Wednesday, July 10

How To Level An RV

The question of how to level an RV often comes up in our travels around the Internet, and most often from beginners. Nothing wrong with that – we were all newbies at some point, after all. But it is interesting that folks who have a pull camper, a motor home, a 5th wheel camper or even a pop-up camper would seek out the answer to this question in the digital way. Maybe it shows how disconnected we all really are from other people! 

The best answer will depend on the type of RV you have, so it is always best to ask the person you are purchasing from. But here are some general guidelines to the procedure.

The first step for any type of RV is to check the side to side level. With campers this usually has to be done before the towing vehicle is disconnected. With the help of a level indicator of some kind, determine if one side or the other needs to be adjusted. On the side needing to be raised something has to go under the camper tires. What might that be, you ask? A variety of objects have been used for this purpose, and some definitely work better than others. You want something flat, wide and long enough to go under the tire, and you need to be able to adjust the height by adding or taking away these objects.

It's really trial and error at this point, which is why you often see the sometimes comic sight of the Rver putting something under the wheels, backing up onto whatever is there, getting out and checking the level again, making an adjustment, and so on. Repeat until the rig is level from side to side, then unhook. Now you're ready for leveling from end to end. How this is done depends on the camper, but the general idea is to raise or lower the front end until you achieve a level state. This will be done with the hitch jack for pull campers, and with the front corner jacks for 5th wheels. It is NOT done with the stabilizer jacks.

Stabilizing the camper is only done AFTER it is level side to side and end to end. These jacks are simply meant to keep the rig steady and minimize movement, not to raise or lower to get it level. It should be mentioned here that those lucky motor home owners have it made when it comes to leveling and stabilizing – the big rigs have automatic hydraulic jacks that make everything level with the push of a button, and do the job of stabilizing too. But it's a good idea to know how to level an RV no matter what kind you might have, because you never know when you'll be asked that very question.

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