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GeorgeB
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« on: September 14, 2013, 10:28:09 pm »

After living 10 of the last 13 months in our 2551s, I'm still not sure about proper leveling.  We use the Lynx blocks for leveling.

I used a 4-foot bubble level on the floor to initially determine level, and pasted those little curved bubble levels on the side and rear.  I also have a small round bullet bubble level that agreed with the others.

The outside bubble levels don't always agree with the inside bullet bubble level.  But it feels like the inside level is generally more accurate.  This is based mainly on how well cabinet doors close (if level, open doors won't swing further open or shut).

But getting level is often a real pain, and sometimes impossible.

So just how level does the rig need to be?

And is it more important to be level front to back, or side to side?

And what else do we need to know about leveling?  Any suggestions on methods/techniques?

--GeorgeB

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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2013, 08:13:03 am »

In the old days the refrigerator had to be within 4 degrees of level to operate. It was measured on the freezer shelf. Now they just say level enough to be comfortable. I try to get so my head is higher or even than my feet when I sleep. I used a small bubble on the floor near the cab, it was level, then in the middle of the bedroom, it was low in the back, then in the rear bathroom and it was level again. So I figure that I have a slight bow in the middle of the rig.
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Tom Hanlon
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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2013, 08:25:06 am »

We have the HWH leveling jacks and John (being an engineer) goes by what they say is level. No matter if I say, "Look, all the water in the pan is flowing toward the rear passenger side". His reply "the jacks say we're level". So we go by what the jacks say and if the refrigerator goes into fault mode. So far, so good. There has only been one time when I was concerned the slope would be enough to roll me out of bed but John was happy and the refrigerator was happy so we were "level".

The only bubbles we have on board are in a little jar with a wand and are wonderful for stress reduction... and making your camping neighbors think you are nuts.
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GeorgeB
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« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2013, 10:16:43 am »

In the old days the refrigerator had to be within 4 degrees of level to operate. It was measured on the freezer shelf. Now they just say level enough to be comfortable. I try to get so my head is higher or even than my feet when I sleep. I used a small bubble on the floor near the cab, it was level, then in the middle of the bedroom, it was low in the back, then in the rear bathroom and it was level again. So I figure that I have a slight bow in the middle of the rig.

I'd forgotten about the refrigerator.  I knew that it would give a fault code if out of level, so didn't think past that.  I just looked in the Norcold manual, it says a max of 3 degrees side-side, 6 deg front-back.  So I need to go shop for a level that will help me out with determining degrees.  My "bullseye" type just has lines, package didn't say what they indicated.

There's a gold-colored "coin" in the kitchen counter-top:  I accidentally discovered that it has the same "level" as the bottom of the refrigerator.  Don't know if that's by accident or design.

I always suspected that different parts of the rig could be bowed or torqued, glad to learn someone else thinks so too.  I'll go around checking different surfaces for level when my back will permit me to crawl around on the floor.

Thanks for the feedback.

We have the HWH leveling jacks and John (being an engineer) goes by what they say is level. No matter if I say, "Look, all the water in the pan is flowing toward the rear passenger side". His reply "the jacks say we're level". So we go by what the jacks say and if the refrigerator goes into fault mode. So far, so good. There has only been one time when I was concerned the slope would be enough to roll me out of bed but John was happy and the refrigerator was happy so we were "level".

OK, good point:  if I roll out of bed, the coach is out of level!  Smile  If I had the leveling jacks I'd probably go by what they say also.  Probably a guy thing.

We've never gotten the out-of-level fault code on the refrigerator.  But sometimes the cabinet latches don't line up.  And that can result in causing the catch to pop in so that the door latch doesn't latch; I've also broken a couple (now carry several spares).

I need to do more research on using leveling blocks.  On a couple of occasions we had to go 4 blocks high just to get close to level.  Fortunately, it was just the front.  That would take a lot of blocks to get the back that high; in sites where that would have been needed, we've spent a lot of time angling the rig so that we just needed to raise the front.

Any further opinions/advice, especially on the use of leveling blocks, would be welcome.

Thanks for the replies,

--GeorgeB
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« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2013, 04:20:22 pm »

We are in the 2100 so shorter usually makes the job easier...but sometimes harder.  We have the HWH jacks and when they say level, my eye, cabinet doors and level say "wrong!" I found a concrete pad that, as per several levels, was as close to level as I was going to get. Parked the rig on it and installed several of those small stick-on levels and checked where what was level. The fridge showed perfect all directions which was the important thing. Now we go with those and ignore the HWH indicators.

