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Old 06-07-2018, 10:56 AM   #1
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Advice about leveling class a MH

New to this forum. Iím considering going from 5th wheel to Class A. My problem is I would need to raise the front of the motor home appropriately 24 inches to achieve level. My driveway has 31 feet of usable space. Iím considering a unit around 30 feet long. Any thoughts on how I can achieve this? Iíve considered building ramps, but, Iím restricted to how long I can make them.
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Old 06-07-2018, 11:05 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome. Do you think you'd have a problem with the RV "tail dragging" as you enter/exit the drive? We use blocks to help with our driveway slope but it's not that steep. I know others have built ramps so hopefully they will chime in.
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Old 06-07-2018, 11:56 AM   #3
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Hi and welcome. Do you think you'd have a problem with the RV "tail dragging" as you enter/exit the drive? We use blocks to help with our driveway slope but it's not that steep. I know others have built ramps so hopefully they will chime in.
l

Thank you for your response. I donít think I would have a problem with the unit dragging. My 5th wheel easily clears. I took a better measurement using a string level, and Iím not as bad off as I thought. Itís around 15 to 18 inches. Of course I will need to get better dimensions when i find a unit that interests me. On another note, if I run the refrigerator in a motor home using electricity, does the unit need to be level?
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Old 06-07-2018, 12:25 PM   #4
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Since it is your home, I would do a block retaining wall and fill the area with good road gravel. This way you can back in or straight in depending upon best side for the door to get into the MH. A plus is to use the awning from time to time in the yard.
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Old 06-07-2018, 01:04 PM   #5
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l

Thank you for your response. I don’t think I would have a problem with the unit dragging. My 5th wheel easily clears. I took a better measurement using a string level, and I’m not as bad off as I thought. It’s around 15 to 18 inches. Of course I will need to get better dimensions when i find a unit that interests me. On another note, if I run the refrigerator in a motor home using electricity, does the unit need to be level?
If you mean an absorption refrigerator (Dometic or Norcold), then yes it should be level to operate no matter which mode of power. A compressor type refrigerator is not as finicky.
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Old 06-07-2018, 01:07 PM   #6
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We use ramps but not as high has you intend. I used 2 x 10 with staggered lengths. The top length supports the entire tire with left over. I used 3/4" plywood as the top layer and used sheet rock screws to hold it onto the 2 x 10. It gives me 9" of height and i'm almost level. The sheet rock screws will fail after time so stainless or aluminum would be better. The are just to hold the plywood to the 2 x 10. The purpose of the plywood is to keep the 2 x 10's from splitting and even if they do split the plywood holds everything together.

If you have a Norcold refrigerator their manual states that the refrigerator should be withing 3" side to side, and 6" front to back as you are looling at the front of the refrigerator. Another good rule is, if you are comfortable walking in the RV the refrigerator should be okay.

Once you are up on ramps you can use some blocks under the leveling jacks to raise the MH a little higher. Just leave 3-4" between the jacks and the blocks for settling.

I back up on the ramps. We pull into the driveway and then I put down the longest 2 x 10 at the outside of the front tire. I move the coach forward until the tire clears the board (DW assists). I then get out and place the ramps under the back of the front tires (both side don't forget). I have room under the chassis to do this. Then with the DW standing at the side window, my left foot on the brake, I back up onto the ramps and very very slowly. I have been doing this for 10 years, first with a 40' mh and now with the 43' mh.

My next design will be to add a "stop" at the back end of the ramps. Heaven forbid forgetting to stop at the top.

Oh! When it is raining the boards can slip so I drilled 4 holes through the boards and bought some very large lag bolts. I slip them in the hole and it keeps the boards from slipping. I like the lag bolts because of the round head.

All of what I just said is at your own risk.

Here is a picture of my previous MH on ramps.
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Old 06-07-2018, 01:20 PM   #7
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I'll just toss this out there. We have a slope to our driveway and don't like to have our front tires hanging in the wind, so this is our solution. (The RV needs to have jacks for this.) Back into spot; raise front of RV with jacks, slide stacked 2x12's under tires, lower tires and level. Done.
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Old 06-07-2018, 01:32 PM   #8
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Forgot to say that the above "2x12 solution" is for temporary parking only. Our HOA doesn't allow storing the RV at home so this is how we park it for loading/unloading, cleaning and maintenance. If you are storing your RV at home you'd probably want a better answer.
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Old 06-07-2018, 01:49 PM   #9
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Forgot to ask: Is your parking area going up hill or down hill as you enter?
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Old 06-07-2018, 04:13 PM   #10
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Forgot to ask: Is your parking area going up hill or down hill as you enter?
Driveway slopes toward the street. So I will be backing uphill into the driveway
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Old 06-07-2018, 04:22 PM   #11
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If you have a Norcold refrigerator their manual states that the refrigerator should be withing 3" side to side, and 6" front to back as you are looling at the front of the refrigerator. Another good rule is, if you are comfortable walking in the RV the refrigerator should be okay.
NOTE: the specs are 3 degrees and 6 degrees, not inches. Since most fridges are installed along the sides of the RV the "RV side to side" off level is a max of about 4-5 inchs, tire to tire. The "RV front to rear" can vary from 8" to around 15", bumper to bumper, depending on the length of the RV. Even with the specs I don't like to run the fridge when it is at max unlevel. I use a bubble level and prefer to be a full bubble or less off level.
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Old 06-08-2018, 04:47 PM   #12
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NOTE: the specs are 3 degrees and 6 degrees, not inches. Since most fridges are installed along the sides of the RV the "RV side to side" off level is a max of about 4-5 inchs, tire to tire. The "RV front to rear" can vary from 8" to around 15", bumper to bumper, depending on the length of the RV. Even with the specs I don't like to run the fridge when it is at max unlevel. I use a bubble level and prefer to be a full bubble or less off level.

