Leveling

Mar 28, 2005
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After years of camping with a folding camper, last year I give in and bought a new Elddis Avante 505. When leveling my camper I'd allways level it using a jack on the axle tube nearest the chassis and jack it up level then lower the corner steadies,I've allways found this more accurate than using ramps.I'm thinking of using the same method for my caravan but I have never seen anyone else doing it, any comments would be useful
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Sounds iffy to me. Don't put your jack under the axle tube - you might distort it. If you do want to use this method, put the jack under the chassis member near to the axle tube where you will normally find a reinforcing plate.

I'd want to be sure that the jack was very stable. If the van slipped off the jack you stand a good chance of damaging the corner steadies as they are not designed to take the full weight of a caravan. They are used 'steady' the van, not support it.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Roy, There is nothing wrong in what you are suggesting, it is just impractical in lots of instances for no real gain. The jack would have to be set on something firm as it will have to lift 1/2 ton or so. The weight of the van would be on the jack and not on the wheel. You would have to ensure the jack did not loose pressure, if hydraulic, otherwise the weight of the van would be on the corner steadies. Perhaps it would require an axle stand/s which again would have to be on firm ground. I find it easier to carry a few blocks of wood but each to his own as they say. Ray
 
Mar 14, 2005
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If you really want to use your jack, raise the caravan and then lower the wheel onto a block. This can be a bit hit & miss though, as you have to allow for the suspension movement. Remember that it's only really safe to jack a caravan when it is still on the towball.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I had to use the jack under the chassis method to level the van in spain ealier this year because the pitch size and shape would not let me drive up onto my wedge. I found the jack to be perfectly stable bu a bit of a podge to use as i had to lay alongside the van to get it into position.

One thing I did notice was that where I usually have to tighten up the corner steadies every 3 / 4 days there was no need to touch them as the van stayed rock solid for the next three weeks.

Probably the result of easing the weight of the van off the road suspension.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Ray

Just an other way to level if you don't like ramps, this better than a jack as it is a flat steel twin wedge on to which you drive your van to cradle the wheel then level it by winding up the screw, I am certain that they are still available form most dealers, I think it was called a bulldog.

have fun

Jim M
 
Feb 1, 2006
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Look at the Tight-On Hub Lock advert in PC Magazine.

Jack up caravan, replace wheel with stand and hub lock, use wood blocks to level van.

This gives highest level of security (cant be removed with oxyacetylene or professional tools) and levels van at same time.

Total time to fit and level van 5 to 8 minutes.

Tight-On Ltd. Tel:01924 278887
 
Mar 14, 2005
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The corner steadies are exactly what their name suggests - just a steady. They are not designed to take the full weight of one side of the caravan and they could get bent or otherwise damaged if too much is expected of them. Most of the weight of the caravan should therefore remain supported by the axle(s) and the steadies used only to prevent the caravan from rocking.
 
Dec 16, 2003
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Can someone please explain this leveling mystery to me. We have been caravanning for over twenty years. And have yet to find need for all this leveling gear.

We have been all ovee Britain and Europe and have watched people with lengths of wood, blocks, jacks, plastic truck chocks etc.

I have a simple two way level inside the front window of the van that cost my dad 25p for his first van. Pull up at site. decide what way is th most level and then park the van. Put the stays down and adjust the level. I used a jack once that I can remember and that's it in all those years.

I find it entertaining at times to observe others huffing and puffing. But since joining this forum I am wondering if I am missing out on something or doing something wrong.

Is it just me?
 
Jan 13, 2006
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Hi cris

Do you mean that you use the corner steadies to level the van?

If so, I've always understood that you should never use the corner steadies to lift the van in any way, as they are not meant to take weight.
 
Dec 16, 2003
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I have never "Lifted" the van so to speak with the steadies. I have alway found that apart from on one site the vans have esasliy leveled on their suspension with no stain on the steadies.

We have done tens of thousand of miles with no suspension damage or even a slightly bent or sticky steady.

Maybe you all camp on the sides iof mountains or something.
 
Mar 28, 2005
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Cris all I can say is you must have been very lucky not having any problems on sites levelling your van.

I go to a site in North Wales quite regularly and it is on the side of a hill and the difference from the top of the site to the bottom is about 20 foot, so there are no level pitches, in fact I've yet to stay on a site where I haven't had to use levelling ramps.

Since I made this post in April I have dispensed with the jacking method and now as mentioned above use ramps, a lot easier
 
Oct 27, 2005
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We have yet to use our new van and this leveling is starting to worry me. When we had the van parked on our drive for a week or so we put the steadies down and that was it and we were in and out of the van. Is it better with a twin axle van to just pick a hardstanding pitch. My husband is going on a CC course do you think they will cover this sort of thing or else how do you find out. Thanks
 

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