Unlike a home on a solid foundation, an RV is susceptible to the movement inside. If you sense a lot of movement when people move around inside, it may be because your rig is not stabilized properly. This will create a more comfortable environment, especially at night if someone needs to get up. An RV that is stabilized correctly will have reduced movement from side to side as well as front to back. It will also put less strain on your RV’s frame and structure, along with keeping anything that’s inside more stable as well.
Sometimes leveling and stabilizing can be confused. These are actually two different steps with different equipment used to accomplish each. Both use jacks, but it is best not to mix them up, as they are not the same and are not interchangeable. You’ll want to level your RV before you stabilize it. Levelers and leveling jacks are made to keep the RV even and can support the weight of the rig. They typically run straight up and down. By contrast,
stabilizing jacks can run diagonally and are not designed to support the full weight or lift the camper off the ground. It’s important to keep their weight rating in mind, so as not to overload them. Also, do not over extend them or else you could damage them. They are intended to just make contact with the ground. Stabilizing jacks are not designed to level the RV.
After leveling the camper, you’ll want to secure the wheels. In this case, something like
X-chocks are the way to go. They go between the tires to lessen wheel movement. Now it’s time to use your stabilizing jacks. There are different types of stabilizing jacks depending on your type of camper and your personal preferences. Some stabilizing jacks have manual operation, while others are automatic. A kingpin jack, for example, is made for 5th wheel trailers to support the kingpin and the front of the trailer. On the other side, hitch mount jacks sit under the rear bumper to support the opposite end of the trailer. Some stabilizing jacks are placed along the sides and are not permanently installed. There are also special jacks that support your RV entry steps as well as your slide-outs. Slide-out stabilizers can void the warranty, as it can be easy to use them incorrectly. It is important to be mindful that the slide-outs are not actually being lifted or leveled when using stabilizers.
When stabilizing your RV, keep in mind that movement will not be eliminated completely. But the more methods you employ, the more you will reduce the amount of sway your camper will have. People will be able to move freely around the cabin without it causing a discomfort to anyone else. You’ll also avoid putting unwanted strain on your RV’s frame and mechanisms as well.
Keeping Your RV Stable