Having adequate jacking systems is a critical part of RV functionality and enjoyment. As any seasoned RVer knows, recreational vehicles can easily become sloped or unstable when parked at campsites and overnight locations that lack perfectly flat, level ground. This tilting and shifting can make moving around inside uncomfortable, cause appliances to malfunction, and disturb sleep. That's where jacks become vital - they actively lift and support the camper to counteract the natural unevenness of most parking sites. Jacks provide a solid, stable base that RVers can depend on when settling in for the night. They serve as the foundation for pleasant camping and peaceful rest.
There are two main jacking systems that RVers rely on: stabilizing jacks that support slide-out rooms, and more robust leveling jacks that re-orient and lift the entire RV body. Understanding the difference between these two types ensures you choose the right jacking capabilities for your camper and travel style. Properly outfitted, jacks make leveling and stabilizing a breeze so you can relax and enjoy your site.
Why You Need to Level an RV?
Having your RV parked on a completely level plane is extremely important for several reasons. RVs parked on even a slight incline can cause major headaches and problems over time. The first main issue is comfort, trying to sleep in a tilted bed or relax on uneven furniture is uncomfortable. Spilled drinks and sliding cabinets make simple tasks frustrating. Appliances like refrigerators also require being level to operate efficiently, as do slide-out mechanisms.
But even more concerning is the strain that being parked at an angle puts on various RV components. The suspension and frame bear extra asymmetric loads that lead to premature wear. Seals and connections in the plumbing system are prone to developing leaks under the added stress. Doors and cabinets may fail to align properly. There is also the risk of appliances like fridges and furnaces malfunctioning if their level orientation is off. Even the tires undergo extra duress from an imbalanced weight distribution.
An un-leveled camper experiences forces and loads it was not designed for. This compounds over time resulting in expensive repairs and compromised performance. Having your RV precisely level when stationary eliminates these issues. So being level is about far more than just comfort, it preserves the structural integrity and function of your entire trailer for the long run.
What Is the Difference Between Stabilizing Jacks and Leveling Jacks?
RVs can easily become sloped or unsettled when parked on the naturally uneven ground of campsites. RVs are equipped with specialized jacks to counteract these concerns.
There are two main types of jacks that serve distinct purposes - stabilizing jacks to support, and more heavy-duty leveling jacks that re-orient the entire RV. Understanding the key differences between these two jack types will ensure you have the proper jacking capabilities for smooth travels.
Now let's explore exactly how stabilizing jacks and leveling jacks differ. We distinguish them on five points of difference.
What is Stabilizing Jack?
Stabilizing jacks are essential components of an RV's leveling and support system. Unlike leveling jacks that are primarily used to adjust the RV's height to create a level surface, stabilizing jacks are designed to minimize movement and swaying within the camper once it's parked and leveled. Stabilizing jacks are strategically placed at various points around the RV, typically near the corners, to distribute the weight evenly and counteract any potential rocking or swaying. They can be manually adjusted to apply pressure against the ground, effectively minimizing the trailer's movement.
The primary purpose of stabilizing jacks is to enhance the overall comfort and safety of the RV occupants while stationary. When an camper is parked, even a slight movement inside can feel magnified due to the confined space. Stabilizing jacks counteract this motion by providing additional support and reducing the effects of vibrations caused by people walking around, appliances running, or external forces like wind gusts.
What is Leveling Jack?
Leveling jacks serve a different purpose, getting the entire RV chassis level when parked on an uneven surface. Leveling jacks must have high weight capacities to safely support thousands of pounds. They are mounted to the RV frame with reinforced welds.
Leveling jacks lift the frame to counteract the slope of the site. The goal is to get all tires resting evenly on a flat plane to stabilize the trailer and keep the interior living space oriented horizontally. Level jacks must bear the entire loaded weight of the RV.
Precisely leveling an RV with jacks allows refrigerators, slide-outs, and other appliances to function properly. It also prevents damage from frame stress and uneven wear. Leveling your trailer brings comfort when moving inside and ensures everything operates correctly.
Stabilizing Jacks typically have a scissor or X-shaped structure to increase height and support. The arms retract and fold together when being stowed for travel.
Act to stabilize by simply extending straight down and applying pressure, not lifting the RV. Usually manually operated by a hand crank or chuck key to open and close the scissor arms.
Leveling Jacks most often have a cylindrical screw or telescoping post design to provide maximum lifting force. The round vertical shape allows them to screw in and out of sleeves or tubes, raising and lowering the RV frame. Electric drive motors rotate the screw to lift each corner separately to attain level. Can adjust height more dynamically thanks to rotary rather than just up/down motion.
