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Old 07-14-2009, 10:10 AM   #1
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How much of an incline can a trailer be leveled?

Hello,

My wife and I are looking at new houses and of course evaluating the parking situation in the driveway for our trailer. (23ft)
Hypothetical question for all of you. I we were to park the trailer in a driveway that has in incline..... how much can the jack correct to level the trailer. And would there be undue stress put on the jack say if it was fully extended to level the trailer. (the driveway we are considering is sloping up maybe 20 degrees ...so I imagine the jack would be extended up as far as it would go to achieve levelnessity!!
Could the jack be put on blocks to offset the angle even more? I guess at some point the stabilizers in the front would not be able too touch.

Our hope is to use the trailer as a spare room so having it level would be ideal.

Thoughts?
Thanks,
Tom
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:00 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by tmarquis View Post
Hello,

My wife and I are looking at new houses and of course evaluating the parking situation in the driveway for our trailer. (23ft)
Hypothetical question for all of you. I we were to park the trailer in a driveway that has in incline..... how much can the jack correct to level the trailer. And would there be undue stress put on the jack say if it was fully extended to level the trailer. (the driveway we are considering is sloping up maybe 20 degrees ...so I imagine the jack would be extended up as far as it would go to achieve levelnessity!!
Could the jack be put on blocks to offset the angle even more? I guess at some point the stabilizers in the front would not be able too touch.

Our hope is to use the trailer as a spare room so having it level would be ideal.

Thoughts?
Thanks,
Tom
Tom.

Here's how you can easily determine the answer to your question.

Get a sheet of paper, a ruler, a protractor, and a pencil.

Accurately measure the slope of the driveway, you say 20 degrees but that sounds like a guess.

After you have the exact slope, draw that same slope on that paper.

Then draw a straight line representing the trailer.

I might suggest doing the drawing to scale, say maybe 1/4 inch equals one foot.

That will answer your question very accurately, without any guess work.

Andy
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:29 AM   #3
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One thing to remember, as you level using the tongue jack, you will place more load on the rear axle and tires.

Bill
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:54 AM   #4
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You do not want to store the trailer level for a couple of reasons. You want to store the trailer parallel to the ground it is resting on. The puts and even load on the axles and will keep one of them from taking a set long before the other. Also if under any trees rain will tend to remove the leaves that get trapped above the awnings.

I think you will be surprised at the true angle of the drive.
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:56 AM   #5
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yes 20 degrees is a guess......and now that i have actually looked at a protractor ...would say the angle is more like 5 to 10 (and I haven't actually seen the house, this is judging from pictures.) 20 now seems really steep!

Lets imagine that to level the 23ft dual axel trailer in the driveway it takes a full extension of the jack....and the jack is resting on a cinderblock or something even more solid, but about that height. And the wheels are both locked using the expanding screw wheel chock things (not wedges) would it be safe to have one or two people inside?
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Old 07-14-2009, 12:04 PM   #6
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At 20 degrees, the slope works out to be 36%, quite a challenge to even move a trailer up, much less anchor it there! I've driven some 24% stuff with out a trailer and a minivan would barely climb the hill.

Ditto on the keep it parallel to the ground.

The problems I have isn't the angle (but I've never tried anything even near that steep!) but the approach where the tail drags.

Good Luck!
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Old 07-14-2009, 12:16 PM   #7
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yes 20 degrees is a guess......and now that i have actually looked at a protractor ...would say the angle is more like 5 to 10 (and I haven't actually seen the house, this is judging from pictures.) 20 now seems really steep!

Lets imagine that to level the 23ft dual axel trailer in the driveway it takes a full extension of the jack....and the jack is resting on a cinderblock or something even more solid, but about that height. And the wheels are both locked using the expanding screw wheel chock things (not wedges) would it be safe to have one or two people inside?
You can also create some wooden ramps that are placed under all the tires.

The ramps can be angled to create a level surface for the tires, and likewise the trailer.

Granted the rear end may be close to the ground and the front end may be high, but as long as the tires have a level surface you would be ok.

The only other problem, is locking the tires adequately since the blocks would be on an angle.

Of course you could have some steel pegs in the blocks that were inserted into holes in the driveway.

You certainly don't want the trailer to slide down the driveway.

Andy
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Old 07-14-2009, 12:41 PM   #8
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For feasibility, consider the length from your axles to the rear bumper and compare that to the clearance at the bumper. That's a ratio of maybe 8:120 or 7% ...

On an Airstream, the axle to tongue might be a bit longer but that only reduces the ratio so the rear high will get you the most range.

But, as you can see, trying to get level on much of a slope is going to take blocks under the wheels and a ladder to get into the door.
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:11 PM   #9
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After some measurements and quick calculations. I don't think i could get my 28' ambassador level on a 6% grade without the rear bumper hitting the ground, But this was just a quick calculation mind you... I have to sit down for a little longer to double Check it all..
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:28 PM   #10
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For feasibility, consider the length from your axles to the rear bumper and compare that to the clearance at the bumper. That's a ratio of maybe 8:120 or 7% ...

On an Airstream, the axle to tongue might be a bit longer but that only reduces the ratio so the rear high will get you the most range.

But, as you can see, trying to get level on much of a slope is going to take blocks under the wheels and a ladder to get into the door.
It could be done, but the size of the blocks underneath the tires, could get to be scary, real fast.

Axle condition could make a difference, but not that much.

Then the question would be, how do you get the trailer up on the blocks.

Andy
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:30 PM   #11
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

You also need to consider the angle at which the grade starts up from the level street. If this angle begins too sharply, the back bumper of the trailer will hit the ground before the wheels start up the hill.

Also remember that if you end up with the trailer parked at an extreme angle, it is not a good idea to operate the refrigerator like this for any length of time. The refrigerant will pool to one side, and most likely ruin the refrigerator. It is probably not a good idea to run the air conditioner in this position, either.

Brian
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Old 07-14-2009, 05:07 PM   #12
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It could be done, but the size of the blocks underneath the tires, could get to be scary, real fast.

Then the question would be, how do you get the trailer up on the blocks.

Andy
Sounds like you'd need to build a staircase too.
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:08 PM   #13
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probably already answered. however, a good rule of thumb when figuring out slope is to remember that 45 degrees = 100% slope. if you dont need to be exact, just multiply whatever degree/angle you come up with by 2.
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Old 07-15-2009, 04:08 PM   #14
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Sounds like you'd need to build a staircase too.
We have a friend that backed his 31 footer up into a sloped campsite. The rear bumper was on if not very close to the ground The tongue was blocked and jacked several feet. His next challenge is how to step up into his coach.......a picnic table became an attractive deck .
Neil.
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