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Andrew H

App to help level Caravans & Motorhomes

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After many months work I have produced an app for the iPhone or iPad to help the leveling process in Caravans or Motorhomes.  

 

Description:-

This is similar to other surface bubble level apps but has 2 unique features. Firstly it can speak the amount in Degrees, Dimensions or Blocks your Caravan is out of level front-to-rear and side-to-side, then confirm when it’s level in all directions.

Secondly it can have a customised offset when you intentionally need something with a small slope angle and this offset is remembered. If your iDevice has a cover or protruding camera these are also compensated for. It works on either an iPhone, iPad or 5thgeneration iPod running iOS 8. 2 or above and doesn't require calibrating or the Internet.

 

CaravanLevel is aimed primarily for Caravan and Motorhome enthusiasts but would also be useful for general DIY. It has an option to use the built in speech feature so app “says” where on the Vehicle it's low and by how much, then finally when it's all level. If you have chosen to use sounds or better still speech, then with your iDevice volume loud enough and the Caravan door open you can hear where and how much it needs raising in Degrees, Dimensions or Blocks from outside. Most useful of all is if you have a wireless Bluetooth Earbud (which are not too expensive) or wireless Bluetooth Headphones, so I can hear as I walk around the outside making adjustments the amount my Caravan is low. Alternatively it has the ability to play sounds indicating when the iDevice is low, nearly level or completely level but you need to see the screen as well so you know which area is low.

 

For further information please visit our website or Apple iTunes using these links:-

 

https://cadesignsuk. 000webhostapp. com

 

https://itunes. apple. com/gb/app/caravan-level-with-speech/id1024071575?ls=1&mt=8

 

 

Andrew

 

iPad Pro - 3.png

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Ah, I knew that my method of towing caravan to place lower  wheel up on a bit of floorboard, unhitching  and then winding jockey wheel up or down before opening beer would become outdated. ..but I will stick with it.

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Some will think this a solution to a problem that does't exist - I do.

 

It would be more useful if it included the mechanism to actually level the caravan.

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3 hours ago, Black Grouse said:

Some will think this a solution to a problem that does't exist - I do.

 

It would be more useful if it included the mechanism to actually level the caravan.

Hi

 

Yes you are correct but at £3000 and an  extra +20kg payload it’s a tough decision.

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I find a spirit level quite useful, light, easy to use, and a darned site cheaper than an iPhone!

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I love devices that make life easier, and Andrew H has clearly put much work into this, well done A H.

 

I don't see a need for it for me as my basic spirit level ( and I hardly ever use that) works fine.

 

But it may be one of those apps that finds a use in other scenarios for others.

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Sorry, but not a gadget for me either Andrew - my 32 year old spirit level hasn't worn out yet :)

 

I'm intrigued by the comment "I can hear as I walk around the outside making adjustments the amount my Caravan is low".   I don't think anyone walks round making adjustments, as there are only 2 possible adjustments to make, i. e. laterally by driving up a ramp (or whatever method you use), and longitudinally by adjusting the jockey wheel.

 

The phrase "as I walk around the outside making adjustments" conjures up a picture of someone going from corner to corner and winding up the steadies until the app says the van's level - which is a definite no-no!

 

John

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6 hours ago, Johnaldo said:

Sorry, but not a gadget for me either Andrew - my 32 year old spirit level hasn't worn out yet :)

 

I'm intrigued by the comment "I can hear as I walk around the outside making adjustments the amount my Caravan is low".   I don't think anyone walks round making adjustments, as there are only 2 possible adjustments to make, i. e. laterally by driving up a ramp (or whatever method you use), and longitudinally by adjusting the jockey wheel.

 

The phrase "as I walk around the outside making adjustments" conjures up a picture of someone going from corner to corner and winding up the steadies until the app says the van's level - which is a definite no-no!

 

John

You are right John you would never just use the steadies to level a caravan.  My approach is to start my app and motor move up small planks of wood to get within 0. 5 degrees. Then adjust  jockey wheel until app stops saying it’s low at front or rear. Then I go around the steadies until it’s all level.

