How to Level Your Caravan
Why is it important to level your caravan?
First up, we’re going to explain exactly why it’s important to level your caravan in the first place. There are three main reasons:
Comfort: It’s much more pleasant to move around a caravan that’s level. Generally, caravan pitches are relatively level but when you don’t go through the process of levelling your caravan properly, things can feel a little off kilter, especially when lying in bed at night.
Using the shower: If your caravan isn’t level and you hop in the shower, you might find the water running onto the floor of your caravan if the lip of the shower tray is below the drain. As many caravanners will know only too well, water getting where it shouldn’t can cause all sorts of problems.
Getting the fridge to work properly: Your fridge compressor probably won’t work properly or at all unless the caravan is level.
Automated Caravan Levelling Systems
The quickest and easiest way to level your caravan is to install an automated caravan levelling system. There are several of these systems now on the market. They use hydraulics or air systems to level your caravan at the push of a button.
If you’re thinking of installing a self levelling system, the E&P systems are some of the best available. The E&P levelC system can completely level your caravan at the push of a button in less than two minutes. The system is fully automatic and has been designed for ease of use as well as maximum protection for the chassis and body of your caravan.
For more details on the E&P levelC system and their semi-manual offering, the E&P levelC Compact, we’ve got all the details here.
Manually Levelling your caravan
While self levelling systems are excellent and can save you time and energy, they can be expensive. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, you can level your caravan manually.
There are four main steps to levelling a caravan and we run through each of those below.
1. Get your caravan into position
Before you start getting the spirit level out, you’ll want to make sure that the caravan is in a good position. If it’s a fully-serviced pitch, you’ll need to make sure you can hook up to all the facilities. If you’re on a site where specific pitches haven’t been marked out, just make sure you’re far enough from your neighbour to comply with fire regulations once your awning has been put up. Many camping sites slope slightly, ensuring good water drainage but making the process of levelling your caravan essential.
2. Level the caravan right to left
Once you’ve got your caravan in a position that you’re happy with, it’s time to level it right to left. This means you’re levelling the axle.
The first thing you’ll need is some sort of device to check the level of the caravan. A spirit level is usually the best option and you can even download spirit level apps to smartphones these days. Some people use a container of water to measure the level. If you choose to do this, make sure the line you use as level is directly parallel to the bottom of the container. Place your measuring device on a completely flat spot on the floor of the caravan. This will give you the most accurate reading as you might find that your table or kitchen surface isn’t completely level with the floor.
Once you’ve got your spirit level or alternative device in place, you can start to level the caravan right to left. There are several tools you can use to do this. Levelling ramps are a good option, as are levelling jacks. When you’re purchasing such a tool, make sure you don’t go for the cheapest out there as you’ll need something strong and durable to bear enough weight.
You can also use an inflatable bag system. You drive the wheel of the caravan over the bag and then inflate the bag until the caravan is level. They tend to be a bit more expensive than ramps or jacks but they are usually easier to use.
3. Level the caravan front to back
Now you’re level across the axle, the next job is to level the caravan front to back. This is much easier as you use the caravan jockey wheel to lower or raise the front of the caravan using the jockey wheel. It should be relatively easy to get the little bubble to the centre of your spirit level. Once you’re there, the caravan will be exactly level.
4. Lower the corner steadies
Don’t jump in the caravan just yet. You’ll need to lower the corner steadies to ensure the caravan is completely stable. If you’re on a grass pitch, or the ground feels a little soft, it’s a good idea to place bricks or strong sections of wood below the steadies to provide a little extra surface area to stop any of the steadies from sinking at all.
Make sure you don’t over-tighten the corner steadies. They just need to make firm contact with the ground.
It’s also important not to skip steps 2 and 3 and try to level the caravan with the steadies themselves. This could cause some structural damage to your caravan as they are often fixed to the floor of the caravan rather than the chassis. If you end up bending the floor of your caravan, you could cause all sorts of issues.