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How Do I Keep My Camper From Rocking?

No question stepping into a rocking camper is annoying. So how do you stabilize a camper? We’re going to fill you in and help keep your home on wheels sturdy when it’s stationary. 

In this article, we cover how to keep your camper from rocking. You’ll also learn what kind of gear might be the best for the job. Let’s get started! 

Why Is My Camper So Bouncy?

A little bounce in your camper when it’s not moving is normal, considering it has tires, and suspension and is not permanently connected to the ground. But excessive bouncing is typically due to the lack of stabilizing mechanisms. If your camper isn’t stable, it could feel like it’s rocking from side to side, shaking, or has a bounce-like feel when you walk around or when it’s windy. 

Having some rocking or bounce in your camper is unlikely to harm it. However, many find the movement uncomfortable particularly when someone else moves around when you are still.

How Do I Stop My Camper From Shaking When Walking? 

A shaky camper can get frustrating quickly. The key to stopping this is using leveling blocks, wheel chocks, stabilizer jacks, or a combination of all three. Keep reading as we dig into how to keep your camper from rocking with RV gear that can stabilize a camper. 

Pro Tip: Having a wobbly camper isn’t the only mistake you can make when you’re starting out RVing. Check out these 17 Beginner Full-Time RV Mistakes You Can Avoid.

RV parked at campsite with stabalizers.
A little bounce in your RV is normal, but excessive rocking can be a sign that your RV needs to be stabilized.

How Can I Make My Camper More Stable? 

There are three main pieces of gear that can make your camper more stable. Let’s take a closer look at each.

Leveling Blocks and Chocks

An unlevel camper is likely to be more wobbly. Another way to keep your camper from rocking is by putting leveling blocks under your tires and wheel chocks at the front and back of your tires. This will help you level and stabilize your camper. When the tires have minimal room to move, it can reduce the amount of bounce in your camper.

Sale
Camco Camper / RV Leveling Blocks - Features...
  • SAFE, EASY CUSTOMIZABLE RV LEVELING: The interlocking design of...
  • VERSATILE COMPATIBILITY: These heavy-duty blocks are designed to...
  • DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: Crafted from UV-stabilized resin, these 8...

You can also place the leveling blocks under your front tongue jack if its a travel trailer to decrease the jack extension. For fifth wheels they can be used under the landing gear. The less it’s extended, the less chance of movement you’ll have at the front of the camper.

Leveling blocks like the Camco Heavy-Duty 10 pack work well for dual or single axles. They interlock, so you can make them as long or high as you need them. You may need to go up higher on one side of your camper than the other to make it level. 

RV wheels on wheel chocks and leveling blocks.
Uneven weight distribution can negatively impact your tire pressure.

In addition to leveling blocks, you can use wheel chocks to stiffen up the tires and prevent front-to-back movement. The X chock is a popular device the goes between the tires to help prevent movement.

Close up of RV wheels on leveling blocks.
Leveling blocks, stabilizer jacks, and RV step stabilizers can help stop your RV from rocking.

Stabilizer Jacks

Stabilizer jacks reduce the side-to-side motion of a camper. Campers typically have four stabilizers in each corner under the rig. Some smaller campers may have two in the back. When using them, put down all of the stabilizer jacks to have equal distribution. And remember, they’re only for stabilizing and not a weight-bearing jack. Be careful not to put them down too far that they lift the camper frame, as you could damage the jacks and camper.

Stabilizer jacks often come standard on campers, especially newer models. But if yours doesn’t have them, you can purchase them online or at RV gear stores. For example, Libra True has a set of four stabilizer scissor jacks you can put on your camper. Sockets and mounting hardware come with the set.

LIBRA Set of 4 9K lb Heavy Duty 24" RV Trailer...
  • True HEAVEY DUTY 9k lbs# capacity, made by heavy 11ga steel....
  • Includes 4 steel jacks, also include a 3/4" hex magnetic socket...
  • Aslo include 16 pcs 3/8" mounting screws & matching 9/16" socket,...

For fifth-wheel trailers, a very popular stabilizer option is the kingpin tripod. These devices work by providing a wide tripod footprint underneath the kingpin to prevent movement. They can work with a standard kingpin or gooseneck connection and tend to work very well.

