Motorhomes are a great way to travel across America and experience all the different parts of the country. There are many different kinds of motorhomes available on the market, each with its own set of features to make it unique.
Some motorhomes come with levelling jacks to ensure the whole motorhome unit sits level to the ground so that the inside features work just as if they were inside of a stationary home. Levelling is also important to make sure that water can flow appropriately inside the unit.
The rest of this article will focus on how levelling jacks are used across the different classes of motorhomes, including classes A, B, and C. Additionally, it’ll touch on scissor jacks and stabilizers and when they can be used in place of a hydraulic levelling jack.
Are Levelling Jacks Important on a Class C Motorhome?
Levelling jacks are important for a Class C motorhome though many do not come with levelling jacks built in. Class C motorhomes rely on levelling blocks, scissor jacks, or stabilizer jacks to ensure the vehicle is flat and level when parked at a campsite.
Class C motorhomes are built on a cutaway chassis and often include an extra sleeping area over the cab. The frames are usually larger than a Class B motorhome and smaller than a Class A. They’re relatively easy to drive and park, which means they’re easy to level using levelling blocks under the tires.
You can also install aftermarket hydraulic levelling jacks, as long as there is sufficient ground clearance underneath the chassis.
This video from an experienced RVer shows how easy it is to level a Class C motorhome with blocks:
Are Levelling Jacks Important on a Class B Motorhome?
Levelling jacks are important in most Class B motorhomes but they don’t use built-in levelling jacks to ensure the vehicle is level when parked. Instead, they use levelling blocks, stabilizer jacks, or scissor jacks to ensure leveling.
Levelling ensures that all surfaces inside the Class B home are flat without any unanticipated slants. This can be very important when using features, such as the stovetop, when a flat surface is critical for safety and functionality.
Class B motorhomes are based on a van chassis and are thus smaller than other classes of motorhomes. According to Consumer Reports, levelling jacks aren’t included on most models, though they can be added as an aftermarket feature.
This video shows an example of how levelling jacks were added to a Class B motorhome:
Are Levelling Jacks Important on a Class A Motorhome?
Levelling jacks are important on a Class A motorhome, as the coach needs to be level (or very close to) for interior features, such as water and refrigeration, to function correctly. Most Class A motorhomes have computerized levelling jacks built into the coach.
If your Class A motorhome isn’t level, you may have difficulty using the built-in sink, toilet, and shower as the water won’t flow correctly.
It’s easy to use levelling jacks on a Class A motorhome as they’re built directly into the console of the RV. The levelling jack system panel is usually on the driver’s side dashboard, with the levelling handles sticking out of the floor. The console includes indicator lights and a warning to ensure the emergency brake is on.
The following process will allow you to use the hydraulic levelling jacks:
- Park the motorhome.
- Engage the emergency break.
- Push the levelling button.
- Use the in-floor handles to lower the vehicle’s front, back, and sides one at a time.
You’ll know when the motorhome is level, as the level indicator lights will turn off.
Class A motorhomes have an additional safety feature when using levelling jacks. The console will emit a high-pitched noise if the engine is on when the levelling jacks are still down. This safety feature reminds you that the jacks are down before you attempt to drive away.
Here’s a short video that walks through the process of using levelling jacks on a Class A motorhome:
Are Levelling Jacks Included in All Motorhomes?
Factory-installed levelling jacks are not included in all motorhomes. Class A motorhomes typically come with levelling jacks, while Class B and Class C motorhomes do not. However, levelling jacks can be added aftermarket if they are not included in the original purchase.
Most Class A motorhomes have an automated hydraulic levelling jack system that is operated from the driver’s seat.
Though Class B and Class C motorhomes don’t usually come with levelling jacks, you can use levelling blocks, stabilizer jacks, or scissor jacks to ensure you are level when parking.
How Much Do Levelling Jacks Cost?
Levelling jacks cost anywhere from $50 for a single scissor jack to $5,000 for a hydraulic levelling system. The cost of your levelling jack will depend on the size and weight of your motorhome.
Cost of a Scissor Jack
According to retailer RV Upgrades, scissor jacks cost around $50 to $70 each, and four are needed to level each motorhome. These jacks slide under the motorhome at each of its four corners and are manually manipulated to level the vehicle. They should always sit on levelling pads to protect the ground and make it easier to level the motorhome.
Some sellers offer scissor jacks in pairs, such as this Libra Leveling Jack Set (available on Amazon.com). This product comes with all mounting hardware included and can support up to 5,000 pounds (2267.96 kg) per jack.
Cost of a Stabilizer Jack
Stabilizer jacks start at around $85 each, with four being required to level a motorhome. These jacks are most often used with lighter motorhomes and can be an excellent choice for use with pull-behind trailers.
Less expensive options are also available, like this Yaegoo Stabilizer Jacks (available on Amazon.com). These are a great choice if you have a tight budget and don’t mind that you’ll need to operate the levelling mechanism manually.
Cost of Hydraulic Levelling Jacks
Hydraulic levelling jacks are the most expensive type of levelling jacks. These systems include both the hydraulic jacks used to level the motorhome and the internal control panel.
Class A motorhomes typically come with built-in automated hydraulic jacks, and they can be added as an aftermarket add-on for Class B and C motorhomes. They cost around $5,000 and can also require additional fees for professional installation.
Can You Use Scissor Jacks or Stabilizers Instead of a Levelling Jack?
You can use scissor jacks or stabilizers with most motorhomes, especially ones that are Classes B or C. These motorhomes are smaller in both size and weight than a Class A motorhome. You can quickly level them using levelling blocks, scissor jacks, or stabilizers.
Think about the most essential features for your motorhoming experience when considering which kind of levelling jack to purchase. Scissor jacks and stabilizing jacks perform the same function but are set up and operate in slightly different ways.
If possible, visit a motorhome showroom to see the different jack types in person to determine which ones you prefer.