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Old 03-28-2023, 07:21 PM   #1
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Importance of Leveling When Not In Use

As the title says, how important is it to have my travel trailer level when it's sitting in the yard unused?

2020 Salem 178bhsk...23ft length and ~3500lbs dry weight.

My yard has zero flat spots. I best position I have available, the unit sits about 2Ĺ inches lower on the LEFT side vs right. The tongue also sits close to 3 inches low. Should I make the effort to get my wood planks under it as needed to get it as close as I can to level? I don't operate the slide or any appliances when not camping. I have it hooked to power from the house to maintain the battery, but that's it.

Input? Opinions? Facts?
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Old 03-28-2023, 07:28 PM   #2
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In my opinion, the primary worry about being unlevel is if you are running the traditional rv gas/electric refrigerator, which can be an issue over time. You say you are not using the appliances, so I don't think you'll have any problems. I suppose if you end up very unlevel, you could possibly end up with water flowing into something that it's not supposed to, but the way you describe your situation, I don't think you'll have that problem either.

From what I've heard, the newer RV gas/electric refrigerators are not nearly as susceptible to damage from being unlevel as older units were, so you would probably even be fine with the amount of tilt you describe if you decided to run the fridge for a bit.
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Old 03-28-2023, 07:58 PM   #3
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Our parking place in the yard is not level. I place a single 2 x 10 about 4 ft long on the ground, low side, and back the trailer wheels onto the 2 x 10. It is now level from left to right. Then with the tongue jack, again with a piece of 2 x 10 under the foot to keep it from sinking into the dirt, I elevate the trailer so it is sloping to the rear a small amount.

I do keep power applied when not being used. This is to keep the batteries charged, allow the furnace to operate when cold and allows the AC to operate when hot. I keep the furnace thermostat at 50 degrees and the AC thermostat at 80 degrees. This keeps the trailer acclimated year around when not being used. Thus no mold, and no musty smells.

The amount of electric energy and LP consumed is insignificant compared to the overall price of the trailer. In other words, I much prefer to take excellent care of my items. Likewise, the truck stays in the garage when not being driven. I find maintenance cost is much less in both cases.

Bob

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Old 03-28-2023, 08:27 PM   #4
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I would not worry about it if there is a problem leveling in the yard. If kept outside though I'd want to angle it a bit to get roof water run-off going in your preferred direction.
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Old 03-28-2023, 08:47 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by cc102bob View Post
In my opinion, the primary worry about being unlevel is if you are running the traditional rv gas/electric refrigerator, which can be an issue over time.
This.
I donít worry about my trailer being level if Iím not running my gas/electric refrigerator.
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Old 03-29-2023, 06:06 AM   #6
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I always level my TT when stored. I do think it is generally a good idea since all TT systems are designed to function in a level environment. If for some reason I forgot to level, I wouldn't be upset.
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Old 03-29-2023, 08:07 AM   #7
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You really only need to be level for two reasons - operating an absorption (gas/electric) refrigerator and to operate the slides. I store mine fairly level so I can turn the fridge on the day before a trip without having to fiddle with levelling it.
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Old 03-29-2023, 09:04 AM   #8
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Only thing I'm concerned with storing the trailer unused is it sinking into the lawn and getting it in and out of the yard. Level? I never park my camper(s) level when not used as I want the rain to run off the roof and not pool on top.

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Old 03-29-2023, 01:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by GoldDot40 View Post
As the title says, how important is it to have my travel trailer level when it's sitting in the yard unused?

2020 Salem 178bhsk...23ft length and ~3500lbs dry weight.

My yard has zero flat spots. I best position I have available, the unit sits about 2Ĺ inches lower on the LEFT side vs right. The tongue also sits close to 3 inches low. Should I make the effort to get my wood planks under it as needed to get it as close as I can to level? I don't operate the slide or any appliances when not camping. I have it hooked to power from the house to maintain the battery, but that's it.

Input? Opinions? Facts?
No reason to ever have the tongue low (or high) since you can use the tongue jack to make it level.
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Old 03-29-2023, 01:14 PM   #10
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A lot of over thinking going on here
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Old 03-29-2023, 08:03 PM   #11
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Why are folks using Dry Weight numbers for their RV?

Why is it that folks keep using Dry Weight numbers for their RV?

Those numbers were valid when the RV left the factory. After that, things and stuff were added and the dry weight numbers are no longer applicable, other than numbers filling a blank space on the placard.

Using Dry Weight is really kidding yourself into believing something false.

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Old 03-29-2023, 10:00 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Bob K4TAX View Post
Why is it that folks keep using Dry Weight numbers for their RV?



Those numbers were valid when the RV left the factory. After that, things and stuff were added and the dry weight numbers are no longer applicable, other than numbers filling a blank space on the placard.



Using Dry Weight is really kidding yourself into believing something false.



Bob
Because it is a known weight and a good place to start when you can't actually weigh the RV yet. When comparing RVs I always look at dry weight and know I have to add about 1500lbs to 2000lbs for actual weight.
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Old 03-29-2023, 10:55 PM   #13
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You really only need to be level for two reasons - operating an absorption (gas/electric) refrigerator and to operate the slides. I store mine fairly level so I can turn the fridge on the day before a trip without having to fiddle with levelling it.
I've heard that the absorption fridges need to be level within +- 3 degrees. At +- 3 degrees for the OP's 23' long trailer that means the tongue has to be +- 1 foot and the sides have to be +- 5 inches. So not nearly as level as people think.

For the slides I don't know the magic number. I do like to only use them when fairly level so thats the way I try to keep the trailer.

