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Old 08-16-2020, 08:38 PM   #1
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Default Leveling Blocks - Practical Necessity?

I am trying to decide if I should buy leveling blocks in advance of receiving my PW Ascent (with compressor fridge), or if I should play it by ear and see if a need arises on my full time adventure.

Any advice appreciated!
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Old 08-16-2020, 08:59 PM   #2
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I guess it depends on where you plan on going and what you are going to be doing. I have a Nova Kool 9200 that doesn't mention being level at all in any of the docs but I parked it in a friends driveway, steep incline of maybe 4-5 degrees (fridge side to side) and the fridge stopped cooling. The compressor fridges can tolerate more off level than absorption ones but they still have limits.

If you have the space and don't mind the spend (and your unit doesn't have leveling jacks) I would have some around, even if you just use them under a stabilizer jack.
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Old 08-16-2020, 09:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Gaucho View Post
I am trying to decide if I should buy leveling blocks in advance of receiving my PW Ascent (with compressor fridge), or if I should play it by ear and see if a need arises on my full time adventure.

Any advice appreciated!
I have my leveling blocks on the shelf in the garage, practically permanently. With a compressor fridge your comfort is the limit, not the fridge.
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Old 08-16-2020, 09:04 PM   #4
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my little 10 pack of orange legos works great


I have a spot to easily store and keep a long (old) screwdriver with to pry out of the dirt.


I use when changing oil ( lifting the LF tire 2" makes easy- although I can do with van flat)

as above, I have needed when parking in friend's driveways overnight,


I use the leveler in the free RVC Lite app



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Old 08-16-2020, 09:15 PM   #5
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We actually carry two sets of blocks as we sometimes got into some very unlevel areas and I don't sleep well if too much off level. Light and hardly take any room packed in the side pod and used to shim other stuff to prevent those things from moving around.


They are one of those things you rarely need, but when you do, you need them badly, IMO.
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Old 08-16-2020, 09:27 PM   #6
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We don't even own a set.
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Old 08-16-2020, 09:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaucho View Post
I am trying to decide if I should buy leveling blocks in advance of receiving my PW Ascent (with compressor fridge), or if I should play it by ear and see if a need arises on my full time adventure.

Any advice appreciated!
I have 3 way absorption refrigerator. If I had compressor type. I would not carry leveling blocks. Less to pack
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Old 08-16-2020, 09:44 PM   #8
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I think that often people's stress on the need for absorption fridges to be very level for correct functioning is overdone.

Believe I read a Dometic article that said +/-3 degrees side to side is ok, and 6 degrees, front to back. That is for the fridge, not the van. Since most fridges are installed along the sides of the van, then these figures are reversed, - ie it is 3 degrees front to back for the van. That is a fair bit off level.

Levelling for comfort - especially when sleeping - is another consideration though, and for my art I find sleeping with my head down is not comfortable - pillows can help, but also, often you may be able to reposition your van on the site to improve things. That could mean however that your van isn't best situation for views, connections, location to fire pit etc.

So I do carry a set of Lynx levellers although I don't often need to use them - and also I already had them left over from our travel trailer days. I thinkIve used them maybe twice in nearly two years of van camping.

I carry them "loose" rather than in the bag they came with - I find that gives better packing options in a cargo box that we use on ur Plateau.

With an Ascent, having somewhat less storage space, and if I didn't already own them, I'd think twice before rushing out to get them before having a bit of experience with the van to confirm that I really need to give valuable space to carry them.

If you do find you need them, they are widely available at any RV place, Walmart etc so you'd be able to get a set pretty quickly.
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Old 08-16-2020, 09:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by <<B-Guy>> View Post
I think that often people stress the need for absorption fridges to be very level for correct functioning is overdone.
Back when we had an absorption fridge, it stopped working long before sleeping became uncomfortable,

Never again!
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Old 08-16-2020, 09:54 PM   #10
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We have a set of the orange "legos", too, and get a fair amount of use out of them. We have a Norcold 3-way absorption refrigerator that I'm trying to get maximum life out of, but recently I've been more driven by comfort than babying the fridge.
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Old 08-16-2020, 10:05 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the thoughtful replies!

Based on the collective wisdom of this forum, and since leveling blocks are so easy to acquire, I am going to go with the wait-and-see approach to avoid storing and lugging around something I might almost never need.

Iíll add leveling blocks next to coaxial cable on the list of items I wonít buy in advance.
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Old 08-16-2020, 11:12 PM   #12
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I understand that Shooting Ranges will purchase old and New absorption refrigerators and Loud onans for target practice vs human stuff.
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Old 08-16-2020, 11:30 PM   #13
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The biggest problem you will likely find in a Class B is where to put everything. I have some really nice leveling blocks but I often just donít have room for them in my rear storage boxes. I usually do though throw in a few small pieces of 2x8ís that work well. Our shower drains better if we are fairly level plus it isnít that much fun sleeping in a tilting bed.
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Old 08-16-2020, 11:49 PM   #14
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I think when we talk about leveling blocks it is important to determine which kind will best suit the user and the storage. Personally, I would not want to haul around the big, stepped one piece ones as they would use up all the storage pod area. the "Lego" block style of individual interlocking 1" blocks take much less space and can be put in fill in unused space also. Our 20 blocks actually use up very little valuable space.
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Old 08-16-2020, 11:55 PM   #15
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There is an unused area under our frame where I have though about building a rack to hold a coupe of my wooden ramps, which could also work as levelers. But, my main motivation would be roadside repairs, not leveling, which, as I said, we almost never seem to need. When we encounter a steep pad, I can usually achieve comfortable sleeping by parking the van at an odd angle.
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Old 08-17-2020, 03:57 AM   #16
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If we would just jail all those that build those terribly off-level camp sites, then we wouldn't have to carry level blocks. We are not too picky, and have a forgiving compressor fridge, but end up having to use blocks at about every 5th or 6th campsite.
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Old 08-17-2020, 02:58 PM   #17
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We carry them for bed comfort. I am sensitive to out of kilter beds especially side to side and not so much front to back. I guess it is TEHO, to each his own in that regard in concern. I have compensated with front to back in my articulating bed design and about a leveling block difference in the limited VB Air Suspension adjustment to the point we level side to side mostly and that is not very often.
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Old 08-17-2020, 07:40 PM   #18
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I picked up a set of blocks and probably use them one out of 20 times I set up camp. If you carry a small emergency shovel, it is often easier to fine tune level by digging a small divot under a tire vs. driving up on blocks to raise a tire.
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Old 08-17-2020, 08:29 PM   #19
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I picked up a set of blocks and probably use them one out of 20 times I set up camp. If you carry a small emergency shovel, it is often easier to fine tune level by digging a small divot under a tire vs. driving up on blocks to raise a tire.

Don't let the campground host, rangers, or maintenance crew see you with a shovel digging on the parking area. They really frown on that a of places.
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Old 08-17-2020, 09:00 PM   #20
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I glued a level on my on my console, visible from the drivers seat, so that I would use less blocks.
The trick is to glue on the level when your van is level and the level indicates level. (You would be surprised at the number of people that said their van didn't set level so it wouldn't work. USE shims)
I never realized that I moving around slightly I can almost be level or make it so I need less blocks.
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