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Does RV Air Conditioner Need To Be Level?

Running an air conditioner after arriving on the campsite you’ve been planning for months could ease the high summer temperature. While planning or after arriving at their camp spot, one of the most common questions asked by vacationers is: does an RV air conditioner need to be level?

Well, for the fluorinated hydrocarbons (freon) in your RV air conditioner to work properly, your RV needs to be level.

Your RV must not tilt past 15 degrees. In fact, a lot of things could go wrong in an RV that isn’t level. These include damages to the vehicle, malfunctioning of freon-powered appliances, to falling from the bed, and kitchen utensils dropping off.

Why The Air Conditioner In An RV Needs To Be Level?

If the air conditioner is tilted more than 15 degrees for several minutes, this can lead to technical problems and reduced cooling performance.

Like most appliances that use refrigerants, an RV air conditioner works with gravity, which means that an almost horizontal installation position is required. For example, in a gas operation, the flame misses the pot or only hits it in the edge area if the base structure is tilted.

A difference of just a few millimeters in the height of the individual circuits can mean a lot. It can decide whether the system cools very well, less well, or not at all. In the worst case, the AC may not cool at all and only heats the compartment.

How To Avoid Sloping The RV: Tips For Leveling

In most cases, you can already feel it when the camper is tilted. You can make a simple water glass test on a surface in the vehicle. If the water surface is not level in the glass, the vehicle is not ideally positioned. But of course, it’s not that simple.

Do you need more precise results not only for using the AC but also for more comfortable sleep, you should read on now. The following is about how to level the camping vehicle faster.

Tip 1: Install A Fixed Spirit Level In The Motorhome

Step 1: Buy a cross spirit level

Since you want to balance the camper exactly in both the longitudinal and transverse directions, get a cross spirit level.

Step 2: Before installation, make sure that your RV or caravan is level

Before installation, you should find a level surface. Large vehicle garages or asphalt surfaces without bumps are best for this.

Park your RV there. Then, use boards, wheel chocks, and drive-on aids to ensure that the vehicle is not tilted at all.

The best way to do this is to use a large spirit level and make sure that it is leveled.

The smartphone also offers various spirit-level apps for this purpose. The iPhone, for example, has a built-in spirit level in the compass app.

Lay the spirit level down so that the gas stove and refrigerator are levels in all directions. If the display on the smartphone shows 0 degrees, the installation can start.

Step 3: Install the cross spirit level in a horizontal position in the vehicle

Have you discovered a really horizontal point? Good! Now fix the cross spirit level with a hot glue gun and screws so that the bubbles of the balance are exactly between the markings.

This ensures that you really fix the spirit level horizontally. You have now successfully installed a reliable spirit level!

Tip 2: Find Ground-Level Areas When Parking

You can dramatically reduce the effort involved in leveling. But you need to find a flat, level spot to park as soon as you drive up.

If you are on a campsite, most of the sites are quite at ground level anyway. If you stand free with the camper, you cannot rely on the terrain.

Even if you’ve been to the same campsite before, the conditions for your favorite spot may have changed. Wind, rain, cold, and snow can have changed the subsoil over time.

Aim at the area that you think is suitable from the visual point of view. Then take a close look at it. This will save you the hassle of leveling.

Tip 3: Balance The RV

If the place is uneven and you are not in a soggy place, you can balance the RV. But you need a few more helpers. The more helpers, the easier and faster leveling is usually done.

On uneven terrain, it is advisable to place various leveling aids in front of or behind the vehicle tires. Where to prop up the vehicle depends on the lean angle. Some of the leveling aids you can use include drive-on aids, for example, drive-on wedges.

Well-suited leveling aids are the tried and tested multifunctional plates. You just put them together before use so that they reach the desired height. Then, move the respective tire to compensate for the height.

Pay close attention to the spirit level and level in both the transverse and longitudinal directions of the vehicle.

Related Questions

Does RV Need To Be Level To Run AC?

Yes, the RV must be in a level position to run the AC. If the air conditioner is tilted for a long time, this can lead to technical problems.

What Happens If Your RV Is Not Level?

The most notable problem with an air conditioner in an unlevel position is reduced cooling performance. An unlevel RV will give you a terrible sleep time, poor balance in the camper, and the vehicle could be damaged.

Will My RV Fridge Work If Not Level?

An absorber refrigerator will develop serious cooling problems if it’s tilted. It will not cool well, may not cool at all, and the compartment may start heating up.


An unlevel RV may cause functional problems in not just the RV, but the refrigerator, and other appliances that use all types of gas for operating. So, when you arrive at the campsite with your RV, it is important to the first level and stabilizes the vehicle. If you want to avoid the hard work, find a level parking space, use a plum to know the level. A simple glass water test can also tell you if the level position is right.

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