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Old 03-30-2023, 07:14 AM   #14
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1. GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) is a better planning weight and takes even less math -- as in no math --than dry weight plus "about 1500lbs to 2000lbs for actual weight" especially considering many campers or "RVs" don't have 1500 - 2000 lbs cargo capacity to start with. My Roo has less than 1000 pounds CCC for example but I can read the GVWR right on the placard on the side of the trailer or on that label pasted inside a cupboard in the galley.

2. Absorption refrigerator needs to be in a vehicle level enough to sleep in and if it isn't running can be at any angle. Three (3) degrees needs to be measured against a base of the axles (pivot point) or about half the total length but is still over 7" for the example length. As the tongue goes up the rear bumper goes down and vv.

#1 took no effort to compute. #2 took a second cup of coffee...

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Old 03-30-2023, 08:33 AM   #15
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1. GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) is a better planning weight and takes even less math -- as in no math --than dry weight plus "about 1500lbs to 2000lbs for actual weight" especially considering many campers or "RVs" don't have 1500 - 2000 lbs cargo capacity to start with. My Roo has less than 1000 pounds CCC for example but I can read the GVWR right on the placard on the side of the trailer or on that label pasted inside a cupboard in the galley.

2. Absorption refrigerator needs to be in a vehicle level enough to sleep in and if it isn't running can be at any angle. Three (3) degrees needs to be measured against a base of the axles (pivot point) or about half the total length but is still over 7" for the example length. As the tongue goes up the rear bumper goes down and vv.

#1 took no effort to compute. #2 took a second cup of coffee...

-- Chuck
Ah Chuck....
GVWR is perfectly fine to use, but it is an estimate, not a real measured weight, and can vary wildly depending on the model and how they came up with CC. Not good for my purposes of comparison, which is related to actual weight I can tow with my TV.
I only look at towables with dry weights of around 10k, as that is MY range. I know from experience with scales that I usually load about 1500lbs above dry weight, 2000lbs for wiggle room. That is what works best for me and I'm not afraid of a little math with actual known weights I am also not afraid of the dry weight number, as I know exactly what it means.
Of course, if you are looking at lighter towables, your numbers will be very different, which might require math and a pot of coffee....
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Old 03-30-2023, 11:12 AM   #16
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Why is it that folks keep using Dry Weight numbers for their RV?

Those numbers were valid when the RV left the factory. After that, things and stuff were added and the dry weight numbers are no longer applicable, other than numbers filling a blank space on the placard.

Using Dry Weight is really kidding yourself into believing something false.

Bob
I brought up the dry weight AND length (in case you missed it) for the sole purpose of describing the size of the camper. I couldn't imagine everybody here knows exactly how big/small a Salem 178bhsk is off the top of their head unless they own one. I fully understand the difference is dry weight vs GVWR vs GVW. I'm a Class A CDL driver and pull a fuel tanker for a living so I know how weight ratings work probably as well as anybody here as weight matters on my job.

The point of describing the size of the camper is because I'm not familiar about how well these things take being parked unevenly for weeks at a time in regard to chassis distortion/twist. I imagine larger units would probably benefit from being stored as level as possible vs this single axle unit. This is my 1st camper so I came here to ask questions I need constuctive answers to...but if I'm on the wrong site to seek answers, then let me know.
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Old 03-30-2023, 11:55 AM   #17
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I’d say your trailer is fine stored where it is. Although, I also wondered about being unlevel fore and aft when you have a tongue jack?
However, for storage, I like my trailer level as I can get it. No fridge or drainage concerns, plus I occasionally nap in it and I want my bed level
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Old 03-30-2023, 12:17 PM   #18
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Hint

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Originally Posted by GoldDot40 View Post
I brought up the dry weight AND length (in case you missed it) for the sole purpose of describing the size of the camper. I couldn't imagine everybody here knows exactly how big/small a Salem 178bhsk is off the top of their head unless they own one.
Here's a hint for you:
When a trailer model begins with numeric characters, that's often the length. For example, your unit could be 17.8 feet long or 17"8" long (about the same). It's not clear if that's the box length or ball to bumper. But we won't mistake it for a 30-footer.

We can also guess that it's a BunkHouse unit, maybe with a Slide Kitchen.

This rule does not always apply. The Rockwood 8200 and 8300 series are NOT 83' long.
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Old 03-30-2023, 12:46 PM   #19
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Here's a hint for you:
When a trailer model begins with numeric characters, that's often the length. For example, your unit could be 17.8 feet long or 17"8" long (about the same). It's not clear if that's the box length or ball to bumper. But we won't mistake it for a 30-footer.

We can also guess that it's a BunkHouse unit, maybe with a Slide Kitchen.

This rule does not always apply. The Rockwood 8200 and 8300 series are NOT 83' long.
My SIL’s previous toy hauler model number had 4 numbers in it and they referenced the GVWR of the trailer.
My little camper’s model number is roughly the trailer floor base length.
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Old 03-30-2023, 01:10 PM   #20
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. This is my 1st camper so I came here to ask questions I need constuctive answers to...but if I'm on the wrong site to seek answers, then let me know.
You're on the right site. Your original post gave lots of useful information. We just sometimes wander in our replies because everyone is trying to help.

You said you don't use the appliances, so you should be fine storing it with the side to side unlevel and the tongue not level.

Just make certain you pull it out and make it level BEFORE you put out the slide or turn on the refrigerator. Monitoring it so that it doesn't sink into the yard is also a good idea, but you probably already knew that.
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