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How To Level Your Travel Trailer
I was looking through some RV forums recently and noticed many questions about how to level a travel trailer on a slope. So I did some research and learned a few things myself that I thought would be interesting to share.
Leveling your travel trailer is important for two reasons. First, it makes your camper much more comfortable for sleeping and walking around inside. Second, and most people don’t know this, it helps to ensure that your gas refrigerator functions properly. The reason a gas powered refrigerator needs to be level is that it relies on gravity to cool properly. The more out of level the camper and refrigerator are the less efficient the fridge is at keeping food cold.
So how do you level a travel trailer on a slope? Begin by leveling the travel trailer from side to side, chock the wheels and then level it from front to back by adjusting the tongue jack. When done properly your travel trailer will be stable and ready for you to safely enjoy.
Things You Will Need
Level The Camper From Side to Side First
First things first. Before you level the travel trailer find the flattest place to park. Clear the area of any debris like big rocks or branches to avoid having them interfere with leveling the travel trailer. Finding the flattest place to park will minimize the amount of slope and make leveling the camper a little easier. If possible, try to position the travel trailer so the slope runs from front to back rather than side to side. Once you have the travel trailer or camper in the best position, it’s time to begin leveling it.
Use the level to estimate how much you will need to raise the low side of the travel trailer to level it. An inexpensive bubble level is all you need to level the travel trailer. Sometimes people get confused when using a level. Lay the level from left to right on the camper’s rear bumper. The bubble in the level will float to the high side of the camper. You will need to raise the lower side of the camper which is the side opposite the bubble. It is important to remember to keep the travel trailer hitched until you are finished leveling it from side to side.
Once you have guesstimated the number of blocks you will need to level the camper it’s time to place the leveling blocks in front of the tires. Plastic leveling blocks are like super strong Lego blocks for campers. Snap them together to form a ramp for the camper and place them in front of the wheel you need to raise. If your travel trailer or camper has dual wheels you will need to place the leveling blocks in front of both wheels.
You can also use DIY wood leveling blocks instead of plastic leveling blocks. Just remember that the wood should be slightly wider than the tires. The downside to using wood is that it is heavier than plastic leveling blocks and it can crack. Wood blocks can also slide out of place when driving the travel trailer on them. Obviously, if the wood is rotten or broken, it shouldn’t be used.
Once you have the leveling blocks in place, drive the camper onto the blocks. Slowly drive the camper forward onto the leveling blocks and have someone to guide you so you know exactly when to stop. The tires should be directly on top of the blocks. If part of the tire is not on the leveling blocks you will need to drive off and reposition the blocks to make sure the entire tire is supported by the leveling blocks.
Check to see if the camper is level once you have it situated on the leveling blocks. If the camper is not level you will need to slowly back off the blocks and add or remove a block to level the camper. Once your camper is leveled, place the wheel chocks on the wheels on both sides of the camper.
Place the chocks under each wheel, wedging them in place by hand. Place them beneath the downhill side of the wheels. Wheel chocks are important to hold the camper still but many folks don’t think they need to use them – you DO need wheel chocks. Normally a camper will move after people start walking around inside the camper, which makes the camper rock a little bit and then it can move. The wheel chocks keep the camper still, so use them even when you think you don’t need them.
Another Option to Level Your Travel Trailer
Another way to level your travel trailer is with Andersen Levelers. Andersen Levelers take the guesswork out of leveling your travel trailer. Therefore, you won’t drive onto the leveling blocks, find out the camper is still not level, then drive off and add or remove a block and then drive back on. Anderson Levelers have a wedge system that allows you to drive onto the wedge and pull forward until the camper is level and then you chock the wedge. It is also very important to chock the wheels on both sides of the travel trailer when using the Anderson Levelers. Just check out the video below to see how they work.
Level The Camper From Front To Back
To level the travel trailer from front to back start by either setting the jack in a wheel dock or placing a few pieces of thick strong wood under the tongue jack. The tongue jack is the front part of the travel trailer that connects to your vehicle. Once you have a solid resting spot for the jack, raise it and unhitch the camper from your vehicle’s bumper. Move your vehicle out of the way so you can finish leveling and stabilizing the camper.
Place the level inside your camper door on the floor and check to see how level it is from front to back. Then raise or lower the jack to level the camper. Usually, the jack will have a hand crank or an electric crank that you can turn to raise or lower it on its metal shaft. Continue to raise or lower the jack until the camper is level from front to back.
Place a plastic or wood leveling block wood under each of the camper’s stabilizing jacks, which are located at the four corners of the camper. The stabilizing jacks aren’t meant for leveling your camper so never use them for that purpose or they could break. Stabilizer jacks are simply meant to prevent your camper from rocking and falling out of level. If your camper doesn’t have stabilizer jacks, you can have them professionally installed or you can place jack stands under the camper’s four corners.
How To Level a Travel Trailer on a Steep Slope
The best advice is to park your travel trailer somewhere else! But, if that isn’t an option you can follow the steps above but you need to add additional blocking under the leveling blocks on the low side of the travel trailer. However, this can be very difficult because the base you create needs to be level and you will be building on the uneven ground. So, what do you do?
The best option is to dig down a couple of inches and level the ground itself like in the picture to the right. You will need a shovel and a small level to do this and it doesn’t take long. Most importantly, it is the safest way to create a safe level base for your camper to sit on. I’ve seen folks try to shove rocks or small boards under the bottom board to try to make it level and it is very unsafe.
If you start with a good base you can ramp your travel trailer up higher and level it even on a steep slope.
RELATED READING: Check out our article called 10 Most Googled Travel Trailer Camping Questions for even more great info that people search for most often about travel trailers.
I hope you have found this article helpful for leveling your travel trailer or camper. If done correctly your camper will be sturdy and safe and the fridge will operate efficiently too! Check out some of our other articles related to this topic such as Can I Park an RV in My Driveway? Most of the time I see RV’s out of level they are parked in people’s driveways.
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