Make Your Own RV Jack Pads

At the beginning of the 2017 football season, I had already made plans for two RV trips – to UCF and then to Clemson. Both of these roadtrips were going to involve parking the RV in a field. Which means there is always a chance for mud or other uneven surfaces that make operating the RV jacks problematic.

Insert solution: RV Jack Pads.

Make your own RV Jack Pads for leveling your RV while camping and protecting your jacks from mud.

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Why DIY RV Jack Pads

Remember, at the beginning of fall, I was short timing Starter RV – I was pretty sure that it would be my last season with the 1990 Winnebago Chieftan. I didn’t want to spend money on anything other than basic, required maintenance to keep it running. There were no mods or upgrades that wouldn’t be able to go with me to a new RV.

It always seems to rain when GT goes to Clemson... and parking in a field... you can imagine the mudI’ve been to Clemson before and parked in that field. And for some reason, it always rains when Georgia Tech is there. And jacks + mud = a mess. I needed something for this season. I wanted a cheap but yet effective solution for jack pads.

See: always raining at Clemson —–>

Safety First

I recommend that you use some good work gloves and eye safety glasses.

The work gloves will protect your hands from splinters and flying debris as well as provide some additional grip assistance. Make sure to get ones that fit your hands for precision work with power tools.

Safety glasses should always be worn when working with power tools. Your eyes are quite sensitive to debris and flying objects. And life would be so different without your eyes. Protect them!

Making the RV Jack Pads

These DIY RV Jack Pads are simple to make and add so much convenience to your RV setup. It took about an hour of work, after all the materials were acquired. And that’s with me stopping to take pictures for you.

Sand the edges of the boards to prevent splinters when using your RV jack pads.To begin, I ventured out to the local hardware store and picked up a 2 x 10 x 12 board and some eye hooks. Most hardware stores will cut the boards into smaller sections if you want them to. But they also usually charge by the cut. While it’s not expensive, if you have a circular saw at home, you can easily do it yourself.

I had the store cut the board into 3 foot long pieces so that they would fit in the backseat of my car, since I wasn’t taking the RV to the store for this project.

Once I got home, I cut the sections into 1 foot long pieces. Then I sanded down the edges a bit so I wouldn’t get splinters over time.

Add a hook and rope at the end of the RV jack pad for ease in getting the jack pads out from under the RVThe next step was to add eyehooks and nylon rope. The bright nylon rope makes it a lot easier to grab the jack pads when they are under the RV. And the bright color makes it more likely that I’ll see them when doing a pre-departure walk-around, even if it is still muddy and/or raining.

I made a total of 8 jack pads, each 1 foot long.

I had some extra wood left over that I have added to my scrap pile for a future project. There’s always something that I will be able to use the scrap wood on, whether around the house or the RV, so I’m not worried about the extra wood. You could go ahead and make a couple of spares if you want.

Using RV Jack Pads

Make your own RV Jack Pads - great for leveling your RV and for keeping RV jacks out of the mud or sinking into soft ground.Jack pads are useful in a variety of ways. First, if you are parking on grass or gravel, jack pads are great to prevent your jacks from getting stuck in mud. Without a jack pad, the weight of the RV will push the jack down into the mud. Then when you try to retract them, they mud will create a suction holding the jacks to the ground. With a jack pad, you are providing a barrier between the mud and the jack, making it more likely that they will be able to retract.

Jack pads can also help you level up your RV. My jacks will only level up to 2 inches. Otherwise, they stop during auto-level and provide an excess slope warning. Add a jack pad under to help raise the ground level. If you are on a slight slope, use more than one to raise that corner to be level with the others. This is why I made 8 – 2 for each corner jack.

So far, I have not needed to use more than 6 at one time, but I did have one rope fall off. So it’s always good to have a couple of extra around.

RV Step Stabilizers

Retractable RV steps are notorious for not being the most stable. So as RV owners, we often add a step stabilizer underneath. Like jacks, the step stabilizers can only extend so far. And depending on your camp site, you may find that the ground and the step are too far apart, especially after leveling with your jacks.

A jack pad is also useful under the steps to help the stabilizer there.This happened to me when I stayed at Oak Plantation RV Campground last December. But handy dandy jack pads to the rescue – another reason to keep an extra couple of jack pads on hand. I added one underneath the step stabilizer and then was able to go in and out of the RV much easier.

Purchase Options

Don’t feel like making jack pads? You can always order some from Amazon. There are various ready made jack pads available for purchase.

I also plan on adding RV Snap Pads to my setup soon. The advantage of these is that they stay on – no need to go under the RV to place them or pick them up (after initial install). Of course, they are a pricier option. Even with Snap Pads in place, I’ll keep a few extra jack pads in the storage bays to help with leveling issues as we visit more stadiums and campsites.


Kimberly

Kimberly is the owner of a Tiffin 34PA and the former owner of Starter RV, a 1990 Winnebago Chieftan.Kimberly is based out of Atlanta, Georgia, and frequently travels to football and baseball games, NASCAR events, music festivals, and RV campgrounds all across the southeast and beyond!She can be found cheering for Georgia Tech, traveling the world, or working on the RV (because there's always something to do on the RV). Don't ever underestimate what she can whip up in the kitchen or accomplish on no sleep.Find out the latest from Kimberly by signing up here.

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