After our run-in with the authorities in northern Arizona, we relocated to the greater Phoenix area so Bob could pitch in on the annual heavy maintenance for the B-25 WWII bomber at the Commemorative Air Force. Being in the Valley of the Sun also provides ample opportunity to catch up with family and friends in the area.
Normally, when we set up the trailer, we get it situated and then press a button for it to magically auto-level itself. We did that like normal, but we kept getting an error. Tagalong would start to level but would quit before reaching that point. So, we tried again. And again. And again.
We had stayed at the same RV park last year and not encountered this problem. We couldn’t figure out why Tagalong couldn’t get his equilibrium.
The Doctor Is In
After two hours of the 90-degree sun beating on us, leaving us dehydrated, we finally enlisted the help of a park host. He recommended we give the leveling motors a rest and then slowly raise the trailer’s front legs, a little bit at a time. To do that, we needed to isolate the controls for the six stabilizing jacks.
Our Lippert Components auto leveling system has buttons for up, down, auto-level, retract all, and hitch height. The up and down buttons only control the front two stabilizers. A phone app lets us control the back and middle sets as well. But we needed even more control in this situation.
Bob crawled inside the storage compartment we affectionately call the cellar and played with the leveling system wires to get the rig to do what we wanted. We used a level to manually bring the trailer to a level state inch by inch. Much to our surprise, it worked.
Things Aren’t Always as They Appear
Relieved, we considered the job done and set up, connecting to electric, water, and sewer. When we went to open our stairs to get inside the rig, they hit the door frame, indicating we weren’t quite as level as we thought. The slideouts also resisted as we pushed them open. And, from the road, the trailer looked off side to side.
After the fiasco we had gone through to set up our rig in this location, we decided to leave it. After a few days like that, however, Bob worked on getting Tagalong more accurately level. And he succeeded in less than a half hour’s time — and even reprogrammed the Lippert system to know what level is. Now, the trailer looks and feels level.
We learned something vital in the process. Apparently, the nose of the trailer is supposed to be higher than the tail before attempting the auto-level feature. This came as news to us as there have been a number of times we didn’t follow that practice. Now we know.
Wanting our leveling challenges to be completely behind us, we face a dilemma:
Relocating every week or two makes for a lot of ups and downs for the jacks and their motors. Do we want to risk not being able to get level while boondocking in the middle of nowhere next year?
Our present location affords us the opportunity to receive a package of parts and the time to do the work to change out the motors and jacks. Bob has the mechanical know-how to complete the job. Perhaps that’s what we should do. The verdict is still out.
For now, we’re happy Tagalong is over his vertigo.
This is the travel blog of full-time RVers Bob and Lana Gates and our truck, Gulliver, and fifth wheel, Tagalong.