How many times have I heard that phrase at a campground? I can't even count them or remember them for that matter. How do you know when your rig is level and what can you do if your rig is not?
Let's look at some of the possibilities.
The first thing you need to do is eyeball the site that you will back into or pull forward into.
Does the site appear flat? There could be a drainage crown to the site, meaning that the center is higher than either side so that the rainwater will drain off quickly if it does rain.
Maybe there is a slope in the site toward the right or left.
All of this needs to be taken into consideration when looking at the site.
Ok, you are pulling or backing into the site and you have the support of a ground crew so getting into the site is not the problem. The door side of the rig appears lower that the street side or is it? How do you know? Well at some point in the life of your rig someone should have put bubble levels on it.
(For you guys with money we will discuss auto leveling equipment at the end.)
They should look like theses RV Bubble Levels
|RV Bubble Levels|
Why you ask? Because if you are more that 5 degrees out of level your RV refrigerator may not work or will not work efficiently.
But you may not have a TT maybe you have a 5th wheel and need something a bit bigger. Enter the 5th wheel bubble level. This is mounted on the pin box so you can see the level from the driver's seat.
Ok, you have found that the door side of the rig is low and needs to be raised up to bring that side into level.
Now the fun begins. You will need to put something under the wheels to raise that side of the rig. You will need what is called an RV Tire Leveling Block,
|RV Tire Leveling Block|
|RV Tire Leveling Block|
I always start with one above ground level under each tire on the low side and go from there. Let's say that you needed two under each tire on the low side to get level.
Did you remember to pull up on them and not try to back up on them?
Better for the tires if you pull up on the leveling block rather than backing up on them.
Also, did you make sure all tires were centered on the blocks, not on an edge?
The axle of the tire or the hub in the middle of the tire should be centered on the leveling block.
Why? Because it puts less stress on the tires, that really do not like being off the ground in space.
Here is yet another way to level your Rig. This one is a bit different that the square block used above, this one is a Ramp Style Leveling System and will help you level your rig from any increment between 1/2 inch and 4 inches. This ramp style will hold up to 30,000 pounds. If you have two axles then you will require two ramps per side.
The smaller ramp is used to chock the RV from moving once the RV is level. The ramp with the holes in it, is the adjusting ramp.
You have checked the levels on both the front and side of the rig right? So now what? You need to check that the fridge is level. On way to do that is to use a Torpedo Level
You are now level so what is next? Unhooking and stabilizing the rig.
Once you are unhooked you need to put down the corner stabilizer jacks. Most travel trailers use Scissor Jacks
|stabilizing Scissor Jack Socket|
|motorized RV scissor stabilizing jack|
Many of the newer 5th wheels will have will have powered corner jacks and landing jacks. Some will have auto leveling that will level and stabilize the fiver. But what happens when you are still getting sea sick from someone walking inside the fifth wheel or travel trailer?
For the 5th wheel, there are several things that can be used and have had success.
First is the Stabilizer Jack
Next is the expandable wheel chock or X-chock.
This chock does double duty if you use a paddle lock to lock the chock from being removed it will stop someone from being able to steal your RV with-out a lot of work.
Your rig is now level and corner supported but, when someone walks around the inside of the rig it still does the shimmy, shimmy, shake. Now what? There are many suggested solutions out there to solve this problem but here is the simplest one that works. The RV Stabilizer
The X-Chock from above will also work on Travel Trailers to help stop motion and help to prevent theft as well.
OK, now for the guys with money. If you would like to add remote control automatic power leveling jacks to your TT or 5er, the following is a company that has received good reviews for their lift systems; Big Foot Leveling System
|Big Foot Flip Down Leveling Jack for TT|
The type of DIY that is required to install this system is not in the scope of this blog. But this type of wireless remote control system is out there and for those who would like to add automatic power leveling to their rig here is a place to start.
Until Next Time
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