RV Doctor: RV levelers raising tires off the ground – occupants queasy!

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Dear Gary,
Our motorhome has Power Gear brand levelers. The front two float side to side on the same hydraulic circuit while the rear two jacks are independent. The coach seems to ride high on certain grades with the front wheels often off the ground. When this happens the coach rocks enough to trigger motion sickness.

Here are my questions:

1. Should I lower the front two leveler jacks a notch?
2. Should I shorten the back two leveler jacks a notch, thereby lowering the starting point center of gravity so as not to need it so high in front?
3. Both? Or one at a time? In what order?
4. What about auxiliary jacks? Where and what kind? On the slides?
5. Any other ideas?

Please help, as currently it is making us sick! —Dean G.

Dear Dean,
It is certainly not recommended having tires actually off the ground once the levelers have been deployed. That will definitely lead to instability issues, as you’ve already discovered. I’m wondering if the “Auto” function has been properly set up to begin with? If so, it sounds like your system needs to be re-calibrated to what’s called the “zero point.”

Properly set up, the best “Auto” position will permit all tires to stay in contact with Mother Earth and still effectively level the coach. If you notice any sinking into the ground at any jack, though, it might be necessary to use a larger footprint accessory under each jack. [Editor: Here are jack pads at Amazon.]

But I’m guessing a proper “setup” will eliminate your motion sickness. I’d hold off on auxiliary slideout supports until after you have the main leveling system calibrated properly. You simply may not need them after that. Plus, they can always be added at any time.

If you choose to seek professional help, be sure to only allow certified RV technicians to work on your leveling system. Look for a shop that has specific experience with the Power Gear brand.

gary-736Read more from Gary Bunzer at the RVdoctor.com. See Gary’s videos about RV repair and maintenance.

##RVT936

 

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bisonwings
2 months ago

My fiver came with a manual hydraulic manual leveling system. We bought it directly from the manufacture. When I did the walk through with the factory techs I asked about raising the coach wheels off the ground with the leveling jacks. Their response was that I would frequently find that in order to level up I would find one or both wheels off the ground and that the frame and jacks were designed for these situations and they were right. Even at my house one wheel on one side is always off the ground. Does this result in additional felt movement inside? Yes, so to counteract that I installed “Strong Arm” braces to the jacks. problem solved and it only adds a couple of extra minutes to the setup time.

Rusty
6 months ago

Want to start an argument just post on any RV social media site this question. My Rv tires are off the ground when I raised my auto levers. Is this normal? Then sit back and read the experts of Rving social media gurus. It’s interesting.

arlene monnar
7 months ago

I have just a few follow on questions to the zero point calibration function. where might one perform the zero point calibration? will a large parking lot be sufficient? would the area need to reasonably level to perform this calibration?

rvgrandma
7 months ago

Our motorhome is lower in the front than the back so we always have to put blocks under the front tires. Makes it worse when RV sites are not level – sometimes horrible. With my front lower it makes it even harder.

Joe
7 months ago

I keep a 2 foot level in the coach and after parking check the level fore & aft and side to side level in the front and rear of the coach. If necessary I run the tires up on blocks to get the coach as level as possible before auto leveling. Keep in mind that if you put 3 inches under the tires you may need to add 3 inches under the jacks.

Ray
7 months ago

You may want to learn to use manual leveling. Our 2020 motorhome Power Gear levelers in automatic are very abrupt in their movement and even after I calibrated it on concrete they still lift the coach higher than I do with manual mode.

The LCI docs say to be on a level surface and use manual mode to lift the coach 3″ all around. Then you press the button combination to reset the “zero point”. Even after doing that the automatic mode still lifts the coach a lot higher.

My jacks move in pairs to avoid twisting the frame: Both fronts, both rears, both lefts or both rights. Automatic mode lifts the lowest end to level first, then lifts the other end but overshoots a bit so the automatic function then lifts the original end a bit more and then the other end a bit more. Then it does the same thing for side-to-side leveling. But it seems to “split the difference” so the jacks move more than I would do it manually.

I use a third-party product, LevelMate Pro, to get the motorhome positioned as level as possible without ever getting out of the RV. At the last spot our initial position would have required 10″ of blocks under the rear tires to get level. By moving the motorhome a bit we got to a spot that was close enough to ideal and only required 3″ of lift in the front to get level. Then we dropped the front jacks to get the front a bit high, dropped the rear jacks until we saw the rear start to lift, and made sure we still were a bit front-high to allow for water run-off at the rear. Then we used the left-right manual controls to assure we were level side-to-side.

With manual controls we can just tap the jack control and get a much smaller amount of movement than automatic mode uses.

We never will allow any tire to be lifted off the ground and actually never allow them to even get 50% unloaded. We want as much ground contact as possible for stability, especially in case high winds occur. Before buying LevelMate Pro there was a lot of back-and-forth “conversation” between the driver and observer trying to find an initial semi-level spot and we had to use leveling blocks a lot more than we do now.

Jeff
7 months ago

Gary is correct on setting the”ZERO” leveling point!
Depending on your type of system, it should have a Calibration function that YOU Can set, without going to a maintenance shop!

I have the Lippert Level Up system and it explains in the USER Manual how to do this. The biggest thing is, you must be on a LEVEL Surface. Concrete Pad or Parking Lot that is Level!

I set my ZERO point in my RV Shed, (which is Level) and haven’t had any problems since.