Vacationing in your travel trailer is great, as you and the family always have a reliable place to rest your weary heads at the end of a long day.
However, sometimes your trailer feels incredibly wobbly, which concerns you. How do you stabilize a travel trailer?
Here are my favorite travel trailer stabilization options:
- Fifth-wheel kingpin tripod
- Portable jack stands
- Hitch mount stabilizer
- Scissor jack stabilizer
- Leveling jacks
- Tongue jacks
Travel trailer stabilization options run the gamut according to what type of trailer you have and what level of stabilizing you need. I’ll explain each of your options ahead, so make sure you check it out!
Let’s begin with one of the simplest solutions for stabilizing a travel trailer, and that’s using chocks.
Wheel chocks are wedges made of an assortment of materials that lock in under each of the wheels of your travel trailer as well as your towing vehicle.
The chocks are sized to the wheel, as they’re available in all sorts of sizes.
Depending on what kind of terrain you’re parking on, how you use chocks varies.
For instance, if you’re parking on mostly level ground with some divots and pits, then outfit the back and front of each wheel with a chock apiece.
If you’re parked in your travel trailer slightly uphill, then the chocks should be behind both rear wheels of the travel trailer and your towing vehicle too just to be safe.
When parked at a downhill angle, then the chocks should go in front of both front wheels, and that goes for the towing vehicle as well.
Chocks are easy to use, don’t weigh too much, won’t hog up a lot of room in your travel trailer (or the trunk of your towing vehicle), and they’re relatively inexpensive to boot. They’re a great stabilization solution!
2. Fifth-Wheel Kingpin Tripod
Is yours a fifth-wheel travel trailer? A fifth wheel has a U-shaped coupling and a rather unique shape that can pose problems when trying to stabilize the vehicle.
That’s why a fifth-wheel kingpin tripod is a great solution to have.
Although your mind probably goes to camera stands when you hear the word tripod, that’s not exactly how a kingpin tripod works.
The tripod acts as an additional support for the fifth wheel as it overhangs near the weightiest area of this trailer.
Once you’ve gotten your trailer parked, all you have to do is place the tripod underneath, adjust it, and that’s it, you’re stable.
Kingpin tripods cost maybe $100, and many models collapse after use so that they don’t hog up valuable room in your travel trailer or towing vehicle trunk or backseat.
As you and your family wander about inside the fifth wheel, you’ll be able to feel the tripod stabilizing you, as you’ll have less rattling and shaking.
3. Portable Jack Stands
The next option for stabilizing your travel trailer is to use a portable jack stand or several.
A jack stand can go beneath trailers, trucks, and cars, making it a suitable stabilization option for both your travel trailer and your towing vehicle.
That said, the height of the jack is not uniform depending on which vehicle it’s designed for.
A car jack stand is the shortest, followed by a truck jack stand at the next shortest, and a trailer jack stand is the tallest.
Most portable jack stands feature an A-shaped frame with four legs for the stability of the stand itself.
The jack will also have a platform or ratcheting post. You can use the post to raise the height of the jack and then disengage it when you want to lower it.
The stainless steel construction common of portable jack stands makes them incredibly durable.
As you get into bigger stands, they’re maybe not the lightest-weight stabilization option, nor are they easy to carry.
A jack stand doesn’t compress much either, so you’re going to need the space for the stand either somewhere in your towing vehicle or your travel trailer.
The more jacks you have, the heavier your load will be.
4. Hitch Mount Stabilizer
Winfield Products and MORryde produce an X-shaped hitch mount stabilizer that acts as yet another fantastic option for keeping your travel trailer level.
Compatible with hitch receivers that are at least two inches, the hitch mount stabilizer features a ratchet-tensioning design that enhances the security of the stabilizer.
Travel trailers and fifth-wheels alike often use hitch receivers, as do some truck campers and even motorhomes. Thus, this hitch mount stabilizer is quite versatile.
Promising to set up fast, the metal crossbars go on the ground and reduce vibrations and movement when you and your family are enjoying some togetherness in your travel trailer.
5. Scissor Jack Stabilizer
MORryde also has a scissor jack stabilizer you should look into.
Like the hitch mount stabilizer, this jack stabilizer is shaped like an X thanks.
Enhancing your level of lateral support, the scissor jack bolts onto the back of fifth wheels and other styles of travel trailers.
You have your pick of front-mounting or rear-mounting the scissor jack stabilizer. You could even do both if you wanted to, such as when camping on extremely unstable ground.
Installing quickly and easily, especially if you already have stabilizer jacks, the scissor jacks lift up vertically when not in use.
You can secure them and be on your way without having to remove the jacks from your travel trailer. That makes this option quite a sufficient and time-saving one!
6. Leveling Jacks
Don’t worry, I’m still not through talking about your travel trailer stabilization options yet.
Next, let’s look at leveling jacks.
Leveling jacks and stabilizing jacks may sound like the same thing, but they aren’t.
A stabilizing jack is supposed to stabilize a mostly level RV whereas a leveling jack will both stabilize and level.
You might use both together for an ultra-secure setup on your rig, which isn’t a bad idea!
Leveling jacks are either powered by electricity or hydraulics, but some are manual.
Hydraulic leveling jacks are the most maintenance-heavy, as they combine both electric and hydraulic elements.
Since they use hydraulics, you have to keep the fluid levels topped off or your jacks can fail on you when you need them the most.
Electric jacks exclude hydraulic elements so they’re easier to take care of. You just have to check for loose wires before use and ensure the power keeps running to the jacks.
Manual jacks require more physical exertion but are the easiest to care for since they lack hydraulic and electric components.
7. Tongue Jacks
Tongue jacks have several names, including trailer jacks and hitch jacks.
The duty of these jacks is to lift your travel trailer and keep it secure. You could already have some of these jacks in your garage to elevate your trailer enough that you can easily hitch it onto your towing vehicle.
Given that they’re known as tongue jacks, the placement for these jacks is on the tongue of the trailer. That’s the beam between the towing vehicle and the trailer.
Although you carefully measured your rig’s tongue weight and don’t want to contribute to it more than necessary, I’m sure, a tongue jack is still an option that should be on your shortlist.
The jack attaches to the tongue beam and then drops to the ground vertically. Some tongue jacks have wheels and others a metal base for protection.
A tongue jack comes with a crank for rotating internal gears and then sending the metal shaft outward. It’s that shaft that allows the trailer to achieve lift.
Stabilizing a travel trailer gives you and the family peace of mind that you can enjoy your vacation no matter where you happen to go camping.
With so many exceptional stabilization options at your disposal, no matter your budget or how much room you have on your trailer for gear and equipment, you can keep your rig stable!