How to Level a Pop-Up Camper

 How to Level a Pop-Up Camper

Learning how to level a pop-up camper is easy with the right tools.

Whether you have a single axle trailer or one of the big motorhomes on the market, leveling your rig will keep you comfortable and everything running properly.

If you don't level your camper, you probably won't be as comfortable. You even risk getting headaches if you're sleeping at a downward angle. Some parts of your RV, like the fridge on many units, also need to be level in order to operate efficiently.

Your best option for leveling a pop-up camper may not be the same as another RV owner. Each RV is different and may need a jack or leveler that is not the same as what someone else needs.

The following is a guide to help you understand how to level a pop-up trailer, especially if this is your first time doing it.

Did you know one of the first campers Jen and I had was a pop-up camper? Keep reading and you'll see a picture of it!

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Types of Leveling Tools

How to Level a Pop-Up Camper 1

Before jumping right into how to level a pop-up trailer, you first need to understand what tools are needed to level it.

Jacks and Stabilizers

In order to stabilize and level your trailer, you may need some sort of jack or stabilizer. There are many different types available on the market. We'll go over a few in a moment. Class B Campervans are the exception. Most are leveled by putting the wheels on blocks or boards. But that's for another discussion.

Here, we're talking about how to level a pop-up camper trailer.

Tongue Jack

Hitch jacks, also called tongue jacks or trailer jacks, are used to lift and stabilize tent campers. They can be used to help connect the camper to the tow vehicle, but also to level a pop trailer from front to back. That way you aren't constantly learning or rolling in one direction when you try to sleep!

Tongue jacks are a mounted lift system at the trailer front, on the “trailer tongue” that raises and lowers the front of the trailer. They use 12-volt DC electrical power to extend or retract the leg of the trailer. The power is usually tied into the trailer's onboard battery.

There is a wide variety of tongue jacks — go explore them here.

Stabilizer Jacks

A stabilizer jack, sometimes called scissor jacks, consists of a metal arm that is installed to the corner frames of your camper. It is designed to extend from the frame to the ground, thereby stabilizing and leveling it from side to side when not in motion.

Of course, when traveling on the road, you want to be sure that the jack is fully retracted into the frame. Once you are parked, extend them down until they are in contact with the ground.

Need to see what these look like? Here you go.

Leveling Blocks

In its basic form, leveling blocks are like mini ramps for your trailers' tires to rest on. They go under the front of the wheel, preventing rolling or moving if the trailer is not parked on level ground and raising or lowering the camper.

Most leveling blocks are made of plastic and resemble a giant Lego block, which some Rvers believe is more beneficial than using a block of wood under the front of the tire.

That is because they are designed to stack up and connect in order to form a graduated ramp for your vehicle. This comes in handy because many spots you park in may not have a flat ground or a level front.

Wood blocks are not always an excellent choice when it comes to leveling blocks since they come in only a single size. Sometimes you need more height on side of the camper, and wood blocks cannot be made taller or shorter as plastic blocks can unless you stack them atop one another. Wood blocks can slip. The Lego plastic type interlock, forming a more secure platform.

Levels

After stabilizing your trailer, it is a good idea to be sure that it is level. That way, you know whether you need to raise or lower one side of the trailer a little bit. Sometimes adding a little height to the lowest tire can make a huge difference!

The best way to ensure that you have leveled your tent trailer is to use a level. Sometimes a flat, even camping spot is not actually flat and even. Using a level can ensure that your travel trailer is level even when the campsite looks can be deceiving.

Most trailers have a level attached to two sides of the trailer- one in the front or rear, and the other on one side of the trailer. That way you can easily see if the trailer is level from front to back and side to side.

If not, you will want to purchase one or two to use to level your trailer. There are many different levels to choose from. They come in many different sizes from a small level to very large levels. Again, there are so many to explore.

Be sure to pick one out and keep it stored in your trailer in an easy-to-access spot since it will likely be the first thing you do once you park your trailer.

In a pinch, you can even use a leveling app for your smartphone.

The levels that you purchase or are already attached to the trailer should be bubble levels. And in a pinch, you can use a phone app for leveling – did you know that?

Maybe you need a hat to do this? 🙂

How to Level a Pop-Up Camper 2
Who needs a hat?

You do! Made out of 100% cotton, the 6-panel cap offers a light feel, while the adjustable strap ensures a solid and comfortable fit. Just the thing to wear on your next RV Lifestyle adventure.

How to Level a Pop Up Camper

a photo of the popmup we used for our family camping
This Coleman Popup was what we used for family camping back in the '70s. That's our favorite spot along the Rifle River in northern Michigan.

Leveling your trailer is a two-step process.

Step 1: Raise and Lower

Once you decide on a leveler of choices- such as a jack or leveling blocks, raise or lower each side of the trailer according to the manufacturer's specifications.

Most levelers will consist of placing the leveler under the tire, or extending down from under the RV, and cranking to the desired height. Many will have you crank to “0.”

Step 2: Check the level

Look at the bubble level to see if the trailer is level. Check both the front-to-back level of the trailer, as well as the side-to-side level. Most trailers have an attached level on two sides of the trailer itself.

If you are out of plumb in one direction, adjust the leveler you are using (jack or leveling blocks). Adjust them, and then check the bubble level. Repeat until level.

4 Best Trailer Tools for Leveling

If you need a leveler or level, I highly recommend looking into these products.

1. BAL Leveler

One great tool to get your camper level is a BAL leveler. It works to get your single axle or pop-up trailer level in just minutes by being placed around your tire on the low side of the trailer. Use the ratchet to lift the low side–and you are done!

It also works as a tire chuck to keep the trailer in place and is corrosion-resistant to protect it from the elements.

2. Andersen Levelers

If a BAL leveler does not sound to you like a great way to level your trailer, look at Andersen Levelers. They have graduated levelers places under your trailer tire to lift one side up to four inches.

They can be used on trailers up to 30,000 pounds and with tires that have up to a 32″ diameter.

3. Hopkins Graduated Level

If your trailer does not have already installed levels, or they are in need of replacement, Hopkins Graduated Levels are easy to install. They are self-adhesive, and also complete with optional screw holes for permanent mounting.

4. Kohree 2 Packs Camper Leveler

Accommodates a vehicle up to 30,000 lbs and tires up to 32 inches diameter. Up to 4 inches can be cut from the leveler without any contrary effects to fit the dual axle RVs

If you have a pop up camper – which type of system do you use? Let us know in the comments.

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Mike Wendland

Mike Wendland is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road at RVLifestyle.com. He and Jennifer also host the weekly RV Podcast and do twice-weekly videos on the YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. They have written 10 books on RV travel.

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