No one wants to camp in a crooked RV. Feeling like you’re sliding downhill while you sleep and having the occasionally-dropped grape roll into the far back corner of your space are just a few of the annoyances you’ll encounter.
More importantly, though, making sure your RV is level will help you avoid added stress on the structure, frame, and internal workings of your vehicle. It’s important for the use of your slide-outs, the flow of the water/ammonia solution in your fridge, accurate tank fluid readings, and many other reasons.
Below, we’ll go over how to ensure a level RV every time you camp.
How to Level Your RV Like a Pro
We’ll start by saying that some RVs have a hydraulic levelling system. This automatic function makes it super-easy to level your RV without the hassle of using blocks.
Unfortunately, not every RV possesses this ‘skill’, so the vast majority of RV owners will need to learn how to level their RVs manually.
Let’s get started.
Begin by Picking the Best-Possible Site
Levelling your RV means levelling the vehicle from left to right and from front to back. This can take some time and frankly be a pain when the initial level discrepancy is drastic.
Therefore, one of the best tips we have for making this process as painless as possible is to simply find a fairly level campsite to begin with. Of course, you’re not always going to get a perfectly level setup right off the bat. Still, if you see a noticeable slope or drop at the campsite you’re considering, move on. Choose another site.
What You’ll Need to Level Your RV Trailer or Motorized RV
For the most efficient levelling process, carry the following with you wherever you go in your RV:
- A bubble level
- RV blocks
- Wheel chocks (not necessary for motorized RVs)
The RV Levelling Process
1. Set up your level left to right as you park.
As you pull into your chosen campsite, set your level up laterally, left to right in your RV. Or, use your built-in level if you have one.
You don’t have all the options in the world for how to park at a campsite, but if you can maneuver around a slight bit to get the level bubble as level as possible, you’re going to give yourself a good head start.
2. Get out and level again left to right.
Time to hop down and fine tune your RV’s levelness. Put your level on your rear bumper or on the floor of your RV and assess how level you are from the left side of your RV to the right side.
3. Use blocks to level your RV.
Which way is your RV leaning? Decide if it’s your left tire(s) you need to raise or your right tire(s). Eyeball how many blocks you’ll need and where you’ll need them. Sometimes, it’s best to start with just one block if the level is only off by a slight amount.
Once you make these decisions, take a look at how your RV is situated. You can either go slightly forward or slightly backward in order to get the affected tire(s) up on your blocks. Pick the best direction, then place your blocks either in front of or in back of your tire(s).
Now, move your RV accordingly so that your tires are up on the blocks. Assess for levelness again, and add or subtract blocks as needed.
4. If you have an RV trailer, chock your wheels.
Because towable trailers don’t have their own transmissions or brakes, you’ll need to chock your wheels for safety and security.
5. Level your RV front to back.
Use your level again, but this time length-wise so that you’re measuring for levelness front to back. Placing it on a step or on the floor of your RV works best.
For trailers, you can simply use your blocks and create front to back levelness by adjusting the A-frame jack or fifth-wheel landing jack. For motorized homes, follow the same process as when you levelled your RV left to right.
Finally, stabilize your RV, and open your slide-outs as needed.
Leveling Tips for Better RV Levelling
Tip #1 – Put your front tires up on blocks (as opposed to your back tires) whenever possible. It’s best for the back tires to be on the ground because those are the ones that lock when you’re in park.
Tip #2 – If your RV’s levelness is way off to begin with, and you know you’re going to need several blocks to fix the discrepancy, you’ll want to build a ramp with your blocks so that your tire can make it up to the necessary height with ease.
Tip #3 – You may be tempted to use a stabilizer or scissor jack for levelling your RV. Don’t make this mistake. These tools don’t have the support your RV requires, and blocks must be used instead.
Tip #4 – Avoid parking on icy or slick surfaces whenever possible. Even if your RV is level, the risk of your RV faltering and becoming unstable is much higher.
For more information about RV ownership, use, and maintenance, check out our other posts on the Wayfarer Insurance Group blog.