The Art Of Being Level Part 3
Posted On April 8, 2021
In Part 2 of The Art of Being Level (Go Here to Read)– I talk about the “Tools You Need To Level Your Trailer When You Arrive At Your Campsite“. In this final part let’s talk about –
“Levelling Your Trailer When You Arrive At Your Campsite”:
Pick a spot that is as level as possible
That is probably to obvious, but this is the very first thing to do. When you pull up to a location, get out of your tow vehicle and check out the campsite. You want to make sure the ground will support the weight and size of your trailer. If the ground is soft (sandy, muddy) or gravely and firm provides the clues to the type of tools you’re going to require for set-up. If the site has a sever slope and/or poor soil, I strongly recommend that you go find another place where the site’s level does not stray too far from “level”. The leveller the site means that you will only be doing some minor adjustments to get the trailer to sit level on the ground (not having to recreate the earth). Oh sure, I know of people that carry a shovel so they can dig a trench to assist in levelling, duh – Say What! 😲
Clear the area as much as possible
Before you back into a campsite and start levelling your trailer, go clear out the campsite first. Remove any large stones, branches, dead logs and other debris that will make levelling your trailer that much more difficult. Once this is done and you’re happy with the campsite back your trailer into the location you would like it to be. I also check and remove those “sharp stones” that some how always end up under our camp mat and cause no end of pain when stepped on! – ooou-chhh!!! 😖
Check the trailer right/left using a level
Once we have back into our campsite, I first check the status of the trailer’s level by looking at the right/left incline bubble levels which are attached to Blue Streak. This tells me which side I need to raise up using the BeechLane System. This system provides the ability to raise Blue Streak up to 4″. If I require more than 4″ of adjustment, I will either reorientate the trailer or consider moving to a different location. A slope greater than 4″ right/left has implications for entry steps.
At this time I will plug-in the Blue Streaks digital levelling system and turn on the smart phone APP.
Place your levelling blocks against the trailer’s tires
While some people use the “lego style” levelling blocks which you can just snap together to form a simple ramp for your trailer’s tires. We use the BeechLane curved ramp system. They are simply placed in front of the tires of the side of the trailer that I need to raise.
Drive your trailer onto the blocks
Slowly pull your trailer so that they rest on top of the levelling blocks until you reach the required right/left level desired. For us the inclinometer APP/Bubble Level tells us when we reach that. It is important to go slow, keeping your steering wheel straight. Mo (my partner) keeps watch so I don’t over drive the blocks.
Place wheel chocks to keep your trailer in place
Once you have achieved the correct right/left side level. Have your partner chocks the wheels. Apply the emergency brake on the tow vehicle to ensure nothing will move. Place your wheel chocks in the front and at the back of the wheels on the opposite side of the trailer from your levelling system. Again, we use a heavy duty rubber wheel chock NOT the cheap yellow plastic junk that has a nasty tendency to slip.
Adjusting the tongue jack
Before we start lowering the tongue jack I will place one of our 1x12x12 under the jack foot to assist it from sinking into the ground with the weight of the trailer/tow vehicle while unhitching.
Unhitch the tow vehicle
Once you are happy with how the travel trailer is secured, use the tongue jack as required to unhitch the vehicle (remember the last thing to remove are the safety chains). Move the towing vehicle out of the way so that it will be easier for you to finish levelling your trailer front/back.
Finish the levelling but this time, it should only be from front to back
Again we use our inclinometer APP/Bubble Levels to tells us when we reach back/front level. This is achieved by raising or lowering the power jack in front of the trailer. When all is level we set the stabilisers.
Setting the trailer’s stabilisers
The stabilisers are found in the four corners of the trailer. Reminder, you cannot use these for levelling (how many time have I said this in this post?), their primary purpose is to prevent the trailer from rocking from side to side and falling out of its state of level.
Before we lower the stabilisers we place a “lego block” underneath their feet. This will ensure they have a solid surface to stand on and prevent them from sinking into the ground. Finally, we instal the X-Chocks between the tandem wheels to lock everything in place for the duration of our (no worries) stay. Usually, every couple of days I check the stabilisers as sometime if the ground is soft, or it rains (even with the lego blocks) they “sink?” a bit and require adjustment.
For further information on how we “set-up” read our blog post What Are Chocks For? 😎