If you’re wondering whether you need auto-levelling jacks for your RV, the answer is yes. For various reasons, an auto-levelling jack will improve your camping experience. Let me explain a few of the reasons they’re worth it.
Auto-levelling jacks are worth it. They make the campsite setup quick and easy, keep the appliances working correctly, and ensure accurate readings of the tank level sensors. Additionally, a level RV improves your balance inside the camper, making sleep easier.
This article will explain how an auto-levelling jack works. It’ll also discuss the differences between a normal and auto levelling jack, the cost of a levelling jack, whether you can install one yourself, and how long auto-levelling takes.
What Makes Auto Levelling Jacks Worth It?
I said that auto levelling jacks are worth the investment. As you’ll see later, auto levelling jacks aren’t cheap, but they make your camping experience hassle-free — which is what you’re looking for when you’re out in the wilderness having fun.
Auto levelling jacks are worth it because they’re convenient. They don’t require you to have extensive technical knowledge to operate them. All you have to do is read the accompanying manual carefully to figure out how your auto levelling jack works and take it from there.
The specific mechanics of your auto levelling jack may differ, but there are general steps that apply to most auto levelling jacks. I’ll talk about how an auto levelling jack works in the next section.
How Does an Auto Levelling Jack Work?
When you pull up to a campsite, chances are it’s not level. An auto-levelling jack ensures your RV is secure and safe to walk around. Levelling jacks stabilise your vehicle and keep it from rocking back and forth.
An auto levelling jack works as follows:
- Know your auto levelling jack inside out.
- Turn on the system.
- Assess the indicator lights.
- Empty the air.
- Remove the tires.
- Position the jack pads.
- Level the vehicle.
- Finish levelling.
Now let’s go over each of these steps below.
1. Know Your Auto Levelling Jack Inside Out
No two auto levelling jacks work the same way. If you want to make the most of your auto levelling jack, do the following:
- Check the manufacturer’s directions on what you should do before levelling. Some manufacturers have specific pre-leveling instructions.
- Familiarise yourself with the user interface. Understand how to use the control buttons, directional arrows, and indicator lights.
- Know whether your auto-levelling is a 3 point or 4 point levelling system. The “points” refer to the number of jacks on your system. A 4 point levelling system is more stable than a 3 point one.
- Check to see if the RV slide is out before levelling. Otherwise, you won’t balance everything that needs levelling.
2. Turn On the System
Ensure you’re in a safe place before you turn on the auto levelling jack. Take the key and turn the ignition to ACC. Wait for the indicator light to show that hydraulic levelling jacks are ready, and press the HYC button twice to activate the automatic levelling system.
3. Assess the Indicator Lights
Check the indicator lights to see if the vehicle is level on all sides. If you’re not satisfied with the level of the vehicle, adjust them until you’re happy with what the lights indicate. If the vehicle doesn’t level no matter what you do, check if there’s anything else that keeps your vehicle from levelling.
4. Empty the Air
Removing the air from the air suspension system stabilises your RV. The way you empty air depends on whether your RV’s air suspension system is manual or automatic. Make sure all the air is out before moving on to the next step.
5. Remove the Tires
Removing the tires will keep the vehicle from sliding away as you level it. Ensure your vehicle is in a safe, flat space, and use a lug wrench to take the tires off. Put your tires away in a safe place before going forward.
6. Position the Jack Pads
It would help if you had jack pads to maximise your RV’s stability. Put them underneath where the hydraulic jacks touch the ground. Keep adjusting the jack pads until you’re satisfied with the level of your RV based on what the indicator lights show.
7. Level the Vehicle
I recommend you level your vehicle in the following order:
- Level the vehicle’s sides first.
- Level the front and rear of the vehicle.
- Level the vehicle’s sides again until the indicator for “low” disappears.
8. Finish Levelling
Continue the levelling process until all the indicator lights are off. Return the key to Off in the ignition.
The RV is now level, and it’s as easy as pushing the buttons on the indicator panel. Here’s a YouTube video to show how easy auto-levelling can be:
Differences Between a Normal Levelling Jack & an Auto Levelling Jack?
Levelling your RV is a crucial part of enjoying your camping experience. After all, no one wants to stumble inside the RV or bump into a cabinet door. There are two ways to level your RV: normal levelling and auto-levelling.
A normal levelling jack differs from an auto levelling jack. Normal levelling jacks require you to do the levelling process manually, using tools like a bubble level, wheel chocks, and 2 x 6 wood blocks. On the other hand, auto levelling jacks only require you to familiarise yourself with buttons.
Since auto levelling jacks are more convenient than their normal counterparts, how much do they cost? Let’s look at average prices in the next section.
The Cost of an Auto Levelling Jack
The good thing about auto levelling jacks is that they don’t require extensive mechanical know-how. The bad news is they can break the bank.
An auto levelling jack costs between $1,500-$6,000. The ones on the lower end of the cost scale may not include all the components you need to set up the system fully. You may consult a professional for a better idea of the price of an auto levelling jack.
Speaking of professionals, do you need one to fit an auto levelling jack? Or can you do it yourself? That’s where the next section comes in.
Can You Fit Auto Levelling Jacks Yourself, or Do You Need a Professional To Do It?
On the one hand, fitting an auto levelling jack yourself saves money. On the other hand, having a professional do it for you can save you headaches from improper installation.
You can fit an auto levelling system yourself, as long as you have the mechanical know-how to do so and you read the manual thoroughly. If the auto levelling system is more complex than you can handle, you may seek professional help.
How long will it take you if you try to install an auto levelling system yourself? Read on for the answer.
How Long Does an Auto Levelling Jack Take To Level a RV / Motorhome?
When your RV has an auto-levelling system, you don’t need to worry about much as the system handles almost everything for you. The system takes most of the work from levelling a motorhome, RV, or camper.
An auto levelling jack takes less than five minutes to level an RV or motorhome. On the other hand, a normal levelling jack requires more time to set up a bubble level and ensure that wheel chocks and wood blocks are in the right position.