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Old 01-02-2014, 01:38 AM   #1
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Is it bad for auto-level jacks to lift the RV off the ground?

Someone said that it was bad for the RV to have the auto leveling jacks actually lift the RV off the ground?

I was playing around with my auto levels today and was in a driveway where the front is lower than the back part. So, the auto level lifted the front a few inches off the ground to level the RV.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:02 AM   #2
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No it's not bad. I've seen many MH's with their wheels off the ground. It's quite common especially if the sight is to off level. The MH that we currently have is the first with automatic leveling. The first time we leveled it in our drive both front wheels were way off the ground. Our last MH had manual hydraulic levelers and I never had the wheels off the ground when using that older system. So I started leveling the new MH in the drive using the manual method and the wheels stayed on the ground. I didn't think that made much sense but that's what it did. That was last fall. The last time I leveled the MH in the drive I decided to use the automatic system. Well lo and behold it leveled it automatically and didn't get the front wheels off the ground. Maybe the stupid system got smarter. I don't know but that's what it did.

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Old 01-02-2014, 03:59 AM   #3
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It depends on the RV and the chassis its mounted on. I would not be as concerned on a new Winnebago product however an older one that has seen salted roads or another brand where the windsheild is not mounted on a steel frame they have been know to pop the front windshield or even part of the front cap and roof seam.

Winnebago customer service at their toll free number would be best able to answer to this with some authority.
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:44 AM   #4
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on the part that is lower, i would put a piece of treated wood, under the jacks first befor lowering the jacks. something like a 12/12 2in thick.
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:09 AM   #5
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I am no expert on the subject, but here is a thought:

Say you park on a slope - for that reason you have to extend your jacks a little more than usual. When you stopped you probably engaged your parking brake (especially since you are on a slope). You now lift the tires off the ground when levelling, and this means that your parking brake is not doing anything

For that reason I wouldn't lift my tires off the ground. I would look around for a spot that is more level.
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:51 AM   #6
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The bigger problem is if it lifts the rear tires off the ground, then neither the parking park nor the transmission are able to prevent your coach from rolling. If you have no other options be sure to chock your wheels.
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Old 01-02-2014, 06:32 AM   #7
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I'm thinking out loud on your behalf.

Lateral forces would concern me, even a wood 2X4 standing on end can hold a lot of weight, but if you subject it to any horizontal forces it will buckle easily. I believe a fully extended jack would be a precarious perch to sit upon particularly if it is not level or if subjected to wind or side forces of any sort from any direction.

As with most things of this nature usually nothing happens but the exception can be intolerable.
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Old 01-02-2014, 07:38 AM   #8
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Is it bad: YES. here is why.

The jacks are designed to provide LIFT, they are not designed to provide side to side or front to back stability, only LIFT

IF both front wheels, or both back wheels or all 4, are off the ground then a blast of air (Gust) from the side can turn your jacks into very expensive pretzels.

And if just one REAR wheel is off the ground the rig can move forward or back if hit with said breeze and.... Well, same effect.

So it's bad

now some folks yammer about suspension. Do not listen to them.. it won't hurt the suspension at all.. but it may pretzel your jacks.
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:23 AM   #9
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Our WB manual simply warns not to lift the rear tires off the ground because of the parking brakes...WB recommends turning the MH around in that case.
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:33 AM   #10
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If you are parking in a spot that is say 6" lower in the front then you are going to have to lift the MH 6" up to achieve level. The question from the OP was, "Is it BAD for the MH to raise the wheels off the ground?? The answer is still no. Are there any safety issues if the wheels are lifted of the ground??? That answer is it depends if it is the fronts or the rear wheels.

The jacks are designed to always lift in pairs so the frame is not twisted by raising one corner, which can cause a windshield to break or pop out.

Back to the 6" lift. So if you place 4"' of wood under the jack pads in question the MH will still have to be lifted up the 6" to be level but the difference is the jacks with the 4" of wood will not extend those extra 4". That would reduce the effect of side forces on the jacks which would make is safer.

The concern is still the fact that if the rear wheels are lifted off the ground the E break and transmission won't be able to stop the MH from rolling. AS WBGO manual says, "Don't lift the rear wheels off the ground."

My question is. Has anybody ever heard of a MH folding up the jacks from rolling because the wheels were off the ground??? It very well may have happened but I have not heard anybody ever mentioning that it has. I have read of some body driving off the extended jacks.

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Old 01-03-2014, 08:37 AM   #11
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Front off the ground is ok. Often do it with my coach. Back off the ground is not ok.

When jacked this high you will likely need an additional step to easily get in and out of the coach. This is why they make them. I have a lightweight via Campingworld.
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Old 01-07-2014, 04:19 PM   #12
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From what I have read and experienced, it's best if you are parking on a downhill grade, put the front of the unit downhill and let the jacks lift the front. Reasoning is that the parking brake is working on the rear axle and unless you can really strongly chock the front wheels, there is a danger of the unit rolling off the levelers when the rear wheels are raised. Makes sense to me.
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:35 PM   #13
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It's always a debate when it comes to lifting ANY wheels off the ground. Some do it and some don't. Each has their reasoning for their actions. Why is it so hard to suggest that, the OP "Possibly" drive up on some lumber under the front wheels to achieve primary leveling? It certainly isn't hard.

In that manor, the coach is quite stable, it's primarily level and, the leveling system, (jacks) don't have to do so much work and, they don't/won't run the risk of possibly "tweaking" or pretzeling due to over extension and, if there's any wind gusts or, 7.0 earthquakes in his drive way, he's stable. .

If all this is to be done in the OPs driveway, it presupposes that he's not going out in it on frequent basis. And, even if he was, it's no big deal to bring the jacks up and drive off the lumber. If your front end is lower than the rear, calculate what's needed in lumber, i.e. a 2x8x20" or, a couple of those glued and screwed together. What ever it takes to primarily level the rig. Then, they're there for each and every time he parks it and there's no stability or safety problem. And, if desired, get some blocks for the jacks because they do the "fine tuning" for ultra-level conditions while at home.

Now, you've got all 6 tires planted firmly on the ground and, 4 jacks too. DONE! Your rig is stable, level and safe.
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
Is it bad: YES. here is why.

The jacks are designed to provide LIFT, they are not designed to provide side to side or front to back stability, only LIFT

IF both front wheels, or both back wheels or all 4, are off the ground then a blast of air (Gust) from the side can turn your jacks into very expensive pretzels.

And if just one REAR wheel is off the ground the rig can move forward or back if hit with said breeze and.... Well, same effect.

So it's bad

now some folks yammer about suspension. Do not listen to them.. it won't hurt the suspension at all.. but it may pretzel your jacks.
yes yes with him and if one jack should leak down at night you can pop a windshield out or rip a side wall
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry735001 View Post
yes yes with him and if one jack should leak down at night you can pop a windshield out or rip a side wall
Even semi-trailers get destroyed that way on construction sites. One of the jack legs sinks in and depending on how the trailer is loaded you can get a rippled side wall or it may rip the entire length. The frame sometimes gets twisted from that too. Nothing is indestructable and Murphy is sulking around many corners waiting to spring to action. This is why they sell leveling blocks, 2X12 lumber and railroad ties.

A little common sense checking out the site before dropping the jacks is all it takes. You will hear you coach groaning and crackling when you start pushing it which means that things that are joined together are straining against their fasteners and creeping. This is when you see wall coverings start to wrinkle around door and window openings from the frames moving with the strain.
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