EPDM Coatings
RV LED Bulbs offer Sponsored by Spotless Water Systems Sponsored by RV Upgrades width= Composet Products EVDO

Author Topic: Leveling a Travel Trailer  (Read 21678 times)

coachk34

  • ---
  • Posts: 7
Leveling a Travel Trailer
« on: March 03, 2006, 09:32:37 AM »
I just want to confirm some things.  Im sure this is detailed in the Library and that is where I am going to next.  You level the trailer from side to side with the tires and you level front to back with the jack on the front.  The stabilizers are not for leveling at all, they are only for stabalizing purposes.  Using the stabalizers for leveling could damage the frame of the trailer.  Does that all sound correct?  Feel free to correct me on anything thas wrong.

Ned

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 22609
  • Ned and Lorna are former full time RVers
    • Have you seen Rolling Stock?
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2006, 09:38:55 AM »
You have it correct.  Leveling with the stabiizers may damage them, they aren't designed to sustain heavy loads.  I suspect they would break before you could damage the frame.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Want to know what we're doing? http://blog.usabyrv.us

coachk34

  • ---
  • Posts: 7
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2006, 12:04:31 PM »
Thanks Ned, glad to know im on the right track.  Now its just a matter of getting out there and doing it.

What about putting the slide out on when your not level at home?
« Last Edit: March 03, 2006, 12:06:06 PM by coachk34 »

Ned

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 22609
  • Ned and Lorna are former full time RVers
    • Have you seen Rolling Stock?
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2006, 12:21:40 PM »
RVs differ in whether the slideout can be deployed if the RV isn't level.  Your best source is the owners manual for the trailer.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Want to know what we're doing? http://blog.usabyrv.us

nickp78

  • ---
  • Posts: 19
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2010, 10:13:01 PM »
very useful information....getting ready to place  levels on trailer but wasn't sure how to level correcting before placing them...THANKS!

Mexray

  • ---
  • Posts: 440
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2010, 01:59:40 AM »
Not all that hard, really...here's how I did it:

1. get ahold of a 3ft carpenters level and a 6ft long, straight, 2x4 - sight from the end to check it has no curves or 'wows' along it's length.

2. go out an scout for what looks like a nice level street, parking lot, driveway, etc, big enough to park your rig for a few minutes...laying the level on the 2x4, check your spot to see if it's level, side to side, etc...

3.park your rig on your spot and check inside on the floor with the level to insure you're 'plumb' side to side - if so, then use the tongue jack to adjust your fore and aft leveling using the 2x4 with the level on top...

4. now you can go around sticking on your permeant mount 'levels' knowing you are pretty close to 'level' all around...

good luck

Ray
Ray & Pat near Lodi, CA...

Gary RV Roamer

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 40564
  • We're on the road again...
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2010, 07:56:29 AM »
Finding level ground as Mexray suggest makes the job easy. If you cannot find such a spot, level the rig as you would in a campground by driving it up onto wood or plastic spacers and using a carpenter's level (preferably at least 30" long) to check level in both directions. Put the carpenter's level on the floor and check it at a couple of locations, since sometimes the floor has a bow in it.   Once the rig is level, you can mount the new bubble level indicators in a convenient place.

You might want to check the fridge level against the floor level before mounting the new indicators. I've seen a few rigs where the fridge was mounted on a platform that was noticeably off level with respect to the floor. Since the fridge is somewhat fussy about level, especially in its side-to-side orientation (which is usually fore & aft in the trailer), you may want to bias the overall trailer level toward the fridge's needs.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

nickp78

  • ---
  • Posts: 19
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2010, 09:25:23 PM »
thanks again for the help guys.   I know it will be a lot easier than it seemes.  THANKS

snook

  • ---
  • Posts: 46
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2010, 07:11:07 AM »
So exactly how do I level from side to side? pull it onto some shims of some sort and if it still isn't level put a couple more and pull it back onto them? there's gotta be a simpler way. I guess I'm not getting it ???

Gary RV Roamer

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 40564
  • We're on the road again...
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2010, 07:58:50 AM »
Carry a couple 1x 10 and 2 x 10 boards about 24" long. Pull the low side up onto one and recheck for level. After a few times, you will know what thickness you need to make the bubble in the level move a certain amount, so it won't really be trial and error.  That IS the simple way.

