Sunday, April 22

RV Jacks Leveling Story - Meet Mike


I have seen some wacky ways of leveling an RV in my time on this earth, and I thought it might be a good thing to share some of these stories. Because by seeing the creativity of some folks when handling jacks and stabilizers, we can learn from their mistakes, and from their successes as well.
The reason some of us (and I include myself in this group) have to be creative is not that we are unprepared, but ill-prepared. Yes, most of us get into these situations because we have not thought the whole thing through, and have not tried to get up to speed as we should. For those RVers out there who have bought the latest in leveling jacks and stabilizing devices, I am obviously not referring to you.
Rather I am talking about old travelers like Mike. Mike was a grizzled veteran who lived by himself in an older, to put it kindly, 15 foot travel trailer. He pulled up beside us one evening at a state park campground and backed into an empty space. I was sitting outside watching, just for fun, and fun is what it turned out to be. His was the type of camper that had the old crank-down stabilizers. But before you can use those, you have to try to get the whole camper level, from side to side and front to back. The only way to do this is to put something under the wheels where adjustment is needed.
After Mike had gotten into position, I saw him get out his little bubble gauge and check out the situation. Then he opened one of the gauchos and proceeded to unload his leveling equipment. By that I mean the most amazing collection of different sizes and shapes of lumber that I have ever seen. Thin ones, thick ones, long ones and short ones, some wide and some narrow, most of them mud-covered and grimy at best. These were his levelers of choice, and he clearly loved the process. The problem was that it is a trial and error process, and most of his time was spent carefully positioning a chosen piece of wood and then attempting to back the trailer up onto it just right. This hard to do by yourself, but he was obviously experienced at it, and I was not going to make him feel incompetent by offering to help. It only took him a little under an hour to get the rig  as level as he wanted it to be, perched on several chunks of old 2X4 and looking like it might fall over when he stepped in.
That's where the stabilizers came into play. Unfortunately, the campsite itself was so unlevel, and the trailer was now in such a precarious position that these wind-down devices were fairly useless by themselves. He had to get more of his log-sized chunks of timber to put under each stabilizer arm so that it would be solid and actually reach the ground. By the time he got all 4 of these in a satisfactory arrangement, I was tired, it was dark, and it was time for bed. The last sight I had of Mike was him stepping gingerly inside the front door of his camper, and then seeing it swaying back and forth in the moonlight as he checked out his stability, or lack of it.

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