Should A Gooseneck Trailer Be Level When Towing? [Dig Out Truth]




Driving a towing vehicle is a fun fact, but hooking it up correctly is such a tricky job. You can easily mess up with the level thing; I did, too. And trust me, you don’t want to know the experience. You might be towing a gooseneck trailer. During towing did you ask yourself, should a gooseneck trailer be level when towing?

Should A Gooseneck Trailer Be Level When Towing

Gooseneck Trailer Be Level When Towing

In short, yes. You should! And you should do it the right way. Because if you messed up here, then your trailer will be swaying in the road. Which means a risky road trip, and you don’t want that.

Then, how do you properly level the gooseneck trailer while towing? Why does a trailer need to be level when towing? Dive into learning in-depth details about this.

 Key takeaways: 

  • The gooseneck trailers must be level for safe towing.
  • Weight distribution, trailer hitch height, suspension, tire pressure, road conditions, load changes affect leveling.
  • The leveling process involves finding a flat spot, redistributing weight, checking hitch ball height, measuring squats, and stabilizing the trailer.

So, Should A Gooseneck Trailer Be Level When Towing?

Yes, when you’re towing a gooseneck trailer, you want that thing to be level. Think about it as if you don’t want your trailer axle hitched up like it’s doing some weird acrobatics on the road, right?

Should A Gooseneck Trailer Be Level When Towing

It’s all about stability and safety. If your gooseneck is all wonky and not level, you’re asking for trouble. It’s like trying to balance a wobbly table just not going to end well. You should make sure of such balance while pulling a gooseneck trailer with a bumper hitch too, or any types of trailers.

So, do yourself a favor: grab a trailer hitch and make sure that the trailer is riding smoothly and level behind you. Your truck and everyone on the road will thank you for it. Keep it straight, keep it safe.

Why Is Trailer Leveling Important For Gooseneck Towing?

Should the trailer be level when towing? Yes, but why Should a gooseneck trailer be level when towing? Leveling that gooseneck trailer isn’t just for looks – it’s a big deal for safety and how well your ride performs. When your trailer is level, it’s like you got the VIP pass for a smooth journey. And less stress in your trailer axle.

First things first, leveling keeps things steady. You don’t want your trailer acting like it’s trying out for a rollercoaster ride. Level trailer = even weight = no swaying/fishtailing.

Then there’s the braking business. The level camping trailers or any trailer means your trailer brakes are doing a slick job. Tilt that trailer too much, and suddenly, your trailer brakes are tap dancing, not cool. Plus, your tires start wearing unevenly, and nobody wants a tire blowout bash on the freeway. Especially if a Toyota Tundra is pulling a gooseneck trailer.

In a nutshell, It keeps your trailer in line, makes driving less of a gamble, and makes sure you pull up to your destination in one piece. So, when you hook up that gooseneck next time, do yourself a solid – grab that level, keep it even, and hit the road with some swagger. Your trailer and everyone else on the road will give you a nod of thanks.

Factors Affecting The Leveling Of A Gooseneck Trailer During Towing

Should a travel trailer be level when towing? Yes, it is important to level the gooseneck trailers in the right way. But there are a few things that come in the way. Such as:

Factors Affecting The Leveling Of A Gooseneck Trailer During Towing

Weight Distribution

The way you spread the trailer load on that gooseneck is a big player in keeping it level. You don’t want all the weight chilling in one spot. Distribute it perfectly. Cause you definitely don’t want your trailer to lay in the middle of the road. Weight distribution is needed even if you are dealing with pulling a boat behind a travel trailer,

Hitch Height

Now, the height of that hitch ball matters more than you think. If it’s too high or too low, it can cause trouble. Find that sweet spot where the trailer hitch and the trailer are in sync, not too high, not too low, just right, like Goldilocks picking her porridge.

Suspension Setup

If your suspension is slacking, your trailer is going to feel every bump like it’s on a backcountry road. Keep that suspension game tight so your trailer rides smoother than a pro.

Tire Pressure

Let’s talk about the unsung hero of towing- tire pressure. If your tires are feeling deflated, your trailer is going to sag like a balloon losing air. Check those pressures regularly, and keep them pumped up like you’re prepping for a heavyweight boxing match. So, be clear about the air in your trailer tires before hitting the road.

Road Conditions

Now, you can’t control Mother Nature, but you sure can adapt. Rough roads are like a playground for tipping trailers. Take it slow on the bumpy stuff, and your trailer will thank you by staying level instead of playing the tilt-a-whirl.

