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Parking on Slopes or Hills


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Okay experienced Oliver Owners.  In your opinion, what is the best way(s) to ensure you successfully park and unhitch on a slope or incline/decline?

What are the best chocks you've used?

What other safety measures do you take?

Have you made better chocks than you can find in the stores?

This is what I dealt with this week.  First time, and was nervous about it.  I used four large solid chocks.  Two are simply 4x4s wrapped in rubber non-slip material, that other are purchased heavy duty solid rubber triangle chocks.

And, I hate to ask, but better safe than sorry, do you see anything terribly wrong with what I've done in the pics?

Thanks.

Oliver-slope-1.jpg

Oliver-slope-zoomed2.jpg

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Chris
2016 Legacy Elite II  o--o  Hull #110 o--o  Wayfinder  o--o  Twin Bed  o--o  2020 RAM 1500 Limited 5.7L 
Augusta, Georgia

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I have been in that situation, one time only, and I hated it. There was no other site available and the nearest other CG was up a long steep nasty dusty gravel road 

Wheel ramps or big rocks are best, if there are any around, use them to elevate the lowest side as far as possible, USE A SPOTTER. 

Chock the downward sides of all four tires. Kick or hammer them in tight.

* Let the trailer roll back solidly against the chocks! * If you don't do this, it will bind up the ball and the trailer will roll back when it disconnects.

Unhitch but leave the safety chains attached until you are sure it is all stable.

Level the trailer.

Go to the host or park ranger and complain heavily, there is no reason for a developed site to be like this. Ours was in Great basin NP, we had it paid for three nights. The next day we left it and went to the nasty CG and found a more level spot.

Discretion is better than valor. If you think the situation is dangerous, leave.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

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I bought a set of X Chocks in anticipation of the new camper. They add stability to the camper when walking around inside, but they will also add a measure of safety in the situation you have illustrated. 

X-Chocks

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We've been using X-Chocks for over 10 years now, they are a game changer in terms of eliminating a lot of movement when folks are walking back and forth inside the rig.  They can be used with conventional wheel chocks if the situation dictates so.  We carry both types because my crystal ball is real foggy when it comes to predicting what the campsite configuration will be on a given trip...  just say'n.

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Thank you everyone. That's about what I was thinking too. 

There's not much to tie on to with the Oliver, except the Anderson chains or chain holds.  

The ground is sloped 3.7 degrees. 

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Chris
2016 Legacy Elite II  o--o  Hull #110 o--o  Wayfinder  o--o  Twin Bed  o--o  2020 RAM 1500 Limited 5.7L 
Augusta, Georgia

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As a side, a few weeks ago, a feller at our campgrounds in AZ chalked his trailer and then uncoupled...  I guess his TV brake didn't hold and the TV rolled down two camp spots and hit a Class A.  Unbelievable, but true.

Charlie. 

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OK, here's a good one...  

Several years ago, we're camping at a state park up in CO, and I'm watching a guy readying his TV/brand new 25-foot AS rig on a campsite with a bit of a slope to it.  He's giving his wife the "how-to install tutorial" for the X-Chocks, right?  I go back to what I was doing, paying little attention.  

He goes forward to his TV after believing he's got the AS wheels properly chocked.  He apparently unhooked the chains first, unplugged, disconnected the emergency breakaway, then uncoupled... I turned to see his wife jump away screaming bloody murder as the AS slowly starts rolling backwards, dragging the jack foot through the gravel then abruptly stops, almost "popping a wheelie."  

Now the dude's got my full and undivided attention as I'm jogging over to see if he needs any help.

As it turns out - he managed to place the X-Chocks "90-degrees off" in the horizontal position instead of vertically, what...?  Fortunately, the slope didn't allow his trailer to build up momentum and slam into the pine tree several feet away from the bikes racked on the rear bumper.  The improperly X-Chocks had "rolled" out of position and actually stopped the rearward travel by wedging under the front tires on both sides!

I asked him why he decided to place them in that manner - he informed me that an RV'er from their previous location showed him this interesting new method.  So I gave them both my "how-to-install tutorial"...  

No tire damage, nobody hurt - all good!  Well maybe not 100%, because someone out there may still be using the dangerously unsafe chock mounting method.

Be safe out there, folks!

Cheers!

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Art, Diane, Magnus & Oscar (double-Aaarrf!)

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3 hours ago, Wayfinder said:

Than you everyone. That's about what I was thinking too. 

There's not much to tie on to with the Oliver, except the Anderson chains or chain holds.  

The ground is sloped 3.7 degrees. 

I have felt the need to tie the truck to trailer only once but the runaway chains are positioned just right for the job - they are built to handle the load of a Legacy II making a run for it.  

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I carry a milk crate full of 2 X 6  blocks.  I use three under all my jacks to act as a shear-plane.  Should for some reason the trailer moves, I'll hear a clunk and recall that I failed to use my check list. 

