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Author Topic: Auto leveling RV  (Read 442 times)

slam308

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Auto leveling RV
« on: September 18, 2017, 06:50:37 PM »
Another quick question,
When the description says it has auto leveling is it really that easy?  Just park, push a button, and then unpack and enjoy once it's done, or is there more to the process?

I have a bunch of the newbie, quick questions but I'm not sure if I should make separate topics or lump them all together.
Slam

SeilerBird

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Re: Auto leveling RV
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2017, 06:57:44 PM »
Yep it works like magic until you go to leave and it malfunctions and you stuck sitting on the levelers and can't move. That happened to me a few times and now I won't touch a leveling system with a ten foot pole.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Auto leveling RV
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2017, 07:10:00 PM »
Yes, it really is that easy with a properly calibrated jack system. Our Bigfoot jack system has been reliable and problem free, apparently since the factory installed it in 2001 according to the comprehensive maintenance records that came with it when we bought it several years ago. I did recalibrate the level point once, but that's a simple process with this system. The non-automatic Bigfoot system on or previous coach was equally as reliable.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
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slam308

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Re: Auto leveling RV
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2017, 07:38:29 PM »
So we're at 50/50 right now as to self leveling.   ;)

If you don't have the self levelers, what's the process, how difficult is it, and assuming I'm not parking on the side of a hill, why do I need to be level?  (Obviously having a bit of fun with the last part, but really, how close to perfect does one need to be?)

Realistically, I'm female, travelling alone.  I can change a tire and hang a picture on the wall, but how much time and effort are we talking about?
Slam

slam308

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Re: Auto leveling RV
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2017, 07:43:22 PM »
Without this forum, where does one go to learn these basics?  If I do decide to buy an RV, can I reasonably expect the dealer to explain all this to me, step by step? 
I've checked the library on the forum, but I don't see an RV101 on there.

SargeW

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Re: Auto leveling RV
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2017, 07:53:58 PM »
Maybe. Some dealers have very good PDI people (pre delivery inspection). Some do not. The best thing you can do is prepare a list of questions you want to ask and have answered. Also have someone with you willing to take notes as to the answers. There is a lot of info to digest and remember.  The other helpful tactic is spend some time here on the forums and read the others experiences. Use that to make up your list of questions. 

And afterward, come back here and ask what you didn't understand or didn't get an answer to.  Everyone on here was a newbie at one time, and we all had to learn the same way.
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Neal

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Re: Auto leveling RV
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2017, 08:01:13 PM »
You can add me to the "wouldn't be without it side".
About our first time out, we blew a fuse, which was undersized at mfg. A call to power gear and it was explained to us. We had the needed fuse on board for replacement, so was only down shortly.
Other than that, we have added a cup of oil a couple times, during 8 or so years.
I am thinking, manually leveling (without power) might make me not want to RV.
Neal,        2008 Winnebago Journey 39Z, Freightliner XC-S chassis,
Cummins ISB 6.7L 350 HP, Allison 3000,  2014 Honda CRV Toad.

SeilerBird

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Re: Auto leveling RV
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2017, 08:08:27 PM »
If you don't have the self levelers, what's the process, how difficult is it, and assuming I'm not parking on the side of a hill, why do I need to be level?  (Obviously having a bit of fun with the last part, but really, how close to perfect does one need to be?)
I full timed for ten years and only had self levelers for one year and as I stated above it left me stranded. Leveling is completely unnecessary for me. I found out that most all RV sites are fairly level. If they were perfectly level then water would not drain so they always have a slope. I found that arriving at a park before noon means you will generally have your pick of sites. I would drive around and find one I liked then see which way the slope goes. All RVs have the front end slightly lower than the rear end. So by parking facing uphill it makes it so the RV is level enough. Modern RVs don't have to be perfectly level, in fact they can tolerate being off level better than most people think. If you arrive at a park late in the day there will usually not be a lot of sites available and it might be difficult to find a relatively level site.
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Auto leveling RV
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2017, 08:13:05 PM »
The non-automatic levelers work by the user operating individual jacks, usually in pairs, using a control panel with either push buttons or less often now, manually operated hydraulic valves. The fully automatic systems, as said, just require a button push to activate, although most also have a manual over ride available if needed. Your RV should typically be leveled to the point where you can comfortably walk around in it without feeling like you're going up or down hill. Beside personal comfort, that will also ensure your RV absorption refrigerator is operating properly. Residential fridges installed in RV's do not have the same level operation issues as RV fridges, but there's still the personal comfort angle. Cooking breakfast isn't much fun when the eggs keep piling up on one side of the frying pan... ;)
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
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2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
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Larry N.

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Re: Auto leveling RV
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2017, 09:08:09 PM »
Add me to the "wouldn't be without them" crowd.

Without this forum, where does one go to learn these basics?  If I do decide to buy an RV, can I reasonably expect the dealer to explain all this to me, step by step? 
I've checked the library on the forum, but I don't see an RV101 on there.

