KEYWORDS: trailer, level, side, wheels, planks

Have Trailer--Will Travel--Part 25: Trailer Tips for Tipsy Trailers

David Berg

DFO812-2521 October 1980

—By Father David

1. HERE'S A TRAILER TIP IF YOUR TRAILER'S TOO TIPSY!: If you're parking your trailer on very uneven ground so that it leans side to side too far to level it even with the stabilisers or too difficult to do it with jacks, it's a good idea to have a few planks or boards handy—Wide enough for your tires & long enough to get under one or two wheels, depending on how many wheels you have on a side.

2. RUN THE LOW SIDE OF THE TRAILER UP ON AS MANY PLANKS AS YOU NEED TO GET IT NEARLY LEVEL. Just be sure that someone is holding the planks in place with preferably a stick & not their toe lest you run over it‚ especially if you're running up onto the planks.

3. AS THE TIRE WHEEL STARTS RUNNING ONTO THE ONE END OF THE PLANK, sometimes the other end of the plank has a tendency to rise & hit the bottom of the trailer & the plank get out of place. So with a pole, umbrella‚ stick or your toe, hold the other end of the plank down firmly so it will not shift its position & the wheels will roll up onto the planks squarely, accurately & in line.

4. IN ORDER TO KNOW EXACTLY HOW MANY PLANKS YOU'RE GOING TO NEED & not make the mistake of getting the low side even higher than the other side, you can use a level & set the level across the width of the trailer in something like a rear or front window sill which will show how off the level it is.

5. THEN BY PLACING THE LEVEL ON ONE OF THE ORNAMENTAL STRIPS OR A SEAM OF SOME KIND that runs across the front or the tail of the trailer, hold the high end of the level firmly in place on the seam or the ornamental stripping & raise the other end which faces the low side of the trailer until the bubble is exactly in the middle.

6. THEN HOLDING THE LEVEL FIRMLY IN THIS POSITION WITH THE LEVEL EXACTLY LEVEL, bubble in the middle, aim your eye along the bottom or top of the level—whichever is the straight surface—across to the low side of the trailer, & have someone run their finger up or down the low side of the trailer on the front of the trailer until their finger is at exactly a point at which the bottom or top of the level is pointing, whichever part of the level is resting on the strip or the seam.

7. THEN BY MEASURING FROM THE SEAM TO THE MARK WHERE THEY'VE HAD THEIR FINGER you can know exactly how many planks you will need under the low side to lift it level with the high side where you have had the level.

8. BE PARTICULARLY CAREFUL WHEN DRIVING OFF THE PLANKS‚ either backing off or pulling off forward, because as the wheel rolls off one end, the other end of the plank that is not under the wheel has a tendency to flip up & could put a hole right through the floor of your trailer! So be sure someone holds down the free end of the planks as the wheels of the trailer are rolling off the opposite end so it will not lift up & damage the underside or undercarriage of the trailer.

9. ANOTHER EASY WAY TO LEVEL A TRAILER THAT'S BADLY TIPPED FROM SIDE TO SIDE‚ IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANY PLANKS‚ IS TO DIG A TRENCH for the wheels that are on the high side—a trench that's deep enough to drop those wheels lower in order to get the trailer level. You can find out exactly the depth of the trench that's necessary by aiming your level along the front or back of the trailer in the same manner, & then simply dig your ditch that deep for the high side.

10. WE HAVE BEEN AMAZED SOMETIMES TO DISCOVER THAT A TRAILER THAT DIDN'T LOOK THAT FAR OFF THE LEVEL required planks nearly a foot high or a ditch nearly a foot deep in order to get the wheels fairly level, & this is a much firmer & better way to level your trailer if it's very unlevel than trying to get it level with stabilisers, jacks & other more unstable methods.

11. IT'S ALWAYS BETTER TO HAVE THE WHEELS LEVEL, & this also is better for the springs that you don't get them warped out of line. If the trailer is resting solidly on its wheels as well as its stabilisers‚ it is much firmer than if you have to jack it up so high on one side that the wheels are hanging out in midair—& it's much safer & more stable & firmer & easier on your trailer frame as well, not to speak of your nerves!

12. SO REMEMBER, IF YOU'RE ON FAIRLY UNEVEN GROUND & THE TRAILER'S TOO UNLEVEL FROM SIDE TO SIDE to easily level it with the stabilisers—which is the least difficult leveling—then by all means either use planks under the wheels on the low side, or a ditch under the wheels on the high side—or even both if you find that more practical.

13. TRAILERS ARE USUALLY EASILY LEVELED FROM FRONT TO BACK BY MEANS OF THE DOLLY WHEEL ON THE TONGUE, & this is not usually a problem. But if it should be, you're on very uneven ground & perhaps the trailer tongue is far too low to get it low enough‚ you may have to remove the dolly wheel & rest it on blocks, bricks, boards or something in order to get it level.

14. IF THE TRAILER TONGUE IS HIGH & YET NOT HIGH ENOUGH—you're at the end of the dolly wheel screw & it's still not high enough—you may find that you need to release the clamp. Be sure you lower the dolly wheel until the trailer is sitting on its wheels or stabilisers so it's not going to fall to the ground.

15. YOU MAY FIND THAT YOU HAVE TO RELEASE THE DOLLY WHEEL SHAFT CLAMP & LOWER THE SHAFT MORE WITHIN THE CLAMP until right at the end of the shaft, & then you'll be able to screw the dolly wheel down further & lift the tongue higher.—Or vice-versa, if the tongue doesn't go low enough.

16. IF THE TONGUE IS ALREADY AS LOW AS YOU CAN CRANK IT & STILL NOT LOW ENOUGH, you may have to release the dolly wheel shaft clamp & raise the dolly wheel until the clamp is at the bottom of its shaft‚ & then clamp it back again & see if you can get it low enough. All these are little tips that'll save you a lot of trouble, a lot of work, & maybe even save your trailer & you!

17. FOR A TRAILER TO FALL OFF ITS JACKS, BLOCKS OR STABILISERS COULD BE VERY DANGEROUS!—If folks are inside &/or cooking going on, or candles or gas lamps burning, it could injure or scald or burn someone or even set your trailer on fire!

18. SO BE SURE YOUR TRAILER IS FIRM, STABLE & SECURE before using or cooking—or loving! That sexy rhythm could rock you right off your supports & give you a rude & jarring letdown that could shock you right out of the mood & half scare you to death if not actually cause damage!

19. SO BE SURE YOUR TRAILER'S NOT TIPSY & INSECURE, or you'll wish you'd obeyed these "Trailer Tips for Tipsy Trailers!"—God bless & keep you level, stable, firm & secure in your mobile home! Mobilisation is a good way to wage warfare in the spirit & survive! Are you mobilised?—Just stay stable, firm & on the level! God bless you!