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Old 08-09-2016, 03:52 PM   #1
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New to this whole RV thing - leveling question on a 2016 Pursuit

Hi all,

Hubby and I are new to the RV world. We just purchased our first - a 2016 Coachmen Pursuit 30FW. We took her out to go 'boondocking' at the in-laws to see what she could do. Overall, pretty well. We made our fair share of mistakes and have a list of things to talk to the dealer about, but it seems that's pretty typical.

Anyway, my specific question is on leveling. The in-laws have a gravel driveway, but it's relatively level. We did as we were told - parked, auto leveled, then put our slide out. Our slide extends from the driver's seat to the back - it's huge!

Anyway, after leveling, the RV feels "off" to me. I feel like it definitely leans towards the slide, which would make sense because the slide is out. We were specifically told not to level after the slide is out. If we need to make manual adjustments that's fine, but do it before the slide is out. This makes sense to me.

Hubby wasn't worried - we even took a level inside the rig and while the bubble was slightly towards the slide end, it was still between the lines. But to me it felt really, really obvious.

I'm concerned about 2 things:

1) We'll tip over if we're in the RV hanging out and too much weight is put on the slide. Ridiculous? Maybe. How much is too much weight? I don't know. We didn't have much packed in there - clothes, sheets, towels, pots and pans, food, etc. But if three of us sat on the couch?

2) We'll damage the slide. Even though it's "level" according to the auto-level, if it's not really level we'll damage the slide going in and out.

It also seemed to rock back and forth pretty easily (again, I'm paranoid.) But I could feel when hubby got up to take the dogs out in the morning. (He slept on the bunk and I slept in the queen bed with our daughter.) I understand putting stabilizers under the slide is a bad idea, because if the ground shifts or there is too much rocking it could get the slide off track. Is it worth getting some stabilizers for the chassis though? I know the levelers are supposed stabilize as well, but we still felt movement. We are new to this, so maybe this is completely normal.

Oh, and for what it's worth - all tires were firmly on the ground after leveling.

Any advice is appreciated!

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Old 08-09-2016, 04:15 PM   #2
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Above all else, remember, you're never going to be "rock solid" like a real house. We have a little motion even with the levellers down. Bigger people....bigger movement.

You seem to not believe the level you're using. Have you compared it's reading to somewhere in your real home to believe what is level according to the bubble?

I use the auto levelling system in our motor home, but I also purchased a small round stick-on bubble level to compare to. Make sure to use a solid surface when using your level for a bubble reading....the main floor, as opposed to a counter in the actual slide or the dashboard.

See what happens, and good luck.


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Old 08-09-2016, 04:20 PM   #3
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Welcome to RVing. I think you are over thinking this. Level when you arrive then put out your slides.

I don't think I am ever perfectly level, but I know you are not going to tip over.
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Old 08-09-2016, 04:23 PM   #4
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New to this whole RV thing - leveling question on a 2016 Pursuit

Once level with slide in put your level in the same place then slide the slide in and see if it changes, it's possible the auto level needs re calibrated.
I've leveled before then put the slides out and a day later with soft ground the camper settles, I just hit auto level again with slides out.

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Old 08-09-2016, 06:32 PM   #5
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leveling quetion

Hi, my wife and i bought the same 16 model, and overall are pleased after some initial issues with the slide (see slide saga further down the page). As for leveling, I was told by tech at our walkthrough to not rely on the auto level feature, and to level manually. I have tried both ways, and the auto procedure has never let me down yet. Due to the size of the slide, I too experience a little lean sensation, but a spare bubble level indicates I am within reasonable everytime. I do get a little worried if a tire come off the ground (has happened a couple times) so I picked up some lego style blocks to "pre-level" with if the space is not level enough, and the auto system takes a wheel off the ground. I just drop it back down, drive up on the blocks on the side needed and re-auto level. No issues otherwise. Good luck to you!
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Old 08-10-2016, 06:11 PM   #6
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hoosier, in your post you said: "We were specifically told not to level after the slide is out." I was just wondering who told you this? No one ever told us that on our pre purchase walk thru and I always level AFTER putting the slides out. Does anyone out there know if or how this method can damage anything?
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Old 08-10-2016, 06:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Gatch View Post
hoosier, in your post you said: "We were specifically told not to level after the slide is out." I was just wondering who told you this? No one ever told us that on our pre purchase walk thru and I always level AFTER putting the slides out. Does anyone out there know if or how this method can damage anything?

I realize you posted your question to the OP, but I have the same year make and model and was also told to level first then extend slide. (our unit has an auto level system and it can jerk you around a bit as it figures out what it needs to do to get level.

With that said, I think the individual model of slide and coach is going to have a big say in what is the best procedure. OP and I have a giant Lippert slide that literally barely clears the driver seat at the front end and ends at the rear wall of the other words the entire driver side of the coach is a single slide!

I would research your specific slide mechanism(brand and style ((racks and gears, cables, hydraulics, etc) and then talk to a service tech that knows your beast as to your best practices.

As a side note, when i had my unit in for slide repairs, my local Camping World is next door to an RV dealer, and they always have a class C (probably a 28footer) parked on a crazy incline display like a rock crawling jeep would be on, with its slide extended. After having my slide stuck in the out position on its maiden voyage, everytime I see that thing parked like that I get a chill down my spine.

anyway your mileage may vary, but I dont think there is one perfect answer due to all the of different styles of slides out there on the market right now.

good luck
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Old 08-10-2016, 07:18 PM   #8
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Thanks all!

Thank you all - I greatly appreciate you giving my crazy self peace of mind.

kenandterry - I do need to keep in mind we'll never be rock solid. When I'm outside looking around the coach and see the levelers down with the tires I think - wow, this looks stable! So when I'm inside I need to remind myself of this. I will reassure myself with the level inside as well, good idea! I plan to go ahead and buy one to keep with us at all times. I believe we put the level on the table, which probably wasn't right - so I'll put it on the floor from now on.

Epat - I absolutely am overthinking this. I believe I've been told by so many people how horrible of an idea this is (especially because we have a 1.5 year old) that I'm worried beyond the norm. Mom worry I guess!

Turbs - I mentioned this to hubby, we will recalibrate in our driveway to see if that helps. Found how to do it in the manual!

scotttkd - I did read that! Crazy what you went through with the slide! I'd be a mess if that was us. Luckily so far we've just had a few minor issues (microwave doesn't work, fuse panel is loose, black/gray valves were loose, etc.) Only once when we leveled did a tire come off the ground (we were parked at the end of the in-laws driveway instead of the top) and once we were at the top it was fine. But we definitely invested in the lego style blocks at the dealership so we'd be good when we camp elsewhere. Once place near home that we love to camp and can't wait to take the RV has gravel spots, so I'm sure we'll need them.

Gatch - we were told at the dealership by the tech who walked us through the whole thing to never level after the slides are out. Like scotttkd said, we have auto levelers and an auto slide that is huge. We were basically told that it's very important not to move the slide if the coach isn't level, as this can get it off track and apparently that's not a fun thing to fix. I'm sure there is some wiggle room (or maybe I just say that to make myself feel better) but since I heard it from the salesman and the tech, it's ingrained in my head.

I think the more we take this thing out the more comfortable I will be with it. We have to take the coach back in for some minor things - like I mentioned before the microwave isn't working, our black/gray water valves are loose (glad we didn't have anything but water in the things when driving...eek), and the fuse panel doesn't latch, so I plan to ask the dealer.

Overall we're very happy and cannot wait to take it out again! I think we'll be spending most of our weekends camping now more often than not!

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