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 > Level on sloped campsites. How? Unique to 5er's

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DutchmenSport

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Posted: 08/17/19 07:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fifth Wheel is 41 feet long. Even gentle sloped campsites will make ground clearance considerably different between the front of the camper and the back. Question for 5er owners? How do you level (front to back) your 5er when the front is sloped excessively low (excessively low for your 5er... as a shorter 5er might not have this issues on the same site.

Definition: Campsite is sloped downhill, meaning the tail end of the camper is uphill, the front end of the camper is downhill. I have no problems when it's reversed.

Problem: When the campsite is sloped too much, the front landing gear will not extend far enough to bring the camper level front to back.

Problem: The front landing gear is close to the ground, and there is only so much lumber that can fit under the feet, but even fully extended, the front is still low.

The longer the trailer, the more pronounced this becomes.

We are currently camped at a state park in Indiana and for the 3rd time in the last year we've run into this situation. In about a month I'll be parked for a week on such a site as this again, so trying to get this figured out now.

Of course, the easy solution is just to leave the camper parked front downward and forget it. But I don't like that option.

I've rattled my brain for almost a year now, trying to come up with a solution. Once unhitched from the truck, you are pretty much at the mercy of the length of your landing gear jacks.

I have thought about ramps for the rear tires to back onto, this would initially raise the entire front of the 5er, but unhitching and hitching may be a real problem. Plus a 1 ton dualy with 3000 pounds of trailer over the rear axles, well, I don't think too many car ramps would support that type of weight.

I thought, maybe back the truck onto a stack of lumber under all 4 tires (well, 6 tires in my case), but that would require bringing along a LOT of lumber to raise the truck even 3 or 4 inches higher off the ground.

Then I thought of how I did this with our travel trailer and thought maybe one of those king pin tripods would work, and in theory, they would, if they could fully support 3000 pounds.

With our travel trailer when the front was sloped downhill, I'd raise the trailer as high as I could go with the tongue jack. Then I'd lower the front stablizer jacks all the way down and let the trailer rest on the jacks. Then raise the tongue jack and put put additional lumber under the tongue jack, then lower the tongue jack again on the higher stack of lumber. Now the stablizer jacks are completely off the ground, so they will also need lumber under them to stablize too. But the entire camper is now level front to back. To hitch, this process is reversed.

With a 5er, the tripod could support the king pin, then the front landing gear jacks could be retracted and more lumber put under the feet. Then the landing gear could be extended again and bring the 5er level. To hitch, the process would be reversed.

The only problem is finding a king pin tripod that is stout enough to support approximately 3000 pounds.

So, the question is, how do you do it when the front landing gear simply doesn't extend long enough?

FYI, here's a couple photos of where we are currently camped. The front is still slightly downhill, but the front landing gear is extended as far as it will go, and ... my 6 point leveling system is currently in an error because they are hyper extended right now.

How do you do it? Or do you just leave the camper nose down and unlevel?

[image]

[image]

FYI, the motor home behind us is parked on a similar slope. He looks to be about 35 feet long, and the front tires are off the ground. His front hydraulic jacks are extended too.

* This post was edited 08/17/19 07:53am by DutchmenSport *

Me Again

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Posted: 08/17/19 08:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ask for a different site!!!!

It appears that you could have backed up about 6 feet further? Putting the rear wheels near the concrete curb and rear jacks behind it.

BTW, don't it frisky in the trailer it may go on a ride down the hill.


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BarneyS

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Posted: 08/17/19 08:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What about backing the trailer up so the steps on that side are on the other side of the power post? That would bring the front up quite a bit and probably let you level ok. Unless there is another rig directly behind you, and it doesn't look like there is one that close, that is what I would do. Doubt the campground management will complain, even if your rear is "outside" the normal site boundaries, if you explain the reason. From the position of the rear cement curb it looks like you have a lot of room to move back.
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DutchmenSport

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Posted: 08/17/19 08:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"What about backing the trailer up so the steps..."

Trailer is backed up as far as it can go. There is another campsite behind us and actually, our back end is already encroaching on his site.

Also, if I backed up any further, the rear jacks would be in grass, not over gravel, and there is a bumper block at the end of the gravel.

Moving is not the option. I need to figure out how to handle this situation, not just right now, but for future experiences also.

Mfan

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Posted: 08/17/19 08:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2 thoughts. If you see that you are going to be on a hill, drop your feet down first, then extend your legs. Probably gain an additional 10".

Or, get a piece of 2 x 12 and cut to 8" length. Bolt 3 or 4 together to make a 10 1/2" block of wood. Put that on the ground first.

JRscooby

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Posted: 08/17/19 08:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Can you put blocks under the frame near jacks, lower onto blocks, and add blocks under jacks?

RobWNY

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Posted: 08/17/19 08:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I guess I don't understand what your issue is. You've explained how you're nose is too low but in the pictures you look nose high. So if that's an illusion, and your nose is too low, first, you have your front jacks pads extended to the third hole. Put them all the way in and you gain a couple of inches there or extend them out depending on the situation. You have several inches of travel with the motor and the pin locations for the pad give you several more inches. You just have to find what combination works on every site. If sloped too much one way or the other, I would get a different site. In most cases I use lynx levelers under my front landing gear. I've had a dozen on each side at a couple of sites. They not only get me level and when my jacks aren't extended very much, they sturdy the trailer.

CarnationSailor

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Posted: 08/17/19 08:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have been on sites like the one pictured with our 36-foot 5th. A stack of 8 to 10 "leggo" blocks under each front landing gear solved the problem.

Your picture shows you are using a very short block under your landing gear. I find it hard to believe that the short stack is the max that will fit under your landing gear.


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JKJavelin

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Posted: 08/17/19 08:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

These will give you 8 more inches.

https://parts.unitedrv.com/products/trai........I2I6K5AIVYxh9Ch1eLwr6EAQYAiABEgJZa_D_BwE


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Lantley

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Posted: 08/17/19 09:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

While I believe I understand your dilemma. The site you show does not appear to be that extreme. I expected worse.
You have a relatively short block of wood of wood on the ground to start with. Get a few 6x6 blocks and put them down to start with. Stack the 6x6 blocks as necessary. You can also use Lego blocks to gain height instead of the 6x6 blocks if you prefer.
Extend the inner leg of your front jacks. It appears they are not extended very far in the photo?

One point I think I'm missing that is not shown in the photos is how much clearance do you have between jacks and ground before you start unhitching?
I'm thinking that may be the root of the problem that is not evident in the photos.


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