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John E Davies

How to: Install a big bubble level, no drilling

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I originally wanted the Camco 25563 level because Amazon had it on sale for less than $15.... The one I received had leaked badly and there was oil all over the inside of the packaging, and the cardboard was soaked through:

 

IMG_2712.thumb.jpg.d28cd827cc561e868d2f708ec5dd9230.jpg

 

I arranged for a refund and another level through Amazon's painless return system. The next one I received had ALSO leaked, though not quite as badly. I returned that one and decided that maybe Camco was not a very good choice for this particular device.

 

I went by the local RV Stealer parts department and found a similar model made by Level Master. It was $34, but it was not leaking, so I brought it home. After test fitting it where I wanted it to go, I pro-actively sealed the two ends where the factory plugs go, to prevent any future loss of fluid.

 

Parts used:

 

https://smile.amazon.com/Wheel-Masters-6700-Level-Master/dp/B000V55NB0/ref=sr_1_1?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1501042191&sr=1-1&keywords=level+master+trailer+level

 

JB Weld (or any good two part epoxy)

 

3M 4941 VHB Very High Bond Acrylic Foam Tape 0.5" wide (used for securing automotive trim, very tenacious!)

 

White Marine Silicone RTV Adhesive Sealant, UV stabilized. Not regular silicone sealer. The "Adhesive" part of the description is important!

 

Masking tape and assorted measuring stuff

 

Carpenters level

 

IMG_2782.thumb.jpg.c4be4d995623af8cc3b5eb93d252242b.jpg

 

I carefully secured the level vertically in a bench vise and added a thick layer of epoxy to cover the factory "plug" in the hollow tube. I let it kick off (two hours) and then did the other end:

 

[attachment file="IMG_2792.jpg"

 

There is no way that is going to leak, unless it gets hit with a bird or large rock.....

 

IMG_2792.thumb.jpg.2026032ef88de679d9eb9cbb83abe9d3.jpg

 

Here is the back, showing the small bubble leveling screw. It has a hole at the bottom where it turns, this must not be covered with sealant on the final step. Also shown is the two strips of VHB tape. Alone they are probably not quite enough, but with the adhesive/ sealant added afterwards it will be plenty strong::

 

IMG_2793.thumb.jpg.986778a30ced59df296fc12bea39d3e4.jpg

 

I cleaned the front of Mouse with isopropyl alcohol, and also the surfaces of the level. I used masking tape to find the center of the front wall. My choice for height is based on being able to see the level over stuff piled in the rear cargo area of my Land Cruiser, so it is an inch above the belt line.

 

[attachment file=IMG_2794.jpg]

 

I leveled the trailer left to right using the rear bumper, double checking the inside floor ... and carefully stuck on the level. Once pushed down firmly there is no removing the VHB, but if you lightly position it, you can readjust it. Once in the correct location, push and hold each side hard for 30 seconds. Now it is stuck hard!

 

IMG_2795.thumb.jpg.d46e27030ae3b2b8d9c9f50614332edf.jpg

 

Detail showing that there is a gap all the way along, in spite of the curvature of the wall, thanks to the thickness of the VHB tape:

 

IMG_2796.thumb.jpg.d38d6be974678866fb063c661c65e52e.jpg

 

Mask off the perimeter, leaving gaps on the bottom at each end and at the hole for the small level adjuster screw. The gaps are for moisture drainage:

 

IMG_2797.thumb.jpg.764b9e48f675fb7220f5de37e133dd04.jpg

 

Inject the adhesive/ sealant into the cracks all around:

 

IMG_2798.thumb.jpg.cb24035240b4f734d7b12d283c9a025a.jpg

 

Work it in smoothly by dragging your finger along it. Do not lick your finger! I am sure it tastes really bad:

 

IMG_2799.thumb.jpg.883376d3ebf901b00df1bf196e449f9d.jpg

 

Carefully peel off the tape, do not let the sealant dry first. Mistakes can be wiped up with a dry paper towel:

 

IMG_2802.thumb.jpg.4cb442bf0670acb2ce881923a768bfe4.jpg

 

Make sure the trailer is level fore and aft and adjust the little level:

 

IMG_2803.thumb.jpg.1683387813a3903d1c98fbd3f4d79a4f.jpg

 

Done:

 

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If the big ball is a little off center, you can adjust the entire tube a _small_ amount by loosening the left screw (looking at the front of the unit) and then gently tapping that end down or up with a screwdriver handle. The mount is slotted for that screw and the nut is serrated, so you can retighten the screw after and the nut will not turn. DO NOT LOOSEN THE SCREW MORE THAN A TINY AMOUNT, just enough to move the tube, or the nut back there may spin around and you won't be able to tighten the screw. Then you will say very bad words, indeed....

 

I will post more pics when I next tow Mouse. This should make it a lot quicker to get the side to side leveling done, from the driver's seat, by simply driving along until the ball is closest to dead center.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Thanks 8

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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For those worried about future removal:

 

https://solutions.3m.com/3MContentRetrievalAPI/BlobServlet?lmd=1257835586000&locale=en_IN&assetType=MMM_Image&assetId=1180621639953&blobAttribute=ImageFile

 

Typically folks use dental floss or fishing monofilament, and use a sawing motion to shear through the foam. That's how you de-badge a car. There are countless videos showing how to do it.

 

Or, if you live in ND you can wait for a chilly -40 degree F morning and shock it with a hammer and punch....

 

I prefer the first technique.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Update.... this has been working really well and I appreciate the ease of getting the trailer close to level just by driving back and forth a few feet. An extra body outside is useful for levelling front to back, but even if you are alone it is helpful to get the best location to park.

 

If a site is fairly level, you often can get the trailer aligned in both directions without ever using the jacks.

 

If the terrain is sloping, look for a site that slopes downward from the entry. Then you can use the rear jacks only to level and raise the back, leaving the hitch connected to the truck. This saves time and fussing twice since you can just drive off the next morning. .... Remembering that your rear jacks are deployed, of course!

 

A short piece of red surveyors tape draped around the top of the front jack, or from the top of your steering wheel, will remind you, if you are the forgetful sort like me... driving away with any of the jacks down would be bad and very embarassing.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

 

 

  • Thanks 2

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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