Different Weight Capacities:
Stabilization jacks are designed and rated to only support the weight of the confined space, not the entire RV. It is still a few hundred pounds at most. However, the entire camper weigh nowhere near thousands of pounds. Therefore, the stability jack only needs to be of sufficient capacity to securely hold the confined space without lifting or orienting the RV itself. Their sole purpose is to minimize slip-out motion.
Leveling jacks must be extremely robust to lift the entire loaded trailer weight, which can easily surpass several tons for large travel trailers or 5th wheels. All that vehicle weight presses down on the jacks as they lift and orient the frame. To reliably handle these heavy loads without buckling, leveling jacks are constructed from high-strength steel and have heavily reinforced mounting plates. The materials and structure must be over-engineered with an ample safety factor to prevent failures under thousands of pounds of force.
Stabilizing jacks are operated by simply rotating the hand crank to lower them vertically down until they firmly engage the ground, supporting that confined space.
To level the RV, leveling jacks must be raised and lowered in a synchronized sequence to individually lift each low corner until all tires are on the same flat plane. This is a more complex lifting and stabilizing procedure.
Manual stabilizing jacks are relatively inexpensive auxiliary RV components. Slide-out rooms already require large motors and gears for extension, so simple stabilizers suffice.
Leveling systems range from budget manual screw jacks to deluxe automatic computer-controlled systems costing thousands. Electric motors and automation increase costs over basic manual cranks.
Can I Level My RV With Use Stabilizer Jack?
Stabilizer jacks are not a substitute for proper RV leveling jacks. Mistakenly attempting to lift or level the entire camper chassis with stabilizers can lead to catastrophic failures. Stabilizer jacks lack of the structure, capacity, placement, and range of motion required to safely orient the vehicle’s weight.
Purpose-built leveling jacks have the muscle to lift thousands of pounds and adjust each corner’s height as needed to attain a level attitude. Operating stabilizers outside their intended use jeopardizes equipment, home structure, and personal safety. Take the time to install suitable leveling jacks that actively lift and distribute the RV’s weight. With an appropriate leveling system in place, stabilizer jacks can then provide their intended slide support function.
Types of RV Stabilizer Jacks & Leveling Jack
We'll shine a spotlight on some of the most common types of these essential tools, offering insights into their functionalities and advantages. Whether you're a seasoned RVer or new to the adventure, delving into these select stabilizer and leveling jacks will equip you with the knowledge needed to elevate your camping escapades to new heights of convenience and enjoyment.
Scissor jacks are a popular style of jack utilized for stabilizing. Their scissor-like arm structure that opens and closes to adjust the jack's height. A manual scissor jack uses a hand crank or detached chuck key to rotate a screw mechanism that pushes the arms apart, extending them vertically down to the ground. Weight on top presses it firmly into place. Reversing the crank lowers the jack by allowing the arms to fold back together. They can expand high enough to effectively stabilize the room when deployed. Weight ratings typically max out around 5,000 pounds. Scissor jacks deliver an ideal balance of strength, stability, ease of operation, and it is a popular choice among RV owners. However, while this type of jacks is sturdy, they aren’t designed to stabilize rather than lift the trailer.
Drop-down jacks are a type of mechanical support device used for stabilizing trailers and RVs. These jacks are designed to be adjustable, providing versatility in lifting and supporting loads of varying heights. They are typically operated using a crank mechanism or an electric motor. The crank mechanism allows users to manually raise or lower the drop leg to the desired position. Some modern drop-down jacks feature motorized operation, enabling users to adjust the height with the push of a button, which is particularly convenient for heavy loads. However, we need to make sure to avoid overloading jacks.
Manual Leveling Jacks
Manual leveling jacks utilize a hand crank to turn a screw mechanism that raises and lowers each jack, providing a simple and practical leveling solution. However, the weight capacity of a single manual jack is limited, so a system of multiple jacks working in unison is needed to safely lift and stabilize the RV. Operation requires carefully adjusting each jack progressively to attain a level condition. With proper setup and use, they are easier to maintain and can bring savings to RVers on maintenance costs.
Electric Leveling Jacks
Electric leveling jacks utilize 12-volt DC electric motors and gears rather than manual cranks to raise and lower each jack. This allows RVers to level the trailer chassis simply by pushing buttons on a wired remote or wireless control panel. Electric jacks make the leveling process far simpler, faster, and less physically demanding compared to manual jacking. While more expensive than manual jacks, power jacks greatly enhance ease of use and convenience. Their electric operation and automated features are perfect for today's large RVs.
Hydraulic Leveling Jacks
Hydraulic leveling jacks utilize hydraulic fluid pressure to raise and lower jacks, allowing precise control. Hydraulic jacks have a higher weight capacity compared to manual or electric jacks, making them ideal for large, heavy RVs. They provide reliable leveling on all terrains for extra-large camper that electric jacks cannot safely handle.
