Bucars Blog — August 19 2018

Leveling Your RV

Hendrik van Wyk: How are you doing my friend?

JC Mcleod: I am doing good how about you?

Hendrik: We’ve been camping a lot and I’ve been watching some of these guys setting up their campsites. And one of the big things I always struggle with is trying to get that thing level. You’ve got your trailer and your motorhome guys seems to be nicely set up. They’ve got a little button. But tell me what the right thing is to do here?

JC: Even those little buttons aren’t the be all, end all to tell you the truth. Why is it important? Why do people care about being level? And it isn’t just about you sleeping well. Having the blood rush to your head if your head’s low. That doesn’t matter, what really matters is the appliances in your RV – how they operate when you’re level. A lot of the stuff is propane run. So when you picture a propane burner, it has a little flame coming out and we have a tube over top. So what happens if you’re not level, that little flame is hitting the side of the tube. The fridge won’t operate, the water heater won’t operate. That’s where it’s so crucial to be level. The problem is, with everything out on the internet today, is what do I use to level, what’s out there, What’s easiest, whats best, how do I do it? We can make it simpler.

Hendrik: We grew up with some really nice jacks on the corners and all you had to do was crank it up and you’re good. But that’s not how things work nowadays. Because they’re making the chassis lighter, so there’s some challenges.

JC: So what you see on the corners, even if you have a scissor jack like we have on this RV, that’s for doing the last inch. That’s for fine tuning. If you actually lift the RV off the ground, have the tires right off the ground, even on a motorhome. Picture a bowling ball on a straw. They aren’t designed to take the weight, you get a side wind, they’re going to roll over. So those are for fine-tuning, not jacking.

Hendrik: You can actually bend your frame if you don’t do it right.

JC: You bet. Some of the very lightweight trailers out there, you bet. You get that back end up, the front end down, she’ll actually twist to match. So no, we want to try and get it as level as possible beforehand and use the jacks to stabilize only.

JC: Everyone’s seen the lego blocks for the big boys. These are your lego blocks that you get to play with. And what they are is a stacking block. We can make pyramids out of them and drive up on them. Cost effective, super easy to use, they store small. So right now, I’ve got my level.

Hendrik: Oh you have another gadget there!

JC: Just a little level and I know that this side I’m on, my driver’s side, is running about an inch low. So with these, we gotta kinda guess. I know I’m running about an inch low, so I’m going to take one, two.

Hendrik: That’s not hard because this is basically just about an inch high.

JC: Exactly, that’s the beauty of it. Because we’re about an inch out, we know we’ve got an inch here essentially.

Hendrik: Right.

JC: All we’re going to do is jump in the truck and pull it up onto those blocks and then we’re close to level.

Hendrik: That’s the easy one.

JC: That’s super easy.

Hendrik: But if you need to go more than an inch, it doesn’t help to stack them on top of each other like this. Because you struggle the things slip out.

JC: Well they’ll kick out and everything. This is where it comes into our building blocks. We are going to, let’s make little pyramids to drive upon.

Hendrik: Much easier.

JC: But you get to be my wife. You get to operate the level. So all I’m gonna do, I’m gonna pull ahead, tell me when I’m square on top of them and we’ll see how close we are.

Hendrik: Whoa! I’ve leveled it this way now. What do I do with this way?

JC: Now our front to back is where we’re using our tongue jack. So once we’re unhooked, we’re going to use our tongue jack to get our nose down or up. Whatever we need to do to level out. And from here is where we would unhook, take out jacks, drop them down and fine tune that last little bit. That last little bit is what’s going to get you perfectly level but we still have weight on the tires. That’s really what matters.

Hendrik: You got new toys and I already went and picked them out. Tell me more about what this is about?

JC: The Anderson level, this is a product that came out a couple of years ago. So super simple. You put it in front of the tire, you drive ahead, the further you drive, the more level you become.

Hendrik: What’s the other bit for?

JC: What this is, is a wheel chock. Once we get it up to level, we’re going to come out, kick that in so it doesn’t roll back.

Hendrik: So you’ve got two in one there?

JC: You’ve got her.

Hendrik: That’s the challenge with the little stackies you’ve just shown us. How do you chock it? You’ve got to chock it on the other side.

JC: You betcha. And then you get a lot of movement back and forth. Where these ones here, we chock it, you’re handled and we have other ways of adding more chocking on top of this to stop the movement. But it’s an all in one product. You’re gonna level, you’re gonna chock all in one.

Hendrik: Show me.

JC: Easy as pie. Force the wedge in a little bit. Because on gravel, if we don’t get them underneath the tire, it isn’t going to pinch and they’ll come shooting out. And all I’m going to do is jump in. You’re going to have your level on the wall. When the level says we’re level, you let me know to stop, we chock and we’re done.

Hendrik: Same hand signals?

JC: You got her.

Hendrik: Take it away, partner.

Whoa, you’re good!

JC: If you don’t mind, I’ll just get you to chock on the backside of those wheels so it doesn’t roll back. And guys that’s it, we’re done.

Hendrik: We’re done?

JC: We’re level, we’re done.

Hendrik: Easy as that. And if you need a little higher, we just keep going a little further.

JC: That’s it. Not to mention, the same thing backing up. We can put them on the backside of the tires and back into them if we’re backing into a site. It just makes it so much quicker and easier.

Hendrik: You know what I learned, the most important thing in this whole configuration, is you start out with the right gear.

JC: You bet.

Hendrik: Which you’re going to look after.

JC: Love doing that.

Hendrik: Right. Then you have to have good hand signals because your partner needs to help you out.

JC: It doesn’t have to be fancy hand signals, your wife and you just need to know what each other’s hand signals are.

Hendrik: Right? Stop. Here we go.

JC: That’s a good panic signal.

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