A level setup of your RV is essential for the correct functioning of your creature comforts such as slide outs, refrigerators, and even shower drains. A good set of camper levelers and a spirit level or digital level indicator will make the level set up of your camper a quick and easy operation.
The slide-outs, fridge, stove, toilet, and holding tanks function best when the RV is leveled to within 2 degrees of plumb. A level bed is essential for a good night’s sleep and eliminates stress on the RV frame. Levelling is simple and fast when using the correct equipment and process.
The reasoning behind owning an RV is to enable camping adventures without sacrificing too many creature comforts. Sleeping on uneven ground and having to dig a hole in the woods is not for the RV camper.
Long story short, without levelers for your camper, you will be uncomfortable, your camper may not fully function, and you will not be happy. Let’s look at why your RV must be leveled and how best to get it level.
Why Is A Level RV A Happy Place?
RV rigs are designed to provide a level of home comfort that makes camping acceptable to people that are not willing to sacrifice too much. A two-person tent with roll-out mats and sleeping bags is an excellent place to start your foray into camping adventures. For many, roughing is not on. Hence the glamorous camping that is owning an RV affords.
When your travel trailer, 5th wheel, camper, or RV is not level you will find yourself noticing every time you step in your RV that it is a bit off. When you are in the shower, you will notice a pooling of water in one corner. When you sleep, you will begin to hate your laziness and the fact that you didn’t fully level your RV. You will lean to one side, or front or back and it will become very apparent that you aren’t level when you are sleeping.
Utility of a Level Camper
The RV needs to be as flat as possible to avoid distortion of the chassis frame. Most modern RVs are designed to have slide-outs that double the width of the living space and require the rig to be level for the slide-outs to function. Interior doors may not open and close properly if the rig is not level. In our rig, our bathroom door will not function properly if it is not perfectly level.
When Glamping in your RV, you may have a flushing toilet, a fridge/freezer, sizable sleeping bunks, induction or gas cooktop, a shower, and possibly all the modern conveniences of a small apartment, at your campsite in the woods. Having the RV level within two degrees of plumb will ensure that all these devices function as intended.
Most RV’s are fitted with a freshwater tank for drinking, cooking, and washing, a grey tank for the shower and kitchen sink water, and a black tank for the toilet bowl. The water tanks are fitted with level indicators to reflect their level of fill. At the start of the weekend, the freshwater tanks will be full and the gray and black water tanks empty.
An uneven RV will result in incorrect levels in the tanks, but far worse than when the black water tank overflows due to poor leveling. This is the end of the relaxing weekend and maybe also your future camping adventures. A happy camp is not a smelly camp.
The shower pan and kitchen sink will not drain properly if the RV is not level from side to side and front to back, resulting in puddles forming or improper drainage. After completing your RV leveling procedure, you can check that water will properly drain from the shower and sink by checking with a soda can.
Place the soda can on the RV floor and check whether the can roll forwards, backward, and side to side? The can must not start rolling when placed on its side anywhere on the RV floor.
The fridge in many RVs functions with a mixture of water, ammonia, hydrogen gas, and sodium chromate that requires the fridge to be perfectly upright to keep the refrigerator cold. Fridge/freezes running off the house bank battery system are not as sensitive to being level, but they are expensive.
Best Items for Leveling an RV
Ramp Levelers: I like these levelers when I am looking to level the camper quickly. These eliminate the need to guess or use the building blocks to level your RV. When you need more lift, simply keep driving.
Level: A level is necessary to check your work. Use at least a 2′ level like this to ensure good work.
Level Mate Pro: If you want to up your game, or use ramp levelers without the need to get in and out of the truck to check you work, a level mate will ensure your work is good and will get it done as quickly as possible by letting you know with bluetooth that you are level.
X Chocks: Once you are level, these will stop the sway when walking around in your travel trailer. They are a MUST HAVE!
What Is A Good RV Leveling Procedure?
Look for an RV site as flat as possible and allow for sufficient space around the RV or travel trailer to extend the slide-outs without obstruction. RV parks will have utilities like freshwater, electrical connection, and sewer connection. Identify where these are on the site and park the RV so that all the connections are within reach.
Once you have selected the parking orientation for the RV considering aspects like utilities, sun, wind, and proximity of trees, commence with the leveling procedure. You will need a spirit level, leveling blocks, wheel chocks, and the RV jack leveler handle. Park the RV on a level as possible location and within one to two-wheel rotations from the final set up position.
Placing the spirit level on the RV floor above the axle position, check how level the setup is from side to side. Identify which side needs to be lifted and place the leveling blocks in front of the wheels of that side. Roll the RV wheels onto the leveling blocks and check that it is level from side to side. Place wheel chocks on both sides to prevent the RV from rolling in any direction.
With the RV leveled from side to side, you can now level it from front to back. Raise the front RV tongue jack enough to unhook the fifth wheel or trailer hitch. Then lower or raise the jack to ensure the camper is level.
Adjust the front jack to a position where the RV floor is level from front to back.
Place some flat wood under each of the leveling jack feet to help spread the load. Check the spirit level to see whether the front jacks need to be lowered or adjusted up some more.
Once completely flat from front to back and side to side, lower the front and rear stabilizer jack points.
You may require additional stabilization to prevent the RV from moving from side to side when moving inside the RV, depending on the length and size of your RV.
With the RV leveled, stabilized, and the wheels chocked into position, you can commence with the additional setup of the RV. Extend the slide outs, connect the utilities and check all systems for proper operation.
Recreational Vehicles must be leveled to within two degrees of plumb for major systems to function as designed. The slide-out systems and doors may not operate if the RV chassis has not been leveled. Most RV fridges also require the liquid/gas cooling system to be plumb to function as designed.
Having a level bed to sleep on will also significantly add to your ability to get a good night’s sleep. Sleeping on a slope causes the body to remain tense, causing you to have poor sleep quality and rolling around trying to find a comfortable position. Trust me, if your bed is not level for even one night, it will bug the heck out of you. Spend the time to do it right!
To make adventures with your RV as much fun as possible, you need to get your setup procedure well defined. Have the correct equipment and someone to help you when doing the setup. Be prepared to have fun and relax.
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