Load Changes

Last but not least, be mindful of what you’re hauling. If you load up like you’re moving the entire neighborhood, your leveling game is going to be off. Adjust your trailer load as needed, so your trailer doesn’t feel like it’s carrying the weight of the world on its hitch ball.

How Do You Level The Gooseneck Trailer When Towing?

As you know, it is a must to level the gooseneck to ensure safety. It is kinda tricky but not impossible. You just need to follow the steps attentively to know how do you balance a gooseneck trailer:

Find a Level Spot

Look for a nice, flat area to park your gooseneck trailer. I’m talking level ground, not some crazy hill that’ll mess with your vibe.

Redistribute Weight

If your trailer’s not playing nice, shift things around inside. Too nose down? Toss some gear to the back of the rear tires. Too nose up? Front-load that stuff. See if the balance improves.

Consider a New Hitch

If things are still wonky on the rear tires, it might be time for a new hitch. Need it higher? Get rise ball mounts. Need it lower? Drop ball mounts.

Measure Squat

While connected, measure from the truck’s receiver to the ground. Write it down as R1. Separate, measure again (R2), then find the squat: Squat = R2 – R1.

Level the Trailer

Before diving into math, make sure your trailer’s level uses the tongue jack and maintains the right tongue weight. Measure from the coupler bottom to the ground. Call it C.

Calculate Rise/Drop

Subtract C from R2, and add back the squat if there’s any. Round it to the nearest whole number. Negative means drop ball mounts, and positive means rise ball mounts.

Chock Those Wheels

Safety first! Stick chocks in the front and back of each tire on both sides and rear tires with safety chains. No cha-cha moves for your trailer.

Outriggers, if You Got Them

If your trailer’s got outriggers, awesome. Use the mounting plate as a guide, drill some holes, bolt them on, and crank them down. Repeat for the other three.

Stabilize the Trailer

Now, use those stabilizers to eliminate the bouncy bounce. Level it front to back with the tongue jack. Keep an eye on the built-in spirit level or borrow your neighbor’s carpenter’s level if needed.

Adjust Side-to-Side

Crank down the low side outriggers until it’s side-to-side level. Don’t go nuts; check that bubble level. Drop the top outriggers until they touch the ground.

Hit the Road

There you have it! Your trailer’s on the level, and you’re ready to roll without any wonky business. Easy peasy, right? Not really, I know. But if you do those steps attentively, then it will be an easy task.

How to hook up a gooseneck trailer

How Do You Tell If Your Trailer Is Level Correctly?

Do you want your trailer level when towing? Of course, you do. And now that you have taken all the steps, how do you know you level the trailer correctly? No worries; there are ways to ensure it is perfect.

Get a Bubble Level

Grab one of those bubble levels. You know, the ones with the little bubble in the liquid. Cheap and handy.

Place it on a Flat Surface

Pop that bubble level on a flat surface inside your trailer. This could be the floor or a countertop. Make sure it’s somewhere central.

Check the Bubble

Now, take a look at that bubble. Is it dead center between the lines? Great! Your trailer is level. If it’s hanging out on one side, you’ve got some leveling to do.

Front-to-Back Leveling

If the bubble’s off, use your tongue jack.  Crank it up or down until that bubble sits smack in the middle. Easy peasy.

Side-to-Side Leveling

Still not looking balanced? Time for some side-to-side action. Use leveling blocks under the trailer tires on one side if needed. Keep adjusting until that bubble chills in the center.

Check Again

Always double-check. Bounce the trailer a bit; sometimes, it settles differently. Recheck that bubble, and make tiny adjustments if needed.

Use Your Eyes

Don’t forget your eyes. Look at your trailer from a distance. Does it look wonky? Trust your gut. If it looks off, it probably is.

Towing Test

Ready to roll? Take a short test drive. If it feels wonky or the trailer’s misbehaving, pull over and check that level again. Fine-tune if necessary.

Trust the Built-In Level

Some trailers have built-in levels. If yours does, use it. Follow the same process, getting that bubble right in the sweet spot.

Regular Checks

Lastly, don’t be a stranger to that bubble level. Before every trip, give it a quick check. Better safe than sorry.

