How to level motorhome with hydraulic jacks? If your motorhome has a hydraulic leveling system, you will find it useful whenever you’re driving. However, you need to know how it works so that you can easily use it when you need to level your motorhome.
So, if you are a beginner and not familiar with hydraulic jacks, you should learn it from now on, and that’s what we’re discussing today. Leveling your motorhome using the hydraulic jacks is essential, especially when you need to park your vehicle. It is just like you need RV deep cycle battery if you’re traveling long distances or more often.
How to Level Your Motorhome with Hydraulic Jacks
If your destination is a sloped campsite, you can use the hydraulic jacks to level your motorhome. Some RVs have a 4-point system using one jack in each corner, while others have three jacks.
Note that not all motorhome has the same leveling system and controls, but many of the concepts are the same. Even if your motorhome doesn’t have a computerized one-touch system or automatic mode, it does have manual controls for sure.
So, before you proceed, check your RV’s pre-operation checklist or owner’s manual for specific guidelines. But, whatever type of RV you have, you can apply the following steps in general.
Step 1: Front Wheels should be Perfectly Straight
If your motorhome is a diesel pusher, make sure that the front wheels are perfectly straight. By doing so, the tires will not cause any damage when you start leveling your RV.
Some RV manufacturers would also recommend you to extend the slide outs before leveling. Other types of RV need to be balanced before putting the slides out.
Now, turn the ignition key to provide power to the jack system. You will then notice that the travel mode light is on. It alerts you that the jacks are in the right position.
Step 2: Press the Button that Turns the System On
For motorhomes with a computerized system, this button is on the jack controller’s upper left corner. If you press it for the second time, the computer takes over. It will dump the airbags and level the RV automatically.
But, if your RV does not have a computerized system, you can level your vehicle using the manual controls.
On the right side of the controller, you can see a diagram that shows your motorhome. If one or two yellow lights are on, it tells you which side or end is low, that needs to be raised.
Step 3: Press the Dump Button
If your RV is a diesel pusher with air suspension, you need to press the dump button to drop it down off the airbags before leveling. You can hear the air rushing out of the system. Wait until your motorhome has settled down.
As the airbags dump, you will notice that your RV moves a few inches away from its original position. It happens due to the suspension geometry. Wait for some time until after dumping before you proceed to the next step.
Step 4: Chock the Wheels
If you are on a campsite where your motorhome’s rear is downhill from the front, you need to place a block against the front tires. You can then start jacking up your RV, taking the tires’ weight that have parking brakes on them.
Step 5: Use Jack Pads
Some campsites are much unlevelled. In that case, you need to use jack pads, also known as leveling blocks. Always bring them with you whenever you go on a trip. They add extra height to the jacks and keeps them from sinking, especially when the ground is soft.
Step 6: Press and hold the Up Arrow on the Low Side
Make sure to level side to side first. Then, raise the low side by pressing and holding the up arrow. It is the side with the yellow light when you look at the manual controls.
Now, when the jacks on the driver side begin to deploy, you can see the red jack extended lights are on. Next, hold the button down until you see the yellow light is off. It indicates that the RV is leveled side to side.
Step 7: Press and hold the Up Arrow at the Low End
After leveling side to side, you can now level front to rear. Make sure the passenger jack reaches the ground. Both the front driver side jack and the passenger jack will extend when you press and hold the up arrow at the low end of your motorhome.
Next, hold the button down until the yellow light is off. When you do this step, keep in mind that it’s not unusual for the side-to-side level to go out slightly. So, when you notice that the passenger side is a bit low, press the up arrow wherever there’s a yellow light to raise it.
Step 8: Press and hold the Passenger Side up Arrow
Generally, only three jacks should be down when leveling your motorhome. Since hydraulic jacks provide stability, you might want all of them down. So, you may also extend the fourth jack. Press and hold the passenger side up arrow to deploy the right rear jack.
If the yellow light on the passenger side is still off, you only must hold the button until you feel the jack pressed into the ground. You will then notice the RV is lifted. And if the light on the passenger side is still on, continue to hold the button until it turns off.
Step 9: Turn Off the System
For the final step, turn off the system after ensuring that all the hydraulic jacks are firmly standing on the ground and your motorhome is stable. Press the off button on the control panel, then turn off the ignition.
The steps above apply to most of the motorhome types. If your RV does not have built-in hydraulic jacks, consider installing them with a professional’s help. Since some campsites are a bit unleveled or sloped, you can always rely on your motorhome’s jacks.
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