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Parking your RV nice and level has so many benefits. But sometimes it feels practically impossible to get your motorhome, travel trailer or 5th wheel level. After many attempts, you may just be tempted to throw your hands up in the air and ask “why bother leveling my RV?”
We understand the frustration, so today we’ll be solving all your leveling problems with one simple solution. Let’s get into why you should level your RV in the first place, and then how you can do it more quickly and accurately than any other method by using a LevelMatePRO.
Why Leveling Your RV Is Important
Your entire camping experience may hinge on setting up on an even keel. Don’t give up on the leveling assignment, especially if:
- You have an RV propane/electric refrigerator. That’s because the fridge will not work correctly if the coolant (ammonia) inside can’t circulate properly. To do that, the RV has to be level. If it’s not within a few degrees of perfectly level, the ammonia won’t be able to circulate properly. This is bad because the system can become restricted and eventually stop working altogether.
- Your RV has slide-outs. Most manufacturers recommend that you should level your RV first, then put out the slide-outs. If not, you could be putting excessive stress and wear & tear on the slide mechanisms and/or the leveling system. If too far off-level, it’s possible to break the shear pins on the slide-out gears, rendering them useless.
- You don’t like to sleep on a slope, or don’t enjoy blood rushing to your head! If you’ve ever spent the night tent camping on a slight incline, you know the frustration of trying to turn over without sliding downhill. Or trying to sleep with your head lower than your feet. Nobody enjoys that (if you do, please leave a comment down below and tell us why!).
- You don’t like showering in a soapy puddle. If your RV is leaning one way, and your drain is on the opposite side of the shower, you’ll end up having to use your foot like a squeegee to get all the water down the drain!
- You don’t like walking into doors. If you have a regular swinging bathroom door on hinges, like we do (vs a pocket door), it won’t stay where you put it if you’re not level.
- You like fried eggs more than scrambled eggs. Of course with the RV off-level, the cooktop won’t be level either. Sunny-side-up eggs will slide over into a big puddle on one side of the pan, making it hard to avoid breaking them.
If you find yourself in any of these situations, getting your rig level will fix every one of these issues. But rather than blindly stacking more leveling blocks hoping they’re the correct height… and then trying again… and again… we highly recommend using a LevelMatePRO. It’s one of our very favorite pieces of gear that we’ve ever added to our RV, and it makes the process of leveling your RV super simple!
What Is the LevelMatePRO?
Using Bluetooth technology and incorporating a 3-axis digital accelerometer, the LevelMatePRO was created as an extremely convenient and easy-to-use system for leveling your RV. It wirelessly reports the amount of height needed to level your RV by sending that information to their app on your phone or tablet.
Now, the LevelMatePRO doesn’t do the leveling for you. Similar to some hydraulic systems, it tells you how much height to add and to which position to add it. But it’s FAR more precise, with an incredibly accurate digital level and very exact tolerances. And it displays all that information right on your mobile device (any smartphone or tablet).
To use the LevelMatePRO, you need to first install it in your rig, then download the app. Once you’re parked at a campsite, refer to the app on your phone or tablet. You’ll see side-to-side and front-to-back diagrams of your RV, with measurements on each side showing by how much height to increase each.
For RVs that don’t have built-in jack systems, it’s hard to estimate how much height is needed under each corner. Do you need 2 leveling blocks, or 3? Or 4? LevelMatePRO tells you exactly how much height is needed at each position, allowing you to precisely level your rig on the first try. Every. Single. Time.
It’s safe to say that no matter what type of RV you have, LevelMatePRO makes setup quicker, easier, and more accurate… so you’ll be done leveling your RV faster, and get to enjoy RVing that much more!
LevelMatePRO vs LevelMatePRO+
After years of success with the original LevelMatePRO, the manufacturer designed an even higher-level version, the LevelMatePRO+. This tool can not only measure the exact amount of height needed on each corner of an RV and share the information through the app, but it can also be accessed on an Apple Watch. In addition to having a larger battery, the LevelMatePRO+ can also be wired into 12-volt power. Both versions of the LevelMatePRO work equally well on all drivable and towable RVs, regardless of whether they’re equipped with jacks or not.
An excellent additional feature of both units is their ability to identify the most level ground to set up camp before even trying to get level. How many times have you been boondocking, or trying to figure out the most level place in a Wal-Mart lot, only to realize that the spot you’ve selected isn’t nearly as level as it looked. By switching on the LevelMatePRO while driving through an area, you can stop where you think it’s the most level, and see exactly how level it really is.
Sometimes pulling forward or backward just a few feet can make the difference between being only an inch or two off-level, and maxing out your jacks trying. LevelMatePRO allows you to choose the most level spot available, avoiding that shaky feeling you get from being jacked up too high, maxing out your jacks, or running out of stacker blocks.
How to Install a LevelMatePRO
We love our LevelMatePRO so much that we’ve created three separate videos about it over the years. This first one explains the installation, set-up, and how to use it on a drivable RV with a built-in jack system:
Our second LevelMatePRO video showed how to use the system on a drivable RV without built-in jacks (and sorry… the giveaway mentioned in this video ended a long time ago):
Finally, our third LevelMatePRO video covered the use of the unit in a towable. Travel trailers and 5th wheels get to take advantage of a really cool feature that isn’t needed on drivable rigs: Recall Hitch Position. When you’re ready to depart from your campsite, this allows you to precisely set the height of the tongue to match the trailer hitch ball height on your tow vehicle before backing up to connect. What other leveling system provides so much useful information that it’s valuable when breaking camp, not just when setting up?!
Adding a LevelMatePRO or LevelMatePRO+ to your rig is very straightforward, with the new, updated app including a set-up wizard that makes it even easier than shown in our first video (above).
The app will prompt you for two easy-to-obtain length and width measurements from your rig, so you’ll need a long tape measure. You’ll install the included battery, download the free LevelMatePRO app to your phone or tablet (or both), launch the app, and input the measurements of your RV.
Because part of the process of setting up the unit includes telling LevelMatePRO what constitutes “level” for your rig, you’ll need to get your RV as level as possible to calibrate the system. Use whatever method you typically use for leveling your RV… a carpenter’s level, bubble levels… or swinging bathroom door! Mount the LevelMatePRO unit on an inner wall of your rig, making sure the arrows that are printed on the front of the housing are pointing up. The on/off switch will be on the bottom, with the unit mounted reasonably level. But the LevelMatePRO doesn’t have to be mounted perfectly level! It only needs to be close, with the label facing to the front, rear, left or right of the RV (in other words, not on a diagonal, or on the ceiling, etc).
When the set-up wizard tells you to hit the “Set Level” button in the app, it will tell the LevelMatePRO that your rig is now perfectly level. From then on, it always knows what “perfectly level” means in your RV. It will also ask you how long you want the device to stay on after use until it “sleeps,” (which it does after a set period after it no longer senses motion) so as not to use up the battery unnecessarily. We set ours to an hour, which is the minimum.
Final Thoughts About Leveling Your RV
That’s it! You now have a way of levelling your RV right the first time, every time. It’s such a great tool to have for any type of RV. Not only is it handy, but a level RV helps you sleep more comfortably, helps your slides perform as expected, keeps your refrigerator cool, and your feet out of that soapy puddle in the shower!
In conclusion, the LevelMatePRO is the perfect piece of equipment to make every camping trip a rousing success.
Buy your own LevelMatePRO or LevelMatePRO+ here: http://amzn.to/2EojJU0
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Even though we're handy RVers, we're not professional technicians. So although we're happy with the techniques and products we use, you should be sure to confirm that all methods and materials are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.