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Old 04-12-2013, 09:24 PM   #1
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Blocks vs Bal Leveler

As my best friend I caravanned to the show today, they had to block to level side to sid. I offered my Bal to them, but neither had heard of it & was concerned with what it might do to the tire. I told her many of you use them & I got one "just in case" since I am have a backing up handicap. haha They declined and used the blocks after a couple forward and backs. Has anyone every sustained trailer tire damage using a Bal?
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:49 PM   #2
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I've used one for years with no evidence of tire damage. I plan to keep on using it. Although with a bit of practice, boards are very quick and effective to use. I had a neat and easy board setup that went with my Niagara when it was sold.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:52 PM   #3
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Thanks Tom! I had not needed to use mine (yet) and I didnt know what to say other than other users positive experiences.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:16 AM   #4
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I've used the BAL on 3 different trailers through the years without any tire problems.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:44 AM   #5
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The Bal leveler also serves as a strong chock when camping on level ground.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:44 AM   #6
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I never had one but always wanted one when I had the pop-up. :-) I never heard of issues with them.
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:06 PM   #7
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I love mine - my favorite "add on". Doesn't do tire damage.
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:35 PM   #8
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Had one from the beginning for two yrs with my pop up and loved it. Never had any issues with the tires. Wish they made something so simple and quick to use for the TT.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handbuilder View Post
As my best friend I caravanned to the show today, they had to block to level side to sid. I offered my Bal to them, but neither had heard of it & was concerned with what it might do to the tire. I told her many of you use them & I got one "just in case" since I am have a backing up handicap. haha They declined and used the blocks after a couple forward and backs. Has anyone every sustained trailer tire damage using a Bal?
Handbuilder:

Can you please explain how the BAL leveler works? Is it like a jack? Does it fit around the tire? After you get your camper level, how far does it stick out from the side of your camper? Will it damage a tire or leave marks? If it works like a jack and you get the tire off the ground, can you slip a board(s) under the raised tire?

The campground I usually camp at has no real level sites and that always means I have to jack up the camper and put boards under the raised tire. (My scissors jack is a pain in the neck to operate as it does not have the long handle most scissors jacks do and it does not have a nut where the handle attaches but rather a "S" hook arrangement.)

Appreciate your help,

Jim
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:33 AM   #10
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The Bal Leveler is a "U" shaped jack to raise the low side of your trailer. Once parked with the high side chocked, the Bal slips around the tire with wide pads on each side of tire. The heavy lifting is done by a jackscrew on the top potion that fits into a greased cup on the lower portion, hinged together at the ends of the "U". When you turn the screw, it raises the upper portion and tire pads, lifting the trailer.

The Bal comes with a ratcheting wrench that fits on top of the jackscrew, and it can be plenty of work to raise it with the wrench. Many people use a battery power drill with an appropriate socket. A drill needs a lot of torque but need not be a professional tool. I used a 19.1 volt Sears drill for years. For lighter A Frame trailers, it won't be as hard as it was for my heavy Niagara. The drill can also make speedy work of lowering the stabilizers and with a bit of adaptation can be used on the tongue jack.

No need to slip boards under the tire, it is the job of the Bal to support the tire. It serves as a support and a chock and provides a very stable hold that eliminates tire wiggle. Although it is a good idea to slip a small deck board when parked on dirt under because the leveler can compact the surface, making it hard to remove after lowering. I can't measure right now but IIRC it sticks our less than a foot.

BTW the best way to level your trailer with boards is to back up onto them. Get a stack of deck boards with the top one long enough for your tire, a stop at the back and small chock in the front. Cut them as a 45 degree angle. When you arrive at camp, park the trailer, estimate the height you need to achieve and put down the number of boards required. Then back up on them. Your stabilizer jacks and trailer frame are not designed to lift the camper for leveling.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:56 AM   #11
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Bal Leveler

Here is a picture of the leveler shown in position. It hugs around the tire and lifts the side by ratcheting it up. Its so simple, I can easily do it if I ever need to level side to side! :-)
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooneil View Post
The Bal Leveler is a "U" shaped jack to raise the low side of your trailer. Once parked with the high side chocked, the Bal slips around the tire with wide pads on each side of tire. The heavy lifting is done by a jackscrew on the top potion that fits into a greased cup on the lower portion, hinged together at the ends of the "U". When you turn the screw, it raises the upper portion and tire pads, lifting the trailer.

The Bal comes with a ratcheting wrench that fits on top of the jackscrew, and it can be plenty of work to raise it with the wrench. Many people use a battery power drill with an appropriate socket. A drill needs a lot of torque but need not be a professional tool. I used a 19.1 volt Sears drill for years. For lighter A Frame trailers, it won't be as hard as it was for my heavy Niagara. The drill can also make speedy work of lowering the stabilizers and with a bit of adaptation can be used on the tongue jack.

No need to slip boards under the tire, it is the job of the Bal to support the tire. It serves as a support and a chock and provides a very stable hold that eliminates tire wiggle. Although it is a good idea to slip a small deck board when parked on dirt under because the leveler can compact the surface, making it hard to remove after lowering. I can't measure right now but IIRC it sticks our less than a foot.

BTW the best way to level your trailer with boards is to back up onto them. Get a stack of deck boards with the top one long enough for your tire, a stop at the back and small chock in the front. Cut them as a 45 degree angle. When you arrive at camp, park the trailer, estimate the height you need to achieve and put down the number of boards required. Then back up on them. Your stabilizer jacks and trailer frame are not designed to lift the camper for leveling.
Tom:

Thanks for the info. I appreciate it.

