Spend just a few moments inside an RV, and you’ll feel it. RVs of all kinds are subject to unwanted movement when parked, especially travel trailers and fifth wheels. Using RV stabilizer jacks can help your RV feel a lot more solid. Let’s take a closer look at why you need them on your RV.
Table of Contents
- What Does an RV Stabilizer Jack Do?
- Types of RV Stabilizer Jacks
- How Many RV Stabilizer Jacks Do You Need?
- What to Look for in an RV Stabilizer Jack
- Get Additional RV Stabilization With Wheel Chock Stabilizers
- Do You Need to Buy Stabilizer Pads?
- Are RV Stabilizer Jacks and Leveling Blocks the Same?
What Does an RV Stabilizer Jack Do?
An RV stabilizer jack creates a more solid connection between your RV and the ground. They give your RV more contact points with the ground, which helps provide stability and lift or level the RV.
Whether your RV has manual or automatic stabilizer jacks, don’t let them down until you have unhitched and leveled your RV. Remember, they can’t handle massive amounts of weight.
Many RVers utilize leveling blocks under their stabilizer jacks to limit the amount of extension required. Limiting the extension of the jacks helps limit bounce or movement in your RV.
- Provides Safe and Easy RV Leveling: Interlocking blocks stack to...
- Compatibility: Can be used with single wheels, double wheels,...
- Heavy-Duty: Made of durable resin; Dimensions: 8 ½-inches x 8...
Types of RV Stabilizer Jacks
Like most RV accessories, there are various styles of stabilizer jacks. Let’s look at the different types of stabilizer jacks so you can make the right choice.
If you’ve spent time around travel trailers and fifth wheels, you’ve likely seen scissor stabilizer jacks. They’re a very common RV stabilizer jack put on these units by manufacturers.
You can manually adjust scissor jacks with a drill. These jacks are a top pick due to their ease of use and relatively cheap price tag. A high-quality scissor jack can handle a generous amount of weight, though most don’t help you with leveling.
- RV Stabilizer Scissor Jacks: Effortlessly stabilize pop-ups,...
- Durable Construction: Made of heavy-duty steel for quality and...
- Adjustable Height: Measures 4-3/8 inches high when fully...
Electric stabilizer jacks activate with the press of a button. Stabilizing doesn’t get much easier than that! These jacks tend to be very strong and work side by side with an auto-leveling system.
These jacks run off the RV’s 12-volt electrical system. If you deplete your battery bank, your jacks will not function. You’ll have to manually retract or extend your jacks if you let your battery bank get too low.
Large RVs will often utilize hydraulic stabilizer jacks. These hydraulic systems are capable of lifting and holding massive amounts of weight. You’ll often see these on larger, heavier fifth wheels and toy haulers.
These jacks use hydraulic fluid to pressurize the hydraulic system, which supports the RV. RVs with hydraulic jacks are much more complex and often require a highly skilled professional for repairs.
Many fifth wheel owners utilize king pin tripod stabilizers to provide additional support for their RVs. Placing the tripod under the fifth wheel kingpin offers an additional point of contact and absorbs movement.
- Rock solid, stabilizes even the heaviest trailer and Stabilizes...
- Unique design brings the stabilizer to the king pin
- 5" x 5.5" footpads to combat sinking and tilting
One drawback of tripod stabilizers is that they’re rather bulky and take up precious storage space. You’ll have to weigh whether or not sacrificing the storage space is worth the benefits.
Many stabilizing products attach permanently, leaving you with one less thing to set up or put into storage. While scissor jacks attach to the RV’s frame, removing a handful of bolts makes it easy to repair or replace them. Hydraulic and electric stabilizer jacks are more complex and require more effort and resources to remove or replace.
Fifth wheel tripod stabilizers don’t permanently attach to the fifth wheel as the kingpin connects the RV to the tow vehicle. Be sure to pack up and safely stow away your tripod when packing up camp.
