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Automatic Levelling Devices


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Have seen these advertised a few times but puzzled about how they work. They seem to operate by automatically levelling van using the corner steadies. Now I thought you shouldn't do this cause you can twist the frame. I level the van using the two wheels and then the jockey wheel and the steadies are for just that, to steady it, and I am very careful not to wind down the steadies too much. Any thoughts?

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Perfectly correct in what you say. I have never seen the benefit of a caravan levelling system as I don't have any problems in levelling and it does not take that long. There always seems to be a guy a caravan shows demonstrating one but I have never seen anyone buy one. I have seen big American motorhomes that self level presumably using a pnuematic suspension but that is another story.

 

Brian

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Well I have always wondered how motor caravanners manage. I saw one last summer and it seemed to be real pain. He was trying to level up on a two way slope - spent ages reversing back and then forwards up his set of ramps. Then following day he was off.

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Guest john1215

I often imagine pulling up on a pitch and pressing a button on a remote control and all four caravan steadies wind down and a pressure sensing device cuts the motor as each steady contacts with the floor, then, pressing a second button, each steady winds down another two complete turns to take up any slack - now wouldn't that be an improvement?

 

john1215

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Guest Hobbybod
I often imagine pulling up on a pitch and pressing a button on a remote control and all four caravan steadies wind down and a pressure sensing device cuts the motor as each steady contacts with the floor, then, pressing a second button, each steady winds down another two complete turns to take up any slack - now wouldn't that be an improvement?

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I think the CaraLevel does that, or something approaching it, but only for fore-aft 'steadying'; always thought the term 'levelling' was a bit of a misnomer, as there's no way it will (or should) level the 'van transversly.

 

For that you need this device; a Dutch hydraulic cross-levelling gizmo. (press the 'CARAVAN' button on the left, to see it in action) Looks great, but adds another 17kgs to the 'van. With a motor mover, I just drive the 'van up levelling boards.

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Guest john1215
Come on John,how are you going to get any exercise if you don't have to press the trigger on your cordless drill to wind those steadies down. :)

The next step will be virtual caravanning.

Frank

8106[/snapback]

 

Hang on a minute Frank, one thing at once, I pull the ring pull to open my can of diet coke.

 

We've gone off topic I hear mention of caralevel, I wasn't dreaming of levelling the van, in my dream, the corner steadies do just that "Steady".

 

 

john1215

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Hang on a minute Frank, one thing at once, I pull the ring pull to open my can of diet coke.

 

We've gone off topic I hear mention of caralevel, I wasn't dreaming of levelling the van, in my dream, the corner steadies do just that "Steady".

john1215

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As I understand it the Caralevel does use the steadies to level the 'van. It says that by utilising all the steadies at the same time it prevents the chassis from twisting. Hmmm

 

I'd like to see it work on the CL we went to at Folkton near Filey. Rear of the van flat on the floor, one wheel at the top of two chockramps and two pairs of Steadiblocs at the front. Wish I'd taken a photo. Fantastic view though.

 

Mike

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Guest Hobbybod
. . .   I hear mention of caralevel, I wasn't dreaming of levelling the van, in my dream, the corner steadies do just that "Steady".

john1215

8128[/snapback]

Exactly, that's why I said CaraLevel was a misnomer. The CaraLevel should only really be used to place the steadies, with equal force, on the ground; NOT level the 'van, which it's name, incorrectly, implies.

 

BTW I've been informed that the motors used to drive the steadies down, are in fact windscreen wiper motors!!

 

Some years ago there was a manually pumped hydraulic system which activated the steadies, but I don't remember if it included a levelling mechanism.

 

My Dad's Morris Eight (~1938) had a manually pumped hydraulic jacking system. Dad could set a dial to jack up the whole car, left side, right side, or just front or rear. As a young lad, I used to watch under the car as the jacks came down to lift the car, while dad rocked the pump handle back and forth; looked like 'magic' to me then!!

 

'Magic' like that could be very useful on a 'van.

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Exactly, that's why I said CaraLevel was a misnomer.   The CaraLevel should only really be used to place the steadies, with equal force, on the ground; NOT level the 'van, which it's name, incorrectly, implies.

 

BTW I've been informed that the motors used to drive the steadies down, are in fact windscreen wiper motors!!

 

Some years ago there was a manually pumped hydraulic system which activated the steadies, but I don't remember if it included a levelling mechanism.

 

My Dad's Morris Eight (~1938) had a manually pumped hydraulic jacking system. Dad could set a dial to jack up the whole car, left side, right side, or just  front or rear. As a young lad, I used to watch under the car as the jacks came down to lift the car, while dad rocked the pump handle back and forth; looked like 'magic' to me then!!

