How to Level a Travel Trailer: Step-by-Step Guide for a Safe Stay

how to level a travel trailer

Published Date: May 23, 2023

Last Updated on August 10, 2023 by Camper Front

Traveling in a travel trailer can be a fun and exciting way to explore the great outdoors. But setting up your home away from home is more than just parking and putting out the awning. One of the essential tasks you’ll need to master is how to level a travel trailer. A properly leveled trailer ensures stability, comfort, and functionality during camping trips. This article covers all the steps for leveling a trailer and how you can avoid problems during that process.

Leveling your travel trailer is crucial for several reasons. A level trailer ensures that appliances like your refrigerator function properly. It also prevents doors from swinging open or closed, minimizes stress on the frame, and, most importantly, provides a comfortable living space.

Table of Contents

Benefits of a Level Travel Trailer

Have you ever tried to sleep on a slope or cook on an uneven surface? If you own a travel trailer, you know how vital it is to ensure your home-away-from-home is properly level.

A Stable and Secure Home on Wheels

A properly level travel trailer is essential for your safety and comfort. An unlevel trailer can cause your RV’s leveling system to malfunction, leading to potential accidents. Slide-outs may not open or close properly, and appliances like your refrigerator may not work as well as they should. Additionally, a leveled travel trailer is more secure, reducing the risk of it moving or sliding on jack pads while you’re inside.

Say Goodbye to Annoying Wobbles and Shakes

If you’ve ever set up camp in a pop-up camper or travel trailer, you know how annoying wobbles and shakes can be. A level trailer ensures that your living space is stable, eliminating those pesky wobbles that disrupt your sleep or make cooking a frustrating experience.

Extend the Life of Your Trailer Components

The parts of your travel trailer will last longer if you take care of them and keep it level. An uneven trailer can put stress on the RV’s structure, leading to premature wear and tear on your trailer’s frame, slide-outs, and other elements. You can save money on expensive repairs in the long run if you know how to properly level a trailer.

how to level a travel trailer

How to Level a Travel Trailer?

Step 1. Assess Your Equipment and Tools

Before you begin leveling your travel trailer, you’ll need the proper tools and equipment. Here are the essentials:

Leveling Blocks

Leveling blocks are designed to help level your travel trailer on uneven ground. There are various types of leveling blocks, from simple plastic blocks to interlocking systems. Remember to choose the ones that are easy to purchase and fulfill your needs.

Wheel Chocks

Wheel chocks are essential for preventing your travel trailer from rolling away while leveling. They provide additional safety and stability during the process.

Bubble Level or Leveling App

A bubble level or leveling app will help you determine if your travel trailer is level. Many free leveling apps are available for smartphones, or you can purchase a simple bubble level to keep on hand.

Stabilizing Jacks

Stabilizing jacks are important for giving your travel trailer more support and stability once it’s level. There are several types of jacks, such as scissors, electric, and hydraulic jacks. Choose the one that works best for your specific trailer setup.

Step 2. Choose the Right Campsite

Choosing the right campsite is an essential part of the leveling process. If this is your first time leveling a trailer, here are some tips to help you find the right campsite.

Factors to Consider

  • Ground Surface: Look for solid, firm ground to support your travel trailer’s weight. Avoid muddy or sandy areas that may cause your leveling equipment to sink.
  • Slope: Ideally, you want a campsite with a minimal slope. While it’s not always possible to find perfectly level ground, the flatter the terrain, the easier it will be to level your travel trailer.
  • Space for Maneuvering: Make sure there’s enough room to maneuver your tow vehicle and travel trailer safely.

Positioning Your Travel Trailer

Once you’ve found the perfect campsite, position your travel trailer so that it’s relatively level from the start. This will make the leveling process much more manageable.

how to level a travel trailer

Step 3. Leveling Your Travel Trailer Side-To-Side

The first step in leveling your travel trailer is adjusting it side-to-side. Here is the easiest way to do it.

Check the Initial Level

Place your bubble level or use your leveling app on the RV floor, preferably in the trailer’s center. That way, you can easily determine the leveling required to stabilize the trailer.

Use Leveling Blocks

  • Determine Block Height: Based on the initial level, estimate how many blocks you’ll need to raise the low side of your travel trailer.
  • Position Blocks Under Wheels: Place the leveling blocks in front of or behind the trailer tires, depending on whether you need to pull forward or back up to level the trailer.
  • Back onto Blocks: Carefully drive or back your travel trailer onto the leveling blocks, ensuring the wheels are centered on the blocks.

Confirm the Level

Once your travel trailer is on the leveling blocks, use your bubble level or leveling app again to check if it’s level. If needed, adjust the blocks to achieve the desired level.

