BAL leveler front-to-back slope?

Discussion in 'Leveling Your Camper' started by Axel, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. Axel

    Axel Member

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    Just returned from a group trip where my popup ended up perched on asphalt uphill from several tents. The site was not level, with around 20 degree of slope front to back (tongue jack fully retracted, rear stabs extended on Lynx blocks) and with a lesser angle side-to-side.

    To level and chock I applied my BAL leveler on the low wheel, and rubber chocks on the other and cranked the BAL about 2/3 of the way up the screw.

    I've been in this configuration before, but one of our tenting companions asked if the leveler screw was intended to take that much bending stress. On level ground its mostly compression load, but in this configuration the nut and screw where pushed against the BAL frame and obviously under some torque.

    I ended up saving my neighbors some worry by piling firewood downhill of the BAL behind the wheel. But it left me with a question... Does anyone know what, if anything, BAL considers the max front-to-back angle? The leveler itself has no manual, and the instruction sticker mentions no limits.

    For some site slopes I wonder if a set of Lynx blocks to level and matching chocks is a better choice?
     
  2. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    Here's my 2 cents...I don't have a BAL leveler...with the site being that much out of level, I would have used lynx levelers or planks of wood to level side to side.
     
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  3. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    I had a BAL Leveler for years and never had any issues. I've switched to Lynx Levelers because my latest camper is too big for the BAL to lift.

     
  4. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    Andersen leveler doesn't care about front to back slope :)
     
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  5. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Had a few sites like that when we owned a pup and a BAL .. Never had any issues with the BAL (I was the 3rd maybe 4th owner of at the time, so it got lots of use). Now with the TT we use one 2x10x6ft board and what ever number of Lynx Levelers are needed..
     
  6. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    I can't visualize what you've said. When assembled correctly the nut is fully captured and can not push against the frame. I've had my Bal fully extended a few times, no threads above the nut, and have not had any issues.
     
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  7. Axel

    Axel Member

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    Thanks folks, it seems at least there isn't a well-known "safe" limit I missed in the BAL docs or conventional wisdom. I may ask BAL, but like my trailer manual, I expect the only response will be to use it exclusively on perfectly level ground. I'll think about alternatives to have on hand.

    The nut can slide from side to side and has some vertical play in the rings that capture it. Additionally, when the load is uneven on the tire plates the bars on the front of the leveler (the ones parallel with the side of the tire) are no longer both parallel to each other because there is some play in the hinge between the two halves.

    The combination of taking all of that slack in one direction (towards the downhill side) pushes the nut and screw over against one side of the capture rings, rotates the nut to take the vertical play in the rings so that its is angled relative to the rings, and angles the capture rings themselves in proportion to the angle between the top and bottom halves.

    When looked at from the side the net effect is that the screw itself is obviously no longer perpendicular to the bottom plate, the screw leans towards the downhill side at least a few degrees (I don't have a picture unfortunately). The existing site slope makes this angled screw look even more dramatic.

    Slight angling of the screw is normal AFAIK, its visible even on my sloped driveway, and I never thought much of it. It took a different set of eyes to point out that the angled load was putting rotational stress on the nut and on the screw in proportion to the site slope, and the more extension in the screw the longer the lever.

    My mental model of the forces makes me think that most of the load is still in the compression of the screw and hinge. But I know the screw can fail or deform (I had to replace the screw before) which left me wondering about bending it.

    To be clear, the screw did not bend, the trailer lowered fine, and everything felt perfectly solid. I just wondered if my companion had an officially sanctioned reason to worry. One way or another I'll probably find an alternative since we'll be there again next year.
     
  8. giadiep

    giadiep Active Member

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    I wouldn't worry about it too much. Then again, I'm one of the bad guys that uses 2 bal levelers because I have a dual axle trailer. The weight that the 2 levelers have to lift is well within their capacity.
     
  9. phoodieman

    phoodieman Active Member

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    I believe it's designed to handle uneven slopes within its travel limit. Which makes angle consideration a moot point.

    Lynx And BAL.jpg
     

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