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Old 02-07-2024, 02:11 PM   #1
NH_Bulldog
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Stability after Leveling

As we await the arrival of our new 29BHL 5th wheel, my wife was looking at some pictures online on dealer websites and brought up a good question.

Ours will have the 4-point auto leveling, and the rear jacks are just behind the wheels with a lot of space between there and the rear of the camper. With the bunk room at the back and so much distance, do you think that there will be a lot of movement?

Our current model is really stable with just scissor stabilizing jacks and JT Strong Arms at the corners, but not having anything to stabilize the back of the new 5th wheel beyond the levelers is making me wonder if we are going to get a lot of movement? Does anyone have experience with a similar setup? Should I consider adding scissor stabilizer jacks at the rear?
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Old 02-07-2024, 02:37 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NH_Bulldog View Post
As we await the arrival of our new 29BHL 5th wheel, my wife was looking at some pictures online on dealer websites and brought up a good question.

Ours will have the 4-point auto leveling, and the rear jacks are just behind the wheels with a lot of space between there and the rear of the camper. With the bunk room at the back and so much distance, do you think that there will be a lot of movement?

Our current model is really stable with just scissor stabilizing jacks and JT Strong Arms at the corners, but not having anything to stabilize the back of the new 5th wheel beyond the levelers is making me wonder if we are going to get a lot of movement? Does anyone have experience with a similar setup? Should I consider adding scissor stabilizer jacks at the rear?
I have the same setup on my 315 rls and i don’t notice any issues ..if i’m overnighting i dont use anything other then wheel chocks …if staying a couple of days i use a pin jack and the xchocks…i think there is so much weight forward of the wheels you wouldn’t notice any issues in the rear of the fifth wheel
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Old 02-08-2024, 05:08 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by NH_Bulldog View Post
As we await the arrival of our new 29BHL 5th wheel, my wife was looking at some pictures online on dealer websites and brought up a good question.

Ours will have the 4-point auto leveling, and the rear jacks are just behind the wheels with a lot of space between there and the rear of the camper. With the bunk room at the back and so much distance, do you think that there will be a lot of movement?

Our current model is really stable with just scissor stabilizing jacks and JT Strong Arms at the corners, but not having anything to stabilize the back of the new 5th wheel beyond the levelers is making me wonder if we are going to get a lot of movement? Does anyone have experience with a similar setup? Should I consider adding scissor stabilizer jacks at the rear?
Rob, i have the half ton 24RDS 5ther with same 4 point jacks, and the family and I haven't notice anything. The couch and tv and all that are in the back and so that is where everyone moves around at. Felt nothing so far.
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Old 02-08-2024, 06:48 AM   #4
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Have not noticed any movement in our 23MLE in overnight with no jacks down or when set up for long term with all jacks down.
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Old 02-08-2024, 07:29 AM   #5
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Thank you all so much. I was hoping that the heavier frame and actual leveling jacks as opposed to stabilizers would mitigate any noticeable movement. I realize that nothing is solid, and that some movement is always a possibility, but as long as it is better than our current setup we should be quite happy!
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Old 02-09-2024, 07:48 PM   #6
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Our trailer is the same way. We do get a little movement. This is minimized by using blocks under the rear jacks so they don't have to extend very far. I also use blocks under the landing gear, I try not to extend the inner legs of the landing gear more than 6 or 8 holes. I am planning on putting strong arm braces on the landing gear. They make stabilizers that go in the rear hitch also.

https://www.morryde.com/products/hit...nt-stabilizer/


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Old 02-10-2024, 08:50 AM   #7
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... They make stabilizers that go in the rear hitch also.
https://www.morryde.com/products/hit...nt-stabilizer/
Gary
I'm no mechanical engineer, and I didn't even play one is our high school drama classes, but I'd be extremely concerned with using anything to "stabilize the trailer using the rear cargo hitch"....

Why? That hitch receiver is only rated to carry a 300 pound load if it's a "cargo rated receiver" and only 300 pounds of tongue load if it's a "tow rated receiver"...

