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Old 06-16-2021, 02:13 PM   #1
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Front to back leveling

I've installed little stick-on bubble level on the front A frame for leveling Bramble front to back, so I can easily see it when lowering the jack. When the bubble is centered, she does not look level. She looks high in the front. Is that a thing? Or is my level in a bad location?
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Old 06-16-2021, 02:25 PM   #2
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Check the level of the trailer with a level, preferably a two or four foot level, and see what the level shows inside the trailer. I generally use a counter top to check for level but you can use the floor if you prefer. If the trailer isn't level inside then level it with the tongue jack a see how far off the stick-on level is. You could mark the stick-on level to show where trailer level actually is for future reference or adjust the stick-on to show level once the trailer is actually leveled. You will have to use some imagination to find a way to get the stick-on level to show level correctly. It can be done but might not be worth the effort.
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Old 06-16-2021, 02:29 PM   #3
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Similar advice here Kim . . . open the main door and put a 12" to 24" carpenter's level on the floor. Most AS owner's manuals simply say "if it feels level when you walk around inside, that is level enough for the fridge."

KISS

Avoid analysis paralysis IMO.

Do you have a circular level on top of the hitch jack motor cover, good for L/R and F/B?

KISS for us.

Cheers,

Peter
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Old 06-16-2021, 02:55 PM   #4
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Since the fridge is what I am leveling for, I made the assumption a long time ago that it would be the determining factor as to what level should be. I typically put a round bubble level on the freezer floor. I then proceed to get the trailer level from side to side first. Once that occurs I then make the trailer level from from front to back. Once that bubble is dead center from all directions, I mounted my Level Master on the front of the trailer. I mount it so the side to side bubble is dead center. Then I turn the screw setting for front to back to put the bubble in the middle.

From that point on we know what level is. As a plus if the side to side bubble is off by one mark, I've learned that two Lynx Leveler blocks under each tire on the low side brings the side to side to dead level. If it is half way between level and the first mark, it takes one block.
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Old 06-16-2021, 03:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
. . .
Most AS owner's manuals simply say "if it feels level when you walk around inside, that is level enough for the fridge."

KISS

Avoid analysis paralysis IMO.
. . .
Sorry, Jack, maybe a personal pet peeve . . .



Peter
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Old 06-16-2021, 03:27 PM   #6
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I just want to make sure the condensation from the fridge goes to the outside. Otherwise there will be a puddle on the floor by the fridge. But I just use a small level on the counter. The side to side is more tricky. I use something similar to the Anderson roll on levelers. They have worked the best for me.
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Old 06-16-2021, 03:27 PM   #7
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Well my solution was a one time solution. I don't consider it an over analysis. Now when I pull into a site, I walk back to the level and I know instantly what it will take to level it. No need to walk into the trailer and question myself whether I think it is level. I positively know it is level! To boot that also means the water drains properly into the shower, fridge drain and sink drains also!

Maybe the new fridges are more tolerant of less than level conditions. I've owned 4 travel trailers in my life and one I owned for 14 years and my current Classic will be 18 years old in October. None of the 4 has ever had a refrigerator failure during my ownership. I've used my method for first time set up of a master level every time. I personally would rather have a rock solid method to know rather than having to use a judgement of "if it feels right". You do the extra work to make sure, and the dividends will pay it forward for years in the future.

Jack
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Old 06-16-2021, 03:43 PM   #8
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Level is Relative: Level TO or FOR Whom?

Level is relative to the person who notices or feels or senses level. Some argue about level. I really do not care myself. But good when it comes to selling the trailer in the future. It shows... you care. Somehow?

Sea Level is not even level. Neither is your Airstream exterior trim or floor.

No camping spot is level. Agreed. The front jack can go up and down. It can be adjusted above, at or below level. You look at the level on the side, you will apply later, and have the jack go up or down or until you are disgusted and do not care. I sure don't. I survived the Pleistocene Ice Age. You did not and complain about the heat. Obviously no frost on your pumpkin in July? This is a Neanderthal Joke... they understand what I mean. Human Beans just look confused.

I have a 48 inch level that was used to frame the inside of a second floor 3600 square feet in a 1909 building I was remodeling for myself. It was level in 1909 and today. Missouri is close to the Center of the Continental USA. The geographical center is exactly +/- just north of Lebanon, Kansas. I looked that up. Level West to East that is. Kansas is Level. Missouri just EAST of Level, but good enough for me, also. You are not in this area, so figure it out on your time...

This is how I find Level in our Airstreams. Front End to Back End.

I use the same 48 inch level used to 'level' our Airstreams. Currently a 27 foot that is longer than a 28 foot Airstream, I am told.

