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Old 05-28-2012, 10:20 PM   #1
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Default Leveling my PW

Hello!
I have a 2011 PW Plateau (Sprinter) and I have some questions about getting it level.
This past weekend I've had it in 3 different places that required me to level the coach. In all 3 situations I had a lot of difficulty.

I have 1 set of the orange "lego blocks".

One of the spots where I have a hard time leveling is at my house - I only park there when I'm packing and unpacking so it's not a huge issue, except that I want to turn the fridge on because I'm about to load it with food. Last Thurs night put the coach up on 3 blocks (just the passenger side tire) and it made no difference on my 1-inch square level I had sitting on the counter. none. It was just as out of level as it was before I figured out how to stack the blocks so they didn't break apart when I drove up on them.

Then Fri night I was camping in a grassy field. I drove around the site to find a level spot and couldn't do it. Again I piled up blocks in different arrangements and was barely able to get the bubble to move, much less get level. I finally put the back driver side tires into a hole and then leveled up the front driver side and the bubble was kinda touching the circle in my level.

Then last night we tried every combination of stacking the blocks and tried to use a root that was under the pavement causing it look like a speed bump and couldn't get the bubble to move. The Boy Scout leaders in the campsite across the road even came over and showed me yet another way to stack the legos. I ended up just turning the fridge off b/c I couldn't get it level. Not only did the bubble not move, the blocks kept sliding out from under the wheels when I tried to drive up on them.

So my questions...

Do I need more orange blocks? I can't seem to get them very high b/c when I stack them up them up they break apart when I drive up (although I have some new ideas for stacking, maybe I wasn't doing it right), but just stacking them 2 or 3 high doesn't seem to make a difference when leveling.

What other ways to level do you guys use? My dad carries 2x6 boards to level his coach - but his is a 36' County Coach and squishes those orange legos. He has an air leveling system, but occasionally he does need the boards. I was thinking maybe custom cut some 2x6 boards so they are small, yet big enough.

How sensitive is the fridge really? I have a Norocold 3way. I've heard a lot of "myths" about the fridges....1) as long as it's not so out of level you can't sleep it's fine (last night I didn't really notice that the coach wasn't level, but it was higher in the back than front so my head was up). 2) it's front to back leveling that makes the most difference - side to side isn't a problem. How long, how often, does it have to be out of level to do damage?

I know lot of questions! I did search the forum 1st too...
Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: Leveling my PW

Teacher; This one should get a lot of response & opinions.
My solution is that if it's level enough to sleep without falling out of bed &/or disturbing my bed mate/wife then it's good enough for us. The heck with the fridge. And if the fridge isn't close to level I just turn it off. I'll use the lego blocks, but if it's a hassle - forget it. We carry an old cooler with ice, so if anything must be kept cold it goes in the cooler with ice.
The best solution is to change the fridge to a compressor unit as Booster has done on another thread on this forum.
And the manufactures should offer that type fridge to start with. My 1 1/2 cents! Ric.
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: Leveling my PW

I rarely have a problem with finding a level site. In over 100 days on the road last year I used my Lego blocks just a few times. Five weeks on the road this year I used them just once for comfort. We carry one set. I figure if it gets worse I can make do like the first year I had a B and use split fire wood.
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: Leveling my PW

A look at a random Dometic fridge owner manual shows:

Quote:
The vehicle needs to be leveled only so it is comfortable
to live in (no noticeable sloping of floor or walls).
When the vehicle is moving, the leveling is not critical,
as the rolling and pitching movement of the vehicle will
pass to either side of level, keeping the liquid ammonia
from accumulating in the evaporator tubing.
And a Norcold fridge FAQ shows:
Quote:
How level must the refrigerator be?

If you have a gas absorption refrigerator, normal leveling of the vehicle is sufficient. The refrigerator is made to operate within 3 degrees off level side-to-side and 6 degrees off level front-to-back (looking at the front of the refrigerator).
I think 3 degrees would be very noticeable.
Anyone remember trigonometry? How do you convert degrees to rise? My guess is that a 3 degree angle would rise 1 foot over a 20 ft long span.
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:38 AM   #5
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Default Re: Leveling my PW

Here's an exaggerated visual for a 152" wheelbase Rialta:
http://rialtainfo.com/thebaldy/winnebag ... _hd-fd.htm
and
http://rialtainfo.com/thebaldy/winnebag ... or_sts.htm
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: Leveling my PW

In all 3 situations I was comfortable in the van w/o leveling it...but I could visible see that it wasn't level.

Switching to an AC/DC only fridge is not an option - I want the fridge to run on propane because I do a lot of dry camping and running the fridge on DC sucks the battery.

I think maybe I'm being too extreme with my desire to keep the fridge level. I have no desire or funds to replace the fridge so want to be sure to keep it in working order.
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:39 AM   #7
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Default Re: Leveling my PW

Re: the blocks - they fit together like this:



The instructions with mine indicated that you should not stack them more than 4 high. I used the whole bag of 10 for the photo. You can use one for 1 inch, 3 for 2 inches, 6 for 3 inches etc.
In larger RV's I carried plywood that would go under the stack of blocks to prevent them sinking into mud or grass.

Do you have dual rear wheels? I had rear duallies on my B+ and found it easier to use approx 20 inch lengths of 2x6 wood on the rear wheels.

Re: levels



No, I don't carry all those with me

All the levels shown basically indicate the same thing. My take is that 1 block under my left front wheel would have leveled my van.
My van was level enough to run my fridge without further leveling.

A bubble level (like the little square one) assists you a bit more in determining if only one wheel needs to be raised.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg blocks.JPG (148.9 KB, 1162 views)
File Type: jpg level.JPG (256.5 KB, 1163 views)
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:09 AM   #8
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Default Re: Leveling my PW

Thanks for the picture of how you stacked the blocks - that's one of the ways my dad did it but I didn't really see b/c I was inside the RV driving it! I think I need a 2nd bag...

I do have duallys in the rear, my strategy thus far has been to park so that the back is higher than the front since I can't level that way (not enough blocks!). I am considering some 2x6 boards or something so would make sure I got them for the rear wheels too.

I have a square level - like the top left picture. If the bubble is touching the circle in anyway I consider it level, so in the pic you posted I wouldn't have leveled. My problem was that in all 3 places I'd parked the bubble wasn't close to the circle....and didn't get any closer after I'd leveled, I guess I just need to stack those blocks higher!
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