 

I have spoken to lots of caravanners over the years and yes they like I used to do set their vans up with a spirit level placed at their preferred position. But as I found after awhile their partner said the shower didn’t drain properly, the fridge door didn’t stay open when using or internal doors swing open/close. So I would have to get my trusty winder our an tweak a steady or two.

 

I am slightly surprised at the reaction so far but that’s what forums are for, so I will continue watching with interest.

Andrew

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Wait a few years Andrew and it may become more appreciated. ... correction, expected! 🤣 anyway it looks good to me and will no doubt aid some people thanks to the audio part specifically.  

 

The problem of course for existing carvaners is they will have a routine and “it aint broke don’ fix it” comes to mind. .. whereas newcomers may well appreciate it, that is IF they hear about it before they build a routine, or, it becomes standard equipment included with the caravan, for instance a new integrated feature of Swift’s Command app.

 

Thanks for sharing and keep on innovating  👍

Edited by MartinJB
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43 minutes ago, Andrew H said:

You are right John you would never just use the steadies to level a caravan.  My approach is to start my app and motor move up small planks of wood to get within 0. 5 degrees. Then adjust  jockey wheel until app stops saying it’s low at front or rear. Then I go around the steadies until it’s all level.

 

I have spoken to lots of caravanners over the years and yes they like I used to do set their vans up with a spirit level placed at their preferred position. But as I found after awhile their partner said the shower didn’t drain properly, the fridge door didn’t stay open when using or internal doors swing open/close. So I would have to get my trusty winder our an tweak a steady or two.

 

I am slightly surprised at the reaction so far but that’s what forums are for, so I will continue watching with interest.

Andrew

 

Andrew there's still something that doesn't sound right here …

 

So you've got the van level in both directions, and then you "go around the steadies until it’s all level" which definitely implies you are adjusting the van using the steadies.   If you mean you "go around the steadies until it’s all steady" that's a different matter - but you wouldn't need to hear the app when carrying out this task would you?

 

John

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What accuracy is required?

 

Andrew refers to 0. 5 degrees using a ramp and jockey wheel and then levelling MORE accurately with the steadies - fridges are tilt-tolerant to 3 degrees in the case of Thetford and 6 degrees in the case of Dometic - flat roofs need a slope of at least 1% otherwise the water pools on top - many of us like the slope to ensure that kitchen and shower drains work.

Edited by Black Grouse

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41 minutes ago, Johnaldo said:

 

Andrew there's still something that doesn't sound right here …

 

So you've got the van level in both directions, and then you "go around the steadies until it’s all level" which definitely implies you are adjusting the van using the steadies.   If you mean you "go around the steadies until it’s all steady" that's a different matter - but you wouldn't need to hear the app when carrying out this task would you?

 

John

John. In my reply I say I used "small planks of wood to get within 0. 5 degrees" which are under one of the wheels. I do try and get this angle small but sometimes trying the fit the wheel lock as well, this is not easy. I then lower the first steady in the 'low' corner to reduce amount its out. I have found on occasions that if the wooden planks and jockey wheel levelling result in my 'required slope', carefully lowering one steady will move my 2010 Clubman about 0. 1 degrees out but lowering the rest brings it all back level.

 

Andrew

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13 minutes ago, Black Grouse said:

What accuracy is required?

 

Andrew refers to 0. 5 degrees using a ramp and jockey wheel and then levelling MORE accurately with the steadies - fridges are tilt-tolerant to 3 degrees in the case of Thetford and 6 degrees in the case of Dometic - flat roofs need a slope of at least 1% otherwise the water pools on top - many of us like the slope to ensure that kitchen and shower drains work.

 

Hi Black Grouse

Yes I agree with your comments, I know I am a bit 'sad' and do have a technical background but I level my van to within +/- 0. 1 degrees in both axis. So my app setting which compensates for my 7 year old iPad and the best shower draining / door flapping slope are:- wheel axle +0. 60 deg and front/rear -1. 30 deg.

 

Andrew

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20 minutes ago, Black Grouse said:

What accuracy is required?

