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Author Topic: Leveling on a steep driveway.  (Read 9988 times)
Localyokel
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« on: March 10, 2011, 11:15:34 AM »

My DW and I just took delivery on a new 2011 Jayco 1207 yesterday. I was concerned there wouldn't be enough clearance to back it up our very steep driveway without scaping but it made it with room to spare. The problem is I can't crank it to level without placing about 6 boards under the tongue and this makes for a precarious situation. Much movement in the camper and it could tip. Does anyone have any suggestions for something to prop the crank on besides pieces of 2x4?
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2011, 11:22:49 AM »

  Orange plastic.  Will also work side to side in campground. Could build a piramid out of 2x4s. If your going to park there all the time bolt it together.
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2011, 11:49:08 AM »

jack stand(s) and/or wide boards, 2x4s are far too skinny.

One under each side a ways back from the tongue



If steep enough, level the stands with a 2x4 on the down hill side.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 11:53:56 AM by rabird » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2011, 12:24:34 PM »

My driveway slopes noticeably towards the street so I too place the tongue jack atop a wood stack made of 2" x 10" wolmanized wood, screwed together, finished in several coats of black enamel paint to protect it from the elements, and with outriggers to make it more stable.  With kids running around the neighbourhood I also further stabilize the trailer with similar stacks and aluminum tripod stands which support the trailer's two main frame members.  Here's a pic showing this setup with our hybrid but I used a similar method with our popups and now with our current travel trailer.  FWIW, plastic Lynx are fine for this purpose when camping but I wouldn't use them for long term storage on your driveway as the plastic will fade and become brittle from constant exposure to the sun.
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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2011, 12:56:29 PM »

What's more important than the way that you block the front is the way that you chock the tires...

When the trailer is level, there is little difference in how you support the tongue. The main thing is that the tires can't move and the chocks can't slip. Hard rubber wheel chocks like these are just the ticket:
http://www.harborfreight.com/solid-rubber-wheel-chock-96479.html

The guy that I bought my TrailManor from had it set-up on a steep driveway. He had the trailer for 6 years and frequently had it set-up with people going in and out. Never had an issue. He had similar wheel chocks (only they were orange).

« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 12:58:26 PM by wavery » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2011, 07:43:34 PM »

Localyokel: I have the same problem with my driveway.When it gets warmer out I will pull it out of the garage and set it up in the drive using the BAL leveler and chock for the wheels and 2x8s stacked and screwed for the tongue hoping that will be enough to hold her in place.
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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2011, 03:05:39 AM »

Because of the potential liabilities of parking a trailer in a hazardous way, not even considering losing the trailer if it got loose, I would do something radically different than merely parking the trailer on a significant slope with chocks being the only thing keeping the trailer in place.

What comes to mind as a safer way to keep the trailer from possibly moving on a slope is large chocks in front of the trailer's wheels with 1" diameter steel rods (such as construction re-bar) fed through holes in the chocks and about a foot into steel pipes firmly anchored in the ground under the chocks.

Of course, renting a place to park the trailer on a level pad or creating a level place to park it at home would make even more sense.
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« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2011, 06:28:55 AM »

What comes to mind as a safer way to keep the trailer from possibly moving on a slope is large chocks in front of the trailer's wheels with 1" diameter steel rods (such as construction re-bar) fed through holes in the chocks and about a foot into steel pipes firmly anchored in the ground under the chocks.

Such dramatic steps to secure any type of trailer on any kind of slope isn't necessary at all, be it a campsite or your driveway at home ... I use a BAL single tire chock on each side of my travel trailer, both when camping and when parked on my sloped driveway, and I can tell you for a fact the trailer isn't going anywhere at all.




For parking any trailer at home on a sloped driveway another simple solution is to park the tires on a set of DIY wheels pads, using the weight of the trailer itself to absolutely prevent the trailer from shifting even in the slightest.

   
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Localyokel
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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2011, 07:52:50 AM »

Thanks for all the tips guys. I do have good solid chocks from my last pup to keep her from rolling. Oz I have my cut 2x10s drying in the garage. I haven't figured a good way to screw them together. I have a medium duty DeWalt power drill but at Lowes last night I couldn't find a good screw I was comfortable I could get through that much wood.
Are nails out of the question?
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« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2011, 08:18:00 AM »

Oz I have my cut 2x10s drying in the garage. I haven't figured a good way to screw them together.

