Parking in a level space is a must to be comfortable in your RV/Van/Trailer. Depending on the type of RV and camping areas you frequent it’ll vary from simple to challenging. Aside from rolling into your partner when sleeping, there are doors that won’t stay open including the microwave that take away from the comfort of being inside the rig.
This post touches on leveling in general and offers an in depth review of our experience with a bluetooth leveling device called RVLevelerPRO.
For us, leveling is almost never simple.
As a truck camper owner, we were used to using our camper jacks to help us level out. Even if the truck was level, we could adjust each corner on the camper and be level. It was tedious but effective and enough for us at the time.
In the new DIY custom camper, we are now chassis mounted. That means we are more like a Class B, C and jack-less truck campers like a pop-up. The full vehicle needs to get level. That leaves us with using leveling blocks or ramps.
For the first year with the new rig, we relied only on bubbles mounted on the driver front side of the camper and Steve’s keen eye. We have two bubbler’s installed; one is for side-side and the other front to back. Between Steve having a good eye for identifying a level patch of ground, the bubbles and the level ramps, we could do OK. It was time consuming in challenging areas and it usually wasn’t perfect. Numerous times, it took multiple passes and adjustments.
Many newer RVs have auto-leveling systems making it easier to adjust a corner or two to level up. What do you use if that’s not what you have in your rig?
Our Leveling Tools Overview
Options from least expensive to more expensive
- Mounted bubbles: manual visual check of your position. Can be a standalone you set on bumper or floor of mount it on the rig
- Level Ramps + Chocks or leveling blocks: adjust by driving up the estimated inches under each tire
- Bluetooth & Mobile app: allows you to confirm how level without getting out of vehicle or without a 2nd person to help spot.
- Auto-Leveling systems: push button auto-leveling devices.
We’re excited to test out the bluetooth device and see how it improves our ability to get level and get level more efficiently.
For an overnight stop which is not camping, we don’t level but do our best to park on a non-sloped part of the lot we’re in. This applies to Friends driveways, Walmarts, Cabelas, Harvest Hosts or Boondockers Welcome spots.
For Camping we always get as level as possible. Being under 25′ long, it may sound simple but, as I mentioned above, we’re chassis mounted with no auto-leveling system or a tongue jack to adjust the height of our camper.
Comfort, Cooking, Draining
Truck campers staying un-level have doors that won’t close or swing open too fast. Cooking has your oil or butter pooling up on one side of the pan.
In our old camper, the shower pan would not drain properly if we were tilted to the passenger side.
Slides & Beds
Depending on the direction of your bed you may find it ok to be tilted with your head high but may not enjoy rolling to one side or the other. This is something to keep in mind for parking in parking lots.
Also parking lots can create challenges with slides. Slide mechanisms will work best if the rig is level.
Bluetooth Device Leveling
Initial Impressions and Setup
The device comes with mounting screws and a full, very readable user manual. The manual was most surprising because I could actually read it!
Setup is simple once you do the following three steps:
- Download the Android or iOS mobile app.
- Android: Search for RVLevelerPRO in the Google App store and install the app. We use Android phones and the app installed, connected via bluetooth and has worked flawlessly over the several uses we’ve put it through. Although I can’t imagine any usable phone not running Android 5 and up, that is the min that’ll support the device’s BLE 4.2 capability.
- iOS: Search for RVLevelerPRO in the Apple Store. The app installed and easily connected to the device. I tested this only once, since my iPad is not a mobile device I intend to use for this task.
- Install the included 2 coin size batteries
- Mount the device following the user manual instructions in your rig. The important details are:
- Arrows need to be face UP and outward on a vertical surface of the trailer or camper.
- Device needs to be level with your rig.
Follow the user manual instructions that came with the device.
The mobile app also has an embedded user guide. That’s handy for those of us who do not travel with printed user manuals.
Our video will show you the application during your initial setup for our rig. The User Manual will provide more specifics for other rigs.
