Level Right. It’s Important • Get Rid of Those Bad Habits
Getting a perfect or near perfect level EVERY TIME is easy—IF—you level sidetoside first.
Maintenance of leveling jacks 1) I change out hydraulic fluid in the reservoir every 2 or 3 yrs. It’s a PM item. It will remove condensation that can accumulate in the reservoir and in the entire system. Contaminated or old fluid will affect the performance of your leveling jacks. I’ve done a video on how to do this PM item.
2) I wipe down my chrome jack cylinders with my 3M dry lube and paper towels before I ever retract them. I do this to prevent pitting and also dirt that can damage the wiper seal over time. If I’m parked for long periods of time, I do it this a month while they’re extended. If your parked in an area like the coast or beach, doing this once a week will protect them from salt damage.
3) I grease my chassis once a year and while I’m at it, I give the zerk fittings 1 shot—no more—of my same chassis grease in all 4 jacks wiper seal. This keeps the wiper seals in top shape. I’ve done a complete video on how to grease your chassis yourself
4) Once a year when I do all my winter maintenance, I get under the coach and clean and use a protectant on all the leveling electrical connections
5) During the winter when in colder climates your hydraulic jacks may work a little slower than in the summer months b/c the fluid can thicken
Summary and final thoughts: 1) Concerning Snap pads, I see this question asked a lot. Personally, I don’t like them and I think they are a waste of money. And there not cheap. I know people buy them b/c they give the jack pad a larger footprint. The problem is they don’t address the length of extending or over extending the leveling jacks. You still should be putting blocking under your pads to prevent this and that also gives you the larger foot print your looking for. In my book everyone needs to put some type of blocking under their leveling jacks to keep the distance of the leveling jacks small. Doing this offers better stability and prevent the retraction springs in good health. So there’s no need for Snap Pads.
2) Having a perfect or near perfect level is not only good for the RV and makes living in the RV a lot nicer, but it’s also good for your slides, your chassis and especially your absorption fridge if you have one.
3) When leveling a motorhome never bring the rear wheels off the ground. That is where your emergency brake is. And even though you’ve seen people raise their front wheels off the ground with their leveling jacks it’s a horrible habit to practice for all the reasons I mentioned and shouldn’t be done. Leveling jacks are not LIFTING JACKS…they are leveling jacks. Leveling jacks are to be used for fine tuning to get level.
4) I highly encourage you to have blocking like I have or something similar, wood and anything else you might need to level your RV properly and to support your steps. Keep it all in one place so it’s easy to find. Everything I carry is my Amazon Store if you’re interested.
5) When were parked in the spring or summer when we run the A/C a lot, I’ll normally level the RV just slightly forward and to the drivers side so that the water from the A/C unit will drain to the front drivers side corner and down the hose I attached there so that water will drain to the ground and not run down my window or splash up on my tires.
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DISCLAIMER: We are in no way experts or professional mechanics. But being a journeyman millwright for years & being EX Military, has proven to be very helpful in my lifetime learning how to care for & maintain all sorts of machinery & equipment like: helicopters, airplanes, tanks, motorcycles & many types of other vehicles. That, along with 18 months preparing & upgrading our RV before we went full time, & now traveling for several years has gained us a lot of knowledge. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Work you perform or products you purchase based on any information we provide is at your own risk.