Risks Of Towing A Gooseneck Trailer That Isn’t Level

Now, what if you fail? Towing a gooseneck trailer that isn’t level can pose several risks and challenges, potentially compromising both safety and performance. Here are the key risks associated with towing an unlevel gooseneck trailer:

Risks Of Towing A Gooseneck Trailer That Isn't Level
  • Bad Handling: So, if your trailer isn’t level, your whole trailer is going to be a handful. Turns, lane changes, sudden moves – it’s like trying to wrangle a bull on roller skates. Not cool.
  • More Sway: An unlevel trailer loves to sway, especially when you’re feeling the need for speed. Swaying gets out of control real quick, and good luck trying to wrestle back that stability. Accidents? Yeah, they’re eyeing you.
  • Stressing the Trailer Out: Enevenness stresses its components –rear axle, suspension, and frame. Give rear axle time, and you’ll have a roadside breakdown drama. Not the movie you wanted.
  • Lopsided Load: If your trailer’s leaning, it’s telling you it’s not feeling the weight distribution. One side’s doing all the heavy lifting, risking damage and a load integrity crisis.
  • Brakes on Strike: The unlevel trailer messes with rear axle weight, and that’s bad news for brakes. Emergency stop? Brace yourself for trailer brakes that might decide to snooze at the worst time.
  • Tow Vehicle Stress Fest: Towing ain’t easy, and an unlevel trailer throws a stress party for your tow vehicle. Suspension, transmission, engine – they’re all invited. Get ready for wear and tear drama.
  • Blind Spots Galore: An unlevel trailer messes with your visibility. Rearview mirrors become useless, creating blind spots. Lane changes just became a guessing game.

Legal requirements regarding gooseneck trailer leveling can vary depending on your location, but some general principles apply in many places. No specific regulations exist for gooseneck trailer level, but safety regulations can indirectly affect proper leveling.

Legal Requirements Regarding Gooseneck Trailer Leveling

In many states, some laws emphasize the importance of safe towing practices. Leveling your gooseneck trailer is essential for safety and vehicle control. These regulations often fall under the towing safety standards. So, be aware laws won’t hurt you much. If you are still not so sure, then talk to any trailer manufacturers to have a clear idea.

Maintenance Practices Contribute To Maintaining A Level Gooseneck Trailer

Should a gooseneck trailer be level when towing qui? Yes, you do. Just like it is hard to level your trailer right, it is hard to keep it like that. So, you need to sweat some here, too.

Suspension TLC

Give your suspension some love. If it’s sagging or acting up, your trailer won’t stay level. Adjust it like you’re tuning a guitar, hitting all the right notes for a smooth ride.

Tire Pressure

Check those tires regularly – they’re the unsung heroes. Low tire pressure equals a saggy trailer. Keep them pumped up like you’re inflating a life raft.

Alignment Audits

Keep an eye on your trailer’s alignment. If it’s drifting to one side, you’ve got a problem. Align it like you would your car so it tracks straight and true.

Road-Test Regularly

Take that trailer for a spin regularly. Feel the road, listen to your trailer. If something’s off, you’ll catch it before it becomes a full-blown issue.

Grease the Moving Parts

Grease up those moving parts, hinges, joints, and everything that likes to wiggle. It’s like giving your trailer a spa treatment but for its mechanical bits.

Routine Overall Checkup

Regularly go through the whole shebang. Inspect, tighten, adjust – whatever it takes to keep your gooseneck in top-notch, level-riding condition. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is It Okay To Tow A Gooseneck Trailer That Is Slightly Unlevel?

Towing a slightly unlevel gooseneck trailer is generally acceptable for short distances. But it’s not recommended for long hauls or at high speeds. An unlevel trailer can affect stability and handling, increasing the risk of accidents.

How Much Unlevel Is Too Much For A Gooseneck Trailer?

A gooseneck trailer needs 6″ clearance from the truck bed sides when level. This is the minimum proper clearance needed to handle most highway and off-road conditions. And keep the truck bed checked.

Can Uneven Loading Affect The Leveling Of A Gooseneck Trailer?

Yes, uneven loading can affect the leveling of a gooseneck trailer. Uneven load distribution can cause tire or structural failure. It can also decrease trailer stability and contribute to trailer sway.

Does Trailer Leveling Relate To Overall Towing Safety?

Yes, trailer leveling is crucial for towing safety. Improperly leveled trailers can lead to unstable towing conditions, increasing the risk of accidents. Uneven weight distribution can cause swaying.


So, should a gooseneck trailer be level when towing or not? It should if you don’t want to lie down in the middle of the road. An unlevel trailer means driving a swaying trailer. And you definitely don’t want that, right? Then, follow the steps and stay in a safe zone.

John Little

Written by

John Little

Meet John Little, the Tiny Living Guru. With two decades of hands-on experience and an architecture degree, he’s a Sustainable Housing Innovator and Tiny Home Ambassador. John’s mission: inspire eco-conscious, mobile living. Join him on this transformative journey.

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