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Old 02-08-2022, 03:11 PM   #1
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Max height for leveling camper

I am new to the camping world and recently bought a Forest River Salem FSX. We plan to park at our house but the driveway is a bit sloped from side to side. We will need to level the one side as much as 8". Is there a max height that's safe to level for long term parking (winter months)?
Front to back it's closer to level without much work.

I ask because the vast majority of block kits I see online only level as much as 4 1/2".

Thanks everyone
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Old 02-08-2022, 03:31 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by rolltyde1 View Post
I am new to the camping world and recently bought a Forest River Salem FSX. We plan to park at our house but the driveway is a bit sloped from side to side. We will need to level the one side as much as 8". Is there a max height that's safe to level for long term parking (winter months)?
Front to back it's closer to level without much work.

I ask because the vast majority of block kits I see online only level as much as 4 1/2".

Thanks everyone
Side to side is a piece of cake. You might even want to come up with a custom ramp that you put together out of wood that cradles the tires nice, raises it up the 8 inches and just keep it at home.

In my driveway I have the front to back issue and I end up stacking about 10 inches of wood blocks then I have to raise my tongue jack close to 12 inches. Quite a bit of height and weight to be sitting on the 2 inch metal pole and a tall stack of wood blocks. I don't like it but I only do it for short periods of time while the trailer is being prepped to go on a trip.
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Old 02-10-2022, 08:05 AM   #3
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Is the driveway paved?
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Old 02-10-2022, 08:33 AM   #4
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I would just get some treated 2x8's or 2x10's and make your own. Just stack and stagger the lengths to create a ramp. Easy peasy.
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Old 02-10-2022, 08:40 AM   #5
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Is the driveway paved?
Yes it is.
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Old 02-10-2022, 08:42 AM   #6
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I would just get some treated 2x8's or 2x10's and make your own. Just stack and stagger the lengths to create a ramp. Easy peasy.
Exactly what I was thinking. I was just unsure if 8-10" leveling was too high and would need to somehow find a different spot to park it where I don't need to level as much. (not that I have many options) ha ha
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Old 02-10-2022, 08:55 AM   #7
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It only needs to be level if you have a propane fueled 'evaporative' type fridge and you need to pre-chill before a trip. Depending on what side you are raising up, and type of steps you have for entry door, raising one side 8" could be an issue when trying to deploy steps.
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Old 02-10-2022, 09:20 AM   #8
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It only needs to be level if you have a propane fueled 'evaporative' type fridge and you need to pre-chill before a trip. Depending on what side you are raising up, and type of steps you have for entry door, raising one side 8" could be an issue when trying to deploy steps.
Ah good point. We have a 12volt fridge so no need for propane and leveling for the fridge. We have a slide out that we would want to occasionally move out to keep things moving and greased.
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Old 02-10-2022, 09:39 AM   #9
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I would also consider this if I didn't need it leveled all the time, but wanted to level it for some reason like you have company over and wanted to sleep in it or something: A couple boards and properly rated jackstands. A floor jack would make quick work of raising one side 8" if you didn't want to fuss with making a ramp. Make sure you jack on frame though, a lot of trailer axles won't tolerate being jacked on.
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Old 02-10-2022, 10:29 AM   #10
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Slide

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We have a slide out that we would want to occasionally move out to keep things moving and greased.
You're going to want to be level to move out the slide.
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Old 02-11-2022, 08:56 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by rolltyde1 View Post
I am new to the camping world and recently bought a Forest River Salem FSX. We plan to park at our house but the driveway is a bit sloped from side to side. We will need to level the one side as much as 8". Is there a max height that's safe to level for long term parking (winter months)?
Front to back it's closer to level without much work.

I ask because the vast majority of block kits I see online only level as much as 4 1/2".

Thanks everyone
Wow. 8 inches with those yellow blocks seems like a lot. Sounds like a lot of blocks. The higher you go the bigger the base should be. I would think about buying a couple of 8" or bigger boards.
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Old 02-11-2022, 09:07 AM   #12
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If you decide to use boards cut them short. If you cut them to fit under both tires with one board you risk them standing up when pulling on and off. I have seen two people do this. One ripped off the black and grey drain. The other did damage to the plastic trim around the wheel opening. I vote for the stackable blocks. They won't slide when pulling on, are very light, and easier to store. The cost is worth it.
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Old 02-11-2022, 09:33 AM   #13
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I would just get some treated 2x8's or 2x10's and make your own. Just stack and stagger the lengths to create a ramp. Easy peasy.
The chemicals in treated lumber is bad for the rubber tires, best not to use it. Use regular wood and paint with a good quality outdoor paint.
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Old 02-11-2022, 10:21 AM   #14
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Why?

