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Levelling Ramps


Ifor

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When I first started caravanning just over 12 months ago, I bought a pair of levelling ramps, and actually used them just once last summer.

 

I have just traded in my Avondale Osprey for a new Sterling Elite Searcher twin axle 'van (which is really, really nice!) and because of the relatively small distance between the two wheels on one side, it is not possible to use a levelling ramp on both wheels.

 

So, from a relative newbie, are there 'shorter/steeper' levelling ramps available for twin axle vans, or is it necessary to only 'ramp' one of the wheels to level the van?

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Hi Ifor,

That is a very good question. Qutie a few sites that we have stayed on have had various pieces of timber for people to use for lateral levelling or under corner steadies. Would it be possible to carry a couple of pieces of 6"x2" long enough to run both wheels on to or even shorter lengths. Then use one piece or both stacked depending on the slope. :)

Frank

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We made the mistake of buying 2 pairs of ramps when we first started.

Now we use a few wooden planks approx 1 metre long 2, 3, 4 or 5cm thick under both wheels on one side of the van, just keep stacking them up till we get the height right.

Happy Caravanning

Nev and Tina

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We tried using the yellow ramps we got with the van once and couldn't manage. Once we had unhitched it just rolled off again (Obviously a handbrake problem!! :D )

 

I have just read in one of the caravan magazines a suggestion to use a plastic chopping board. So this week I think I will try our local pound shop.

 

Helen

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We tried using the yellow ramps we got with the van once and couldn't manage. Once we had unhitched it just rolled off again (Obviously a handbrake problem!!  :D )

 

I have just read in one of the caravan magazines a suggestion to use a plastic chopping board. So this week I think I will try our local pound shop.

 

Helen

5907[/snapback]

Hi Helen,

Try these. about £15/pair. Drive the van up one ramp and then place the second ramp on the first behind the wheel. The van can't go forwards or backwards. :)

 

Pyramid ChockRamp

One chockramp comes with a unique tongue which chocks the wheel safely in place. Both ramps can be used as a chock - vital when changing a wheel or parking on a gradient.

 

Frank

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If you use ramps it is better to reverse the 'van onto them as somebody above said the van just rolled off. This is due to the braking system. With drum brakes (which caravans have) when used in a forward direction they grip the drum and just keep gripping harder as the wheel tries to move forward but when used in reverse the drum shoes don't grip as well and in simple fall off the drum and along with the over ride system for reversing it makes them worse.

 

So if you can reverse up the ramps and chock all the wheels front and back if possible then the wheels will try to go forward off the ramp and the brake will hold.

 

Happy camping

 

James

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I made some leveling ramps from plywood starting with a piece 18 x6x1/2" I then kept reducing the length of each "plank" in turn by 1" and built them up to make a wedge about 8" high. By putting a piece of 1 1/2 x 1 1/2"

on top to act as a stop and fixing a bolt through the whole thing I am able to pick the height required and swivel the unneeded planks round to form a deeper stop. I'm sure you could just make the whole thing longer to accommodate twin wheels.

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If you use ramps it is better to reverse the 'van onto them as somebody above said the van just rolled off. This is due to the braking system. With drum brakes (which caravans have) when used in a forward direction they grip the drum and just keep gripping harder as the wheel tries to move forward but when used in reverse the drum shoes don't grip as well and in simple fall off the drum and along with the over ride system for reversing it makes them worse.

 

So if you can reverse up the ramps and chock all the wheels front and back if possible then the wheels will try to go forward off the ramp and the brake will hold.

 

Happy camping

 

James

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Hi James

The problem with the Al-ko system is as you say due to the auto reverse function where the shoes are designed to collapse when reversing. Even with the handbrake correctly applied the van will move backwards up to a foot before the brakes are fully applied,thus making any attempt at pulling the van up the ramp,a waste of time if only the handbrake is used to stop rearward movement. Some towing vehicles,the Passat included, have clutches which don't take kindly to reversing vans on the flat, so certainly won't like reversing up a ramp.

