What Is The Best Way To Stabilize An RV, Camper, Or 5th Wheel?
Billy Joe Shaver said it best, ‘if the trailer is rockin’ don’t come knockin’. But a rocking trailer or camper is, for most of us, a huge inconvenience. As soon as somebody starts moving, the trailer will too, and it’s one of those things you think have to accept when you’re in a home on wheels.
Fortunately, there are several ways and products nowadays that will help stabilize your camper. Some are made especially for fifth wheels, while most work fine with any camper, RV, or travel trailer.
Most campers come with very functional stabilizer jacks, but they don’t take care of all the motion since they’re pretty small compared to how big a trailer frame is, and they’re not connected to the RV tires in any way which is where some of the motion comes from.
See Also: How To Level Your RV
In this review, I’m going to talk about several ways to stabilize a camper and limit the wobbling, rocking, shaking, bouncing motion that might be driving you crazy.
Whatever you choose to call it, we’ve decided to categorize the products as easy and advanced. Anybody can do the easy solutions in a couple of seconds. The advanced ways require a little bit more time and set up but they are very effective.
Stabilizer & Hitch Lock
Note: Scroll left/right on small screens to view all products in the table.
Best Easy RV Stabilizers Reviews & Info
The first easy way to stabilize your camper is by making sure that the wheels can’t move. You might think that wheel chocks (click to view an article on the best ones) will help with that and while it can reduce the rocking, the tires will still be relatively free to move. This is where the popular X-Chocks come into play.
These are sold in pairs and come with a ratchet wrench tool that you use to install them between your tires. X-chocks retract from 1 3/8 inches and extend up to 12 inches so they will work with most dual or tandem axle RVs, fifth wheels, and travel trailers.
So how do they work? When you arrive at your camp and have unhitched and leveled your RV or trailer, you put the X-chocks between the tires and tighten them just enough to where they’re snugly in place.
What it will do is stop the tires from moving forward and back when the trailer rocks from people walking around.
Note that since you have to install these between tires, they only work with tandem axles and not single axle trailers.
The X-Chock Wheel Stabilizers are a great starter when it comes to stabilizing. They’re very portable, weighing only 11.2 pounds (6.6 lbs each), and easy to install for anybody that has knees good enough to set them up between the tires.
A rust inhibitive coating will protect them from the weather, and a handle makes them easy to carry and set up.
Remember not to set these up before you have unhitched and leveled your camper.
Another slightly different style of X-chocks you can get if you still aren’t sold on the ones linked to above is the Sulythw X-Chock RV Wheel Stabilizer (click to view on Amazon).
- Easy Install
- Rust Resistant Coating
- Comes In Pairs
- Ratchet Wrench Included
- Good For RV Wheels Up On Blocks
- Reduces Front To Back Movement
- For Dual Axle RVs & Trailers Only
Another thing that makes a camper trailer or RV rock is when somebody enters it using the RV steps.
We’ve reviewed the best RV steps that are easy to install (click to see article) and in that review, we’ve seen RV steps that sit on the ground which instantly makes both the steps and the camper more stable.
If that’s not something you’re interested in at the moment, the Camco step support will help your standard fold out RV steps that hang in the air become more stable just like the improved grounded stair ones that are becoming more popular every year.
The way it works is that once you’ve folded down the steps at your campsite, this is put underneath it and can be adjusted from 8.5 to 14 inches depending on how high your steps are.
Putting two of these on the bottom step will stop your camper or trailer from rocking as much when somebody enters the RV.
What we like about the Camco RV step stabilizer is the fact that it’s not something you have to set up and remove every time you go camping.
They’re installed as a permanent solution that screws in and folds up into the step during travel. This makes it an effortless and accessible way to stabilize your RV, 5th-wheel, or travel trailer.
- Stabilizes Standard RV Steps
- Adjustable Height
- Can Be Permanently Installed
- Easy Set Up
- Reduces Side To Side Motion
- Doesn’t Lock When Folded Down
If you have a fifth wheel, this is the first stabilizer you should consider purchasing.
