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RV Bubble Levels: How to Level Your RV the Cheap and Easy Way

Leveling your camper is essential, and many modern RVs come with technology to make the process easier. However, these fancy gadgets can fail and force you to return to the basics. It doesn’t get much more basic than an RV bubble level, which may remain the best option for many RVers. We have always had a bubble level on or with us in every RV.

Today, we’re sharing how to level your RV the cheap and easy way. This method is highly effective, and adventurers have used it for decades.

Ready to get started? Let’s dive in!

What Is an RV Bubble Level?

An RV bubble level is a device with a small, round tube containing liquid and an air bubble. It mounts onto a flat surface, and markings on the tube indicate the center. When it is perfectly level, the bubble will rest between the markings.

They’re nearly identical to tools carpenters and builders use to ensure items are level. These tools are a cheap and efficient way to do the job accurately. In fact, you can use a builders level to get your RV level each time and we recommend it for your first level. Built-in levels are cheap and will get the job done much quicker, however.

RV bubble level installed in jack compartment
We have always had bubble levels on our RV’s for a quick reliable way to determine level

Why Is It Important to Level an RV?

If an RV isn’t level, you’ll know it. Your things will roll across the countertops, and you’ll feel like you’re climbing a mountain when walking inside your rig. You’ll notice it even more when you lie down in bed. However, leveling your RV isn’t just about comfort.

When your camper isn’t level, it’ll likely be unstable. You’ll more likely feel rocking and movement when moving around. This can make it hard to enjoy yourself and fully relax during your adventures. While you may overlook it for a quick overnight stop, it’ll be too much for an extended stay.

Those who want their RV’s full functionality must ensure it is level. You should only extend your slides if you’re level. Doing so with an RV that isn’t level can lead to binding in the gears and extensive damage. In addition, many propane appliances will only run efficiently if you’re level. Your friend may have issues cooling, and you could end up tossing out any heat-sensitive foods.

There are many important reasons to level your RV, whether you do it with an automatic system or a bubble level. 

Pro Tip: Keep your camper from rocking by discovering What You Need to Know About Auto Leveling System for RVs.

Close up of RV bubble level
An RV bubble level may be small, but can make a big impact when leveling your RV.

How to Install Bubble Levels

Most new RVs do not have bubble levels, so you must install them. Luckily, this is an effortless task that almost anyone can do. This task should take a few minutes to complete when you do it right. However, don’t skip any steps or allow yourself to be in a hurry. If you rush, there’s a good chance you’ll be doing this job again.

The first step is to make sure your RV is perfectly level. You will need a carpenter level to do this. Set it on the floor of the RV near the center and level side to side first. Second turn the level front to back and make sure the rv is level in both directions. By doing this you will “calibrate” your permanently installed bubble levels.

calibrate rv bubble level with carpenter level
calibrate your rv bubble level with a carpenter’s level. Use it to get your RV level before starting the installation.

The next step is to pick the correct locations. You will need to spots, one for side to side and one for front to back. We’ll discuss this more in detail, but you ideally want the RV bubble level to be easy to see. Remember that someone taller or shorter may be looking at it at some point. Find a height that’s not too tall but not too short.

Once you’ve selected your mounting spot, it’s time to clean it. Use a mild cleaner to remove dirt, dust, and other residue. Wiping the area with rubbing alcohol can help get the surface as clean as possible. A clean surface makes it easy for the adhesive to bond with the camper. It won’t be going anywhere while you drive down the highway.

Because your RV is perfectly level you can set the bubble right in the middle and press the level into place. Make sure once you release the pressure that the level stays centered. Give the adhesive plenty of time to cure. The manufacturer will typically include their recommendation in the instructions. The bubble level should be helpful for years of adventures if you install it correctly.

Where Do You Put the Level on an RV?

You need two bubble levels to correct the level. One for front to back and one for side to side. You need two locations that are perfectly vertical (up and down) with respect to the frame or floor. One location can be a sidewall, but the second location will need to be side to side. Sometimes you can mount the side-to-side level on the front of the RV, but in our case, we usually mount it in a compartment.

Most RVers install their bubble level on their RV’s front, driver-side corner. This allows them to quickly and easily see it when backing into a spot. Drivers may even position their mirrors and see the level without getting out of their seats.

side to side rv bubble level
Our side-to-side bubble level is mounted in a propane compartment with a wall running perpendicular to the sidewall.

What Are the Best RV Bubble Levels

Want to add a bubble level to your RV? Luckily, some of the best options won’t break the bank. Let’s look at some of the best RV bubble levels on the market.

Hopkins Never Fade Two-Way Graduated Level

The Hopkins Never Fade Two-Way Graduated Level is black and costs around $10. It comes in a set of two and has labels for the front and side walls. It has a special coating, which ensures it won’t fade due to UV exposure. So it’ll look as good as new for years to come.

Additionally, you can use the screw holes or self-adhesive to keep it in place. It’s easy to read, looks great on the side of your camper, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Sale
Hopkins Towing Solutions 03926 Never Fade Two Way...
  • Unlike traditional levels that fade due to UV exposure this will...
  • Self-adhesive back for easy mounting
  • Plumb and level visible from a distance

Sun Company Lev-O-Gage

The Sun Company Lev-O-Gage is not actually a bubble level but a ball level. It accomplishes the same thing just using a brass ball instead of a bubble. You can use this bubble level to see how many degrees your RV is off-level with a glance. It’s perfect for fifth wheels, travel trailers, and other trailers.

