Ever wonder why cats hate car rides while dogs can’t get enough?
It probably has to do with the cat’s sensitive inner ear biology which is where they get their remarkable sense of balance.
Riding in a moving car throws off their balance.
Okay, but what does this have to do with camper jacks and your RV?
Well, without camper jacks and RV leveling blocks, your RV is a lot like a cat in the car: it simply won’t function properly.
The importance of camper jacks
Your camper needs to stay level and balanced at all times. Think about it: you wouldn’t want to sleep or walk around in a house chronically tilted to one side.
- Comfort: If you don’t stabilize your RV, lamps could tip over and you’ll constantly be leaning to one side. Plus, it isn’t easy to cook at an angle.
- Appliances: Your fridge, rice cooker, or coffee pot must be level to work properly.
- Safety: Although it’s unlikely your camper will tip over, it isn’t impossible – especially if you overload one end or setup on uneven terrain.
Different types of RV leveling jacks and accessories
When it comes to RV leveling jacks, you have quite a few options to choose from. At the same time, your options might be limited based on the model, type, and size of your camper.
It’s important to use the type of camper jacks recommended for your RV. Ask the experts at your local RV store if you’re unsure or need help with installation.
Scissor stabilizing jacks
These are very similar to the jacks you’d find in your car or truck except they’re sold in pairs and have a higher weight capacity. Just place the jacks in the right spot and crank them open until the trailer is level.
These jacks are bolted onto the RV frame – usually at the corners. They support 1,000 pounds max so only use these for smaller trailers like popups.
Tongue jacks will usually come already attached to the trailer near the hitch. You simply unhook them from the trailer, swing them down, swivel them into place, and then crank them until the expand.
Trailer jack wheel
A trailer jack wheel is a type of tongue jack with a wheel attachment. You can purchase your own if you need a new one, but they usually come already build into the trailer.
Some jacks may already have feet attached. Others may only take up about two square inches on the ground. Jack feet help support optimal stabilization because they spread the camper’s weight out over a larger surface area.
Slide out supports
You can buy special jacks just for your slide out (and even staircase). These jacks help protect your RV’s frame and can hold up to 10,000 pounds.
These are used to hold the trailer wheels in place while you’re parked. Some double as jacks depending on the type of trailer you have.
Hydraulic jacks are easy to use and reliable but they do require some maintenance and care. You can find bottle jacks at most hardware stores. You can install other hydraulic jacks directly onto your frame. When you want to stabilize, just press a button from inside the RV.
How to use RV leveling blocks
RV leveling blocks may seem like a pain, but they can provide a much more even surface for your camper. Most campsites are already pretty level so you shouldn’t have much of a need for leveling blocks.
If you plan on camping in the middle of nowhere, on the other hand, RV leveling blocks are crucial to maintaining your camper’s stability.
- Park your camper a few feet from where you plan on setting up. Turn the engine off and engage your parking brake.
- Spend a good amount of time examining the site and your RV. Decide how many blocks you’ll need and where they should go. Does one side need to be lifted more than the other?
- Set up your blocks around the tires. Make sure they’re arranged like a ramp.
- Get back in the RV, start your engine, and release the parking brake. Slowly guide the vehicle up the RV leveling blocks. This part is a lot easier with a friend outside to help.
- Go outside and take a look. Check if the RV is level. You may need to rearrange the blocks and try again.
- That’s it! Just set your parking break and you’re ready to camp.
You can find these blocks in most RV stores. They’re usually made of plastic. You can also build your own at home with some high strength wood.