Step 4. Leveling Your Travel Trailer Front-To-Back

After leveling your travel trailer side-to-side, it’s time to level it front-to-back. Follow these steps:

Lower the Trailer Tongue

Lower the trailer tongue onto the tongue jack, ensuring it’s securely in place.

Disconnect the Tow Vehicle

Disconnect your tow vehicle from the travel trailer to allow for front-to-back leveling.

Adjust the Tongue Jack

  • Extend or Retract the Jack: Raise or lower the tongue jack to level the travel trailer front-to-back.
  • Check the Level Frequently: Use your bubble level or leveling app to check the level as you make adjustments.

Confirm the Level

After leveling your travel trailer front-to-back, double-check the side-to-side level to ensure everything is still in alignment. If necessary, make additional adjustments using the leveling blocks or tongue jack. Once your trailer is level in both directions, you’re ready to move on to stabilizing.

how to level a travel trailer

Step 5. Stabilizing Your Leveled Travel Trailer

Now that your travel trailer is level, it’s essential to stabilize it for safety and comfort during your stay. Follow these steps to secure your leveled trailer.

Lower the Stabilizing Jacks

Stabilizing jacks are located at the corners of your travel trailer and provide extra support once it is level.

  • Position the Jacks: Extend the stabilizing jacks so they’re resting firmly on the ground. Make sure they’re making solid contact with a hard surface, like a jack pad or wooden block, to prevent sinking into soft ground.
  • Adjust the Height: Once the jacks are in position, adjust their height to provide firm support without lifting the trailer off the ground. This will help eliminate wobbling or rocking while inside the trailer.

Secure the Wheels With Chocks

With your trailer level and stabilizing jacks in place, secure the wheels using wheel chocks. Place them snugly against both the front and rear of the tires to prevent any movement.

Double-Check the Level

Lastly, check the level of your travel trailer one last time and make any changes you need to make sure everything is perfect. With your trailer leveled, you’re ready to enjoy your camping experience.

Step 6. Troubleshooting Common Leveling Problems

Even seasoned campers can encounter challenges when leveling their travel trailers. Here are some common problems you can face and their potential solutions:

Uneven Ground or Soft Surfaces

If you’re dealing with uneven terrain or soft ground, you may need to use additional leveling blocks or plywood to create a more stable surface for your jacks and blocks.

Limited Leveling Block Height

In some cases, your leveling blocks may not provide enough height to level your travel trailer. If this happens, you might want to use more blocks or buy a more flexible leveling system.

Stabilizing Jack Issues

If your stabilizing jacks are not providing sufficient support or stability, inspect them for damage or wear. You may need to replace or upgrade your jacks for better performance.

Trailer Shifting During Your Stay

If your travel trailer shifts or moves during your stay, ensure your wheel chocks are secure. If necessary, add more chocks or use a more robust chocking system.

how to level a travel trailer

Step 7. Leveling Systems and Upgrades

If you’re looking to streamline the leveling process, various leveling systems and upgrades are available. These can make leveling your travel trailer easier and more efficient. Double-check everything to ensure that the trailer is at an adequate level, so anyone sitting on the toilet seat won’t slip.

Manual Leveling Systems

Manual leveling systems typically involve the use of leveling blocks, jacks, and wheel chocks. While they require some effort, they’re generally more affordable than other options.

Electronic Leveling Systems

Electronic leveling systems automatically use sensors and electric motors to level your travel trailer. These systems can be more convenient, but they come with a higher price tag.

Hydraulic Leveling Systems

Hydraulic leveling systems use hydraulics to lift and level your travel trailer with the push of a button. They offer convenience and speed but can be more expensive and require professional installation.

Choosing the Right System for Your Needs

When selecting a leveling system, consider factors such as your budget, the frequency of your camping trips, and your level of expertise. Take some time to spend time on each of these factors before choosing the tools.

Tips for Maintaining a Level Travel Trailer

Once you’ve successfully leveled your travel trailer, it’s essential to maintain the level throughout your stay. Follow the tips below so you can have a hassle-free experience while leveling your trailer.

Regularly Check the Level During Your Stay

Ground conditions can change due to weather, temperature fluctuations, and other factors. Check your travel trailer’s level at least once a day, especially after heavy rain or drastic temperature changes.

Adjust Leveling Blocks and Jacks as Needed

If you notice that your travel trailer is no longer level, you may need to make adjustments to your leveling blocks or jacks. Remember to use wheel chocks to secure your trailer before making any changes.

Monitor Ground Conditions

Keep an eye on the ground beneath your leveling blocks and jacks. If you notice any sinking or shifting, take action to correct the issue, such as adding more blocks or repositioning the jacks.