How to Choose the Best Leveling Jack for Your RV
RV’s Specifications,Consider the Leveling System,Evaluate the Installation Process,Check the Warranty & Customer Support,Price.
- Weight of RV: Leveling jacks come with weight ratings, so make sure to choose one that can handle the fully loaded weight of our camper. Go with a high weight capacity to give yourself a buffer.
- Decide on electric vs manual operation: Electric leveling jacks require less physical effort but need a power source. Manual crank jacks don't rely on electricity but do require more manual labor
- Look at lift height and stroke length: The lift height is how high the jack can raise your RV. The stroke length is how far the foot pad moves up and down. Make sure both meet your needs.
- Make sure the jacks are designed to fit your camper properly. Look at where they need to mount on the frame.
- Factor in ease of use features like auto-leveling, one-touch operation, and remote controls.
Heavy Duty Steel RV Jacks and Stabilizer: Kohree RV Stabilizer Leveling Scissor Jack is made using heavy-duty steel that undergoes electrophoresis treatment on the surface, making them extremely durable and strong. This robust steel build enables the jacks to effectively stabilize slide-out rooms once extended, preventing excessive movement inside the trailer. It has the strength and stability to perform both vital stabilizing and leveling functions, keeping RVs secure in any camping environment. With a robust weight capacity of 7500 lbs, this heavy duty camper stabilizing scissor jack provides reliable support for our RVs, and its wide bow-tie keep trailers stable.
Stretch Flexibility: Kohree RV Scissor Jack is specially designed with ample height extension to provide the lift needed for properly stabilizing. It can stretch to a maximum height of 24 inches when fully extended. And it can shrink down to a compact 4 inches in height. The range of motion provides plenty of stabilizing versatility.
2 Ways to Use: It provides two convenient methods for raising and lowering - manual cranking or power drill operation. The included hand crank turns smoothly to enable easy vertical extension and retraction of the crossed arm mechanism. For even faster height adjustment, your power drill can be used to rapidly deploy or store the jack. Either manual or powered operation takes advantage of the jack's smooth-tooth gear design integrated into the scissor arms. This ensures the jack maintains perfectly straight vertical travel when stabilizing a slide-out room.
Easy & Fast: Kohree RV Slide Out Supports make stabilization easy and fast courtesy of the ability to operate them with either a power drill or manual hand crank. You can also simply fitting a socket bit into your drill, you can rapidly deploy the supports up and down, saving time compared to cranking by hand. Either way, the quick tool-free adjustment helps you start enjoying your trailer trip without delay by promptly stabilizing slide-outs.
Adjustable Height & Up to 5000lbs Capacity: Kohree Supports let you dial in the perfect 20"-49" height in seconds, using powered or manual operation to maximize convenience. With an 5,000 pound weight capacity per jack, this heavy-duty slide out support system can reliably stabilize slide-out rooms carrying substantial loads.
Heavy Duty Construction: Kohree Supports constructed from high-quality steel, this heavy-duty slide out support provides lasting durability. The robust steel composition gives it the strength to deliver firm, stable support once extended and in contact with the ground. This keeps the slide-out room steady, minimizing shaking, rocking, and movement inside the RV living area. Quality steel materials enable the support to maintain structural integrity season after season, despite constant cycles of deployment and stowing.
Durable & Non-slip: The durable polymer material composition gives the Kohree Camper Leveler extreme longevity, engineered to maintain structural integrity for a lifetime of reliable performance leveling RVs. The bottom of each leveler incorporates an anti-skid design to stop sliding on smooth surfaces. Additionally, the levelers come with 2 non-slip mats and 2 blue anti-skid blocks that can further enhance friction and traction.
Quick Installation & Convenient: Kohree Camper Levelers allow hassle-free leveling in under 5 minutes. Just lay down the included anti-slip mats, drive the RV tire onto the leveler, raise to the desired height, and secure with a wheel chock. The perfect size accomodates most camper models without needing custom trimming. Quickly gain 1/2 to 4 inches of lift for instant leveling.
Easy to Carry: Comes with a black carrying bag for protected portability. Makes transportation easy when stowing the slide out supports while on the move.
High Capacity & Saving Time: Kohree electric tongue jack built in 12V DC electric gear motor of a low maintenance and High Capacity of lift capacity. The electric operation allows you to simply push a button to raise or lower your trailer smoothly and quickly, saving 50% time and effort.
Adjustable Height & Safe Operation: The adjustable 5-gear drop leg on this 12V trailer jack increases the lift height by 8 inches meet different lifting needs. With a fully retracted height of just 9 inches, the jack can be stored out of the way. Helpful LED lights provide visibility and safety for nighttime hookups. Another standout feature is the built-in circuit breaker which will automatically disconnect power in case of an overload accident, then reconnect after 2 minutes, preventing damage.