Since 2"x wood is 1.5" thick I used 2.5" #12 wood screws ... screw the first plate to the second, then the third to the second, the fourth to the third, and so on until you get to the height you need.  Once leveled, my current travel trailer sits so high off the ground at the tongue that I actually use two stacks - a base stack with outriggers and a topper.  The height of each was carefully calculated so I can easily get the coupler off and on the hitch ball, while also taking into consideration how much the rear of my Avalanche sags without the WD spring bars in place.  Depending on the slope of your driveway, the height of your hitch ball, and how much the rear end of your TV sags when you drop the trailer coupler on to it you too may find two separate stacks necessary.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2011, 08:30:41 AM by Oz and Us » Logged

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Localyokel
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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2011, 05:18:43 PM »

Oz I have my cut 2x10s drying in the garage. I haven't figured a good way to screw them together.

Since 2"x wood is 1.5" thick I used 2.5" #12 wood screws ... screw the first plate to the second, then the third to the second, the fourth to the third, and so on until you get to the height you need.  Once leveled, my current travel trailer sits so high off the ground at the tongue that I actually use two stacks - a base stack with outriggers and a topper

Done. Now we can finally get in it without fear of a disaster. Thanks guys. Thanks Oz.
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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2011, 02:28:50 AM »

Thanks for the thread on this - we have a steep driveway and I had visions of finding out PU ('01 Coleman Niagara) firmly embedded in our neighbor's house. I'm using rubber chock blocks and it's holding fine.

My question - I can't get her level because of the grade of the driveway. I see that Oz has an impressive stack of wood under the front of his trailer. My issue was that I with the camper hooked to the TV, I couldn't get enough wood under the wheel on trailer tongue to get things high enough. And, since I can't lift the trailer myself -- I'm not sure how you get that stack of wood under it?

Help enlighten a newbie! (Car camped from a tent for years and years -- fell into this camper and plan on using it for the first time in a couple of weeks.)
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« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2011, 05:14:16 AM »

My question - I can't get her level because of the grade of the driveway. I see that Oz has an impressive stack of wood under the front of his trailer. My issue was that I with the camper hooked to the TV, I couldn't get enough wood under the wheel on trailer tongue to get things high enough. And, since I can't lift the trailer myself -- I'm not sure how you get that stack of wood under it?

Build your tongue jack stack so it consists of two sections, with the height of the bottom stack designed so that with the trailer still hitched to your TV and the side mounted tongue jack is swung down the wheel will land just above the top of the bottom stack.  Chock both tires on your trailer so it can't suddenly shift on you and start cranking the tongue jack down, release the coupler from the hitch ball, and completely unhitch as you normally would.  Move your TV out of the way, crank the tongue jack as high as it will go, then place a stand alone jack stand somewhere convenient under one side of the A frame, near the body of the camper.  Crank the tongue jack back down a bit, lifting the tongue jack wheel off the bottom stack, and the weight of the trailer will be taken completely off the tongue jack and be supported by the jack stand.  Now crank the tongue jack up as far as it will go, then place the second stack that you've built on top of the first.  Crank the tongue jack back down a bit, the stand alone jack stand will be released so you can now move it out of the way, and as you continue to crank the tongue jack the trailer will eventually reach level but your tongue jack will only be partially extended, which is just what you want.  To hitch up just reverse the process.

If you're using weight distribution equipment then release / remount the spring bars as you normally would when most of the tension has been taken off the bars.  Don't forget though that when deciding just how high each section of the tongue jack stack will be to compensate for your TV's rear end sag once the spring bars are removed ... so before screwing all the pieces together and painting them you might want to do a dry test first to make sure you've got the height of each stack just right so it will work whether the spring bars are mounted or not.  Yeah, it's somewhat more "fussy" to have to hitch / unhitch using this two stage process but it's just the price you pay when you want your trailer to sit level on a significantly sloped driveway.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2011, 05:25:36 AM by Oz and Us » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2011, 08:40:25 AM »

Thanks, Oz. I kind of had figured it out that way in my head, but I hadn't though of having the stack in 2 parts. I don't have a weight distributing hitch, just a sway/friction control bar, but I didn't have it hooked up as I was backing the camper into the driveway.

Sadly, it's steep enough that we had to put a couple pieces of 2x10s out on the road/at the gutter to give it a little bit of extra clearance to keep from bottoming out. It's going to make pulling it out for the first time tricky.

Anyway, thanks again.
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« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2011, 10:03:25 AM »

We used to drag driving out, but the lift solved that. Our drive is not super steep, but a BAL on one side, a wood block on the other wheel has worked well for the past several years.



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