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Author Topic: Adding leveling to Class C?  (Read 700 times)

bghouse

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Adding leveling to Class C?
« on: June 02, 2017, 08:24:24 PM »
I've been looking at some used Class C rigs (25 foot) that do not have a leveling system, and I'm thinking that as a newbie without a breadth of experience and traveling alone, maybe I should add this?

I'm assuming it can be added after, right? I see other posts about adding them (I think I'm reading this right), but wasn't 100% sure....

And for a shorter rig like a 25 foot C, is there a particular brand I should look at?

To be fair, I just watched that movie RV last night, and have images in my head of a run away rig anyway - so it amped up the leveling question ;-)
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

LarsMac

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Re: Adding leveling to Class C?
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2017, 08:29:17 PM »
Should be able to add them. Big Foot is a good maker.
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2kGeorgieBoy

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Re: Adding leveling to Class C?
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2017, 08:50:35 PM »
May I suggest that you visit Big Foot's website. There's a lot of info and also the list price of the various units. I think you may be surprised at the prices, not exactly cheap. They have a good rep and I'm sure they are quality units. But quality costs.
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KandT

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Re: Adding leveling to Class C?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2017, 01:30:51 AM »
May I suggest that you visit Big Foot's website. There's a lot of info and also the list price of the various units. I think you may be surprised at the prices, not exactly cheap. They have a good rep and I'm sure they are quality units. But quality costs.

To GeorgieBoy's point I think I have heard $4k plus installation.  Yours may be less at 25 feet.  That's some good coin to throw at a used RV knowing you are unlikely to going to get it back out.  But if you intend to keep it and use it for a while - who cares? 

Anyone know of reputable salvage yards?  If so I bet the levelinging jacks are the first item pulled off!
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JudyJB

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Re: Adding leveling to Class C?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2017, 01:42:22 AM »
If it doesn't have them, you really don't need them.  I am an older woman who has driven 100,000 miles in five years of full-timing in a 32' Class C and have no levelers.  I just carry four or five 2 x 10 boards that have been cut into 2' lengths. This means an expense of $15 instead of $4,000.  You put two of the boards sideways under the dual tires and lengthwise under the front tires.  Yes, they wear out after about a year, so I just spend another $12.

And actually, about 60% - 70% of the time, the site is level enough as is so I don't use anything.  I bought two small levels and glued them on the rear driver's side of my motorhome.  One is on the back at the corner and the other is on the side at the corner.  After I pull onto a site, I go back and look at them both.  As long as they are not more than one bubble off, it is good enough! 

And if you decide the boards are not good enough, you can always have levelers added later.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2017, 01:44:04 AM by JudyJB »
Full-timing for over five years in a
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blw2

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Re: Adding leveling to Class C?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2017, 06:53:50 AM »
I really wanted them and planned to add them when the coach we bought didn't have it.  Pretty much decided on Bigfoot.
Eventually I realized that where we go we have been fine without.  Would have been nice a couple times but ive learned to work around.
The added downside is that my class c, like most, doesnt have much excess weight capacity, and the system adds weight.
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

bghouse

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Re: Adding leveling to Class C?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2017, 09:17:41 AM »
Hmm - from reading up here I thought that the refrigerator will not work if it's not level, right?  Since the majority of what I eat is raw fruits and vegetables, keeping the fridge working so as to not have my food spoil is important. 

Good point about the extra weight.  And I did consider boards, but then read posts about folks getting the levels after years of having to try to level in the rain and mud and wondered if I should just add the auto levelers up front as part of my costs.  There are certainly a lot of costs to thing about :-)
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

Charlie 5320

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Re: Adding leveling to Class C?
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2017, 03:07:50 PM »
Hmm - from reading up here I thought that the refrigerator will not work if it's not level, right?  Since the majority of what I eat is raw fruits and vegetables, keeping the fridge working so as to not have my food spoil is important. 

Good point about the extra weight.  And I did consider boards, but then read posts about folks getting the levels after years of having to try to level in the rain and mud and wondered if I should just add the auto levelers up front as part of my costs.  There are certainly a lot of costs to thing about :-)
That is one cost you won't be able to recoup when you sell. If you haven't bought yet and want levelers, keep looking till you find a coach with them already. I put a used set on a coach several years ago because I got tired of fooling with the boards and time it took. The coach was still unstable and moved around when the DW or even the dogs, or even the wind would move it. NO thanks, I'll never have another coach without them, even if the spot is level enough I still put them down for stability.
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larrypowellnc

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Re: Adding leveling to Class C?
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2017, 03:33:26 PM »
I added a HWH system to my 23' Class C (25' bumper to bumper) and love it.  Yes, it is expensive but I'm not looking to make it up on resell but for the convenience.  Just level or unlevel your unit in the pouring rain and you'll know what I mean.  Also, if you park for a while (we did at the Kutztown Folk Festival) and you can level to avoid problems with the refrigerator.  Also, it makes it easier to use your RV for touring.  Happy RVing everyone.

