The Ins and Outs of Adding Auto-Leveling to Your Class C RV

As awesome as it is to explore new terrain, finding a flat spot to park at the end of a long day can be a pain. This is where auto-leveling comes in handy!

Auto-leveling systems automatically level out your RV by extending and retracting the jacks at the push of a button. No more blood, sweat, tears, and cuss words trying to get perfectly balanced on uneven ground. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a pretty sweet upgrade to me!

Why Add Auto-Leveling in the First Place?

You might be wondering if auto-levelling is really necessary. After all, you’ve managed just fine manually cranking those jacks into place. Here are a few of the biggest benefits that might make you reconsider:

Make Levelling Fast and Easy

The most obvious advantage is the sheer convenience factor. Auto-level systems allow you to get perfectly stabilised at the push of a button instead of lots of sweat and elbow grease. We’re talking going from a 20 minute wrestling match with the jacks to being levelled in under 60 seconds. Sold!

Prevent Unbalanced Parking Hazards

Trying to eyeball it and get your RV perfectly level by manually adjusting the jacks can be hit or miss. An unbalanced rig can cause problems like the fridge not operating right because it’s off kilter or even cabinets popping open. Auto-level prevents this by automatically finding the optimal balance point.

Reduce Wear and Tear

Cranking those manual jacks for years on your own can take a toll on your back and joints. Let the motor do the hard work for you! Auto-level systems also lower the risk of damage to your jacks and frame from overextending or uneven weight distribution.

Added Convenience in the Middle of Nowhere

When you’re parked out in the sticks, not having to rely on leveling blocks or a bubble level to get situated is invaluable. Auto-leveling allows you to get settled in quickly and comfortably no matter how funky the terrain.

Enjoy Ultimate Stability

Auto-leveling systems don’t stop once the RV is horizontal. They’ll continue making micro-adjustments to get you perfectly dialed in, even as the rig naturally settles. You’ll sleep easy without that subtle teetering feeling.

Make Your RV a True Home Away from Home

Let’s be honest, after a long day of adventures, who wants to spend 20 minutes wrestling with manual jacks before relaxing? Making camp feel like home should be as simple as pushing a button. Auto-level systems provide that.

As you can see, auto-leveling makes the whole experience of RVing more convenient, comfortable, and hassle-free. The benefits are well worth the investment. Now let’s talk coin!

What’s the Damage Cost-Wise?

Installing an auto-leveling system is definitely a splurge item rather than a necessity. Just like with any RV upgrade, there are budget-friendly options and premium models at higher price points. You can expect to spend anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000+ for a complete auto-level package.

Here are some ballpark estimates on costs:

  • Entry-level systems: $2,000 – $2,500
  • Mid-range systems: $2,500 – $3,500
  • Premium systems: $3,500 – $4,500+

Of course, cost will depend on the specifics of your RV like weight, frame, number of jacks, etc. Most kits come with everything you need including control panel, jacks, pump, and wiring. Many manufacturers also offer financing options.

If the sticker shock of a brand new system is too much, you may be able to upgrade your existing manual jacks to auto-leveling capability for around $1,000. This retrofit option is something to look into, but results will vary depending on your current jacks.

While not exactly cheap, adding auto-level ability could be considered an investment that returns convenience dividends down the road. If it makes RVing more enjoyable and hassle-free, the cost just might be justified.

Installation Tips to Get You Leveled Up

Alright, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of actually installing one of these high-tech leveling wizards. Once you order a system, here are some tips to make the process smooth:

  • Have it professionally installed – Unless you’re really handy, I strongly recommend letting a certified RV pro tackle the install. This ensures everything is wired and calibrated correctly.
  • Consider a mobile RV tech – Some mobile technicians will do on-site installations so you don’t have to trek the RV into the shop. Ask around about this option if it appeals to you.
  • Add supplementary jacks if needed – Your existing jack setup may work fine, but you might need additional jacks to give the auto-level system enough points of contact and range of motion to work properly.
  • Make sure the control panel is accessible – Have the shop install the system control panel somewhere convenient that’s easy to reach. You don’t want to be climbing over and under things to access it.
  • Be prepared to wait – With the demand for RV upgrades, lead times of 2 weeks or longer for installation appointments are common. Plan ahead and reserve your spot early.
  • Learn how it operates – Once installed, do a walkthrough so you’re familiar with how to work the auto-level system. Practice using it a few times while parked at home first.

The specific installation steps can vary based on your RV model and the system you choose. But following these general tips will give you the best auto-level experience. Consult the manufacturer instructions as well for detailed guidelines.

Auto-Leveling Maintenance Tips

Okay, your new system is installed and you’re floating on cloud level. But don’t forget – those high-tech gadgets require some periodic maintenance to keep everything shipshape. Here are some key auto-level maintenance tips:

  • Inspect jacks and connections – Visually check that the jacks are secure with no leaks or corrosion. Make sure wires are intact with no fraying or damage.
  • Keep jacks clean – Dirt, mud, and road grime can impede the operation of hydraulic jacks. Periodically wash them just like you would the outside of the RV.
  • Check fluid levels – Hydraulic fluid should be filled to the indicator line on the reservoir. Top it off as needed with approved fluid.
  • Change hydraulic fluid annually – Fluid can wear down over time. Replacing it yearly keeps systems running smoothly.
  • Swap filters as specified – Clogged filters cause poor system performance. Swap hydraulic inline filters based on usage or manufacturer guidance.
  • Test cycle monthly – Cycle your auto-level system fully up and down monthly even when not in use to keep seals lubricated.
  • Address leaks immediately – Leaky jacks or valves will impact functionality. Don’t delay diagnosis and repair.
  • Review Manual – Re-familiarize yourself with the owner’s manual periodically for any routine maintenance tips.

By following the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule and doing periodic inspections, your auto-level system should provide years of trouble-free operation. Think of it like getting regular oil changes on your RV engine.

Dealing With Auto-Leveling Issues

Of course, even with proper maintenance, issues can pop up now and then. Based on firsthand experience, here are some common auto-leveling problems and potential solutions:

System Not Leveling Properly – Check your jack pads for excessive wear. Debris on sensors can also throw off readings. Try cleaning sensors with electrical contact cleaner spray.

Jacks Make Noise When Extending – Lubricate with silicone spray. The hydraulic fluid level may also be low. Top it off based on manufacturer guidance. Noise could indicate worn seals or pump as well.

Jacks Jerk or Bind When Operating – Bindings and jerky motion signifies low hydraulic fluid levels. Completely bleed the system of air and refill fluid.

Jacks Extend Unevenly – Valve blockages or worn jacks can cause uneven extension. Try cycling jacks fully with no load on them to bleed any debris in valves.

Leaks Near Jacks or Fittings – Check that all fittings are tightened properly. Replace any leaky seals or fittings. Use hydraulic sealant on very small leaks.

Error Codes on Control Panel – Each code indicates a specific issue. Check owner’s manual for details on diagnostic codes and solutions.

Don’t hesitate to contact the manufacturer or installation shop if you encounter any other error codes or persistent issues. Tech support can provide troubleshooting tips for specific problems.

While it’s handy to try some DIY troubleshooting, I’d advise leaving major repairs to the professionals. Proper calibration and setup of the auto-level system requires shop tools and knowledge.

Well there ya have it – Having the ability to go from crooked to camp-ready at the push of a button is a total game changer.

No more sweating through leveling blocks and bubble levels to enjoy a nice cold one in a perfectly-balanced rig. Just let the jacks do their job while you kick back and enjoy the sites.

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