One of the easiest things there is to do in the RV world is to level a travel trailer. Essentially, you only have to worry about side-to-side leveling and then use the power tongue jack to level the thing front to back.
Camco leveling wedges
For our previous travel trailer, we used the Andersen leveling blocks, which served us well the entire time we had the trailer. (My review on those is here.) We literally bought the wedge-shaped blocks at the dealership the day we picked up the trailer. But our new trailer has two axles and the Andersen wedge was just too long to fit between the wheels. Thus, I bought a set of Camco leveling wedges, which are much shorter and feature a rubber base that is meant to grab the ground so you can drive the trailer up the ramps and, thus, level it.
These proved to be a good solution the first few times we used them. But the moment we got onto gravel, the trailer basically just shoved the wedges out of the way and “shaved” the rubber gripping layer right off. Bummer.
As with so many things with our RV, I looked to the Facebook group I started years ago for this brand of trailer. It seems, I’m not the only one to have shaved the rubber layer off on gravel. It turns out this is something that’s not uncommon and more than one group member had contacted Camco after this happened and received a prompt replacement.
But I’m too dumb to do something that smart.
How they’re made
The rubber bottom of these wedges is screwed to the wedges themselves with a bunch of little screws. The rubber portion is specifically molded so that the screws hold it into recesses in the plastic wedge.
Since I already have a screw gun with me as it is, I removed what was left of the rubber and all the screws and got myself some Gorilla Super Glue. After cleaning the two surfaces with glasses cleaners from Costco (these have a lot of alcohol in them), I super glued them back together.
Since the recessed sections of the rubber were now shredded, I didn’t bother putting the screws back into it.
Did it work? Not really. The rubber portion and the plastic didn’t adhere well to one another. This might be why Camco used screws instead.
How would I fix this?
Obviously, I effected a repair to these wedges. I know Camco would certainly send me a new pair, since they had done so with plenty of the members of the group. But, clearly, there’s a flaw in this design.
First of all, the only thing holding the rubber to the wedge is those tiny screw heads. Perhaps some washers would help distribute the load. Also, some sort of super-duper industrial adhesive for the rubber would make a lot of sense. That way there isn’t a chance for the rubber to start to slip in the first place.
Why not the leveling blocks?
We do have a set of Camco leveling blocks and that’s what we used when the wedges failed. But I don’t like these as much because, as I’ve often written, if you want to figure out the laziest way to accomplish anything, watch me.
I like the wedges because we put our iPhone on the tongue of the trailer and just keep backing until the level app shows green. The wedges give us a continuously variable amount of level up to four inches. I really do like these.
With the leveling blocks, you have to guesstimate how much additional lift you need on one side and assemble a little stack of the plastic leveling blocks. Invariably you will have guessed incorrectly and have to move the trailer and then re-stack to accomplish level. Too much work for me—the beer’s in the fridge and it isn’t going to drink itself.
In our Facebook group for my brand of trailer, there were a few folks who offered tips to prevent the leveling wedge from stripping the rubber off in the first place.
More than one sage post suggested that you use a hammer to tap the wedge under the wheel before driving up onto it. I’ll try that with my glued solution.
The level app
I had mentioned the leveling app, and there’s one on your iPhone already. Apple includes a leveling app on the phone as part of the “Measure” app. It’s preinstalled on iOS and it’s a pretty nifty little app.
Essentially we just lay the iPhone on the tongue and, when the trailer’s level, the whole screen turns green with a big “0” on the screen. You don’t necessarily have to level the trailer completely while it’s attached to the truck, but side-to-side is important. From there you just follow your own unhooking procedure and then use the tongue jack to level the trailer front to back.
I saw someone unhook their truck from the trailer recently before they used wheel chocks. I practically had a heart attack and wanted to give them a report card with a big fat “F” on it. Recently I did a podcast episode specifically about hooking and unhooking your travel trailer from your truck, which you can hear and share here.
Knowing someone whose trailer got away from them during the unhooking process, please chock your wheels with good chocks like these before you let it loose from your truck.
Would I buy these leveling wedges or recommend you do so? I don’t know. I’d like to have more experience trying to tap them under the wheels to make a final decision. I do see a lot of reviews on Amazon that are very positive so, perhaps, I’m a ding dong.
In terms of function, these are a great way to level your trailer side-to-side. They are surprisingly sturdy for being a light plastic honeycomb product. I had no issues before I shaved them.
They also come with smaller wedges that you tap under the side of the tire you didn’t drive onto to serve to chock the wheels and stabilize the whole level. As mentioned, the functionality of these was good. Until it wasn’t.