The Best RV Leveling Blocks (Jack Pads)

TheRVgeeks Great RV Products 15 Comments

We’ve had our Utility Blocks long enough to be really happy customers and wanted to share what we think are the best all-around levelers we’ve ever seen.

Every RVer has to deal with unlevel campsites from time to time. Even if your RV is equipped with a leveling system, some sites are so sloped, you just can’t get your rig level. This is why RVers carry leveling blocks, also referred to as jack pads, stacker blocks or stabilizer pads. Whatever you call them, they all serve the same purpose: allowing you to level your RV on a sloped campsite. They also help keep jacks from sinking into soft surfaces.

Some of the most common stacker blacks are the yellow or red plastic levelers typically found at RV or camping stores. A little Googling will reveal a wide array of other options too. If you have a circular or table saw, you can even home-make your own from blocks of wood. Unfortunately, for us full-timers, who are conscious of space & weight (and of course quality & cost too), nearly all of these options have their drawbacks.

Homemade Wood blocks are inexpensive, but they’re heavy, and can crack or rot over time. They also require tools and raw materials, plus you also need to be at least a little bit handy.

Basic plastic stacker blocks are reasonably priced, lightweight and compact for easy storage, but they have a waffle-like grid bottom which allows them to sink into soft surfaces, and they’re not always strong enough to support a heavier RV without cracking, especially on soft or uneven surfaces.

The wide assortment of higher-end jack pads we’ve found mostly suffer from one or more of the following problems: too thin to provide enough height; too flexible, allowing them to deform on uneven surfaces; too large and heavy to be easily stored; too smooth, allowing them to slide on each other when stacked. Worst of all, most of the higher-end jack pads are what we consider to be extremely expensive.

After 10 years of full-time RVing, Utility Blocks are perfect for about 98% of the places we camp. They’re the perfect balance of size, weight, strength and cost. They’re big enough to provide a good surface area, and thick enough to provide good lift, without being too large and heavy. Even though they weight slightly over 3 pound each, they seem indestructible, and the price for what you get is really reasonable compared to anything else we’ve found.


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Comments 15

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      I don’t think they have an official maximum, but since we have hydraulic jacks there’s usually no room for more than about two high, and occasionally three high, if there’s a dip where the jacks are.

  1. Hello Geeks!

    Our first trip with our new SnapPads is in the book. I must say they worked great. 1st was the installation. Done on a fairly level asphalt driveway it took my 16 yr daughter and I about 15 minutes for the install. No need to remove. The snug fit keeps them in place while driving. Once at the site, I hit the auto level button and curiously watched. The terrain was small pebbles, pretty solid dirt underneath but certainly not level. The coach leveled itself like they weren’t even there. No sinking what so ever despite the rain and damp soil. They are solid and weigh about 4 to 4.5 pounds each. The next test will be on a asphalt pad at the end of June. Should anything change I will let you know. Keep an eye on their website as they did say they have a few different pads in the works.

    Coach Specs: 33′ Class C Jayco with 9″ diameter pads.

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  2. You have no idea how helpful you’ve been. We are into our 2nd full summer of RVing. Our motto has become if it’s good enough for the geeks, it’s good enough for us. This is my first coach with auto levelers. I was told that I should carry a set of blocks for the front tires just in case the slope is so bad the system won’t work. Most places we stay have concrete pads with the exception of one and that has gravel/stone.

    I was going to purchase a set of the Utility Blocks and a set of this new product called the RV SnapPad.

    I was wondering if you could take a look at it and give me your honest opinion.

    It would be greatly appreciated.

    Regards

    Mark

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Mark! We’ve seen the RV SnapPad advertised, and it looks like a pretty clever product. But since it’s designed for round landing gear, it won’t fit onto our jacs, so wehave no experience with them. That said, they look interesting enough that if they fit our RV, we probably would have picked up a setby now. If you see good reviews for them, and decide to get them, please let us know how you mae out… and how you like them.

