Leveling issues - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-12-2007, 11:29 AM   #1
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Trailer: 1998 17 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe / Red F150 X-Cab
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I am the fairly new owner of a 98 Casita SDX. First of all, I've found that I take way too much time in leveling the trailer, "Okay, what next? Yeah, that...oops, forgot to..." and that sort of thing. Can someone give me steps in the proper order: first...second...third...so I can stop wasting time do it right the first time?

Secondly, Using pieces of 2x4's and 1x4's is getting a little old. I've seen a number of different leveling devices used by different people, but not sure which would be best. Can you all give me your imput: what do you use and why you think it's the best? Thanks!
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Old 11-12-2007, 11:53 AM   #2
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I like the interconnecting Lego-style blocks. They don't slide around if you have to stack them up in a pyramid. I have two complete sets (20 blocks total).

(This step is highly optional and is a reflection of the gadget geek that I am. I have a digital level that can be set to rise over run (inches per foot out of level). I assume about an 8 foot width and can tell how high a stack of 1" blocks I need to set up on the low side.)

Otherwise, just make a guess of how many needed on the low side. Push them up against the tire (front or back) and move the trailer a skosh and check level. I usually need one to three to level the trailer side to side.

>>>Chock the tire side that's on the ground before separating the trailer from the tow. Really wedge them tight against the tire before disconnecting.

Then I adjust the front to back level so that the nose is just down. I drop the rear stabilizers but don't extend them. I divvy up the rest of the first bag under the rear stabilizers and then I let the stabilizers extensions drop to the top of the pads. I then go to the front of the trailer and raise the nose which drops the back and loads up the rear stabilizers. This way I don't have to stick that rod into the stabilizers to load them.

Since I have extra, I use some of the rest of the second bag of blocks to level the picnic table.
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:45 PM   #3
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I'm a big fan of BAL levelers. They're a whole lot easier than legos, 2x4s or any other blocking method.

Byron's leveling procedure;

Position trailer where I want it.
Find low side of the trailer and place BAL leveler under the wheel on low side.
Adjust BAL leveler until the trailer is level side to side.
Chock high side. (The BAL leveler acts as a really good chock, the high side chock is just a small added insurance.)
Disconnect the trailer from the Tow.
Lower the front to below level. (about a bubble's worh)
Deploy the stabilizing jacks.
Bring the front up to level.

DONE. Enjoy camping

PS. Here's a link to Campingworlds BAL leveler offering Click here

And here's a link to the leveling blocks. Click here

Note there's very little difference between 2 sets of legos and one BAL leveler.
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Old 11-12-2007, 01:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
(This step is highly optional and is a reflection of the gadget geek that I am. I have a digital level that can be set to rise over run (inches per foot out of level). I assume about an 8 foot width and can tell how high a stack of 1" blocks I need to set up on the low side.)
RV parts suppliers routinely sell levels in sets, one for side-to-side and the other for front-to-back, which are marked at intervals which are intended to represent inches of required correction, like Steve's calculation. You read which mark the bubble hits, and shim up the low side by that many inches. They are probably based on an 8' body width, and somewhat narrower track, but the one I use with our Boler comes out sort of close.

As Steve mentioned, the required adjustment is determined from the angle of tilt, and the distance between the sides. For any of our eggs, 8 feet is actually too wide: the track (distance between tire centres) isn't that wide even on a big Bigfoot. For my widebody 17' Boler, it's only 74", or just over 6 feet; for a 6'8" (80") wide classic egg, the track would be even narrower.
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Old 11-12-2007, 02:01 PM   #5
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Personally, I like the BAL because there doesn't seem to be as much moving the trailer back and forth (not too bad if you have someone driving and someone at the chocks - a pain-in-the-butt when it's just one person).

As for routine - just give it time. My first couple of trips I never had the right stuff at hand - by the end of the summer, I could almost do the entire setup in about two circuits around the camper (maybe 20 minutes).
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Old 11-12-2007, 02:05 PM   #6
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Personally, I like the BAL because there doesn't seem to be as much moving the trailer back and forth (not too bad if you have someone driving and someone at the chocks - a pain-in-the-butt when it's just one person).
I have the BAL leveler and the only thing I do not like is the weight of the thing. It is very easy to use and worked for my 12 inch tires. (I had read that it would, although it says 13-16.) If you want to try it on one of your trips, you can borrow it from me and see if you like it (as long as I'm not going at the same time!)

Bobbie
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Old 11-12-2007, 02:56 PM   #7
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After using a BAL leveler for almost 2 years I've realized there's a couple of advantages to using it. One it's a super chock. Once the wheel is lifted, even a 1/2" or so the trailer is not going to roll away. Second it makes the trailer a lot harder to pulled away by some bad guy, probably works as good as some the wheel locking devices.

It does weigh a bit, I guess. According to Camping World it's 18.75 lbs. But I wouldn't want it much lighter, after all it holds up one side of the trailer with the trailer loaded including people.
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:11 PM   #8
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Lisa,
We agree with Byron,Bobbie,and Anne-the BAL leveler is the best $70.00 we ever spent. Saves time and our tempers.
We hope it will be usable with the Bigfoot-15 inch tires and 3000+ lbs. I called the company,and they are rated for 1700 lbs.
Tony and Darlene (mt_horebites)
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:18 PM   #9
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We hope it will be usable with the Bigfoot-15 inch tires and 3000+ lbs. I called the company,and they are rated for 1700 lbs.
Tony, I'm running 15" tires on my Scamp and use the BAL leveler, if you're concerned whether yours will work, I can check the model number on mine. I know the leveler has several different models.
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Can someone give me steps in the proper order: first...second...third...so I can stop wasting time do it right the first time?
Have a look at my Checklist 7.0 in this link.

Step #2 is Leveling from side-to-side
Step #14 is leveling from front-to-rear
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:49 PM   #11
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Tony, I'm running 15" tires on my Scamp and use the BAL leveler, if you're concerned whether yours will work, I can check the model number on mine. I know the leveler has several different models.

One their web site I could only find one "tire leveler" listed. Model 28050. Now where is the maximum weight listed. Therefore I believe that Tony's or Darlene's number are correct. I wouldn't be too concerned as long as the trailer weight is below 3000 lbs.

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Old 11-12-2007, 09:12 PM   #12
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What!!! nobody with the automatic hydraulic levelers mod yet--- like the big rigs????
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
automatic hydraulic levelers
well, I have a bottle jack.....

my arm is automatic...
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:02 PM   #14
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What!!! nobody with the automatic hydraulic levelers mod yet--- like the big rigs????
The Oliver Legacy is close, with electric leveling jacks near the axle which (like the big RV levelers) take the load off the tires, instead of propping them up with blocks (or the much cooler BAL Leveler).
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