Camping is one of the most wonderful activities to do with either friends or family. Being out in nature and away from bustling cities is a superb feeling, and it’s no wonder just how popular camping trailers truly are in Australia.
Caravans are one of the best ways to go about camping, but being out in nature has its own set of problems. One of the most under-discussed problems is the fact that the ground is very rarely level. However, using a caravan leveller is not quite as easy as it seems at first glance, as there are a few things you should be aware of. Preparing for this situation is relatively straightforward, as caravan leveling ramps are a very common thing to get.
Why Do You Even Need Levellers?
It’s a common misconception that you only need to keep your caravan from moving, and nothing else to set up camp, and that it doesn’t matter if the ground is level. However, keeping it level will allow your caravan’s systems to operate properly, such as plumbing, refrigeration, or reading tank levels. On top of that, it will keep you sane for the duration of your trip.
It’s quite uncomfortable sleeping on a slope for extended periods of time, or even trying to cook as the oil or water keeps slipping to the end of the pot. So, by using suitable leveling ramps for your caravan you’ll allow your fridge to work as intended, you’ll be able to cook with ease, and your plumbing system will work as intended and drain the water properly. With all that said, it doesn’t mean that you should try to level your caravan with 100% accuracy, because that’s impossible. There are a few measuring tools that will help the process, but first, you must understand the surface you’re parking at.
Of course, the surface is always the issue when it comes to parking your caravan. If the surface was flat and hard, there wouldn’t have been a need to get caravan levellers in the first place. Most people have misunderstood that using a caravan ramp on a grassy surface will automatically make the caravan sink. That’s not entirely the case. It’s true that you could potentially sink the ground below you, but that’s only if the soil itself is soft, and not all soil is. Most leveling ramps come equipped with the means to redistribute the weight of the caravan, so it’s not something you should be actively worried about. But do make sure that you’re getting ramps with that feature anyway if that’s something you’re afraid will happen.
Pull Onto the Ramps
This is arguably the number one rule when it comes to parking your vehicle on the ramps. Make sure that you’re not pulling in reverse onto the ramps because the brakes will work better if pulling onto them. If you’re parking in reverse, that tends to leave the brake shoes not as engaged as they should be, and coupling with spring will be under great pressure when you uncouple.
All that said, you should always try to have the space between your wheels on a levelled surface. That means parking your camping either downhill or uphill. That’s usually the easier and safer option. Also, make sure to check the level across the caravan before you unhook from the car. The best way to prevent possible damage is to roll away from the car, and always leave the safety chain on when uncoupling to prevent it from rolling away. Once unhooked, set the right height with the jockey wheel. Once you’re done with the entire procedure, your caravan should be properly levelled and very safe to use.
How to Measure If the Caravan Is Properly Level?
Making your caravan levelled is absolutely important, as stated above. There are multiple ways to see if the caravan is levelled enough, even if it might appear so to the naked eye. The most basic thing you could use is a two-way level, but using a smartphone levelling app is something that can produce sufficient results.
However, using a builders level, as advanced and as good as it sounds, might not be the best idea to use for a caravan. That’s because such a tool is extremely precise, and might make it seem like your caravan ramp isn’t doing a good enough job. You don’t want to stress over every micron, so try using a regular two-way level.
A very inexpensive idea is to have the caravan already levelled at home, then place a blob of silicone on the A-frame with a two-way level perfectly levelled. After that, you leave it out to dry, so that once you get there, one level must match with your axle. If you prefer to measure your level on the spot, then you need to make sure that you’re measuring as close to the axle as possible. You can even use a water container with marking tape on it to measure if everything is as level as it should be.
What to Look for in a Leveller?
Choosing the right levelling ramp is usually done on a case-by-case basis. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t similarities between levellers that you should look out for. A caravan leveller should be both strong and lightweight, and they should be made of materials that don’t corrode easily. The ramps should also have ridged surfaces so that they will grip the tyres easily, and they should have good-fitting storage bags so that you can store them afterwards without them bringing mud into your caravan.
The caravans’ enduring popularity speaks volumes of just how amazing camping is as a hobby. Just because not every location is perfectly levelled for camping should deter you from camping, because levellers are an amazing tool that just happens to be quite affordable. With a bit of planning and extra preparation, you could easily have an unforgettable experience simply by choosing a location that might have been previously unsuitable without the aforementioned levelling ramps.