Tips on How Leveling Systems Contribute to Better Weight Distribution in RVs

Properly leveling your RV is crucial for several reasons: it keeps stuff from rolling around inside, ensures your fridge works right, and helps distribute weight evenly across the chassis. Mess it up, and you may be sleeping at an angle or risk blowing a tire from overloading one side. No bueno!

Having taken my fair share of bumpy, off-kilter RV trips back in the day before automatic levelers, I learned a thing or two about the importance of spreading out the load.

Start With Side-to-Side Leveling

When you’re first looking for a spot to park your RV, be sure it’s on fairly level ground. This will make the rest of the leveling job much easier. But even if the spot looks flat, one side of your RV may dip lower than the other once you come to a stop.

Always level your RV from side-to-side first before raising the lower end. Driving around with your RV leaning sideways can make it sway more on the road. It also puts more pressure on the tires and suspension on the lower side. No good!

So pull out your trusty leveling blocks and place them under the tires on the side that’s dipping. Keep adding blocks until the RV is straight again. I like the yellow Lynx Levelers since they’re lightweight but sturdy enough for heavy rigs. Make sure to chock the wheels so she doesn’t go rolling.

Then you can focus on getting that baby perfectly horizontal front-to-back.

Seek Level Ground for Optimal Weight Distribution

When searching for a parking spot, keep an eye out for a nice flat area – this will make leveling a breeze. The flatter the ground you can get your RV on, the easier it’ll be to distribute the weight evenly and minimize side-to-side sloping.

Avoid parking on a slanted surface or with one end of the RV lower than the other. That angles the weight downhill and can overload your wheels and axles. Been there, done that – not recommended unless you want a neck massage from sleeping crooked!

If the ground is uneven, you may need to build it up with plywood or other solid materials. Keep adding pieces until it forms an even plane.

And watch for dips and holes that could tilt things out of whack. Backing into a slight depression can make your RV go downhill fast. Fill any ruts with debris to get things nice and flat.

With level ground, you won’t have to over-block the short end to get level, allowing for better weight distribution. So take the time to park smart right from the start.

Use a Weight Distribution Hitch for Towing

Let’s chat about weight distribution hitches – an important tool if you’ll be towing a trailer behind your RV. These hitches help transfer weight from the rear axle of your tow vehicle to the front axle and the trailer axles.

See, when you hitch up a loaded trailer, it pushes down on the rear end of your vehicle. Too much of that rear-end sag can reduce stability and control while driving. It’s also not great for your vehicle’s suspension and tires!

Enter the weight distribution hitch. It uses spring bars (those thick U-shaped bars) that are tensioned to distribute the tongue weight of the loaded trailer across your tow vehicle’s front and rear axles and the trailer’s axles.

The result? Your vehicle and trailer ride flatter and more safely. Swaying from side winds or passing trucks is reduced too. It just makes managing the whole rig much less squirrelly.

I recommend the Husky Center Line TS with its easy-to-adjust chains and brackets. Make sure to fine tune the spring bar tension for your particular load. Too tight or loose and the weight won’t spread right.

Auto-Leveling Systems Make Life Easier

New RVs today often have fancy automatic leveling systems built right in. At the touch of a button, they use hydraulic jacks or electric motors to lift and lower each corner until the RV is nice and level side-to-side and front-to-rear.

While auto-levelers are super convenient, don’t expect them to do all the work for you. You’ll still need to make sure your RV is parked in a relatively flat spot first. And keep an eye on the process to spot any issues with the site or need for manual adjustments.

Some things auto-leveling systems can’t compensate for are:

  • One side of the RV sinking into soft ground or a hole. Got stuck like that outside Tucson one year – what a mess!
  • Ground sloping downhill. This angles all the weight awkwardly.
  • Raising one end way higher than the other to make up for unlevel ground. Jacks can only lift so far!

So scout your parking spot first and use manual blocks if needed. Then let the system work its magic!

Big as it is, our new RV can tip like a cow in a canoe if we’re not careful! I made the mistake of rushing the leveling process once and woke up face-down on the floor. The missus still reminds me to “cow in a canoe” whenever we pull into camp. At least the black eye healed quick!

Adjust Your Weight Distribution as Needed

Here’s one more good tip about weight distribution when towing a trailer:

Make sure to adjust your hitch setup to match the load you’re carrying, especially if it changes.

For example, we headed up to my cousin’s wedding last fall and crammed the trailer with extra gear for the whole extended family. Even with the weight distribution bars installed, the back end of my pickup squatted way down from the much heavier load.

So I tightened up the spring bars to Level 2 and then to Level 3 once the gang was all aboard. That gave enough tension to spread the heavier tongue weight properly to the trailer and front axle again.

The same goes if you’re traveling super light for a weekend getaway vs. a heavy holiday haul. Loosen or tighten the bars accordingly so the forces stay even across all the wheels and axles.

The last thing you want is to overload one end and blow a tire! Like my gam-gam always said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of busted rear axles.” She had a lot of wisdom about RVing for some reason.