In your hill park picture, I see you are doing your best to keep Ollie in place.  You even have a block to act as your shear-plane if it moves.  Bravo!

The two suggestions would be to:

A.  Use a line and tie off your brake emergency cable to a tree.  If the trailer moves at least your Ollie brakes will activate.

B.  Bring more 2 X 6 blocks and shorten up the lever arm of the jacks as much as possible.   GJ says:

 

"Jack up Ollie as you need, but keep the jack extensions as short as your pre-planning will allow"

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Checking before disconnecting is ALWAYS a good practice.

Even a campsite with a slight incline/decline can be problematic.  A friend and I, and another neighboring camper, chased and stopped a trailer that hadn't been chocked on a fairly slight slope...but the site was on a ridge. Could have been a disaster. (That camper had a wheel instead of a foot on the front jack, so it moved pretty darn easily.) 

I like the big, chunky rubber chocks from harbor freight. The crappy plastic ones can slide much more easily. 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Jim and Chris Neuman said:

have felt the need to tie the truck to trailer only once but the runaway chains are positioned just right for the job - they are built to handle the load of a Legacy II making a run for it.  

YES!

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TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DIY’s: Timken Bearings, BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DIY’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all, installed Ham Radio (WH6JPR).

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42 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

Checking before disconnecting is ALWAYS a good practice.

For sure!

Leave at least one of our safety chains connected until AFTER you have chocked and leveled Ollie.  

When preparing for departure, back up to Ollie and first connect one of the safety chains.  

As I have stated before:  "Nothing like having a 6,000 pound anchor!"

GJ

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TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DIY’s: Timken Bearings, BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DIY’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all, installed Ham Radio (WH6JPR).

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7 hours ago, CnC said:

We use the X-Chocks...  BUT you must retighten them after the tires cool!

Also after you put your stabilizer jacks down. 

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@Geronimo John and everyone, thanks for the reminders. More 2x6s are needed. With careful design and planning it might be worth making several of the interconnect, so in my case this week, I could have assembled a ramp-like solution to at least reduce the slopping affect. The upper most plank could have a "stop" block (make from oak) glued and screwed to the very end so you know you cannot easily to too far. 

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Chris
2016 Legacy Elite II  o--o  Hull #110 o--o  Wayfinder  o--o  Twin Bed  o--o  2020 RAM 1500 Limited 5.7L 
Augusta, Georgia

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1 hour ago, SeaDawg said:

Checking before disconnecting is ALWAYS a good practice.

A motorhome's toad rolled into our fifth wheel in a campground after the owner forgot to set the parking brake before disconnecting.

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Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

Where we've been RVing since 1999:

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46 minutes ago, Steph and Dud B said:

Also after you put your stabilizer jacks down. 

Yes!  I like X-Chocks.   BTW, I thought the metal X-chocks were kinda heavy so I bought those yellow Camco thingies similar to X-Chocks.  They're lighter but I find them sometimes hard to release depending on tire pressures changes via temperature.

Charlie

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16 hours ago, Geronimo John said:

I carry a milk crate full of 2 X 6  blocks.  I use three under all my jacks to act as a shear-plane.  Should for some reason the trailer moves, I'll hear a clunk and recall that I failed to use my check list.I carry a milk crate full of 2 X 6  blocks.  I use three under all my jacks to act as a shear-plane.  Should for some reason the trailer moves, I'll hear a clunk and recall that I failed to use my check list. 

In your hill park picture, I see you are doing your best to keep Ollie in place.  You even have a block to act as your shear-plane if it moves.  Bravo!

The two suggestions would be to:

A.  Use a line and tie off your brake emergency cable to a tree.  If the trailer moves at least your Ollie brakes will activate.

B.  Bring more 2 X 6 blocks and shorten up the lever arm of the jacks as much as possible.   GJ says:

 

"Jack up Ollie as you need, but keep the jack extensions as short as your pre-planning will allow"

"I carry a milk crate full of 2 X 6  blocks.  I use three under all my jacks to act as a shear-plane.  Should for some reason the trailer moves, I'll hear a clunk and recall that I failed to use my check list."

John, we use Camco yellow jack stands.  Do you have pictures of how you use the 2x6 blocks?  I don't understand the shear-plane concept.  I do understand not extending the stabilizer legs too far.  In the OP, he asked if there's anything wrong and the long extension is probably the thing that pops out in my mind.  I would need more blocks in his situation, maybe a milk carton full of 2x6, but how to use them along with the Camco jack stands?

