How to Keep a Camper from Rocking

How to Keep a Camper From Rocking – Best Way to Stabilize Your RV

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Last Updated on March 14, 2023 by Jessica Lauren Vine

Are you trying to figure out how to keep a camper from rocking?

A common issue with most RVs is that they rock and sway with every step that you take, and you have to figure out how to keep a camper from rocking, no matter where you are. Unlike a house, an RV, by nature, is mobile and thus is not set on a firm stone or concrete foundation.

The best way to keep a camper from rocking is to stop the RV’s ability to move.

  1. Make sure you’re level
  2. Use hard wheel chocks
  3. Use X-chocks

Lowering your RV’s tongue jack will keep you from rolling away, but it’s not meant to prevent rocking and swaying completely. This is why you need to learn how to keep a camper from rocking.

Tongue jacks are designed with a bit of flexibility so they don’t break under excessive pressure. And after the tongue jack, the only other contact points are the tires designed to roll and bounce a bit.  A certain amount of “give” is necessary for the axles to ensure the trailer can safely travel on the road.

Why Is My Camper So Bouncy?

Since the wheels are round and the tongue jack is only one contact point, RV stability often comes down to the number of stationary contact points.  The more contact points between your trailer and the ground, the better. 

In this article, we will look at how to keep a camper from rocking and make it as stable as possible. There are things you can do to the RV itself and outside measures that you can use to improve stability. Without further ado, let’s dive right in! 

A Few Good Starting Points to Keep a Camper From Rocking 

Let’s begin by looking at the basics. When it comes to how to keep a camper from rocking, you must start by ensuring you’re parked in a level location that doesn’t present the threat of rolling downhill. Here are a few solid pointers to start you out with the rocking prevention process. 

1) Make Sure You’re Level

Before taking any stabilizing measures, you should first make sure that your unit is level. If you stabilize your RV before leveling your RV, you won’t correctly level out, which is a whole other set of problems that impacts gas flow, water/drainage, and even the operation of your appliances. Plus, it’s much easier to stabilize when the RV is level. 

2) Use Hard Wheel Chocks

Wheel chocks are the little triangle-like pieces put under a tire to prevent the camper from rolling away. The best way to use wheel chocks is to place them behind your tires on either side of the RV. You should put one behind the front tire to keep your RV from moving backward and another in front of your back tire to keep the RV from moving forward. 

The finished product should feature two-wheel chocks on either side of your RV and either side of the front and rear tires. Proper placement of the chocks should have them between the front and rear tires next to each other. If you have a smaller camper with only one tire per side, place a wheel chock on either side of the tire. 

Wheel chocks are a great way to keep you from rolling away in the middle of the night when it comes to how to keep a camper from rocking, but they won’t completely prevent rocking. 

When you place the wheel chocks, you must ensure they are snug. A snug fit will keep the tires in place. I recommend using a rubber mallet to tap them into place. If you can easily move the chock by hand, it’s not snug enough.

Camco Wheel Chock
$10.99 $10.22
  • Without Rope
  • 2 Pack
Pros:
  • Durable hard plastic
  • Trusted brand
  • Lightweight
Cons:
  • Not best for super heavy RVs
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/30/2024 01:04 pm GMT

3) Wheel Stabilizers (X-Chocks) for 2-Axle or 3-Axle Trailers

A relatively new solution is wheel stabilizers, also known as X-Chocks, because of how they look when hooked up. These stabilizers are placed off the ground between two tires on an RV with two or three axles. They come in standard and split-axle for axles that are further apart versions. 

Essentially, these stabilizers are expanded to push simultaneously on two tires and create tension that limits the ability of either wheel to give or roll slightly. To be especially thorough, you should use wheel stabilizers and wheel chocks to cut down on excess movement and rocking. 

X-Chock Wheel Stabilizer
$74.75
  • 2 pack
Pros:
  • Stabilizes
  • Prevents tire shifts
  • Resists rust
Cons:
  • A little difficult to work after using it for a while
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/30/2024 07:41 pm GMT

What Are RV Jacks, Levelers & Stabiliziers?

A lot of people use these terms as the same things, but there are some differences.

Jacks and Levelers are usually put on four corners of the rig and maybe in the middle if you have a pretty large camper. They help you level your RV better than wheel chocks, and the tongue jack does. A lot of campers already have these levelers attached. Just ensure you don’t stretch them all the way out, or they could bend and break.

Stabilizers usually go between the tires on a camper running at an angle. This helps add side to side stability, makes it less likely that the camper will rock.

Do I Need Stabilizing Jacks Other Than What My RV Is Equipped With?

Like I said before, the stabilizing jacks on your RV are designed with a small amount of flexibility. The give and flexibility make it great to keep you from moving around too much, but it won’t entirely prevent rocking. If you want to learn how to keep your camper from rocking, you need something besides the pre-installed jacks on your camper, such as stabilizing jacks.

Stabilizing jacks are also known as RV jacks or slideout jacks because they’re commonly placed underneath RV slideouts. These types of jacks are your best friend for adding stability and preventing rocking in your camper. They also help boost the strength of specific areas that aren’t designed to cope with large amounts of weight, such as slideouts. Let’s look at a few of the best places to use stabilizing jacks around your RV. 

Under Your Slideouts (Obviously Given the Name of the Jacks)

As you’re learning how to keep a camper from rocking, your slideouts are some of the least supported parts of your RV, making them very prone to swaying and rocking. You usually won’t walk around on your slideout areas, but they often hold furniture such as beds, tables, and couches. Because they are some of your primary areas of rest and hanging out, under both ends of your slideout is an excellent place for stability jacks. 

