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Mark My Words: The best way to level trailers on slopes

Editor’s note: This information is provided by Escapees Club.

Q. I just purchased a 24-foot travel trailer that has a tongue weight of 800 pounds. My driveway has a slight slope, so the tongue would be facing downhill. I would need to have the tongue jack extended all the way to level the trailer from front to back.

I’m worried that the jack tube will bend because of the angular relationship of the forces. What is the best way to level a trailer on a sloping surface? Would using thick wood blocks help reduce the load? Is it even something to worry about? — Dave

A. Any time you need to park on a slope, you need to securely chock the trailer wheels to prevent it from rolling. On significant slopes, it’s best to chock both sides of the tire. You can use wood blocks to chock the tires, but purpose-designed wheel chocks would be more secure.

You can see an example of what I’m referring to by clicking here. These are available at most auto parts stores and RV dealers and are inexpensive and long-lasting.

Once the trailer is chocked, it can’t roll, so it can’t put any real load on your tongue jack. It doesn’t hurt to put a wood block under the jack to keep it from sinking into the pavement or road surface and to reduce the leverage on the jack components if the trailer will be in use while parked. In most cases, those jacks are pretty strong and don’t require much worry.

To watch a video about the BAL X-chocks, click here.

About Mark Nemeth

In 1997, Mark quit his aerospace engineering job and became a full-time RVer. For almost five years he traveled the country while maintaining his website, Mark’s Fulltime RV Adventure (www.marxrv.com) posting monthly travel logs. Mark now travels part-time and works as the RV Safety Education Director for Escapees RV Club providing technical training at Escapees Boot Camp seminars, as well as assisting in many other areas of the club. He is also technical advisor for Escapees magazine. Learn more about Escapees RV Club at www.escapees.com.

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