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deniwell

Leveling Front to Back - Extremely Steep Csmpsite

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We pulled into our campsite this evening and discovered that it is a fairly steep paved site. To make it even more interesting, there is a 10 foot drop off into the beautiful forest at the end of it. We tried our best to use the set of Camco Lego style levelers. It was a total fail. If we used them on both sides we couldn't use the chocks to chock the tires.  Since we didn't want to take a chance on having our brand new trailer roll off the end of the campsite and bust into pieces, we left it hooked to the truck.  What leveling equipment should we use in this situation?  Side to side is level, front to back is the problem.     This is the campsite from hell.  I need pictures or a video.


Jeff & Denise

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I've never had a camping spot that was that bad, but I had one at Fort Davis State Park in Texas that was just about unusable for parking a Casita.  I finally made it work by borrowing some 2x6's and using my Anderson leveler, I was really high on the street side of the camper. All being said, I wasn't too happy with that spot and told the park personal, do you really think campers with trailers can use that spot, I couldn't get another spot as the park was booked solid for the next 5 days.

 

 

 

trainman

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Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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deniwell -

 

As I'm sure you already know, your only choice is to either (in your situation) is to either elevate the rear, dig out the area for the tongue or simply move.  If you can't get it reasonably level within a reasonable amount of time/work then that is another reason you have wheels - move.

 

Having said this - that must have been one heck of a campsite.  There is just less than a foot of elevation differential just from the tongue to the wheels which already allows for a fair amount of slope correction.  Add another 4 to 6 inches or so by using Andersens or "legos" or wood boards and you get one heck of a slope.

 

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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A photo would help us see how steep you’re talking about, but we’ve had our tongue digging into the dirt before.  If you can, keep the breakaway cables attached to the truck.  Use the legos under the jacks so that you can chock the tires better.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I also had a site at Davis Mountain State Park that was bad. I ended up parking a bit sideways to make it work. One thing to add to your chocks and blocks is an x-chock that fits between the wheels when up on legos or wood. Mike

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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Denise,

Good idea to keep your safety chains (or cables) attached to your TV! When in any doubt, keep those on!!

Topgun pretty much laid out all your options. Do you carry a shovel? Very handy for these situations.

It will allow you to create a flat spot to stack your blocks, and in your case, trench out a spot to drop your tongue in to. Just be sure to put it in a plastic bag to keep the dirt out of it. Personally, I'd hate to put in right on the ground, even in a bag, but maybe use one block.

 

Question: So has it been decided that temporary (a day or two) lifting of the rear wheels off the ground with the onboard jacks is not a good practice?

I know it's best to block up the wheels and use the jacks more as stabilizers, but in extreme situations..??

 

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2015 Oliver Elite, Hull 107


1998 Ford E-250, 5.4 liter

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Leaving the safety chains connected is very good insurance.

 

I carry a couple of 3X6s about 12" long each, that I can back up onto, and a longer 1X6 that both rear wheels will roll onto.  These get put in place while still hooked up.  You can unplug the umbilical to shut off the trailer brakes to help when doing this.

 

Then block the trailer and use the tandem axle wheel clamps, as suggested.  Then lift the coupler off the ball, drive forward about 3", safety chains still connected,  and drop the front jack all the way down, as far as it will go, to try to get level.

 

Lifting the trailer clear off the ground with the jacks is OK, to me, but the jacks are then holding it from rolling too.  That is a very unfair strain on the jacks.

 

I don't mind the front of the trailer being slightly high, as we sleep with our heads toward the front, and it allows the tanks to drain better if hooked up.  But I don't like steep sites, especially when there is an abyss behind us.

 

 

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John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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One thing to add to your chocks and blocks is an x-chock that fits between the wheels when up on legos or wood.

An X-chock has been on my list for a while. I think in a previous post Mike had mentioned the X-chock as a valuable safety feature when the trailer is elevated on legos. Additionally, they are supposed to stabilize the trailer; my wife complains that the trailer sways when I walk around.

 

Right now the highly rated BAL X-Chock Wheel Stabilizers are available for $55; camel says they are normally $70.

