Leveling A Camper, Everything You Need To Know

leveling a camper

Leveling a camper or RV is one of the most important tasks to perform when you arrive at your campsite. It’s just as important as hooking up the water or electricity. In fact, not leveling your camper can cause you more headaches than its worth. Not sure how to do it? No worries. By the end of this post you will be leveling pro.

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Why Should We Level Our Camper?

In short, having the camper level just makes everything perform the way it was designed. What I mean is when the manufacturer built your unit, they did so on level ground. Could you imagine how RVs would look if they were built on a hillside? I could only imagine. Keeping your RV level takes any unnecessary strain off the structure, for one. Plus it ensures that your RV fridge will operate like it’s supposed to. Serious damage can occur if your fridge is tilted more than a few degrees off level. Leveling your camper also keeps your interior and cabinet doors from swinging open or closed. An unlevel camper can cause your RV holding tanks to register incorrect levels which in turn can result in a stressful camping experience.

leveling a camper

 Did you know that your sleep patterns can also be affected by an unlevel travel trailer? Sleeping on a slant or tilt can cause you to have a terrible night’s sleep especially if you feel like you’re falling out of bed. It can also cause issues with your muscles, particularly your back. Who wants to wake up on the first morning of a long camping trip tired and grouchy? Kellie tells me I wake up like that every morning, regardless of how good I sleep. Go figure.

Related: Common RV Mistakes

Leveling A Camper Side to Side

As you’re backing into your site, have your camping partner keep an eye on the level. Since they are normally standing towards the rear of the RV, the back bumper is a great place to put it. When you find the most level spot, stop. Determine if you need to block the right tires or the left, and by how much. Another thing to consider is if it would be better to pull forward, or backward to achieve your goal. For a more high-tech approach, the Level-Mate Pro actually connects to your smart phone via Bluetooth and shows you right on your phone’s screen if you are level or how much you need to raise or lower your RV. It also has a hitch recall that enables you to program the height of your hitch for easily hooking up after your camping trip.

leveling an RV
screenshots by Amazon

Place your leveling blocks in front of, or behind, the tires that will be lifted. Drive slowly until you reach your desired outcome, level. Once you get your camper leveled side to side, make sure you chock your wheels, before you unhook from your tow vehicle. If you are using the infamous X-Chock, now would be the time to install them. X-Chocks help keep your camper from rocking front to back.

Related: RV Lingo, Terms You Should Know

Leveling A Camper Front to Back

Front to back leveling is much easier and a lot less effort than side to side. Place your level on the floor of the camper, on a countertop, or on the tongue of the trailer. I set ours just inside the door on the floor. Un-hitch from your tow vehicle and use your tongue jack to raise or lower the front until your camper is level. Easy peezy, lemon squeezy.

Once you have your camper level, then lower, or set your stabilizer jacks. If you are parked on soft ground, or if you have to over-extend your stabilizer jacks, be sure to stack your stabilizer pads under the arms for support, and you have equal pressure on each one. The next step is the easiest. Grab your camping chair, an adult beverage, and kick your feet up for a little while. You earned it. ( after you finish hooking up the RV )

Related: RV Air Conditioner Maintenance

Conclusion

Leveling a camper doesn’t have to be a pain staking chore. With a little bit of patience and some help from your camping buddy, it’s an easy process. The first time or two that you do it will be the worse. The more you do it the easier it gets. Of course, the easiest way to level a camper is buying one that has self-levelers. Taking the extra few minutes to make sure your camper is level, both back to front and side to side, at the beginning of your trip will save you headaches later. Literally, save you headaches. If you are more of a DIYer, check out this article on DIY leveling blocks. Do you have any leveling horror stories or any tips for leveling your camper? If so, leave us a comment below and tell us about it.

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