How I Get Our RV COMPLETELY Level – With the LevelMate Pro+


If you were to ask Stef if I had any annoying traits…  well, I hope you packed snacks, because you’d be there a while.  But somewhere in her list would be my obsession with getting our RV to complete, absolute, True Level – every time we spend the night.  If you’ve ever seen someone running around behind the Cracker Barrel at 1:30 AM putting blocks under his tires – it was probably me.

Until they make “RV shims” in 3mm increments (wouldn’t that be cool!), this video will show you how I level our Winnebago EKKO using the LevelMate Pro+, and how I completed the install.

 

I had written here before (no video) on the LevelMate Pro, and that’s what we used in Lance.  In the spirit of full disclosure, they sent me that previous LevelMate Pro to try out.  This time though, there was no question.  When we got our new RV, I knew we were going to install another one, so I just bought it on Amazon and paid full price.  Once you’ve experienced level… it’s tough to go back.

I was happy to see that they had made some improvements since our last LevelMate Pro.  The biggest improvement in my book is the addition of an actual physical on/off switch.  That fixes what was my biggest complaint with our last LevelMate Pro – battery life.  The previous version had an “auto shut off” that I’m never sure actually worked, and you had to replace the batteries every two months.  This new version still has the auto-off, but it also has a physical on/off switch, so when you’re done leveling, just switch it off and you know you won’t be burning up your batteries.

The “+” version actually has a much bigger battery than our original LeelMate Pro as well.  Between the switch and the ginormous battery… OH!  AND the ability to power it via USB!  I doubt I’ll ever find myself changing the battery in this thing.

Apart from that, the leveling experience works exactly like you see it in the video.  The only math required is simple addition and subtraction.  You do have to decide how granular you want the information to be.  As in – right now, mine shows me data with a quarter-inch resolution… even though my blocks are each one inch tall.  I left mine that fine a) because I’m me and I like as many significant digits as I can get, and b) because I can tweak the air suspension in the rear to a quarter inch, and c) because we’re going to install leveling jacks someday that might be able to use information that granular.

Even after we get leveling jacks installed and calibrated to zero us out, I plan to keep using the LevelMate Pro+ to double check and fine tune the results from the leveling jacks.

Any comments or questions, sound off in the comments below!



James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he's not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or - that one time - doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he works for a large IT company.


    22 thoughts on “How I Get Our RV COMPLETELY Level – With the LevelMate Pro+

    1. Daniel Taylor

      A lot of highway and off highway pull-outs are not level. With a compressor fridge, being level is not a requirement, so I would like to some manufacturer or maybe some RV diy mod guy (anyone come to mind?) make a bed that you level, instead of leveling the entire RV.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Didn’t early versions of the Revel have a leveling bed?
        Think of the “regular” bed lift systems, just with each corner able to operate independently.

        Reply
    2. Don Kane

      But what happens when you walk around, or if Mel moves from one side to the other! You are still on your springs, right? Or do you use a strict Stef and Mel vs James balancing protocol! Ha!

      Reply
      1. Don Kane

        A more informative question to ask, aside of teasing you, is how many inches or parts of an inch do you unbalance the van when you move side to side or fore-aft.

        Reply
        1. James - Post author

          I’d love it if we could enforce a strict occupant balancing protocol. James would follow it exactly. Stef and Mel however, tend to be less compliant.

          The rig does waggle a bit – less than an inch – as we move side to side. We don’t notice it so much front to back. That could be due to our air suspension, so I don’t know if a “standard” EKKO would behave similarly. All in all though, we’re maybe 300 pounds out of 11,000, so the movement is minor.

          This is one of the things that we (OK… I) hope to eliminate when we finally find and install some leveling jacks that tie to the frame.

    3. Erica Hammer

      1) Question about leveling jacks:
      We have an Era 170X.
      Do you have a suggestion for leveling jack’s which could be used with that model?

      2) Question about air compressor:
      On our previous campervan (a Dodge van that was converted – which we used for 19 years!), we had installed an air suspension system that worked great to fine tune the leveling. We haven’t checked recently, but the last time we researched we couldn’t find anything compatible with the 170X suspension.
      Any possibilities that you know of?
      Thanks for any help you might be able to give.
      Safe travels!

      Reply
    4. Greg

      James:

      You had posted a video a couple years ago on installation of a hydraulic leveling system on your previous Class B. You don’t have on the new one? Was your experience with hydraulic leveling systems bad?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Quite the contrary – we loved having levelers!
        We just haven’t found any compatible with our EKKO that we want yet.
        We are still on the hunt, and will be installing them as soon as we find any!

        Reply
    5. Will

      I have a Level Mate Pro and it’s a useful tool, but over the last four years I’ve refined my seat-of-the-pants leveler and use that most of the time. 🙂

      And to answer the folks who ask if the Level Mate sending unit can be placed closer to the driver for convenience….well, you don’t want to do that. The sender should be close to your bed, which is the surface you want level. RV frames and unibodies flex on uneven surfaces. Your cab may be level but your bed might be off-center, so place that sender close to your bed!

      Reply
    6. Dan

      The LevelMatePro+ can be left connected to USB power. That’s how we have ours, so we don’t ever have to worry about the battery.

      We also leave ours turned on. It senses motion, and when we stop, it’ll be ready for a connection, then put itself to sleep a few hours later.

      The + model is much nicer than the older one.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Good question. The Truma app (which I’ve also used) relies on the sensors inside your phone. I don’t know how to compare the resolution or accuracy of those sensors with those in the LevelMate Pro+.
        But the bigger thing for me is that the Truma app relies on you putting your phone in exactly the same position each time. If you’re taking the two hours to get your rig completely level to zero the app – you probably want something that screws into place and won’t move. Even if you only put your phone two degrees rotated from where you did last time… by the time you take that two degrees to 23 feet… you’ve got quite a distance. At least, that’s my take.

        Reply
    7. James Boyett

      Great video and much appreciated!
      – Was there no spot to put the LevelMate+ that would keep you from having to get out of the driver’s seat?
      – I am sure you will be asked, SO did you pick Class B or C during the app setup?
      – Lastly (leveling block question) where did you align the leveling blocks for the dual rear wheels?

      Again, much appreciated!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        There may have been a spot to mount it in the driver’s seat, but I would have had to mount in in plastic, which I didn’t like.
        I picked Class C. Not sure how that would matter though (other than the graphic it might show me). The important thing is to get the wheelbase and track correct.
        I have “double wide” leveling blocks for the rear wheels. I just line them up with both tires. These: https://amzn.to/3jRaXTP

        Reply
        1. Dan

          Class selection is for the picture. Except if you’re talking about a towable, where it changes other functions.

      2. Dan

        If you leave it in the mode where it wakes up when you stop driving, then stays awake for a a limited time after, you never need to get up and turn the thing on. If you keep it plugged into USB power, you never have to worry about using up the battery, either. We mounted ours in a cabinet in the back of our Travato where there’s a USB outlet. Works really nicely.

        Reply

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