John

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Another vote for X-chocks here.  We now install both X-chocks between the two wheels on each side, then rubber chocks purchased from Harbor Freight, then the red chocks that come with the Rophor trailer levelers (see link below) on the downhill side of each of the four wheels, before disconnecting the tow vehicle.  Don't ask why that has become a key priority when unhitching the tow vehicle....

https://www.amazon.com/Rophor-Levelers-Leveling-Anti-Slip-Carrying/dp/B096FCYKS3/ref=asc_df_B096FCYKS3/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=533588307500&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=5425665857993129828&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9029558&hvtargid=pla-1419632579497&psc=1

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Well, thanks to all the reminders and scary stories, I not only successfully hooked back up, but the Ollie didn't move a bit.  I was able to lower my truck (using my RAM airbags) and get just close enough that the safety cables (chains) (attached pic) were able to reach the receiver on the truck.  I'm still shocked that the trailer didn't appear to move at on on a 3.7 degree slope. Although, I had to use my Rubber mallet that I always carry to persuade the blocks to come free from the tires. Especially the one chock with what @Geronimo John called a "shear-plane".  That was determined to keep tires in place.  LOL 

I will be adding a few more things to my next trip, like X-Chocks and a few more 2x6.  I do have one pair of the Andersen Levelers, but didn't try using them, but then again, only the rear-most axle/tires could have been lifted with the Andersens I had on hand.  

Attached are some pics of how I always block on level ground I prefer to have the 4x4 under then jack foot itself, and always positioned diagonally. 

Also a shot of two different 4x4 blocks I JUST now wrapped in different rubber (non-slip) materials.  I like the solid material better, but the perforated material is really non-slick.  I will test out to see if that makes any difference in ANY situation.  I also need to cut some of that solid non-slip material for my Andersen Levelers, mine did not come with rubber pads like I think they do now.

 

front-jack-blocks.jpg

rear-tires-Jack-chocks-blocked.jpg

Oliver-cabled-to-truck.jpg

rubber-blocks.jpg

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Chris
2016 Legacy Elite II  o--o  Hull #110 o--o  Wayfinder  o--o  Twin Bed  o--o  2020 RAM 1500 Limited 5.7L 
Augusta, Georgia

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On 4/24/2023 at 11:34 AM, Wayfinder said:

Okay experienced Oliver Owners.  In your opinion, what is the best way(s) to ensure you successfully park and unhitch on a slope or incline/decline?

What are the best chocks you've used?

And, I hate to ask, but better safe than sorry, do you see anything terribly wrong with what I've done in the pics?

Thanks.

 

Oliver-slope-zoomed2.jpg

The only thing I would change here is to turn the HF chocks over. The ridged side should be on the ground and the slightly concave side should be against the tire. In another of your subsequent posts it is clearer than these photos that they are upside down.

Also, when breaking camp, raise those rear jacks before raising the tongue. Keep the chocks in place until completely hooked up. You don't want to make the front jack try to lift the whole weight of the trailer and you certainly don't want the trailer at the bottom of the hill.

I think you made poor campsite into a completely workable one.  We've run into this same problem in various spots, especially at Quartzsite.

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Parking or setting up on hills and slopes? The thought immediately comes to mind-  what could possibly go wrong? Overall you made it work, and hopefully enjoyed a nice lakeside stay and beat the odds of water testing your Olivers flotation capabilities. 
Onward!

Patriot🇺🇸

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5 hours ago, ScubaRx said:

The only thing I would change here is to turn the HF chocks over. The ridged side should be on the ground and the slightly concave side should be against the tire. In another of your subsequent posts it is clearer than these photos that they are upside down.

Also, when breaking camp, raise those rear jacks before raising the tongue. Keep the chocks in place until completely hooked up. You don't want to make the front jack try to lift the whole weight of the trailer and you certainly don't want the trailer at the bottom of the hill.

I think you made poor campsite into a completely workable one.  We've run into this same problem in various spots, especially at Quartzsite.

I broke down camp just like you said, raised jacks, slowly, and kept safety chains connected to truck and was ready to pull brake pin too if needed.  But, it was steady as a rock.  

I can never remember which way is up with my rubber chocks, mine do not have any concave shape to the one side.   I think mine are these here.  Flat shape on both sides.

Now these heavy duty rubber chocks look like real nice chocks, and weighing in at 3.5 lbs each.  A set of four would do the trick for sure.  And, they'll all match.  😉 

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Chris
2016 Legacy Elite II  o--o  Hull #110 o--o  Wayfinder  o--o  Twin Bed  o--o  2020 RAM 1500 Limited 5.7L 
Augusta, Georgia

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5 hours ago, Patriot said:

Parking or setting up on hills and slopes? The thought immediately comes to mind-  what could possibly go wrong? Overall you made it work, and hopefully enjoyed a nice lakeside stay and beat the odds of water testing your Olivers flotation capabilities. 
Onward!

Patriot🇺🇸

You must agree, that a floating Oliver would go viral on RV social media.  I purposely closed up the rear basement door and the walk-in door, JUST in case.  I wonder if Oliver would give me a break on my next Oliver, if I could make mine float for over an hour or two, naturally if it was by accident.  LOL

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Chris
2016 Legacy Elite II  o--o  Hull #110 o--o  Wayfinder  o--o  Twin Bed  o--o  2020 RAM 1500 Limited 5.7L 
Augusta, Georgia

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