Find the Center of the floor in your Airstream, front to back. If you are off a foot or four feet, it is all the same, as the floor is not level depending where you are checking. I use a Ball that our Blue Heelers like chasing. Put it onto the floor and, of course, the ball goes left or right as the trailer is not leveled left to right in your garage.

Often the ball rolls forward and curves around before stopping. Take this Ball and toss it out into the yard for your dog to play with. It is a prop, not really effective in finding anything but grit and dog hair on the floor. Rubber balls have static electricity. Level does not care.

But WE want LEVEL, not close or near.

Take the 48 inch or a 12 inch level and sit in ON and then BELOW the long piece of trim running from the back to the front on each sides. Is the Door Side Level?

Go to the opposite side trim... is that side Level? Trust me, one side IS and most likely the other... NOT. (Tried this for fun. Took two minutes.)

Put the Level UNDER. Different? Probably. Top, different that the bottom? No worry. Even the craftsmen building your Airstream can be not On the Level. It is your trailer, why should they worry about Level when Ohio is far from you? It WAS level at Jackson Center... trust me. Well, don't.

You have done the Ball. You have done the outside trim. You discover the interior floor varies enough to make a round object move, unpredictable.

Now what to do?

Hear aka Here is the secret and do not let my wife find out. She already suspects I cheat playing Pinochle. I don't but win some of the time.

Just find a spot that YOU believe it is Level. Demonstrate that it is close. Apply one 'small bubble level' from WalMart. Mine is 3.750000 inches wide. They are cheap and have an adhesive on the back that sticks forever.

I adhere the length first. Only once, after you have decided it could be Level... and truthfully, it is close enough for a Neanderthal, a Human Bean will not care or know the difference. I have it at the front, door side of the trailer. Just above the International logo plate and under the long trim piece. Press and it sticks.

Make sure the bubble is centered to Level. Optical illusions work better if YOU believe what YOU see. I again, do not care. I am a Neanderthal.

The side to side is put under this long front trim piece. Put the 48 inch level under the trim and on the battery box. It is is close... apply the cheap WalMart bubble level 3.750000 inches long to match the bubble on the level. If you do not have a level... I do not care. Make it up. That works as well. The front one has to be where someone can glance at one or the other easily. The side to side is important to judge how many blocks it will take to get one side... sort of level...but to we guys... you know the secret.

Leveling Blocks. That is what they are for. Top photo. Note... they are clean. That helps to maintain level. Believe that? You need to reread this post from the beginning. Yellow blocks are not for leveling. Geez... just kidding. Use the Yellow Blocks to level, side to side.

The second photo is a Level Airstream without props and a Tow Vehicle. Although not in Kansas, nor Missouri... but good enough for visual effect. You do not even need to SEE the levels. You can 'feeeeel' it cause you already do not care, but want breakfast in the morning. Like myself. Men are not stupid. We know how to make Science seem easy and leveling an unlevel Airstream is a byproduct.

It takes me less than 10 minutes to find Level on any Airstream and attach both Levels so I can find them. Avoid an expensive Level attached to your trailer. It is too accurate and my Dometic REFER operates anywhere, level could be off inches and the Refer does not care. (TRUE... I may have to get this worked out on a Thread of my own.)

It would take twice that time to Edit and find any typos, misspelled verbs, explain where to find the levels at WalMart (auto section) within this post.
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Old 06-16-2021, 04:37 PM   #9
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Ray, my line of thinking over the years has been what are we leveling for? And while I can check all kinds of places for level, you are assuming that the basis for that level in other locations is the same as the refrigerator. As we all know Airstreams are built by humans....much like my house.

I just paid the price for a builder mistake made over 35 years ago in my home. Found out that the builder obviously didn't look at the crowns on the joists when laying them. When I took the carpet off the floor in preparation for laying a laminate plank floor I found peaks and valleys that made it impossible to lay that floor successfully. So we had to pull out the entire subfloor, lay helper joists in some cases and had to shave down the high spots on the offending ones. Bottom line it was unnoticeable since the carpet and pads hid the poor workmanship.

Assumption that things are always built correctly can eventually can lead you down the path to more bad assumptions or decisions.

I'm a firm believer in doing things right. For those who have unlimited funds, or are doing frequent trading, a trailer with a defect can go unnoticed. If that fridge wasn't installed level, all of your checking the other areas for level have no merit.

My point is we have no clear idea of how much you can be off level before there is a longer term adverse effect to the life of this appliance. We don't even have any idea of how much you can be off before there is an adverse effect. All we have is this idea that if it feels right to you it's okay, or if the counter is level, or some other area of the trailer is level, the refrigerator should be level. All are assumptions unless you go to the part of the trailer where level does make a difference. That's why I do my measurements for level at the refrigerator itself. That's ground zero and that's where it counts. And if you level based on the fridge and find that the sinks or refrigerator condensate doesn't drain properly you know you have a fridge that may not be installed level with the overall trailer.