There's not an RV101 in the library, as such, but there are a number of topics that would be in such a comprehensive "course." You'll learn a lot just from browsing that library. The glossary is another section you should peruse, as there's a ton of good info there.

And roaming through the various sections of this forum will also provide some very good information. Of course you can ask questions here, too, about things that you may not quite understand.

Quote
Just park, push a button, and then unpack and enjoy once it's done, or is there more to the process?

As far as leveling, that's usually the case, so long as the adjustment is within the range of the leveling mechanism. On occasion (rare) you may have to move the rig just a little or position it at a different angle in the site, but that's not common in most RV parks. Boondocking may be a different story.
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JudyJB

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Re: Auto leveling RV
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2017, 12:51:39 AM »
I have two small levels--one glued to each side of the driver's side rear of my motorhome. I pull into a camping spot, get to where I think I will stay, and then get out to check my level.  About 60-70% of the time it is "good enough," meaning no more than half a bubble off on either side.

If I need to level my motorhome, I decide which side needs to be raised a bit, then I get out a couple of 2 x 10 boards that have been cut to 24" long.  I place two of them at a 90 degree angle and directly behind my rear dually tires or one lengthwise behind a front tire, and then back up on them.  Done!

Once if a great while I will need to add a third board on top of the two on my rear tires, and might even need another board on a front tire, but that is rare. 

This is a lot cheaper than adding levelers and a LOT less worrisome than having a level stuck and having to call a mobile repair person or figure out how to manually get it retracted. 
Full-timing for over five years in a
2012 Fleetwood Tioga Ranger 31N

SeilerBird

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Re: Auto leveling RV
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2017, 07:16:11 AM »
I've checked the library on the forum, but I don't see an RV101 on there.
The entire library is RV101. Lots of great info there. Read all the old posts on this forum will help a lot. RVing is a huge subject and it takes a lot of time, reading and RVing to really get a grip on the whole thing. This is why I always recommend buying an inexpensive used RV first to learn the ropes and figure out what you really want. For example you will never know if you want auto levelers until you have set up an RV a number of times.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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SeilerBird

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Re: Auto leveling RV
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2017, 07:18:35 AM »
I have a bunch of the newbie, quick questions but I'm not sure if I should make separate topics or lump them all together.
You will get more accurate responses by making them separate topics. And it helps if you check back in to each post once a day and let us know if you have solved the problem or not. Remember posting here is free and there is no limits.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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steveblonde

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Re: Auto leveling RV
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2017, 08:25:33 AM »
After having many rvs with and without autolevelers im am in the cant live without catagory. Yes i had an issue with a blown relay ( too small from factory) which was frustrating at the time. But its soooooo easy when your setting up, often we travel and stay a single night and it makes life a lot easier with just 1 button to push
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Auto leveling RV
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2017, 08:49:18 AM »
Auto-leveling is real convenient, and yes, it is just "push the button".  Without the "auto" feature, YOU control multiple buttons and operate the jacks while looking at a gauge to determine when it is sufficiently level for your comfort and for proper fridge operation. RV fridges need to be reasonably level to function at all, and failure to have them mostly level results in a shortened working life. Manual leveling is not difficult - just one more step in the set-up that takes a couple minutes.

Leveling jacks can fail whether automatic or not. Obviously an automatic system is somewhat more complex in that it has a built-in way to determine "level", but the jacks, pump and hydraulic lines are pretty much the same in either one.

Auto leveling used to be a high end options but modern electronics have made it much less expensive and now the "auto" feature is common on new coaches. Most people love the convenience.
Gary
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Dragginourbedaround

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Re: Auto leveling RV
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2017, 12:46:19 PM »
Count us in the "can't live without" group. I'm lazy and don't want to be backing up over boards, find out it's not level enough and then do it again. Especially in bad weather. I like pulling in and pushing the Auto Level button and going about my business. When we are ready to leave just push the Retract button and go. No picking up boards or Lego blocks.  :)
Gene

2013 Winnebago Adventurer 37F
2011 Honda Fit

slam308

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Re: Auto leveling RV
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2017, 06:26:05 PM »
I guess any time you have something that's automated you run the risk that it'll fail, whether it be fully automatic, one touch and you're done, or do-it-yourself one jack at a time buttons.  Do they even make a fairly modern (albeit used) class A or C with fully manual jacks?

99dart

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Re: Auto leveling RV
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2017, 06:51:58 PM »
I don't know about "fully" manual, but I put ours in manual mode. The automatic takes longer & lifts the MH higher off the ground than when I do it myself. I just mounted a stick-on level above the control panel to look at.
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winona

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Re: Auto leveling RV
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2017, 09:07:09 PM »
My version of "levelers" are rubber patio pavers from Menards, Home Depot etc. for $3 or so.  I travel with about 8 of them and maybe only need a couple if I really need to level.  I can put 1, 2 or 3 behind the wheel/s and back over them or drive onto them.  This last weekend at a state park, I needed 2 under a back tire and used 4 to help with the slope at my doorstep since the pad was narrow.
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