Hitting the Road in an RV with Automatic Leveling

Ever since I got my first RV, I’ve been hooked on the freedom of the open road. And let me tell you, getting one with an automatic leveling system was one of the best decisions I ever made.

I remember the first time I tried to level my old RV manually. What a nightmare! I was out in the middle of nowhere struggling to get those flimsy plastic leveling blocks in just the right spots while my spouse yelled instructions that I could barely hear over the wind. After nearly an hour of fussing with them, we managed to get close enough to reasonably level. But every time one of us moved, the whole rig would rock and shift. Not confidence inspiring!

So when it came time to upgrade, an automatic leveling system was at the top of my must-have list. I went with the Lippert Ground Control 3.0 system and let me tell you – it’s been an absolute game changer. Now when we pull into a site, I just push a button and the system completely levels the RV for me in about 60 seconds. It’s amazing! No more sweating and swearing while crawling around on the muddy ground. I can just kick back and relax while technology does the hard work for me. Definitely worth the investment in my book.

Effortless Leveling at the Push of a Button

The main benefit of an automatic RV leveling system is simply the ease of use. Simply park, press a button, and your RV levels itself in minutes. Some systems like the Lippert even have a mobile app so you can level from outside without needing to be in the rig. It takes all the hassle and frustration out of the leveling process.

You’ll be amazed at how seamlessly these systems work. The Lippert Ground Control 3.0 uses hydraulic jacks on each corner of the RV so it can automatically make micro-adjustments to get you perfectly level, even on really uneven ground. No more stacking blocks and eyeballing things! The system handles it all for you.

It’s such a relief to not have to worry about getting stuck crooked on a site. I’ve seen plenty of RVs parked at precarious angles because the owners struggled with manual leveling. But with an automatic system, you’ll be confidently level every time. It really improves the camping experience.

Enhanced Stability and Reduced Movement

Another big benefit I’ve noticed with automatic leveling is how much more stable and solid my RV feels once it’s leveled. With manual crank jacks, there’s a lot more play and sway. But the hydraulic jacks on an automatic system lock things down tight with no wiggle or shake.

My old RV would rock and dip if someone moved around inside. But this new one feels like a rock – totally solid. The difference is really noticeable at night when things get quiet. I used to hear all kinds of creaking and rattling as the RV settled. Now it’s whisper quiet once the auto-leveling system is engaged. Very reassuring!

The increased stability is also nice when people are walking around inside, or if it’s windy outside. With manual jacks I’d constantly be worried about someone tripping and knocking the RV off the blocks. But now it stays locked solidly in place no matter what. I don’t have to stress about every little movement inside disrupting things. It’s made camping much more relaxing.

Protects RV Components from Damage

Automatic leveling systems don’t just provide convenience – they also help protect your RV from damage in a few key ways. First, getting perfectly level helps reduce stress and strain on critical components like the frame, joints, doors, etc. The better leveled your RV is, the better everything fits together without binding or warping.

The systems also have built-in safety features to prevent accidents. For example, the Lippert will automatically stop extending the jacks if it senses too much resistance or weight. This prevents it from ever lifting the RV’s wheels off the ground, which could lead to dangerous instability.

Finally, the precision hydraulic jacks on automatic systems are less likely to settle or sink than manual blocks and scissor jacks. So you don’t have to worry as much about things shifting overnight, leading to cracks or leaks. Overall, auto-leveling provides peace of mind that your RV is protected.

Quicker and Easier to Use than Manual Leveling

Nothing will make you appreciate automatic leveling more than spending 15 minutes sweating and grinding away with manual jacks and blocks trying to get level. It brings a whole new meaning to the term “back-breaking work!” And you almost never get it completely perfect on the first try either.

Even manual hydraulic or scissor jacks require a lot of trial and error adjustments. You can easily spend 30 minutes or more getting set up. But with an integrated automatic system, you’ll be completely leveled in 1-2 minutes, tops. All at the touch of a button from inside your climate-controlled RV. It’s a no-brainer!

The convenience factor is huge, especially after a long day on the road. The last thing I want to do when pulling into a campsite is wrestle with manual leveling. Being able to just tap a button and walk away while the system does its thing has been a total game changer. I arrive at my site relaxed instead of frustrated. Definitely improves the whole camping experience.

Simplifies Leveling on Uneven Sites

One of the biggest challenges with manual leveling is dealing with uneven terrain. Getting everything perfectly lined up on a nice flat parking lot is tricky enough. But when you’re parked on a sloped or irregular site, it turns into a real headache. You end up stacking blocks upon blocks just trying to compensate for all the dips and angles.

But that’s no match for an automatic system! The Lippert Ground Control can easily adapt to uneven sites by making micro-adjustments to each jack. So it doesn’t matter how unlevel the site is – the system will get you perfectly level every time without stacking tons of blocks.

It’s such a relief to know I can pull into just about any site now and let the auto-leveler work its magic. No more getting stuck with the wheels off the ground on one side or having to unhitch and go search for a flatter spot. I used to dread uneven sites, but now I don’t even think twice about them!

