How Many Leveling Blocks Do You Need for Your RV?

Having the right number of RV leveling blocks is crucial to keep your RV steady, avoid damage, and ensure appliances operate properly. But with so many different RV types and sizes out there, how do you determine exactly how many leveling blocks you need? Let me walk you through the key factors to consider.

The RV Leveling Block Basics

Before we get into the nitty gritty details, let’s start with a quick primer on RV leveling blocks. These sturdy plastic or vinyl blocks are placed under your trailer or motorhome’s tires to lift and stabilize the vehicle on uneven camping surfaces. Leveling blocks come in different sizes, typically range from 2 to 10 inches tall, and are sold in pairs or sets.

The most common leveling block material is recycled plastic, which is durable and weather-resistant. Never use wood blocks or bricks, which can split or crumble under the heavy weight of RVs. When stacking blocks, be sure to use brands with interlocking edges to prevent sliding.

Leveling blocks are an essential RVing accessory that ensures stability, prevents blown fuses, and allows appliances like refrigerators and shower stalls to work properly when parked on an incline. Now let’s look at how to determine the right amount.

Factor #1: RV Type and Length

The first major factor is the type and size of your RV. Travel trailers, fifth wheels, and motorhomes have distinct leveling needs based on their construction, weight distribution, and number of axles.

For small to mid-sized travel trailers (up to 25 feet), a standard setup is to use one leveling block per side, positioned under each tire. So for a single axle trailer, you would need 4 blocks total (2 per side). For a double axle, use 6 blocks.

My 22 foot Jayco camper is a great example – with a single axle, I just place 2 stacks of blocks under each tire in campsites with mild unevenness. Takes me about 10 minutes to get perfectly leveled!

Larger fifth wheels and travel trailers (25+ feet) often have 3 or more axles, which require additional leveling points. In this case, a good rule of thumb is 1 block per axle, per side. So a 3-axle trailer would need 6 blocks per side, or 12 total.

My buddy James has a beast of a 5th wheel with 4 axles – you better believe he carries a bucket full of blocks!

For motorhomes, the longest RVs on the road, you’ll want a minimum of 4 blocks to situate under each end. Larger Class A’s can require 6 or more blocks per side. The big difference is motorhomes often have hydraulic auto-leveling jacks, so may not need blocks as frequently.

The vehicle’s ground clearance when empty is another factor – the higher the clearance, the taller the needed blocks. Most RVs require blocks in the 7-10 inch range, but measure first.

No matter your RV’s size, having extra blocks on hand is smart in case you encounter a severely uneven site. I always keep 6-8 spare blocks ready for those tricky angles and dips.

Factor #2: Weight and Load Level

Your RV’s weight – both empty and loaded – impacts how many leveling blocks it needs. A heavier RV exerts more downward force on the blocks, requiring additional stacks under the tires.

Most RV suspension systems are designed to carry loads between 1500 and 3000 pounds per axle. Exceeding this capacity risks damage, improper leveling, and towing issues.

When preparing to travel, be sure to follow the manufacturer GVWR or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. Weigh your RV at a truck stop scale if you suspect exceeding weight capacity – don’t guess!

The more loaded your rig is, the more leveling blocks you’ll need to stabilize and distribute the weight properly. For example, my 22 foot trailer may only require 2 blocks per side empty. But loaded with gear for a week of family camping, adding a third central block per side helps level the extra 1500 pounds.

Monitor your load level and tire pressure closely during travel. You don’t want to overload one side which can be a safety hazard. Carry extra leveling blocks and a torque wrench to make weight distribution adjustments whenever needed.

Factor #3: Condition of Campsite

The amount of slope and uneven terrain of your chosen campsite is a huge variable for how many leveling blocks you’ll need per trip.

For campgrounds and RV parks with paved, level pads, you may not need any blocks at all. But these ideal sites are getting harder to find during peak season.

Most public campgrounds have gravel or dirt pads with slight to moderate inclines. For mildly unlevel sites, you can likely manage with just 2 stacks per side or under each jackpoint.

However, boondocking and dry camping in areas without paved pads often requires the most leveling blocks. In the backcountry, your site selection options are limited to where you can park safely.

I once camped at Zion National Park where both sides of my RV sloped 3-4 inches! It took a full 6 block stacks per side just to get close to level. Having plenty of blocks saved me without needing to relocate that late at night.

The trick is being prepared with enough blocks to safely manage a worst case scenario. You can always use fewer blocks if your site is smoother, but running short leaves you stranded.

Now that we’ve reviewed the key factors, here are my general recommendations on how many leveling blocks you should carry based on RV type:

  • Travel trailers under 25 feet – Minimum 4 blocks, with 6-8 ideal
  • 25+ foot travel trailers – 8-12 blocks
  • Fifth wheel trailers – 12-16 blocks
  • Class C motorhomes – 8-12 blocks
  • Class A motorhomes – 12-16 blocks

These are just guidelines – to determine the precise number for your RV, consult your owner’s manual or speak with an RV technician. Your needs also depend heavily on campsite conditions. For very uneven terrain like boondocking, consider bringing double the minimum blocks.

Most leveling blocks are affordably priced between $20-40 per pair, so having spares on board for tricky sites is a small investment that pays dividends in peace of mind. It also reduces the need to spend hours trying to perfectly level, so you can quickly get camp set up and start relaxing or exploring.

Helpful Tips for Leveling Your RV

With the right number of blocks for your rig, here are some tips to level quickly and safely:

  • Use a bubble level to identify uneven points and measure slope
  • Carefully back in and position RV close to final spot
  • Place blocks in front first for easiest access
  • For dual axles, start with one block under each tire
  • Slowly drive onto blocks, then check for level
  • Use wheel chocks to secure tires in place
  • Adjust and add/remove blocks until level side-to-side and front-to-back
  • Engage stabilizer jacks to reinforce stability

Take the time to properly level – it’s crucial for appliance functionality and sleeping comfort. Always use jack pads beneath stabilizers to prevent sinking.

Monitor your RV through the trip as shifts can still occur. Carry a small shovel and gravel to level drivable jacks when needed.

Upgrade Options for Automatic Leveling

Leveling your RV manually with blocks takes a little time and effort. There are automatic electric leveling systems available that remove the hassle.

Hydraulic jacks are standard on most Class A motorhomes – at the push of a button, they extend and level the RV. However, blocks may still be needed on uneven terrain.

Aftermarket automatic leveling kits can be installed on travel trailers and 5th wheels. They use electric motors to operate the jacks, taking all the manual work out of leveling.

Lippert, BAL, and Power Gear are leading brands. Kits run $2000-$4000 for parts plus labor, so aren’t cheap – but can be a smart long-term investment for avid RVers.

Even with auto-leveling, it’s wise to carry a few blocks. The systems can’t compensate for every slope, plus blocks help provide a more stable base.

Leveling Your RV is a Breeze with Prep and Practice

Figuring out how many leveling blocks you need for your RV is crucial to get right. With a properly leveled RV, you can cook delicious meals in your galley, sleep soundly no matter how far off the beaten path your adventures take you, and make lasting memories with your family or solo.

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