I have 2 X 6 blocks of wood that I carry with me. One is two blocks nailed together but although they are beveled, when I try and back onto them, they slide as soon as the tire touches them. (Most places I camp at all have very sandy soil.) I tried pounding them in tight with a rubber mallet but they still slide away. I even tried gunning the car but they still slide. I believe it's the sandy soil that won't allow the blocks to stay still.

I hate to invest some $90.00 on BAL Levelers only to find out my drill won't be powerful enough. (Black and Decker 18V Ni Cad battery. Not very powerful.) And if the drill isn't powerful enough, I'm back to jacking up the camper as I do now. I'm in a dilemma! My camper weighs about 1900 lbs., empty. I would guess it weighs about 2100 lbs. with my stuff in it. Do you think my drill could handle the job? My previous pop up weighed about 1400 lbs., empty, and jacking it up was not as hard. Plus, I'm 75 years old and all this jacking just wears me out! It took me one hour just to level it up. (My first time, I put two blocks under the tire and that was too high. So I had to jack it up again and just use one block. By then, I was worn out.)

I sincerely appreciate your help. This is such a wonderful forum. So many helpful people and such good information. I'm so glad I found it.

Thanks again Tom,

Jim
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handbuilder View Post
Here is a picture of the leveler shown in position. It hugs around the tire and lifts the side by ratcheting it up. Its so simple, I can easily do it if I ever need to level side to side! :-)
Handbuilder:

Thanks for the photo. That's the best picture I've seen of one. Now I understand what Tom was describing. Appreciate your help.

Jim
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:44 PM   #14
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jjdcamper

I was looking at some B&D drillls today. If you have the same one I saw, it did not look robust enough to me. EVery drill I've used has a 2 speed gearbox, and must be set in low gear to get enough torque.

As far as blocks, You can try lynx levelers use a deck board with a stop on the end to keep them from sliding. Even a piece of bar stock screwed to the end so it sticks up half way on the board above. I have used beveled deck boards and found that they didn't slide.
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:14 PM   #15
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Jim,

I too am of advanced years, and I find that a set of Lynx Levelers does all I need to level my camper without any exertion. Each leveler will raise the wheel one to two inches. They weigh next to nothing, they're nearly indestructible and they interlock for stacking. They come in a zippered case for easy storing. Before unhitching I just look at the bubble level I glued to the front of my camper and decide how much leveling I'm going to need. There are ten levelers in a set and I've never needed the whole set to get the camper level side to side. I set the leveler(s) I think I'll need on the ground either ahead of or behind the camper tire on the low side, then back or pull the trailer up on them. No cranking, no jacking, no hassle. The BAL levelers will give you finer adjustments but I figure if I'm within a quarter bubble of perfect side to side leveling that's good enough. Any Lynx not needed under the wheel can be used under the stabilizers.

And I imagine the set I got three years ago will last the rest of my camping career.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:16 PM   #16
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I find that a set of Lynx Levelers does all I need to level my camper without any exertion.
They seem to be the simplest way.

http://www.lynxlevelers.com/newtest/new_index.php
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:01 PM   #17
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Tom:

Thanks for the info. I appreciate it.

I have 2 X 6 blocks of wood that I carry with me. One is two blocks nailed together but although they are beveled, when I try and back onto them, they slide as soon as the tire touches them. (Most places I camp at all have very sandy soil.) I tried pounding them in tight with a rubber mallet but they still slide away. I even tried gunning the car but they still slide. I believe it's the sandy soil that won't allow the blocks to stay still.

I hate to invest some $90.00 on BAL Levelers only to find out my drill won't be powerful enough. (Black and Decker 18V Ni Cad battery. Not very powerful.) And if the drill isn't powerful enough, I'm back to jacking up the camper as I do now. I'm in a dilemma! My camper weighs about 1900 lbs., empty. I would guess it weighs about 2100 lbs. with my stuff in it. Do you think my drill could handle the job? My previous pop up weighed about 1400 lbs., empty, and jacking it up was not as hard. Plus, I'm 75 years old and all this jacking just wears me out! It took me one hour just to level it up. (My first time, I put two blocks under the tire and that was too high. So I had to jack it up again and just use one block. By then, I was worn out.)

I sincerely appreciate your help. This is such a wonderful forum. So many helpful people and such good information. I'm so glad I found it.

Thanks again Tom,

Jim
I used a long 1/2 ratchet with a long extension so I didn't even need to get down on my knees ( both of which sound like Rice Krispys) . My Pop up was at about 3000# and it was very easy to jack up. Another thing I liked was you dont need to carry around a chock, just slide the BAL in and if the ground is level you just snug it up to the tire and done. Like I said if I could I would use it on my TT.

Joe
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:05 AM   #18
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I also have the Bal Leveler and the Lynx Blocks and I prefer the Lynx Blocks, quick and easy and no weight . The Bal Leveler does weigh alot. Have had my Lynx Blocks since 2005, a little discolored from the sun but they work just fine.
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:04 AM   #19
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To all the people who have helped with the leveling:

Thank you very much for all your input. I really appreciate it. I knew I could count on this forum for the proper help and I got it! I will check out the Lynx arrangement from the link Tom was kind enough to send to me. I do believe I'll find a solution between BAL and Lynx.

Thank you everybody for your help!

Jim
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:18 AM   #20
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The Lynx vs Bal discussion is a perennial on the Pupup Explorer forum, with each side having adamant adherents. Both systems have benefits and detriments discussed here, so the choice is pretty much up to the preference of the individual. Both will get an AFrame up to level.

My thought was that as long as I was taking a drill along to raise the heavy top on my Niagara, I might as well use it to level the camper. But now that it is a light arm lift to raise the top, maybe a shift to Lynx are in order. Then I can use my old 12V Dewalt drill to operate the stabilizers. It is getting lonely in my chest for seldom used tools.
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