The sophisticated way is to install leveling jacks for around $4000, similar to what a motorhome has. Most people opt for the simple way.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

tvman44

  • ---
  • Posts: 1219
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2010, 08:26:05 AM »
You got it right, and if you have a slide out my personal preference is to put out the slide after I have finished leveling the trailer.  To my way of thinking if all is level there should be less strain on the motor assembly and mechanism.

Stewie Griffin

  • ---
  • Posts: 305
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2010, 11:40:06 AM »
So exactly how do I level from side to side? pull it onto some shims of some sort and if it still isn't level put a couple more and pull it back onto them? there's gotta be a simpler way. I guess I'm not getting it ???

Snook, check your local RV dealer, I have one near me (General RV in Birch Run, MI) and they have a huge showroom with lots of goodies.  I picked up these plastic leveling pads that interlock like leggos, you can stagger them to make pulling the trailer onto them easier, they are very strong, lightweight and have their own packaging system.  Also, they have chocks that also interlock with the pads but they are sold seperately.  They are called "Lynx Levelers".
2008 F350 Crew Cab Lariat Longbox 6.4 PSD
2001 F350 Crew Cab Lariat Shortbox 7.3 PSD sold
2004 F350 Crew Cab Lariat Longbox 6.0 PSD replaced with
2008 GMC 3500 crew cab longbox 6.6 d-max
1999 Thor Fifth Avenue 32RK Fiver w/ 2 slides
"WHAT THE DEUCE?"

tennsmith

  • ---
  • Posts: 381
  • "Of the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most"
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2010, 12:08:30 PM »
I have found the small levels that stick on your trailer to be quite accurate with respect to how many "inches" a side needs to be raised to make the trailer level.  Just be sure to get the levels in the right position.  (one is intended to be up/down and the other "roll" about the pinbox when viewed from the front of the trailer)  I'd back the trailer  into the desired position, read the level on the pin box, pull up far enough to put down enough boards to achieve the required height on whichever side was low, and then back back onto the boardss.  I carried 2 ea 4', 2', 1', and 4 ea  6" sections of 2x6 to use for leveling the trailer.  If your 5th wheel hitch does not pivot from side to side, you may want to put the rear wheels of your tow vehicle up on a board also (particularly when reconnecting) due to the fact that the trailer is now "level" and your truck isn't.  This makes it hard to get the receiver latch closed.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2010, 12:11:20 PM by tennsmith »
Bob Smith
Huntsville, AL
2000 Itasca Horizon 36LD
300 Cat
6 speed Allison

nickp78

  • ---
  • Posts: 19
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2010, 04:57:57 PM »
We pulled up to the campsite a little after dark Thursday, got the spacers out and leveled up the TT. We put the slide out and unpacked for the night.  The next day we noticed there was a little lean in the TT.  I checked the bubble on the front and sure enought, it has moved from the center to the right.  My wife and I both know it was centered but now it wasn't.  Today when I put the slide back in the bubble went back to center.  So my question is; is that normal? and two is it ok to put the slide out then level?

glen54737

  • ---
  • Posts: 710
  • My camping buddy
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2010, 08:51:52 PM »
you can get a very little out of the stabilizers put the lowest corner down first and tighten it up then the next and so on.

You may have a little lean form the slide if the stabilizers aren't tight
2011 F-250 CC short box 6.7l 3.55 axle
2012 Crusader 290RLT

Glen,Nene
Mickey & Jayco (yorkies)

Ned

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 22609
  • Ned and Lorna are former full time RVers
    • Have you seen Rolling Stock?
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2010, 06:28:31 AM »
It's not unusual for a slideout to cause the RV to tilt a bit in its direction.  You can adjust for that by leveling with the slideout side a bit high before extending it.  As for whether to level or extend the slideout first, follow the manufacturers directions.  Not all are done in the same order.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Want to know what we're doing? http://blog.usabyrv.us

nickp78

  • ---
  • Posts: 19
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2010, 09:44:06 PM »
thanks for the tips.  will see how they work out. 

