An essential for successful touring is to pitch your caravan on the level: your drains will function properly, the fridge works best – and you won’t have to sleep with your ankles above your ears!
But, in many cases, getting the van level in both directions can be a faff, involving spirit levels, ramps, manoeuvring back and forth, and swearing… yes, lots of swearing.
Thankfully, technology has now become involved. Several companies have harnessed computer power and hydraulics to create simple-to-use systems that achieve perfect levelling in a couple of minutes, at the touch of a button.
Various systems are available. They rely on powerful hydraulic rams to level the van, following which, the automated corner steadies wind down, to make that level stance rock-solid.
It should be noted that steeply sloping pitches might go beyond the capabilities of the levelling system without using blocks. Maximum slopes range from 5% (E&P) to 18% (Emove), but this might vary, depending on the caravan and the slope profile.
E&P manufactures two systems: Complete Caravan Levelsystem (£2947) and Compact Caravan Levelsystem (£2033).
The Compact system features axle-mounted rams that level the caravan side-to-side. Then you can level end-to-end with the jockey wheel and drop the steadies down.
The Complete version of the E&P system is fully automated, although you should nevertheless begin the levelling process with your tourer positioned slightly ‘nose down’.
Initially, the axle-mounted hydraulic ram on the lower side of the caravan drops to find its level point, laterally. Then the front corner steadies descend in unison (to prevent body or chassis twisting).
When they’re in position and the caravan’s level end-to-end, the other axle jack drops to take the rest of the load.
The rear steadies will then come down to act as stabilisers, and finally, your control panel will indicate perfect levelling has been achieved.
To book an appointment with an E&P Premium Dealer, call or email:
› 01254 297 785
EMove Finding Level
This semi-automatic system (£1999) begins by telling you which side of the caravan is lowest, so on which side to place the levelling ramp. You then simply press a button and the caravan will automatically reverse up the ramp.
› 0161 509 5503
The Caralevel system does not have hydraulic jacks mounted on the axle. Instead, it employs powered corner steadies to level the caravan.
The steadies are lowered in sequence to eliminate stresses and chassis twist, according to the manufacturer. Caralevel costs £1225 installed (always use a certified fitter). Self-fitting is possible by proficient DIYers, bringing the price below £1000.
› 01296 713 476
Auto-leveller Pros and Cons
+ You can extend your caravanning lifestyle as age or health problems take their toll, by letting a levelling system take the strain
+ Levelling is precise on slopes up to 18% (Emove)
+ Fully automated systems also make emergency wheel-changing a much easier procedure, because they act as a jack
+ With the automated rams down, your tourer is much more secure and resistant to theft
+ Automated systems make it really simple to fit Al-Ko-style wheel locks
+ You’ll find yourself popping the wine cork much more quickly when you arrive on site!
+ You can avoid tyre degradation/flatspotting by storing your van, long-term, with the tyres raised off the ground
+ Oversize corner-steady footplates are more stable base on soft ground
+ No more frustrating caravan levelling in the rain. Press a button and you’ll be inside in a few minutes
+ You’ll have the campsite’s coolest caravanning device!
- Levelling systems are heavy (around 30kg), and that weight must be deducted from your payload
- They are a significant investment
- If poorly fitted, they can lower the ground clearance of your tourer
With thanks to
Out & About Caravan and Motorhome Services