When it comes to hitting the road in your RV or camper, there’s a lot of things you have to take into consideration like to-do’s, packings lists, maintenance checks, etc. Some people can find this a bit overwhelming, and it’s easy to see why.
One of our goals is to help you filter through the madness related to all of those topics. One of the ways we do that is by offering gear reviews and recommended products. That’s what we will be doing today. We are going to be discussing the exciting topic of jack pads (or leveling blocks). We say both because a variety of options can perform both tasks. With that in mind, we will talk about both types.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. While this topic may not necessarily be exciting, it is important. If anything, buying the right jack pads or leveling blocks can make your RV experience a little bit better by assisting you during the setup process.
What are jack pads? What are leveling blocks?
Whether you call them jack pads, leveling blocks, or stackers, their purpose is mostly the same. They help prevent the jacks on your RV from sinking into the ground when leveling your rig. They also assist when trying to level your RV on sloping or uneven ground.
This is especially beneficial when you find yourself setting up on a slope, on the sand, or in wet conditions. On top of that, some campgrounds and RV parks require jack pads to be used.
They basically provide a stable base for your equalizers, jacks, leveler, tires, etc., to sit on top of. They have a lot of applications and are very versatile in how they can be applied.
How to pick
Before buying a jack pad, you should keep a few things in mind. It’s important to ensure you are buying one suitable for your rig and how you plan on using it. If you are like us, cost is always a factor. So, finding a balance between the features you need and a reasonable cost is always the ultimate goal.
What to look for
One of the most important things you want to ensure is durability. You want your jack pads to hold the weight of your RV and stand up to the use and abuse of prolonged applications.
Both before and after the purchase, make sure your pads are intact and not cracked or broken prior to use. This is a necessity we can’t emphasize enough.
Buying a product made for the weight of your rig will ensure long term use, which equals cheaper overall cost over time.
The quantity of the jack pads you may need depends on your specific requirements. Mainly this will have to do criteria such as: how you are setting up, is there is a slope to deal with, is it sandy, is the ground saturated from recent rains, etc. All of these factors add to the number of leveling blocks you may need.
Some come in packs as small as 4 and some come in packs of up to 10. Be mindful of brands that are interlocking, or have a particular stacking method. In this case, you need to make sure you are purchasing the same make and model every time for ease of use.
As with most things, don’t just buy the cheapest version you can find. I’m not saying they won’t work. I’m just saying they may not work for your particular application.
Look for a product that will fit what you specifically need, then start looking at the price. Price may play a factor in some instances, but don’t use it to solely make your decision. You will see prices go from $12 up to close to $200. That’s a broad range.
Another important, and possibly the most critical, factor to look at is the weight capacity of the jack pad. The bottom line is that they have to be able to safely support the weight of your rig.
Sometimes this information can be a little difficult to track down, but it’s important. If the site you are purchasing from doesn’t list the product’s weight capacity, it may be best to contact the manufacturer to be safe.
Shape and size
Don’t dwell on shape and size too much. However, the jack pads you purchase need to fit the base of your stabilizers. Also, a larger footprint helps to disperse the weight over a larger area in unstable terrain.
Keep in mind, these leveling blocks can also be used to drive onto, so make sure the size you buy is appropriate for your application.
Top 5 jack pads and leveling blocks
Camco 44595 RV Stabilizing Jack Pads – 4 pack
The Camco 44595 jack pads are an extremely popular model and for good reason. They are extremely versatile and can be used with scissor jacks, stack jacks, trailer tongues, swing down stabilizers, fifth wheel stabilizers, and awning arms.
They come in a 4-pack for less than $13, making them an affordable purchase. They do have a “built-in” handle allowing the to be carried easier when strapped together with the provided storage strap.
Keep in mind, when you use these blocks, be sure to place the flat side down. This is a common mistake a lot of folks make. The “ribbed” design should be facing upwards. This orientation helps keep the pads from sinking while also prevent slippage from jacks and tires.