So, what's the problem? If you crank that stabilizer down, and then anything changes in the leveling system, things like tires settling into the gravel, movement inside the trailer that causes the rear leveling jacks to sink slightly, or just movement inside the trailer, can cause significantly more than 300 pounds of weight being "levered from those legs/feet and back into the receiver"... It likely won't fail from that kind of "almost static weight", but what does the weight do to the bolts or weld joints from Lippert on most trailers (and they don't have the best reputation for quality welding).... Stress on the mounting bolts or on the welds that hold the receiver to the trailer frame rails may weaken and set up the potential for a "bouncing failure with your generator or electric bikes mounted on that same receiver"....

It may never happen, but how do you inspect the welds and the metal fatigue in the mounting bolts easily ??

I can imagine a number of situations where a thousand pounds (or more) of weight being put on that receiver if the tires settle into gravel or the leveling system changes position with that Morryde device mounted in the receiver...
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Old 02-10-2024, 09:49 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by NH_Bulldog View Post
As we await the arrival of our new 29BHL 5th wheel, my wife was looking at some pictures online on dealer websites and brought up a good question.

Ours will have the 4-point auto leveling, and the rear jacks are just behind the wheels with a lot of space between there and the rear of the camper. With the bunk room at the back and so much distance, do you think that there will be a lot of movement?

Our current model is really stable with just scissor stabilizing jacks and JT Strong Arms at the corners, but not having anything to stabilize the back of the new 5th wheel beyond the levelers is making me wonder if we are going to get a lot of movement? Does anyone have experience with a similar setup? Should I consider adding scissor stabilizer jacks at the rear?
That's a lot of cantilever hanging out past your back jacks, and I too see your concern. If there isn't anybody moving around in the bunk room it might not be too bad.

Not the same issue, but when we ordered our 25RDS, I selected the Lippert AutoLevel package. Unfortunately, this was in the height of Covid limited parts availability, and it showed up at the dealer after several delays with only the Lippert Stabilizers.The stabilizers help, but they don't have the support of the self leveling system.

A few months after we owned the unit Lippert's backorders were filling, and I made a deal with etrailer that if I purchased the leveling system, they would install it and make a marketing video. The system came in and I received a call from etrailer apologizing and stating that they couldn't install the system. Apparently sales and marketing never mentioned it to their shop until it arrived in Wentzville and the crap hit the fan internally. As we all know, the removal of the stabilizers and installation of the leveling system is a significant undertaking, especially with the control circuitry. etrailer gave me a full refund, no restocking charge etc and apologized some more.

I still wanted to solve the creaking from the suspension and general shaking of the trailer when we or the two dogs would move about. So, I went old school and purchased four BAL 7000 lb scissor jacks. Welded 4 pieces of rectangular thick walled steel tubing to the frame just ahead and behind the suspension, this was so when retracted the jacks would be accessible below the skirting. Then bolted and tack welded the jacks to the rectangular tubing. Between the four jacks, and the stabilizers, the trailer is rock solid. With the capacity of the jacks, I can lift the entire trailer off the ground if necessary.

So, a long story short, I would keep the scissor jacks option in the back of your mind if the new rig starts a wobbling on its feet!
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Old 02-10-2024, 11:26 AM   #9
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I have installed the Lippert auto leveling system, and I can assure you its simply labor intensive and not difficult at all.
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Old 02-10-2024, 12:13 PM   #10
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Chuckster57: That’s good to know, unfortunately that ship has sailed. I considered doing it myself, but at the time chemo was tearing me up, and we were living in a neighborhood with a pain in the butt HOA, could only have the trailer in front of the house for a day or so, and considering my condition, I felt that the time I needed and the HOA, the odds for complications were against me. We have since moved and we have a separate 3 bay shop on the property that handles the trailer without any issues, as it was originally designed to accommodate a 5er. But the BAL scissor jacks along with LevelMate Pro on my phone and a half inch Dewalt drill makes leveling a breeze. Once level, I drop the stabilizers and we are good, even on uneven lateral grades.
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Old 02-11-2024, 04:36 AM   #11
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I have seen the hitch-mount stabilizers and would likely avoid that. I prefer a more “stout” option, so if it becomes apparent that I do need something extra for that long overhang, I will likely consider having a pair of 7,500 lb capacity Eaz-Lift scissor stabilizers installed. I have another 8-10 weeks before it is “scheduled” to arrive so it will be a bit until I will have a chance to test the stability
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Old 02-11-2024, 05:56 AM   #12
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My experience over the years has been that no matter what Jack or leveling system you use, you need a good base. Even with our 6 point auto-level Lippert system, over the course of a week, even with only two of us, we get some movement as the pads settle into the ground. Before investing $$$ in extra stability, try putting some 12” pressure treated 2x12 cribbing boards under your jacking points. The bigger the footprint, the less compaction under your pads, and when using any type of stabilizer or Jack’ the shorter the lift the better.