This unit features a shatterless design, which can come in handy if rocks or other debris come flying. It comes with 3M VHB tape on the back, which allows you to mount it to almost any surface. It’ll be the perfect companion to level your rig.

Sun Company 201-F Lev-o-gage Inclinometer |...
  • THE ORIGINAL INCLINOMETER - Since 1971, Lev-o-gage has been the...
  • EASY TO READ DISPLAY - Monitors tilt from -45 to 45 degrees with...
  • SHATTERPROOF DESIGN - Tube assembly is made out of a rugged...

RV Designer Stick-On Level

The RV Designer Stick-On Level is as bare-bones as it gets, but it does the job. It comes in a pack of two, making it easy to level side to side and front to back. Use the included screws or self-adhesive strip to mount it in place. 

This budget-friendly level includes a price tag that’s under $10. Scott left five stars and said, “I use these on my travel trailer to check that it is level, and they work very well.”

RV Designer E401, Stick-On Level, 2 Per Pack,...
  • Stick on graduated level
  • For use in leveling the vehicle
  • Easy to install with self adhesive strip or screws, both included
carpenter level in an RV
You can use a carpenter level to level your RV each time. Just bring it along and set it on the floor or counter to get a gauge on level.

How to Level an RV Using a Bubble Level

If you’ve never used an RV bubble level to level your rig, it’s relatively easy to do. Let’s walk through the steps you should follow to accomplish this task.

Side to Side RV Leveling

The first thing you need to do when leveling is to find a decently level spot. Once you park, you’ll want to check the bubble level to see how much you’ll need to adjust side to side. Depending on how unlevel the site, you can drive up onto leveling blocks or Andersen Levelers. You can use these items to raise the low side of your camper by several inches.

Camper Leveler | Andersen Hitches | Frustration...
  • LOOKING FOR THE BEST LEVELING BLOCKS FOR CAMPERS? LEVEL YOUR...
  • EXPERIENCE THE ONLY ON-THE-FLY, PRECISE CAMPER LEVELING SYSTEM AT...
  • THE CAMPER LEVELER WORKS PERFECTLY ON ANY TRAILER UP TO 30,000...

Place chocks in front and behind the wheels once your camper is leveled side to side. This helps ensure your trailer doesn’t move or shift during the process. You can then follow the unhitching process based on your type of RV and hitch.

Pro Tip: These 7 Best RV Leveling Blocks will majorly simplify your leveling routine.

Front to Back RV Leveling

With your rig leveled side to side, you’ll want to focus on leveling front to back. Many modern trailers have electric jacks that can lift the front up and down. If you’re in a travel trailer, you may need to use the tongue jack to raise and lower the front.

There’s a chance you’ll need to raise the front significantly. If you do, you’ll want to place blocks under the landing gear before unhitching. If not, your jacks may not boost your rig enough to level it. Continue to raise or lower the RV landing gear until the bubble level indicates you’re level.

rv leveled up on the front
Keep your camper from rocking by perfecting your leveling set up.

Do RV Bubble Levels Work Well?

RV bubble levels work very well. However, they’re not perfect. Some benefits are that they’re simple, cheap, and portable. Because they’re low-tech, you won’t depend on power and can worry less about malfunctions. You can quickly glance at them and know whether you’re level.

Unfortunately, while they may be cost-effective, they’re not very precise. They provide a broad understanding of the actual level of your rig. They only offer a single-point measurement across your trailer. When dealing with a large 30 to 40-foot trailer, even a slight error can have a significant impact. If you require precision, there are better options. 

Alternative RV Leveling Systems

Many modern campers come with auto-leveling systems. These are convenient and can be very accurate. However, you still need to do your part to get the rig as level as possible from side to side. If not, you could end up with your wheels coming off the ground, which we do not recommend.

The LevelmatePro is one of our favorite leveling tools. A box mounts inside the camper, and you can set the unit to remember what level looks like for your camper. You can then open the app on your mobile device and see the status of your trailer. This can make it very easy to level your camper before leaving the driver’s seat. If you enjoy boondocking, this is a must-have piece of equipment.

levelmate pro
The level mate pro is basically an electronic bubble level. It’s a neat device because you can see the level wirelessly on your phone from the vehicle cab. This helps you find a level spot quicker.
How to Load and Unload a Truck Camper on a Pickup Truck | Go North Explore More

Save Money and Enjoy a Level RV

Leveling your trailer doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. By installing an inexpensive bubble level on your RV, you can achieve the same results. Instead of investing in an expensive leveling system, you can spend money on more adventures. So get out there, start enjoying a level camper, and keep your money in your pocket.

Would you invest in a bubble level for your RV? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

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About Tom Morton

Tom, a Pacific Northwest native, is our technical genius. Born in Washington and raised in Alaska before settling in Michigan. He's the man who keeps our operation running, both figuratively and literally.

With a background in Electrical Engineering, Tom specializes in RV solar systems and lithium batteries. He made history as the first documented individual to use a Tesla battery module as an RV battery. Tom has personally assisted countless RVers with system installations and has educated thousands more through his videos and articles.

Cinematography is another of Tom's passions, showcased in his work on the Go North series. You can see his camera skills on display in The RVers TV show on Discovery Channel and PBS where he also stars as a co-host.

Tom's mechanical expertise extends beyond RVs to boats, planes, and all things mechanical. He's renowned for taking on maintenance and repair projects single-handedly and is often spotted underneath RVs, making him the technical backbone of our endeavors.

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Bruce

Tuesday 27th of June 2023

A bulls eye level could be a good option. Cheap, Easy and accurate enough for the job at hand. Mount it on top of a TT tongue jack. It's in a convenient location