On The Level: Essential Equipment For Levelling Your Caravan

Posted on: 25 July 2016

Owning a touring caravan is a great way to take all the luxuries of home on the road with you, but even the most salubrious caravan doesn't feel very welcoming when it's tilted at a 45 degree angle. Keeping your caravan level, both when pitched up and on the road, is vital for a safe and relaxing holiday, and caravan suppliers offer a range or simple, effective devices that can make the tentative business of levelling your caravan much simpler.

Nose weight gauges 

These simple devices are placed underneath the towing rig on your caravan, and give a clear readout of your caravan's nose weight. This can help you to avoid overloading the front of your van, a common mistake that can cause alarming tilting and can make both towing and pitching up unsafe. Make sure that the gauge you buy is rated for the maximum weight your caravan is rated to carry. You should also ensure that your weight gauge is calibrated for the number of axles your caravan has, as proper weight distribution differs significantly between single and dual-axle caravans. 

Levelling ramps

Shoving lumps of wood and bricks under your caravan's wheels to eliminate sideways tilt may be effective, but it's hardly a precise art. Levelling ramps take alot of guesswork out of the process of sideways levelling -- these ramps are generally made of tough plastics with great load-bearing strength, and are inserted before or behind your caravan's wheels, allowing the caravan to be towered or manually pulled up the ramp until levelling is achieved. Another ramp is then inserted to keep the wheel in its new position; this ramp is held in place by the slotted surface of the first ramp.

Theoretically these ramps can be used to correct for any amount of sideways tilt, but in practical terms you should probably find a new pitch if you are forced to stack three or more ramps to achieve proper levelling. You should also keep an eye out for ramps with safety cords or ropes attached, as these allow you to remove ramps at the end of your holiday without the risk of the caravan rolling back and injuring your hands. 

Spirit levels

Even if a caravan looks perfectly level when you eyeball it, a slight tilt can still cause you to lose your balance unexpectedly (or when you've had a few too many). Slight tilts can also cause problems with proper drainage in sinks and cassette toilets, so consider using a spirit level to minimise these problems. Spirit levels sold for caravan levelling use generally have two levels positioned at adjacent angles, allowing you to check for both front-to-back and side-to-side tilt simultaneously.