Are you worried about damaging your RV appliances, not getting a peaceful sleep, or getting vertigo and other health problems because your travel trailer is not level?
Learning how to level a travel trailer on a permanent site ensures safety and stability, allowing you all the comforts and convenience of home in a prime location where your family can have the best times of your lives.
If you are one of the folks with issues leveling their travel trailers, this how-to guide will help you accomplish the task with flying colors.
What You Need to Level a Travel Trailer on a Permanent Site
You can eye-ball a potential location to have a good idea of its levelness. If you want to be more precise, use a carpenter’s precision level to check the degree of inclination or levelness of a particular terrain.
It would also be best to check the compactness or firmness of the ground. It may seem solid and firm during the dry season but can turn soggy when it rains.
Pro Tip: Most RV owners prefer rocky or firm soil to mossy, boggy, or sandy terrain.
Similar to a carpenter’s level, an RV level is essential in ensuring your travel trailer’s parallel orientation to the ground.
This device has a small fluid-filled cylinder in the middle with a bubble. Positioning the bubble in the center of the cylinder is a sure sign that you have a level surface.
If your RV already has an integrated leveling system, you no longer need to purchase an RV level. However, it would still make sense to have a backup if your camper’s automatic level does not function properly.
You can purchase leveling blocks from your local camper specialty store or even online. These items look like LEGO blocks that you snap together to form a ramp.
When buying leveling blocks, it would be wise to check their width and material construction. It should offer plenty of space on both sides for your trailer’s tires to sit on. The leveling blocks should also not give in to the trailer’s weight.
Pro Tip: Use 10-inch by 2-inch wood planks as leveling blocks if you want to economize.
Tire chocks are a must-have in securing a vehicle’s wheels, preventing it from rolling.
Always choose the correct size of tire chocks for your trailer. The rule of thumb is to get a tire chock which is a quarter of your tire’s height. For example, if your trailer has 36-inch tires, the ideal chock should be 9 inches high.
Pro Tip: Use a wooden block with the same height as the ideal tire chock height if you do not want to spend that much.
Step-By-Step Instructions on How to Level a Travel Trailer on a Permanent Site
Always start the leveling process by clearing the permanent site of any debris or objects, including large stones, dead logs, and branches. You may also want to remove fallen leaves and twigs, including loose top sand.
Removing these things can make it easy to level your travel trailer and stabilize it in its position.
- Check your travel trailer’s level.
Place your RV level on your travel trailer’s doorway, noting the bubble’s position relative to the two vertical bar lines of the level.
If the bubble is anywhere near the level’s right bar line, your trailer is lower on its right side than its left. You can focus your leveling efforts on your trailer’s right side.
Hidalgo Motors offers a helpful video on how you can level your trailer.
- Position the leveling blocks.
Place the leveling blocks in front of your trailer’s tires you want to raise. Position the blocks so that the tires will be in the center of the blocks’ midsection.
If using wood planks, provide at least four inches of allowance on both sides of the plank to give room to the tires and distribute the weight evenly.
Pro Tip: Avoid using wood planks with beginning signs of rotting or decay.
- Move your trailer onto the leveling blocks.
Drive your tow vehicle to move the trailer up onto the leveling blocks. Go gentle on the acceleration and keep your steering wheel as straight as possible.
You may want to have someone looking at the correct positioning of the tire on the leveling block. The tire should rest in the center of the block.
It would be best to check your trailer’s level after positioning the tire on the leveling blocks. Make the necessary adjustments to ensure the level.
Motorhomers Magazine provides a helpful video on using leveling blocks on a motorhome.
- Secure your trailer with wheel chocks.
Even if your trailer sits on solid ground, it would still be a good idea to secure the wheels with wheel chocks. If you do not have any, you can always use wooden blocks to prevent the wheels from rolling.
Position the wheel chocks on both sides of your tires. You can also position the chock behind the wheels on sloping ground.
If you are not sure how to use an RV wheel chock, you may want to check this video from RV Education 101.
- Lower the trailer tongue jack.
Place several pieces of 10-by-2-inch wood planks on the ground where you will lower your trailer’s tongue jack into. The wood plank provides the tongue jack a more stable and solid surface so that it will not sink into the ground.
Slowly lower the tongue jack and position its foot in the wood planks’ center.
Pro Tip: Use a wheel dock instead of wood planks for durability and better stability.
- Unhitch your tow vehicle.
After securing your trailer’s wheels and tongue jack, you can unhitch your vehicle. You can check your owner’s manual on the correct unhitching procedure or you can watch Family Fulfillment Project as they show you how.
Drive your tow vehicle at least 30 feet from your trailer, giving you more room to complete the task.
- Recheck your trailer’s level.
Your trailer is now level side to side. However, you should also check its level front to back by using your RV level again.
If the trailer’s front section is lower than the rear, you may want to increase the tongue jack’s height. Do the opposite if the rear section is lower than the front.
Place a 10-inch by 2-inch wood plank on the ground where the trailer’s stabilizing jacks will be. Similar to the wood planks under the tongue jack, performing this step provides your trailer with a firmer surface to stand on.
Lower the stabilizing jacks until they are secure on the wood planks.
Pro Tip: Use jack stands if your trailer does not have stabilizing jacks.
Learning how to level a travel trailer on a permanent site is easy, following these simplified steps. Now, you can enjoy a more peaceful sleep in your perfect spot, never worry about damaging your RV appliances, and forget the risk of having vertigo and other health problems.
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