DavidSuzanne

Parking Class A RV on Driveway Incline

23 posts in this topic

We extended our driveway when we bought our 2001 31-foot Class A Coachman Mirada RV. Our driveway is a fairly steep incline. Normally I back the RV into the driveway so it is facing uphill (gas tank in the back).

After extended times without starting (three to four weeks), it seems like it is difficult for the gasoline to reach the engine, which makes it hard to start the RV.

With an incline driveway, am I better off backing into the driveway or pulling in forward? Thanks.

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It shouldn't make any difference. Your engine has an electric fuel pump. If there are no leaks in any fuel lines, it won't makeĀ a difference if the tank is higher or lower than the engine.

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Your only difficulty may be the operation of your refrigerator. I plug in the coach to keep the batteries charged and the frig cold. My frig is on the passenger side; therefore, I back in so the front is lower. If I drive in, the frig does not operate well which is probably due to the slope of the cooling coils on the frig.

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What does make a difference is if the rear of your coach is lower and you try to level the coach. You do NOT want to lift the rear wheels off the ground with your leveling jacks!!! Your parking brake /rear wheels are what keeps the coach from rolling!!!

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What does make a difference is if the rear of your coach is lower and you try to level the coach. You do NOT want to lift the rear wheels off the ground with your leveling jacks!!! Your parking brake /rear wheels are what keeps the coach from rolling!!!

If you lift the rear wheels off the ground your coach will not roll because there are no wheels on the jacks. If you are on a steep hill and you have wimpy jacks and they bend or break when the coach hits the ground it won't roll because the park brake is still on. The most it would move is about 24 inches.

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A lot of damage can be done in 24 inches, plus it could slide even further. Bad idea to jack the back wheels completely off the ground on a steep slope.

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A lot of damage can be done in 24 inches, plus it could slide even further. Bad idea to jack the back wheels completely off the ground on a steep slope.

Agreed. And it doesn't hurt to put chocks behind all the wheels.

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I know an owner of a 5th wheel who had someone drop his rig off near a lake on a small grade. The rv was left with the front jacks down and the rear wheels were NOT chocked or locked. When the owner showed up he found his rv had slid down the embankment and was almost in the water...jacks on a MH are very similar, a large flat surface on the pad that WILL slide.....lifting the rear wheels off the ground without chocking and blocking is just asking for trouble.....

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If you are leveling your coach, the ground won't be more than 1-2 degree slope because if it is you won't get it level with the jacks fully extended.

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desertdeals69, on 15 Apr 2013 - 15:31, said:

There is no park brake on a trailer

No parking brake on a MH with the back wheels off the ground either :)

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No parking brake on a MH with the back wheels off the ground either :)

The point is that if the jacks fail and it comes down the wheels will not roll.

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And if the jacks fail and are damaged you will have another problem, possibly much more expensive than just hard starting.

Another thing that can occur is that after rolling until the coach stops, your Trans parking pawl, being in Park, can be jammed enough that you can't get it out of park without relieving the torque put on the drive train by the wheels.

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And if the jacks fail and are damaged you will have another problem, possibly much more expensive than just hard starting.

Another thing that can occur is that after rolling until the coach stops, your Trans parking pawl, being in Park, can be jammed enough that you can't get it out of park without relieving the torque put on the drive train by the wheels.

I designed and built my jack mounts and my park brakes are in the drums with air pressure to release. Been doing it this way on this coach for 14 years and 160 thousand miles.

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OK, back to the concern of the original post--hard starting after X amount of time and on an incline.

Might a new fuel pump be due? or a booster pump?

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Hey Wayne!! How did you get a pic of my ramps??

Wow! You should see some of the other pictures I have of you, but I best not post them. Hee hee!

