Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-08-2014, 02:28 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
gsalsa06's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 25
Need advice on leveling

I have a small coachmen clipper ultralight. 20' total exterior single axle with 4 stabilizers. My question is depending on how uneven the ground is, do I need to use wood blocks/leveler blocks under tires for side to side leveling and leveling blocks under stabilizers for front and back leveling? I can never seem to get completing leveled by just using the yellow level blocks under stabilizers. I wasn't using a impact drill, just a regular drill and the stabilizers only go down so far. Do I need impact drill, do I need an add'l 10pck of yellow level blocks, and should I have some wood blocks for tires and if so what is a good size for my small 13' tires. Do I even need to be completely level if it doesn't bother me? Thanks for any help.
gsalsa06 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 02:34 PM   #2
Always Learning
 
ependydad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Four Corners, FL
Posts: 21,245
RV Leveling is Quick and Easy

Leveling a RV is actually a fairly quick and easy process once you get used to it. For the lucky elite, they push a button that said "level" and the rig uses an automated system and levels itself (even to the point of raising the RV off of it's tires if need be). For the rest of us, we're stuck with doing it by hand. It's still pretty easy, though - if one side is lower than the other, you raise that side. You do this side to side first and then front to back. The end. (Seriously, it's that easy!)

Our Leveling Process
  1. Finagle the camper into position on the site where the boss ultimately wants it to be
  2. She grabs the 2' level and places it on the floor inside of the door for a side to side measurement
  3. In her head, she somehow turns that into how many blocks she needs to stack together and lays them out beside of the tires
  4. I either pull the truck and camper forward or backwards, depending on clearance and my mood
  5. She slides the stack of blocks to where the tires were
  6. I then pull the truck and camper onto the blocks
  7. Go to #2 and repeat until "level" has been achieved
  8. I then unhitch from the truck (always ensuring that the wheels are chocked!) and pull the truck out of the way
  9. She moves the level so that it's measuring the front-to-back level-ness
  10. Using the tongue jack or front landing gear, we raise or lower the camper until the level reads level (say that 5 times fast)
  11. Finally, we lower our rear stabilizers and get them "snug"

How to Raise the Low Side

You have 2 products for leveling side to side:
  1. Plain old lumber
  2. Plastic "Lego"-like Lynx Blocks
They both work. They both have advantages and disadvantages and neither is better than the other - seriously.

The advantages to wood is that it's usually readily available and if you have scraps, it can be very cheap (aka free). You usually don't care if it breaks or even in a pinch, you can burn it (both good and bad here!). I try to carry a few 2x10 pieces and a couple of 1x6 pieces and even a piece of 1/2" plywood. I haven't used the 1x6 or 1/2" plywood with the fifth wheel, but it was handy for dialing levelness for my pop-up.

The advantages to the Lynx blocks are that they're compact, lightweight and interlock (because they're like giant Legos). The disadvantage is that they can sink into soft ground, break in the cold and are fairly expensive (buy them from Walmart, not your local RV dealer if you want to save money). I'm up to 3 packs of these now because I can build a ramp that spans my 2 tires up to 4 blocks tall. The "ramp" is really nice and makes it a lot easier to drive up onto.

What *NOT* to Do

Many people look at the stabilizers hanging off of the back of an RV and think "levelers". There's a distinct difference. Stabilizers are not made to level the rig. Doing so can cause damage to them and to your frame (by twisting it as you raise the corners of your RV).

Don't be tempted to grab your drill or impact driver and torque away at these until you raise that corner. If you have done so already, undo it, hitch up and level the way that I described above.
__________________
2018 Ram 3500 DRW/crew cab/long bed/4x4/4.10 gears pulling a 2017 Spartan 1245 by Prime Time
Checkout my site for RVing tips, tricks, and info | Was a Fulltime Family for 5 years, now we're settlin' down for a spell
ependydad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 03:17 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
gsalsa06's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 25
ependydad-Thanks alot! I will use this method. Very helpful. So do I need to put any blocks under stabilizers at all for front and back leveling or just using the tongue jack? I assume just if need be due to a gap to fit snug? So using a regular drill just to mildly lower stabilizers is good enough, no need for an impact drill since I would have to purchase? And for the stackables for tires, I need to stack gradually higher to create a ramp, dont just stack single blocks say 3 high?
gsalsa06 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 03:26 PM   #4
Always Learning
 
ependydad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Four Corners, FL
Posts: 21,245
Your front to back leveling is only the tongue jack. You get level side to side and front to back before putting the stabilizers down at all.