I don't know if this has been rectified with Al-kos latest handbrake system,although I doubt it unless the auto-reverse mechanism has also been modified. :)

Frank

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Hi Helen,

  Try these. about £15/pair. Drive the van up one ramp and then place the second ramp on the first behind the wheel. The van can't go forwards or backwards. :)

 

Pyramid ChockRamp

One chockramp comes with a unique tongue which chocks the wheel safely in place. Both ramps can be used as a chock - vital when changing a wheel or parking on a gradient.

 

Frank

5910[/snapback]

 

Frank

 

Chock ramps work well but they are heavy. We then moved onto the curved levelling ramp which works well and is fairly light. Now trying out a Dixon-Bate leveller and have been pleased with the result up to now.

 

Mike

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While I greatly appreciate the number of people who have offered various tips in response to my original query, most of them have missed the point of my question.

 

It's the twin axle bit that puzzles me. Imagine standing at the side of the van, facing the wheels which need to be raised. Place the first ramp in front of the forward wheel (assuming you are going to "pull" rather than "push" the van up the ramp). Now place the second ramp in front of the rearward wheel - but is doesn't fit, because the length of all the ramps I have seen is longer than the gap between the forward wheel and the rearward wheel.

 

I do hope I have properly explained my difficulty here. Or am I the one missing the obvious??

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While I greatly appreciate the number of people who have offered various tips in response to my original query, most of them have missed the point of my question.

 

It's the twin axle bit that puzzles me.   Imagine standing at the side of the van,  facing the wheels which need to be raised.   Place the first ramp in front of the forward wheel (assuming you are going to "pull" rather than "push" the van up the ramp).  Now place the second ramp in front of the rearward wheel - but is doesn't fit, because the length of all the ramps I have seen is longer than the gap between the forward wheel and the rearward wheel.

 

I do hope I have properly explained my difficulty here.   Or am I the one missing the obvious??

6491[/snapback]

 

One answer is to shorten one of the ramps. Another is to drive over first, and onto 2nd ramp.

 

The best way I found was to make your own, see below

 

http://homepage. ntlworld. com/wisewriters/v. ..winleveller. jpg

 

Just make it the length you require for either single axle or twin axle vans.

 

Copied to Top Tips for future reference

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Ifor, yes, I was also waiting for a magic answer to this puzzle. ..

 

I reckon you put a ramp behind the rearmost wheel on the side to be raised, then reverse to the required height. Reversing on makes the handbrake effective.

This lifts the forward wheel on that side but not as much as if it was on a ramp itself (which as you say, can't be fitted in the space between the two wheels).

 

Solution seems to be to scissorjack the front axle to a similar height as the rear axle once you've reversed up on the rearmost wheel, then put boards beneath the forward wheel.

 

:unsure: Someone say if this is wrong please! Is there a better or more correct technique?

 

Steve

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Hi,

I thought that I and NevTina had offered a solution in our first posts, that is pieces of timber either long to fit under both wheels,or shorter pieces to put in front of each wheel and pull the van on to it or them. If you are going to use shorter pieces,they don't need to be more than 9" long. You will need a selection of thicknesses to get the required height. :)

It is not a ggod idea to leave one axle supported on a jack,of any description. :blink:

 

Frank

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Guest john1215
Hi James

The problem with the Al-ko system is as you say due to the auto reverse function where the shoes are designed to collapse when reversing. Even with the handbrake correctly applied the van will move backwards up to a foot before the brakes are fully applied,thus making any attempt at pulling the van up the ramp,a waste of time if only the handbrake is used to stop rearward movement. Some towing vehicles,the Passat included, have clutches which don't take kindly to reversing vans on the flat, so certainly won't like reversing up a ramp.

I don't know if this has been rectified with Al-kos latest handbrake system,although I doubt it unless the auto-reverse mechanism has also been modified. :)

Frank

5994[/snapback]

 

I pull my van up the ramps forward then when it is level put a wheel chock behind each wheel, it doesn't move back then.

 

john1215

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Heres an easy fix idea.

 

Why not get a few pieces of wood that are slightly longer than the length of the two wheels then drive forward or back onto the wood then both wheels will be on the wood and raised together?

 

I don't have a twin axle but it seems to work intheory in my head. Also when you have finished you can drive forwrd or backwards off them.

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