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Getting even



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old October 7th 03, 12:18 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
John Cartmell
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 59
Default Getting even

How do people go about getting their 'van level? And how level is OK? I'm
thinking of fitting an orthogonal spirit level on the dashboard - but is
this the best way to test for being level - and I'm also concerned about
ensuring that chocks are safe. Any suggestions on equipment or technique.

--
John Cartmell FAX +44 (0)8700-519-527
Acorn Publisher magazine & FD Games
www.acornpublisher.com
  #2 (permalink)  
Old October 7th 03, 01:04 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
Andy R
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Posts: 821
Default Getting even


"John Cartmell" wrote in message
...
How do people go about getting their 'van level? And how level is OK? I'm
thinking of fitting an orthogonal spirit level on the dashboard - but is
this the best way to test for being level - and I'm also concerned about
ensuring that chocks are safe. Any suggestions on equipment or technique.


I bought some yellow plastic stepped ramps from Cranham caravans, they've
got a chock that fits on the ramp so when the vehicle's up there it can't
slip/roll down again (although I've never used the chocks and just relied on
the handbrake). We just use the cupboard/fridge doors to make sure it's
level, unlatch them all and if they don't swing open or shut it's got to be
pretty even.

Rgds

Andy R


  #3 (permalink)  
Old October 7th 03, 02:44 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
Digweed .. \)
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Posts: 6
Default Getting even

Andy R tried to scribble ...

"John Cartmell" wrote in message
...
How do people go about getting their 'van level? And how level is
OK? I'm thinking of fitting an orthogonal spirit level on the
dashboard - but is this the best way to test for being level - and
I'm also concerned about ensuring that chocks are safe. Any
suggestions on equipment or technique.


I bought some yellow plastic stepped ramps from Cranham caravans,
they've got a chock that fits on the ramp so when the vehicle's up
there it can't slip/roll down again (although I've never used the
chocks and just relied on the handbrake). We just use the
cupboard/fridge doors to make sure it's level, unlatch them all and
if they don't swing open or shut it's got to be pretty even.

Rgds

Andy R


Agreed with the doors .. we also sometimes use a half full bottle of water
sometimes too ..

--
Digweed
'79 Beamish RL 250, '85 Swift Corvette, '88 Ford Escort 1.6 Ghia,
'95 Dyna-Tech CroMo Comp, '97 Landrover Discovery 300 Tdi,
'02 Schumacher CAT 3000, '03 Losi Kinwald Triple-X,
'03 Associated RC10 B4 ....


  #4 (permalink)  
Old October 7th 03, 07:50 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
Dave Hardy
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 52
Default Getting even

We've got a little plastic fore/aft/left/right spirit level which is blue
tacked onto a shelf just by the door. I reverse up the chocks whilst wife
stands on the step and shouts stop when we're level.

Secondary check is the fridge door when she starts mixing the Gin and
Tonics.....


"Digweed .. " wrote in message
...
Andy R tried to scribble ...

"John Cartmell" wrote in message
...
How do people go about getting their 'van level? And how level is
OK? I'm thinking of fitting an orthogonal spirit level on the
dashboard - but is this the best way to test for being level - and
I'm also concerned about ensuring that chocks are safe. Any
suggestions on equipment or technique.


I bought some yellow plastic stepped ramps from Cranham caravans,
they've got a chock that fits on the ramp so when the vehicle's up
there it can't slip/roll down again (although I've never used the
chocks and just relied on the handbrake). We just use the
cupboard/fridge doors to make sure it's level, unlatch them all and
if they don't swing open or shut it's got to be pretty even.

Rgds

Andy R


Agreed with the doors .. we also sometimes use a half full bottle of water
sometimes too ..

--
Digweed
'79 Beamish RL 250, '85 Swift Corvette, '88 Ford Escort 1.6 Ghia,
'95 Dyna-Tech CroMo Comp, '97 Landrover Discovery 300 Tdi,
'02 Schumacher CAT 3000, '03 Losi Kinwald Triple-X,
'03 Associated RC10 B4 ....




  #5 (permalink)  
Old October 8th 03, 07:54 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
Mike Williams
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Posts: 56
Default Getting even

"John Cartmell" wrote in message
...

How do people go about getting their 'van level?
And how level is OK?


The first thing I do when we arrive at a site is pour a nice, refreshing rum
and Coke®. Place the glass on top of the kitchen work surface and you can
see at a glance whether it is level or not. You've got to do it with the
first glass, though. It doesn't work properly after three or four :-)

How "level" you need it depends on the fridge. Most fridges require less
than 3 degrees, but some modern fridges will work okay up to 6 degrees.
Check your fridge documentation.

I use the simple "yellow plastic ramps" that you will find on sale almost
everywhere. I always rely on the handbrake to hold it, but it might be safer
to also place a couple of chocks (or extra ramps) under the "unramped"
wheels.

Mike




  #6 (permalink)  
Old October 8th 03, 11:18 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
CampinGazz
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Posts: 339
Default Getting even


"Mike Williams" wrote in message
...
"John Cartmell" wrote in message
...

How do people go about getting their 'van level?
And how level is OK?