People put blocks under the stabilizers to so that they aren't extended so far. This is supposed to help with the amount of movement you feel inside of the camper and help them stabilize better but aren't required.

A regular drill or hand crank are fine for your stabilizers. You want "snug" not "overly cranked". At most half a turn after the stabilizer makes contact with the ground.

And yes, you want a ramp to make it easier to get your camper pulled up onto the blocks. Like they show in their product picture:
__________________
2018 Ram 3500 DRW/crew cab/long bed/4x4/4.10 gears pulling a 2017 Spartan 1245 by Prime Time
Checkout my site for RVing tips, tricks, and info | Was a Fulltime Family for 5 years, now we're settlin' down for a spell
ependydad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 03:26 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Canonman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: South Jordan, Utah
Posts: 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsalsa06 View Post
I have a small coachmen clipper ultralight. 20' total exterior single axle with 4 stabilizers. My question is depending on how uneven the ground is, do I need to use wood blocks/leveler blocks under tires for side to side leveling and leveling blocks under stabilizers for front and back leveling? I can never seem to get completing leveled by just using the yellow level blocks under stabilizers. I wasn't using a impact drill, just a regular drill and the stabilizers only go down so far. Do I need impact drill, do I need an add'l 10pck of yellow level blocks, and should I have some wood blocks for tires and if so what is a good size for my small 13' tires. Do I even need to be completely level if it doesn't bother me? Thanks for any help.
I've only been at this for a little over a year, but here's what I've found to be the best method. Buy a bubble level for inside the fridge. Note: the fridge does not work well if it's not level. Level up the TT in a parking lot or driveway or some place fairly level to start with, using the bubble level in the fridge. Once you are level at that point, install some some small levels, one on the front and one on the side of the drivers side front corner of the TT so that they also represent level. That's your starting point. The fridge and therefore the TT are level.
Now go buy a "Camco Tri-Leveler" and some lego blocks. I got two packs of the blocks and did need to use more than one pack once.
Now the fun part. When you get where you are going and the DW has the TT right where she wants it, look at the level you installed on the front of the TT.
You'll see there is a low side. Put the Tri Leveler either in front or behind the wheel on the low side and move the TT up the Leveler until the level on the TT is in the center. Now CHOCK THE OPPOSITE WHEEL...BOTH DIRECTIONS.
Unhitch the TT, move the TV out of the way. Check the side level and use the tongue jack to level front to back. You should now be level side to side and front to back. Lower the stabilizers onto the lego pads and you're done. Whole process should only take about 10 minutes
All items I mentioned can be bought at Walmart and are very reasonable.
Happy camping!!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	_MG_5103.jpg
Views:	235
Size:	59.0 KB
ID:	51985  
Attached Images
  
Canonman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 03:27 PM   #6
Always Learning
 
ependydad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Four Corners, FL
Posts: 21,245
When using wood- you want to do the same ramping up technique with multiple pieces of wood. Some people will actually cut angles into the ends of the wood to make it easier to drive up on. I've never had an issue getting my tires up onto 2x10 wood.
__________________
2018 Ram 3500 DRW/crew cab/long bed/4x4/4.10 gears pulling a 2017 Spartan 1245 by Prime Time
Checkout my site for RVing tips, tricks, and info | Was a Fulltime Family for 5 years, now we're settlin' down for a spell
ependydad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 03:43 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
gsalsa06's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 25
ependydad-ok great! One more question, do you usually only need to put blocks or wood under just the 1 tire (low side) or have you ever had to put something under both sides of tires?
gsalsa06 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 03:49 PM   #8
Always Learning
 
ependydad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Four Corners, FL
Posts: 21,245
I've never had a need for something on both sides- I only ever deal with the low side.

That said, your camper might be light enough that you can get away with a BAL Leveler. It goes around your tire and lifts it. Back when I had my pop-up, I would have gotten one (if I hadn't gotten rid of my pop-up to go for this camper that is a little bigger).

