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Whether you call them RV jack pads, stacker blocks or levelers, a well designed set will help level an RV and prevent jacks from sinking into soft ground. Utility Blocks are the best we’ve ever seen.
UPDATE! FOR THE FIRST TIME, UTILITY BLOCKS ARE NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON! HERE’S THE LINK:
Utility Blocks are still available on eBay, too:
This is not a paid promotion! We’ve had our Utility Blocks long enough to be really happy customers and wanted to share what we think are the best all-around levelers we’ve found.
Every RVer has to deal with unlevel campsites from time to time. Even if your RV is equipped with a leveling system, some sites are so sloped, you just can’t get your rig level. This is why RVers carry leveling blocks, also referred to as jack pads, stacker blocks or stabilizer pads. Whatever you call them, they all serve the same purpose: allowing you to level your RV on a sloped campsite. They also help keep jacks from sinking into soft surfaces.
Some of the most common stacker blacks are the yellow or red plastic levelers typically found at RV or camping stores. A little Googling will reveal a wide array of other options too. If you have a circular or table saw, you can even home-make your own from blocks of wood. Unfortunately, for us full-timers, who are conscious of space & weight (and of course quality & cost too), nearly all of these options have their drawbacks.
Homemade Wood blocks are inexpensive, but they’re heavy, and can crack or rot over time. They also require tools and raw materials, plus you also need to be at least a little bit handy.
Basic plastic stacker blocks are reasonably priced, lightweight and compact for easy storage, but they have a waffle-like grid bottom which allows them to sink into soft surfaces, and they’re not always strong enough to support a heavier RV without cracking, especially on soft or uneven surfaces.
The wide assortment of higher-end jack pads we’ve found mostly suffer from one or more of the following problems: too thin to provide enough height; too flexible, allowing them to deform on uneven surfaces; too large and heavy to be easily stored; too smooth, allowing them to slide on each other when stacked. Worst of all, most of the higher-end jack pads are what we consider to be extremely expensive.
After 10 years of full-time RVing, Utility Blocks are perfect for about 98% of the places we camp. They’re the perfect balance of size, weight, strength and cost. They’re big enough to provide a good surface area, and thick enough to provide good lift, without being too large and heavy. Even though they weight slightly over 3 pound each, they seem indestructible, and the price for what you get is really reasonable compared to anything else we’ve found.
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The intro music is my own piano performance of Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag from 1899.
Full-Time RVers since April 11, 2003, we share DIY (do it yourself) RV maintenance, repair, travel, upgrade and operational tips & tricks.
While we’re not RV technicians, we’re very mechanically inclined and have learned a lot about RV systems over the years. We’ve handled most of our own minor service, maintenance and upgrade work on both of our RVs.
We meet lots of newer RVers who are eager to learn some basics about using, maintaining and caring for their rigs. After more than a decade on the road, we’re happy to share what we’ve learned (some of it the hard way). We hope our experience can help other RVers go DIY, saving time & money while experiencing the satisfaction of a job well done. We’re handy RVers, not professional technicians. We’re happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you’re unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.
We sometimes receive products for evaluation at no cost, but our opinions are our own and we only feature products we personally use, love and can recommend to friends with complete confidence. The RVgeeks participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
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Original post on our site with additional information, plans, questions & comments: http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/videos/83-duanes-steamer-trunk-pt-2/
Moving right along, we continue cutting and assembling parts for the steamer trunk. I spend a good deal of time on techniques that will help you when working with plans. The key is to realize that some parts need to be cut using measurements from your project, NOT from the plan itself. I also spend some time creating the thicker top panels, since they are not as simple as they appear from the outside.
Now that all the joinery is pretty much complete, I show you an alternative method for making the tongue and groove joints that could very well be faster and easier, if you have a router table. I use a tongue and groove bit set from Eagle America. Check out the links below if you are interested in going that route. And why do I wear a dunce cap in this episode? You’ll have to watch to find out.
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