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How to Level a Motorhome/RV… Plus an Awesome Giveaway!

How to Level a Motorhome/RV… Plus an Awesome Giveaway!

Sloped campsites are a fact of life for RVers. Most of us have to deal with un-level sites fairly often, especially when we’re camping in remote, unimproved locations. Even though leveling a motorhome isn’t particularly complicated, there are a few important things to keep in mind. Here’s how we do it, plus we’re giving away some great prizes in our latest RVgeeks Contest!

Even if you own a 5th wheel or travel trailer vs a motorhome, some of these steps still apply. Plus, the prizes we’re giving away are something that every RVer will want to win. So don’t tune out just because your RV doesn’t have a built-in jack system!

Your RV’s leveling procedures may be different than ours, but many of the concepts are the same. Even though we have a computerized system, we demonstrate how to level using the manual controls, just in case your rig does’t have an automatic mode.

We shot this video on a mostly-level concrete site, so jack pads weren’t needed. But when the slope gets too far off-level and/or the ground is soft, you’ll need a good quality set of leveling blocks. We happen to own the best ones on the market. ;-)

UPDATE: Now you can SAVE 5% on your purchase of a LevelMatePRO/LevelMatePRO+ when you buy from TechnoRV. Use the coupon code below and save:

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TechnoRV.com is a supplier of leading RV technology products that are designed to enhance your RV lifestyle. That includes items like LevelMatePRO, Viair portable air compressors, connectivity...Show More

TechnoRV.com is a supplier of leading RV technology products that are designed to enhance your RV lifestyle. That includes items like LevelMatePRO, Viair portable air compressors, connectivity equipment, and more!

Use the Promo Code "RVGEEKS" to save 5% on your entire order at TechnoRV.

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↓↓ SCROLL DOWN TO VIEW THE WINNERS ↓↓

On Sunday, November 16th, 2014 at 5:00PM Pacific Time, five lucky RVgeeks viewers will each win a set of four Utility Blocks, with a total retail value of nearly $350! Use the form below to enter for your chance to win a set of these awesome jack pads.  We’ve been using ours for about a year and a half and know you’ll love them as much as we do!

INCREASE YOUR ODDS OF WINNING BY DOING ANY OR ALL OF THE FOLLOWING:

  • Enter once each day (to prevent ballot box stuffing, one entry per day is the limit)
  • Tweet about this contest (you can do this once a day, too!)
  • Pin the contest on Pinterest
  • Share the contest with your friends!

NOTE: The form gives you the option of including your phone number with your entry. The ONLY reason we ask for that is to ensure that we are able to quickly contact the winners. Your phone number will not be used for ANY other purpose. If you’re uncomfortable providing it, simply enter “N/A” in the box instead.

Having difficulties seeing/using the Giveaway Widget?
Click Here to access it directly on the GiveAwayTool’s site.

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Eric B

Friday 15th of May 2015

I have a 34' ford 2004 f53 chasis. My system has 4 jacks but the front two are connected to one hydraulic valve. It is a 2004 that is only manual. I learned the hard way that if not done right it can cost you ($700 to reset the windshield). I finally figured out to make sure during any side to side only movement (this is controlled by only my two rear jacks) to make sure I activate my front valve at the same time so the front jacks don't tweek the rig.Don't know if it's right but I have not damaged anything since following this procedure. You're thoughts? Have you ever heard of a system hooked up this way?

TheRVgeeks

Friday 15th of May 2015

Hi Eric. The only systems that we've heard of that sound similar to this are the old Monaco 3-jack systems, which had a single jack in the center up front. They went to the three-point system because their windshields were popping out like crazy with four jacks. Can you tell us the make and model of the jack system so we can research a little further?

Dayami

Tuesday 20th of January 2015

It seems silly to raise one side of the RV to match the other side to then have to raise the side that was supposed to be higher in the first place, why not lower the side you raised up to begin with? in our short experience the auto leveling ends up raising the jacks too much unnecessarily. I saw a lot of posts about this in the RV blogs and from now on we are going to try leveling the RV completely manually and they recommend to do front to back then side to side - to be tested. BTW we bought those blocks and were parked on grass slightly downhill in the front of the RV, using the auto level we placed the blocks under the jacks, on the side that needed to be raised the block slipped out when the jack touched down, by the time we managed to stop the auto level process the jack was bent we have been using the cheap blocks since and no slipping issues. I would not waste money on those expensive ones.

