RV Doctor – How Do I Fix the Shakiness of My 5th-Wheel?

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July 23, 2009

Dear RV Doctor,
My wife and I have been RVing for about 5 years but we used a tent for 25 years before that. We started with a bumper pull and loved it. We had no problems with getting it very stable. Last year we decided to upgrade to a fifth wheel, which is when our problems started. We cannot seem to get it stable. No matter what I do, we still have a shaky RV. I do have a tripod for the front and I have put an extra jack in the area of the steps, but nothing seems to help. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks for any help you might have. – Ron Hooten, (Kempner, TX)


Gary BunzerRon, if the coach has slideout rooms, it may be necessary to add stabilizers at the corners; especially if the slideouts are relatively deep or long. Also check to be sure when you extend each of the current stabilizers, you do not “loosen” the contact with the ground on the others. It’s easy to do and you may not even realize it.

Another type of stabilizer mounts between the tires on each side of the trailer. They immobilize the tires by pushing against each one like a horizontal scissors jack. If your fifth-wheel has three axles, you’ll need four of these. They are readily available at any Camping World store.

(Please feel free to comment, however, please also note that due to the volume of communications I receive from multiple channels I cannot guarantee a personal response in every instance. However, questions of an overall general interest may be considered and published in an upcoming RV Doctor column.)

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  1. I solved my similar problem with a product called RotoChoks. They are made of aircraft quality material and hold the tires still. You will need two, one for each set of tires. They are a little pricey but worth the money.

  2. Glen Odom

    I have a 5er which I installed a set of the JTs stabilizers on which seemed to resolve any side to side motion/movement but I still notice movement when someone is walking around in the trailer. I especially notice such when sitting on the chairs or couches located within slide-out units. I thought I had earlier read guidance about not placing any type stabilizers under slides due to possibly causing damage to the slides?

    Any recommendations for steadiness for movement described. Are you recommending stabilizers at the outside corner of the slides?

  3. The Steadyfast unit is one of the best performing and simplest to use stabilizing systems. It does not require the use of special wheel chocks or jacks under slideouts.

  4. Diana

    There are many stabilizer systems that attach permanently to your jacks. The one we have been using for almost 4 years are the stabilizers by Plug It Right.

  5. Scott Alexander

    There’s a new product that might help: Steadyfast 5th wheel and travel trailer stabilizer system (www.steadyfast.com).

  6. george mullins

    I had a similar problem and found i was expecting the tires to take all the weight of the trailer, when i did take some weight off the tires i resolved the shakiness of the fith wheel when parked. it was as simple as putting the rear jacks down snug first before leveling the trailer.