Or, like Canonman posted- there are other options. That ramp has graduated spots for raising the low side up. And, a new popular thing that I've been reading about is the Andersen Levelers.
__________________
2018 Ram 3500 DRW/crew cab/long bed/4x4/4.10 gears pulling a 2017 Spartan 1245 by Prime Time
Checkout my site for RVing tips, tricks, and info | Was a Fulltime Family for 5 years, now we're settlin' down for a spell
ependydad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 03:55 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
gsalsa06's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 25
Maybe something to consider for the future. As for now, I think I'm good to go and feel much better with the knowledge I now have. Good thing I asked here before I ruined my stabilizers and frame! My last trip, I was kind of cranking it a little too much without anything under the tire and thought something is wrong here. I guess now I just need to buy a 2' leveler, I just have the small one but that might work I suppose.
gsalsa06 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 04:08 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
BamaBob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Whereever our Berkshire is Parked!
Posts: 7,085
And now for something completely different....

New product hit the market recently - a tad on the pricy side (especially if you need 2 like I do - dual axels GSalsa06) For your lightweight though this might do the trick:

Amazon.com: Andersen-3604 Camper Leveler: Automotive

Unbelieveably easy to do side-side leveling (The trickiest one)

Fore-Aft leveling as was described.

Next trip out I plan on "forgetting our lego blocks so my thrifty 6 Actual (DW) will let me buy this amazing toy
__________________
Bob & Anne-Marie [BamaBob & 6 Actual]
| 2017 Berkshire XLT 43A with Ultrasteer Tag | Blue Ox Avail + KarGard II |
| SMI AF-1 Air Brake | 2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland TOAD | Pedego Bikes |
Nights Camped: 2013 - 24 2014 - 42 2015 - 56 Jul 2016 - Fulltime
BamaBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 04:26 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
KDHfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 981
Need advise on leveling

There's an App called "RV Companion" that's free. In the app it has a leveler... Lay it in the middle of your floor and it will tell you exactly how many inches you are off both side-to-side and front-back. Takes all the "how many levelers do i need" guess work out of it. You back up just once.

And yes... You probably should have more levelers... I'm up to three packs... I use them for Leveling, under the stabilizers, and under the bottom step.
__________________
2015 Coachmen Apex 288BHS
2014 Toyota Tundra CrewMax 5.7L
KDHfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 04:43 PM   #12
Site Team
 
Terier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 10,265
Sounds like you already received lots of good feedback but I wanted to join the party.

I do use leveling blocks under the stabilizers jacks and then usually use a couple of bricks for the tongue jack. I have enough leveling blocks but I was worried that someone at the storage place would steal them so I got in the habit of using bricks instead.

I use a regular drill which usually works fine. At one point the drill would only lower so far and I would have to use the hand crank. After having the jacks greased (or whatever it is called) the jacks would lower completely without any problems.

As for leveling the TT I use a bullseye level inside the TT moving it from one area to another plus the bathroom door test. My bathroom is in the rear and if I can open and close the door easily it's level enough for me. If the door slams shut by itself or is hard to close chances are that the TT is not level enough.
__________________
Great choice for "Living within my means" and camping for one...

Formerly owned 2011 Salem Cruise Lite 20RBXL & 2011 Toyota Tundra Dbl Cab
Terier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 07:21 PM   #13
Moderator Emeritus
 
Kaadk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 5,173
One other tidbit I'd like to throw in. The Lego levelers should be stacked as a ramp for the wheels, but if you're also using them for the stabilizers than they can just be stacked one on top of the other.
__________________
There's no use crying over spilt milk... unless it's on your keyboard.
Kaadk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 08:35 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
indybp57's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 336
All that leveling is making me tired. We have two levels attached to the outside. One in front and one on the side. Spot the trailer in the site where we want it, get out and look at the front level. Through experience we' ve learner that for every mark on the level from center it takes one lynx block under the low side to level it. Pull up, DW puts down the appropriate number of blocks. Back onto the blocks, boom good enough. Unhitch, use the tongue jack to level front-back, boom good enough. Put stabs down and break out the weenies.

