Do you level your ‘van when you’re at a motorhome site? Levelling your motorhome or not is, of course, a question of individual choice, and if you can live happily at a jaunty angle, that’s all well and good.
Personally, I like to have the ’van as level as is reasonably possible without having to resort to micro-accuracy. My take on this is quite simple – in my house, I don’t have to walk uphill from my lounge to the kitchen, so why should I when I’m in the motorhome?
There are several different ways to level your vehicle. Obviously, the simplest is to find a pitch that is level to start with – although many ’vans have a slightly nose-down stance, so you may still need to make some adjustments.
What you can use to level your motorhome
Having the best motorhome levelling ramps is the next step. My method is pretty simple. I drive onto my chosen pitch and then check the circular spirit level I have stuck on the dashboard. This tells me whether the ’van is nose up or down, and if there’s a lean to one side or the other.
What the spirit level indicates will determine where I place the ramps – usually under the front wheels, but if there is also a side-to-side lean, I’ll need to position the lower side further up the levelling ramp.
Practice and experience have taught me how to place the ramps and I can generally get pretty close. If possible, I always try to go slightly high at the front, then bring the back of the ’van up to level with the air suspension on the rear axle.
The third option is not cheap, but you could fit an automatic self-levelling system. These usually have hydraulic rams at each corner to lift the vehicle to a level state, although some of them use electric motors and screw jacks to achieve the same thing.
As for whether your fridge will work if the ’van isn’t level: first, this only applies to three-way fridges. Compressor types aren’t significantly affected.
Second, it has nothing to do with whether the gas will light – you could, in theory, turn your fridge upside down and the gas would still light (don’t try this at home).
The issue is that the cooling circuit works on a thermosyphon principle, which requires some of the pipework to be at a slight angle. If the ’van is not level, to the point that these pipes have no incline, the thermosyphon won’t work and the fridge won’t cool, whether it’s on electric or gas.
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