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Old 02-19-2015, 03:18 AM   #1
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THOR #992
Level Ideas

Looking to buy levels any ideas. Stick on or magnet and where is the best place to put them?
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:23 AM   #2
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Since I don't have any type of power leveling I went with the RV EZ Level:
RV EZ Level - Camco 20601 - Levels - Camping World

When we park I just toss that guy on the floor and it tells me which corner is low. So far it has worked pretty good.
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:33 AM   #3
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Forgive me, but I have probably analyzed this topic to the point of overkill; I use/have used a torpedo level, those Hopkins stick-on levels, and I just bought a Camco "spider" (EzLevel) level, that I have yet to use.

Hopefully the floor should be a good indicator of the level of the RV. If the Thor manufacturing claim is correct, the floor should be aligned with the frame. Some suggest placing a level inside of the freezer compartment of the 'fridge as that is the part of the fridge that is "level" sensitive.

At any rate, the fridge and slide outs are the two items that need to be leveled. The fridge I don't think is quite as sensitive as the slide outs though.

I am not sure about Dometic and residential type 'fridges, but for the Norcold RV 'fridges, they must be within +/-3Deg side-to-side, and +/-6Deg front-to-back under operation, or it can be damaged.

I "calibrated" a torpedo spirit level for the 3deg and 6 deg to make it easy to see how level is level.

If you want to calibrate a level, I used a bit of trig to setup a ramp to do so. If you get a flat stick and measure 14 5/16" from one end, then elevate that point by 3/4", that gives you 3Deg of elevation (1 1/2" for 6Deg). I chose 3/4" and 1 1/2" for the calibration elevations as that is the common thickness of finished wood planking, so it is easy to accomplish by simply sticking a block of wood under one end of the stick.



After elevating the stick on one end, I put the torpedo on the stick and found that even at 3Deg, the bubble in the level was completely outside of the two hash marks.

Here is what 3deg looks like on my torpedo:



(I tend to photograph my projects and RV things... I'm retired and have nothing else to do)

So, my conclusion is that as long as the bubble is within the hash marks of the level, or even close, you are far under the required 3Deg of the 'fridge... at least with my $3 Menards torpedo level.

Of course, levels are not the same so you should calibrate the one you use. My conclusion though is that leveling your coach is probably going to matter more to the slide-out than the 'fridge. Even 3deg of tilt is probably going to feel uncomfortable when you sit inside.

I also have a set of those Hopkins calibrated levelers that are double-side taped to the outside of the coach:



The Hopkins Graduations are marked in 1" intervals and are supposed to tell you how many inches you are off. However, this will only work for a specific size trailer - which they do not divulge. The reason for this again is trigonometry. For any given angle of inclination, an elevation of 1" can only be true at a specific distance.


Also, I have found on my scale, that you ultimately do need to drill a hole and mount it. I have found that just using the sticky tape to mount the scale is not all that accurate as that over time, the level tends to move from heating by the sun. It probably also depends on the surface the level is stuck to as well as how open in the sun it is. But to remain accurate, some drilling will eventually probably be necesary.

Notwithstanding the calibrations, they work pretty well. I did buy a new set recently (they are inexpensive) and I think I will get around and figure out the actual distances that correspond to the 1" marks.

Lastly, I just bought a Camco "EzLevel digital level (same one JamieGeek has):



I bought it to complement the hydraulic leveling system I am having installed this spring. I have not tested it a lot, but I have found it to be really sensitive and seems to be fairly accurate.

Prior to purchase, some of the reviews I read about it was it was not accurate at all, but that does not seem to be the case from my initial impression. So much for the validity of on-line reviews. I have to test it a bit, but my first thoughts are that it seems to work fairly well.

Since the floor should be the most level spot on the coach, I plan on simply sitting it on the floor of the coach when I lower the hydraulic levelers.
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Old 02-19-2015, 01:21 PM   #4
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I put a set of those Hopkins levels on our 5th wheel using only the double sided tape. They stayed on there for a good 7-8 years without noticeably moving; the bubble seemed to get larger over the years though. When we traded the 5er in for the Axis it still had its original refer which worked as good as new (aside from some circuitry issues caused by a recall).

I've found in the Axis that if the camper is really out of level then the refer actually heats up instead of cooling down! Our front driveway is really sloped: The camper is more out of level on our driveway than it has ever been at any campground (I have to use 15--3 packages--of the Lynx levelers to get the front up high enough for it to even be close to level. It works out to something like 6" of lift).