Sent from my Kindle Fire using Tapatalk 2
__________________
2013 Roo 183
Miles Driven/Nights Camped:
2012:1042/13 2013:2772/27
2014:2259/30 2015:1644/20
2016:1278/23 2017:2183/22
indybp57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 08:48 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 152
I watched the video for the Anderson levelers and saw how they measured level side to side. Took a three or four foot level and place it vertically against the side wall. Tried it last time I went out and got me where I needed to be. Gonna try it a few more times with going back to placing it on the floor to verify to see how much I trust it. If it verifies, it will be quicker for me as my lynx blocks are right above my drivers side tires, a little less moving around. I know, sometimes it's the simple things.
meck51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 08:52 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
BamaBob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Whereever our Berkshire is Parked!
Posts: 7,085
Quote:
Originally Posted by meck51 View Post
I watched the video for the Anderson levelers and saw how they measured level side to side. Took a three or four foot level and place it vertically against the side wall. Tried it last time I went out and got me where I needed to be. Gonna try it a few more times with going back to placing it on the floor to verify to see how much I trust it. If it verifies, it will be quicker for me as my lynx blocks are right above my drivers side tires, a little less moving around. I know, sometimes it's the simple things.
Yep, really that is all you need. best place for side to side is on the back bumper but side walls work as well. All these mounted bubbles and levels are not necessary IMHO.
__________________
Bob & Anne-Marie [BamaBob & 6 Actual]
| 2017 Berkshire XLT 43A with Ultrasteer Tag | Blue Ox Avail + KarGard II |
| SMI AF-1 Air Brake | 2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland TOAD | Pedego Bikes |
Nights Camped: 2013 - 24 2014 - 42 2015 - 56 Jul 2016 - Fulltime
BamaBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 10:22 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Evereddie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Pfafftown NC
Posts: 2,353
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDHfan View Post
There's an App called "RV Companion" that's free. In the app it has a leveler... Lay it in the middle of your floor and it will tell you exactly how many inches you are off both side-to-side and front-back. Takes all the "how many levelers do i need" guess work out of it. You back up just once.
RV Companion is a little snobby. Apple only? There's this other OS for phones called Android. Guess I gotta pass on this one.
Evereddie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2014, 12:10 AM   #18
Always Learning
 
ependydad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Four Corners, FL
Posts: 21,245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evereddie View Post
RV Companion is a little snobby. Apple only? There's this other OS for phones called Android. Guess I gotta pass on this one.

As a software developer, there's a perfectly good explanation for that- with native applications, there is exactly 0 lines pd code that can be reused between Android and iOS apps. In fact, the developers themselves are usually specialized in one language or the other. You literally have to invest in multiple people to have apps on each platform (and let's not forget the Windows phone minority and even the ever shrinking Blackberry community).

Given an app that likely makes very little money- I'm sure you can see how it isn't "snobby".

There are some app that can reuse chunks of code and logic (this forum software specifically), but it still requires specialized knowledge of each environment.
__________________
2018 Ram 3500 DRW/crew cab/long bed/4x4/4.10 gears pulling a 2017 Spartan 1245 by Prime Time
Checkout my site for RVing tips, tricks, and info | Was a Fulltime Family for 5 years, now we're settlin' down for a spell
ependydad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2014, 08:54 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
Canonman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: South Jordan, Utah
Posts: 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by indybp57 View Post
All that leveling is making me tired. We have two levels attached to the outside. One in front and one on the side. Spot the trailer in the site where we want it, get out and look at the front level. Through experience we' ve learner that for every mark on the level from center it takes one lynx block under the low side to level it. Pull up, DW puts down the appropriate number of blocks. Back onto the blocks, boom good enough. Unhitch, use the tongue jack to level front-back, boom good enough. Put stabs down and break out the weenies.

Sent from my Kindle Fire using Tapatalk 2
That's what I'm talk'n about gslasa. Just to clarify, the preliminary work of leveling the TT fridge and then setting the exterior levels to that level point is a one time deal. After that you just need to use the exterior levels. First side to side then front to back. Use the Tri Leveler or what ever other blocks or bits work for you and you're done. Seriously, we've gotten it down to a 10 minute drill. It really is that easy!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	_MG_1658.jpg
Views:	170
Size:	61.5 KB
ID:	52028  
Canonman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2014, 09:18 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Waynesville
Posts: 14,428
This is what we use! Front & Back of tires on the Low side.Drive or back on (1) then place (1)behind,chalked & leveled at same time. Youroo!!
youroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
leveling

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:32 PM.