PhilsFrontier

  • ---
  • Posts: 56
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2010, 10:27:56 PM »
Let me first get a few terms corrected here....
level is horizontal
plumb is vertical

I have a few 'shims' I cut out of a 4x4. about a foot long on a 1:12 slope. I thenmy .02 have from 0-2 inches of play when 2 are combined to make a level surface for the tire to rest on. I haven't tried them in the field yet, but in the driveway they worked great. I just used my little hydraulic jack to lift the low side and raise it until it is  maybe 1/4 to a 1/2 inch high. Then put the shims under and lower the jack slowly onto the shims.
I can't wait to try out my shims in the campground next week!

my .02

Gary RV Roamer

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 40564
  • We're on the road again...
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2010, 07:20:33 AM »
Sounds like it ought to work, Phil. Most RVers just drive  up onto the ramp/shim, though. Most find that more convenient than using a jack.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

PhilsFrontier

  • ---
  • Posts: 56
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2010, 10:44:26 AM »
I have tried driving onto blocks. my GF parents have an older 27' Rockwood mh and we borrowed it last year once. It has blocks for leveling and after a few tries I got the rig level. It took about 4 or five blocks I believe. They were 2x10s about 16" long or so iirc. Those blocks took up a fair amount of space in the pass through. My shims when stacked on the other hand are only about 2.5 inches high 4 inches wide and about 12 inches long. The other reason I like the idea of shims is that instead of trial and error with blocks; i simply raise the low side until level and set in the shims(maybe tweak it a bit to get her bang on).
Also this gives me a reason to have a good hydraulic jack on board for changing a tire instead of the cheap-o that comes with the vehicle. It is pretty easy to crank the hydraulic jack compared to a screw type imho.

btw there is a few inches of fresh snow on the ground here today. Gotta love living in the north.

Gary RV Roamer

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 40564
  • We're on the road again...
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2010, 08:05:36 AM »
Yes, the tire blocks are larger than your shims, so the shim indeed has that advantage. Let us know how it works out after you gain some experience with them in a variety of situations.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

Stargazer

  • ---
  • Posts: 39
    • Stargazer's Garage
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2010, 11:37:08 AM »
I found that all bubble levels are not created equal. The first set that I bought for our TT didn't work well at all because the little ball inside never moved. So I bought some "Hoppy" levels that have the markings on them to tell you how many inches you need to lift. They work great. I also use the Lynx Levelers--Walmart has a good price on them--and each segment is about 1" tall so I can calculate exactly how many I need to level the trailer. Nice and simple and it never fails.

vulcanbill

  • ---
  • Posts: 110
    • Belgian Pup Bakery
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2010, 05:33:19 AM »
Do you need to get both tires of a dual axle TT up in the air at the same level?  Seems like that would be kind of difficult.  With the Lynx Levelers, do you just build a ramp and keep going till you're level?  How does the lynx chock work with the levelers?  Pictures? 
Bill n Kim
07 HR Alumalite 8310S
10 Hemi Ram 4x4 Quad 3.92

Belgian Pup Bakery - Organic and All Natural Treats for Dogs
WWW:  http://www.belgianpupbakery.com

Joezeppy

  • ---
  • Posts: 988
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2010, 02:11:30 PM »
To get an RV perfectly level you might find yourself lifting just one tire - for example, a 1" board under just one wheel will lift only about a 1/2" on that side. I have done this from time to time when the tire might be sitting in a low spot on the pad but that's about it.
Joe & Kim
Upstate NY - Kuyahoora Valley
2010 GMC Sierra 2500HD - 6.0L
2010 North Country 27BHS TT

Stargazer

  • ---
  • Posts: 39
    • Stargazer's Garage
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2010, 02:27:52 PM »
Do you need to get both tires of a dual axle TT up in the air at the same level?  Seems like that would be kind of difficult.  With the Lynx Levelers, do you just build a ramp and keep going till you're level?  How does the lynx chock work with the levelers?  Pictures?
I do. It's really easy because the pieces lock together. I just build the ramps and put it in front of each tire. The chocks lock in place, too, and then I know when to stop without rolling off the other side. You can see a  picture of my setup with the Lynx Levelers and chocks in the link below:

http://picasaweb.google.ca/lh/photo/GIAIF-s0vnUie6L_XKatSw?feat=directlink

I think they have more pictures on the Lynx website.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2010, 02:30:36 PM by Stargazer »

RLSharp

  • ---
  • Posts: 1533
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2010, 04:39:22 PM »
You can see a  picture of my setup with the Lynx Levelers and chocks in the link below:

http://picasaweb.google.ca/lh/photo/GIAIF-s0vnUie6L_XKatSw?feat=directlink


From your picture it is not evident how you place the ramps to start the process of driving upon them. The rear ramp appears to be too long to place between the tires. Is this a perception thing or am I missing something?

