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Do You Have to Level a Travel Trailer

Even with all the luxuries an RV provides, it still requires a certain level of work.

Setting up your camper once you’ve arrived at your ideal location can be time-consuming.

But the fruits of that labor are guaranteed to pay off. 

It’s vital not to cut corners during the setup, especially when leveling your trailer.

It’s vital that when you park your travel trailer, you keep it as level as possible.  Leveling your travel trailer will protect its structure, keep all sensors functioning correctly, and help keep you comfortable during the length of your stay.

In taking the time upfront to make sure your travel trailer is level, you ensure that you can enjoy more of your time, problem-free. 

In this article, we’ll address several common questions campers have surrounding the leveling of their RVs. 

Tri-Lynx 00015 Lynx Levelers - 10 Pack , Orange

Why do You Have to Level a Travel Trailer

Leveling your RV isn’t just advisable; it’s crucial.

Leveling an RV helps protect it against major damage. 

When you level a travel trailer, you increase the lifespan of your travel trailer and and help protect yourself against costly repair costs.

You also allow yourself have an easier, more enjoyable trip. 

Later in this article, we’ll address all the various problems that can occur when you attempt to get by without leveling your travel trailer.

For now, though, just understand that this is one of the most important steps you can take in ensuring your trailer’s lifespan.

How Level Does my Camper Need to Be

WilFiks Torpedo Level, 9” Inch Leveling Tool With Magnetic Shock Resistant, Aluminum Alloy Leveler With 3 Different High Visibility Vials, Include 45, 90, 180 Degrees Angles, And Overhead Viewing Slot

An RV should be kept as level as possible.

Preferably within one to two degrees from perfect.

The ideal level will place the bubble either in the direct center or just outside of the center of your leveler.

According to J.D. Power, keeping your camper as level as possible is a vital part of enjoying a safe, happy camping trip.

They even provide a few tips to get the job done right:

  • If possible, invest in an automatic leveling system.  With a click of a button, this system will allow you to level your system without having to make constant adjustments.
  • Use blocks or jack pads to prevent your jacks from sinking into the ground under the pressure of your travel trailer.
  • Never park on slick surfaces; even if you perfectly level your trailer, it will inevitably slip out of place, forcing you to start over.

Even if you’ve had experience leveling other trailers, follow all manufacturer instructions each specific RV provides.

Every camper is different.

And depending on the size, weight, and the number of axles and slideouts, you may have to follow different steps than you did with the previous trailer. 

What Happens if it’s Not Completely Level

If your camper isn’t completely level, you’ll find yourself sacrificing comfort in more ways than one.

Your sensors may be affected in a way that prevents you from using some appliances.

Plumbing Problems

Of all the possible issues during a camping trip, plumbing problems are likely the most annoying.

Working plumbing is critical for most of your daily needs, whether using the toilet, showering, cleaning, or cooking. 

The worst-case plumbing scenarios can even result in a disgusting, stinking mess.

Many of the most annoying plumbing problems can be targeted back to an unlevel camper

Leveling your camper allows gravity to do its job, draining used water away from your RV.

Unfortunately, if your camper is unlevel, the exact opposite can occur.

Smelling, disgusting water will pool in places you don’t want it.

Leading to water damage and faulty pipes.

While not every plumbing issue is directly related to an improperly leveled camper, the cause is prevalent. 

When you encounter plumbing issues, your first step should be to check your travel trailer’s leveling guide.

Refrigerator Issues 

If you’ve any experience camping, you know that the refrigerators provided by most RVs are incredibly basic. 

The small size and more limited power source mean that this mini-fridge has a far more limited capability than your full-sized refrigerator at home.

Likely, you’ve already come face-to-face with the common issue of keeping your frozen food cold.

These issues can be exacerbated ten-fold by an unlevel camper.

Your camper’s mini-fridge is dependent on a level amount of refrigerant to properly cool and maintain your foods.

By leaving your trailer at an awkward angle, you disrupt the sensors of your refrigerator.

Which prevents your fridge from circulating as it would normally.

Without proper circulation, you may also have an issue with your refrigerator door not sealing properly.

If you wake up in the morning to find the refrigerator door swinging open, check the level of your RV.

Further reading: Can I Run My RV Fridge While Driving

Kitchen Dangers

While plumbing issues can be the most annoying, kitchen problems can be the most dangerous.

Every year, 20,000 campers suffer from destructive fires. 

It’s vitally important that you take every precaution in keeping your kitchen as safe as possible during your camping trip.

When your camper is left unlevel, you’ll notice a greater number of objects rolling around floors and countertops, unable to stay still.

The last thing you’ll want on your camping trip is a rag or other flammable item moving across your hot stove. 

How to Level a Travel Trailer on a Slope

Eazy2hD Camper Leveler 2 Pack - RV Leveling Blocks, Includes Two Curved Levelers, Two Chocks, and Two Rubber Grip Mats, Heavy Duty Leveler Works for Camper

The easiest way to level a travel trailer on a slope is to first adjust the trailer side to side.

Then chock the wheels by bracing them with a wedge. 

From here, you can adjust the trailer front to back until you’ve reached a level position.

Does a Travel Trailer Need to be Leveled When Stored

Even when you don’t plan on using your travel trailer for a while, it should be leveled in storage.

Leaving a trailer unlevel for an extended period of time can place pressure on the frame.

This will lead to slanting walls and a generally unsound camper.

Remember that even if your camper is considered a “featherweight,” it still weighs hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds.

Gravity will work against an unlevel camper, pulling that weight at angles the manufacturer never intended it to bear.

Conclusion

Leveling your camper is a hassle, but it’s one worth making.

In leveling your camper, you are protecting the frame, providing a stable base to your temporary home, and guaranteeing fewer problems both now and in the future.

Your camper is a major investment.

Treat it like one by taking the time to level it whenever you’ve reached a parked position.