Getting your camper nice and stable so it doesn’t shake and rattle when you are walking around or “wrestling” at night is the very first thing I do when I’m setting up. It’s what most people do really, right after hitting the bathroom and cracking a cold one.
Those 4 jacks in the corners that come mounted to most RV’s are just so handy compared to hauling around a pump-jack like when you are changing the oil on a car. I mean, the are already there – just run them suckers down to the ground with the Dewalt until the bubble gets to level right? WRONG.
Back in my newbie camping days I used to do this. Sometimes both the wheels would be off the ground! Then I started listening to what the more experience campers had to say and I don’t anymore 🙁 It’s not that all the paperwork that comes with a camper tells you not to do this, but it was one simple piece of advice that I got that completely changed how I felt about it.
Add up all the weight in between those 2 jacks and then add your family jumping around in the middle too. Once that frame bends, you’ll never pull it straight down the road again.
Whoah! Never pull it straight again? Yup, that’s right. You’ll be burning through tires with a tweaked frame faster than those teenagers can empty a fridge.
Sold. So what do I do then?
Level the camper with the tires first, and then add stability to that already level trailer with the jacks.
Ok, I can get behind that. Cut myself up a 2×6 and I’m good to go. (Don’t worry, all newbies do this too)
Those 2×6 boards you have with 45’s cut on both sides are a good start, but they are heavy and a pain in the butt to store and haul around. And when they split right down the center from end-to-end dont come crying to me when a big splinter shoots up into one of your fancy new tires that still has the nubs on it.
“I told you so.”
There are a bunch of different lego like building blocks that are lightweight and easy to use and store. You can set you tires and different heights to deal with a slope or dip in your campsite and you can use them for other things like ramps, stools, or tire wedges.
So you back up and you trailer isn’t level. Pull forward, setup the blocks and back up. Get out, check level, and do it again.
Repeat until level. (Side note, this is one of the seasonal campers little games to watch the new guy and guess how many times it takes him to “get her just right”)
When theres a tedious process like this, there is also a lazy-mans way to fix it. Enter the LevelMatePro.
This handy little device lets you know how level your trailer is when you are in the cab of the vehicle and are exactly where you need to be to do something about it. With the above setup, just back up a little more until you are happy. 🙂