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TTnewbie 05-10-2021 09:58 AM

Correct leveling of trailer
 
I installed a Levelmate Pro in my trailer. It made leveling the trailer very easy. I backed in using the app and was able move the trailer to the area that was the most level. I then used Anderson levelers to get the trailer in the green zone. Next, I adjusted the tongue jack and got that in the green. After that was all said and done I laid out 3 leveling blocks under each scissor jack and opened them just to the point where I felt resistance in the drill I was using. Finally, I used and X chuck in between the passenger side tires. I had a second one but I did not use it on the other side.

When I was the trailer there was a lot of movement. You could feel the trailer moving as my family walked around. This was especially noticeable when it was bedtime. If my kids moved in the back bunks I could feel it on the other side. If I moved around in the bed they could feel it too. Did I do something wrong? Is the trailer supposed to move so much after it is leveled and secured with jacks? I did not put a lot of pressure on the jacks.

Did I do something wrong or is this just part of life when you use a trailer?

D W 05-10-2021 10:19 AM

It's pretty much "part of life" with a TT. The fact that your rig is level has nothing to do with what you're feeling. That movement is often referred to as "jounce". There are some things you can do to mitigate it, but you will never totally get rid of it. Some have said that JT Strongarms, a triangular device that interlocks your stabilizers will reduce it some, but to me it seems like a whole lot of expense and extra iron hanging underneath for mediocre results. You have to resign yourself to the fact that your TT sits on a flexible suspension and pneumatic tires.

timfromma 05-10-2021 10:25 AM

Campers jiggle. You can try to reduce it but you will never get rid of it entirely.

TTnewbie 05-10-2021 10:43 AM

This weekend was my first time sleeping in a trailer so I did not know what to expect. I did not realize that the trailer would move so much. At one point, I was taking care of some business on the plastic throne and I could have swore I was on a plane flight to the Caribbean. My wife and kids were in the trailer moving around and everything was shaking. I had to yell at them to stop moving while I finished doing my paperwork. lol

Ok, so get used to it. I get it. I guess the more I use the trailer the more my family and I will adjust.

I thought that it had something to do with the jacks not being engaged enough on the leveling blocks.

Is this the reason why I saw some trailers sit on cinder blocks? Those campers had decks attached to them so I am guessing they are there long term.

nayther 05-10-2021 10:46 AM

there are products that will reduce the movement. JT Strong Arm is one.

Mike134 05-10-2021 11:11 AM

Use 6x6 wood blocks under your stabilizing jacks, the less "stretched out" they are the less "jiggle" you'll feel. Also tighten them again in the morning as the dirt/gravel will have compressed slightly over night.

Kcoulter 05-10-2021 11:14 AM

See how much improvement you get with that 2nd X-Chock installed

Don B. 05-10-2021 11:23 AM

And I am suspecting that, the more the front jack at the hitch is extended, the more movement we get inside. I can see the mechanism flex or move a small amount even though everything is tight. On our last couple trips, I have tried using all my extra blocks under the jack so that its not extended any further than necessary. Seems to be better. Could be my imagination. Could be getting used to it. :roflblack:
I do know that the front jack on my parent's 1963 Airstream was definitely much more robust. We were a family of 4 and, in the 15 years we had that trailer, we almost never used any jacks.

5picker 05-10-2021 11:24 AM

Trailers do move to some degree and it is entirely possible you didn't have ENOUGH pressure on the stabilizers. I know a couple newbies that stopped extending the stabilizer the instant it touched the ground or their blocks. Stabilizers are NOT for leveling but you do have to get enough pressure on them to stabilize. You don't want to bend them but you do want to get SOME pressure on them.

I do not agree that triangulation devices such as Steadyfast or JT Strongarms are mediocre or a waste of money. I love my DW but she walks like an elephant in the R/V. Installing JT Strong Arms made a world of difference and were worth every penny. Is all the movement gone... nope... but it is 90% better than it was before.

Because my 5th wheel is 36' long so I have also started using scissor jacks in the center under the suspension and I'd bet that has me to 99% better than with nothing but the factory stabs.

NavyLCDR 05-10-2021 11:32 AM

I lower my stabilizing scissors jacks to contact the block. Then I give them between 1/2 to 3/4 firm turn more depending on how far they are extended. Barely extended gets 1/2 firm turn. Extended out beyond about 1/2 way gets 3/4 firm turn more. I have 4 scissors jacks, one at each corner. Use the hand crank to feel how firm your jacks are actually set.

It is also helpful that my scissors jacks are mounted at 45 degree angles to the frame. If your jacks are at 90 degrees to the frame, when they flex with movement they will all flex in the same direction. If they are at 45 degrees they won't flex in the same direction, so the opposite side jack will resist the flexing in the same directions it's brother/sister jack will allow.

TTnewbie 05-10-2021 12:11 PM

Looks interesting. I saw a video review and the guy said that it helps but you can still feel movement due to the suspension and tires. The same was mentioned above by DW.

The selling point for me would be to be able to walk inside of a rig that has it set up in order to tell the difference.

ependydad 05-10-2021 12:16 PM

First, TTNewbie, you did everything right. Second, there is always going to be a bit of movement. Your tolerance to it and the urge to fix it varies by person. For me, 2 kids and a wife with back issues, our tolerance is pretty low and we want to do as much as possible to get things stable.

