Travel trailers are the world’s favorite form of non-motorized RV and are the perfect one stop shop for a camping trip.
I have many fond memories from my childhood of vacations in my dad’s travel trailer because we could take it anywhere we wanted and it gave us a great opportunity to explore the wilderness around us.
One problem we faced was how to level a travel trailer. Some nights were spend hanging on to the side of the bed to avoid falling out.
It took us a while but eventually we worked out some pretty cool ways of keeping the trailer level wherever we went so hanging out in the trailer after dark became a little more comfortable.
In this article, I’ll go over some of the ways to level a travel trailer, whatever kind of terrain you’re on. Once you’ve read this, there’s nothing that’ll stop you from exploring the environment around you on a camping trip!
Finding the right spot before leveling the travel trailer
It might seem pretty obvious, but the best way to ensure your travel trailer stays level is to park it on a piece of flat land. If you’re stopped on a complete slope, there’s not really much you can do to level it out.
The methods we’re going to talk about will aim to level you out on uneven ground but to do that you have to start on as flat a surface as possible.
Once you’ve found a nice level piece of land, before you drive the trailer over to it, check for any obvious obstacles that might make things difficult later on.
By this, I mean things like logs, rocks or big piles of leaves that can easily be moved around or out of the way.
1. Spirit leveler
Your most important tool to level a travel trailer is definitely the spirit level. Some people call it a bubble level, but whatever you want to call it, it’s a whole lot better than eyeballing how level something is.
The spirit level can help you determine if the land you’re parking on is level enough for you to use in the first place. Then, once you’ve parked the trailer, use the spirit level to work out if there’s some uneven ground causing a slope in a certain direction.
It’s important to not only establish whether there is a slope, but also to work out what direction it’s in so you know which contact point with the ground needs to be adjusted.
I’ve written an entire post on the 10 best leveling blocks for RVs. Give it a read.
You can get these things called leveling blocks at plenty of places online or in camping stores and they’re perfectly designed for this situation.
Leveling blocks are great because you can adjust the height of them depending on how far off balance your trailer is. They’re basically like giant camping lego blocks so feel free to have some fun with them too, if you want.
You want these blocks underneath one of the contact points of your trailer, particularly the wheels.
For example, if you work out that your trailer is tilting slightly to the left, palace some of these levelling blocks only under the left wheel and experiment to work out how high you need the blocks to be.
Of course, you don’t necessarily have to use any specifically designed levelling blocks for this, any old blocks will do really. If you’re a hardware and DIY fan, there’s a good chance you have some scraps from wooden blocks and planks you can use.
Just make sure you take a variety of different shapes and sizes with you so you can adjust the height of your blocks.
Chocks and blocks go hand in hand when it comes to leveling a travel trailer. If you have your wheels perched precariously on top of a stack of blocks, there’s always going to be a chance they’ll end up rolling off and potentially down a hill.
Now, that might seem like a hilarious cartoonist moment to anyone watching, but if it happens to your trailer you definitely won’t be laughing.
A lot of travel trailers will come with their own chocks but they’re pretty easy to find online or in stores.
Simply place the chocks in front and behind each wheel (you might have to work around any blocks you’ve put under them) and the whole trailer will be secured in place.
4. Tongue jacks
All travel trailers will have a part called a tongue jack. This is the part of the trailer that attaches to your vehicle and it can be lowered down to help balance your trailer on a front-to-back axis.
It’s pretty simple to use the tongue jack to stabilize a trailer, as that’s pretty much what it’s designed to do. If your tongue jack has a manual system, you’ll need to crank it up or down to a point where the trailer is level.
Some jacks might have a hydraulic or electronic system and these are even easier to use. Just check your trailer’s manual to find out how to adjust the height of the jack.
5. Stabilizing jacks
As well as a tongue jack, your travel trailer might even have some stabilizing jacks on its sides.
There’s not often a lot of room for adjustment with these stabilizing jacks because they’re a lot smaller than the tongue jack and probably less complex.
That’s why it’s often a good idea to use some more blocks or planks of wood to manually adjust the height of these jacks.
Again, you should check your manual to fully understand how to adjust the height of your stabilizing jacks because every trailer will be different.
Well there you have it, those were my top tips for leveling out your travel trailer and ensuring a comfortable place to stay on your camping trip.
There are probably a million different ways people know about leveling a trailer and there’s no one method that’s better than all the others.
Here’s a great video on how to level a travel trailer by All About RV’s:
Feel free to combine these methods too. A lot of people will adjust their tongue jack and put blocks under it to get maximum control over their trailer’s balance.
Whatever you decide to do, these tips will have you sleeping soundly next time you and the family go out for a trip in the travel trailer.
Happy camping, folks!