ArdraF

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Re: Adding leveling to Class C?
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2017, 04:00:33 PM »
We added Big Foot levelers to two different Class Cs after getting tired of hassling with boards, especially in rain and mud.  Big Foot is a good brand and we liked them because of the large base which provides more stability.  Some others have a tiny base and they're more likely to sink into softer surfaces like grass or sand.  Both times we had them added at Quartzsite AZ during the RV show in January.  A fellow by the name of Sergeant has been installing them for years and did both of ours.  He's usually at Quartzsite and sometimes places like FMCA rallies.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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JudyJB

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Re: Adding leveling to Class C?
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2017, 04:26:44 PM »
Unless you have a very old motorhome, the refrigerator will work fine without being absolutely level.  Mine is newer, and I checked with Dometic.  They said that unless you are so unlevel as to end up rolling out of bed, you do no need to be absolutely level.  Right now, for example, the front of my 32' C is about 2-3 inches lower than the rear, and my refrigerator is working just fine. 

You can obtain a manual from the Dometic site by the way.  I just checked and mine says, "Leveling is one of the requirements for proper operation with absorption refrigerators. to ensure proper leveling the vehicle needs to be leveled only so it is comfortable to live in (no noticeable sloping of fl oor or walls)."
« Last Edit: June 03, 2017, 04:43:27 PM by JudyJB »
Full-timing for over five years in a
2012 Fleetwood Tioga Ranger 31N

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Adding leveling to Class C?
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2017, 09:35:46 AM »
Quote
I thought that the refrigerator will not work if it's not level, right?

Right, but that's within a few degrees of level, not an absolute. For the most part, if the rig is comfortable to move around in, it is level enough for fridge operation.

A leveling system is a very convenient feature, especially so if you encounter unlevel sites in bad weather.   And carrying multiple boards or plastic blocks takes up the limited storage space of a Class C as well.  The value of the levelers depends a great deal on where you camp and your tolerance for "level". Some sites are quite level, at least over the distance between the wheels of a shorter RV, while others are not. In hilly regions such as New England or along the Appalachian Trail, such sites are quite common.

I would suggest that you not worry much about it in  your choice of RV, but keep it in mind financially. You can always add a leveling system later as long as you have the funds. However, as others have pointed out, it's a lot cheaper to buy it as part of a used rig. The previous owner takes a financial loss and you get the benefit! Insisting that a used rig have levelers will quite likely severely limit your choices, though. Especially in the shorter sizes (few 24-26 footers ever get levelers).
« Last Edit: June 04, 2017, 09:37:20 AM by Gary RVer Emeritus »
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bghouse

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Re: Adding leveling to Class C?
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2017, 06:10:41 PM »
I added a HWH system to my 23' Class C (25' bumper to bumper) and love it.  Yes, it is expensive but I'm not looking to make it up on resell but for the convenience.  Just level or unlevel your unit in the pouring rain and you'll know what I mean.  Also, if you park for a while (we did at the Kutztown Folk Festival) and you can level to avoid problems with the refrigerator.  Also, it makes it easier to use your RV for touring.  Happy RVing everyone.

Lol - yeah, even though I'm currently living in Mexico the last 5 years were the Oregon coast and Seattle - and I do plan to be back in that area a lot.  I love it, but man the rain can do me in :-)  And also hopefully there is some touring in my future also....
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

bghouse

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Re: Adding leveling to Class C?
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2017, 06:12:29 PM »
Both times we had them added at Quartzsite AZ during the RV show in January.  A fellow by the name of Sergeant has been installing them for years and did both of ours.  He's usually at Quartzsite and sometimes places like FMCA rallies.

ArdraF

Thanks Ardra, that's good to know. 
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

bghouse

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Re: Adding leveling to Class C?
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2017, 06:15:56 PM »
Insisting that a used rig have levelers will quite likely severely limit your choices, though. Especially in the shorter sizes (few 24-26 footers ever get levelers).

Thanks Gary, that's exactly what I was seeing looking at rigs and what made me wonder if I can add them afterwards.

Now I just need to keep researching to figure out the difference between the "automatic" and "manual" versions - as those BigFoot ones have a difference about about 1k it seems...
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

ArdraF

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Re: Adding leveling to Class C?
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2017, 06:46:15 PM »
With automatic you press the Level button and it does it's thing.  You can make manual adjustments if you want to raise or lower a corner, side, front or back.  That's usually not necessary.  I don't know for sure but I'd suspect that with manual you'd have to press various buttons right, left, fore, aft so it's not as sophisticated.  Someone, please correct me if I'm wrong.