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The chemicals in treated lumber is bad for the rubber tires, best not to use it. Use regular wood and paint with a good quality outdoor paint.
Why not just use treated lumber and put one layer of untreated 1x8 on the top surface?
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Old 02-11-2022, 10:51 AM   #15
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If the high side is on the door side you might have issues with your stairs. Especially if you have the new Morryde Steps.
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Old 02-11-2022, 11:41 AM   #16
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Why not just use treated lumber and put one layer of untreated 1x8 on the top surface?
That's another option, you just don't want the tires on the treated lumber
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Old 02-11-2022, 12:06 PM   #17
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If the high side is on the door side you might have issues with your stairs. Especially if you have the new Morryde Steps.
Yes, THIS! The door side is high and thus the steps and door are wonky. I want to keep level in driveway so that even when we aren't out camping, the camper can still be used in the driveway. Overnight guests, kids sleepovers ect.... Keeping it level in driveway with stabilizers down is the main goal here. So I just wanted to make sure that going as high as 8" on the one side to get to level wasn't pushing issues.
Great suggestions with the home-made levelers and avoiding treated lumber. At least on the board touching the tire. This is exactly why I post here. Little things like this that I wouldn't have thought about.

Thank you
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Old 02-11-2022, 12:58 PM   #18
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This is probably a small camper (although the FSX line goes all the way up to 32' toy haulers), so a lumber kluge is just fine. If possible, however, the right fix would be to have a paver come over and level your parking spot over a distance that would accommodate a larger camper in the future.

Every kluge is another PITA to deal with, and the right answer is a fundamentally level side-to-side place to park the trailer axles. The lumber ramp can be made sturdy enough to hold the weight, but in turn, the lumber ramp itself is going to be heavy and unwieldy. And it's a target you have to hit each time you park.

If it were me, I'd contact a local paving company and have them work you in to their schedule. I'd "drill" the existing pavement and put vertical rebar stubs in the original surface at the thickest point of the repair to prevent the layers from slipping on each other, and I'd make the level spot long enough to accommodate axle placement on a significantly longer trailer -- or a motorhome if that might be in your future.

Level isn't just important for an absorption fridge. It also matters for slide operation. If you boondock, getting a full freshwater tank depends on being level. If you dump at home (e.g. macerator pump) and your dump valves are on the downhill side, that shouldn't cause a problem, but if they are on the uphill side, you won't get a complete dump. Since level is important, a permanent solution, rather than a kluge, makes the most sense.

We moved into a new-to-us home last spring. My RV parking spot was not level to the tune of about 6" side-to-side. It is a dirt parking area, so the first thing I did is have about 16 cubic yards of road base delivered, and I rented a skid steer to spread it. Now I'm level to within about 1/2" side to side, and I'm sitting on material that both packs and drains well. Wouldn't have it any other way.

You'll spend a couple grand to fix your driveway, but it will be an investment rather than just an expense.
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Old 02-11-2022, 01:14 PM   #19
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P.S. to those who stack blocks of lumber under tongue jacks. Wet wood can easily slide on itself. A stack of 2" x 8" lumber is an accident waiting to happen. If your tongue jack is "way up there", consider that your blocking should interlock in some way.

The easiest way would be to use 4" x 4" (or larger) timbers and "pin" them together at the corners using rebar dropped through holes in the timbers...at all 4 corners. The timber column should be at least 24" on a side, so the very top "bridge" piece should also be pinned in place or fastended securely. Also note that, on a slope steep enough to require such a kluge, the slope itself will tilt your timber column to want things perched on it to slide downhill. Ideally, the foot of your timber column should be beveled to match the slope so your column of timbers is vertical and the force applied by the tongue jack is applied straight down...not at a diagonal that wants the timber column to fall over. That diagonal tilt also stresses the post on the tongue jack. The column should be high enough that the tongue jack only needs to extend enough to allow you to drop the coupler on the ball.

The leaning tower of Pisa might be OK for a weekend in the field (not really), but for your driveway setup, you should have a rock solid base under your tongue jack.
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Old 02-11-2022, 02:42 PM   #20
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Talking Treated or untreated wood leveling blocks

I see lots of recommendations that wood leveling blocks should be treated lumber. Treated lumber is hazardous to handle - that's why it resists deterioration from bugs and the elements. I suggest using plain untreated 2x8 to make your blocks. You are never going to see the wood rot away in a season and when it does it is cheap enough to replace and you can dispose of the old blocks almost anywhere unlike treated lumber which must be disposed of as hazardous waste. I like the suggestions about connecting blocks together but watch out if you use rebar - it would be too easy to puncture one of your tires.
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