After a long day of travel, you want to get right to sleep. But you forgot the RV leveling blocks, only to realize you are rolling across your bed because the spot you chose to park is not entirely level. Although this can be such a small detail – if you’re like me – this can leave you awake for longer than you had wished. Or end with a night of altogether bad sleep.
Leveling up can make for a more comfortable stay
I don’t know about you, but when we park up, the first thing I do is make sure that our Sprinter is level. Not only because rolling onto your partner all night is less fun than it sounds. But because cooking, putting a drink down, or just plainly standing on a level surface makes things a lot easier.
The last thing you want is to wake up with a headache from sleeping with your head pointed down the hill, or maybe a sleepless, grumpy partner that had been crushed by you all night. And there is an easy solution, get something under those tires to level them up with the others. The best solution is leveling blocks.
Best RV leveling blocks solutions, to make your life on the road more comfortable.
1. TRACTION BOARDS
You’ve most likely seen these handy pieces of equipment before. Traction boards, they’re used to get your vehicle out of strife when stuck in mud, sand, or snow. Basically, they create a surface for your tire to grip in order to move your vehicle forward. Whereas while stuck, your tire would be freely spinning without traction.
Doubling up a tool’s uses is a great way to “VanLife”
We have a small set of these traction boards stored in the Van for emergency situations. Luckily we haven’t used them for getting “un-stuck” … yet. But we do use them all the time as leveling blocks. Once parked up we place them in front, or behind the tire on the lower side and drive onto them. Use both, or one traction board to get the desired level of the Van.
The ones seen in the photo above are the MaxTrax Extremes. An unbelievable product that is truly quality and an amazing tool. The price point is quite high, but you get what you pay for.
There are many traction board brands on the market:
Obviously, most of these brands are quite pricey but remember these are made for four-wheel-drive vehicles that are getting themselves into extreme situations. If you’re not going into rough-country where your camper shouldn’t be then you don’t need a quality set.
Take my advice: get yourself a cheap pair from your local Automotive store
That’s what we did, they work great for leveling and they double up as a tool that we can use to gain traction when we’re a little bit stuck. The pair we have been used many times to level us up and hold up well, even though they were the lowest price-point option.
2. WOODEN BLOCKS
If you’re looking to get a better level on a budget then this solution is the right one for you. Wooden blocks have long been the solution to many high-load situations and they can handle the weight and stress given to them.
Get yourself a couple of pieces of thick wood that are wide enough to fit under your tires, they’re easy to store and come along with many uses. You can use them to level your outdoor tables, chairs, or even that hot skillet from the fire that needs a safe place on the table.
We keep a set of wooden blocks at a friend’s place, where we often park up on the uneven ground.
This is an excellent solution if you don’t want to spend the money. It’s easy to find wood left over from your camper build, grandpa’s house, or even a friend can give you some that are lying around. Make sure to get a couple of pieces longer than the other so you can stack them up safely to get your desired height.
3. AFTERMARKET RV LEVELING BLOCKS
You wouldn’t be able to count on you and your partner’s hands how many aftermarket companies there are that make leveling blocks. It is a huge market in the U.S. thanks to all the pull-along campers out there. And it may be more difficult to choose a set than you think. I’ll save which set is the best for another time, as this article is only to help you with “ways to level your vehicle”.
Aftermarket blocks can be a big help for your big rig. Although they are specially designed to stay under the wheels, newer RV leveling blocks designs such as the rounded wedge shape, have a tendency to want to roll back. So have your parking brake on is key.
There are tons of RV leveling blocks to choose from but beware: they are also pricey.
Search ‘RV Leveling Blocks‘ on Amazon and you’ll be met with probably “too much”. If you know you don’t want to go the Wooden Block route, or never need traction boards. Then take your time and search through available aftermarket RV blocks, until you find something that meets your price.
The best advice I can give to finding the right one is to look at the reviews. There is nothing more helpful than someone else’s experience using a product and telling you the good and the bad.
4. HYDRAULIC LEVELING JACKS
Leveling jacks are great, but I don’t recommend them. This is because they can only be used under certain circumstances, and are extremely pricey compared to other RV leveling blocks. That being said they are the most stable and level tool you are going to find to level your camper, not to mention the minimal effort involved.
Hydraulic Jacks are mostly found on pull-along campers and are a system of lifts that find the perfect level at the push of a button. They use sensors, a pump, and jack stands that remotely lift the corners of your camper to get the level just right. I personally have not seen these on a DIY camper van build, but it is possible.
They come along with, of course, the pros and cons.
– Push of a button leveling
– Fast and easy
– Extremely expensive
– Many components that can fail
– Heavy and cumbersome
Another thing to keep into account is that you can only really use it on fairly level ground. It is not a system you could use off-trail where you may max out the length that a single jack can travel. As I said, I would not recommend a Hydraulic Leveling Jack System, but it is an option. If you’re building out a large camper then this may be the right solution for you.
BONUS: A BUBBLE LEVEL
If you’re really nit-picky with getting your home setup “just right”. Then something to keep in your Amazon shopping cart for your partner to see is a bubble level. These can be extremely helpful if you’re not ‘spacially-enclined’ and will give you the satisfaction to know when you put your drink down, it won’t slide off the table.
They come in many shapes and sizes, indoor and out. And can be virtually placed wherever you like. I keep a small bubble level in my Toyota 4Runner for those rares times we take it rather than the Van.
Who knows maybe getting yourself level will make you, your partner, or your pets a bit happier when you’re parked up at home.
INTERESTING READ: If you thought your Van Build was heavy, check out this BulletProof Sprinter from AddArmor.