Class C motorhome levelling systems explained

In today’s blog post, we will review Class C motorhome levelling systems. We will explain why it is important to level your Class C motorhome and how to do it. 

Do all Class C motorhomes have levelling systems?

No, not all Class C motorhomes have levelling systems, so you will have to manually level your motorhome when you park on uneven ground. Levelling an RV is not difficult, once you get the hang of it!

And unless you always park on levelled surfaces, someday you will need to level your Class C motorhome while camping. This will allow you to sleep better, cook more easily and the doors of your vehicle will open as they should. Levelling the motorhome can also extend the life of your refrigerator.

Some Class C motorhomes will be equipped with stabilizers, most of them hydraulic. If they are part of an automatic levelling system, all it takes is the push of a button and you’re good to go. Alternatively, the process can be simplified if you install a level indicator that can be seen from the driver’s seat.

Do not worry, however, if your Class C motorhome doesn’t have a levelling system. In the next section, we will explain how you can level your motorhome manually. 

How to level a Class C motorhome manually?

When it comes to recreational vehicles, levelling is usually straightforward. 

  1. First, park on as an even surface as possible. Then use a good level indicator, magnetic or spherical, that you place on the floor or on a counter to determine if the interior is level. Do this from side to side in the RV. If necessary, use a jack or something else to stabilize and level the vehicle as best you can. When finished, permanently install a bubble or magnetic level indicator on the dashboard or elsewhere near the passenger compartment.

Inexpensive level indicators with an adhesive side are available at most campsites. Once there, grab a set or two of interlocking level blocks or get some planks of wood, preferably pressure-treated, and cut them into pieces of different lengths for easy stacking. In many national parks and campsites, the campsites are not very level. So you might need blocks to raise one or more wheels several inches.

  1. With the permanently installed level indicator, parking level is quite easy in most places. At the campsite, drive slowly while observing the level indicator. Try to move the RV in all directions until the bubble is in the centre. If you are still not level, it is time to take a minute to inspect the site. If there is only one wheel too high, it may be easy to remove a few inches of dirt or gravel and place the wheel in question. 

Similarly, place plastic or wooden blocks where the too low wheel (s) will stop. You may have to add or remove a block to achieve your goal. Over time, you will develop a useful sixth sense when it comes time to upgrade your RV. Remember that your tire tread should be on the block and if you have dual wheels they need to be supported equally.

  1. Once level, apply the handbrake and place wheel chocks, if desired, to prevent accidental shifting. If your vehicle has stabilizers, lower them to solidify the vehicle’s position and level it a little more. If they’re too far off the ground, you might need a few blocks. Do not use the stabilizers for the first levelling, as they are not designed to support an RV and the frame of the RV could be damaged under the weight.

Make the most of your “level” stay and don’t forget to fill in the hole you have dug before you go!

Are automatic levelling systems for motorhomes better?

If comparing an automatic levelling system with manually levelling your motorhome, it is not necessarily better, but certainly a much easier and straightforward process. 

Uneven terrain can be problematic for RVs and other large vehicles when parked, not only for your comfort but also for the functionality of devices and systems. To solve this problem, a hydraulic and electrical RV Leveling System is used to quickly, accurately and automatically level and stabilize an RV parked on rough terrain, with the push of a button. 

Auto levelling systems and RV levellers are more efficient than using multiple manual jacks or traditional, imprecise spirit levels. 

What lies at the heart of an RV levelling system? A tilt sensor. There are many types of tilt sensors, but electrolytic tilt sensors are the most common for an RV leveller. There are four main reasons for this:

  1. Precision and repeatability
  2. Long-term stability and reversal of prejudices
  3. Temperature stability
  4. Cost. 

What alternative methods for levelling a Class C motorhome are out there?

When you’ve arrived at your campsite and want to brew a cup of coffee before installing the awning, it’s common that your motorhome is not completely level. This is a common problem, as the ground at the campsite is almost never completely level. This is why, if your Class C motorhome doesn’t have a levelling system,  it is useful to take extra tools with you so that you can level the motorhome at any time! 

  • Wheel chocks: These are, in a way, tilted blocks that you can drive on to keep the motorhome upright. When levelling with wheel chocks, always make sure you do this with two people. Make sure that the wheel chock is always positioned straight and in the centre of the wheel. If so, you can safely drive on it. 

When the motorhome is at the desired height, remember to put the handbrake on your motorhome so that it cannot rollback. If you are new to wheel chocks, it is recommended that you practice at home a few times.

When using wheel chocks, pay attention to the following points:

  • Do you use wheel chocks in winter? Make sure to remove the handbrake on your motorhome, as it could freeze. In winter, use counter shims instead of the handbrake so that the tire does not rollback.
  • Can’t level your motorhome with one wheel chock? Use a second wheel chock on the other tires. This way you can play around with the heights a bit in order to successfully level your motorhome.
  • Tire airbags: This cushion has been specially designed to level cars, caravans and motorhomes quickly. These tire airbags are great for wet and muddy surfaces as they are easy to clean. 

Tip: You can also use this cushion for winter storage to avoid square tires.

Final tips

Once you have levelled your Class C motorhome (whether manually or automatically) it is also important to stabilize your motorhome. Use your jacks or stabilization stands for this. Don’t use them to level your motorhome, they can’t take that much load capacity. Don’t have jacks? Then use stabilization stands!

If you have any other questions or comments on the content, please feel free to contact us.

FAQ on Class C motorhome levelling systems

Should an RV be stored level?

It is recommended to store the RV as level as possible.  This way, you relieve the tires and the suspensions of a lot of pressure. By using a jack stand kit, your RV is more stable and the weight of the tires is evenly distributed. 

Should my trailer be level when towing?

Yes, your trailer should be level when towing to improve your driving stability, braking performance, ground clearance,  and ultimately to prevent unwanted movement.  Swaying is one of the main causes of accidents when towing a trailer. Using a sway control system can help tremendously with towing any trailer. Accidents occur when trailers begin to sway due to a change in load or suspension problems. 

What happens if your trailer is not level?

If your trailer is not level when towing, it will affect your braking performance, handling and it will cause your trailer to wear out more quickly. Another danger when your trailer is not level is that it can sway, causing unnecessary accidents. 

Will my RV fridge work if not level?

No, your RV fridge will not work properly if not levelled. Its cooling fluids flow through the ducts using gravity. If it is not arranged properly, it can overheat and be damaged! Some compressors only carry out their task when they are located in a perfectly vertical position. 

References

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