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How To Stop A 5th Wheel From Shaking

Fifth wheels have several advantages over conventional RVs, but they frequently lack stability. When the landing legs are fully extended, a fifth wheel becomes top-heavy. When moving around within the RV, this can cause a fifth-wheel wobble. So how do you stop your 5th wheel from shaking? We searched the web for answers and here is what we got.

You can follow these steps to stabilize your 5th wheel trailer: 

  1. Fasten the lug nuts on your camper's tires with a lug wrench.
  2. Inflate your tires if they lack air pressure.
  3. Select a location that looks to be as level as possible.
  4. To establish which side of the trailer needs to be raised, place an RV level against the doorway.
  5. Determine how many leveling blocks you'll need to make the trailer more stable using your judgment. Connect the blocks to create a little ramp near the tires that need to be elevated.
  6. Drive the trailer slowly up onto the blocks, softly accelerating and maintaining the steering wheel as straight as possible. If the tires come off the blocks, you'll have to back up and restart.
  7. Check the stability of the travel trailer once more with the level. If it has to be elevated higher, back off the makeshift ramp cautiously and adjust the leveling blocks before attempting again.
  8. Put the tire chocks under the wheels to keep the trailer in place once the rig is as flat as possible.
  9. Place stabilizer jacks in each corner.

If shaking still happens even after you followed the steps above, continue reading as we expound on other options you can do. We'll also discuss the causes of why shaking occurs and what type of stabilizer jacks are best to use. 

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Fifth Wheel Trailer & Truck, How To Stop A 5th Wheel From Shaking

5th Wheel Is Still Shaking- What To Do?

If your RV is still shaking even after you followed the steps above, here are some easy fixes you can do: 

  • Install x-chock wheel stabilizers between your wheels as needed.
  • Install the stabilizers for the slide-outs.
  • Include additional scissor jacks.
  • Purchase entrance and bumper stabilizers.

However, if you still didn't eliminate your shaking problem, you might want to check the ground where your RV is parked. 

When the surface you parked your trailer on is simply too soft, even extra stabilizers will not help. No matter how many little helpers you add to the mix, they will all wriggle or swim, causing your RV to shake.

The solution is to position any stabilizers you install under or on your RV on a solid surface. If the ground is too soft, you'll need anything that allows you to do so. You can accomplish this by placing wooden blocks beneath your stabilizers.

Simply ensure that the blocks are long and even enough to give an even surface for the stabilizers to be set on.

What Causes A 5th Wheel Trailer To Shake?

A fifth wheel trailer rv camping in front of a mountain range with the awning extended.

Shaking fifth-wheel trailers may mean that there is something wrong with your vehicle. Let's look at some of the reasons why your fifth wheel might be shaking: 

Shakes While Driving

Camping in a fifth wheel trailer in the woods by a lake.

The running gear, such as your shock absorbers, tires, wheels, and axles, is to blame for your fifth wheel shaking while driving. In this instance, checking the entire system is the best line of action.

A defective alignment or severe soiling of the wheels, lack of tire parallelism, lack of tire pressure, or simply a significant drought that affects their capacity to absorb the roughness of the road can all cause the problem.

You should be aware that even minor imbalances might generate vibrations.

Recently Replaced Stabilizer Bars

If this occurs, you must seek immediate attention or risk losing one of your wheels while driving. It is unnecessary to emphasize how hazardous it can be.

Shakes During Acceleration

If your fifth wheel shakes while you accelerate, the issue is most likely with the engine. For instance, a problem with the spark plugs could cause one of the cylinders to fail, resulting in vibrations and requiring your engine to run on only three of its four cylinders.

Shakes During Gear Change

If your fifth wheel shakes while changing gears, the transmission or running gear may be to blame. If you have lately passed the technical control, you can rule out this last possibility.

Indeed, motorhome workshops place a premium on its proper operation.

