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Old 04-12-2011, 01:34 AM   #1
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What are we leveling and why?

The follow-up would be how close is close enough?

I’m guessing that the following are listed in decreasing order of importance:
1. Drains
2. Refrigerator
3. Slides
4. Stove
5. Living space

Drains: Since there is not as much vertical space to work with as there is in a house, it would be easy to overcome what little slope there is in the lines. Being new to modern RVs, I imagine that the bottom of the fixture is mounted as high above the floor (and tank) as possible to add some ‘head’ (e.g., the tub in our 2011 Rockwood 2601S is about 6” above the floor).

Refrigerator: From camping with my folks’ slide in during the early ‘70’s; this was the most important item. (OK the 2nd for our camper: a full gray water tank and a high front passenger side meant standing in a puddle to use the WC.)

Slides: Here I imagine pushing the slide out and up a hill, or dragging in up a hill might overwhelm the motors. Although what ultimately matters is how level when you get the slides out. However, once they’re out, I’m not too excited about hooking back up to the truck and jockeying the trailer around to get closer – I don’t really know if a trailer can even be moved safely with a slide extended.

Stove: Avoiding the burned spots when all of your sausages keep rolling to the edge of the pan. I can also imagine the gravy deeper on one side of the pan than the other.

Living Space: Doors staying put and not having to sleep with your feet above your head.

I reviewed the threads (Leveling Your Rv? and Leveling TT) and some others, but I didn’t see a real conclusion. I suspect it is unlikely that I can assume the ‘fridge was installed level with respect to the floor, or that the bumper is still aligned and not wracked a bit.

Did I miss something? Are these thoughts reasonable? (Should I have bumped the old thread? Is this so basic that I should have picked "Rockwood Rookie" for my username?)
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:04 AM   #2
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Leveling is mostly done for the refrigerater, it does not operate with a compresor as your house one does. As for how level is level get bullseye level and place if ref. as long a part of the bubble is in center should be ok. The drains are not a problem, yes water does not run up hill but for a standard RV site you will not have a problem. That will hold true with balance of list.

As I have a 5th wheel and use boards under the tires to level the frame, and the body of trailer follows, it can not get 100%.

Most of the time the front to back level is greater than side to side. This however is taken care of by the front power jack.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:25 AM   #3
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When my trailer was new I bought 2 stick on bubble
levels at the RV isle of Wally World.
I leveled my trailer in the driveway using a 4' carpenters
level. I did that by placing a jack under the low side
and jacking it level side to side. Then I used the tongue
jack to level it front to back.
Once I was satisfied it was as good as I could get it,
I stuck on the little peel and stick bubbles on the front
right corner, making sure they also showed level-
One on the front and one on the side.

From that day on I simply use those little bubbles to
check level as we back in. If I need a board or 2 under
a tire I have both 3/4 deck boards and some 1 1/2.
IF the bubble is touching a line, that's close enough.
I finish with the tongue jack. When I use a drill
to run the corner stabilizers down I watch the bubbles.
If I'm touching a line I can run the corner jacks down
a little tighter on the low side and get the bubbles
right in the middle.

It's fast, easy and my refer is cold.

My trailer has a flat roof. I sometimes set the front a
tad high (bubble touching the line) just to make the roof
AC condensate drain off the back end.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:44 AM   #4
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KYDan, that was the first thing I did when I brought my trailer home saturday was level it and put the levels on the camper. It helps with setup as soon as you get there.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:13 AM   #5
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Ah hah! If there is no compressor/pump in the 'fridge; it is relying on natural convection to move the working fluid through the expanding section (where the propane heat is applied when it runs on propane). For that it would need to be properly up and down. I guess that I assume that the fridge is more or less square to itself; so a bullseye level in the bottom of 'fridge should give me the first target.

It sounds that for my next trip out I need to grab:
- a bullseye level for the 'fridge
- bring a whiskey stick of whatever length I can find around the house
- pick up a couple of stick-on bubble levels
Head out to a camp ground or someplace where I can find a place to set the trailer up.

Since I have stabilizers and not leveling jacks, I'll need to use the 'boards under the wheels' approach for side-to-side. While hooked to the truck; that's probably the most important direction to check. Front-to-back will have to come after I disconnect - but it would be smart to note how close and which direction I'm off.

Once the refrigerator is level, I can compare it against the floor. Not much I can do if they don't agree; but that would help me know what would be close enough. It must not need to be perfect, or it wouldn't work off of the propane while I pull the trailer down the road - that can only be level 'on the average.'

Then I'll want the slide out to see if that changes the initial side-to-side level much. Once the inside is good - it's time to put on the outside levels.

I like the idea of having the stick-on bubble levels near the tongue; since that's where the power jack is front to back. There is a lot of up and down there that goes on to disconnect the load distributing hitch. That affects the front-to-back.

Now to tell the wife and kids we have to take the trailer out soon - we have a mission.
Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:23 AM   #6
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I have been told by several dealer it need not be perfect, that being said I always set the slide side slightly high as we have 2 slides and it will always go low after they are deployed and I like to end up with the slide side slightly low when done so if it rains the water moves away from the side of the trailer out to the edge of the slide (ya Ya I know slide toppers prevents this, there I said it first) and front to back we try to get perfect. We have all manual jacks and stabilizers and the DW mans the level in the trailer for front to back and I have to say I am getting pretty good at judging what we need for boards just looking at the trailer. We have never had an issue with the fridge using this method in any of our units.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:35 AM   #7
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Hate to say this, but not only am I a "Weight Nazi" but I am a fanatic about leveling.

I hate standing in a shower that won't drain.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:55 AM   #8
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Read some of the other threads and have some input and a question..

I used simple bubble levels on our popup and never got it super level and we survived -but it had no running water or fridge.

I like the idea in the other thread of level it to make the floor level, check that your sink drains - in other words, define 'level' for you then attach the levels to the trailer so they read level.

I read that the best location is the left front of the trailer - as the driver you'll be getting out of the TV to check level and you'll always pass that point so make it convenient for yourself, or your assistant to see them. so eye level is better than down on the tounge or frame where you'll have to bend and stoop to see them.

Question: I assume one levels the wheels, then tounge upon unhooking, then the jacks/supports go down, then the slide(s) go out. If one does the slide (or beds on a hybrid) before the supports are in place the slide will shift the weight on the suspension throwing everything off.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:21 AM   #9
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Lou............I can count on you to give me a chuckle, while reading these threads!!!
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prof_fate View Post
I read that the best location is the left front of the trailer - as the driver you'll be getting out of the TV to check level and you'll always pass that point so make it convenient for yourself, or your assistant to see them. so eye level is better than down on the tongue or frame where you'll have to bend and stoop to see them.

Question: I assume one levels the wheels, then tongue upon unhooking, then the jacks/supports go down, then the slide(s) go out. If one does the slide (or beds on a hybrid) before the supports are in place the slide will shift the weight on the suspension throwing everything off.
Well, since unhooking and setting up the outside is my job while DW walks the dog, I like the levels being near the switches for the landing gear. I will be adding a LARGE left right level on the pin box this year. It will save a step since now I have to stop and get out to check if I even need L/R leveling and can just shut down.

Your question can be made a statement.
That is exactly the way I do it.
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