A-KARCK King Pin Adjustable Tripod 5th Wheel...
  • Function - Designed for 5th wheel trailers, RVs. Increase the...
  • Heavy Duty - Maximum vertical load is 5000 pounds. The stabilizer...
  • Easy Installation - Set up in a few minutes. Adjustable from 35"...
fifth wheel stabilizer tripod

RV Step Stabilizer

RV steps can be unstable if there’s rocking. This can be dangerous, especially for people with mobility issues. You can do a couple of things to fix unstable camper steps. Camco has a step stabilizer that reduces rocking motion. It’s adjustable and mounts under the RV steps.

Sale
Camco Self Stor RV Step Brace | Provides...
  • Provides Stabilization: Stabilizes RV steps and helps keep the...
  • Adjustable: Extends from 8 ½-inches to 14-inches to accommodate...
  • Weight Rating: 1,000 lb.

You can also switch out your camper steps with solid ones if you don’t have them. They are much more stable than fold-out steps. Lippert sells various sizes of solid entry steps. Just be sure to measure your camper before purchasing to get the right size. In addition, for those that need extra support getting in and out of the camper, you can add a solid step entry rail assist

Underneath RV where an RV leveler in place.
Keep comfortable at your campsite by using tools to level your camper.

How Do You Stabilize a Single Axle Camper?

You can stabilize a single axle camper the same as a double axle. However, a single axle is likely to have more rocking and bouncing than a camper with two axles. Single axles are also typically shorter than a double, so you won’t need to have as much gear to stabilize it. Take some time to practice knowing where it needs the most support before your first camping trip.

Pro Tip: Are you leveling your RV the right way? We broke down how to do it like a pro!

Are Slide Out Stabilizers Necessary? 

Slide-out stabilizers are not necessary, and they’re not recommended. Since slide-outs are made to balance with the camper, you could potentially damage the slide and camper by using a stabilizer. A slide-out stabilizer can force unexpected weight shifts. And they’ve been known to have additional effects, including changing your tire pressure when the weight is distributed unevenly for too long. 

Instead of placing stabilizers on the slideouts place them on the RV frame.

Unbelievably easy camper stabilization - how to stabilize a camper

Is Making Efforts to Stabilize Your Camper Worth It?

Making efforts to stabilize your camper is worth it for a comfortable stay in your home on wheels. Walking on eggshells because of a rocky camper gets old quickly. Implement the ideas recommended here for how to keep camper from rocking, and you’re likely to enjoy your camping experience much more. 

Have you ever had to stabilize your camper? Tell us in the comments!

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About Tom Morton

Tom, a Pacific Northwest native, is our technical genius. Born in Washington and raised in Alaska before settling in Michigan. He's the man who keeps our operation running, both figuratively and literally.

With a background in Electrical Engineering, Tom specializes in RV solar systems and lithium batteries. He made history as the first documented individual to use a Tesla battery module as an RV battery. Tom has personally assisted countless RVers with system installations and has educated thousands more through his videos and articles.

Cinematography is another of Tom's passions, showcased in his work on the Go North series. You can see his camera skills on display in The RVers TV show on Discovery Channel and PBS where he also stars as a co-host.

Tom's mechanical expertise extends beyond RVs to boats, planes, and all things mechanical. He's renowned for taking on maintenance and repair projects single-handedly and is often spotted underneath RVs, making him the technical backbone of our endeavors.

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Paul

Friday 3rd of March 2023

Most of the items like scissor jacks, kingpin tripods, stack jacks, wheel chocks, etc. only provide a small amount of movement reduction. Frame to ground braces with either 6 or 3 braces do the best job. They will reduce the most movement of about 75% or more. The 3 brace systems may remove as much as 90% of the movement.

Gilles Mercier

Wednesday 6th of April 2022

Good morning Another way to stabilize a trailer is to install side diagonal supports, 2 in front and 2 in back. The supports are made using 2 aluminum tubes that slide into each other (slide fit). at one end, there is a 4 inch (1 in x 1 in) aluminum angle welded to one end of the support (big tube) and a support leg at the other end of the support (small tube). On the foot there is an eyelet to install a ratchet strap hook. The angle of the support will rest on the frame of the trailer, just in front of a frame cross member. The other end of the support (foot) will rest on the ground. The length of the bracket (sliding tubes) will need to be adjusted so that the bracket is at around 45 degree angle. All that remains is to install a ratchet strap to connect the 2 feet (one on each side) and to tighten enough so that the supports are very stable. This method is particularly effective in open campsites where there is a lot of wind. Those front and rear supports will prevent twisting movement. Sorry, I don't know how to add picture in that comment to give you better view of this system ! Thanks for all your coaching :-) Gilles