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How Many RV Stabilizer Jacks Do You Need?
RVers use as little as two and as many as six, though many use four stabilizers. Ideally, stabilizers rest near each corner of the RV, especially the back corner. It’s also common to have a set of stabilizers behind the trailer tires.
Because RVs don’t sit on a solid house-like foundation, you’ll never stop moving entirely. Adding additional stabilizer jacks or supports to your RV’s frame can help improve your RVing experience.
What to Look for in an RV Stabilizer Jack
Adding stabilizers onto your RV can be a great way to improve how you feel in your RV. Purchasing the wrong tool for the job will just leave you frustrated. Let’s look at a few of the critical details you’ll want to consider when making a purchase.
The same stabilizer that works for a small 4,000-pound trailer won’t work for a 13,000-pound fifth wheel, nor will it work on a heavy class A motorhome.
Using an underrated stabilizing jack may appear to work initially, but the increased wear and tear will quickly lead to failure. If the jack fails during use, damage to other jacks or RV components can occur. Be sure the stabilizer has a weight capacity sufficient for your needs before making a purchase.
You want a product that will stand the test of time. Research the materials used to construct the stabilizers. Solid construction can be the difference between a product that will work for the unit’s life and a product that will bend and twist, resulting in damage. A damaged stabilizer is, of course, useless.
Ease of Use
From the moment you hitch up until you finally sit down to relax, RVing requires seemingly endless tasks. By the time you get to take a deep breath and enjoy your campsite, you’ve earned it!
You want a stabilizing jack that’s easy to use. If you notice a fellow camper using the stabilizers that you’re considering, talk to them. Current users will likely have a lot of insight and tips. RVers are often happy to share their knowledge and experience with other curious RVers.
Get Additional RV Stabilization With Wheel Chock Stabilizers
There are products out there that help stabilize your RV by firming up the space between your wheels in double- and triple-axle trailers. Wheel chock stabilizers expand out against the tire, locking them together so they cannot turn and reduces bounce.
We personally use BAL X-Chock stabilizers. Check out our detailed review video below.
- Provides added stabilization and prevents tire shifts by applying...
- As opposed to other chocks, the X-Chock works with the tires’...
- Fits even the tightest of applications retracting down to 1...
Do You Need to Buy Stabilizer Pads?
Stabilizer pads aren’t an absolute must, but they’re highly encouraged. Stabilizer pads allow your stabilizers to extend less, which leads to greater stabilization. The less your stabilizers extend before hitting a hard surface, the more stabilization they provide.
Some campgrounds may require a barrier, such as stabilizer pads, under stabilizers (and jacks) to preserve the campsite pad. It’s always better to have them on hand to avoid finding yourself in a pinch at the campsite.
RV Snap Pads are popular stabilizer pads that permanently attach to fifth wheel and motorhome jacks and landing gear.
- ✅ FIT - Xtra fits 9” round metal feet on many Class A and 5th...
- ✅ PERMANENT - SnapPads can be installed in minutes but will...
- ✅ STABLE - SnapPad increases stability in 3 ways: a larger...
Are RV Stabilizer Jacks and Leveling Blocks the Same?
RV stabilizer jacks and leveling blocks are two different products that do two different things. Stabilizer jacks give stability and support to your RV. On the other hand, leveling blocks raise the RV several inches to make it level on all sides.
- Level your camper, RV, or Trailer on the FIRST TRY
- Precise leveling at any increment between 1/2 inch and 4 inch...
- Works great on trailers up to 30,000 lbs and with tires up to 32...
Placing leveling blocks under your RV’s stabilizer jacks helps limit the extension required from your jacks. Whether they’re plastic or wood, it’s always a good idea to have a decent amount of blocks available to accommodate different campsite setups.
RV stabilizer jacks can prevent you from feeling movement inside your RV while it’s parked. This, of course, will ultimately make for a more comfortable camping experience.
What type of RV stabilizer jacks do you use? Let us know in the comments!
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