 

'Magic' like that could be very useful on a 'van.

8381[/snapback]

 

According to Caralevel it can be used to level the 'van. These are a couple of selected posts:

 

CARALEVEL the first fully automatic leveling system, can be fitted to any type or size of caravan. At the turn of a key the caravan will level itself in just 150 seconds, with no more intervention from the operator. Ideal for the disabled, back sufferers or those wanting to make life easier.

Q.- WILL THE SYSTEM LEVEL LEFT TO RIGHT?

A.- Yes, the system will do this, but when choosing a site, select a relatively level one so that no undue strain is placed on the corner steadies or chassis. Under no circumstances must the wheels be lifted off the ground.

 

I'm still uncomfortable with it. I still think it could put undue strain on the chassis and/or floor.

 

Mike

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Guest Hobbybod
According to Caralevel it can be used to level the 'van. These are a couple of selected posts:

. . . .  . , but when choosing a site, select a relatively level one so that no undue strain is placed on the corner steadies or chassis. Under no circumstances must the wheels be lifted off the ground.

 

I'm still uncomfortable with it.   I still think it could put undue strain on the chassis and/or floor.

 

Mike

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So am I Mike. I wouldn't entertain a CaraLevel at all, certainly not in a levelling capacity; OK for just plonking the steadies down with roughly equal force.

 

I wonder what the chassis makers think of it, and whether CaraLevel will indemnify you against twisted chassis etc. . . . . most likely NOT.

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I often imagine pulling up on a pitch and pressing a button on a remote control and all four caravan steadies wind down and a pressure sensing device cuts the motor as each steady contacts with the floor, then, pressing a second button, each steady winds down another two complete turns to take up any slack - now wouldn't that be an improvement?

 

john1215

8091[/snapback]

 

Got something similar, The wife uses a cordless drill

Also adapted for wheelclamp

She's Brill

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  • 10 months later...

I have just stumbled upon this site while idly surfing.

 

I have had a Caralevel on my twin axle Lunar Delta for more than 15 years. The motors (indeed similar to wiper motors) complete with reduction gearbox are mounted on the chassis and are connected to the corner steadies by a flexible drive shaft. A small computer controls the movement and loading of the four steadies to prevent any overloading of the steadies and/or twisting of the chassis.

 

Fore and aft levelling is limited only by the travel of the corner steadies and if on a severe slope packing pieces under the steadies are needed just as you would if you were winding manually. The computer limits side to side levelling and the use of ramps or blocks may be required, again just as you would if winding manually.

 

On arrival at site roughly level the ’van side to side, with blocks if necessary, apply the handbrake and unhitch. Turn the key switch (mine is located just inside the door), and the front steadies extend until one touches the ground, this stops until the second steady catches up, then both steadies turn simultaneously until the ’van is level front to back. Both rear steadies then unwind until they touch the ground. Finally, if side to side needs adjustment, the high side steadies retract slightly while the low side extend, once level in both directions all four steadies are in contact with the ground with minimal loading.

 

The whole process takes less time than it has taken me to type this and you can sit back, pull that ring pull to open your can while the steadies unwind until the ’van is level - particularly satisfying when it is pouring with rain and/or dark. The levelling facility can also be disarmed so the steadies simply wind down until there is an equal load on each one - useful for a lunch halt for instance when the ’van remains connected to the car - it does not just plonk the steadies down with roughly equal force.

 

As I said, more than 15 years use and it has worked perfectly hundreds if not thousands of times without any distortion of the chassis, floor or the steadies. I have locking covers over the four steadies and these would have to be cut off and the motors disconnected before the ’van could be moved – a good anti-theft device. If you are wondering what happens if you are on site with a discharged caravan battery - simply plug the car in.

 

Think about me when you are searching for the corner steady under the ’van with brace or drill when it is raining, cold and dark.

 

Apart from being a satisfied customer I have no connection with Caralevel whatsoever. http://www. ivan. co. nz/Caralevel. htm

 

Geoff

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I have come across a number of 'vans fitted with caralevel type devices, and all have been pleased with them.

However one customer suggested that the twisting forces being transmitted through the laminated floor COULD be the cause of his de-lamination problem. Remember, on modern 'vans the corner steadies are mounted on the floor with little or no attachment to the chassis. I stress this was one customers suggestion.

 

I am firmly of the opinion that corner steadies are just that, steadies. If the caravan is already on level ground, or on levelling blocks (dead easy with Power-touch mover fitted) then levelled with the jockey wheel, then I can see that to wind the steadies down by remote control would be of benefit to some people.

 

Dave baxter

powerwheel fitter

classiccarmeets. com

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