Benefits of Proper Leveling and Weight Distribution

Alright, now that we’ve covered the key tips for leveling your RV, let’s quickly recap why it matters so much:

  • Prevents sloshing or sliding inside – Keep drinks from spilling and belongings from crashing around corners.
  • Lets appliances operate properly – Especially the fridge, which can malfunction if off-level.
  • Distributes weight evenly – Lessens strain on tires, axles, and frame by spreading forces symmetrically.
  • Avoids overloading components – Helps prevent damage from concentrated heavy loads.
  • Improves stability – Lowers center of gravity for reduced sway and better handling.
  • Reduces wear – Minimizes stress on chassis, suspension parts, and structure over time.
  • Improves ride comfort – You won’t wake up feeling like you slept sideways on a seesaw!

Now let’s be real – a perfectly level RV every night may be an impossible dream. But getting reasonably close most of the time will still give you huge benefits versus way out-of-whack situations.

And it’s not rocket surgery. With a few easy tricks like leveling blocks and paying attention to site conditions, you’ll be sleeping sweet and rolling on down the highway smoother in no time.

We may not always nail the landing like ace Top Gun pilots. But close enough for RV life, as I like to say!

Stay chill like Fonzie and keep that baby as level as you can for maximum safety and comfort. And don’t forget to shake around the Airstream once in a while to redistribute my grapes – they seem to always roll under the couch. Ciao!

Key Things to Consider When Leveling an RV

Leveling your home on wheels takes some know-how. Let’s round up a few key considerations when trying to get your RV into tip-top shape at camp:

Pick a Parking Spot with Level Ground

This makes balancing side-to-side and front-to-back way simpler. Check that it’s not angled or has dips that could throw things off.

Level Side-to-Side First

Balancing an RV that’s leaning left or right should be your priority. Use sturdy leveling blocks under the low tires.

Use Leveling Ramps for Big Holes

Ramps allow you to smoothly drive up onto a solid flat zone, taking the sag out of a parking spot.

Level Front-to-Back

Once your RV is straight side-to-side, use ramps, blocks or jacks to lift the lower end and get that baby horizontal.

Adjust Weight Distribution Hitches

When towing uneven or shifting loads, be sure to tune the hitch spring bars for optimal weight transfer.

Allow Slide-Outs to Equalize

After leveling, let slide-outs fully extend and retract to distribute weight before calling it quits.

Check Interior Cabinets and Fridge

Open cabinets and fridge to confirm stuff is secure and level inside before unwinding for the night.

Use Balancing Blocks Under Stabilizing Jacks

Stabilizing jacks should sit on blocks to disperse the pressure and avoid settling unevenly.

There you have it – the key considerations for getting your RV leveled like a Zen master walking on rice paper. Follow these tips and you’ll be measuring for drapes in your horizontal house in no time. Sweet dreams!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go move Frank the fish bowl before the poor guy gets seasick. Talk soon!

Choosing RV Leveling Blocks and Ramps

When it comes to gear for leveling your rig, you’ve got options. Let’s go over some of the popular picks:

Leveling Blocks

These sturdy blocks lift your wheels incrementally. Look for solid plastic or laminated wood. The height of each block is stamped right on top.

Lynx Levelers – Light, interlocking yellow blocks great for smaller adjustments.

Camco Leveling Blocks – Affordable packs of 10 durable polypropylene blocks.

BAL Deluxe Blocks – Stackable blocks that snap together for added height.

Leveling Ramps

You can also use ramps to smoothly drive up onto a flat zone.

Plastic Drive-Up Ramps – Single-piece ramps that can be linked into trains. Budget-friendly.

Aluminum Board Ramps – Sturdy slotted ramps that pack flat and provide more flex.

RV Superlift – Unique dumbbell-shaped ramps that stack to lift wheels incrementally.

Lynx Leveling Pads

These thick, rigid pads offer a huge supportive surface for jacks and blocks. Great for soft ground.

Lynx Levelers – The 17″ x 17″ honeycomb pads spread the load better than blocks.

Camco Super Pads – 18″ x 18″ interlinking pads create a flat base. Budget pick.

So mix and match components to build your leveling kit! Having an assortment gives flexibility for all kinds of scenarios.

Now you’ve got the tools to keep your castle on wheels happy, whether it’s a Winnebago or a simple teardrop trailer like my first lil’ camper back in the day. That baby rode like a bucking bronco when I didn’t level it just right!

Leveling Step-By-Step Process

Let’s quickly walk through the full RV leveling process from start to finish:

  1. Find a level site – Park in an area clear of holes, dips, and sloping ground if at all possible.
  2. Level side-to-side – Place leveling blocks under the lower tires until the RV is straight and balanced side-to-side.
  3. Level front-to-back – Use blocks or drive onto ramps to lift the lower end to a horizontal position.
  4. Extend slide-outs – Let slide-outs fully extend and retract to equalize weight distribution inside.
  5. Stabilize – Place jacks or stabilizing pads under jack pads to keep the RV from rocking.
  6. Check inside – Verify cabinets and fridge are secure, and nothing rolls around once level.
  7. Enjoy! Pop open some lemonade and get the party started now that you’re leveled like a boss!

It may take some practice, but you’ll quickly get the hang of sizing up a site, configuring blocks, and tweaking as needed. Just remember to level in stages, work methodically, and check your progress.

About Author