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Andrew H

App to help level Caravans & Motorhomes

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I do not have an iPhone so I am not really qualified to answer. I do however have a spirit level that I bought with our first caravan. It has worked faultlessly for many many years and not once has it needed a new battery or a software update :blink:

While I wish you success Andrew, as I know some will always prefer a gadget, I fear that you may have produced a solution for a problem that simply does not exist for most caravanners :ph34r:

Stan

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Well done Andrew. We use our iPhones for leveling and I place mine on the floor in the caravan. I'm forever walking round on arrival to check how level the caravan is.   

 

Will you be developing an Android app?

Edited by nilrem77
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I know this might sound silly, why not use a spirit level, can't understand why a simple task has too go hi tech.

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4 minutes ago, Halohodge said:

I know this might sound silly, why not use a spirit level, can't understand why a simple task has too go hi tech.

Everybody has a smartphone - some, if not all, with a built in 'spirit'level - these days so why not.   It is no more difficult to lay a smartphone on the floor/worktop etc than it is to place a spirit level in the caravan.  The smartphone does show both axes at once though which a spirit level can't do unless it is one of those fiddly little triangular things.

 

Given an audible level I can lay my phone on the caravan floor, go to the jockey wheel and hear when my adjustment is spot on.  I can Bluetooth to a second device in the car and hear when side to side level is achieved when reversing onto a levelling ramp.   

 

There are are some who prefer tried and test methods of achieving an outcome and there are others who prefer newer methods to achieve the same thing.  Each to their own as long as the intended result is achieved and satisfaction ensues.

 

I have  traditional torpedo level on board and a talking phone app. ..  the talking app is now the levelling device of choice but should my phone battery run out I am covered.  :)

 

 

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I have one of those fiddly little triangular things.  I've been using it for many years with no problems and there is no way that I'd trade it for an app.  As Halohodge says, I can't understand why a simple task has to go too hi tech.

 

John.    :)

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1 minute ago, Leedslad said:

As Halohodge says, I can't understand why a simple task has to go too hi tech.

Not a dig but out of pure curiosity, would you (or any of the phone app naysayers) use:

  • a laser level instead or a spirit level to strike (or test)  a long horizontal or vertical line
  • a digital multimeter instead of an analogue meter
  • a digital tyre pressure gauge instead of an analogue or pencil type
  • a digital scale instead of an analogue or balance beam scale
  • a calulator instead of an abacus / slide rule / pen and  paper fir long or complex calculation
  • a computer instead of pen, paper, stamps, reference books etc
  • a mobile phone instead of the nearest phone box
  • a tv remote control instead of walking across the room to the tv

That list could be very extensive of course and one  might argue that the electronic versions of a lot of things we now take for granted are 'too high tech' to carry out the very same simple tasks that the older analogue versions did perfectly well.

 

I don't regard a smartphone levelling app as over-complication but then again, I am equally comfortable with a spirit level if that was all I had to hand.

 

Again, each to their own as long as it harms nobody else ;)

 

 

 

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I’m no technophobe and I’m happy to use the latest devices if they afford benefits.  My fiddly triangular spirit level does the job perfectly and I do not even have to switch it on.  As you so correctly say, to each his own.

 

John.      :)

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Been using one of

6 minutes ago, Leedslad said:

Been using one of these since taking up caravanning 14 years ago

 

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On 25/07/2018 at 08:37, nilrem77 said:

Well done Andrew. We use our iPhones for leveling and I place mine on the floor in the caravan. I'm forever walking round on arrival to check how level the caravan is.   

 

Will you be developing an Android app?

Hi

Sorry for the delay in responding I just got back from a rally. The idea with may app is you don't need to put your iPhone on the floor but somewhere more convenient and safer, so mine goes on the work surface by the door. With the spoke messages and a cheap Bluetooth ear bud I just wander around the outside making adjustments.

 

I had thought of producing an Android version but to start learning a completely new programming language from scratch is not something taken lightly, lets wait and see.

 

Andrew

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On 25/07/2018 at 08:06, Stanthevan said:

I do not have an iPhone so I am not really qualified to answer. I do however have a spirit level that I bought with our first caravan. It has worked faultlessly for many many years and not once has it needed a new battery or a software update :blink:

While I wish you success Andrew, as I know some will always prefer a gadget, I fear that you may have produced a solution for a problem that simply does not exist for most caravanners :ph34r:

Stan

Hi Stan

 

I always used to use a spirit level like most caravaner's and as you say they are cheap and no maintenance required. The problem in my case is I am visually impaired and trying to see a bubble in a curved tube wasn't easy especially if you arrive in the dark. Since retiring arrivals are always in daylight but the vision problem persists. Also I didn't want may caravan perfectly level otherwise my wife complained about shower not draining etc. so learned how to program and the app evolved.

 

PS yes I do like gadgets as well 😋

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Hi Andrew,

Thanks for taking the time to reply to my earlier comment and explaining what prompted you to develop the app. It makes perfect sense for those who have some difficulty with the traditional bubble level and I can also see the advantage of being able to effectively "see the bubble" from anywhere around the caravan with the use of an earpiece. As I said previously, I wish you well but I fear you device may be something for a niche market.

