Leveling Dilemmas!


Super Active Member
Jul 14, 2006
Sudbury, Ontario
We just purchased a great used 2003 Sun Valley PUP and are heading out for our second weekend of camping. I have been reading the many posts and find them a great source of information. I didn’t see specific information about leveling (and I may be getting too anal about it) but here goes. What do you level off of? The trailer body just under the top, tongue, rear bumper?. I noticed they are all off level slightly in different directions. For example the body front and body back seem to be out ¾”. The bumper is similarly off plane. The camper does not appear to have been wrecked, repaired or abused. At this time my plan is to “split-the-difference” and put the “compass style” leveler on the tongue and use that for future side-to-side-levelling. Anyone have ideas about this or similar experience?

Thanks in advance!

Rick Gosk
Atlanta, GA
97 F-150
03 Coleman Sun Valley


Super Active Member
Apr 17, 2005
Granger, IN
I attached 2 of the small bubble levels on the trailer at the front corner, entrance side. They are not quite perfect, but the point made earlier is correct. You don't need to be perfectly level, just close. A "reasonably level" camper insures that everything operates and frankly - you won't notice any modest out of level position. Although you can provide entertainment for your neighbors if you spend considerable time getting that level just right!

Steve& Deb (the boys are grown & gone)
Aspen & Riley (the 4 legged children)
05 Fleetwood Sequoia THE QSR
Trek, Giant, Cannondale, Univega <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_bike.gif border=0 align=middle><img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_bike.gif border=0 align=middle>


Jun 11, 2008
[:(] I must get laughed at a lot when I go camping. I have an 82 Starcrest Flyer and have had it three years and have yet to level it properly. I bought the levels for front and back and side to side, have extra wood scraps and all of that. No matter what I do, my door pops open at night. Memorial Day weekend was horrible. The clips for the top of the door that fasten to the bottom would not stay clipped. I had to tie a rope around the table leg and loop it over the door handle just to keep the door shut, but the clips would come open and the door would flap around all weekend. Drove me nuts. I tried a horn jack, lowering the top a little, but nothing worked. The only time I saw it leveled is when it sat in the old man's garage I bought it from. He had two scissor jacks under one end - that must have been a clue?? I am ready for a hard sided trailer. Finding a small enough unit for me and my 8 year old has been an expensive quest. Any suggestions would be great. I will probably solicit help this weekend when I go camping. Thanks.


Reno, NV
Jun 7, 2010
Reno, NV
When I was reading the manual on mine when I got it, (really, I did), it said to try to get the pup as level as possible and then crank down the stabilizers. I have a couple of those little bubble levelers on the front and by the door.
I would guess you would level the unit from something on the body or along the bed rails, not the bumper. A pack of those leveler blocks came with the trailer I bought but I haven't used them yet. I was a bit crooked the other day so I pushed some sand out from under the high side tire and got really close.
I'm sort of new to the whole pup thing, but I guess as long as the beer doesn't roll off the table we are good!


Popups.....when sleeping on the ground gets to you
Mar 13, 2007
We have a bubble level on both sides centered on the pup and one on the front and rear centered on the pup. They are not precisely level, but then again we want our pup to "tilt" downward towards the opposite side we sleep on so the AC condensation will run off the roof and NOT pool up and possibly get by the AC seal....so far never a leak. We do level off enough for the doors to close right and allow for the AC water to drip off, thats all.



May 9, 2010
Before I raise the roof I open the door and place a two foot level in the center of the floor. I level left to right using blocks then front to back using the tongue jack. Seems to work pretty well.

The little bubble levels that came on my pop up are shot.


Active Member
Jul 3, 2008
I use a level, I would guess about 16" long on the floor of the pup. I started out when we bought it in '08 using the tongue. I wasn't happy with the way the floor felt off when using the tongue as reference. I started using the floor and everything else that matters is close to that. I don't know if the tongue is off that bad, or if there is a high spot on the tongue where I put it, but the floor worked for me much better.


Active Member
Jun 1, 2010
Like you I am new to leveling. This weekend I had some time to play with leveling and figured out a few things. Like others I leveled side to side first by putting bocks under one tire. Then front to back using the tounge Jack.

Now for the door. I experimented and watched the alignment. The biggest thing i suspect throws the door out is twist!

What I mean by that is..... that the Jack on one corner is cranked down more than the others. This is causing the frame to kinda twist.

I found if i put the back stabilizers down until they touched and gave them a half turn then the front ones I could get it real close. I had to adjust them in the morning as well. I can see why many campers don't use the crank stabilizers


Well, there's your problem!
May 20, 2008
Seattle, Washington
I pop the roof and raise it an inch or so -- far enough to get the door open so I can level on the floor inside the PUP. I bring a carpenter's level and use it for both directions. I've always been able to put it "on the money" without undue effort.


Boldly going camping!
Mar 10, 2010
So far what seems to work best for my old PUP is to level front to back, then use the BAL Leveller to level side to side. At that point I recheck the level, and if satisfied I raise the roof, then check the half-door again to see if it latches. Then I lower the stabiliizers, recheck the door, and then pull the ends out. Inevitably, I have a problem with the door after I pull out and set up the rear bed, so I wind up cranking the stabilizers just a bit (but not too much!) more in the rear to compensate for what I suspect is the body twisting or sagging when that bed opens (and often I go too conservative or cautious and don't put the stabilizers down firmly enough). Par for the course on an old PUP, I figure.

I check front to rear level against the frame under the door using a 2 foot level I have in the PUP, and side to side using a level that stuck on the PUP's body (which I've already checked the accuracy of).

When taking down the PUP I put the beds back in, then raise the stabilizers before dropping the roof, per the instructions of the manufacturer.


Reno, NV
Jun 7, 2010
Reno, NV
Raise the stabilizers before lowering the roof? I may need to re-read my manual. I drop the pup, level it, crank down the stabilizers, then start the unfurling of the pup. As they say in the repair industry, assembly is opposite disassembly so I just reverse the procedure when I break down.
I will look into this, thanks for pointing it out.


Super Active Member
Aug 10, 2008
Fishersville, VA
Funny story here....When we went to Long Key SP in the Keys over Memorial Day, it was hard to level the camper. The site was all soft sand. I only carry 2 boards to level with and never had a problem. Well, now I had a problem. How did I solve this? Since it was soft sand, I DUG a hole with my foot that the high side wheel will drop into. Worked perfectly! It was probably our most level camper to date!


Active Member
Jul 14, 2009
Plumas County, CA
I use a 4 ft level across the tongue for the side to side, and either the outside stove 'C' channel or raise the roof enough to put the level on the side of the trailer for the front to back leveling. I tried the bubble levels, but the bubble would stick and show me level when I was way off according to the 4ft level.


sure - that's fine
Sep 7, 2003
Southern Ontario, Canada
I was always taught that you should be leveling the floor of the trailer, so I put an 8 inch level at the door and level both ways. I don't get anal about it, I just get it pretty close - as long as the bubble is between the lines I'm good. Always done it that way and never a problem. I figure everything settles over time, so unless you are on cement pad, then it is likely to change slightly anyway.