Wednesday, September 12

Our Own Recent RV Leveling Story

Since May we have been sitting in our older motor home, whom we affectionately call Joey, on a large very flat concrete slab. Needless to say, we got a bit spoiled with that setup when it comes to leveling. We love concrete and asphalt pads, because generally speaking, you pull up, park, and voila! - you're sitting as flat as a pancake. At least, Joey does, because he sits level on level surfaces. I suppose that there are motor homes that don't sit level in their natural state, and that's where the automatic hydraulic system comes in handy. We've never had to worry about that, and it's a good thing, since Joey's stabilizing system was removed at some point in the past by a former owner. Now it's all up to us.

So, when we embarked on our week long Illinois campground tour, we had kind of forgotten about the whole idea of having to get level, but we were soon reminded out of necessity and a dose of reality. Out first stop after the big flat pad in the country was a campground near Effingham with graveled sites. Our was a little grassy, but mostly OK except for a small tilt to the driver's side. It turned out to be a fortunate situation, since I wanted to dump the blackwater and empty it well. The tilt was just enough to give the contents the extra boost to go out of the hose and clean out the tank.

The next day our resting place was my brother's driveway. It's an older concrete surface, and was quite level from side to side, but tilted us just a hair towards the back of the motorhome. Since we were staying in the house for the duration of our visit, it wasn't too hard to completely ignore the slight lift at the front, except for the fact that the front door always slammed shut behind you upon entering.

After a short stay, we headed for Lake Shelbyville and a nearby RV park called Bo Woods – which is a very nice place for campers and RVs of all kinds. We chose a slot from the map, sight unseen, and went to claim it. The spaces were huge, roomy in both length and width, but made with fine gravel and very unlevel from side to side. Since it was 95 degrees in the shade and we really needed to cool off with some air conditioning, we just parked at what I judged to be a safe distance from the power and water, and hooked up. Of course, we immediately noticed that the passenger side was substantially higher than the other side, but we decided we could live with it for one night. Unfortunately, the tilt was towards Robin's side of the bed, and I apparently took my half out of the middle most of the night due to the downhill factor. The next day we decided to spend another night there, and after a trip into town, I parked more in the center of the space and it made a big difference, but there was still a slant.

Our next stop was at Friend's Creek near Cisco. The park was beautiful and grassy, and so were the sites. I backed in and shut down, again longing for cool air. We noticed then that we were just a hair higher in the front than the back, but again, we decided we could live with it for 1 night. At least we felt OK from side to side, and didn't have to worry about rolling out of bed – just about the blood rushing to our heads.

The flat level sites at the Gibson City RV campground were awesome, and reminded us how much we love those kinds of sites. We pulled up, backed in, plugged in, and turned on the AC to cool down. Sitting level is one of those things that you only appreciate when you you do without it for a while. After our last few days, it really did feel good to be sitting on a flat surface.

Unfortunately, it didn't last long. When we got to George's driveway, where Joey will be parked for a while, we backed in and felt that familiar sensation. There is a very noticeable tilt towards the front of the motorhome. Getting in the driveway in such a way as to be able to open our door and not take up too much of the sidewalk was a trick. So you can imagine my reluctance to mess with a good thing by trying to put leveling blocks under the front wheels. After all, I'd have to warm up the engine, unhook the power, go out into the street (it's too hard on the transmission to reverse up an incline right off the bat), back in too far, position the blocks, roll forward, check the door, reposition the blocks – I hope you get the picture. Maybe I'll get ambitious at some point, but for now the slight slant forward is something new – at least our heads are higher than our feet in bed, and I hear that's good for you.

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