We pay too much for our rolling homes anyway and if by doing it right, I can lengthen the life of the absorption refrigerator engine, I'm $$$ ahead.

So while I may be splitting hairs, my contention is why not do it right the first time? Truly that's all it takes.

Jack
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Old 06-16-2021, 05:20 PM   #10
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Talking




Res ipsa loquitur . . .


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Old 06-16-2021, 06:28 PM   #11
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I’m a graphic designer and grew up in a family of art dealers who couldn’t stand a crooked painting hanging on the wall. It must be in my DNA. I am simply bothered by the look of the trailer—nose high-ish—relative to what my little bubble says. Thank you all for going down adjacent rabbit holes, but I think the first two responses will answer my question. If not, I will be back! Thanks all. Super interesting.
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Old 06-16-2021, 06:33 PM   #12
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Res ipsa loquitur . . .




Had to google that and still dont understand! No lawyering in my DNA!
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Old 06-16-2021, 06:43 PM   #13
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Another two cents...

We've been camping in one form or another for 46 years, and have had the best luck with the least amount of sweat and worry by using a bullseye level on the floor a couple feet inside the doorway. That way, you just walk back to the door and have a check while you're setting the tongue jack height.

The cabinets are assumed to be some semblance of parallel and perpendicular when installed, and unless the fridge was installed way off, then it can be assumed to be the same.

I check the fridge against the floor ONCE, using the SAME level used on the floor, then I know for sure it's either close or right on. From then on, I've never worried about it, have never had to replace a fridge because of it.

It's called 'a day off' for a reason...
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Old 06-16-2021, 07:18 PM   #14
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Not Level and Dometic Refer will WORK :)

The principle that the occurrence of an accident implies negligence. (Res ipsa loquitur)

*******
I am going to disclose an Ancient Neanderthal technique that exposes something engineers at Jackson Center already know about most, if not all Airstream Models, concerning Dometic Refers on Propane.

If you can sleep in bed and not slide off onto the floor, you are 85% or more, there.

The Dometic Refer is centered over the Axles on a Double Axle. I suspect that later engineers figured out if it worked for Double Axles, it must ALSO work for single Axles. If someone has a Single Axle... is the Refer centered over the Axle?

If the trailer is reasonably level... everything works just fine.

To test 'your' theory of level. Open the door to the bathroom. Which way does it swing?

(Silence)

The bathroom door is a sensitive mechanism. Your shower door as well. These test Left to Right level and Front to Back Level.

With the Refer mounted in the center of the axle, it would be very difficult, not having the trailer level enough to sleep and have the Refer not operate.

The shower and bathroom doors are just added for drama. Their purpose is to have some privacy when friends are over... Both have vents. Use them.
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Old 06-16-2021, 07:25 PM   #15
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Sorry Kim I am laughing too hard, at the rampant myopia and misconception, not to mention the total word count, to summon further energy to lead anyone to any additional potable water . . .

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Old 06-16-2021, 07:38 PM   #16
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I put a level app on my phone. Lay phone on battery box. When I'm level there, floor and counter read the same. Don't have to step inside or even open the door.
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Old 06-16-2021, 07:51 PM   #17
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I've found that you can drive yourself crazy chasing perfection, as mentioned above. I've used a 4-foot level to get my trailer as level as possible. That level will read perfectly level on the floor, but read something else on the countertop or on the dinette. I got my trailer as level as I could and I installed a LevelMate Pro. It makes the process super easy when I get to a campground, but I've learned not to chase .25" or .5" here and there. I get it as close as I can, and then I live with it. The bathroom door trick is a good one.
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Old 06-16-2021, 07:59 PM   #18
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Sorry Kim I am laughing too hard, at the rampant myopia and misconception, not to mention the total word count, to summon further energy to lead anyone to any additional potable water . . .


Glad you found some humor here.
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Old 06-16-2021, 08:07 PM   #19
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Years ago I got our Airstream as level as possible, mostly using a 36" carpenter's level held along the center trim of the exterior. Sure, checking at various points gave different results, so I adjusted the position of the trailer until all of the measurements were within the same range of error. Then I went inside the trailer and checked at various places with my carpenter's level and a bubble level. Of course not one measurement agreed, but they were all within an acceptable range.

Then I put self-stick levels like Ray mentioned on the side and rear of the trailer with their bubbles perfectly centered and I now use them to determine if the trailer is "level." Is it perfectly level? Of course not, but having the bubbles centered in those little levels is most satisfying!

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Old 06-17-2021, 05:02 AM   #20
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Mystery Solved!!! I used my 2' (?) carpenter level and it showed a different story. Bramble looks much more level now. Phew! Thanks everyone! Now to fix the hitch situation...she's not riding level either...
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