Fewer Concerns About Stability and Blocks Sliding

With manual leveling, I was always worried about my blocks sliding or shifting, especially on uneven ground. No matter how carefully I stacked them, they never seemed totally secure. I’d lay awake at night listening for any slight movement that might indicate a block sliding out of place.

But the automatic hydraulic jacks have an absolutely vice-like grip – once they’re locked in, that RV isn’t going anywhere! The system constantly monitors and adjusts pressure too, so you don’t have to worry about settling or slippage. I finally can sleep soundly without imagining the RV crashing down onto its axles.

It’s also reassuring to know the jacks have safety locks that prevent them from retracting even if the system loses power. So you don’t have to stress about a dead battery leaving you stranded crooked. The stability and security the automatic jacks provide really gives me tremendous peace of mind.

Allows One Person Leveling Instead of Two

Having an automatic system allows you to level your RV solo without needing an extra set of hands. My old manual setup required both me and my spouse to get level – one of us at the controls calling out directions while the other scrambled around adjusting the jacks and blocks. It was cumbersome and led to lots of frustration (and the occasional argument!).

But now I can get perfectly leveled with the push of a button by myself, freeing up my spouse to focus on other arrival tasks. Being able to fly solo takes a lot of hassle out of the experience. I don’t have to coordinate schedules just to get level anymore. It’s a big perk if you frequently camp alone or with kids in tow.

The automatic system also removes the need to rely on strangers for help leveling. I always felt awkward asking fellow campers to help adjust my jacks and blocks. But now I can take care of the whole process myself in just a couple minutes. The independence and self-sufficiency an automatic leveler provides is super convenient.

Eliminates Time Spent Monitoring and Adjusting

With manual leveling, you can’t just set it and forget it – you have to monitor and make constant slight adjustments. As the temperature changes, the RV settles, people move around inside, etc, things will invariably shift and slide. So you end up spending time each day double checking levels and making tweaks.

But once my automatic system levels the RV, I literally don’t have to think about it again until it’s time to pack up. The Lippert Ground Control constantly monitors and adjusts the jacks to keep the RV perfectly level. Even days later, I can push the button to double check, and it’s still right on the money!

Not having to babysit my levels everyday frees up time and mental energy to focus on enjoying my surroundings instead of sweating the small stuff. That peace of mind is invaluable for me. Automatic leveling finally allows me to RELAX and quit obsessing!

Prevents Damaged Jacks or RVs from Detaching

Manual crank jack extensions can sometimes get bent or damaged if you aren’t careful retracting them. This can make it impossible to disconnect the RV once it’s time to leave. But that’s not an issue with hydraulic automatic jacks. Even if the jacks get damaged, the system has enough raw power to retract them so you’ll never get stuck.

I’ve also heard horror stories of RVs detaching from manual jacks and literally driving away still attached. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s always a risk you have to be vigilant about with manual leveling. But the automatic system completely eliminates this risk – once the jacks are retracted, you know for certain the RV is fully disconnected and ready to roll. Just another stress-free benefit.

Adds Long-Term Value and Resale Appeal

While automatic leveling systems are an investment upfront, they can really pay off in added resale value down the road. This high-end feature appeals to a lot of buyers and can help your RV stand out. It becomes a key selling point. The Lippert in particular is well-known and trusted, giving buyers confidence.

I know if I ever go to sell my RV, the automatic leveling system will be a big draw compared to similar RVs with just basic manual jacks. And the feature will likely be one of the first things potential buyers ask about. It’s peace of mind knowing this upgrade should really help boost resale potential.

Plus these systems are built to last, so they’ll still be functioning perfectly for the next owner. The long-term value and appeal automatic leveling adds really helps justify the initial cost. It’s a smart upgrade that pays dividends down the road if you ever decide to trade up to a new model.

Things to Consider Before Buying an Automatic Leveling System

While the benefits clearly outweigh the drawbacks, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind:

  • Cost – Automatic systems are more expensive than manual or basic hydraulic jacks. Entry-level systems start around $1,500. More advanced systems like the Lippert Ground Control 3.0 cost $2,500 and up. It’s a significant investment.
  • Weight – The hydraulic jacks and control box add around 75-100 lbs of weight compared to manual jacks. This can impact your RV’s carrying capacity.
  • Power draw – Hydraulic systems require a decent amount of 12V power to operate. Make sure your RV battery and power system can handle the load.
  • Installation – DIY installation is challenging. Most buyers have it professionally installed, adding $800 or more to the total cost.
  • Maintenance – Systems require occasional maintenance like changing hydraulic fluid to keep everything operating smoothly.
  • Not compatible with some RVs – Older or specially designed RVs may require significant modifications to install an automatic system. Always verify compatibility first.

While not inexpensive, the sheer convenience and ease an automatic leveling system provides can be life-changing. For serious RVers, the benefits easily justify the costs in my opinion.

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