Duable & Wild Application: Kohree electric jack is made of heavy-duty steel with anti-rust coating on the outside, it is duable and suitable for multiple Campers.
Upgraded Load Capacity: Upgraded Kohree electric trailer jack is equipped with a robust 12V DC motor that delivers maximum torque to lift your A-frame trailer. With a high max load capacity of 5000 lbs, this powerful electric jack can rapidly raise and lower heavy trailers with the simple push of a button. The automatic operation allows you to easily level your trailer more quickly than manual jacks.
Safe & Durable: Designed for safety and durability, this electric tongue jack features LED lights to illuminate nighttime hookups and a circuit breaker that automatically disconnects power surges, protecting against overload damage, and reconnect about 2 mins later. The heavy-duty steel construction with an anti-rust coating enables the jack to withstand outdoor elements. Added reliability comes from the manual hand crank and the included weatherproof cover to shield the jack when stored.
Adjustable Height: With an adjustable 5-gear drop leg, this 12V trailer jack can increase in height by 8 inches to reach a maximum extended height of 22 inches. This allows the jack to accommodate different lifting needs and trailer heights. When not in use, the jack can fully retract to 9.8 inches for compact storage.
Between these 2 Kohree electric jacks choose a model that can handle your trailer's loaded tongue weight for safe operation. Our upgraded 5,000 lb capacity electric jack is best suited for larger, heavy duty trailers, providing fast and simple lifting at the push of a button. For lighter trailers under 3,500 lbs, our 3,500lbs capacity electric jack is an ideal match. Select the appropriate weight rating for your trailer size and weight needs for optimal performance and protection when connecting your trailer.
Why Put Blocks Under The Jack?
Placing blocks strategically underneath stabilizing jacks and leveling jacks when parking your RV can provide a number of worthwhile benefits.
Jack blocks protect the ground surface at the campsite or parking location from damage. Jacks that screw or dig directly into dirt or grass can leave ugly marks or holes, as well as tear up the area. Elevating them with blocks prevents this type of site disruption.
Blocks also give the jacks a much broader and stable base to operate on. Soft soils can allow jacks to shift and sink into the ground, causing the RV to rock unsteadily. Getting them situated on a solid block provides a reinforced foundation to keep jacks and the trailer from moving around.
In some cases, blocks can help compensate for minor ground unevenness by evening out the surface height under each jack. This aids in attaining a level RV orientation. Blocks also provide a bit of extra jack height if needed to lift the camper chassis higher. The less the jack is extended, the less it will flex and wobble.
Setting jacks on blocks gets them up out of any mud, sand, or debris on the site. This keeps the stabilizing and leveling mechanisms cleaner for smoother operation and extends equipment life. Ground debris can quickly wear down jacks.
Jack blocks dampen noise and vibration that result from jacks vibrating against the bare ground. Blocks provide acoustic isolation.
In summary, people put blocks under the jack for different reasons, but mainly for stability and load distribution. It’s a good practice to use blocks under the jack, as long as they are sturdy and large enough to support the weight of the RV or car.
- Multipurpose: Kohree Trailer Jack Block is a versatile stabilization product that securely supports our RVs and trailers when parked. By stabilizing jacks on all kinds of surfaces including grass, dirt, and uneven ground, it eliminates sway and motion that could otherwise lead to tipping accidents or damage. This allows for confident parking on any terrain, giving RVers flexibility in site selection and reducing driver stress around stability concerns.
- Heavy Duty Construction: Kohree Jack Block is constructed with high performance polymer and an upgraded internal structure to support heavy loads up to 15,000 lbs, making it much stronger and more durable than wooden blocks or other alternatives. Specially designed for RVs and trailers, its heavy duty construction meets the load-bearing requirements to stabilize large vehicles securely when parked. The specialty block’s robust build stands up to repeated use without fail and keeps trailers firmly planted, avoiding disasters from tipping or rolling even on uneven terrain.
- Perfect Size: With dimensions of 6.3 inches tall and a 11.2" x 8.85" base, the Kohree Trailer Jack Block can stack according to desired height and its top accommodates is perfectly sized to support 9" round 5th wheel jack feet. Trailer jack pads can meet your different needs. Trailer jack pads can meet your different needs.
- Upgraded Design: Kohree Trailer Jack Block features an upgraded design with grooves on the top surface to lock stacked blocks in place for enhanced stability. Side holes make the blocks easy to carry.
Having the right jacking system is crucial for RVers to safely stabilize and level their motorhomes or trailers. In summary, RV jacks are complex systems with many types and operating mechanisms. Understanding the differences helps buyers select jacks tailored for their specific camper and camping needs. With quality jacks properly matched to the vehicle, owners gain stability, avoid tipping disasters, and enjoy leveled living spaces at each destination. Taking the time to learn about and invest in the right jacking system pays dividends for years out on the road.