Take Note of Common Issues and Fixes

As you gain experience leveling your travel trailer, you’ll become more adept at identifying issues and finding solutions. Keep a log of problems you’ve encountered and how you resolved them. This knowledge will be invaluable for future leveling endeavors.

how to level a travel trailer

Can You Level Your Trailer by Yourself?

Picture this: you’ve finally embarked on your dream solo camping trip. The freedom and thrill of the open road have led you to a beautiful campsite. Now, it’s time to set up your trailer for a cozy and comfortable stay. But can you level your trailer by yourself? The answer is a resounding yes!

Getting Started

As a solo camper, you’ll need the right tools to ensure a level and stable RV. Here are the essentials for leveling your trailer:

  • RV leveling blocks
  • Wheel chocks
  • A bubble-level or RV-level app
  • Stabilizing jacks (manual or hydraulic leveling system)

With these tools, you’re ready to tackle the leveling process independently. Before you start, it’s crucial to understand the technique of pulling forward. This maneuver allows you to adjust your RV’s position by placing it on the leveling blocks. Practice this technique in a safe space before your trip to gain confidence and ensure a smooth leveling process at the campsite.

The DIY Leveling Process: A Step-By-Step Guide

First, assess the ground’s slope and determine the necessary height for the RV leveling blocks. Once you have a clear understanding, follow these steps:

  1. Place the leveling blocks in front of or behind the wheels depending on the slope.
  2. Pull forward or reverse your RV onto the blocks, making small adjustments as needed.
  3. Use the bubble level or RV level app to check the side-to-side and front-to-back levels. Adjust the blocks accordingly.
  4. Secure the wheels with chocks to prevent movement.
  5. Lower the stabilizing jacks, either manually or with an auto-leveling system, to provide additional support and stability.

Is It Hard to Level Your Travel Trailer?

Leveling your travel trailer might seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right tools and a little know-how, you’ll be able to level your trailer with ease, ensuring stability and comfort during your camping adventures.

Choose the Right Tools

Equip yourself with the necessary tools for leveling, such as leveling blocks, wheel chocks, a bubble level, a leveling app, and stabilizing jacks. These tools will make the process smoother and more efficient.

Select a Suitable Campsite

Before attempting to level your trailer, find a campsite with a relatively flat surface and enough space for maneuvering. This will significantly reduce the work needed to achieve a level trailer.

Practice Patience and Communication

Whether you are working with a partner or on your own, the key to leveling your travel trailer is clear communication and patience. If you’re new to the process, don’t be afraid to ask for help or guidance from fellow campers.

Trust the Process

Leveling a travel trailer can be intimidating, but remember that practice makes perfect. As you gain experience, you’ll find that leveling becomes second nature. Trusting the process and being patient with yourself as you learn is essential.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How do I prepare my travel trailer for leveling?

Before diving into the leveling process, preparing your travel trailer properly is important. Imagine setting up camp with your family, excited to relax after a long day of traveling. To ensure a stress-free experience, follow these steps:
Park your travel trailer on a flat, stable surface.
Chock the wheels to prevent any movement.
Disconnect your towing vehicle to avoid interference during leveling.
By following these easy steps, you’ll be able to level your travel trailer quickly and easily, making sure everyone has a comfortable and fun camping trip.

2. What tools do I need to level my travel trailer?

Leveling your travel trailer doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right tools, you can transform it into a simple and enjoyable experience. To achieve this, you’ll need the following tools:
A bubble level or digital level is used to measure the incline.
Sturdy leveling blocks or ramps to raise the low side.
A torque wrench or similar tool to adjust the stabilizing jacks.
With these essential tools, you’ll be ready to tackle the leveling process like a pro and enjoy your well-earned vacation.

3. What’s the best technique for leveling a travel trailer?

Leveling your travel trailer can be a breeze if you follow the right technique. Imagine the satisfaction of knowing you’ve done it correctly and the peace of mind that comes with a safe and stable setup. Follow these steps to achieve the perfect level:
First, use your bubble or digital level to determine the side-to-side incline of your trailer.
Next, place leveling blocks or ramps under the wheels on the low side and slowly drive onto them until the trailer is level.
Finally, adjust the stabilizing jacks using a torque wrench or similar tool to fine-tune the front-to-back leveling.

Wrapping It Up

Leveling a travel trailer is important for any camper who wants to stay safe and comfortable. By following simple, step-by-step guidelines, even beginners can master this task with ease. Always prioritize safety, use appropriate tools like leveling blocks and bubble levels, and practice patience. As you connect with fellow campers and share your leveling stories, you’ll find that this essential skill becomes second nature. So gather your gear, hit the road, and enjoy exploring the great outdoors with a perfectly level travel trailer.

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