  3. I just got a motorhome, and just discovered your site. I really appreciate having such a great source of information. These blocks sound like what I’m looking for to use as pads for my hydraulic jacks. But I’m concerned about using them on soft ground. I don’t have a large motorhome, just 26ft., but the jack footprint is about 9″ in diameter. These pads are 9 3/4″ I believe. Do you think they increase the surface area of the jack footprint enough to be of benefit on soft ground to prevent sinking? I didn’t really want to get the higher end pads that you talked about which come with a larger footprint, because as you said, they’re much heavier. Thanks.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Don. Congratulations on your new RV! While Utility Blocks don’t have the largest surface area of any levelers out there, we’d found that they are large enough to reduce sinking in most cases, even with our much-larger 43′ motorhome, which weighs 19 tons. We’ve found them to be a good compromise of size, thickness, weight, cost and durability, working well in a wide variety of the most common situations we find ourselves in.

      The “perfect leveler” for all situations is hard to envision…. one that’s larger enough surface area to prevent sinking on the softest surfaces would have to be too thin to provide much lift/leveling ability without being too heavy and/or expensive, for example. While Utility Blocks skew a bit toward the small-surface-area side of things, we have only had sinking issues on the softest ground. We’ve found the need for correcting off-level situations (therefore requiring thickness as opposed to surface area) to be much more common, and have been very happy with them.

      If you accept the fact that no pad will entirely stop sinking on extremely soft surfaces, you’ll be thrilled with these. If you plan to RV on extremely soft ground (which we suggest avoiding in general to prevent getting stuck), a thinner pad with a larger surface area would work, as long as the site isn’t so off-level that more thickness is required. It’s a balancing act, but we still haven’t seen anything we like better for overall use in the most situations. If you read the reviews and answered questions on Amazon ( http://amzn.to/2E2evjF ), you can get more input from other users about their experiences.

      Hope this helps!

      1. Thanks so much for your thoughtful response. You’ve been very helpful. I also watched the video on your site about the blocks which I hadn’t seen before. I’ll be getting a set.

        I’m really glad I found your site and that you guys are accessible and so willing to help. I know I’ll be returning here to keep learning as I get rolling with my RV! Who knows, maybe I’ll see you on the road!

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  4. Pingback: LevelMatePRO is the 21st Century Way to Level an RV!

  5. Wow these are not cheap either. How many do you have? Do you use them just for your 4 leveling jacks all the time? Are there cases where you would need them for your tires and jacks?

    1. Post
      Author

      They’re actually priced close to or less than other high-end jack pads, but they’re all more expensive than the cheap plastic type. We just got tired of the cheap ones breaking (granted our motorhome is kind of heavy for those) and also the waffle-bottom design of the cheap blocks allows them to sink into soft soil.

      The only time we use our Utility blocks is when we are on very un-level sites, where the jacks wouldn’t be able to extend far enough to get us level without the extra height. We own two sets of 4 to give us some extra height in the occasional situation where a site is really off-level. We only use them under the jacks, not the tires, but they can indeed be used under tires for any rig that doesn’t have jacks.

      1. Thanks for the quick response! We just started our process to buy a 2015 Ventana 4037 and starting to figure out and purchase what we will need. :-) Hopefully we will get it this Saturday. Your site has been so helpful in figuring out what we need and should purchase for future adventure into the RVing life style!

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          Congratulations on your upcoming RV purchase, Steve! After more than 11 years, we still really love our Newmar, and hope your experience will be the same. Once you take some time to get oriented and work through any details that need attention (inevitable with any new RV, new or used), you’ll hopefully be thrilled. Glad we’ve been able to provide some helpful information.

          Since your rig will have hydraulic leveling jacks, you’ll never be putting your jack pads under the tires, but only under the jacks themselves (the leveling technique of rolling up onto jack pads is only used by RVers without on-board leveling jacks. Also, you won’t need the jack pads on hard, fairly level surfaces, so they’re not needed all the time.

          The only time you need pads is if a site is so sloped that your jacks alone can’t get you level and you need more height. Soft ground is the other use, to increase the surface area of the jack’s landing gear to help prevent them from sinking in. Although in our case, with a heavy tag-axle rig, the landing gear on the rear jacks is pretty huge…. even larger surface area than most jack pads… so we wouldn’t bother trying to use jack pads under the rear jacks to prevent sinking, but rather only on the front (smaller landing gear) jacks. Of course for very off-level situations, using pads under the rear jacks is SOP if a site is so sloped that you can’t get level without them.

          Hope all goes well with your purchase. Please let us know how you make out!

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