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If you’ve watched our channel for any length of time, you know I have a “thing” for getting the RV level. Dead nuts level. We had leveling jacks on our last RV, Lance, but when we got our new Winnebago EKKO, levelers were not a factory option. Well, I’m happy to report that situation has now been fixed (at least on our van), as you’ll see in the below video. Enjoy!
There are other jacks available for the Ford Transit platform, but we weren’t interested in them for a couple of reasons. First, all the ones we’ve seen were standard jacks – which means that a jack with a 12 inch stroke has to start out 12 inches long. When you’ve got limited clearance under your van, that’s a problem. The other thing we were looking for in our jacks was something that worked with our VB Air Suspension installation. Basically, the leveling jacks would need to deflate the air suspension, and keep it disabled while the jacks were deployed.
The system from HPC Hydraulics that you see us installing addresses both of those issues. First, the jacks are telescoping, which means that you can get, for example, 12 inches of stroke from a 6 inch jack. And the HPC system does communicate directly with the VB air suspension without any driver intervention.
Questions You Might Have
The first thing most people will probably ask is, “how much are they?” I’d love to tell you they were dirt cheap, but they’re not. As of right now, as far as we know, Utility Bodywerks, in Elkhart Indiana, is the only shop that’s set up to install them. (That’s cool, because you’d probably get to meet Scott.) Final pricing would be up to Utility Bodywerks. But for planning purposes, be prepared to have discussions in the $7,000 range for the complete package, including installation.
The next thing most people will probably say is that this puts parts of the RV too close to the ground. But as you saw in the video, I measured to the bottoms of the jack pads, and they were actually *not* the low points on the vehicle. Nor did the jacks interfere with approach or departure angles, as you saw me test. Of course, this does add some new low spots on your rig that you’ll want to be mindful of. But we’re more than a month in, and we haven’t hit or rubbed the jacks on anything yet, so for our style of RVing, it doesn’t seem to be an issue.
Though we have VB Air Suspension, that’s not a requirement for these jacks. They will install and work perfectly well with the stock Ford Transit suspension.
As far as the weight goes, we don’t have a concrete answer on that yet. My guess is that we added less than 100 pounds to the rig, including everything down to the oil in the system. But we don’t usually weigh while we’re on the road mid-trip, so I didn’t get complete before/after weights. We weigh our RV when we’re fully loaded and just starting out on a trip. When we last weighed, we were getting close to our maximum allowable weight. I’ll update this post with our weight the next time we’re headed out on a big trip and we’ll see what that situation looks like. Short answer: Weights TBD.
Our readers aren’t shy about asking questions, so as you ask them in the comments, I’ll update the section above with the most frequent questions.
My Bottom Line
- Telescoping jacks are where it’s at.
- The 360 degree tilting of the foot pads on the HPC jacks is slick.
- Rubber-coated pads means you don’t have to buy extra pads, covers or add-ons to use your jacks on any surface.
- Just use the app – don’t bother with the panel.
- Never having to deal with blocks again: priceless.