Levelling A MotorhomeComments Off on Levelling A Motorhome
If you have spent any time at all motorhoming, you’ll know that levelling the motorhome is a skill that needs a little practice, and that it can be quite fun to watch the newbie motorhomer attempting to level their van for the first time (so long as you’re not that motorhomer).
Here’s a Youtube video, covering the basics of levelling a motorhome:
But that make’s it all look so easy, right? It does seem to gloss over a few things, so I thought I’d add a few of my own motorhome levelling tips:
- Levelling the van is a 2-person job…the driver and the on-the-ground assistant. Make sure you both know what the goal is, and make sure the driver can hear the assistant (try opening the van windows).
- If you’re the assistant, NEVER attempt to move the levelling blocks whilst the van is moving or without telling the driver that you’re going to adjust them. Whilst you’re bending down near the wheels, you’re totally invisble to the driver!
- Drive SLOWLY…really, really slowly to have complete control, and to avoid driving right over the blocks and off the other side. It take practice to be able to hold the van steady on the chocks for long enough to get the handbrake on. Inevitably, most times you will roll down a little as you apply the handbrake – learn to live with that!
Is levelling really necessary?
When we first started motorhoming, we were forever faffing about with the levelling blocks. I bought a little motorhome spirit level and consulted it religiously. I was convinced by online research that if the motorhome wasn’t level, the fridge wouldn’t work and I’d fall out of bed every night.
In reality, most fridges these days are very slope-tolerant and only the steepest of slopes would cause you real discomfort when it came to getting to sleep. If you’re staying on a campsite, especially a Club site or commercial site, the chances are that the pitches will already be pretty level. With the help of your wind-down steadies at the back of the van, you will probably be just as level without using levelling blocks as if you do decide to level the van.
Having said that, there will always be some sites that are definitely not level, especially on European campsites where you’re much less likely to find manicured hardstandings. Even in the UK, there are some quite steeply sloping sites…our first ever motorhome trip was to the Durdle Door campsite, which was a baptism of fire for levelling our Hymer! Similarly, we’ve stayed at a lot of certificated sites where the ground was anything but level…so it does pay to have a decent set of levelling blocks on hand, and the knowledge of how to use them should the need arise.
Recommended levelling blocks
Personally, I’d always recommend Fiamma’s levelling blocks. We’ve used them without a hitch and they’re solid and reliable. They’re also by far the most commonly spotted blocks you’ll see out in the field…so that must say something for their popularity. There are other little gadgets to go with the main blocks, such as little chocks that are intended to stop you rolling back down the block. In our experience these aren’t necessary.
There are other levelling systems, such as stacking tiles where you ‘build up’ a levelling block from several tiles…these seem more popular in the US than here in the UK, and I can’t see any benefit to these really.