Last Updated on June 11, 2015 by Christina
If you’re sporting a motorized RV you don’t have to worry much about setting up your camp site. For those of us with towable RVs though, there’s a little more preparation involved before we can start enjoying the great outdoors. Check out these 5 tips for leveling your towable.
Why Is Leveling Important
For the features of an RV to work properly when it’s in a resting position, the RV should be level. When it isn’t things like drawers, doors, slides, and appliances won’t work as well as they could (for example gas refrigerators must be level to function properly). You can also cause accelerated wear and tear on these items if they are forced into positions they shouldn’t be in because your unit isn’t level.
If functionality isn’t enough of a reason for you, try sleeping in an RV that isn’t level. A slight variance may not make much difference but if things are way off, it will bug you and the family all night long.
Get the Proper Tools
Many of today’s fifth wheels and travel trailers have sophisticated leveling systems. Not everyone has those and there are still some tools you need even if you do have systems like these on your unit. On your next trip be sure and take along:
- 4-8 short sections of 2 by 10 boards for placement under stabilizers and jacks (Make sure they are in good shape!)
- A contractors level (if you don’t have a built in level on your unit). An inexpensive surface level will also work.
- Tire chocks
- Leveling blocks (LYNX Leveling blocks work well)
Level Side to Side First
When leveling a towable unit, you’ll be doing it from side to side and then front to back. Do the side to side first before you disconnect your tow vehicle from your fifth wheel or camper. Simply placing your contractors level inside on the floor of your unit will tell you how far off you are.
Raise the site that needs to be elevated onto your leveling blocks. Once that is done, make sure you chock your tries before you disconnect your tow vehicle. This is important no matter what but especially if your back or front end are leaning heavily in one direction.
Front to Back
Make sure you lay down your sections of 2×10 boards on the blacktop or pavement before you disconnect from your tow vehicle. These provide a spot for your tongue jack to rest. It may not be as critical on pavement but on dirt or blacktop, having those sections of wood will make sure your leveling stays where you set it.
Use your tongue jack to raise the front end of your unit to the proper height. Make sure you’ve re-positioned your contractor’s level so you can measure when your towable is level front to back.
Now that your towable is all nice and leveled, you have to make sure it stays that way. Most all travel trailers, fifth wheels and toy haulers come with stabilizing jacks. These aren’t used to level the unit but to keep it in place. Many newer models have dedicated stabilizing jacks. You can use a jack stand that is not built in or you could look into a permanent stabilizing jack to install on to your unit.
Placing sections of 2×10 boards under your stabilizing jacks is also a good idea, especially if your jacks are over earth or asphalt.
Leveling your RV at your camp site is one of those little tasks that can make or break your trip. Not having a properly leveled unit can mean other problems once your adventure is underway. Take the time to do it right and you won’t have to stop and fix other things on your next camping trip.