With my last van, i just used the yello ramps that sell for about a tenner a
pair, they can be stacked ontop of each other to make a higher ramp.. they
lock onto eachother with pegs and recesses on the bottom of the ramps, so
you can vary the height and angle, plus you can get them in double width
versions if you have twin rear wheels,

One thing i found was that just as you were almost level, one of the ramps
would slide out from under the wheel (almost always the undriven wheels, but
i had them slide out of the rear wheels a couple of times), this was almost
always on smooth sufaces, or gravel, grass had enough friction to hold them
in place, my solution, i carried a few long screws and 6 inch nails with me,
and would either screw or hammer 2 nails against the edge of the ramp most
likely to slip, (tarmac is surprisingly soft, and i secure the vehicle
inspection ramps on my drive with screws driven in with an electric
screwdriver)

just remember to remove the fixings before you leave, and tap down any
inpressions you made in putting them in, you could never tell where i had
used my fixings on tarmac,

To get the van level, i just used a couple of those spitit levels you can
buy in caravan shops, a red triangle shape, 2 levels at 90 degrees to each
other, one on the dashboard, and one at the back of the van visable when you
opened the rear doors to get the ramps out, i spent a little while with
packing pieces geting the levels true, using another one in the freezer
plate of the fridge as referance,
Then when pulling onto a pitch i glanced at the level on the dash, if i was
on a non club site i would move the van about to get the best level (the
rear of my van was higher than the front due to the spring assistors i had
on the suspension), on caravan club sites this isnt allowed, you have to all
park facing one direction, within 2 mm of the marker peg etc
Then i'd get the ramps out, using the level at the rear of the van to remind
me which whells needed ramps.. takes a little while to learn where to use
double ramps when you have a 2 way slope (most CC hardstandings then use
the level on the dash to know when to stop driving up them,

On a few occasions i found the ramps are not enough to get level, if on a
gravel pitch i'd scrape the gravel away behind the highest wheel, and drive
back into the hollow, and up the other ramps if needed, of course i'd expect
the wardens to get a bit mad with you if you tried the same trick on a grass
pitch

If i'm still not level, then i get the van's jack out, it was a VW LT that
used a socket jack.. i.e you slide the lifting beam into a socket on the
van.. one near each wheel, and i'd wind the van up using the jack, this type
of jack is very secure.. unless the van rolls forwards or backwards it cant
fall off it, may not look that elegent but it was quick and did the job.

I never in the past 7 years of using those methods felt the need to use
chocks, my handbrake workd perfectly well, if it didnt i'd fix it, a
handbrake should be able to hold the van on a 1 in 3 hill or greater
apparantly, mine did 'cos i tried it once, but i'd leave her in 1st gear as
well, always done that, so you have 2 things holding the van in place, (i
was taught to start the vehicle with the clutch down when i learnt how to
drive, reduces drag on the starter as gearbox oil can be pretty thick when
cold, so even if i forgot to take her out of gear for starting, no harm
would be done)

I do suspect my handbrake was better than most peoples tho, people from a
club i was in watched in amazement when i drove up form very steep ramps to
get level once, and stoped where i wanted on the handbrake, and the van
stayed there!!

On the van i'm building now, which will be a coachbuilt motorhome, i'm
having air bag helper springs at least on the rear, maybe on the front at a
later date, just the standard kit you can buy at shows, but i'll add either
manual solenoid controlls, or self leveling valves in each pressure line to
the bags, this will need an on board compressor and tank to work, but the
hoee is to pull up on a steeply sloping pitch, press a button and have the
van sink down to the lowest it can, and level it's self out, or at the least
have me press buttons till a spirit level says i'm level.

I had been thinking or making some hydraulic leveler/stedieng jacks for the
rear overhang, an electric power steering pump from a peugot 106 diesel
would run them, a couple of solenoid valves, and just press a button to
extend a couple of hydraulic rams at the rear,

Of course the last items are just the way i think, i like gadgets, and the
wackier the better, maybe an automatic toilet seat lifter/lowerer using a
small air ram on the thetford.. a height sensor in the door to the toilet
compartment detects if it's me or a lass entering (a lass is usually not as
tall as me), and moves the seat apropriately... hmm, perhaps i sould market
that last idea.. the solution for peace in the van


  #7 (permalink)  
Old October 9th 03, 07:38 AM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
riccip
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 25
Default Getting even

John Cartmell wrote:

How do people go about getting their 'van level? And how level is OK? I'm
thinking of fitting an orthogonal spirit level on the dashboard - but is
this the best way to test for being level - and I'm also concerned about
ensuring that chocks are safe. Any suggestions on equipment or technique.


Never really had any trouble here and can't understand what all
the fuss is about so long as the van feels basically level. The
only consideration is a gas fridge but again you've gotta be well
'on the cock' before this presents any probs.

We rarely use campsites preferring to spend the night wherever is
convenient. If this happens to be parked on a seafront road then
sometimes road camber can tilt the rig a fair bit. But again the
fridge never complains although I have a large 12v extractor fan
above the cooker that kicks up a helluva racket.
  #8 (permalink)  
Old October 9th 03, 08:54 AM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
Nomad
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Posts: 31
Default Getting even

I use a couple of pieces of 4x4 inch fencing post and inch and half planking
all cut to size to fit in an external locker. Planks can be used by
themselves if the slope is not too severe or place a piece of the 4x4 under
one end of a plank to create a ramp. Works a treat and cost nothing as all
were scrap ends.

I first levelled up the van exactly using my builders spirit level, then,
using blue tack I stuck two small levels inside the van where I can see them
from the driving seat. One is above the drivers door for 'for and aft'
levelling and one on the sunvisor for 'side to side' levelling. Makes life
much easier and if I want to increase the steepness of a ramp,
I chock the plank up higher with more pieces of wood.

Nomad

"John Cartmell" wrote in message
...
How do people go about getting their 'van level? And how level is OK? I'm
thinking of fitting an orthogonal spirit level on the dashboard - but is
this the best way to test for being level - and I'm also concerned about
ensuring that chocks are safe. Any suggestions on equipment or technique.

--
John Cartmell FAX +44 (0)8700-519-527
Acorn Publisher magazine & FD Games
www.acornpublisher.com



 



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