ArdraF
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Charlie 5320

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Re: Adding leveling to Class C?
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2017, 08:37:36 PM »
The manual system works just fine, and are cheaper to buy and cheaper to repair. I liked the old 4 stick HWH system I had in my Challenger better than the joystick that was in my Daybreak, but I don't think it can be bought anymore.
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Adding leveling to Class C?
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2017, 08:57:17 PM »
On our previous coach, I installed a set of Bigfoot manual levelers. The process for leveling was really pretty simple, since each button operated a pair of jacks. All that was needed was to lower the set for the highest side or end first until ground contact was made, and then adjust the other pairs as needed until the unit was level. Our current coach came equipped with a Bigfoot automatic leveling system that only requires one button push to start the process while I go do other items on the setup list.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
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KandT

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Re: Adding leveling to Class C?
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2017, 05:19:58 AM »
I bought 4 scissor jacks and use them.  I don't have them completely figured out yet because I still get some bounce.  I am thinking I need a bigger base on the jacks as they might be sinking into the site's gravel and giving me the bounce.  Also, you need to be careful not to torque the frame.  I have Dewalt. 18V impact wrench and drill and man they will lift that 31 footer up as high and fast as I want - too high and too fast if I am not careful.

I am not suggesting this for anyone but just throwing it out there for commments and ideas of how to make it work slicker.  Of course, the majority of the weight is still on the tires and you have to make sure you aren't near any lines like propane, brakes, fuel etc.  it is not nearly as nice as auto leveler but I am not spending the money for them since I don't plan to keep this RV too long.
2005 Winnebago Vectra
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bghouse

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Re: Adding leveling to Class C?
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2017, 10:05:19 AM »
Thanks for the information on the manual vs automatic.  I was just watching a couple of videos on the LevelMate Pro.  I kinda like the idea of that product also.
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

BruceinFL

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Re: Adding leveling to Class C?
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2017, 11:29:16 AM »
If you have the $ to burn, go right ahead. It may make you happy and will be good for the economy.  ;) :D
Bruce A.
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beaverfever

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Re: Adding leveling to Class C?
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2017, 05:31:36 PM »
have you rented a small class c from el monte or one of the many in this field? you may be surprised  how the basic rig will work for you.
down the road you may decide to upgrade to a different rig but by then you will know what you really want and need.

bghouse

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Re: Adding leveling to Class C?
« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2017, 07:13:43 PM »
I'll be at El Monte this weekend.  I'm trying really really hard to avoid the "buy now and upgrade later" syndrome, so I'm trying to figure out what CAN be added later if I want it, so I know whether I need to go after particular models, etc.  I'm not planning on just throwing stuff in willy nilly, but do need to try and figure out what is possible. 

I've been searching google for hours, days, weeks, months, years on this information - and it's surprising difficult to find these answers.

Did I miss the super-secret pinky ring or something?  haha
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

letsgocampingnow

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Re: Adding leveling to Class C?
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2017, 10:15:57 PM »
Hello All: 

We have a 25' class C.   We carried and used, the "lego" style levelers for a couple years.  It's true that some campsights don't require any leveling, whatsoever.  It's also true that many others may.  My wife is very sensitive to "out-of-plumb" living, which can take some of the fun out of camping.  So...

We recently had one of the computer controlled HWH systems installed at their factory in Moscow, IA.  They design, manufacture (most components), and install them at their facility located there.  Their reputation is very good (at least in the View/Navion community, with which we are most familiar). 

It is a pricy option (a bit north of $4K).  This system does, however, provide ultimate ease in setup, and breakdown.  A single button is all it takes.  It also completely immobilizes the coach while deployed, making it rock steady as you enter/exit, and move around inside. 

One other consideration is the system does add about 160 pounds to the gross vehicle weight.  That can have a significant impact on capacity, so it makes sense to also take that into account. 

Like everything else in life, there are trade offs. 

Bob and Lori
2011 Itasca Navion
2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited toad
SW MO

PS.  The direct factory price is a bit higher than quoted above (so they don't "undercut approved vendor pricing elsewhere).  There is, however, a way you can save several hundred dollars by arranging the work through one of their busiest vendors.  If someone is interested in more details of this option, please let us know.   :)

99dart

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Re: Adding leveling to Class C?
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2017, 11:20:48 PM »
Not knowing your budget, I went to rvtrader.com and the only info I entered was Class C & stabilizers near San Diego. Lowest price was $49,988 for a new 2017 Thor 22E. There is a 2005 @ $37500,  but it's 31' long.  Dunno, you may be looking for a needle-in-a-haystack... My wife & I just flew to S.C. from WA state to get an overhead entertainment center that we could afford.
2016 Thor Quantum WS31
2014 Ford Focus toad
1998 Four Winds Chateau -- sold

 

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