Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-21-2015, 01:19 PM   #15
4 Rivet Member
1967 26' Overlander
Spartanburg , South Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 272
Our 48 year old 26 footer is bowed. So am I after 74 years but we are both keepin' on. Basically a trailer is a complex beam supported by a fulcrum (axles) slightly rearward of its longitudinal center and the tongue jack. Weight of any magnitude away from the fulcrum will result in a slight deflection downward. Theoretically the tongue jack or the hitch will off set the deflection in the front half leaving a slight downward deflection of the rear end. I figure that is the reason many trailers are now built with mid baths and kitchens with the three tanks somewhere near the axles. A smart engineer designing an A/S would, you would think, build the rear with a slight upward deflection to compensate for the body weight behind the axles. Having said all that, keep in mind the motion over speed bumps and pot holes will cause the trailer to bounce and flex, and over time probably results in some downward deflection front and back. The main reason for carefully leveling the trailer when parked is to protect the absorption refrigerator from damage. I level from side to side using a 3' level across the A-frame with short boards under the wheels as needed and front to back with a bubble level attached to the side near the door. I then check the freezer with a round bubble level. It doesn't have to be perfectly level but should be within the inner marks on the glass.

Jacob D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2015, 01:30 PM   #16

2016 25' International
Littlestown , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 64
Why don't you use the leveling technique which is used by Hitch Installers? Tape measure the outside rear end at the rub strip, then measure at the front the same way. They do this so the trailer is level, and then use tape measure to measure height of front/back middle of wheel wells.... which is very important to set up the hitch and weight distribution system.

I too cannot get a good measure with a level in the inside for the same reason. Your floor is fine...

glcmranger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2015, 01:46 PM   #17
3 Rivet Member
NoNameinNM's Avatar

2016 28' International
Albuquerque , New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 121
Originally Posted by Jacob D View Post
A smart engineer designing an A/S would, you would think, build the rear with a slight upward deflection to compensate for the body weight behind the axles.
Perhaps we don't give them enough credit, then-- we have the slight bump at the axles, and the rear bedroom is a bit higher than the rest of the trailer.
NoNameinNM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2015, 02:06 PM   #18
4 Rivet Member
AStreamNerds's Avatar
2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
Manassas , Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 402
Images: 6
I just use a torpedo level on the sink counter - first level across then level lengthwise. I use the Anderson Camper Levelers too...

AStreamNerds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2015, 02:27 PM   #19
Rivet Master
RangerJay's Avatar

2002 19' Bambi
Northwestern Ontario , - on the backside of the map and just above the big green spot
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 818
Images: 44
Somehow it seems we are turning a simple task into NASA rocket science ....

.... leveling a trailer should not be rocket science .....

The fridge represents the defining need for being level.

To set-up your exterior bubbles for the first time use a bullet level on either the floor of the fridge or the freezer to level the trailer - then install your exterior bubbles (front to back bubble and side to side bubble) to reflect that the trailer is already level.

Thereafter level the trailer to the bubbles.

Close is good - dead on is easy to get from front to back - sometimes side to side will be a little off - that's OK.

In our little family the final leveling (front to back) is one of the last activities in a set-up - always followed by a welcoming Martini and ritual toast .....

End of story.

Bambi - 2002 (The Toaster)
Pathfinder - 2009 (The Buggy)

"I'm not young enough to know everything ....."
(Oscar Wilde)
RangerJay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2015, 02:28 PM   #20
Rivet Puller
SeeMore's Avatar
2004 28' Safari S/O
Marietta , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,054
Images: 3
A slight variation - Like Micheal above, I mounted the Level Master on the outside of the trailer front, but only after having used my smaller 18" level to determine I had the freezer floor level in all directions. With the Level Master set side to side, I then adjusted the Level Masters' screw for the fore/aft level to centered. I followed that by adjusting the circular bubble level in the power jack head (3 screws) to centered as well. Now, I don't have to enter the trailer to know when I am set correctly.
SeeMore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2015, 03:56 PM   #21
3 Rivet Member
white laker's Avatar
2002 31' Classic
lanark , Ontario
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 113
Images: 5
Wow! leveling a trailer..... is it time to talk about 16" tires, hitches and Freightliner tow vehicles! enough!
Pete Crook
"Put it all behind you!"
white laker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2015, 04:15 PM   #22
Rivet Master
tsunami's Avatar
2016 28' Flying Cloud
Brandenburg , Kentucky
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 797
Images: 20
Ditto on Door Sill

Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
The guys at Jackson Center say to place a level on the entry door sill and use the tongue jack.
Have been doing this since owned my AS. Technicians at the dealership, (Billy Simms Trailer Town - Lubbock Texas) stated that this was the prescribed AS method.
tsunami is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2015, 10:39 PM   #23
2006 34' Classic
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 261
All trailers have front and rear sag because they are not built on a jig. The shell is set on a frame that then sags slightly with its weight and then the installed items add to this sag. Newer trailers have windows cut in the sides on a computer control cutting table before assembled in the shell. Even the older trailers had fairly accurate cutouts. Therefore, I use a torpedo level on the inside sill of the closest to middle window. That way, you can look in and check for level while setting up. Eery thing else will depend on some sag in all four directions. If you use stabilizers you can load them slightly to eliminate some sag. Don't load them more than necessary to stabilize. They are easy to overload, i.e., clutch ratcheting noise. If you have a long trailer with slide you may have to adjust the stabilizers to allow for the slide to clear the shell opening. Also, if your entry door is then hard to work you may need to readjust for that. My 35' is al flexible as a snake. Just like the inside of a large aircraft fuselage.
guskmg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2015, 11:59 PM   #24
2 Rivet Member
2015 25' Flying Cloud
Eugene , Oregon
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 53
Thanks for Many Ideas