 

Andrew refers to 0. 5 degrees using a ramp and jockey wheel and then levelling MORE accurately with the steadies - fridges are tilt-tolerant to 3 degrees in the case of Thetford and 6 degrees in the case of Dometic - flat roofs need a slope of at least 1% otherwise the water pools on top - many of us like the slope to ensure that kitchen and shower drains work.

Thats fine, the app can help you get your 1% accuracy (call it 0. 5 degrees).

Its just a more intuitive level guage with speech and a picture of the caravan rather than the circles of the standard iphone app. Its also something most people just have in their pocket so no need for others in the tool kit.

 

Digressing slightly, I found the handy spirit level installed on the first of Swifts HT vans (in the front window) a nice touch for arrival levelling, then Swift went and changed the cassette blinds to the top down/bottom up arrangement and forgot it blocked the view to said level guage! So to have something integrated to an app appeals to me (as it will to others I am sure), Andrew has made a step in the right direction IMO, thinking outside the box with many improvements to come 👍

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I’ll just stick to my E&P system.

 

Ian

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46 minutes ago, IanV8 said:

I’ll just stick to my E&P system.

 

Ian

Thing is Ian, whilst I agree, E&P isn’t actually perfect, you sometimes still have to place blocks after a bit of faff based on the pitch level itself. ... this app has the potential to pre empt those blocks in future iterations so its just arrive, lay blocks and press GO (but quite why E&P don’t already do that I am not sure).  

 

E&P has some quirks I am not a fan of but I love the ease and stability it brings.

 

Edited by MartinJB
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22 hours ago, MartinJB said:

Thing is Ian, whilst I agree, E&P isn’t actually perfect, you sometimes still have to place blocks after a bit of faff based on the pitch level itself. ... this app has the potential to pre empt those blocks in future iterations so its just arrive, lay blocks and press GO (but quite why E&P don’t already do that I am not sure).  

 

E&P has some quirks I am not a fan of but I love the ease and stability it brings.

 

I agree that you still need blocks especially if you are on soft ground and want the jacks to lift the van but after many years of not having E&P I can judge what is needed.

 

Ian

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I use an App called RV Companion Lite on my iPhone,  had it probably 4 or 5 years now.  One of it features is a Leveller with 2 spirit levels at right angles to each other. Once calibrated to a known flat surface, you place it on a flat surface in the caravan & it shows straight way how high one side or the other has to be raised to get the caravan level. Once that's done you adjust the jockey wheel for fore & aft levelling.

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I have the Truma app Works OK, once you remember that the rolling ball is the opposite to the air bubble in a spirit level/

 

Other tools on it too!

 

ios & android

 

 

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What if you don't own an iphone or ipad?    :blush:

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3 hours ago, swaggy said:

What if you don't own an iphone or ipad?    :blush:

Then you can join us as refuse to buy anything to do with Apple.   :D

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Andrew it sounds a brilliant device UNFORTUNATELY I already have a device that speaks to me as to front/back or side to side level and she (the wife) would not like being made redundant!  :wub:

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On 18/07/2018 at 17:41, TedNewman said:

Andrew it sounds a brilliant device UNFORTUNATELY I already have a device that speaks to me as to front/back or side to side level and she (the wife) would not like being made redundant!  :wub:

I know how your wife would feel and redundance is never pleasant. 😃

 

Andrew

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There is a free spirit level app for I pads and phones. I just use that.

 

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I have, some time back, bought an iPhone app for a couple of pounds that is probably very similar in form and function to the OP's app.

 

It too speaks, loudly and clearly,  measures fore and aft and/or side to side levels in degrees, and can used with its default level or be set with user preferred 'levels' for fore and aft or side to side.  It is easy to use and it does the job for me with a preset couple or three degrees nose high and the same again for offside low.  At this setting, my washroom door doesn't swing shut or open and the wash basin drains fully.

 

I rather like it - it performs equally as well as my torpedo level and cost me less (I already had the iPhone :)) so @Andrew H, I am out but I wish you every success with your app.

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