Different side to side level readings

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nmiller0113

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Aug 5, 2018
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Santa Rosa, CA
Hello everyone, new here.  I have a 2019 36' 7" (nose to tail) travel trailer, Forest River Cherokee Alpha Wolf 29QB-L, with one large slide out.  I'm noticing that when I level it side to side I can get it level in the middle of the trailer and, for the most part, it shows level all the way to the back.  From the middle forward, and I'm judging middle from the 4 wheels area, it seems to go off level.  I'm using a 24" level, like this one https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0768DRNV5/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A2F7IWWM0RG5UL&psc=1 . I've not only tested this on the floor of the trailer but also on the side of the trailer itself and the level changes walking all the way from the back to the front...it's not drastic, but it's enough to make me wonder if I'm doing something wrong.  It does get significantly more out of level in the front once I've extended the large slide out.

I am using leveling blocks under the tires to get side to side level and then I put down the power stabilizers.  I don't know what else I can do to make the front more level and to keep my levels consistent front to back in the trailer.  Is my trailer bending?  Should it be if it is?  I'm just wondering if something is wrong with it.

I've seen people in videos use manual stabilizers on their trailer to get it level from the corners.  I thought you weren't supposed to use those to level?  I couldn't even do it if I wanted to either because I thought about that to compensate the other day, and I put more blocks on one side of my power stabilizer than the other.  One thing to note is my power stabilizers in the front and back work together so I cannot actually make one corner higher than another.  Unfortunately the power stabilizers auto adjust if one side is higher than the other, so it had zero effect.

Any advice would be welcome...I'm worried my trailer is flexing or bending more than it should and something is wrong.  Thanks in advance, I look forward to the feedback!
 

lynnmor

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May 14, 2013
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I level a new trailer side to side as perfect as I can by adding shims under the tires as needed and level it front to rear with the tongue jack.  To check the level, forget using the floor or any of the other methods often mentioned here and use a large level under the frame checking multiple places for the best average.  If you find a corner sagging, use a jack to bring it into level.  Now when the frame is as good as you can get it, apply four levels on opposite corners, on the sides and ends.  Do not depend on the foam backed levels to stay in place, instead use 3M VHB tape or equivalent.

Now that you have levels that actually mean something, you can see twist at a glance and correct for it.  I like manual jacks, not those that have a mind of their own.  Now when you deploy those power units you will be able to see what kind of twisting they will do.  You can use manual stabilizers to correct twisting but not lifting to excess.
 

HappyWanderer

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Apr 21, 2014
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You're way overthinking this.

First, get rid of that 24" level. It's far too accurate, and will only make you crazy. A 6" level is fine.

Unless you're parked on concrete, your slide side will settle down while you're parked.

Here's the quick and dirty on leveling: with your 6" level somewhere near the fridge (the only thing you're worried about being near level), level side-to-side until the side slide is about a quarter-bubble high. Turn the level 90 degrees and level front-to-back with the tongue jack.

Put down the stabilizers and crack open a beer, cause you're done. After several hours, the weight of the slide will cause that side to settle, and you'll be level.
 

grashley

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Western Kentucky
Welcome to the Forum!

I recently bought my first FW and asked many of these same questions.

Lynnmor gave good advise.  Level per those directions, but before you attach the levels, you may want to check the level of the floor inside the TT.  If it is indeed level side to side in the back and middle, and NOT level up front, the frame may be twisted.  Go back to the dealer and scream!  This is a brand new TT!!!

You could use a manual jack under the low corner to level things up, then deploy the power stabilizers, but this should not be necessary, and would get very old very fast.

Once you get whatever issues exist resolved, apply the corner levels.  Use these to level, and you are good to go!

The real question for level - do your eggs run to one side of the skillet?
 

HappyWanderer

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Again, you're way overthinking this.

You're parking a travel trailer for a few days, not setting the foundation for a building. Get your fridge close to level and move on to something important.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Agree that you are probably overthinking this. Your 24" level is fine, though 12" or even one of the  little circular bead levels is ok.  Get it level at the axles area and front to back and don't worry about the rest unless you have a problem, e.g. doors swing open or closed, cooking is a pain (the eggs run), or your wife complains that it feels funny when she walks across the floor.  You can often adjust for the stove top or cabinet doors by changing where you place the level as you set up. If the stove is the important thing, put the level there, not on the floor. 


Lynnmor & Grashley gave good tech advice, but it's seldom necessary to be that precise. If you want, though, you can add additional jack points using either simple automotive jack stands or crank-down stabilizer jacks.  Whatever it takes to make you happy.

Simple jack stands: 
https://www.amazon.com/Camco-44561-Olympian-Aluminum-Stabilize/dp/B000760FX4/
https://www.harborfreight.com/automotive-motorcycle/jack-stands.html

Stabilizers:  https://www.amazon.com/Trailer-Stabilizer-Leveling-Scissor-hardware/dp/B00Z142CSS/


From your description, it appears the chassis is subject to twisting, i.e. one part is level while a section further away is not.  That happens with a light duty chassis - they lack the rigidity of the heavier types.  That's a common drawback in a "light" trailer - the chassis is a major chunk of weight that can be whittled down at the cost of more flexing.  It's also a substantial cost reduction for the trailer, helping to make the price more attractive.  Be aware that it will flex easily when driving as well, and that will stress cabinetry, door frames, and plumbing as well.
 

RGP

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Dec 21, 2017
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"Level" on my TT is a matter of where you measure it. The floor may be level side to side but the counter tops are not, the slide is never level nor is the frame.

Granted they are not off by much but level depends where you measure. We selected putting the  24" level on the floor the rest would be close enough.

We also determine level before we put the stabilizers down. You can get a fair amount of fame flex by torqueing the stabilizers too hard. I once tried to use the stabilizers to level the TT side to side. It worked but the bathroom door would not close and the outside door would not latch.

Side to side we use 2x12s under the wheels so we can only get so much adjustment anyway.   

Good luck   
 

nmiller0113

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Aug 5, 2018
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Santa Rosa, CA
Thanks to everyone for all of your great replies!  Very, very helpful.  I agree that I'm probably overthinking it, but I was seriously concerned when I was getting different level measurements from front to back and thought that maybe there was something wrong with my TT.  I guess that it is normal and I'm just being paranoid.  Either way, thank you everyone!
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Well, there IS something wrong with it, but it's not an individual defect. Just a general shortcoming of "light" trailer construction.  You are now aware of it, so you can be cautious when leveling so as not to rack it too severely if the site is really uneven.  Maybe carry a few extra wood blocks or those simple jack stands I mentioned just in case you need some extra support.
 

nmiller0113

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Joined
Aug 5, 2018
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Santa Rosa, CA
Gary RV_Wizard said:
Well, there IS something wrong with it, but it's not an individual defect. Just a general shortcoming of "light" trailer construction.  You are now aware of it, so you can be cautious when leveling so as not to rack it too severely if the site is really uneven.  Maybe carry a few extra wood blocks or those simple jack stands I mentioned just in case you need some extra support.
Thanks!
 
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