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40v13: Tires and Leveling

Table of Contents

Leveling Blocks

We switched from the plastic stackable blocks for leveling to these.  

We have not had a need to use them yet, so I can’t report on them.  The reasons I decided to switch from stackable blocks:

  1. The plastic blocks were getting torn up with use.  They are strong, but still began to break down.  With the new trailer being 7,000 pounds heavier….
  2. With blocks we had to find the spot we wanted to park, lay blocks next to the wheels to mark the location, pull forward, put the blocks in place, back onto them, re-check, rinse and repeat if the height still wasn’t right.  Hopefully we skip all that and just back onto these new ones until we are level(ish).  
  3. These should help lift if we need to change a tire on the side of the road.

Bubble Levels

We added these stick-on bubble levels so we could eyeball how level the trailer is prior to completing the parking and unhitching.  They say that it needs to be within a few degrees(?) of level prior to using the auto leveling system.

In addition, I can periodically check our level, to determine if we have to adjust the “set point” (what it considers to be level) for the trailer.


Jack Pads

Jack pads for under the landing gear.

I was a bit concerned about getting them on – I had heard suggestions of using a crowbar to help.  Funnily enough, I had also heard that they could fall off in transit!  Perhaps those were isolated cases, and maybe even the fault of incorrectly sized or installed pads?

I found them easy to put on – I lined it up under the jack, lowered the jack until almost touching, [re]centered the pad, ran a thin film of Dawn dish soap around the lip, then lowered the jack until it popped in.  I did this in my driveway to get the most level space I could but even so on some of the jacks the foot would snap into the pad only on one side.  I raised it just enough to rotate, spun the foot/pad 180 degrees, and lowered again.  

Because I tend to over-engineer everything, I also ran some short screws into them to ensure they stayed put.  There are 6 or so holes in the jack foot to make this easy.

Note:  I sprayed off the feet first, but I neglected to spray off the underside of them.  If I were to do this over, I would definitely do that first!

I can’t say I have noticed any difference with these, but I didn’t expect to either – I bought them to help protect the feet, hoping to keep them from getting dinged up, bent, etc.  Plus maybe a little extra stability on gravel.


TST 507 Tire Pressure Monitoring System

After having a couple of blowouts in one trip on the old trailer, I wanted to see if we could get a warning of future issues with a TPMS.

I’ve never used one so I don’t have anything to compare this one to.  I do like being able to keep an eye on temperature and pressure, and the pressure reported matches what my air gauge reads.  

I am not crazy about the mount in my particular truck – there are no smooth surfaces large enough for the suction cup to stick to, except the windshield.  Hanging it from the windshield within reasonable line of sight puts it in too much sunlight, making it tough to read and probably hard on it.  

This last trip I tried using the soft rubbery base (the gray mount shown under it in this picture) that it comes with.  This worked out much better, though it still prone to some degree of sliding.

It comes with a signal repeater, the idea being to connect it to the RV battery for power, hang it on the outside near the front, and it will relay the sensor data from the wheels to the receiver in the cab of your truck.   I had originally wired it directly to my battery but did not have a suitable way of mounting the repeater to the outside.  I also wasn’t a fan of having that powered all the time, even when the RV is parked.  The instructions say it will shut itself off, but I’d rather have a switch.   

So then I moved it to the corner near the leveling system, running the wire down the edge (using hot glue to hold it in place) and underneath, then splicing into where the side marker light is wired.  That way it will automatically have power only when towing and the 7-way cable is connected between truck and trailer (and with the lights turned on).

Sitting on the dash at the bottom is the TPMS.  It fell out of this spot twice so I moved it further back onto the shallow depression in the dashboard behind it, which worked ok.

Above the TPMS is my old phone, put into service as my backup camera (using the Reolink camera talked about in more detail on this page).

That phone is held in place using this mount.  It it a smidge shy of fully grabbing the mirror as it was designed to do, but seems to be holding on just fine, even with the weight of the phone applied.

Tire Covers

UV light protection.  We bought a 4 pack and a 2 pack of these since the Valor is a triple axle unit.  The “XL” size seems to fit fairly well, but I wonder if the “L” would also have worked?  I measured our tires at 32″ (the upper limit of the “L”) but instead went by their chart.