Who wouldn’t love having a caravan? Your own home on the move, where you can take everything you need with you and be on the road with total freedom. It enables you to access and enjoy some of the beautiful natural camping spots here, like the Great Ocean Road or the Coral Coast.
However, a caravan is not just an easy means to an end. Like with every vehicle, it requires that you have a lot of knowledge and patience to operate it properly to have a fun trip. For example, you have to know how to store it properly to be in good shape for use. And for when you’re on the road, you need to have some essential pieces of equipment for leisure, such as different kinds of caravan camping mats.
Another crucial aspect of using a caravan is taking it somewhere to camp. Once you’ve found the perfect spot, one of the most important tasks to do is to level it properly. You must make sure that everything is horizontal, and not crooked or vertical.
Why Is Caravan Levelling So Important?
Now, there are two reasons why you should always secure your vehicle with a set of quality caravan levelers and other equipment. The first is more about personal comfort, while the second is technical. In terms of personal comfort, you don’t want your shower doors to be hitting you on your way out. Or, for your shower and faucets to be leaking everywhere due to a crooked flow. Lastly, you won’t feel very comfortable when everything seems a little off, and you have to sleep leaning a certain way.
On the other hand, from a technical point, you want all of your electronic equipment to work. No matter how well-equipped you are with extra camping luxuries on the move, none of it counts if it doesn’t work. A wrongly levelled caravan can cause the fridge and similar appliances to malfunction. And despite the levelling looking like a complicated process, it’s easy if you know how to, take your time, and have all the right tools, like caravan levellers and caravan wheel chocks.
What You’ll Need to Secure Your Vehicle in Place
As with everything else regarding a caravan, you need to choose the correct size levelling equipment. It needs to fit perfectly and correspond to the technical characteristics of the type of caravan you have. Of course, there are many types and variations of the same equipment, but the basics are always the same. The main difference is between left to right and front to back levelling, as both require different equipment.
Equipment for Left to Right Levelling
The standard piece of equipment you need to get for this type of levelling is caravan levelers. If you want something durable and practical, that can survive both the sun and the rain – you should get one levellers that are UV-resistant and made from polyethylene. Polyethylene is an industry-standard due to being lightweight, making it easy to move and use.
You should also make sure that the caravan wheel levelers are compatible with a single or dual axle, depending on the vehicle. The number of wheels your caravan has does make a difference, even when not driving. A single axle is with two wheels, one on both sides. While a double is with four, two on both sides. Single axel are commonly lighter and smaller, while double axle levelers are heavier.
Also, you should check whether the dimensions (length and width) fit the wheels. And, lastly, that you have every step option you need. The step defines at which height you can position your caravan. As such, it can be a decisive factor whether it’s well-levelled or not. Moreover, you must have wheel chocks. These smalls pieces make sure that your caravan is stabilised on the leveller. Unless you want to risk it slipping off or going in reverse if the hand brake gives up, you should have these small pieces that can be a lifesaver. Luckily for you, most levellers come with chocks.
Equipment for Front to Back Levelling
However, for front to back levelling, there’s a different set of equipment. You’ll need to get a jockey wheel and a jockey wheel sink pad. You use the first one to make the caravan level, while you use the second one for unstable surfaces. You don’t want to get it level, just for it to sink completely. Also, you need a spirit for this type of levelling.
Checking If Everything’s in Place
Finally, you must have a spirit level. If you want to be sure that your vehicle is perfectly level with no imbalances, you have to use it to check. There are other ways now, with the help of some apps or electronic equipment, but this is the most reliable method. This is due to it being the most used and tested.
How to Use Caravan Levelling Equipment?
Nevertheless, it’s not just about having the equipment, but also knowing how to use it. A word of precaution, to successfully do this, it’s best if two people do it. One person will move the car from inside, while the other person comments from outside and checks the spirit level. We will go over left to right, and then front to back.
Guide to Left to Right Levelling
First, you should always place your spirit to see if it’s okay or not. Regarding where to put it, it depends on what works best for you. As a general standard, you put it on the floor. Then, you can look at it to see which side is crooked. Once you’ve defined that, you need to level it left to right first. To do this, you put the caravan levelling ramp (the leveller) where you plan to have the wheel. Once you do this, you can drive up or use a motor mover.
Furthermore, you should never reverse it up on the levellers. Otherwise, you risk the overrun kicking in, and you won’t have brakes. Once you’re sure that your caravan is level, you should put the chucks for extra safety and stability. A helpful tip – if you’re just not getting it right, despite numerous attempts, try to move the spirit with your hands to see the possible results.
Guide to Front to Back Levelling
Good news is that front to back levelling is much simpler. For this, you need to place your spirit in a different place to make it more accurate. Some people use the doorframe. Here too, you can move the spirit level with your hands, to see the possible results. Once you’ve done that and have a sense, you use your jockey wheel. It’s that simple. If you’re on an unstable surface, like sand, you should also put the sink pad.
Finally, you need to lower the corner steadies. To do this, you can either use a battery drill or do it manually. It’s better to go for the manual method so that you get a better sense of things. If you’re on an unstable surface and want to make sure the steadies are stable, you can get stabilizer pads. Most importantly, never use the corner steadies to level your caravan, unless you want your floor to be damaged.
To Sum Up
All in all, if you want to have a caravan, know that it demands a great pool of knowledge and skills. It’s not all just pleasure and excitement, as you need to be well-trained and prepared. If not, you risk a lot of damages and nerves.