Stan.

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On 15/07/2018 at 07:29, 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

 

Forgive me if I am wrong but I thought that the steadies were just for steadying the caravan. .. not leveling. Surely if any weight is supported by the steadies then there is a risk that the floor will buckle as the weight is only supported at the corners. Am I wrong?

 

I thought the way to level was to use a ramp, planks, level device to level the van laterally and then use the jockey wheel to level longitudinally then when level to lower the steadies to steady the van. No weight should be put onto the steadies.

 

???

 

 

On 18/07/2018 at 13:09, swaggy said:

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

Could you do an Android version please? If not then give me the code and I can do it for you (I am a app and web developer!!!).

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Just going to level the van Nancy - sorry the battery is flat on my Iphone, while it's charging I'll get the spirit level out and use that!

Alan

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My biggest problem is where to put the spirit level.

 

All of the obvious horizontal surfaces, worktops, door frame,  window frames, floor, all give different results.

 

Get it some where near then fine tune it so that the washroom door stays put!

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3 minutes ago, AlanNancy said:

Just going to level the van Nancy - sorry the battery is flat on my Iphone, while it's charging I'll get the spirit level out and use that!

Alan

Thats ok Alan ask Nancy just pop the iphone mains lead in and use the caravans 12v point 😉

 

24 minutes ago, Snaxmuppet said:

 

Forgive me if I am wrong but I thought that the steadies were just for steadying the caravan. .. not leveling. Surely if any weight is supported by the steadies then there is a risk that the floor will buckle as the weight is only supported at the corners. Am I wrong?

If you read the thread this was covered at the start as John said exactly the same.

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On 27/07/2018 at 20:09, Halohodge said:

I know this might sound silly, why not use a spirit level, can't understand why a simple task has too go hi tech.

Hi

No its not a silly question and if you don't have an iPhone or iPad nobody would read any further. I personally want my caravan set to a particular 'angle/slope' and putting black marks on a spirit level and trying see them was difficult because of my vision. Also to keep going back to the door worktop and rotating the level to measure both directions was a nuisance. Some caravanners use an electric steady winder, I never have as thats more to keep charged and that little extra weight, each to their own.

 

Andrew

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1 hour ago, AlanNancy said:

Just going to level the van Nancy - sorry the battery is flat on my Iphone, while it's charging I'll get the spirit level out and use that!

Alan

Flat battery on your phone, that sounds like bad planning and I thought caravanners were well organised otherwise they might leave a roof window open or forget the safety brake cable 😀

 

Andrew

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2 hours ago, MartinJB said:

If you read the thread this was covered at the start as John said exactly the same.

Yes I read the thread. .. that is why I asked the question. It seems to me that the steadies were still being used to fine-tune the level. That is why I queried it because I thought that was not recommended.

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3 hours ago, Griff said:

My biggest problem is where to put the spirit level.

 

All of the obvious horizontal surfaces, worktops, door frame,  window frames, floor, all give different results.

 

Get it some where near then fine tune it so that the washroom door stays put!

 

When I change caravans I level the van very carefully using a large spirit level and then position the small spirit level on the "A" frame by the jockey wheel where it is easily visible. Usually the level itself is far from accurate so a couple of cocktail stick ends are used to get it right. Then I carefully remove the level and apply a good dollop of 5 minute epoxy, replace the level and adjust again. Job done, and dead easy to use.

 

I have been into technology all my life and like all the techy devices, but there is an appropriate application for both low tech and high tech devices, and I prefer my low tech solution. A quick look at the bubble tells me which wheel needs raising and by how much. After that the jockey wheel gets it level side to side.

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8 minutes ago, thebriars said:

 

When I change caravans I level the van very carefully using a large spirit level and then position the small spirit level on the "A" frame by the jockey wheel where it is easily visible. Usually the level itself is far from accurate so a couple of cocktail stick ends are used to get it right. Then I carefully remove the level and apply a good dollop of 5 minute epoxy, replace the level and adjust again. Job done, and dead easy to use. 

That does sound a good approach and once carefully set-up easy to use.

Andrew

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8 hours ago, Stanthevan said:

I fear you device may be something for a niche market.

Stan.

iPhones aren't used by a niche market and the leveling app provided by Apple certainly isn't. What Andrew has developed is an audible tool for level measurement.  I use my iPhone for level measurement as its convenient. I used to use a spirit level but found the iPhone app resulted in a level caravan and as it was already in my pocket saved carrying yet another tool. With my partners impaired vision an audible solution is a step in the right direction for me.    I haven't come across an audible spirit level yet that costs a few pounds.

Developing a similar app for the Android phones is in my view the next logical step.  

7 hours ago, Snaxmuppet said:

If not then give me the code and I can do it for you (I am a app and web developer!!!).

Perhaps Andrew should take up Snaxmuppet's offer.

Edited by nilrem77

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5 hours ago, thebriars said:

A quick look at the bubble tells me which wheel needs raising and by how much. After that the jockey wheel gets it level side to side.

 

Oops, er no. :unsure: The jockey wheel gets it level front to back.

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