Just over two years ago, we launched the first version of our SnapPad product. We didn't know how people would react or if anyone would be interested in this weird new idea of a permanent jack pad for RV's.
Luckily for us, the idea seems to have caught on. Due to popular demand, we launched our second product, SnapPad Prime, in April of this year - a 10-inch version for Class A and Class C Motorhomes. When that was done, we turned our attention to our third product, SnapPad HiWay.
Created specifically to work with HWH leveling systems that are commonly found on Tiffins (as well as some Winnegabos and Newmars), creating HiWay was a big challenge. That's why we're excited to announce its recent launch and to share some of the thinking that went into the unique HiWay design.
Every SnapPad product is created with a few, key considerations in mind:
- Weight - How can we offer robust, permanent jack pad without adding too much overall weight to the leveling system? What size of RV are we designing this version for?
- Clearance - Not only road clearance when driving over uneven terrain, but also clearance from the frame, brackets, and other undercarriage mechanics. We want SnapPads to stay on your rig and not cause problems after all!
- Surface Area - More surface area only works if the weight of the RV is fully transferred to the entire jack pad. We've discovered that after a certain size, the weight of your rig is no longer effectively transferred to the outer edges of a pad.
- Size and shape of the landing foot - What can this landing foot support given its size and shape? Is it flat or does it have a pronounced lip? Is it a different shape other than round? Are they any brackets or supports welded to the top of the pad?
As you can see, creating SnapPads involves a delicate balance. On the one hand, we want the pad to add stability, grip, and be able to withstand the weight of your rig. On the other, it has to be the right size and weight in order to install permanently and not interfere with the operation of the landing system or the undercarriage.
If it was easy, everyone would be doing it right? ;)
Designing SnapPad HiWay
When it comes to common HWH leveling systems, we discovered there are other challenges to keep in mind.
Not only do some HWH configurations mix 8-inch and 10-inch sized landing feet on the same rig, but the jacks are spring loaded, which means excessive weight can hamper the system's operation.
In addition, the 8-inch jacks can have a pair of spring brackets welded to the edge, potentially interfering with a typical SnapPad "lip", which secures the pad to the foot.
We also found that on some HWH rigs, there can be significant clearance and undercarriage concerns as well. For instance on certain Tiffin's the front jacks can have a cross beam that can pinch your SnapPad when retracted.
Here's how we tackled those challenges...
The most common HWH landing foot size also comes with the most concerns. We had to craft a design that would snap on securely around the mounting brackets, not interfere with the spring loaded operation or the undercarriage, and still provide stability and effective stability when lowered.
This meant carving out two sides of the SnapPad in a way that would allow water drainage around the brackets, but still ensure the pad could hold on under 50Gs of force (our benchmark for SnapPads). In the event your spring brackets are not welded to the edge of the landing foot and your SnapPads pinch the front cross beam, the bracket slots can aligned to allow enough room for the beam.
It also meant the pad had to be highly efficient in terms of size, weight, and surface area - we needed to be careful about striking that balance between size and functionality given the considerations/challenges involved.
We eventually settled on a couple versions of HiWay, which we developed into prototypes and tested for durability and ability to stay on (all SnapPad products undergo professional environmental testing before they are released). After some tweaks, we settled on the current version, which is 1-inch tall, 10-inches across, and weighs about 3 pounds.
Although this is our smallest SnapPad product to date, it is made of the same durable rubber as our other products and adds just about as much extra surface area to the HWH landing foot as our SnapPad XTRA product adds to typical 9-inch LCI feet. We believe we were able to shave some size and weight from the product without sacrificing any functionality or effectiveness.
Luckily for us, 10-inch HWH landing feet do not come with the same mounting brackets as the smaller versions, so we were able to stick with a more "traditional" SnapPad design for HiWay 10. The two slots on the side of the product are for water drainage, and don't need to be lined up with anything on the rig during installation.
That said, there are also differences between SnapPad Prime (10-inch version for LCI systems) and HiWay 10. The HWH foot is much flatter and less substantial than the LCI / Power Gear feet, which have a concave or "bowl" type curve to them. As mentioned, HWH's spring loaded operation means keeping the weight of the SnapPad as low as possible without compromising performance.
As result, HiWay 10 is. bigger than both XTRA and HiWay 8, but smaller than Prime.
*HiWay 10 is also compatible with Atwood jacks.
Because of the mix of landing feet sizes on some configuations, we currently offer SnapPad HiWay packages that include four 8-inch pads, four 10-inch pads, and a mix of the two sizes (two of each size).
HiWay Plus is the name of our mixed package - compatible rigs usually have 8-inch feet on the front and 10-inches on the back. Click here if you want to check out our HiWay product page for more information.
Of course, if you have any questions about SnapPad sizing for your rig, please don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check out our new RV SnapPad Cheat Sheet, which includes the specs and most commonly compatible rigs for all of our products!
Finally, if you have a system or RV that we haven't covered yet, feel free to join our waiting list and we will notify you when we make a new version that will work for you (plus a personal discount code for good measure)!