The downside to these blocks can be the capacity. The manufacturer states 6,000 lbs., but many people use them on rigs weighing much more. I don’t advise that and recommend you always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
These are also available in a 10-pack for $26.59.
- Durability: Good construction using a UV stabilized resin
- Quantity: 4 jack pads
- Cost: $12.57
- Capacity: 6,000 lbs.
- Size: 6.5″ x 9″ x 1″
Tri-Lynx 00015 Lynx Levelers – 10 Pack
Lynx Levelers are another extremely popular choice among RVers. These interlocking blocks are modular in design, allowing you to “build” the platform needed for your current situation.
If you need to park on them, they can be stacked in a pyramid formation making it easy to achieve your desired height. If you prefer to you use them as a base for your stabilizing equipment, they can be used in that manner as well.
They come with a nylon bag for storage and transport. These jack pads are rated up to 40,000 pounds and come with 10-year warranty. This product is made in the USA.
Keep in mind, 10 of these pads in a 4-3-2-1 pyramid arrangement will give you approximately 4″ of lift. That would for one tire for example. It may be wise to have a couple of sets based on your specific needs.
- Durability: 10-year warranty
- Quantity: 10 jack pads
- Cost: $28.76
- Capacity: 40,000 lbs.
- Size: 8.5″ x 8.5″ x 1.5″
Camco 44600 Universal Flex Pad – 2 pack
The Camco Flex Pads have a different look and construction than the two alternatives mentioned above. These pads really shine at preventing stabilizers and jacks from sinking into soft surfaces.
They work great on uneven terrain due to their ability to “flex” over the surface they are placed on. Flex pads are a great addition to your current blocks when used as a foundation for that system.
They are heavy-duty, and as such, they are heavy as well, which is not necessarily a bad thing. They take up very little space due to their design. To top it off, they are made from recycled materials, which is pretty cool.
- Durability: UV resistant and weatherproof
- Quantity: 2-pack
- Cost: $19.85
- Capacity: unknown
- Size: 8.5″ x 8.5″ x 1″
Camp’N RV Leveling Blocks/Pads – 12 pack
The Camp’N leveling blocks are similar to some of the other designs, but they do have some unique features. These pads do have a larger surface area than most of their competitors 10.5″ vs. 8.5″, which can be a bonus for some RV owners.
They also have a unique “ramp” design on both the leading and trailing edge of these blocks. The idea behind this ramp is to prevent the blocks from being kicked out (or spit out) as the wheels are trying to get traction to drive on top.
Another bonus with this kit is the fact it comes with 12 blocks. This is a bonus if you own a tandem axle rig.
- Durability: UV resistant and weatherproof
- Quantity: 12-pack
- Cost: $29.97
- Capacity: Manufactur says they are designed to handle the “heaviest” of rigs
- Size: 10.5″ x 8.5″ x 1.5″
Quality Plastics Utility Block – 4 pack
Here’s another entry into the jack pad category. The Quality Plastics Utility Block has a large square design providing a wide footprint to accommodate most surfaces.
These work great as jack pads or leveling blocks and have a nylon braided handle which makes it a breeze when you are breaking down your size and packing up.
These blocks have a ridge/groove system that allows them to nest together securely. However, a few folks had a little trouble stacking these blocks. These blocks are pricier than other options, but they really do offer a near bomb-proof construction and design.
- Durability: Ultra heavy-duty design
- Quantity: 4-pack
- Cost: $79.99
- Capacity: Unknown
- Size: 9.75″ x 9.75″ x 1.5″
The bottom line is there are a number of good options out there. However, I feel the 5 choices above provide a variety of options depending on your specific needs.
When deciding what product to buy, factor in the questions we posed and be sure to buy what you need based on your requirements. Once you find a product that fits your needs, start looking at pricing and make your determination.
You never want to compromise safety for a few bucks. If you get a chance, let me know your favorite blocks or pads and why you like them.