TheRVgeeks

Tuesday 20th of January 2015

Hi Dayami. I think you may be misunderstanding something about the leveling process that we demonstrated. For all intents and purposes, there's no raising of the high side after raising the low side. The 4th jack only touches the ground and presses in until firmly planted, not lifting any more than the tiniest amount. The only exception to that is for any slight adjustment that is sometimes needed to compensate for any minor change in the side-to-side level that occasionally occurs during front-to-rear jacking, which was the situation we demonstrated. Sorry if we weren't clear enough on that.

With a diesel pusher, you start by dropping the air bags, thereby lowering the suspension at all four corners as far as it will go. Of course with gas rigs, there's no way to lower the suspension, since there are no air bags to dump. So either way, the RV starts off as low as possible at all four corners, which prevents jacking any side or end more than needed.

The first step in jacking raises the low side to exactly match the higher side and that's the end of the side-to-side leveling. Same goes for the front-to-rear jacking... raise the low end to exactly match the high end... no more. The RV is as low as it can be, since the high side and high end aren't raised at all. The low side and end were simply brought up to match the high side and high end. If your jacks are raising the RV so that the low side or low end are lifted further than the high side or end, then your jacks are not working properly, or you could be doing something wrong.

Regarding whether to level front-to-rear first, or side-to-side first, that can be a matter of preference, as long as you don't contradict your manufacturer's instructions. Our rig, and others we have seen, level side to side first when using the computer control, so that's the way we do it when leveling manually. If you have a computerized system that's working correctly, you should see it exactly mimic the steps that we performed manually in the video.

If you jacked up the front, and the jacks slid on the grass or on the pads, either your pads weren't centered under the jacks, and/or you failed to set your parking brake correctly and/or failed to chock the rear wheels. In our 12 years of full-timing, we've never once had a pad slide out or have the RV slide when jacking, even on a substantial hill, even on wet grass, because the brakes/tires/chocks hold the rear in place when raising the front, and the chocks hold the front in place when raising the rear (although we never lift the rear wheels into the air, to avoid lifting the only parking brake-equipped tires off the ground). And we're careful to place the jack pads centered directly under the jacks, no matter what kind of pad/block we're using, expensive or cheap.

Glen

Monday 8th of December 2014

I am new to your site and the videos I have watched are very instructive. The one thing that I do differntly when leveling our coach, is lower the opposite jacks after doing the first side adjustment. I do this to stabilize the coach before adjusting the front to back. My reasoning is to eliminate any twisting on the frame. It might not be necessary but I feel better doing it. Just food for thought.

TheRVgeeks

Monday 8th of December 2014

Welcome, and thanks for the comment! A few years ago, we tried using the exact method you described for a while, and it works very well, too. But we ended up going back to the way we demonstrated here because that's the way that the computer does it when automatic mode is used, and it has never caused us any problem. There's nothing wrong with an abundance of caution though!

Terry Moore

Monday 17th of November 2014

:-)

Donna

Sunday 16th of November 2014

We have had our motorhome for 2 yrs, but my husband will retire from the miltary on Nove 30th after 40 yrs of service. We are hoping to get out more and for longer stays than the weekend jaunts we have done so far. I haven't really paid attention to the leveling system on our coach. I know it is automatic, but not sure if it has the red & yellow lights. I have noticed after it is supposed to be leveled that it is still shakey. I can feel my husband turn over in bed, if I am reading on the sofa. Is that normal?

TheRVgeeks

Sunday 16th of November 2014

Hi Donna! What you're describing may not be that unusual, depending on the circumstances. What size and type of RV do you have? The larger the motorhome and the more robust the leveling jacks, the less you're likely to feel movement. That said, even on our 43' rig, we can sometimes feel each other walking or moving around. It tends to be more noticeable if the movement is coming from a slide-out, since sticking out the side of the RV puts the weight change further out from the jacks. It also tends to be worse on very unlevel sites that required jacking one side or end of the RV very high up. Also, the more weight, the more we notice it (one of us weighs more than the other, so when the heavier person walks around, it's more noticeable than when the lighter one is doing it). Our bed is in a slide, so if one of us is in bed and moves around too much, the other can feel it up in the living room if they're sitting still, and if the RV is jacked up pretty high. It's not enough to make us seasick, but it's detectable. lol We used to notice it more in our previous motorhome, which was smaller and had smaller jacks. This is just our experience. Hope this info helps a little.

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