I did mean to say "degrees," thanks for pointing that out. Next time I'll hit the right keys and use the ˚ symbol. :-)
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Old 06-08-2018, 05:05 PM   #13
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Update of the question: He will back his motor home up his driveway and raise the front end 15" - 18". Ramps to raise it this high would end up being too big. As a retired engineer I have given this some thought. I suggest having custom pad stands made out of angle iron with about a 16x16 base and 8x8 top rated for at least 10,000 pounds. The height will varry depending upon what motorhome you buy. Get the highest is best. You may need a floor jack to get the first 8" to set the pad on the stand. Once both front jacks are on the custom stands hit the auto level button. Make sure you have good wheel caulks on the rear wheels. Should be enough travel in the jacks. Send a picture unce it is parked and level.
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Old 06-08-2018, 05:07 PM   #14
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Here is a photo of my driveway. The 5th wheel is sitting level. Hopefully this will show the slope of the driveway. Just wondering if leveling a Class A motor home is something that I can achieve, or, can I get close enough to open slides and start refrigerator. Hopefully the shadows aren't to much of a distraction.
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Old 06-08-2018, 05:13 PM   #15
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Update of the question: He will back his motor home up his driveway and raise the front end 15" - 18". Ramps to raise it this high would end up being too big. As a retired engineer I have given this some thought. I suggest having custom pad stands made out of angle iron with about a 16x16 base and 8x8 top rated for at least 10,000 pounds. The height will varry depending upon what motorhome you buy. Get the highest is best. You may need a floor jack to get the first 8" to set the pad on the stand. Once both front jacks are on the custom stands hit the auto level button. Make sure you have good wheel caulks on the rear wheels. Should be enough travel in the jacks. Send a picture unce it is parked and level.

Thank you for your detailed response. I was thinking of using cement blocks. My goal would be to raise it and put blocks under the front tires.
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Old 06-08-2018, 05:15 PM   #16
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Understand exactly. I believe jacks with modified bases will work. I had a 37' super C and the jacks had no problem lifting the front a couple inches but not near as much as you need.
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Old 06-08-2018, 05:17 PM   #17
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no cement blocks. They can crush. As wind hits the side there will be movement and blocks will break.
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Old 06-09-2018, 06:33 AM   #18
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That is going to be precariously high to raise the front of 30' Class A. From the picture of the slope, your front tires are going to have to be 18"-20" above the ground. The jacks on the MH won't lift it that far. You probably can get the front tires of the MH off the ground about 4" to put ramp down to drive up on.



From the picture, it looks like the driveway levels out a bit going parallel with the house. Could you park parallel with the house instead of perpendicular? Probably not the way you want to park the MH as it will block a lot of the front of the house.
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Old 06-09-2018, 10:16 AM   #19
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We park our 38' Motorhome in our sloping drive to load/unload, etc. I manually raise the front jacks as high as they will go and the front tires are hanging down. I put the RV in park, set the parking brake really hard, put the RV in drive after setting the parking brake to insure all forward movement is halted and then chock the rear tires, too.

My RV isn't completely level but only about 7 degrees low in the front.

We have no problem with slides binding and our residential fridge always works fine.

Before getting the Class A we had a Class C that was 6' shorter. We did the same thing with that unit - in fact, I put 3" of leveling blocks under the front jacks before extending them to full height. Again, it wasn't completely level. The RV fridge worked fine in that scenario, too.

Your drive looks much steeper. I'd say rather than try to make that work you should look at some other option. Like parking horizontal in your drive-way or parking on the street in front of your home.
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Old 06-09-2018, 03:33 PM   #20
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no cement blocks. They can crush. As wind hits the side there will be movement and blocks will break.
Even solid concrete pavers will crack if stacked. I found that out with a unit that weighed only 6,000 lb. We store a class C beside the house on a pad and have to ramp up 6" on one side to level it. The only time we ramp up is before we leave on a trip and need to run the fridge.

A good practice is to place wedges for the tires remaining on the ground to stop the vehicle when you get to the top of the ramps.

In the case of the OP, you really do not need to ramp up the entire distance. Even half would allow you to place pads for the jacks that would get you to full height.
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