Driving onto levelling ramps

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by patch, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. patch

    patch Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    WEYMOUTH
    Still being a relative newbies we have yet to. Build up the. Courage to drive onto the levelling blocks. What is the best way of doing this. Can't always be sure of finding a level site......Glad to receive any advice.
     
  2. patch

    patch Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    WEYMOUTH
    I must learn to type better!:Rofl1:
     
  3. normanandsue

    normanandsue Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Messages:
    1,295
    Likes Received:
    3,838
    Location:
    Dunfermline - Scotland
    Place under wheels you wish to raise and drive forward or backwards depending how you have placed them.
    Helpful if wife or self guides to avoid overshooting the ramp

    Simplesssss

    Norman
     
  4. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2,781
    Likes Received:
    1,857
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    That's about it really - not a lot more to be said.

    Sometimes you will need to place one against a wheel and another a little further away from a different wheel in order to get different amounts of lift. Be careful when using them on tarmac as sometimes they can slide forward as the wheel starts to run up them.

    Fitting one of these spirit levels may make things easier. I have one fixed to the floor just behind and to the side of the driver's seat. I can check for level as I go onto the ramps.
    http://www.marcleleisure.co.uk/store/levelling-your-easy-spirit-level-p-1788.html
     
  5. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    29,441
    Likes Received:
    16,867
    Location:
    YO11 2BD
    if possible reverse onto the ramps....

    two reasons....

    1) if the ground is a bit soft and you overshoot the low end of the ramp may flip up as you go over the top...worst it will do is hit the bottom of the bumper, if you go forwards the ramp may still flip but under the sill and could be damaged if it gets trapped as you roll forwards.

    2) reverse is the lowest gear ratio in the box so wont need as much clutch slipping to get on the ramp.

    once on the ramp stay in the same gear, hold the foot brake, apply the handbrake and ease the clutch out until it just 'bites' then without moving the pedal turn off the key.
    that way you have both the handbrake and gearbox holding it...just using the handbrake will allow the van to roll off the ramps a little.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  6. bernardfeay

    bernardfeay Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    575
    Likes Received:
    825
    Location:
    Bolton
    Most of the time I use just one ramp. I figure out which is the lowest point of the MH and put the ramp under that wheel. I have a chamfered plank of wood screwed onto the bottom so I can get about 6 inches of lift. That gets me close enough. We sleep across the MH not front to back so as long as my head is above my feet I'm happy.
     
  7. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Messages:
    7,199
    Likes Received:
    9,579
    Location:
    Dorset
    if the van is nose down, drive front wheels forward onto ramps
    if the van is rear down, reverse back wheels up ramps

    the reason for this is if your handbrake slips it hopefully stops the van running off the ramps downhill. always a good idea to leave the van in gear as well on ramps in the direction you drove up the ramps

    mind you its never a good idea to point the wheels straight downhill when parking up. if possible park across any slope and put ramps on the low side of the van. something we learnt many years ago when we started out with a caravan. saw an older couple pull up and disconnect their van. as they were putting down the steadies the handbrake slipped and the van shot off downhill into a bush. nobody was hurt thankfully, but accidents happen that easily. anything you can do to lessen the risks is a good move

    oh and dont try to add pieces of wood to make levels taller as they can be unstable. its safer to move to a flatter pitch
     
  8. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Messages:
    12,713
    Likes Received:
    38,541
    Location:
    Dorset
    As above post.... but carry a couple of old bits of heavy duty carpet..

    Long enough for the ramps and wheels to fit on...

    And use them if you are on Concrete or Tarmac.... will stop the wheels pushing the ramps as you drive up them.. :thumb:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Messages:
    3,747
    Likes Received:
    1,720
    Location:
    Mid Cornwall
    Weymouth....! Old Mo is an escapee, as am I.:thumb:
    They got the brown route in at last I see. How many years??

    Anyway - one little tip. When parking on grass, or when the weather is looking like it could rain, position yourself where you can reverse on to level - and provide yourself an exit route.

    This will give you vital momentum on wet grass, and allow you to escape wheel divets etc. Roll off, and keep going until you get to firm ground, and then go and get you ramps. It will avoid those wheel spin moments.

    As pappajohn says, reverse is your lowest gear - when wanting to go up and incline to a pitch on damp grass, reverse up. Firstly, because the gearing is lower, and secondly, with front wheel drive reversing turns it into rear wheel drive in effect, and also adds a little more weight to the driven end. It is easier to push than pull.

    (Read and treat wet grass as snow, and you'll be fine!)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. patch

    patch Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    WEYMOUTH
    Thanks everyone . Very helpful as usual. Yes weymouth got the new road last year for the Olympics. Best thing to happen in Weymouth since we moved here -24 years - but then not a lot happens here!!!:BigGrin:
     
  11. HymerB544

    HymerB544 Funster

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    Messages:
    700
    Likes Received:
    705
    Location:
    Near Truro, Cornwall
    Levelling ramps

    Hi,

    Tons of very good advice here and I'm sure before long you'll be so used to it, you'll do it without anyone to watch you up the ramps. One thing I have found very useful, assuming you have an I-phone or similar, is an app called I-handy level. I put the phone on the top of the flat drivers side storage compartment and the spirit level is then right next to me as I drive up. Turning the phone through 90 degrees gives me front-to-back and side-to-side levels. I focus on the front of the van as getting the level right for our drop down bed is the one we find most important!

    Happy ramping, Gary
     
  12. cmcardle75

    cmcardle75 Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    263
    Location:
    Reading
    Actually, most vehicles have 1st as the lowest ratio. Reverse is normally higher, although if you are front wheel drive, you do have the advantage for traction of converting it effectively to rear wheel drive.

    For example, a typical Fiat Ducato gearbox has a 3.727 ratio for 1st, but only 3.154 for reverse. I imagine they use the same gearbox on motorhome chassis.
     
  13. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Messages:
    3,483
    Likes Received:
    8,213
    Location:
    NW England
    On softer ground the long yellow plastic mats placed directly under the ramps can be handy. Sometimes when it's a bit boggy I trap one end of the mat under the lower end of the ramp so the tyres have something to bite on and get a proper grip as they roll off the ramp.

    In our Ducato I can see the driver's side wheel with the cab door fully open, so I just keep an eye out myself.
     
  14. robi49

    robi49 Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Beith
    Hi when I was a young apprentice mechanic I drove a car onto a car ramp and right off the other end. The reason for mentioning this your post reminded me of this.
    In answer to your quest, Steering wheel set at straight ahead with wheels in same direction, place ramps in parrallel in front of front wheels hard against Tyres, step back a few paces and ensure the ramps are straight in line with wheels.
    Now here comes the ADI in me safety first engage 1st gear set the gas as if you are moving off up a steep hill, bring clutch up to bite + a little bit more H/brake off and clutch control your way up to whenever level spirit bubble is level having placed lt on a easily read position.
    If someone is guiding you ensure they stand to the side of vehicle (NOT IN FRONT) to communicate with you. Practice makes perfect and everyone has had to learn to do it.
    No one is born with a steering wheel in their hand you can confirm this being a M/W.
    Should you go over the end of ramp dont worry the suspension deals with a lot more on modern roads. And it happenned to me recently and of course there was an audience, me i just announced that is how not to do it now watch and learn, but then i am a confident Scot.:Wink:
    Hope this helps.
     

    Attached Files:

Loading...

Share This Page