Keeping your truck camper stable can be challenging, especially when it’s unloaded. However, learning to stabilize your off-truck camper is essential. Some RVers use a dolly, stand, or another type of stabilizer for their truck camper, but which option works best for you?
You may need some tips and tricks to do the job. Today, we’re sharing five of our best strategies to stabilize your truck camper while it is off your truck.
Let’s dig in and get started!
Why Is a Truck Camper Not Stable Off-Truck?
Truck campers sit on the bed of a pickup truck. This allows the truck to provide support and stability to the structure. However, weight distribution, the center of gravity, and lack of support become issues when the trailer is not on the truck bed.
In most cases, an unloaded truck camper sits on its jacks. While these devices support the weight, they typically don’t offer much stability. Unlike travel trailers, fifth wheels, and motorhomes, truck campers don’t have wheels or axles. In these situations, the jacks are the only means of support.
While they can be incredibly strong for lifting, they’re not ideal for wobble support. Feeling your rig sway is rather standard. However, in some situations, it can feel overwhelming. Luckily, there are some things you can do to stabilize a truck camper when it is off your truck.
Is It OK to Leave a Truck Camper on Jacks?
Whether it’s okay to leave a truck camper on jacks is a highly debated topic among owners. Both sides have compelling arguments. Some have left their truck camper on jacks for years and never had any issues. On the other hand, others have never done it out of fear of a jack failure causing damage to their rig.
Ultimately, we recommend following whatever your manufacturer recommends. Check the owner’s manual and documentation that came with your camper. What works for one owner may not work for another. It’s best to check the details specific to your rig before deciding.
Pro Tip: Use our guide to Keep Your Camper From Rocking: 7 Ways to Stabilize Your Camper Trailer.
Benefits of a Stable Truck Camper
There are many reasons you will want a stable truck camper. Let’s look at the top 3 common-sense benefits of working to stabilize your truck camper when it’s off your truck.
1) Enhanced Comfort – A stable truck camper minimizes the sway and rocking you’ll feel when moving around inside your camper. If a rig is unstable, you’ll feel it whenever you or someone else in your camper moves. This can make it very challenging to get a solid night’s sleep.
2) Reduced Wear and Tear – Swaying and movement aren’t good for a truck camper or the jacks supporting it. Over time the movement can cause stress on these crucial components. Eventually, they’ll wear down or break.
3) Enhanced Safety – If your camper isn’t stable, it can pose a safety risk. Weight could shift and cause a severe problem for you and your truck camper.
How Do You Keep Your Truck Camper Stable?
When your truck camper rests in your truck’s bed, the suspension provides stability. However, when unloaded, your jacks must do most of the work. Unfortunately, this is typically not nearly enough.
Most people are looking for some more support. Luckily, there are a handful of strategies you can use to stabilize your truck camper when it is off your truck. We’ve found each method to be effective and deliver positive results when we’ve used them.
Did You Know: You can easily Transform Your Truck By Adding an Axle. Find out how!
5 Expert Strategies for Off-Truck Truck Camper Stability and Storage
We traveled thousands of miles in our truck camper and stayed in it on and off our truck. Here are some strategies we used to improve stability.
1. Get Low
One of the best things you can do to improve stability is to get your truck camper low on the jacks. Raising your rig unnecessarily increases the sway and movement you feel. Many owners will also carry plastic or wood leveling blocks to keep the camper stable and reduce how much you need to extend the jacks.
2. Upgrade Truck Camper Jacks
Another way to increase stability is to beef up your truck camper jacks. We previously wrote an article about The Best Truck Camper Jacks on the Market. Our recommendations were models with the best reputation and reviews. Brands like Rieco-Titan and Happijacs are some of the most well-known in the industry.
While upgrading your truck camper jacks to improve stability, this is a convenient opportunity to consider electric jacks. Why not make it easier on yourself and your arms? The jacks may be more expensive, but they’re worth the extra cost. Your arms will thank you.
3. StableCamper Braces
StableCamper braces are a brilliant solution to keep your truck camper stable, eliminate sway, and decrease the stress on the jack joints. They connect to the tie-down and the front support jacks. These cost $350 to $600 and are useful while camping or storing your rig. They’re stainless steel and aircraft-grade aluminum. Additionally, it doesn’t take long to install them on your RV.
4. Use Truck Camper Stands/Sawhorses
Another great way to increase stability is to use camper stands or sawhorses. These stands can support the weight of your truck camper to stabilize it when it’s off the back of your pickup truck. They provide a solid foundation and avoid stressing the frame of your camper.
One challenge to using a truck camper stand is that it can be difficult to bring on your adventures. Because they are beefy, they can be rather heavy. However, if you only need to use them at home or for storage, they’re an excellent option.
5. Use a Truck Camper Dolly
If you want the freedom of moving your truck camper around your property without using your truck, a truck camper dolly is the way to go. These are wheeled platforms that can hold the weight of a truck camper. One person can easily move them. Whether you’re storing it for the off-season or until your next trip, a truck camper dolly is a fantastic option.
We’ve seen some fellow truck camper owners use these to move their camper in and out of their garage spaces. This can allow you to store your rig safely inside but then easily move it outside to do maintenance or work on a project in your garage.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to pack these 9 Truck Camper Accessories You Can’t Travel Without.
Stay Stable in Your Truck Camper
Stability in a truck camper is essential, and your ability to enjoy yourself depends on it. The constant movement many truck camper owners experience can be enough to induce motion sickness. Take some of the expert strategies we’ve shared and get your camper as stable as possible. We don’t want you to have any excuse not to get out and make memories.
Which of these tips will you try on your truck camper? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!
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