Automatic leveling systems have come a long way, and to the point where even some travel trailers, such as Keystone’s Outback brand, have seven-point automatic leveling systems. However, you can save many thousands of dollars and simplify your RV experience with a set of leveling wedges instead.
I like to write about products I’ve found that I use regularly on the road, and these Andersen levelers are one of those products. Effectively, they’re just a curved plastic wedge device. But, in practice, they really make setting up camp a simple affair.
Last year I was on a business-related camping trip where I had to set our 19’ Rockwood Mini Lite travel trailer up in a windy, rainy, miserable conditions. The campsite I was assigned was about as on the level as a politician on the campaign trail. Fortunately, I had my Andersen levels with me. I had previously applied bubble level gauges to the front and side of my travel trailer.
How to use Andersen levelers
Basically, I just backed the trailer onto the Andersen wedge until the bubble level indicated that I was level side-to-side. Simple. From that point on you use the trailer’s tongue jack to level it front to back and then set your stabilizer jacks.
Unless you’re moving slowly, you can have camp ready in just a few minutes with this methodology. It’s pretty great.
The Andersen wedges are relatively foolproof, starting about 1/2” thick on one end and going up to 4” thick on the other. Only once have I come across a paid campsite that was so off-level that I wasn’t sure that it was going to work.
The wedges come with two pieces, the actual wedge that you drive onto, as well as a smaller wedge that you use to lock the larger wedge in place. If you happen to have a two-axle trailer, you’re going to have to get two sets of these. There is a package that includes all four of these pieces.
I’m a huge fan of simple things that my brain can understand. A plastic wedge falls into that category. I know that multi-point automatic leveling systems are becoming more widespread in their availability. But I just love solutions that don’t involve a lot of mechanical wizardry to make them work. I’d prefer plain old crank windows in my pickup, which are impossible to find.
Are there alternative levelers if these don’t work?
While my trailer only has a single axle, most have two. There have been more than a few people who have complained that the Andersen wedges don’t fit well between the two wheels of two-axle trailers. While Andersen says that you can cut the tip off one of the levels to make their product fit better, Camco Manufacturing has come out with a level that is similar to the Andersen product that will fit well in two-axle trailers.
Camco’s solution has a rubber surface on one side to avoid slipping. I’m told their product works really well.
Either way, these simple wedges can make a big difference when you’re setting up camp and want to get to those beers in the fridge or those fish in the stream. Oh, my record for going from a trailer attached to the pickup truck to camp setup and a beer in hand is seven minutes—thanks to the simplicity of these levelers.
Another thing I like about the Andersen version of these is that you can set them on their side and put your tongue jack into them. (Sorry. Something about that sentence just seems naughty.) So they seem to have multiple uses.
Since they work with almost any RV configuration, they’re definitely a core component of any camping setup.
You can buy these levelers here for a totally worth-it price.