There are so many people to thank, I don't know where to start. I am fairly good at side to side leveling ( I too have those Anderson red leveling things) and I know how to use the front jack to raise and lower the AS to level. I guess I was worried about the slope front and back on the floor from the axles. Many recommended I contact AS or the dealer while under warranty since it doesn't seem right to have that much of a slope in both directions. I agree, but Paula reminder me that I might be doing this floor measurement with either under inflated tires or not having the stabilizing jacks down. I will try all suggestions only with properly inflated tires AND the stabilizing jacks down (not over loaded). I suspect I already have my front bubble level set correctly for freezer lever. I will recheck the slope in the floor again, but many have indicated the flex is partially normal. I'll also call the dealer, especially since it is under warranty. Maybe I am splitting hairs trying for the perfect level front to back. Thanks again. Never imagined I would generate so many responses to my question. Lyle
ltorgy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2015, 07:56 AM   #25
Rivet Master
AWCHIEF's Avatar
2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 6,701
Images: 54
From my trailer manual,

When you plan to stay in the same place for several days, weeks or months, you will want your trailer to be as level and steady as possible. Check the attitude with a small spirit level set on the inside work counter or the trailer hitch "A-Frame". (See Diagram Below) If a correction is necessary then YOU MUST LEVEL FROM SIDE TO SIDE FIRST This can he done easily by backing the trailer up one or more 2" x 6" boards. (See Diagram) We do not recommend placing tires in a hole for leveling.
LEVEL FROM FRONT TO REAR by disconnecting the hitch from the tow vehicle, putting the jack pad under the hitch jack and adjusting the jack up or down until you are level. Block or chock the wheels to keep the trailer from rolling. Use STABILIZING JACKS at all four corners as shown in the diagram to eliminate the natural spring action of the axles. Optional STABILIZING JACKS, whether manual or power, should only be used to stabilize trailer.
WARNING: Whenever the trailer must be lifted with a jack, as when changing a tire or leveling on very rough terrain, ALWAYS PLACE THE LIFTING JACK UNDER THE MAIN FRAME RAIL. A label is provided to indicate the proper position for the jack. NEVER USE STABILIZING JACKS TO LIFT THE TRAILER.


Any time the vehicle is parked for several hours with the refrigerator operating the vehicle should be leveled to prevent this loss of cooling. The vehicle needs to be leveled only so it is comfortable to live in (no noticeable sloping of floor or walls).
When the vehicle is moving the leveling is not critical, as the rolling and pitching movement of the vehicle will pass to either side of level, keeping the liquid ammonia from accumulating in the evaporator tubing.

The factory manual for the refrigerator says to use a level in the freezer section.
WBCCI 10656 Southeastern Camping Unit
Associate European Unit
2006 Safari LS 23 ft
Formerly 1964 Bambi II

"I got a fever and the only prescription is more cowbell"
AWCHIEF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2015, 07:02 AM   #26
4 Rivet Member
SuzyHomemakr's Avatar
1972 29' Ambassador
Boynton Beach , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 309
Another vote for the Andersons... combine those with a level on the rock guard (that I look at in the rear-view mirror), and side to side leveling is a breeze. My disappointment will be palpable when I get to some campsite in the future that is more out-of-level than the Andersons can compensate for. I'm going to cut the nose off of one of them so that it'll slide between the tires easier.

I find the bubble level on the tongue jack to be worthless- sometimes the trailer pushes or pulls on the jack, and kicks it out of plumb. I have a dual level thing mounted on the tongue itself.

My floor is also bowed. When I re-did the rear bedroom, I built the bed frame like a large spar, which helped to solidify the back.

Since my trailer has the manual landing gear, I use my DeWalt impact driver to bring them up and down. BRRRRR-AP! It's done, and I feel so wicked for not having hand-cranked it!
SuzyHomemakr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2015, 08:16 AM   #27

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 10,802
Images: 1
"I will recheck the slope in the floor again, but many have indicated the flex is partially normal. I'll also call the dealer, especially since it is under warranty."

Are we all assuming that the floor was installed with any concern for it being level?.

As noted the fridge and tongue are where the the emphasis lies for us.

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC08256.jpg
Views:	53
Size:	146.1 KB
ID:	250231  

AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
ROBERT CROSS is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Best way to level & stabilize a '60 glw73069 Jacks, Stabilizers, Lifting and Leveling 4 07-15-2015 01:23 PM
Will accept BEST OFFER on front + back end caps of 69 Airstream Safari AmrcnDrifter Airstream Classifieds 0 01-24-2015 04:34 PM
Best RV Level Jobs tsunami On The Road... 18 07-26-2014 08:11 AM
to level or not to level urnmor Jacks, Stabilizers, Lifting and Leveling 23 07-30-2012 11:21 AM
How level is level? RichardT 1961 - 1963 Bambi 7 03-12-2006 03:52 PM

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:17 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.