Good luck,
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Old 02-11-2024, 06:35 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by GaryUT View Post
Our trailer is the same way. We do get a little movement. This is minimized by using blocks under the rear jacks so they don't have to extend very far. I also use blocks under the landing gear, I try not to extend the inner legs of the landing gear more than 6 or 8 holes. I am planning on putting strong arm braces on the landing gear. They make stabilizers that go in the rear hitch also.

https://www.morryde.com/products/hit...nt-stabilizer/


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pull Toy View Post
My experience over the years has been that no matter what Jack or leveling system you use, you need a good base. Even with our 6 point auto-level Lippert system, over the course of a week, even with only two of us, we get some movement as the pads settle into the ground. Before investing $$$ in extra stability, try putting some 12” pressure treated 2x12 cribbing boards under your jacking points. The bigger the footprint, the less compaction under your pads, and when using any type of stabilizer or Jack’ the shorter the lift the better.

Good luck,

I use blocks to help out with sites that are unlevel but i’ve been thinking that there should be a limitation on how high you stack wood blocks

I would think that the most stable way to setup an rv would be having the jacks or stabilizers that are welded to the frame going directly down to the ground for maximum side to side and front to back anchoring…yes you might get a little wiggle or deflection as the jacks are fully extended but the welded side and the grounded side probably won’t budge.

When you start stacking up wood ( probably wet from back of truck) blocks under all the jack points you create a situation where the rv could potentially slide off the blocks in a very high wind like the hurricanes in Florida…you wouldn’t get the jack deflection because the jacks are much shorter but i bet if i took two fifth wheels and grounded one of them with just jacks and the other with blocks and pulled the nose with a winch sideways…the one on blocks would easily spin..even people moving back and forth could potentially but not likely cause the pads to creep along the boards

I would think maybe a 4” thick single block of wood would be the maximum i’d go.

I just think not enough conversation goes into using blocks or cribbing under the jacks…shorter jacks isn’t always better, i wouldn’t just stack up 6 boards on top of each other because you are creating a unstable platform

correct me if i’m wrong
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Old 02-11-2024, 07:59 AM   #14
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I don’t think I would ever block leveling legs more than a few inches. With stabilizers, I would consider more blocks but not too much more.

In my initial question, I was thinking more of potential bounce at the very rear since there is so much cantilever of the frame past the rear leveling jacks.

Lots of great discussion!
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Old 02-13-2024, 07:14 AM   #15
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Ours will have the 4-point auto leveling, and the rear jacks are just behind the wheels with a lot of space between there and the rear of the camper. With the bunk room at the back and so much distance, do you think that there will be a lot of movement?
I have the 4 point on a 39 foot 5th wheel and I can tell you their is less movement in the back area of my 5th than there was when using my scissors stabilizers on the 28 foot travel trailer. to me its not anything to worry about until you have gone camping a few times and see how it actually is.
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Old 02-13-2024, 07:22 AM   #16
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I don’t think I would ever block leveling legs more than a few inches. With stabilizers, I would consider more blocks but not too much more.

Lots of great discussion!
you may need to haha, that is one thing you'll need to learn pretty quickly is how to estimate how much blocking you need in unlevel campgrounds so you don't get jack out of range errors. also if you have to extend your rear jacks, or even front jacks to far it does show up as a bit more wiggle its just physics, the shorter you can keep the jack travel while still allowing them room to level the more stable it will be. back jacks are easy as the unit will be roughly level before they start going down so its simple to throw a few 2x12 chunks down. I use pressure treated 2x12 cut to 14" long and I carry 12 of them and place them as needed, normally I use one under each front jack on flat ground, but a lot of the campgrounds I go to are far from flat and level.
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