal with the 30% increase in the cost of a rig from 2016 to 2017? Think the manufacturers should think about the price of gas going up after November, no?
RVs same size same brand do not increase in price 30 % from one year to the next, you can't be comparing apples to apples. If it is true then there are 200 RV brands out there just scratch that one off your list if you don't like the price.

I would be looking in the used market for your first starter RV anyway, no one EVER gets exactly what they end up being happy with on their first purchase of an RV. Minimize your first cost until you have traveled in one and actually used one you won't know your likes and dislikes fully.
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Old 08-31-2016, 08:26 PM   #7
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Might add the the LCI jacks have 12 equal spaced holes in the jack mount to allow for the different size tires on the same F-53 chassis. If you don't like how far the jacks hang down, remove the four bolts holding then to the frame and move them where you want. The hoses are plenty long to move them most anywhere. Of course moving them up decreases the leveling ability of the system.
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Old 08-31-2016, 11:02 PM   #8
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Oh yeah, the fifth thing I learned is to watch out for the "senior" members...lol. As to market share, which is what really counts, there are maybe 5 big corporations once you get past all the underneath purportedly anti, anti-trust seperate independently owned corp names with big daddy really in control. Right now I think Thor has about a 80% market share having recently "bought" Jayco. So if you think Thor and Jayco are really seperate, keep believing.... "the better to control you with deary..." what movie was that from?

But that was only a PS reference..... my main question was answered by Tony. The class C rigs I was looking at all have the Ford 450, the F53 is the class A. Maybe the same concept will apply to the Ford 450 too but the real issue is low ground clearance and that is not going to change unless the tires get bigger.

Thanks for your insights and suggestions.
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Old 09-01-2016, 06:54 AM   #9
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When we install our leveling systems on motor homes, there are a couple factors we take into consideration. The general idea is to have have roughly 8 inches of ground clearance, and still have five to six inches of travel left for the jack to work through the leveling process. The fronts are usually a non issue when it comes to varying clearance on pavement and low driveways, because they are mounted close to the front suspension. The lower control arm should still be the lowest point up front.
In the rear, the easy way to explain it is to take a piece of string and put it on the ground at the center of the rear tire, and pull it up to the lowest point at the rear of the coach. This could be your bumper, spare tire, electric stabilizer, etc. You've basically made a triangle with that string and the bottom of the RV. Anything inside that triangle (above the string) will be safe, as the low point in the rear will have to hit the ground before anything else in the triangle will.
Hope this helps a little! If you need more info, feel free to give us a call!
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