Levelling Van

Submitted: Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:47
ThreadID: 125506 Views:4891 Replies:11 FollowUps:5
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Hi Boggers

We are new owners of 2002 18ft BT. How do we level it end to end and side to side? Does the fridge need to be level? Are rear wind down legs worthwhile?

thanks in advance
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Reply By: Willie - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 17:16

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 17:16
T & J,

Being a very basic slap dash sort of person, I level mine by putting some water in the sink. This is not recommended and you should put some spirit levels on your draw bar - you can buy them at any caravan shop.

I have a 16 footer and do not need the rear legs. Somebody with a bigger van might let you know if you do.

Best of luck,

AnswerID: 577416

Follow Up By: Tony & Julie - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 09:49

Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 09:49
Thanks for info
FollowupID: 851001

Reply By: Silver Fox - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 18:50

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 18:50
I just bought my second "two-way" level from 'Camec'. The first succombed to ultra-violet rays after four years. Glued beside the tow hitch it gets some protection but needs care as plastic is not happy when heavy thingos are dropped on it. That tow hitch area is fairly level. However if more precision is required check with levels on bench tops. The tables are usually a bit wobbly. Then shim accordingly. Some hardware shops have the "two-way" levels. Around $10.00 each.
AnswerID: 577417

Reply By: NIK `N` OFF - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 19:29

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 19:29
Something i have never had a problem with, i can sight along the Van and tell by eye that it is close to level. I do have a 6" plastic level that i place on the flat tow hitch section [our Hyland hitch is bolted underneath] and i just raise or lower the hydraulic trail mate jack to get the water flow from the ensuite precisely.

I use two axle stands to stabilise the van when camped up, they can then be used to change pivot blocks etc, but saying that i intend to look into the drop down legs all round as well because sometimes reduced tyre pressures can make the van less stable when camped up.
AnswerID: 577418

Reply By: Boystoy - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 20:32

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 20:32
Hi T&J,

I use 6"x2" treated pine wood blocks tapered with my chain saw plus a couple of 6"x1" blocks for levelling.
You can buy a low cost level from Bunnings or similar. Mine is 240mm long, & since the BT is around 2400mm wide, this gives a nice ratio of 10:1 So if I need to lift the spirit level 5mm to get it level, this means I need a 50mm block of wood under the wheels. I don't measure it just eyeball it & works well for us. On the front to back level, I just wind the jockey stand up so the bubble on the level just reaches the front, & this gives me the drainage I need for the shower.
I use drop-down stands on the back of our 20' BT. They are not absolutely necessary on a BT, but they help to keep SWMBO asleep when I make my visit to the loo at night.
I use stands made by Vehicle Components in Brisbane.

Frig does not need to be level to work OK, just the convenience of the way the door swings.

Happy travels with your new lifestyle

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AnswerID: 577419

Reply By: Turist - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 20:56

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 20:56
Hi Tony & Julie
As new BT owners you may not be aware of the benefits of becoming a financial member.
As the pic below shows there is a lot more behind the Owners Forum tab that will assist you.

Tips and Hints, Camp Sites, Muster Information etc.
As a financial member you will receive e-mails from time to time advising you of forthcoming events.

In the next few weeks we will have a number of new sections incorporated into the web page that will assist owners even more.

The fees from the owner members are the backbone of our fiscal strategy, they are what keeps this site going.
So why not join up, or at least give us a reason for not doing so.



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AnswerID: 577420

Follow Up By: Turist - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 20:57

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 20:57
Forgot to mention.
Click on the image to expand.

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FollowupID: 851002

Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 02:06

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 02:06
Drop down legs are not on our van and not needed. With four wheels and Jockey wheel it is stable. Drop down legs are just dead weight. Plastic leveling ramps from a caravan shop or block of wood do a good job levelling laterally....... or a few rocks of the right size or even a hole on the high side. I always level slightly nose up to get good drainage in the shower - ours only has a single drain hole.

Cheers John
AnswerID: 577421

Reply By: Uncle Dodgy - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 02:26

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 02:26
Greetings All

We have a round bubble level (about 40mm diameter) that has a flat base & it has been glued to the top of the steel support immediately behind the passenger side spare wheel. No stone or sun damage there and is within easy distance of the jockey wheel for reference when raising or lowering the nose.

If we are staying at a site more than a day, we stabilise with two axle stands under the chassis at the rear, otherwise we don't bother.

John & Sharyn
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AnswerID: 577422

Reply By: Gone Bush - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 03:17

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 03:17
My BT (still on order) will be equipped with support legs at the rear. My Trakkie had support legs on each corner and we found them very handy.

Our BT will have the ensuite across the rear (seperate toilet and shower) and, without the legs, if my wife and I are both down the back at the same time there's a real chance the tow hitch could reach for the sky !!

AnswerID: 577423

Follow Up By: Bobrovin - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 04:19

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 04:19
If you and your wife are heavy enough to lift the front I don't think there is much chance of you both fitting in the back at the same time, or even one at a time.
We have the same setup and no legs with no problems
FollowupID: 851003

Follow Up By: Gone Bush - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 04:58

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 04:58
I don't want to get into any specifics Bob, too embarrassing.

But, the van we modelled ours on has a ball weight of 140kgs, my wife won't have to join me to exceed that.

Our van has the 400mm modified departure angle to allow a full ensuite right across the back with separate toilet and shower. Somewhere in there is the HWS with its tank full of water too.

Regardless of our ability to turn the van into a seesaw, I've found that our previous van moved on the suspension too much, like a boat on the water, just from walking around, let alone getting on the good foot and doing the bad thing!!

I really like the stability offered by the dropdown legs.

FollowupID: 851004

Follow Up By: Willie - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 17:35

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 17:35

I have no rear legs on the van, but I wish I had. Every time I move in the van, the water sloshes around in the tanks, the suspension groans or the brakes squeak.

It's quite annoying.


PS I will get a couple of cheap stands I think.
FollowupID: 851005

Reply By: Deleted User - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 04:30

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 04:30
Having the four corners sitting on solid ground will help in preventing a gale wind rollover. Also if it looks like funny weather fill all the water tanks to lower the CoG. This will help as well.
AnswerID: 577424

Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 09:04

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 09:04
Hi Tony and Julie and welcome to the world of Bushtracking.

The previous owner of our van had made a fold up metal 'ramp' to run a wheel up onto to level side to side, and we have a fixed jack in place of a jockey wheel, so just wind that up until the caravan is roughly level. I don't care what angle the van is at, so long as i don't slide out of bed, and the pots don't slide off the stove. We have only used used the ramp a couple of times - once when we were in Tasmania. You can purchase poly wedge shaped blocks which do the same job from caravan stores.

Compressor fridges don't need to be level to run - yet another advantage over gas fridges.

We don't have or need stabiliser legs. My husband is a heavy man, and even when he has worked with tradespeople in the rear of our van it has been quite stable. We didn't even use the stabilisers on our previous single axle wind up van - but that is another story!

We stay hitched when stopping overnight and that helps lessens any movement.


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AnswerID: 577425

Reply By: Richo - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 06:51

Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 06:51
Hi T&J,

To lift the BT side to side requires both wheels on either side to be raised (or dropped) equally. Raising only one wheel shifts the load to the other with little or no lift to the van.

Wind down legs are not for leveling the BT, they are certainly not necessary, the BT will "free stand" on the wheels and jockey wheel. They are usefull to stabilise the BT from movement, I find as a minimum one under the door step is better. I have 4 fitted and use them all when stopped for extended periods.



AnswerID: 577426

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