Tuesday, July 5, 2011
On The Level
I never truly appreciated the importance of being on the level until I bought my rv. My family grew up camping in a tent on the shores of Old Hickory Lake, but a little off level in a tent is forgiving, not so much so in an rv.
When I first started driving Seeker I was nervous about height clearances and backing up, and while I still pay close attention to both of those, being level has moved to the top of my list of concerns when picking a campsite. Back in March we pulled into Monte Santo CG in Huntsville, AL and the attendant asked if I had a preference and without thinking I said, “anything level”.
Most of the fancier, newer models have leveling jacks that activate with the touch of a button on the control panel. I have the old-fashioned blocks that go under the wheels which work just fine. In my opinion, anything more than 2” out of level is not where I want to be. In Bardstown there was a big class A in the site across from us that had its rear jacks down to raise the back end up to level. The back wheels were a good 4” off the ground. I just don’t like that.
Most of the time I’m able to drive through the area and pick out a site. A couple of times I’ve driven through the park and not liked the looks of the place at all and just moved on. Once we had a good level parking pad but one step too far to either side meant a 6” drop to the ground. And one night in Alabama we were just tired and willing to accept the last spot they had which was a pull through (yah, no backing up) but really unlevel. And it was nearly dark when we got there which makes it difficult to work with the blocks so we just made do for the night and moved on the next morning. Of course, being 3” out of level meant that we couldn’t open the slide but we could still unfold the sleeper for Brenda. I woke up during the night to go to the bathroom (meaning I had to walk across her bed) and noticed she was sleeping crosswise of the bed. Her bed was tilted downhill (ah c’mon Brenda, it was only 3”) and she kept rolling off so she slept crosswise to keep off the floor!
Sometimes I like for the back end to be a little lower, say maybe ½”, so that the a/c drip runs to the back. Here in New York it’s about 1” lower even with the blocks so we make do because it’s level side to side. But walking to the kitchen is a downhill experience but fortunately I don’t go into that area much.
I’m having fun learning all these new tricks for this new lifestyle. Never owned a level in my life and now I have 4 plus an app on my phone (I know, it’s geeky, but I like it). And I may give up and go for the levelers, but I’d rather spend the money on a satellite dish to pick up the internet. I don’t mind sleeping with a strong starboard list.