Greetings RV enthusiasts!
Today’s post is about the popular “SnapPads” accessory and my experiences with this RV add-on. I don’t have a video to accompany this post, but suffice to say the product is well documented and its concept is all but ubiquitous in the RV world — thick, rubber pads that literally “snap” onto your RV’s leveling feet for a permanent installation, increasing stability and the contact surface area with the ground. The documentation at rvsnappad.com is comprehensive and very good — all I did was put a little dish soap around the lip (of the SnapPad), and lowered my jack feet to “snap” mine into place.
The thought of stamped metal feet providing the stability for my 15,000 pound fifth wheel, on anything but perfectly stable dirt or grassy surfaces, just didn’t sound right to me, so at the beginning of the 2021 season I launched a research project and discovered these little beauties. No boards, pads, buckets, Legos or blocks for me — I just wanted better stability without having to carry extra stuff around in my basement!
Here’s a photo of the popular “XTRA” product itself, as supplied by the manufacturer (photo lifted from rvsnappad.com and used by permission). This fits the Lippert 6-point “level up” system found on a many fifth wheel trailers, including mine.
How do they work? In a word, beautifully! Below is a photo of one of my own SpapPads, taken at the end of the 2021 season — you can see the affects of a little sun and dirt, but they have held up very well. If you look closely you can see that I have not drilled mine out (where the holes in the Lippert feet are), a procedure suggested by the manufacturer to help moisture drain. In my experience, the amount of moisture trapped in those little holes is pretty minimal, and I haven’t seen the need to drill all the way through the rubber — at least not yet!
The SnapPad advantage is about three things: Increased surface area “to the ground”, increased friction at the point of contact, and a surface that will absorb small imperfections. To illustrate these points, consider leveling your trailer on an oiled gravel or similar hard surface with lots of small rocks. Lippert’s stamped steel feet simply ride on top (or crush) the surface irregularities. The SnapPads, on the other hand, will grab onto those same rocks and even conform around them to some degree , proving much better stability.
On softer surfaces, the increased surface area provided by the SpapPads is also worth the investment — I can tell that they have been designed within the stress limits of the recycled rubber material itself, which means they are just large enough to make a surface area difference, but small enough that they remain strong. Here is where the “61% increase” in surface area counts — it means that the ground can support 61% more weight than it wood otherwise — a very nice margin if the ground is the least bit wet or soft.
SnapPad Suntan lotion
Want to keep your SnapPads looking new? I have decided to treat mine with a product called “303 Aerospace protectant”, a spray-on product that provides very effective UV protection for — well, anything you want. I use it on my slide-out seals, my tires, and my SnapPads! Here is an “after” photo of the same leveling foot shown above — only treated with 303 Aerospace protectant. Good as new!
Regular application of “303” will extend the useful life of your SnapPads and keep them looking new as well.