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Leveling Jacks VS Stabilizer Jacks

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  • Leveling Jacks VS Stabilizer Jacks

    I think I have a quickly answered question but with most things RV it's hard to weed through opinion and folklore to get actual data-backed answers.

    I have an Imagine 2600RB TT and I was looking at after-market jacks and noticed that many are marketed as TT leveling jacks (the descriptions go so far as to specify they replace the stabilizer jacks and are used to actually level the TT). My question has to do with the response I see about half the time: "Don't use jacks to level, it will warp your frame." Okay, but is that factual or just an old wive's tale? Trying to get to the truth. I hate using blocks, wedges, Andersen, etc. and would love to be able to replace the jacks with so-called leveling jacks. I'm hoping that someone here has the data or official word from GD that backs up (or refutes) the "don't do it!" assertion.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Originally posted by TexJones View Post
    I think I have a quickly answered question but with most things RV it's hard to weed through opinion and folklore to get actual data-backed answers.

    I have an Imagine 2600RB TT and I was looking at after-market jacks and noticed that many are marketed as TT leveling jacks (the descriptions go so far as to specify they replace the stabilizer jacks and are used to actually level the TT). My question has to do with the response I see about half the time: "Don't use jacks to level, it will warp your frame." Okay, but is that factual or just an old wive's tale? Trying to get to the truth. I hate using blocks, wedges, Andersen, etc. and would love to be able to replace the jacks with so-called leveling jacks. I'm hoping that someone here has the data or official word from GD that backs up (or refutes) the "don't do it!" assertion.

    Thanks.
    The frame under your Imagine 2600RB is made by Lippert (LCI). To get the scoop directly from the component OEM, give them a call. If you look closely, somewhere on the "A" frame near the front is a serial number and frame identification sticker. LCI may ask for that info to give you an accurate response.

    For what it's worth...a true, powered leveling system will add a significant amount of weight which will reduce the amount of "stuff" you can carry. Payload is already an issue with our trailers. I completely understand what you're saying (and would love to just press a button to get my 315RLTS level) but the loss of payload vs the (relatively) small convenience of one-button leveling is not worth it (to me).

    I know, I know...this is not what you asked for, but from personal experience over two years I assure you that a LevelMatePro used with Andersen Levelers (or similar product) works very well to level a travel trailer.

    Let us know what Lippert says. 574-537-8900 or customerservice@lci1.com
    Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

    Howard, 2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

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    • #3
      Originally posted by howson View Post

      The frame under your Imagine 2600RB is made by Lippert (LCI). To get the scoop directly from the component OEM, give them a call. If you look closely, somewhere on the "A" frame near the front is a serial number and frame identification sticker. LCI may ask for that info to give you an accurate response.

      For what it's worth...a true, powered leveling system will add a significant amount of weight which will reduce the amount of "stuff" you can carry. Payload is already an issue with our trailers. I completely understand what you're saying (and would love to just press a button to get my 315RLTS level) but the loss of payload vs the (relatively) small convenience of one-button leveling is not worth it (to me).

      I know, I know...this is not what you asked for, but from personal experience over two years I assure you that a LevelMatePro used with Andersen Levelers (or similar product) works very well to level a travel trailer.

      Let us know what Lippert says. 574-537-8900 or customerservice@lci1.com
      Thanks! this is at least a better answer than I've gotten elsewhere. I'll reach out to Lippert and reply back. BTW- I was talking about manual leveling jacks, not a powered system. I don't think the powered one is worth the money. Good point about the weight of it though.

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      • #4
        Okay, I spoke to Lippert tech support. Specifically David in the leveling department. He said he's never heard of a frame getting warped from scissor jacks. I was very clear that I was referring to leveling scissor jacks, not stabilizing scissor jacks. He did say he's heard of hydraulic leveling systems warping frames though.

        For reference, here's a link to leveling jacks: https://www.etrailer.com/Camper-Jack...on/JSC-24.html

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        • #5
          Originally posted by TexJones View Post
          Okay, I spoke to Lippert tech support. Specifically David in the leveling department. He said he's never heard of a frame getting warped from scissor jacks. I was very clear that I was referring to leveling scissor jacks, not stabilizing scissor jacks. He did say he's heard of hydraulic leveling systems warping frames though.

          For reference, here's a link to leveling jacks: https://www.etrailer.com/Camper-Jack...on/JSC-24.html
          You will have a hard time cranking those jacks very far to level a trailer. I had those on our previous TT and I could get about an inch or so before it was too hard to turn, I did not use a battery drill. With that said I always used some blocking under the tires if needed and still do with our fifth wheel even though it has auto level. If we are within an inch of level i generally do not use blocking , over that I always use blocking.

          Brian
          Brian & Michelle
          2018 Reflection 29RS Oct.17 build date, EMS-HW50C , Lippert Remote
          2015 Chevy 3500HD CC LB Duramax , Reese Elite 18K

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TexJones View Post
            Okay, I spoke to Lippert tech support. Specifically David in the leveling department. He said he's never heard of a frame getting warped from scissor jacks. I was very clear that I was referring to leveling scissor jacks, not stabilizing scissor jacks. He did say he's heard of hydraulic leveling systems warping frames though.

            For reference, here's a link to leveling jacks: https://www.etrailer.com/Camper-Jack...on/JSC-24.html
            If you end installing the jacks, please do us the favor of posting a review of the installation process and your satisfaction with the result. Brian's experience ( Country Campers ) is something to seriously consider, though, before going down this road.
            Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

            Howard, 2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

            Comment


            • #7
              On our last trailer we had 3 jacks on each side. Each jack was rated for 5000lb for a total of 30000lbs. The trailer weighed 8500lbs. While the jacks could easily support the weight of the trailer, they couldn't pick up the weight of the trailer. They aren't geared to lift that much weight with a hand crank. And no you can't level up a trailer with jacks only at the 4 corners, you will bend the frame. If you look at any trailers with self leveling, they all have jacks close to the axles. And most trailers that use self leveling have a much heavier frame than your Imagine. Your trailer at best has an 8" I-beam. The Reflections use a 10" I-beam. And the bigger 5th wheels use a 12" I-beam.
              Last edited by 315RLTSinPA; 06-27-2020, 08:53 AM.
              2018 Reflection 315RLTS
              2013 F350 Lariat 6.7L/CC/LB/FX4

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              • #8
                Even with my electric levels on my reflection I still get it close with blocking under the tires. You don’t want to ever have a tire off the ground. The system is designed to carry the weight on the tires and then level a couple inches with the suspension.
                2018 Reflection 28bh
                2019 F350 6.7L Long Bed Crew Cab

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