Remember that you don’t need to put them under every single slideout, however. Some slideouts are in the kitchen or dining room and are only meant to hold a kitchenette or entertainment center. The slideouts that you should focus on are the ones that have beds or couches where there will be frequent movement.

Camco EAZ LIFT Slide Out Support

If you're like me and you want to have a little extra stability and peace of mind, you'll like having these under your slide out.

  • 2 supports
Pros:
  • Heavy duty
  • Protects slide out mechanism
  • Easy to install
Cons:
  • A little on the pricey side
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

For Fifth Wheels – Under the Front Hitch Area

Fifth-wheel travel trailers are usually larger and more stable than travel trailers, but they have a few problem areas for rocking and swaying. One of these spots is under the front in the trailer hitch area. Using a tripod stabilizer is a great way to keep this area supported and from swaying. 

Camco Eaz-Lift King Pin Tripod 5th Wheel Stabilizer
$105.99
  • Adjusts from 39-Inches to 53-Inches
Pros:
  • Supports overhang of your 5th wheel
  • From a trusted brand name
Cons:
  • A little on the pricey side of things
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/30/2024 06:26 pm GMT

Under All Doors and Exits

All points of entry and exit will see a ton of walking activity. Making sure that your doors are stabilized is crucial to keeping swaying to a minimum when it comes to learning about how to keep a camper from rocking.

Don’t Forget About the Bumper

If putting stabilizer jacks under the two rear corners of your RV, adding a folding RV stabilizer is a great idea. This stabilizer works by having two points of contact with the ground and folding out, similar to a bench or table. A folding RV stabilizer provides maximum support to an area vulnerable to swaying. 

How to Keep a Camper from Rocking – Is Stabilizing Your Camper Worth It?

If your camper isn’t stabilized, not only can it be super annoying, but it could make some people motion sick. If you are sensitive to movements, it’s important to learn how to keep a camper from rocking. It might be worth it to you to stabilize your camper, so you don’t feel nauseous all of the time.

How Do I Stabilize My RV? – A Few Other Tips and Tricks to Keep in Mind

Wheel chocks, stabilizers, jacks, and being level are a great start to keeping your camper from rocking, but more work must be done. Here’s a list of extra tips and tricks to keep your camper from rocking and to help you enjoy your life on the road. 

  1. Make sure the lug nuts on your travel trailer are nice and tight. 
  2. Also, with your tires, make sure that they aren’t low on air. A flat or slightly flat tire is a recipe for disaster when it comes to rocking. They’re also a hazard when traveling down the road at high speeds. Ensuring that your tires are at their appropriate pressure is crucial. 
  3. Try picking a camping spot that’s as level as possible, which can be nearly impossible in certain locations. If necessary, use leveling blocks to park one side of your camper tires on if you need to elevate a few inches on that side. 
  4. Always keep a level handy, even if your RV already has one. If you want to get every part of your camper perfectly level to prevent rocking, you will need to check it from every side. 
  5. Always remember to be patient when it comes to the leveling and stabilizing process. You likely won’t get it right the first time. The key is to keep trying different things until your RV is as level and stable as possible. Just remember that an extra hour of work is well worth it if you’re staying somewhere for weeks or months. Trust me. I learned this lesson the hard way! 

Best Selling RV Stabilizers, Levelers & X-Chocks

Camco EAZ LIFT Slide Out Support

If you're like me and you want to have a little extra stability and peace of mind, you'll like having these under your slide out.

  • 2 supports
Pros:
  • Heavy duty
  • Protects slide out mechanism
  • Easy to install
Cons:
  • A little on the pricey side
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
EAZ LIFT Telescopic RV Jack
  • 6,000 lb load capacity
  • Adjusts from 16-inches to 30-inches
  • Set of 2
  • 48864
Pros:
  • Easy to adjust
  • Construction you can depend on
  • Rust protection
Cons:
  • Gets wobbly when it gets to the top adjustment
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Sulythw RV X Chocks Wheel Stabilizer
  • 2 Sets
Pros:
  • Heavy duty
  • Easy to setup
Cons:
  • Need to buy a ratcheting open-end wrench
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Camco Eaz-Lift King Pin Tripod 5th Wheel Stabilizer
$105.99
  • Adjusts from 39-Inches to 53-Inches
Pros:
  • Supports overhang of your 5th wheel
  • From a trusted brand name
Cons:
  • A little on the pricey side of things
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/30/2024 06:26 pm GMT

How to Keep a Camper from Rocking – Final Thoughts

Now you know more about how to keep a camper from rocking. When it comes to RV stability, balance is critical. Few people enjoy the rocking and swaying of an RV, and in the tips above, we’ve outlined several ways to minimize this. That said, completely eliminating motion in an RV is generally not possible because it’s a vehicle designed to be mobile. 

You also have to decide if it’s worth going to the trouble of complete stabilization. If you are only stopping at a particular campground for a single night while on your way to another location, spending an hour working on stabilizing the RV doesn’t make sense.  On the other hand, if you stay somewhere for several weeks or longer, you may find it worth the extra time to add stability to your RV. 

It doesn’t take long to place a few extra stabilizing jacks, chock the wheels hard, and use X-chocks to get the RV as firm and rigid as possible. Doing these additional steps will help keep your camper from rocking and make it virtually impossible to roll or blow away. Just know that when you sign up for the RV life, a little rocking is often part of the package. 

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