Tips for Leveling on Gentle Slope - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-14-2019, 11:19 AM   #1
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Name: Justus
Trailer: Hymer Touring GT
Illinois
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Tips for Leveling on Gentle Slope

On a recent trip, we had a back-in gravel spot that sloped down slightly toward the back of the site. The trailer sits low to the ground, and with the bolt-on tongue jack cranked up all the way (i.e. short as it can go) the nose of the trailer was still up by a few degrees. This caused water to pool in the galley sink, allowed rainwater to pool at the rear of the roof where there is a lip for the pop top, and led to sleeping complications.

So what do you do when you can't get the front of the trailer low enough for the whole thing to be level? I think this is a problem unique to low-clearance trailers, and the Hymer Touring fits that bill.

Because of the trailer design, flipping the axle, lifting the axle, or putting on larger tires are all non-starters. The only viable mod to increase clearance identified so far involves welding on brackets and adding an axle on top of the existing axle--not steps I am prepared to take.

I've brainstormed three ideas, in order of least to most expensive:

1) Carry a stack of cut 1x6 and 2x6 to raise the rear of the trailer. This complicates side-to-side leveling.

2) Swap out the current jack for a high clearance drop-leg jack commonly used on boat trailers.

3) Bring a jack and jack stand on every trip; use the jack to allow the trailer jack to be swiveled for storage, then set the jack stand to an appropriate height and remove the jack

I am leaning toward option #2. Our trailer jack is wheeled swivel-type, which in theory is useful for scooting the 250 lbs tongue around but in practice has not been useful, as it simply digs into gravel sites and the gravel lot we store it in. By replacing it with a foot-type jack, I don't think I'm losing any critical functionality. I've attached a picture of the style of jack I'm referring to.

I'm interested in additional ideas or solutions to this issue.
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:33 AM   #2
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Name: Lynn
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I carry 2x6s with ends cut at a 45 degree angle. These can be used singly or placed end to end with another on top for more lift on one side of the trailer or the other or used under the front wheels of the tow vehicle to bring the bring the rear and the trailer front down. I also use a foot on the trailer jack and carry the wheel to use if needed.
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:41 AM   #3
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4) dig a pit for the tongue jack :-D
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:23 PM   #4
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Tips for Leveling on Gentle Slope

Digging is a no-no in some places. Check first. The only alternative is running both wheels up on lots of blocks. That can be dicey on a front-to-back slope. Whatever you do, donít unhitch until the wheels are securely chocked.

I remember seeing a 28í sticky at Lake Pleasant State Park in a similar situation. The site ran steeply down toward the water. With the tongue jack as low as possible and every leveling block they had in use under the wheels and rear stabilizers, the trailer still sat at a crazy angle. It was not a low profile trailer, but it was long.

Worst case, just leave it hitched, turn off the fridge, and sleep as best you can. Or move on.

At some point you just want to curse the engineer that designed the campground.
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:03 PM   #5
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Name: aj
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If you plan to leave trailer connected to TV than don't forget you can pull the tuck up onto leveling ramps also.
Pull truck's rear wheels on ramps and the nose of the trailer goes up.
Pull truck's front wheels on ramps and the nose of the trailer goes down.
And because of the leverage ratio you will get greater height changes than just the height of the ramps. I used this when I had to park on a steep hill and still wanted to run the fridge; I had the truck rear wheels on the ramps and the trailer was level!
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:48 PM   #6
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Name: K C
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find a better campsite that is more level....
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:18 PM   #7
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Name: Fredrick
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Tennessee
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leveling??

If you cannot level the TT w the tongue jack + blocks on the wheels, get a better campsite. Problem I see sometimes is no way to chock the wheels safely if they are way up on blocks, and on a downhill you'd better chock 'em
my 2 centavos
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:38 PM   #8
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Name: Charlie Y
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I carry a bottle jack and cut lumber for exactly that problem. Sometimes I also park in a site backwards if needed just to stay hitched to the truck for safety.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:54 PM   #9
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Name: Dave
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If you’ve camped around very long you’ve seen campers go off the jacks, roll down hills, spin around pivoting on one chock etc. etc. Use common sense and do not let the desirability of a site for the view, proximity to the showers, being close to friends etc cloud your judgement. Look up at the trees in shady sites and learn to read the danger signs of bad wood that can and will kill you in a wind storm. And down along the creek is not all it’s cracked up to be either. Accident memories aren’t good memories.
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:53 PM   #10
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Name: RogerDat
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Losing the wheel for a flat foot would gain you several inches. Throw in leveling blocks under trailer wheels to pick them up.... should be enough to solve most site leveling issues.

+1 on making darn sure your wheels are really chocked well. Rear stands well supported.

+1 on if possible leave trailer attached to tow vehicle for added security and peace of mind. Not to mention hooking up will be less dicey if you don't have to worry that a bump will send it rolling backwards.
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:46 AM   #11
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Name: bill
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One problem with campground reservations is you can get stuck with a bad site. Its hard to tell from the internet. A site rolling down towards the back makes blocking the wheels harder. As mentioned, wheels need to be chocked carefully or it could be a disaster.

The jacks on the outer corners of trailers are stabilizers, not levelers. Leveling is done by either getting a level site, the jack on the front, and blocks under the wheels.
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:59 AM   #12
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The nice thing about the smaller models of FG trailers is that it is possible to physically move the trailer askew on the pad while still remaining on the actual pad. That can be enough to keep you off the slope
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Old 08-15-2019, 06:31 AM   #13
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Since I live in a world of parallels, that is it pretty easy for me to tell in advance just how the trailer is going set in the spot where it should go, I will have already planned my attack before I decide where I'm putting the trailer and what will need to be done before I start. I do it with blocks, probably the only sensible way to do it. Sleeping in an trailer that is not level is probably the most uncomfortable nights sleep you will ever have.

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Old 08-15-2019, 08:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred762 View Post
Problem I see sometimes is no way to chock the wheels safely if they are way up on blocks, and on a downhill you'd better chock 'em
I've used my cordless drill, a couple of screws and smaller pieces of wood to chock the wheels when they are up on blocks. Screw the smaller pieces into the block in front of and behind the wheel. Unscrew them when leaving.
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