We’ve now used the device half a dozen times and have found the following:
- Leveling with a bluetooth tool has improved our efficiency and setup speed when arriving to a new area.
- We are better at prospecting a parking spot whether it is at Walmart or on dirt. It is simpler to get close and then use the app to slowly move and find the sweet spot.
- We can use either of our phones with the device. The data remains on the device.
- We have an older Google Pixel 3A and a newer One Plus N200 phone. They both easily paired with the device.
- It’s convenient to have the device sleep on its own to conserve battery. The manufacture claims a 2 year battery life and they are easily replaced (CR2540 coin cells).
- There is a slight lag in the application with the values updating, which we needed to get used to. We learned to wait for the values to settle with small vehicle movements before moving more.
- The bluetooth pairing range worked well. I tested up to 20′ outside and in front of the truck and had zero issues with pairing from a range.
- KEEP LEVEL app button makes it easy to reset your camper’s level state. We also used this once we found we aligned even better with our bubblers and our camper doors stayed open consistently. Definitely helped to fine tune the setup!
What we don’t like about the device:
- The ON/OFF switch is on the bottom of the box and is very TINY. Small hands and fingers can locate and use but this was difficult for Steve to toggle.
- The device ON/OFF switch has to be toggled OFF and then back ON before you can pair to a phone. This is somewhat annoying but also understandable.
- We had trouble getting the our camper’s manual bubbles and the application values to be completely in sync over the first few uses.
- If using a trailer, the device needs to be inside the trailer. Somebody needs to enter the trailer to toggle the ON/OFF switch.
- Be very diligent in loading your side to side and front to rear wheel measurements. There was no simple way to update them if you get one of them wrong (on the tested release Android App). Manufacture confirmed and I verified that the iOS release does have an update function under settings. The Android update version was not yet released in the play store, but is coming (as of 6/22/2022).
The seller Rhino Storm has activated a coupon code through 7/25/2022. It is valid on Amazon.com via the link below.
Code is WorkingOnE
Simply enter the code at checkout in the coupon / promotions box.
Amazon Link is HERE or search on Amazon.com for RVLevelerPRO sold by Rhino Storm. S
Adjusting the baseline level
If you find that your baseline isn’t as level as you thought, you can use the KEEP LEVEL setting to reset what the device considers level. We did this twice. The first was because I had entered in the RV width and length incorrectly and the Android build does not yet support changing that within settings. The 2nd time was on our worse case scenario below where we found we were still not in sync with the bubbles and reality.
Our Worse Case test
We ended up in a challenging forest road site where nothing was level. We positioned the wheels as carefully as possible with the smallest amount of adjustment needed, but we were still about 6″ too high on the passenger rear wheel. Since we were boon docking in the forest, Steve dug down so that wheel would get lower. It did take a couple of re-shoveling adjustments.
We didn’t have all wheels reporting 0.00″ but, when we reviewed the bubbles the front to back was perfect (versus the mobile app showing 0.25″-0.50″) and side to side was 0.50″ off (versus the mobile app showing 1.5″). Deciding we spent enough time adjusting we called it done.
Later, we observed our side (main) door, our microwave door, and our refrigerator doors all stayed open and didn’t swing about. That was the sign that our rig was more level in this camp spot than the app indicated and initial bluetooth setup still wasn’t quite perfect.
I have used the KEEP LEVEL setting and will consider this our actual baseline level going forward. We were very successful using the device and getting level quickly at our very next parking spot!
Although we had to re-calibrate more than once and Steve hates the tiny on/off switch on the bottom, we are fans of using a bluetooth leveling device. We found this device to be a solid performer.
Pairing was no issue even outside the truck and from up to 20′ away. The application is straight forward to setup and use.
It saved us time in every situation from asphalt parking to sloped forest roads. And Steve appreciates the precision and provided him to slowly navigate the vehicle into the best position.
Watch how the device is setup, what type of trouble we ran into and if we’d recommend this device.
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