The ideal place to camp is flat ground but you don’t always have that option. Therefore, I wanted to research how you can go camping comfortably on a slope or even on a hill. I researched in forums and in Facebook groups and gathered all of the information together for this post.
If you are camping on a hill, bring a tent and have your opening perpendicular to the hill. For sleeping, position your feet downhill with your camping pack, or a rock, near your feet.
If you are camping on a slope you could use a camper and level the camper out with some leveling blocks or sturdy plywood and a level tool.
Below I go more into depth in how to level your tent or your camper and how to make sleeping more comfortable. I even give some tips you may have not thought about when camping on a hill or slope. For example, did you know that sleeping on the north side of the hill will keep you cooler than the south side?
How to Pitch a Tent on a Slope or Hill to Make it Level
There are at least 4 things you can use to level out your tent and those are logs, plywood, crates, or hammock straps. These items would be used on the lower end to prop up the tent higher.
1. To start, first pound at least 2 stakes into the ground on both sides of the low end. This will prevent the logs or whatever you are using, from rolling down the hill. Place a stake in the middle if needed, depending on how long your items are that you are using.
2. Next, place the items down and use as much as you need with the given slope that you have. To soften the bottom of your tent, top the logs, plywood, or crates with pine needles or blankets from home.
Hammock straps work great when you don’t have logs, plywood or crates. You will first put two stakes in the ground on both sides of the lower part of the tent. Then start wrapping hammock straps or rope across the bottom of the tent from each of the stakes. Do this as many times as you need to make the tent floor level.
You can get a pretty good foundation from this method. Then just sleep with your feet on this end of the tent.
How to Sleep on a Hill in a Tent
There are a couple of ways to make sleeping on a hill more enjoyable. There are easy ways to do this that require no money and another where you will need some money.
1. The easiest way with no cost is to sleep with your feet downhill. This will prevent you from rolling away. Then just place something near your feet to give you extra support if needed. Your travel bag or even a rock will work great.
2. The next item requires some cost. It is to buy a cot where you can adjust the legs.
If you already have a cot but it’s not adjustable, you can just place a towel or plywood under a couple of the legs to make it level. If able, you could also only put out the bottom legs of the cot and then have the legs by your head still tucked away.
Cots are great because you can always use them even if you don’t have to worry about a slope. They can also help with sleeping off the ground if it’s really hard or just rocky and bumpy.
How to Level a Camper or RV on a Hill or Slope
Level your Camper Side by Side 1st
- Position your camper as if you perpendicular to the slope. In other words, park your camping on the side of the hill. Keep your camper attached to your vehicle as you are doing this.
- Use a bubble level on the rear bumper to estimate how high you need to raise the trailer. When you first set the level down the bubble will be on the higher side of the hill.
- Use plastic leveling blocks or wood and place them in front of the tires that need to be raised and make a ramp. Do this for the front and back wheels on the low side of the slope. If needed, use wood that is a little bit wider than your wheels.
- Slowly drive your trailer forward on top of the plastic or wood blocks. Make sure the tires are on top of the blocks in the center.
- Use your level to see if the RV is even and if it’s not, back our camper off the blocks and adjust the blocks as needed.
- When even, put down your wheel chocks in front of and behind your wheels. Do this on the uphill wheels as well as the downhill side. These will prevent the wheels from moving accidentally.
Level your Camper Front to Back 2nd
- Put a couple of strong pieces of wood under your tongue jack. This is what connects the camper to your vehicle to keep it stable.
- Next, put your jack on the wood, so it’s between the wood and the tongue jack. Go ahead and detach your camper from your car hitch.
- Place your bubble level in the camper on a flat surface, where you can see it outside to check how much you need to adjust your jack.
- Adjust the jack to make your camper level. Once you notice that it’s level, check to make sure your fridge is level. Doing so will ensure the fridge will continue working, as it may not when it’s uneven.
- Now go ahead and put down wood, cement block, or plastic leveling blocks on all of the camper’s stabilizing jacks.
- Remove the jack from the tongue jack.
Additional Tips to Camping on a Hill or Slope
- Try to find the most level ground of the camping area to set up camp before putting the tent up or parking your camper. Clear brush, rocks, and other debris from your final location before you level anything.
- If there are trees nearby, sleeping in a hammock is a great alternative to sleeping on the ground, when there is a hill or slope.
- If the weather is supposed to be bad, do not set up camp or sleep at the bottom of the hill.
- If it’s going to be dry and windy camp near the bottom of the hill.
- When it’s hot out, see if you can camp on the north side of the hill. You will stay cooler on this side compared to the south side.
- It’s best to sleep uphill and not downhill to avoid waking up with a headache due to increased blood flow.
Where Should you Not Pitch a Tent?
Do not pitch a tent near streams or at the bottom of a hill if this is a chance of rain. In fact try to stay at least 100 feet away from a water source to avoid contamination to the water supply.
Also avoid pitching a tent near where you will have a fire. Keep the tent far enough away to avoid any possible melting of the fabric.