Richard
Richard & Linda
Rochester, NY (summer)
Tucson, AZ (winter)

Stargazer

  • ---
  • Posts: 39
    • Stargazer's Garage
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2010, 04:53:38 PM »
From your picture it is not evident how you place the ramps to start the process of driving upon them. The rear ramp appears to be too long to place between the tires. Is this a perception thing or am I missing something?

It's partly perception and partly help from my wife. There is enough space between the tires for me to place the levelers in front of each tire so that they are positioned correctly. I don't think each segment is more than 12" square. The levelers for the front tire are stacked to whatever height I require with the chock in place. As I drive forward, my wife just drops in new levelers in front of the second tire. If the gap wasn't big enough, I would just build one long platform and drive both tires on it.

And I don't think I really need to chock both tires on the same side, but I get my wife to do it anyway.  :)

Check out their site because I think they have better pictures on how it works: http://www.lynxlevelers.com/
« Last Edit: May 10, 2010, 04:59:04 PM by Stargazer »

Marc L

  • ---
  • Posts: 2392
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #27 on: May 10, 2010, 04:59:11 PM »
And I don't think I really need to chock both tires on the same side, but I get my wife to do it anyway.  :)

Unless there is an obvious slop front or rear, I would chock the front and rear of the tires.  I use locking chocks in between the tires, so I always chock both.

I like the concept of the Lynx blocks, but I have a problem paying for plastic when I can use scrap wood for free.
Marc...

Stargazer

  • ---
  • Posts: 39
    • Stargazer's Garage
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #28 on: May 10, 2010, 05:12:33 PM »
but I have a problem paying for plastic when I can use scrap wood for free.

That's fair. I like them because they are lighter than wood and they lock together preventing any slipping even when it's wet or muddy. Also they are very compact to carry around.

elstrom99

  • Posts: 4
Re: Leveling a Travel Trailer
« Reply #29 on: August 13, 2012, 02:41:27 PM »
Hi all, hope you don't mind a fresh post here.  I realize the thread is "stale", so maybe no one will read it.  But I have just read the thread with great interest.

I'm sitting here today with a sore back and shoulders... all of which could have been alleviated by reading this thread.  Let me explain.  I purchased my 26' 2007 Gulfstream Conquest TT in February 2008, brand new.  We purchased from a dealer that was primarily a boat dealership, but had recently expanded into RVs.  They had a branch in Omaha, NE, but we had to drive 130 miles to Norfolk, NE to pick up our trailer.

After our 30 minute walk through we were off.  That was it.  No long walk through.  Here's how you start the water pump, here's the levels.  Turn on the water heater here... now, back up to this, and let's put this here, bye!  Have a nice life!  And we were off.  They shut down their RV sales less than a year later.

We camp 3 or 4 times a year, wish it was more.  But for one long week every August, we boondock up in Routt National Forest between Cheyenne and Laramie in Wyoming, at about 8500 feet, 5 miles from black top.  Every year we struggle with levelling our trailer with those 4 corner "levelling jacks".  This year, we pulled in to our spot near dark.  We got out and started trying to level, but the jacks were more obstinate than usual.  I fought those suckers for nearly an hour, wheezing in the thinner air (our home in Council Bluffs, IA is only about 1000 ft above sea level, so 8500 is a lot!)  Finally, just as I thought the trailer was about level side to side, we discovered... the hard way... that we'd forgotten to chock the tires.  The trailer shifted back 2 feet, throwing me backwards on to my back, bending the jacks, one irreparably.  That's it, I said... well, there were a few other unprintable words... I'm buying electric leveling jacks when we get home.

Of course, that didn't end the story.  The next day, we moved the trailer to a more level spot, put down the 2 good and 1 damaged but serviceable STABILIZER jack, had a fantastic week, then started to hook up for the drive home yesterday.  I'm only 55, but forgetful as he... heck.   Forgot to retract the rear stabilizer.  Started jacking up the tongue.  For us to hook up, I need to raise the tongue virtually it's full length.   I sweat, I cussed, I twisted, I wheezed.  Finally got it up, and literally passed out.  That's when I discovered the rear stabilizer.

Today, I began searching for electric leveling jacks.  That's when I discovered this thread.  It won't help me with forgetfulness issues, I know.  But it has taught me how to level a friggin' trailer!  Oh, and one more thing... our levels?  Our conversations have gone like this. "Well the side to side level is on the little 4... let's see if raising that side a couple turns will help."  No one ever told me that the 1, 2, etc, is the number of inches to raise or lower a side!  Do I ever feel dumb!

Of course, that wonderful walk through might have played a small role in my stupidity.

Eric