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When you arrive at a campsite, you’ll need to level your RV. But manually leveling with blocks can be a bit of a hassle. The much easier solution is to use auto RV leveling jacks.
An auto-leveling system takes all the work out of leveling. All you need to do is press a button and it does the rest. This level of convenience is hard to beat, and probably has you wondering: can you add auto RV leveling jacks to your motorhome or trailer?
Can You Add Auto RV Leveling Jacks to a Motorhome or Trailer?
Many RVs will come with leveling jacks pre-installed, but if you don’t already have them, auto RV leveling jacks can definitely be installed aftermarket. Whether you have a motorhome or a trailer, there are RV leveling jacks available for your rig.
Auto RV leveling systems will typically cost between $2,000 and $5,000 for the system itself. If you want to have it professionally installed, you’ll typically be looking at installation fees of $500 to $1,000+, depending on the system, your RV, and where you have it done.
2 Types of Auto RV Leveling Systems
1. Electric RV Leveling Systems
Electric systems are slower and tend to be less expensive. The biggest advantage to electric RV leveling jacks is the ease of maintenance. If your system breaks down and you need to fix it, you’ll have a much easier time fixing an electric system yourself than a hydraulic one.
2. Hydraulic RV Leveling Systems
Hydraulic RV leveling jacks provide faster, smoother leveling than electric ones. But these are more expensive systems. If anything breaks down, you’ll have a much harder time fixing a complicated hydraulic system.
Are There Different Types of Auto-Leveling Systems for Motorhomes and Trailers?
Yes, there are different types of auto-leveling systems for different kinds of RVs. A travel trailer will need a system for the stabilizers and tongue jack. Fifth wheels may have four or six jacks that use either a hydraulic or electric motor.
Motorhome stabilizer jacks can vary due to the Class. Typically, Class B and Class C RVs don’t have installed jacks. Adding the wiring for the controller can complicate the installation.
There are also weight and balance issues to consider. For example, RV leveling jacks for fifth wheels will need a higher weight capacity than leveling jacks for a travel trailer.
How Do Auto RV Leveling Jacks Work?
Auto RV leveling jacks are typically operated with a control panel inside the RV. They can sometimes be operated with an app on your phone as well!
To get your RV perfectly level every time, you’ll need to calibrate your new automatic RV leveling system when you first install it.
Calibration requires you to manually adjust each jack with the control panel until the RV is level, then save these settings to the system. To do this, you’ll have to use the old-fashioned method of checking if you’re level with a bubble level on the floor of your RV or installing one on the outside of your camper.
After you’ve calibrated the auto-leveling system, the next time you arrive at your campsite, all you have to do to activate your auto RV leveling jacks by pressing a button. Using an electric motor or a hydraulic system, the jacks will extend from the RV and self-level.
The RV auto-leveling system uses a sensor and the previously-inputted calibration data to recognize when your RV is level. The control pad will also let you make manual adjustments, in case your RV still isn’t quite level for any reason.
Should You DIY or Have it Done Professionally?
Auto RV leveling jacks can be installed DIY, but it’s no small undertaking. There are a variety of different parts to install, plus electrical components you’ll need to wire. But if you’re up to the task, it’s definitely possible – plus most kits will include all the hardware you need.
For most people, it’s recommended to have a professional installation done (especially if you purchase a hydraulic system). Auto leveling jacks are complicated, with multiple moving parts. Having a professional handle the installation will ensure everything is installed properly and will likely save you a few headaches.
Benefits of Auto RV Leveling Jack Systems
The biggest benefit of automatic leveling jack systems is convenience. Simply press a button and the system does the rest. It simply couldn’t be easier.
RV leveling jacks also save you time and effort. They do their work in minutes, saving your back and time in the sun (or rain) while you manually level your rig. This is also helpful if you have to level your RV on a slope, or in any other inconvenient situations.
Cons of an Auto RV Leveling System
Auto RV leveling jacks are super convenient, but they do have a few downsides including:
- An extra system that needs maintenance
- Extra weight
The biggest downside is probably the cost. If your RV doesn’t come with an auto-leveling system installed, adding one aftermarket could cost you $5,000 or more.
Adding an auto-leveling system also means a new component that could fail in your RV. If you have an electric system, you may be able to repair it yourself. But if your system is hydraulic, you’ll likely need professional help should any issues arise.
Auto leveling jacks also add extra weight to your rig. The Lippert Ground Control 3.0 leveling system for fifth wheels weighs just under 190 pounds. Extra weight reduces fuel economy and puts you closer to your weight limit, so you’ll need to be conscious of it.
While 190 pounds might not seem like a lot, when your rig is loaded down for your next adventure and full of water, the additional weight adds up quickly.
Finally, auto RV leveling jacks will still require you to put blocks down in some situations. Namely in hot weather, as the small feet of some leveling jacks can sink into the loose dirt. In this case, you’ll need to put a block or something else under the feet to prevent this.
Wrapping Up – Is it Time to Level Up?
Auto RV leveling jacks make leveling your RV faster and easier. These systems provide an incredible convenience. If you want leveling jacks on a rig that didn’t come with them, there are kits available to add them to your RV, which can be installed professionally or DIY.
Once your automatic leveling jacks are installed and calibrated, one press of a button inside your RV is all it takes to get level. That means less time leveling your RV, and more time enjoying your campsite.