Here's an article for ideas:

Shake, shake, shake - RV Stabilization


And then as been mentioned a couple of times, triangulation stabilizers such as the SteadyFast, JT StrongArms, or even DIY solutions make a huge difference. It's not "rock solid" but it definitely decreases movement. I personally like the SteadyFast over the JT StrongArms (I had knockoffs but they were the same basic thing). You get the same or slightly better stabilization, less arms to deal with, and knobs that are easier on the hands.

Product Review: SteadyFast Stabilizers


Quote:

Originally Posted by 5picker (Post 2555229)
I do not agree that triangulation devices such as Steadyfast or JT Strongarms are mediocre or a waste of money. I love my DW but she walks like an elephant in the R/V. Installing JT Strong Arms made a world of difference and were worth every penny. Is all the movement gone... nope... but it is 90% better than it was before.

100% agreed.

JMC7310 05-10-2021 12:17 PM

This has worked for us. Our bedroom is in the back and placing this under the rear bumper has made a big difference.
https://www.campingworld.com/univers...zer-34337.html

Daebado 05-10-2021 12:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Don B. (Post 2555224)
And I am suspecting that, the more the front jack at the hitch is extended, the more movement we get inside. I can see the mechanism flex or move a small amount even though everything is tight. On our last couple trips, I have tried using all my extra blocks under the jack so that its not extended any further than necessary. Seems to be better. Could be my imagination. Could be getting used to it. :roflblack:
I do know that the front jack on my parent's 1963 Airstream was definitely much more robust. We were a family of 4 and, in the 15 years we had that trailer, we almost never used any jacks.


So, I usually end up violating this rule by a block or two but I have always wondered how others deal with this; on my yellow Camco stabilizer pads, the instructions say to never stack more than 4 pads. That rarely seems like enough to me but I try not to stack more than 5 just so that I'm not risking safety or damage to the pads. What is everyone else doing that uses these?

Don B. 05-10-2021 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daebado (Post 2555280)
yellow Camco stabilizer pads, the instructions say to never stack more than 4 pads. That rarely seems like enough to me but I try not to stack more than 5 just so that I'm not risking safety or damage to the pads.

I should have mentioned that I do use old-fashioned wood blocks for leveling. I suppose the Lego types could probably behave differently.

PSU Turf 05-10-2021 01:00 PM

I use Steadyfast stabilizers and X-Chocks on both sides of the trailer as well as the stock scissor stabilizer jacks. If the site is fairly level there is very little wiggle with this set up. When one side is blocked up higher than the other or the tongue jack is extended quite a bit then we get more wiggle.

GXPWeasel1 05-10-2021 01:18 PM

Personally, I think the OP isn't putting his jacks down firm enough. I know the stabilizing jacks aren't meant to lift the wheels off the ground, but they can take some weight, and be fine.
I get my rig really close to level, but nose down a bit. Then lower my rear stabilizers (mine both go down with 1 switch, so are not independent of one another) about as far as the battery will push them. Then I raise my tongue jack to level the trailer, thus putting even more pressure on the rear stabilizing jacks, and once level, I lower my front stabilizing jacks as far as the electric motor will push them. After that, I put in my X-Chocks between the tires.
This is the same my my dad leveled all of his trailers, and still does, and the same way my sales rep showed me on our trailer at the dealership. Some will say this is too much pressure on the jacks, but I haven't noticed any issues at all yet.

We still do get a little "jounce" but it's not much. Especially for the length of the trailer (30').

melvinalbright 05-10-2021 01:18 PM

We added the SteadyFast system to our camper a couple years ago and love the reduction in movement. We camp with three grandchildren from six to twelve years old and they definitely test the camper for movement. Like the others mention, it doesn't get rid of all the movement but the reduction was well worth the investment. SteadyFast has very good installation instructions as well as some very informative YouTube videos. We also use the X-chocks on both sides.

TTnewbie 05-10-2021 01:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GXPWeasel1 (Post 2555315)
Personally, I think the OP isn't putting his jacks down firm enough. I know the stabilizing jacks aren't meant to lift the wheels off the ground, but they can take some weight, and be fine.
I get my rig really close to level, but nose down a bit. Then lower my rear stabilizers (mine both go down with 1 switch, so are not independent of one another) about as far as the battery will push them. Then I raise my tongue jack to level the trailer, thus putting even more pressure on the rear stabilizing jacks, and once level, I lower my front stabilizing jacks as far as the electric motor will push them. After that, I put in my X-Chocks between the tires.
This is the same my my dad leveled all of his trailers, and still does, and the same way my sales rep showed me on our trailer at the dealership. Some will say this is too much pressure on the jacks, but I haven't noticed any issues at all yet.

We still do get a little "jounce" but it's not much. Especially for the length of the trailer (30').

I used a drill to lower my jacks. As soon as they touched the leveling pads I stopped. I did not put any "strain" on them like I have read everywhere not to do. I honestly don't think I put them down enough like GXPweasel said above. The question now is.....how much more should I lower them?

NavyLCDR 05-10-2021 01:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daebado (Post 2555280)
So, I usually end up violating this rule by a block or two but I have always wondered how others deal with this; on my yellow Camco stabilizer pads, the instructions say to never stack more than 4 pads. That rarely seems like enough to me but I try not to stack more than 5 just so that I'm not risking safety or damage to the pads. What is everyone else doing that uses these?

I will stack more than 4 high but I do not place my jack pads in the center of the lynx block. My round tongue jack pad gets centered over one of the circles in the corner of the lynx block. My rectangular stabilizer jack feet get placed over two of the circles on one side of the lynx blocks. Placing the rectangular stabilizer jack feet may actually work better centered over two of the circles in the lynx blocks diagonally across from each other, I'll have to try that.


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