By the way, to the OP. those are made out of 2x10" and 5/8" plywood. The plywood is attached with screws to the 2x10's. Trust me, if you do not use plywood the 2 x 10's will split. They will split even with the plywood but the plywood holds everthing together through it's lamination process. If you look you will see that there is one long board, one a little shorter, and another, and the top one to carry the entire foot print of the tire. Each board has a beveled leading edge for easy incline. In my case I cannot pull forward onto the ramps and I have to back onto them. I don't have enough room in the driveway to back up without taking out the garage door. So it is a very precarious situation. I can feel each rise as I go up and my eyes are on my wife standing by the driver's window. As I slowly back up onto the pile she is directing me and when I see her fist close my left foot is on the brake and I stop. I use double foot for this maneuver. Left foot on brake, right foot on accelerator and I hope i never get them confused.

Another way to build these would to put a "stop" at the end so that the tire would hit it and you would stop unless you applied more power. It could be in the form of a wooden block, or even a chock of some kind mounted. At the time I just had not though of this.

And Nighthawk, if you are interested I can show you the proper way to wash an RV roof.

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The no start issue... If your coach has factory Fuel injection, you should hear the fuel pump relay start & release each time you go to "Bulb Check" position. That is the last position before the starter activates. As when a vehicle runs out of gas, may I suggest turning the key on (NO Start) & back off several times... allow 3 seconds at bulb check for pump to run. Listen for the relay activity.

As for level ref... More than poor cooling is at risk when ref is not level. Read your Ref Manual carefully. Replacements are expensive. Use a 6" level side to side & fore/ aft ON THE FLOOR OF THE REF OR FREEZER ! Frequently sink drain board & stove top may not read the same as ref.

Good luck.,

Gary

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Wayne, my ramps come apart. I have a 3/8 bolt sticking down into the 2"x10" below. That way I can carry the entire ramp or just part of it. Also lets me change height depending on slope. Jack pads are (2)pc 1/2" plywood with 3/8" holes in corners to facilitate placement and removal with my awning rod.

(Bet you would only have one pic of me--cameras shudder and malfunction when taking my pic!!) :D:D

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The no start issue... If your coach has factory Fuel injection, you should hear the fuel pump relay start & release each time you go to "Bulb Check" position. That is the last position before the starter activates. As when a vehicle runs out of gas, may I suggest turning the key on (NO Start) & back off several times... allow 3 seconds at bulb check for pump to run. Listen for the relay activity.

As for level ref... More than poor cooling is at risk when ref is not level. Read your Ref Manual carefully. Replacements are expensive. Use a 6" level side to side & fore/ aft ON THE FLOOR OF THE REF OR FREEZER ! Frequently sink drain board & stove top may not read the same as ref.

Good luck.,

Gary

Gary, Thanks for the advice Dave

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That was my conceroccurs if the hard starting is one issue, but how does the op get ready for a trip. If they are following the owners manual, they should let the fridge cool completely before putting food in it. This would require it to operate in an un-level position,unless they move the coach somewhere level before.

Serious damage can occur if they are operating it on the driveway.

As for level ref... More than poor cooling is at risk when ref is not level. Read your Ref Manual carefully. Replacements are expensive. Use a 6" level side to side & fore/ aft ON THE FLOOR OF THE REF OR FREEZER ! Frequently sink drain board & stove top may not read the same as ref.
Good luck.,
Gary

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aztec7fan,

I prepared a LONG Explanation and lost it. I wanted Wolfe to join us. Long story short, whether propane or generator, cooling fluid in an Absorption system pools in the bottom of the coils. If not level, a corner of the tank can overheat and fail prematurely. Your attitude about pechilling IS Preferred.

May I suggest a disposable cooler for Meds/ Condiments and don't start the fridge till you leave home. Buy a thermometer for the freezer & in 2 hours you should be chilling on Gen (Propane is not advised in transit). Theory is that in transit, the fluid sloshes and the system doesn't overheat. Study these systems and ask others.

Perhaps turn your rig around in your driveway & see if less leveling is required. Part of the fun of RVing is solving situations, Join us !

Gary

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