It’s called a 5th wheel stabilizer tripod jack and is designed to stabilize the front of your fifth wheel trailer.
To install you unfold it and set it up by the kingpin on the front of your 5th wheel trailer. It’s designed to be adjustable in height, from 38.5 to 50 inches high.
This popular model made by Eaz Lift supports up to 5000 lbs, so it’s a heavy duty stand that will stabilize your fifth wheel with very little work.
Weighing 27 pounds, and measuring 49 by 7 by 7 inches, it’s a heavy but solid choice for fifth wheel owners looking to stabilize their big and heavy RVs.
There are large foot pads on the feet of the kingpin tripod that help it get a solid base on any kind of ground whether it’s dirt or cement.
Once installed properly the 5th wheel kingpin tripod stabilizer eliminates both front to back and side to side motion in the camper.
You can use a padlock to lock the coupler to the kingpin which not only stops people from walking away with the RV stabilizer it also protects your entire 5th wheel from being towed away.
It’s not often you get a 5th-wheel stabilizer that works for all directions of RV motion and it acts as a hitch lock as well which is a nice bonus. It’s also very easy to set up and doesn’t take up much space when collapsed down.
- Acts As RV Stabilizer & Hitch Lock
- Adjustable Height
- 5000 lbs Load Capacity
- Kingpin & Gooseneck Options
- Reduces All Directions Of Motion
- Easy Set Up
- Only For 5th-Wheel Trailers
Best Advanced RV Stabilizers Reviews & Info
We’ve now reviewed a couple of easy ways to stabilize your RV or trailer with certain products and designs. Now, let’s get to some more advanced solutions that require a little more setup and work.
Of course, if you don’t want to install one of these advanced solutions yourself, you can reach out to a nearby RV shop and have them help you out.
These advanced RV stabilizers might be harder to install initially but they are very effective and some of the best ways to reduce any kind of rocking or motion in all kinds of RVs, travel trailers, and 5th-wheels.
The first advanced RV stabilizer solution we’re looking at might not look very complicated to most of you, and it isn’t. I decided to put this here instead of the easy way since you have to get down on your knees and use a ratchet strap to install it.
Valterra has made what they call the RV stabilizer model 020106. It’s a universal stabilizer made for all kinds of RVs, like 5th wheels, RVs, toy haulers, travel trailers, pop-up campers, and utility trailers.
It’s portable and stores in an included bag during transport. It can be set up either on the rear bumper or along the frame.
If you set it up under the back bumper it will help reduce side to side rocking and if you set it up under the frame it will help reduce front to back motion.
Valterra recommends installing one near the RV steps as well to stop the wobbling that occurs when somebody enters or leaves the camper.
It has aluminum three bars, one on top and one on each side of the top bar. Then it has two feet that are connected to the sidebars.
Then a ratchet strap is attached between the two feet and tightened. Depending on how high your trailer is, you can adjust the sidebars from 14 to 28 inches.
The Valterra 020106 RV Stabilizer is a popular way to go because it works and it prevents wobbling when people walk around or when it’s windy outside.
My wife and I have considered these as we’ve seen friends use them which have seen considerable improvements in terms of wobbling and rocking. All in all, an excellent solution that is easy enough to set up as long as you’re comfortable to get down on your knees.
For trailers longer than 30 feet I recommend using two of these. You can use as many as you want to set up as well, there’s no limit to the number of trailer stabilizers like these you can use. One kit weighs 3 pounds.
- Fits All RVs and Camper Trailers
- Adjustable Height
- Easy Set Up
- Can Use Multiple
- Folds To Portable Size
- Can Reduce All Directions Of Motion
- Doesn’t Come In Pairs
- Could Have Better Included Rachets
Take it one step further than with the Valterra RV Stabilizer reviewed above and you get the Lippert camper stabilizer kit.
