If you’re an outdoor enthusiast who owns a travel trailer with a slide-out, you already know that having that extra space can make a huge difference when it comes to comfort and convenience on your trips. However, if you don’t level your trailer correctly, it could cause serious damage to the slide-out mechanism, leading to costly repairs and a ruined trip.
So, what exactly is leveling, and why is it so important for trailers with slide-outs? Leveling is the process of making sure your travel trailer is on a level surface, so the weight is distributed evenly, and it doesn’t tip over.
When your trailer is not level, it can lead to all kinds of problems, from doors not closing correctly to appliances not working correctly, to discomfort for you and your fellow travelers. Plus, if your trailer is not level, it can cause damage to the slide-out mechanism, leading to expensive repairs.
There are several different methods you can use to level your travel trailer with a slide-out, and we will go over them in detail in today’s guide. By the end of the post, you should have everything you need to know to ensure your travel trailer with a slide-out is leveled correctly every time you set up camp.
Why Leveling a Travel Trailer with a Slide Out is Important
When it comes to setting up camp with your travel trailer, leveling is a crucial step that you don’t want to skip, especially if your trailer has a slide-out. Leveling your trailer is not just about making sure everything inside is level; it’s also about protecting the trailer’s structural integrity and preventing damage to the slide-out mechanism.
An unlevel travel trailer can cause significant damage to your trailer’s slide-out. When your trailer is not level, the weight distribution becomes uneven, which puts stress on the slide-out mechanism. If the slide-out is forced to operate on an uneven surface, it can become damaged, causing it to malfunction or even become permanently stuck.
Even worse, not only can an unlevel trailer cause damage to the slide-out mechanism, but it can also lead to discomfort and inconvenience for those inside the trailer. For example, if your bed is on the unlevel side, you might find yourself sliding towards one end of the bed during the night, making for an uncomfortable night’s sleep.
Additionally, unlevel appliances, such as a fridge or stove, may not work correctly, and doors may not close correctly, leading to frustration and inconvenience.
By taking the time to level your travel trailer with a slide-out correctly, you can ensure that your slide-out mechanism stays in good condition and that your trailer is a comfortable and enjoyable place to spend time during your camping trips.
Next, we’ll discuss the tools you’ll need to make leveling your trailer with a slide out a breeze.
Tools Needed for Leveling a Travel Trailer with a Slide Out
Before you can start leveling your travel trailer with a slide-out, you’ll need to make sure you have the right tools on hand. Here are some of the tools you’ll need:
- Leveling blocks or pads
These are the most essential tools for leveling your trailer. You can use leveling blocks or pads to level your trailer side-to-side or front-to-back. You can purchase leveling blocks or pads at most camping or outdoor stores, and they come in different materials, such as plastic or wood.
- Bubble level
A bubble level is a small, simple tool that you can use to determine whether your trailer is level or not. You can place the bubble level on the floor or counter in your trailer to determine if it’s level.
Chocks are wedge-shaped blocks that you can use to keep your trailer from rolling away. You can place them on either side of the wheels of your trailer to keep it in place.
- Wheel chocks
These are similar to regular chocks, but they are designed to go between the trailer’s wheels, preventing it from rolling.
- Tape measure
A tape measure will come in handy when you need to measure the height of your trailer’s wheels or the distance between your trailer’s wheels.
- Towing vehicle
You’ll need your towing vehicle to hitch your trailer and move it to a level spot.
These are the essential tools you’ll need to level your travel trailer with a slide-out. You may also want to consider other tools such as a cordless drill, a rubber mallet, and a flashlight to make the process easier.
Next, we’ll go over the step-by-step process for leveling your travel trailer with a slide-out.
Steps for Leveling a Travel Trailer with a Slide Out
Now that you have all the necessary tools, it’s time to start the leveling process. If you want to level a travel trailer with a slide-out, the first step is to park on a flat surface. Then, use a bubble level to determine which side(s) of the trailer need to be raised. Chock the wheels to keep the trailer from moving, and use a tongue jack to lift the low side(s) of the trailer. After that, slide leveling blocks under the raised wheels until the bubble level shows that the trailer is level. Lower the tongue jack to stabilize the trailer, and recheck the bubble level.
Follow these steps to level your travel trailer with a slide-out like a pro:
Step 1: Choose a Level Spot
The first step is to find a level spot to park your trailer. You can use your bubble level to determine if the spot is level or not. If the spot is not level, you’ll need to use leveling blocks or pads to level your trailer.
Step 2: Park Your Trailer
Once you have found a level spot, park your trailer and chock the wheels to keep it from rolling.
Step 3: Level Your Trailer Side-to-Side
If your trailer is not level side-to-side, use your leveling blocks or pads to raise the low side of the trailer. Place the blocks or pads under the wheels on the low side of the trailer until it is level.
Step 4: Level Your Trailer Front-to-Back
Next, use your bubble level to determine if your trailer is level front-to-back. If it’s not level, use your trailer’s tongue jack to raise or lower the trailer’s front end. If you need to raise the front end, place your leveling blocks or pads under the tongue jack to achieve the desired level.
Step 5: Extend Your Slide Out
Before you finalize the leveling process, make sure to extend your slide-out to ensure it operates correctly. If it’s difficult to extend or doesn’t extend at all, it’s possible that your trailer is not level, and you’ll need to recheck the leveling process.
Step 6: Check the Level Again
Once you’ve extended your slide-out, check the level of your trailer again to make sure it’s still level. If it’s not, make any necessary adjustments until your trailer is leveled both side-to-side and front-to-back.
Step 7: Test the Stability
Finally, test the stability of your trailer by walking inside and checking for any movement. If you feel any movement, it’s possible that your trailer is not level, and you’ll need to recheck the leveling process.
Following these steps will help you to level your travel trailer with a slide-out correctly, ensuring that it’s stable and comfortable to use. Remember, it’s essential to take the time to level your trailer correctly to protect your trailer’s structural integrity and prevent damage to the slide-out mechanism.
Related: How To Level A Teardrop Camper
Conclusion – How to Level a Travel Trailer With a Slide Out
To level a travel trailer with a slide-out like a pro, park on a level surface, use a bubble level to identify which side(s) need to be raised, chock the wheels, raise the low side(s) with a tongue jack, place leveling blocks under the wheels, lower the tongue jack to stabilize the trailer and recheck the bubble level. Remember to be patient and take your time for a smooth and straightforward leveling process.
Now, if you’re new to camping, leveling a travel trailer with a slide-out can be quite overwhelming, but don’t worry. With practice, it becomes more comfortable, and soon you’ll be a pro at it. It’s a skill that you’ll use every time you camp, so take the time to learn it correctly.