Shakes During Braking

If your fifth wheel rattles when braking, the issue is almost certainly with the brake system. Indeed, if the rotor surface is worn unevenly, the brake pad and caliper adhesion are no longer maintained properly, resulting in vibrations.

Shakes Even Though It's Parked

If your fifth wheel shakes while parked, it's possible that you didn't adequately stabilize and level it. Fifth wheels feature two dropouts in front of them instead of a drawbar.

The leveling will be done by the electric motor, whose switch is placed in the front, on the left, beneath the nose of the fifth-wheel trailer.

What Are The Best Stabilizers To Use For Fifth Wheel Trailers?

There are a variety of RV stabilizers available, but if you want a truly stable RV, you must address three movements: 

  1. Remove any up and down motion with leveling jacks first.
  2. Second, camper stabilizers control side-to-side motion.
  3. Finally, wheel chocks prevent back and forth motion.

So here are some stabilizers you can use for your 5th wheel, note that you can use a combination of these to secure that your vehicle won't shake: 

  • X-Chock Wheel Stabilizers
  • Camco Self-Stor Step Support
  • 5Th Wheel Kingpin Tripod Jack
  • Valterra 020106 RV Stabilizer

X-Chock Wheel Stabilizers

The most straightforward approach to stable your camper is to ensure that the wheels cannot move. This is where the well-known X-Chocks come in handy.

These come in pairs and include a ratchet wrench tool for installing them between your tires. Most travel trailers can use X-chocks because they retract to 1-3/8" and extend to 12". 

When you arrive at your campsite and have unhitched and flattened your RV or trailer, you place the X-chocks between the tires and snugly tighten them. It will prevent the trailer's tires from sliding forward and backward as a result of people walking about.

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Camco Self-Stor Step Support

Another feature that makes a camper trailer or RV shake is when someone enters it via the RV steps. The Camco step support will assist in making your normal fold-down RV steps that hang in the air more stable. 

Once you've folded down your campground steps, you can place this underneath them and you may adjust it from 8.5" to 14" depending on your steps' height. By placing two of them on the bottom step, your camper or trailer will not rock as much as someone enters the RV.

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5Th Wheel Kingpin Tripod Jack

You can use a 5th wheel stabilizer tripod jack to stabilize the front of your fifth-wheel trailer. To assemble, unfold it and secure it to the kingpin on the front of your fifth-wheel trailer. This stabilizer's design allows height adjustment, ranging from 38.5" to 50".

The 5th wheel kingpin tripod stabilizer, when properly placed, eliminates both front-to-back and side-to-side motion in the camper.

You may use a padlock to secure the coupler to the kingpin, which not only prevents individuals from walking away with the RV stabilizer but also keeps the complete fifth wheel from being dragged away.

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Valterra RV Stabilizer

Valterra has created the RV stabilizer model 020106. It's a universal stabilizer designed for use with all types of RVs, including 5th wheels, RVs, toy haulers, travel trailers, pop-up campers, and utility trailers.

Because it is portable, you can transport and integrate it into a bag. You can also mount it on the rear bumper or the frame. Position it up under the back bumper to help reduce side-to-side shaking, and set it up under the frame to help reduce front-to-back motion.

Valterra also recommended mounting one near the RV steps to prevent wobbling when entering or exiting the camper.

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Final Thoughts

Ground view of a fifth wheel camper trailer in a wooded campsite

Before taking action, you must first identify the nature of why your 5th wheel is shaking. It is important to know the cause first so you will know what is the best course of action to take. 

Moreover, having stabilizers add more security so that your 5th wheel won't shake, especially when you walk in it. 

If you want to make sure that your 5th wheel is in good condition before you embark on your next journey, you can check out this inspection checklist in this article:

The Ultimate 5th Wheel Inspection Checklist.

And if you want to know if your vehicle can tow a 5th wheel, you can check out these related articles:

Can Chevy Colorado Tow A Camper (Incld. A 5th Wheel)?

Can a Nissan Titan Pull a 5th Wheel?