How many times have you pulled into a campsite only to discover that the ground is unlevel? One wheel of your RV sits higher than the other, so the water won’t drain from your sink, your three-way fridge won’t work properly, and when you go to bed, you feel like you’re sliding out. Unless your van has airbags, which would allow you to independently raise one side of the van, you’d typically address the problem by raising one wheel on a block of wood or by using some levelling ramps. But there must be a better way, right?
Actually, there is. It’s called the Redfoot AutoLift Electric Levelling System, and it takes all the hard work out of levelling the van. No more bending down or mucking about with off-cuts of timber. Just push a button and let technology take care of the rest.
HOW REDFOOT WORKS
The Redfoot system is currently only available to use on the three popular European motorhome base vehicles used in Australia: Renault Master, Fiat Ducato and Mercedes Sprinter. However, this product, which is built in Italy and made available in Australia by Titan RV in Queensland, will soon be available for caravans and other motorhome base vehicles.
How does it work? The system involves four electric jacks fitted to each corner of the chassis. They fold up, well and truly out of harm’s way when not in use. But at the push of a button, these jacks will deploy and automatically level the van in less than a minute.
We checked out this system after it had been fitted to a Windsor motorhome, owned by a solo traveller named Ceryn. She told us that she opted for the Redfoot because it was a more affordable levelling system than other auto-levelling products on the market, and only took half the time for a specialist to fit.
“It was an expense but it was an expense worth spending money on – the convenience outweighs the money I have spent on it. Just being able to push a button without getting out of my motorhome makes it very worthwhile,” she said.
The system includes a control panel mounted inside the vehicle, with indicator lights that show in which direction the van is sloping. Push a button and you’ll hear the legs begin to slowly drop. Then, you can push the auto-level button and the legs will lower and lift the lower sections of the van until it’s level.
These legs, by the way, are collectively rated to lift 6000kg and have enough travel to raise a wheel off the ground.
The system itself weighs 60kg, which obviously forms part of your van’s payload capacity, but that weight also includes the brackets.
While you’d mostly use the Redfoot’s auto-levelling function, each leg can be manually adjusted if necessary. For example, you might want to empty a water tank faster, and what better way to do that than by jacking up one side of the van?
Once the system is satisfied that the van is level, a green LED in the centre of the control panel will light up, indicating that the job is done. It takes less than a minute to get to this point.
When it’s time to hit the road, just hit the ‘Get Up’ button, which tells the legs to retract. Push it once more and the legs will fold up snuggly against the chassis where they won’t snag on anything.
A final, thoughtful, touch that I appreciated (being the forgetful type): the Redfoot AutoLift Electric Levelling System has a built-in alarm that will sound when you turn on the ignition if you’ve left the legs down.
The kit includes a remote control that allows you to auto-level the van or to put the legs back up. It even comes with four red polyethylene pads that you can use under each leg, which will help to disperse the weight and provide a firm foundation on soft ground. Alternatively, you could drive a wheel or two (or three) up onto these pads to give yourself a bit of extra height if needed.
The Redfoot AutoLift Electric Levelling System is an intuitive, clever way to level your motorhome. Taking seconds to deploy, it removes that gentle rocking you sometimes get once parked-up. Ceryn’s Windsor motorhome felt like it had a solid, level foundation once the legs were in place, with no ‘bouncing’ on the suspension as we climbed aboard and moved about inside.
It’s clearly a quality system. For those in search of a way to easily, conveniently level their van – without even stepping outside – the Redfoot is worth a good, hard look. As Ceryn said, it is a significant investment but it has provided a great deal of peace of mind.
More information: https://redfootlevelling.com.au