Hmm never thought to compare the EZ Level with my torpedo level...may have to give that a try after everything thaws out.
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Old 02-19-2015, 02:39 PM   #5
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nice write-up FW
I have one thing to add to your overanalysis....
take a look at the video on the following page.
The fridge is supposedly tipped 3 degrees
RV Fridge Off Level | Dometic Overheat | Norcold Overheat | RV Fridge Failure

this one is very cheesy, but it shows that the 3degree spec isn't a good one.
This guy has lots of other info on his site too, if you dig around a bit.

For what it's worth, I'm not in any way attached to this company. Just read a lot about the device on another forum and so I bought and installed on on my fridge. I can't say first hand that it's helping, but I do sleep a little easier knowing it's there...
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Old 02-19-2015, 04:01 PM   #6
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I went by the 3deg/6dg warning in Norcold the mfg instructions. I have no idea whether or not it is accurate as we always try to keep the coach as level as possible.

Interesting that the video is showing the Dometic fridge, but only hints it is a problem with Norcold as well.

I looked at the Dometic manual, but it did not have a specification as to the deg out of level it can be. It simply stated that the RV must be leveled as to be comfortable to live in, with no apparent sloping of the walls or floors... whatever that means.

A neat idea of the ARP though... something else we never knew we needed.

But I am thinking that even a 3deg slant will be uncomfortable setting in the RV. And the Schwintek slide outs will probably have issues long before the fridge gives up the ghost, as I think they are probably more sensitive to being out of level than the fridge.
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Old 02-19-2015, 04:36 PM   #7
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THOR #1490
I use the Lemondo bubble app on my phone. dispalys three items just lay it down on the floor its pretty accurate
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Old 02-20-2015, 02:22 AM   #8
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Ok how much slant is 3 deg. can someone define that?
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Old 02-20-2015, 03:19 PM   #9
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The inner heavy lines on a level are dead on the two fine lines on the level gauge are 2* used for slanting sidewalks to slop out. Hope this helps
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KNMIB View Post
Ok how much slant is 3 deg. can someone define that?
check post #3. FW28Z gave a nice write up and included a way to measure it out.
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Old 02-21-2015, 04:18 AM   #11
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I shot thru FW28Z's post to fast he did a great job explaining it. He can be windy but analysis stuff great. Thanks
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Old 02-21-2015, 10:29 AM   #12
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If we expand a bit on FW28z's analysis you quickly realize that even 3 degrees off level is a lot.
Over the course of my wheelbase (188") being 3 degrees off level would mean that one end is almost 10 inches (9.84) higher than the other. That is quite a bit--even our greatly sloped driveway where I have to raise the front of the camper by 6" to be level isn't 3 degrees (its more like 1.85 degrees).
At 6 degrees out of level one end of our camper would be almost 20 inches higher.
To figure these values out for your camper you can either use FW28z's triangle by doing this:
Code:
distance for 3 degrees rise = wheelbase * 0.75 / 14.3125
distance for 6 degrees rise = wheelbase * 1.5 / 14.3125
Or you can use trigonometry:
Code:
rise [in inches] = wheelbase[in inches] * sine(angle*PI/180)
(The PI/180 is in there because most calculators/spreadsheets take the angle in radians, if you are using a calculator that can set the units to degrees then you can leave out the PI/180.)
If I plug in the wheelbase of the 28Z Class C (212") the values for 3 and 6 degrees are even higher at 11" and 22" respectively. So to be 3 degrees off level a 28z would have to have an end higher than the other by almost a foot.
I'm using the wheelbases here because the distance is basically how far you'd have to lift a wheel to be level.
The furthest we've been out of level was at the Sweetwater, TN KOA. The campground is basically on the side of the hill and they terraced the campsites:

Even there it looks to be about 6" out of level or so...(of course that is side to side which would make for a higher angle due to the much shorter width of the camper LOL)
Having said that: Most campers are about 8' wide (or 96") a 3 degree tilt side to side would be about 5" (and thus 6 degrees is about 10").
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:03 AM   #13
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That is why the scales on those Hopkins levels are not totally accurate, since they specify inches out of level rather than degrees.

For a motorhome, the scale would have to account for the wheelbase, and for a trailer, it would have to be a specific distance from the fulcrum point.
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