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How to Level Your Caravan or Motorhome

How to Level Your Caravan or Motorhome

Why Is It Important to Be Level?For one thing, the last thing you need on a day away is the nagging feeling that your caravan is tilted, or even sinking. Being level gives you peace of mind, especially when you're trying to rest. But even if you're not too bothered about sleeping on a slope, you simply wouldn't be able to enjoy your day in a tilted caravan or motorhome. The reason for that is the fact that your appliances probably wouldn't work properly.

How Do You Know You're Not Level?The obvious sign of an unbalanced pitch is that things keep rolling off the worktops, tables, and other straight and smooth surfaces in your caravan or motorhome. Some doors and screens may bounce open, such as unfastened pet carrier gates or shower doors. Sliding doors or room dividers may also glide. Your 3-way fridge might not operate properly. Your shower and sinks may not drain as they should, etc.

How Do You Check If You're Level?If you have a sneaking suspicion that your motorhome or caravan isn't level, there are ways to check. The obvious solution is a spirit level placed on a hard, flat surface within the caravan. If you don't have one to hand, then you can use a glass of water as a rough guide.

It's best to fit a twin spirit level - also called 2-way spirit level - to your A-frame or another horizontal surface on your caravan or motorhome in such a way that it lines up with your axle. Screw it in or glue it down with silicone. Alternatively, there are electronic levels, bull's eye levels, and even smartphone apps that can help. Here's how to level your caravan, motorhome, or camper van with a spirit leveller:

Side to Side Levelling. It's easier to straighten up your caravan if the sides are level. So, if you're on a slope, point your caravan, motorhome, or camper van toward the slope. If the campsite doesn't allow adjustments or you simply don't want to reposition the caravan, place a levelling ramp, plank, or other device under the lower wheel(s) to re-centre the bubble on the spirit level.
Front to Rear Levelling. The perpendicular tube on a twin spirit level will tell you if your motorhome, caravan, or campervan is level front-to-back. With caravans, you'll need to set the height using the jockey wheel. Keep in mind that you also need to lower the rear corner steadies at the end, and this lifts the rear of the caravan a bit. So, give the jockey wheel an extra turn after you've centred the cross bubble on the spirit level.

Caravan Levelling ProductsOnce you've ascertained that your caravan is not level, you have a variety of safe and reliable solutions to choose from. Planks, ramps, bottle jacks, scissor jacks, hydraulic jacks, and wind-ups are the most popular products. Or you could leave it to chance and improvise something on the spot whenever you're not level; but why risk it?

New products are launched every year to help make levelling easier. Depending on your towing dexterity, experience, and level of confidence, there are numerous products you can use. Except for corner steadies, of course. These are meant to support caravans, not level them. But they do sometimes come in handy. Below we describe three levelling products and how they work with a caravan, a motorhome, and a camper van.


How to Level Your Caravan with Levelling Ramps?Caravan levelling ramps are simple sloped plastic wedges or ramps with carved 'steps' that you can drive your wheel on. Then simply apply a wheel chock and hand break to stop it from rolling down. Only use the ramp on a hard surface, unless it's an anti-sink ramp.

caravan wheel levelling

Then disconnect the wiring, uncouple the tow-ball, remove the safety chain, move the vehicle if needed, and adjust the front to rear level with jockey wheel. Then and only then can you wind down the rear legs.

As a side note, it's better to pull onto the ramp than to reverse into it. When you back up, the brakes don't engage as well and the spring in the coupling is subjected to unnecessarily large tension forces.

In some situations, you may need to use a ramp on both sides of the caravan. When the slope is too great for you to fit a jockey wheel, for instance, ramps on either side are the only solution.

If the jockey wheel still can't be clamped at the right height, you'll need a portable stand. It helps transfer the weight of the caravan while you reposition the jockey wheel. In fact, it's best to have two adjustable stands and clamps into position, so that the A-frame doesn't fall while you refit the jockey wheel.

With twin axles, you need to use two levelling ramps. In some cases, the distance between the tandem wheels is too small to allow a ramp through. But it's imperative that you place two ramps on the same side of the caravan. Modular ramps or ramp splits can come in handy here. You simply tow one wheel over the edge of the ramp, secure it with chock locks, add the extender, move the caravan slightly, bring the wheel to rest on the extended ramp, and secure it again.

caravan twin axle wheel levelling

How to Level Your Motorhome with Wind-Up Levelling Jacks?Wind-up levelling jacks are a bit like metal cradles. Here's how to level your motorhome with one: slip it under the wheels of the motorhome and wind-up the attached lever with a ratchet to lift the wheels. They can be used anywhere, and you don't need to move or tow the motorhome over them. This also makes them a good choice for caravan owners with little manoeuvring experience.

The downside to using jacks is it takes a few minutes to lift the wheel. However, the levelling is more precise, which is important to motorhome owners, who usually have more wheels to contend with than caravanners.

How to Level Your Camper Van with Lock'n'Level?Camper van owners have little space for their equipment, and their payload is quite low. Luckily, although the Lock'n'Level Single Axle levelling system is designed for caravans, it also works with campers. This levelling system consists of inflatable bags – one for single axle, two for twin. It works well on both grass and hard standing. It can be left in place during winter, as long as it's deflated. Here's how to level your camper van: simply lay the deflated bag on the ground, roll the wheel onto it, inflate the bag, and make your adjustments. An excellent choice for people who are always on the move.