It’s no secret that a level trailer makes for a more enjoyable camping experience. But leveling your trailer can be tricky, especially if you’re not used to doing it.
In this article, we’re going to cover exactly how to level a travel trailer, as well as what you may need.
Let’s get started.
- Why do travel trailers need to be level?
- Tools needed for leveling a travel trailer
- How to level a travel trailer
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final thoughts on leveling a travel trailer
Why do travel trailers need to be level?
Leveling a trailer isn’t just to stabilize the trailer when you and your companions walk inside the travel trailer.
When the travel trailer isn’t level the whole chassis is flexed and can cause doors frames and cupboards not to function properly and over a long period can cause damage when used in this state.
Some electronics, like the fridges refrigerant system, also require a level surface in order to operate at maximum efficiency.
The water system of the travel trailer will also be flexed unnecessarily and can cause leaks or cracks when operated over a period of time.
So leveling your travel trailer not only ensures you walk and sleep more comfortably, but also ensures the longevity of your trailer for years to come.
Tools needed for leveling a travel trailer
When it comes to leveling your travel trailer, there are a few tools you will need, and some others that can make the process of leveling the trailer a lot easier.
- Carpenters level
- Leveling blocks
- Wheel chocks
- Trailer jack footplate
- Travel trailer stabilizer jacks
- Reusable gloves (to keep your hands clean)
How to level a travel trailer
Luckily there are only 2 axes to worry about when it comes to leveling a travel trailer, and that is from side to side and front to back.
The first thing to consider is the placement of the travel trailer. When entering a campsite always park close enough to water and electricity outlets. You don’t want to go through all the trouble only to realize you have to move the trailer later.
Also, always ensure there is enough space around the travel trailer that all the awnings can extend without interfering with the surroundings.
Keep in mind the headroom if you are planning on parking underneath a tree.
Have a quick glance not to stop the travel trailer on an incline or gradient for safety and ease of leveling.
2. Leveling a travel trailer from side to side
By using a carpenters level, or the bubble levels on the trailer itself, leveling should first start from side to side.
If the trailer is not level put leveling blocks on the side that is indicated as lower.
You may do this numerous times by adding more and more leveling blocks underneath the chosen wheel(s) of the travel trailer until it is level from side to side.
3. Chocking the wheels and disconnecting a travel trailer
Once you’ve leveled the travel trailer from side to side, use wheel chocks to stop the trailer from moving once it is disconnected from the towing vehicle.
The next step is to go ahead and disconnect the trailer from the towing vehicle.
Always try to use a trailer jack footplate to ensure the trailer jack doesn’t sink into the ground when you start lifting the front of the trailer.
4. Leveling a travel trailer from front to back
Now that the trailer is disconnected you can again use the carpenter level, or the bubble levels on the trailer itself, to level it from front to back.
You can adjust this angle by lowering or raising the trailer jack until the travel trailer is level.
5. Stabilizing a travel trailer
If your travel trailer doesn’t have stabilizer jacks installed as standard you can get a set of 4 scissor jacks for each corner to get the job done.
While these may look like lifting jacks, they are not there to lift the weight of the travel trailer, they’re only there to prohibit it from rocking from side to side and front to back, thereby stabilizing the trailer.
Lower them down so they are just high enough off of the ground that you can put a leveling block underneath each foot. This will prevent the stabilizer from sinking into the ground if it’s not resting on asphalt or concrete.
The last thing you want is for your stabilizer to sink.
Once they are firmly on the leveling blocks you can jack them down until you can feel resistance and then add another turn and a half to prop up the trailer securely.
And with that final step, your travel trailer is now level and safely secured to the ground. Happy camping.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I level a trailer with scissor jacks?
Yes, with their infinite adjustment a scissor jack useful tool for many occasions, including leveling a trailer.
Keep in mind to use scissor jacks that are rated for the weight of the trailer plus the load and always jack on a solid surface or use a leveling block.
Do I need leveling blocks if I have leveling jacks?
Yes, it is recommended to use leveling blocks as well so that the suspension of the travel trailer carries the weight and not the jacks.
If you only use leveling jacks and one fails the whole trailer will abruptly lower at one side which can cause damage inside the travel trailer and potential injury if someone is inside.
Does a travel trailer need to be level when stored?
When storing a travel trailer make sure it is parked on a surface as level as possible, you don’t have to level it beyond that.
An important practice to extend the life of the tires is to park them on something soft and over-inflate them a bit to ensure minimal flat-spotting.
Final thoughts on leveling a travel trailer
Leveling a travel trailer can seem like an overwhelming task, but with the right tools and some patience, you’ll be able to do it.
There are a few basic steps that should be followed in order to ensure safety and stability.
- First, find the right parking spot.
- Then level the trailer from side to side.
- Next, chock the wheels and disconnect the trailer.
- Then level the trailer from front to back.
- Finally, stabilize the travel trailer.
With these few tips and tricks for leveling a trailer under your belt, you should be well on your way to success.
Remember to always use caution when leveling your trailer, as safety should always be at the forefront of your mind when working with such heavy equipment.