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Old 09-13-2020, 09:40 AM   #1
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Wheels off the ground when leveling

I have at times had to have the front wheel(s) off the ground to be level. My wife doesn’t like this. I don’t feel it is a problem. Thoughts, comments? While I’m at it I don’t normally put pads under my jacks. But I’ve noticed many people do and I’m curious as to why?
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Old 09-13-2020, 10:01 AM   #2
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I've had to raise my coach on numerous occasions to where the front wheels are off the ground. Don't know what people are afraid of if done (when any vehicle goes on a rack the wheels are just hanging there). Raising all the tires off is a no-no though and is a warning in the systems manual. The reason some blocks might be used is so the leveling strut does not extend to far; only had to use some a couple times. Here's an example while in Estes Park, CO.
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Old 09-13-2020, 10:08 AM   #3
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No joke....I've seen MH's with front wheels as much as a foot or higher off the ground..
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Old 09-13-2020, 10:19 AM   #4
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I rough level my C with leveling blocks before putting the auto levelers down. It's more stable with wheels on the ground. Besides, you have a hose blow or something break with that thing in the air, that will be quite a ride and possibly do some damage especially if it doesn't come down straight.
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Old 09-13-2020, 10:24 AM   #5
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Rick g, Thanks for posting this question as I just logged into this forum to post a similar question. I've had my 2020 FR3 since Feb and we've been camping several times where the MH leveling system didn't lift the tires off the ground, but we're camping right now where the rear tires were lifted up a little. I borrowed some wood boards to place under the rear tires for additional support. I'll wait to see more replies to your post but wanted to add this question:

What block supports are recommended for these FR3 units due to the weight?

I've owned several TT units in the past and used support blocks for obvious reasons, but the weight was lighter and hydraulic lifts weren't involved.
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Old 09-13-2020, 10:50 AM   #6
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I use the square plastic stackable interlocking leveling blocks under my 32 foot Sunseeker Class C and never had a problem. I would be real nervous with the rear tires off the ground.
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Old 09-13-2020, 12:48 PM   #7
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never let the real wheels off the ground and do not trust the jacks for the front i always use blocks to leaver close then use the jacks to finish just saying
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Old 09-13-2020, 12:49 PM   #8
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Watch out

Front wheels off ground looks bad but isn't serious as compared to rear wheels. Your emergency brake on gas models is hooked to rear wheels. if you raise rear and your on a slope you run the risk of rolling away( see owners manuals) Put extra blocks under down riggers (at least 2x6's) to keep this situation under control.
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Old 09-13-2020, 12:52 PM   #9
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Howdy, Front wheels are not a big problem being off the ground, although if you can get something under them the camper will be more stable and not rock as much. I myself have had the front of my FR3 34DS a foot high on more than one occasion. My own thoughts are I never want the rear wheels off the ground as those are where the parking brakes are. If something fails you don't want to be sliding or rolling away. There is an argument that if you have the weight on the leveling legs how are you going to roll? I understand but still want the added security of knowing I can't or maybe I should say won't easily roll. As for the pads, I installed a set of snap pads. These are thick rubber pads that attach to the leveling legs and stay on them at all times, to increase the amount of surface area that makes contact to the ground. The increase area does a couple of things for you. First it is less likely to leave indents in asphalt, (I store my RV at home on an Asphalt pad) secondly the increase area and the surface tension of the rubber makes it less likely to slide or move. I like the idea that is mentioned to have blocks or boards under the pads, so the leveler does not extend down as far, but have never done so.
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Old 09-13-2020, 12:55 PM   #10
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The manual for hydraulic jack say not to lift wheels off the ground. That is a lot of weight and the RV can be unstable. Use blocks or wood under the front wheels for stability if front wheels lift up from the ground. Lots of water flowing from rain could make it even more unstable.

