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March 24, 2004 12:12 AM

Broken: RV park pavement

Bob Sifniades writes:

A recreational vehicle (RV) is best enjoyed when it's parked on a level spot. If it's not level, you can always drive up onto a board or two. When we pulled into the Park Avenue RV Park in Prince Rupert, BC, Canada in 2001, we found the spots to be very un-level-- as demonstrated by our very brave neighbors! We chickened out, not wanting to drive up on 15 inches of teetering boards. Sites specifically designed for parking RVs should be a lot flatter! This was by far the worst we saw in our three weeks of touring.


Wow. That is an accident waiting to happen.

At least pull the car away so it doesn't get crushed!

Posted by: Brooke at March 24, 2004 10:23 AM

That photo is unbelievably funny! Are those people nuts?

Posted by: Rich Gottesman at March 24, 2004 11:14 AM

OK, I guess I get to be the lone "RV'r" here, having been camping in RV's since I could crawl, and now owning one.

To the points posted - the car in the pic is not in danger. The RV has it's transmission in park, most likely a parking brake set, and hopefully has it's rear wheels chocked (we're not getting the whole picture).

Take a tour though any state park on a busy weekend and you'll see this approach to leveling an RV being done in hundreds of places, with hundreds of different types of RV's. There are even purpose-made products for this, although the majority of folks use scraps of lumber as shown.

Most of the risk in getting the RV up on those blocks is during the process of driving up on them. Once there I have never see one "slip off". I've slipped off while driving up, and its just a little bouncy for a moment..;)

And no, those people aren't "nuts". More than just wanting to sleep/eat use the RV without feeling like you're constantly going downhill, often the gas-powered appliances inside the RV won't function if the rig isn't level.

Asking that the spots be "pre-leveled" is asking to camp in a paved parking lot, as paving is the only way to assure that the lot stay level with all the in and out traffic and natural elements they take.

The campgrounds also have to deal with rain - there has to be some amount of slope or it turns into a pond during a rainstorm.

With spring almost here in Michigan, I'm looking forward to getting the RV out and finding a nice "unlevel" spot by a lake....;)

Posted by: Boyink at March 24, 2004 11:57 AM

I'm surprised that RVs don't have leveling devices built-in -- after all, it doesn't matter that the wheels are level, only the floor.

Posted by: mendel at March 24, 2004 01:27 PM

I should have mentioned - many of the higher end RV's do have self-leveling systems consisting gear-driven jacks that mount at each corner, with a control device (sometimes a joystick) mounted in the cockpit).

They cost about $2500 or more to add to a RV, though, so for those of us making do with 26 year old 3rd and 4th hand units, the "stack o' wood" approach works best.

Posted by: Boyink at March 24, 2004 01:44 PM

A well written replies explaining how the RV community actually works. I still can't believe this is considered safe, and just because everyone does it doesn't seem (in my mind at least) justify the technique. Something safer would be perhaps plastic choques (little, but wide) ramps that can be driven onto, or something. The lumber is way too ricketty. And regarding the comment on the floors leveling, that's interesting but could waste space (like if you're parked on a 45-degree incline, the floor space would be cut in half (if you follow pythagorean). Maybe a floor that floats? But it would be heavy lugging around all that water...unless it's gasoline that floats on, then as the engine needs it, it's right there. But no smoking! Ok, this is getting silly, but a better approach needs to be found!

Posted by: Rich Gottesman at March 25, 2004 02:30 PM

Getting past the leveling issue, check out that huge computer monitor in the window! Rather than haul around 50-pounds of fagile glass everywhere you go "to get away from it all," why not invest in something truly portable like a laptop, or better yet some paperback Steinbeck.

Posted by: Rich Martin at March 30, 2004 05:16 PM

When I see this, all I can think of is the cheap bed I once purchased from IKEA. The bed had no box spring, the mattress was supported by wooden slats hanging between two rails. The slats were prone to slipping, which meant that I was prone to crashing to the floor of my bedroom about two or three times every week.

Posted by: dantc at March 30, 2004 11:26 PM

Rick Martin, what makes you think people in RVs want to "get away from it all"? The whole point of an RV is to take it with you! Otherwise why take something so big? People who want to get away from it all go camping with tents.

Posted by: Simon at March 31, 2004 05:38 PM

I'm with Boyink. I've been in campgrounds where RV's and trailers are hoisted very high on the front end to allow the gas-powered appliances to work. One place in particular was in Gettysburg, PA back in the last 70's - this man had his front end built up on a stack of 2x4's 4 feet high! That was a bit ridiculous ... ask for another site!

It seems like an odd and hazardous way, but if you camp enough with an older model camper, you'll do it right. The newer models have leveling systems now so you don't have to drive up on stacks of wood. Camping (trailer or tent) is still the best way to enjoy the outdoors!

Posted by: EmGee at August 23, 2004 04:30 PM

Does anyone out there have any information on a Company that reps the Mark V leveling systems for RV!s. I attempted to get in touch with the orignal company A@E Systems Inc. in Santa Ana,California by telephone and could connect with them.

Please let me know if anyone has any info.


Posted by: Jim Bradshaw at October 4, 2004 06:41 PM

Rich G. they could use an air cushion inflated by a compressor to level the floor

Posted by: I think ipod sucks at March 9, 2005 09:26 PM

Oh and that looks more like a TV than a computer moniter because i have a TV with those 2 rectangular holes in it to carry it

Posted by: I think ipod sucks at March 9, 2005 09:28 PM

Rich Gottesman has shown that he clearly doesn't understand physics, in his haste to attempt to prove his understanding of geometry. Yes, if you lengthen one leg of a right triangle without changing the hypotenuse, the opposite leg does shorten. However, this is not the case. The floor length of the RV is fixed; it cannot magically shrink. What would actually be happening is the wheels on one end, for example, could be jacked downward (raising the end of the vehicle), lengthening the vertical leg of the triangle, and in doing so, lengthening the hypotenuse (the distance between front and rear wheels, measured along the ground).

Posted by: Brian at March 18, 2005 11:20 AM

Huh? i kind of mentel challeg

Posted by: unkown at April 6, 2005 04:23 PM

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