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How to Level and Stabilize Parked Travel Trailers and Campers to Prevent Rocking

 Posted on: April 14th, 2022

How to Level and Stabilize Parked Travel Trailers and Campers to Prevent Rocking
Camper parked on a mountaintop stablized with jacks

When you’ve finally reached your destination, all you probably want is to stop driving, extend those slide-outs and grab a cold one while you relax every muscle in your body. Before you jump right into unwind mode, your camper needs some attention to make sure it’s level, stable and secure. Not only will things not roll off your counters, but it’ll also minimize the side-to-side rocking for a more pleasant experience.

Is stabilizing a travel trailer the same as leveling it?

Although those words often get used interchangeably, there is a difference! Leveling is the first step to properly setting up your site and ensures that your camper is as straight as possible front to back as well as side to side. Many fifth wheels and motorhomes have auto-leveling systems, however travel trailers and older models do not.

If your rig has slides, always level it before putting your slides out. If you run the machinery before it’s level, it could add unnecessary wear and tear to the mechanisms.

Once level, stabilizing your rig ensures that it stays level and keeps rocking and swaying at bay while you and your family are using the interior space.

Understanding how to use jacks, levelers, stabilizers and chocks

  • Jacks/Levelers: Reduce up and down motion. Used on four corners, or in the middles as well. The run up and down and are used to level the rig more accurately than with wheel chocks and the tongue jack. Most have levelers attached to the frame, and they open downward using a screw system.
  • Stabilizers: Reduce side to side motion. Run on an angle from the frame to the ground, adding side to side stability beyond what the jacks themselves provide.
  • Wheel chocks: Reduce tire movement
Camper using a pair of leveling support hydraulic steady legs
The front of a camper driven up a large black levelling ramp
Camper using a pair of leveling support hydraulic steady legs Front camper wheels resting on leveling ramps.

How to level and stabilize your set-up: Step by step

  1. Near your potential site, get out and survey the land before you park.
  2. If you plan on using drive-on levelers, drive a little past where you want to park so that you have room to reverse onto your drive-on levelers. Once that’s done, you should be relatively level from side to side.
  3. If you have a tow-behind camper, disconnect it from your vehicle’s hitch and use the tongue jack to raise or lower the front end until it’s level from the front to the back.
  4. With the major leveling adjustments made, it’s time to finesse the minor adjustments. Place your grounding blocks (wood, pavers, whatever you keep on hand to prevent excessive depressions into soft ground) under all four corners and lower your corner leveling jacks onto them.
  5. Now it’s time to adjustment the corner jacks as needed to fine-tune the leveling.

Tips:

  • Park on a surface that’s as level as possible to make things easy right from the get-go
  • If your rig doesn’t have a built-in level on the front, bring one from home.