DIY BAL Leveler

Discussion in 'My Favorite Mods, Tips, Tricks (and Blunders!)' started by Beemser, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. Beemser

    Beemser New Member

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    Apr 10, 2018
    Hi everyone, brand new here! Question for you: has anyone fabricated their own BAL-style leveler? The damn things are $200 in Canada, and I'm thinking I could just weld a frame to grip my tire, and then use a scissor jack to lift it up. Too unstable?

    thoughts would be appreciated. Yes I can do the metalwork myself, hence the idea.

    EDIT: found a few related posts under "home made" instead of DIY.
    http://www.popupportal.com/index.php?topic=45975.msg338533#msg338533

    http://www.popupportal.com/index.php?topic=44419.0
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
  2. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    I have wanted to one make also
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    Franklin, MA
    Why not just put the scissor jack under the axle of the pup? You have wheel chocks on the other tire, your tongue jack, and corner stabs to keep it from rolling.
     
  4. Beemser

    Beemser New Member

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    Apr 10, 2018
    Well that's a good question! I assumed there was a reason this was a bad idea since everyone seems to love their BAL levelers, which are definitely more expensive than a plain old jack.
     
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    Franklin, MA
    I think most people like the lifting and the ability to keep the pup from rolling. But with 3 other ways to stop that, I don't see an issue. Just watch you don't pinch your brake lines or wires. That's the only thing I can think of to watch out for.
     
  6. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

    Sorry if this is unwelcome advice, but do check out the Andersen leveler. It's much cheaper than the BAL, with no moving parts and you can level in seconds.
     
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  7. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    I will admit that I am guilty of using a scissor jack under where the springs mount to the axial when my boards were not enough.
     
  8. BelchFire

    BelchFire I speak fluent vise-grip

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    Mar 29, 2012
    SE Georgia
    Simple, cheap, not in the least greasy and 100% rock solid. I wish I'd known about the Anderson leveler before I wasted $80 on a BAL.
     
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  9. Byrd_Huntr

    Byrd_Huntr Well-Known Member

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    Minnesota
    Been camping all across the continent since the 60's and I do not now, nor will I ever 'need' a BAL leveler. I use a Camco Tri-leveler, and if I didn't have one of those, I'd spring for an Anderson. Lightweight, no grease, no tools, no moving parts to clog with sand or mud, corrode, or wear.
     
  10. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

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    Aug 5, 2010
    5 Star Eagle Camper
    Alright, well I can see that my pictures have disappeared because of photobucket and all those issues, so I'll try to repost them. I called this a BenLevelor so as not to get nailed with steeling their name or anything like that. I made this a number of years ago, and never used it. It's still sitting in the back shop, getting tripped over.

    BEN Leveler #1.JPG

    BEN Leveler #2.JPG

    BEN Leveler #3.JPG

    BEN Leveler #4.JPG

    BEN Leveler #5.JPG

    BEN Leveler #6.JPG
     
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  11. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

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    Aug 5, 2010
    5 Star Eagle Camper
    BEN Leveler #8.JPG BEN Leveler #10.JPG BEN Leveler #7.JPG

    BEN Leveler #9.JPG

    BEN Leveler #11.JPG

    BEN Leveler #12.JPG

    BEN Leveler #13.JPG

    BEN Leveler #14.JPG
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
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  12. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

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    5 Star Eagle Camper
    My welds aren't the best, but hey, I'm not a professional welder. Hope this helps. BenLevelor is from my last name.
     
    tfischer likes this.
  13. giadiep

    giadiep Active Member

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    Sep 5, 2015
    Syracuse, NY
    Why did you never use it?
     
  14. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

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    Aug 5, 2010
    5 Star Eagle Camper
    A few reason as to why I never used it. It was a little bulky to store. I started making a bracket that was going to hang under the Pup body so I could just slide it in there during traveling, but I didn't like how it was turning out. Then I ran out of time before we left to go camping, and never got back to it. Also, it was a little heavy. I looked at a real Bal product and though it seemed a little light weight, so I beefed mine up some, but it came in at 20 lbs (or something like that, I'd have to weigh it again), and I didn't feel like lugging it around. Also, we mainly only ever go to one Prov Park, and it has very level sites, so I can very easily use Lynx products to back onto. I like ratchet strapping heavy wheel chocks into my tires to take out all of the rolling sensation of the Pup, and I wasn't sure that this thing would keep the Pup from moving fore and aft. I still see it in the back shop, and revisit the subject every once in a while, maybe I'll finish it off this summer, who knows?

    This is how I used to strap the chocks, I don't have a picture of it on the Lynx, but it is very similar.

    20170731_165423.jpg
     
  15. soft 17

    soft 17 Active Member

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    Mar 14, 2017
    San Luis Obispo


    You did a very nice job! I might copy it. The only thing that I would do different is to use Acme thread but that is not as easy to find as all thread.
     
  16. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    Oct 15, 2006
    Graceville, Florida
    It looks more sturdy than a BAL leveler. I had a BAL Leveler but when I went dark the BAL was just too much trouble and did not want to pick up the weight I gave it away, I returned to the old standby of 3 different lengths of 2X8's screwed together. Works great and is fast, cheap and works for me.
     
  17. giadiep

    giadiep Active Member

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    Sep 5, 2015
    Syracuse, NY
    The BenLeveler looks very well constructed. I am somewhat of a maverick. I have a dual axle HTT and I use 2 Bal Levelers to raise the low side. The capacity of the 2 levelers is adequate for the load it is lifting. I actually use 2 wrenches and raise the wheels simultaneously. I can honestly say that it holds the wheels very well and takes all the wiggle out of that side of the camper. Downside is the bulkiness and weight of carrying them around.
     
  18. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

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    5 Star Eagle Camper
    Thanks. Yeah that threaded rod in a 1 inch, it goes through 2 nuts welded together.
     
  19. Byrd_Huntr

    Byrd_Huntr Well-Known Member

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    Jan 27, 2013
    Minnesota
    Although I'm not a fan of mechanical levelers for my style of camping, I do admire your work.
     
  20. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

    2,880
    294
    Aug 5, 2010
    5 Star Eagle Camper
    Thank you for the compliment
     
    Byrd_Huntr likes this.

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