Never, ever lift the back wheels off the ground. This is because there is where your vehicle brakes hold the vehicle in place and stop rolling forward or backward. Again, drive up on wood or blocks to keep those back tires on contact with the ground.
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Old 09-13-2020, 12:55 PM   #11
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Doesn't apply to me so much, but I've stayed at a couple 'resorts' in the SW that wanted pads/blocks under leveling jack bases to spread out the weight so the jack bases didn't make indentations in their blacktop on hot days.
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Old 09-13-2020, 01:14 PM   #12
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When we had our "Holiday Ruiner" (H/R), the issue of the front wheels off the ground always concerned us. Not only did it make the unit less stable, but it raised the front so high at times that when I put the additional step on the surface of the ground at full height, we had to take a longer step up to get to the rv's lowest step. That's one of the reasons (of many) why we went back to a fifth wheel. On occaision we have to put boards under one side of the unit or the other for leveling latittudinally, but we still have all fours touching a firm surface.
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Old 09-13-2020, 01:43 PM   #13
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There is another post where a guy had a leveler bracket break loose from the frame because of crappy welds. I can say mine don't look that great but they are holding. Point is, if you have the wheels off the ground and one of these fails you could put a leveler cylinder through the floor or do other damage from extreme twist in the chassis.
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Old 09-13-2020, 02:51 PM   #14
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I've always been a believer that these jacks especially the front ones are stabilizing/leveling not lifting and IMHO to my knowledge they technically are not designed to lift or support the weight of a motorhome off the ground completely but rather to provide a means to take raise the tires enough to help eliminate the bouncing and excessive motion that happens without them being raised. I've practiced this in my 45 years of owning everything from Pop-ups, TTs and now for some time my Class A. Several years ago I saw, though right after it happened followed by a lot of screaming, a Class A that was raised, the front ones, about a foot of the ground during heavy rain actually slide downward while the occupants were walking up and down inside the rig. I've also heard about another Class A that had raised his front tires and one of the stabilizer brackets snap off from the downward pressure or stress on the welds by the motion present, again, of walking up and down. Now granted that person had said they've raised the tires, more than once, off the ground. As other's in this thread, have mentioned some manufacturers even state in the manuals not to do it, though some folks said they've done it without issues doesn't mean it's safe. Putting leveling pads I think would help take the weight, some but.... I've read that stabilizers sometimes need to be resync if they're raising it off the pavement even on seemingly level surfaces. I have friends that do not trust the auto system and always manually level there Rigs just because the auto system always seems to raise the front tires off the ground. In the end it's a decision you'll have to make and feel comfortable but as many have said the rears must always be on the ground. Oh one last thought, if you putting your stabilizers down even on concrete use either blocks or 2x10's under each one as asphalt in warm weather will sink, gravel or dirt in rain will also as for concrete especially in a friends driveway may not be designed to support that much weight and crack. Happy trails...
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Old 09-13-2020, 03:53 PM   #15
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I donít like the front wheels off the ground and never the rear wheels. Having the front wheels off the ground tends to make the unit move around too much and I donít really feel they are designed to carry the weight.
I carry a couple of three foot 2x8 boards and some blocks too ramp up on and then place blocking under the pads. Placing blocks under the pads keeps the cylinders from extending all the way which will create an unstable situation.
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Old 09-13-2020, 04:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick g View Post
I have at times had to have the front wheel(s) off the ground to be level. My wife doesn’t like this. I don’t feel it is a problem. Thoughts, comments? While I’m at it I don’t normally put pads under my jacks. But I’ve noticed many people do and I’m curious as to why?
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Originally Posted by Winddancer View Post
Howdy, Front wheels are not a big problem being off the ground, although if you can get something under them the camper will be more stable and not rock as much. I myself have had the front of my FR3 34DS a foot high on more than one occasion. My own thoughts are I never want the rear wheels off the ground as those are where the parking brakes are. If something fails you don't want to be sliding or rolling away. There is an argument that if you have the weight on the leveling legs how are you going to roll? I understand but still want the added security of knowing I can't or maybe I should say won't easily roll. As for the pads, I installed a set of snap pads. These are thick rubber pads that attach to the leveling legs and stay on them at all times, to increase the amount of surface area that makes contact to the ground. The increase area does a couple of things for you. First it is less likely to leave indents in asphalt, (I store my RV at home on an Asphalt pad) secondly the increase area and the surface tension of the rubber makes it less likely to slide or move. I like the idea that is mentioned to have blocks or boards under the pads, so the leveler does not extend down as far, but have never done so.
2x on SnapPads.

I have a SnapPads and an electronic RV Level 4 w/Bluetooth.

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I make sure the front is lower than the rear wheels by no more than Seven (7) inches.

Before:
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After FR3 is leveled with front wheels off the ground:
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SnapPads in action:
Boondocking at Cabela's Store in Anchorage, Alaska.



The only issue I had with the front wheels off the ground is the bottom door step. It was a foot off the ground. My Wife has a problem with the last step.
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Old 09-13-2020, 04:49 PM   #17
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I have at times had to have the front wheel(s) off the ground to be level. My wife doesn’t like this. I don’t feel it is a problem.
Jacks are meant to stabilize, not lift and support entirely. I never allow a significant amount of the tire to lift lose contact with the ground. If there is barely any rubber in contact with the ground I put blocks under the tires and start over.

If you're using automatic leveling that can be a reason for the tires lifting so high. Even after calibrating mine it will lift the coach a lot higher and really jerks it around as it tries to level.

I always select Manual, drop the front jacks until they just touch the ground and check the front-rear level. If needed, I drop the front jacks more to get to level or a bit front-high.

Then I drop the rear jacks until they just touch the ground.

Then I level left-right.

I use RV SnapPads on my jacks to provide a bit more surface area. They also add one inch to the bottom of the jacks so the jacks are not extended quite as far. If the ground is muddy, soft or sandy, I will put a 2x12 block under each jack to help keep them from sinking into the ground.

I also use a LevelMatePRO electronic level. We simply reposition the motorhome a bit to get to the most level spot and setup there. At one place last year our chosen spot would have required 10" of blocks under all four rear tires. Using the LevelMatePRO we moved the motorhome slightly and got to a much better spot. I sure couldn't tell visually that there was that much slope difference.

And that little device saves a lot of time, stress and arguing about where the most level place is.

Ray
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Old 09-13-2020, 04:57 PM   #18
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I always gave my buddy crap about raising his front tires off the ground. Well he had to replace a jack.
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Old 09-13-2020, 05:10 PM   #19
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Adding my 2c... I see comments against it and others say its ok. FWIW, I have only once or twice allowed my front wheels to sit off the ground for a quick overnight. I wouldn't do it for extended periods and generally drive up onto pads if the front lifts too high or looks like it will. Good tip I got years ago... More feed and grain stores sell rubber horse stall pads. Generally 4x6' pads of 3/4" dense rubber for under $50. Easy to cut with a a box knife and a straight edge, one pad will create two sets of pads for the front and for the rear duallies. I carry them in a storage bay and use them regularly to boost the front or rear or a pair of jacks as may be needed to get level and keep all wheels on the ground.
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Old 09-13-2020, 06:06 PM   #20
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I no longer use the auto leveling. I switch to manual mode. Lower the rear until both are touching the ground and start to raise the coach. Then I drop the front until both are touching and start to raise the front. Based on the flashing lights I adjust rear, front, right and left. I use my phone on the dinette to verify the coach is level.

My auto level always overshot and really raised up the coach. There is a way to manually level and recalibrate your auto mode. I donít recall offhand the process for that.
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