In this article, we will answer the following question: Should I store my RV with the jacks down? We will tell you how to level your RV, why is it important and what kind of tools to use for it.
Should I store my RV with the jacks down?
Yes, you should store your RV with the jacks down. This way, you relieve the tires and the suspensions of a lot of pressure. By using a jack stand kit, your RV is more stable and the weight of the tires is evenly distributed.
Here’s how to do store your RV (step-by-step):
- Park in a flat place. Place the level on a counter to see that the inside is level from front to back and side to side. If necessary, use a stabilizing jack to level it as close as possible.
- Put the RV in reverse and then drive, to move the home engine back and forth to make the drive level.
- Place a board under the tire if you cannot level your motorhome moving back and forth.
- Place chocks and apply the parking brake to prevent it from shifting once level. Remember, your tires must be completely on the boards. Do not use primary level stabilizers. They are not built for weight and they can stress the frame.
What tools to use for stabilising an RV
Here are a few tips on how to level an RV and what tools to use:
- An RV must be levelled in width and length. Always start with the width.
- Make sure to always raise the left side, otherwise, you risk that the entrance to your RV is too high or your awning is not positioned correctly on the ground.
- You can measure whether your RV is level with a spirit level app on your phone or with a real spirit level.
- If you have a little more money to put in, we recommend that you get an electric jack. Fifth Wheels are particularly difficult to stabilize without the aid of an electric cylinder.
There are a number of tools you can use to stabilize an RV at the campsite:
- Wheel chocks: A wheel chock is ideal if you have enough room to manoeuvre. You ride on a wheel chock using a motorhome or car mover. Drive the RV on the bilge to the height necessary to level it. Then place a counter shim so that the tire does not rollback.
- Levelling: When you don’t have enough room to manoeuvre with your RV, you can use a leveller. A leveller fits easily around the tire and then you can easily lift the wheel of the RV until the wheel is at the desired height.
- Jacks: You can also use, for example, a few boards that you place under the wheel. For this, you need a jack to lift the wheel off the ground. Then you can place a few planks or other supports that the trailer wheel can lean on.
Note: The use of planks is not durable. Chances are you can throw them away after each use.
If you have levelled the RV across its width with one of these tools, it is also important to level it lengthwise. You can do this easily by turning the jockey wheel to the desired height.
Why storing your RV with the jacks down is important
Besides the obvious advantage of relieving the tires of all the weight and pressure, there are additional benefits of storing your RV with the jacks down.
Did you know that in order to function properly your refrigerator MUST be placed on a level, flat surface? Its cooling fluids flow through the ducts using gravity. If it is not arranged properly, it can overheat and be damaged.
In addition, nothing is more disagreeable than having items that do not fit in the cabinets and on the counters. Worse: feel your vehicle swinging from left to right under your feet!
How to level an RV on an uneven site
RVs allow homeowners to camp in a variety of configurations while still maintaining some of the comforts of home, such as electricity and running water. Parking a trailer in an uneven location can lead to structural problems with the components that help support the weight of the trailer and can leave the trailer prone to shifting if not properly secured.
Using levelling blocks, or simply discarding the wooden planks, under the tires at the bottom of a trailer allows it to be parked and set up for safe camping.
- Park your RV in your desired camping location, then use the level on an exterior mounted level bar, or on a flat surface inside the vehicle, to determine if the trailer is level from side to side.
- Lay the levelling blocks or wooden planks by the tires on the side that needs to be lifted, and then roll the trailer over the blocks until the trailer is level from side to side. You may have to adjust the blocks more than once before reaching a suitable level.
- Place chocks before and after all trailer wheels to prevent roll.
- Check the front to back levels of the trailer.
- Extend the landing gear if the front is too high, or place blocks or planks under the gear if the front is too low.
- Lower the landing gear on your RV until it is level front to rear. The landing gear is extended using a built-in crank or hand-mounted starter to drive the gear down.
- Lower the outriggers so they are supporting some of the weight, but they are not solely responsible for holding the RV.
It’s not much fun walking around in an RV or trying to sleep at an angle when your RV is not level. An off-level RV can even damage your refrigerator, and you can’t even bake cookies if the oven isn’t level.
Class C motorhomes usually come with powered hydraulic levelling brackets to aid in this process. This requires balancing your motor home as easy as pressing a button. However, older models do not have this feature, and you must level your motorhome yourself.
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FAQ on Should I store my RV with the jacks down?
Where should I store my RV when not in use?
When not in use, you should store your RV in a garage or at a specific RV storage (either indoor or outdoor). If keeping the RV outside, it is essential to cover it in order to avoid external damages, water leaks or mould.
Should an RV be stored level?
It is recommended to store the RV as level as possible. This way, you relieve the tires and the suspensions of a lot of pressure. By using a jack stand kit, your RV is more stable and the weight of the tires is evenly distributed.
Where can I park an RV?
An RV is perfectly entitled to park in the parking spaces along the roadway. However, its size must allow it, it must not interfere with road traffic or pedestrians. However, due to its size, the motorhome cannot park everywhere.
Where to stop with a motorhome?
A motorhome can stop in town in a parking space and spend the night there. It does not matter whether the motorhome operators are on board or not, as long as they comply with the regulations.