The 10 Best Leveling Blocks
These Blocks Are On The Level
If you don’t happen to have one of those fancy-schmancy hydraulic leveling systems on your RV or trailer, you’re going to need a high-quality set of leveling blocks. Even in ultra-modern RV parks, there’s no guarantee that the concrete slabs at each site will be even, and if you plan on visiting state and national parks, you’re virtually guaranteed uneven ground at some point. But with a set of leveling blocks, getting your rig evened out shouldn’t be a problem.
Occasionally, RVers point out that wood works just as well, but realistically, a proper set of leveling blocks is generally the better choice. For one thing, wooden blocks and boards are much heavier and don’t feature the type of weather-resistant materials used in today’s first-rate choices. Many nowadays are resistant to UV rays and wet weather, can withstand heavy loads, and even feature handles that keep you out of the muck and mud.
Some RVers, particularly greenhorns, have also been known to ask whether leveling an RV or camper is necessary at all. For those RVs that have a refrigerator, the answer is a resounding yes. Your fridge is not meant to operate on a slant, and running it while it’s tilted can damage it. If you don’t have any appliances to worry about, you might be able to get away with not leveling. The problem, however, is that sleeping and walking around on a slant quickly becomes tiresome. You don’t want to wait until you’ve been tossing and turning for an hour to decide that leveling is crucial, after all.
Using leveling blocks isn’t terribly complicated. You’ll need a level, of course, to help you determine where the blocks need to go. Make sure the trailer or RV is where you plan to leave it before you start measuring; when you’ve determined where you’ll need blocks, place them next to the tire(s) they’ll be under. Drive forward, move the blocks over into the spaces where your tires were, then back up slowly onto the blocks. You may need to adjust and readjust a few times to find just the right spot.
A Few Words About Safety
While it’s not necessarily difficult to use leveling blocks, there are a few things you should look out for to keep you comfortable, and most importantly, safe. An accident that causes injury to either yourself or your rig could really put a damper on what might otherwise be the trip of a lifetime.
First, be sure you set your vehicle’s brake before you start the process of gauging the evenness of your rig and placing the leveling blocks. If you have a slide out, go ahead and extend it before you attempt to judge where you’ll need the blocks, as its weight can cause shifting. When everything is nice and snug, chock the wheels that are up on the blocks. The blocks are not made to hold your tire in place; that’s the wheel chock's job.
Also, be sure that the entire footprint of the tire covers the leveling block. There should be no overhang anywhere, front to back or side to side, because this can seriously harm your tire. And if you’ve got dually tires, don’t level just one on a side — put blocks under both.
Finally, you should resist the temptation to use your stabilization jacks to level out an RV. Sure, it would be easier than having to get out the blocks and spend time moving your rig onto them, but these jacks were not made for this purpose. It’s likely to put too much pressure on them and could lead to costly repairs down the road.
While we hope for your RV and camping trips to be nothing but successful, there are going to be bumps along the way, with some of the most notorious issues coming from the weather. There’s just no outdoorsy disappointment like being trapped inside, staring out at the rain pouring down — made that much worse when you have restless kids cooped up inside with you. But there are things you can do to not only make the time pass but also have some fun. We’ve got a few ideas to get you started.
Before your trip, gather a supply of “just in case” items, such as board games, puzzles, coloring books, small craft projects, or novels. True, you may not have a ton of extra space at your disposal, but small items like a deck of cards or set of dominoes won’t take up much room.
You could also start thinking of some fun contests or family activities. For instance, hold a poem or story writing competition. Give everyone a set amount of time to craft their pieces, then hold a reading and vote on the favorite. Or, you could create your own board game, compose a family skit, write a song, or tell ghost stories.
If you’re going to turn to TV or movies, try to make this an event and not just something to endure while the rain is falling. If you simply plop down in front of the TV at 10 a.m., you or your kids will probably be feeling a bit restless by the afternoon, making the long stretch of evening seem daunting. Instead, spend some time creating a viewing list or a theme. Draw or color some invitations and create a menu. Make your viewing a party and not a chore. Just be sure to stock up on popcorn and snacks before you hit the road.
And if the weather isn’t too cold or dangerous, you might just lean into it, especially if you’re already wet from getting your leveling blocks into place. Get everybody in their rain slickers, ponchos, and rubber boots, and have some fun jumping in puddles. Take a walk and ask your kids to point out ways that the world changes during a shower. You’ll perhaps need to spend some time cleaning up, but the enjoyment you’ll get might just be worth it.