The first thing to note is that there are different versions available depending on what kind of trailer you have.
The Lippert JT’s Strong Arm Fifth-Wheel Jack Stabilizer Kit (click to view on Amazon) is for fifth wheels, and other big trailers.
The Lippert JT’s Strong Arm Travel Trailer Stabilizer Kit (click to view on Amazon) is for travel trailers.
Lippert JT’s trailer stabilizers use race car suspension technology to eliminate all wobbling. By utilizing a triangulation design, it will instantly make your camper more stable. This is something that the stabilizer jacks can’t do on their own.
The stabilizer kit is bolted and installed permanently onto your travel trailer or 5th-wheel stabilizer jacks and will telescope into place when you set up camp. All you have to do each time is tighten the bars.
The Lippert 191023 JT’s Strong Arm Fifth-Wheel Jack Stabilizer Kit is a reliable solution that works.
It’s a more advanced RV stabilizer that requires more time and skill to install compared to the easier alternatives above, but it’s also better at eliminating chassis movement from all directions. It’s a heavy duty system that works.
If you don’t think that you can install it on your own, you can contact a nearby RV repair shop or dealer and ask for help.
- Eliminates All Chassis Movement
- Heavy Duty
- Bolt-On Installation
- 5th-Wheel & Travel Trailer Options
- Triangulation Design
- Quick Set-Up Once Installed
- Advanced Installation
- Short Stabilizer Bars
The last trailer stabilizer system we’ll take a look at and recommend is the SteadyFast system. It looks and works a lot like the Lippert system reviewed above, but works a little differently.
This camper stabilizer works with all camping trailers that have four jacks like 5th-wheels, travel trailers, and pop-up campers.
There are two different front and rear jack stabilizers. The reason is that these are installed on the jacks. Since they’re installed permanently they don’t require any setup when you arrive at the campsite, all you have to do is engage the system to lock the bars.
So what makes it different from the Lippert system? The SteadyFast creates bigger triangles with its long bars that reach the entire distance from one trailer jack to the other.
The SteadyFast system goes from one side to the other on both the front and back of the trailer. The Lippert trailer stabilizer system goes to the middle of the front and the rear from each side.
Is the SteadyFast better than the Lippert system? In our opinion, yes.
Note that if you have a big trailer with a round jack auto power leveling system there is a different model available. Click here to see that specific model on Amazon.
The SteadyFast RV Jack Stabilizer System is in our opinion the best way to eliminate all chassis movement on any fifth wheel, travel trailer, or pop-up camper.
When installed, it requires even less set up than the easy solutions. It does take some time and skill to install, but it will be worth it in the end to have a truly stable camper.
- Eliminates Chassis Movement
- Heavy Duty
- Bolt-On Installation
- Different Options For Various Jack Styles
- Triangulation Design
- Long Jack Stabilizer Bars
- Advanced Installation
Conclusion & My RV Stabilizer Recommendations
I hope you have found some inspiration and learned about how to stabilize your RV, 5th-wheel, travel trailer, or pop-up camper.
Stabilizing your RV not only makes it better for daily camp life but it can increase the value if you decide to sell it with the RV stabilizers attached.
Here are my recommendations for the best RV stabilizers based on a few needs and common uses.
Easiest Set-Up – X-Chock Wheel Stabilizer
X-Chocks only work if you have a dual or tandem axle trailer or RV. If you do have one I highly recommend adding X-chocks to your collection of RV gadgets and gear.
Not only do they actually work and help eliminate front to back motion they also help add an extra level of security to your camper.
They are meant to be used in combination with wheel chocks but they really help stop any wheel movement. They are especially nice if you have your RV tires up on blocks and wheel chocks don’t fit as well as they’re supposed to.
They also lock (click to view article with info on how to lock X-chocks) which adds another layer of trailer security. If someone tries to hitch up to your trailer and drive away they will have a hard time with these locked into place.
