This article will show you how to level a caravan on uneven ground. We’ll cover:
A simple explanation.
Hints and tips.
How NOT to make the same mistakes I did
Here we go:
How to level a caravan on uneven ground [a simple explanation]
While your car is still attached, the first thing to do is to get your caravan level side-to-side using levelling ramps. Chock the wheels, then un-hitch from your car. Then wind the jockey wheel to a height that gets your van level front-to-back. Lastly, wind down the stabiliser legs.
Here’s a more detailed explanation:
How to level a caravan on uneven ground [step-by-step]
- Check your spirit level to see which side is higher, left or right
- Put levelling ramps in front of the tyre(s) on the side that needs to be raised (downhill)
- Drive onto the levelling ramps, checking to see if you’re level side-to-side as you go up each step
- Make sure the caravan breaks are on (and put wheel chocks in on BOTH sides)
- With chains still attached, use your jockey wheel to wind the caravan off the tow ball
- Completely un-hitch, and move your car out of the way
- Wind the jockey wheel up or down until the van is level front-to-back
- Wind down the stabiliser legs to stabilise the caravan
Levelling a caravan: Hints and tips
Here’s a few things that might make levelling a caravan just that bit easier for you:
1. Start uphill of where you want your van to finish
You always want your levelling ramps to be downhill.
So start the levelling process a little higher…
…that way when you drive forward/reverse onto your ramps you’ll finish in the right spot.
2. Use a handheld UHF (or your mobile phone)
When we first started out we’d be “that family.”
You know the ones:
Yelling loud enough so the other person can hear from inside the car
Then we realised we could use our mobile phones on hands-free
[there’s even walkie-talkie apps]
Then our little boy Elliot got some handheld UHF walkie-talkies for his 5th birthday…
… they work perfectly with the dash-mounted UHF in our car
3. Stick a mini T-spirit level on your drawbar
You can pick these up for less than $5 from eBay:
A dollop of silicon to stick it on and you’re good to go.
Money well spent.
4. Consider getting an electronic levelling device
If you’re a serious traveller it’s tough to go past one of these caravanning gadgets:
The SavvyLevel has a receiver you stick inside your van and a phone app tells you when you’re level
They’re marketed as “a marriage saver when levelling at the end of a long day”
Caravan levelling mistakes to avoid
This is the blog post I wish I’d read before I started caravanning…
…because I’ve made EVERY ONE of these mistakes!
1. Buying the wrong levelling ramps
Dual-axle levelling ramps come apart so you can slip one between the wheels
2. Using your wind-down stabiliser legs as levelling devices
Stabiliser legs are for stabilising, not levelling…
they can bend and break
[That’s why they’re the last step, after the van has been levelled]
3. Not bothering to level the caravan on slightly uneven ground
When we first started travelling I took the “it’ll be right, mate” attitude to levelling
I quickly realised that if you don’t do it, even on slightly uneven ground, then:
The sink doesn’t drain properly
The fridge door would swing open
The caravan door would slam shut
[that last one’s a biggie when small children are around]
What do I need to level my caravan on uneven ground?
So if you didn’t have any of the things listed above, here’s a simple list:
- Spirit level (or an electronic levelling device like a SavvyLevel)
- Levelling ramps
- Wheel chocks
- Jockey wheel chock pad
- Jockey wheel
- Caravan stabiliser pads
You won’t always need the jockey wheel chock pad and caravan stabiliser pads…
…they’re for when you’re on soft ground
Levelling a caravan on uneven ground is actually a pretty quick and easy process:
As long as you have the right bits and pieces, and you communicate well with your partner.
If you’re travelling solo or solo-parenting, then an electronic levelling device like a SavvyLevel may be a sound investment.
If you don’t have any of the bits and pieces mentioned in this article then check out: Caravan Levelling Devices: 6 Items You Need To Level Your Van
Otherwise, comment below:
What’s your funniest story about having a caravan that wasn’t level?