Keep RV tires on a firm foundation

gary-736Dear Gary,
Love your articles and I have learned so much from you. I have a 2013 Itasca. It has hydraulic stabilizers which level it, but right now it is parked in my driveway which has an incline to the road. I want to be able to use it when family comes to visit but I am trying to figure out how to get it level. The front is probably sitting 10 to 12 inches lower than the back.

I was told, or read in the manual for the stabilizers, that you should never lift the RV up so high that the tires leave the ground, so I don’t think I can use them to level it. I saw your article about making ramps out of treated 2-inch lumber and wondered if you thought that would work for me? I would probably have to use six, 2 x 10 pieces, each a little longer than the first. Also, is it better to raise the front end or the rear? I assume the front, since there is only one set of tires. Thanks so much for your help. —Carol B.

Dear Carol,
Tire--Ramped-Blocks-RV-Doc-RVT-752Indeed, those tapered leveling blocks are your best bet, as well as raising the front axle only. Never allow the tires to leave the ground, especially the rear tires. The emergency brake must be engaged and the transmission in Park, both of which affect the drive axle, so keep those rear tires on the ground.

The photo is of a reader’s setup. Notice the “stop” block on the very top. Don’t risk running off the top block and damaging sidewall or frame components. —Gary



4 Thoughts to “Keep RV tires on a firm foundation”

  1. Mike Hayes

    I will ask my question again as I did not get an answer last month. Many articles suggest one buys a heat gun to check the temperature of your tires, hubs, etc when traveling. At what temperatures should one be concerned?

    1. RV Staff

      Hi, Mike,
      Sorry your question was inadvertently overlooked previously. I have forwarded your previous comment/question and this one to Roger Marble, our RV tire expert extraordinaire(!), and he’ll probably be able to help you out. In the meantime, here is a link to his RV Tire Safety blog, which covers everything you ever wanted to know about RV tires and then some. Just look in the left-hand column and there is a section entitled “temperature” — maybe that will help. Thanks for your patience. Here’s the link:

    2. RV Staff

      Mike, An IR heat gun is fine for measuring the temperature of heat conductive materials such as metals but rubber is an insulator so it is possible to have a 50°F temperature difference or greater in less than a 1/2″ so it would be necessary for you to be sure you hit the identical spot +/- 0/05″ to get meaningful comparison. If you check my blog post on IR guns
      You can see the large temperature difference over small distances as measured by a $10,000 “heat gun.”
      Now I am going to assume you are considering using the IR gun for checking your tires but the real hot spot is inside a tire not on the surface, so again the IR gun isn’t going to work as well as you might think. The best thing you can do is to confirm your tire is not overloaded and that it has the correct inflation to support the measured load. A TPMS will measure pressure and can warn you of a loss of pressure well before it can warn you of high temperature from air loss.
      Roger Marble

  2. ml Thomasson

    How about using the metal ramps built for lifting the front end of cars? Yellow, perforated metal ramps since you’re at home and they can be stored there. Use wooden blocks under the jacks. Jacks should lift front at least 6 inches.

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