Last but not least they are really quick to install. Just make sure you have the standard wheel chocks in place and the RV stabilizer jacks down before securing them.
5th-Wheel King Pin Stabilizer & Hitch Lock – Eaz-Lift Camco 5Th Wheel Kingpin Tripod Jack
This is another RV stabilizer that only works with certain RVs but I highly recommend them to any 5th-wheel owner.
The kingpin tripod is both quick to install and take down. It can also work in conjunction with all the other RV stabilizers in this review. Combining them all will result in a solid 5th-wheel with very little movement in any direction.
I also like that the unit acts as a hitch lock as well. If you use a padlock there will be no way for anyone to hitch up to your fifth wheel and drive away.
Most Effective RV Stabilizer – SteadyFast Jack Stabilizer System
Because of the extra long bars used the SteadyFast Jack Stabilizer System is one of the most effective and best RV stabilizers on the market today and in this review.
It’s best for 5th-wheels and travel trailers but it will also work on RVs with stabilizer jacks.
The design is solid with the large triangles made for both side to side and front to back.
All directions of movement are eliminated and after the initial install, the set up is very quick and easy to do.
There are also no heavy parts you will need to store and carry around since everything will stay put. That makes this RV stabilizer system very friendly to campers who don’t like moving heavy parts around or spending a lot of time on the ground installing things.
Frequently Asked Questions About RV Stabilizers
How to use RV stabilizer jacks?
RV stabilizer jacks normally come standard on all campers including trailers. There are a few different kinds. Some are manual while others can be controlled electronically and some are even automatic.
No matter what kind you have you need to make sure the feet have a solid place to land. No matter what kind of surface I park my travel trailer on I always make sure to place RV blocks like these (click to view on Amazon) under each RV stabilizer jack foot.
This not only helps make the RV jack foot wider it also helps to protect the ground they sit on.
RV jacks should be securely on the ground but they shouldn’t be lifting your RV.
They are there to help prevent motion, not to take on all the weight of the camper.
RV stabilizer jacks really help but they don’t always eliminate all trailer movement. You can add RV stabilizers like the ones in this review to help increase the level of camper stabilization.
Many RV campers, including us, use multiple kinds of RV stabilizers for the best RV and trailer experience.
What kind of grease should I use for RV stabilizer jacks?
Both RV stabilizer jacks and other moving equipment get dusty and dirty after even just one camping trip. Keeping all the moving parts greased will not only make set up easier it will also help increase the life of each part.
I always make sure to clean off as much dirt as possible before applying any kind of grease. This helps it work as it should and makes it stick for longer.
If you have extra noisy and rusty jacks you can use waterproof bearing grease (click to view on Amazon) for extra strong lubrication. The only downside to this kind of grease is it does attract dirt and you may need to clean the screw rods every year.
Another less heavy duty option is to use silicone spray like this one made by WD-40 (click to view on Amazon). It helps protect the metal from corrosion, lubricates, and it doesn’t attract dirt like bearing grease does.
When storing an RV or camper trailer should I lower the stabilizer jacks?
The answer to this question is both yes and no.
When in storage there is really no need to have the RV stabilizer jacks down because there won’t be anyone moving around inside.
Many people leave them up because they don’t want to deal with putting them up when it’s time to take the RV or trailer out of storage.
Stabilizer jacks also offer another way for pests like mice and bugs to get into the RV which is something to consider.
Other campers say they like to put the stabilizer jacks down to help prevent theft and just for a little extra peace of mind.
In my opinion, it really doesn’t matter what way you do it. If you don’t mind the extra time it takes to put the RV stabilizer jacks down I say do it.
If you store your RV in an open area where wind can hit it I recommend putting them down. But in a covered and secured RV storage area you are fine to leave the RV stabilizer jacks up.
No matter what make sure you are using RV wheel chocks (click to view article).
Have any more questions about RV stabilizers? Leave a comment below.