We would like to find someone local (Colorado) who really understands the HWH jacks and could teach us all the ins and outs of operation. The manual and internet information is very scant. We may drive by the factory in Iowa next year and will stop in for help.

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« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2013, 07:20:54 pm »

Proper Leveling.......A Plumb bob works best.

Find the smallest screw eye in your junk draw or hardware store. Take two lead swivels from your fishing tackle box. Attach the swivels to some fishing line or string. Place one end into the small screw eye that you carefully placed in the ceiling nearest the center line of the MH by the fridge. Take the other end and attach to a screw eye that was inserted into a tennis ball. When you drive into your pull thru site keep one eye on the ball.  When the ball stops swinging you'll know that your fridge is cool and level, or that your not level. Once your satisfied remove the ball or if you travel with a cat leave it

Bill G

P.S. Ron Dittmer is thinking about this        rolling on the floor rolling on the floor rolling on the floor rolling on the floor
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« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2013, 08:43:10 pm »

Bill, this could work! Just make sure you install the eye screw directly over the intersection of the tiles in the vinyl. When the ball stops over the X, you've good. I can stop using floating tea leaves to find our level. The cat's toys will stop rolling into bathroom on their own. And best of all, the water in the sink can actually find the drain without my help! Genius!
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« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2013, 08:47:28 pm »

Speaking of level, did you know that if you unhook your toad on a slight slope withot first setting the brake, that it will roll across the campground on its own? We do now. We also know that John can run really fast and jump into a moving car and set the brake before it hits anything. I think I'll put that on one our checklists.
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« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2013, 07:28:13 am »

Speaking of level, did you know that if you unhook your toad on a slight slope withot first setting the brake, that it will roll across the campground on its own? We do now. We also know that John can run really fast and jump into a moving car and set the brake before it hits anything. I think I'll put that on one our checklists.

The jeep is Jo Annes job. We have been there, done that.  Cry
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« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2013, 11:12:10 am »

We have the HWH leveling jacks and John (being an engineer) goes by what they say is level. No matter if I say, "Look, all the water in the pan is flowing toward the rear passenger side". His reply "the jacks say we're level". So we go by what the jacks say and if the refrigerator goes into fault mode. So far, so good. There has only been one time when I was concerned the slope would be enough to roll me out of bed but John was happy and the refrigerator was happy so we were "level".

The only bubbles we have on board are in a little jar with a wand and are wonderful for stress reduction... and making your camping neighbors think you are nuts.

Not being an engineer, I assume that the HWH level indicators are wrong from the factory and use this: http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/rv-ez-level/35617
If I were an engineer, I would read the HWH manual and calibrate the levelers to read level.  Grin
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« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2013, 08:06:36 pm »

I share the concerns of Tom Hanlon and George B. regarding front/back level.  I see differences due to torsional twisting or "sway-back" effects on some sites.  The latter is an annoying problem that causes a compression at our entry door particularly when we use blocks on the rear without levelers.  The door bangs or jams on the striker plate... sometimes enough to be really annoying when we have enter through the front doors. In the most recent case the bend in the chassis was enough to entirely prevent the door from entering into the door frame.  This effect seems to be increasing the more we use our PC.
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GeorgeB
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« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2013, 08:20:59 am »

I've had random/intermittent problems with the side entry door, but I never connected it to the leveling issue, but now that I think about it, it seems that there may have been a cause/effect relationship.  I'll start keeping track of level vs. door problems.  So far, we've haven't had to use the coach doors like dickreid1 mentions.

As I indicated above, there is a definite relationship with the cabinet door latches, primarily in the back half of the coach (mainly the cabinets over the beds in the 2551).

We've put on about 8,000+ miles in the past year, but we noticed this right from the start.

Either ironically or serendipitously, last night we landed on a campground site that is absolutely level.  The outside bubble levels, as well as the bullseye level inside in several locations (including inside the refrigerator), all indicate level.  The side entry door and all cabinet doors are working pretty much flawlessly.

So I'm concluding that level is somewhat critical for more than just the refrigerator.

Has anyway tried the Camco Tri-Leveler?  http://www.amazon.com/Camco-44573-RV-Yellow-Tri-Leveler/dp/B000BUQOFO.  They're rated for 3,500 lbs,  Each level looks a little small for an RV tire, and carrying 2 or 3 of these would be an issue.  I found these all over the web, except not thru Camping World, which may or may not mean anything.

--GeorgeB
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