 

Then block the trailer and use the tandem axle wheel clamps, as suggested.  Then lift the coupler off the ball, drive forward about 3″, safety chains still connected,  and drop the front jack all the way down, as far as it will go, to try to get level.

I don't think that is a good idea to install the Stabilizer until the trailer is leveled and disconnected from the tow vehicle

 

It was useful to read through the Amazon comments and questions on the Stabilizer. The manufacturer says that they are not chocks, they are stabilizers. One question was "Can we apply these before we unhitch our trailer to prevent any roll back when it comes off the ball?"

 

One answer was very succinct: "BAL includes a notice in the package stating this caveat. The force applied by the wheels rotating opposite directions when you raise/lower the tongue jack will over stress the crossmembers and cause them to buckle. This is not covered under warranty. You still need actual wheel chocks until the trailer is leveled and your other stabilizers are down. "

 

 

 

 

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David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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David,

 

Thanks for the correction on the wheel stabilizers!  Good information.  I won't do that.

 

I have a set and have never used them.  Too much slope for the common wheel chocks and I get nervous.

 

I remember reading about some guy driving off with a set still on his wheels as they skidded along!  Yikes.

 

 

 

Hey, we'll be in Salt Lake at the end of August.  Will you be around?  Picking up our new HQ19 at that time and going on a shake down cruise. Always looking for suggestions for nice boondocking spots.  Missed you guys at the rally.

 

John

 

 

 

 

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John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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Hi John, Message sent.

 

I agree I would not use the X-chock stabilizer on a steep incline. However, I have noticed that the chocks are not really secure when up on legos, and so I will follow Mike's advice and use the X-chocks in a belts-and-suspenders approach.

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David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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I will take a level, a chunk of wood to set on the pavement and my phone.  Hopefully that will give you an idea of what we were failing to accomplish.  Remember, we are amateurs and are making mistakes daily. But, we are learning every day also.


Jeff & Denise

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My interpretation of the OP was that the parking pad was low in the back

 

Mike

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Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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[postquote quote=177330][/postquote]

 

There is a bubble level mounted on my tongue jack, similar to this one, to get me roughed in.   I also have one that I set on my kitchen counter to check for level.  It lives in the cabinet above the sink.

 

You can glue a bubble level on some reference point where you can see it while running the tongue jack.

 

https://www.wttool.com/index/page/product/product_id/9196/product_name/Starrett+Bullseye+Circular+Level?gclid=CjwKCAjwr8zoBRA0EiwANmvpYGaxZG9Eb3OlY9Tlcx-bFVs5EKlFC-9dke2AvvYZDDLNuBkR1QoSNRoCQKMQAvD_BwE

 

Or, you can mount a Lev-O-Gauge style level to the front of the trailer where you can see it while backing up onto your blocks or Anderson Levelers. They make some larger ones that are available at RV supply stores.

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=level+o+gauge&client=safari&rls=en&source=univ&tbm=shop&tbo=u&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiyy4GJyIfjAhWB51QKHTFZCqIQ1TUIhAI&biw=999&bih=714#spd=7325747762619358031


John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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I followed John Davies' excellent instructions on installing a bubble level on the front of the trailer. I am really happy with it. Make sure you position it at a height where you can see the bubble level in the tow vehicle's rearview mirror. This makes it dead easy to level the trailer when you are using curved levelers.


David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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[postquote quote=177369][/postquote]

I use the same leveler as John but I attached it to the front of my basket on the tongue.  I can see it clearly in my TVs backup camera and it's magnified.  Beyond that, it keeps me from having to attach it to the trailer itself up above the "waterline" which I don't like the looks of (if avoidable).

 

I installed mine in the delivery room at Oliver before we ever pulled out.  The service person who watched me do this said it was the first time he'd ever seen that done but he liked it.  It's worked well for me in my particular application.

 

BTW:  I did take John's advise and epoxy the ends of the level to ensure no leakage.


2018 Elite II, Hull #414 (the very last 2018 produced).  Trailer name "2 HOBOS" .   2006 Dodge 3500 Megacab, 4x4 with 5.9L Cummins diesel.

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