DIY RV Stabilizer: How To Make Homemade RV Stabilizers

Sometimes built-in is not enough. When it comes to stopping the shaking and rolling of your trailer, those built-in stabilizers just may not do the job. That is when the handyman in you needs to step in and create your own stabilizers. Even store bought ones do not always work well.

One way to stabilize your RV or trailer is to add some homemade stabilizers to your frame. These additions can be made from wood, eye bolts, and ratchet straps. These items add a lot of stability and should let you sleep at night when others are still walking around inside.

To learn how to build your own models just continue to read our article. It explores the topic and gets you the information you need to build your own. Take a few minutes to see how this information helps you stop that rocking and rolling in your trailer or RV.

How Can I Make My Camper More Stable?

How-Can I-Mak-eMy-Camper-More-Stable

There are different methods you can use to create a more stable environment when you are camping. One is to make sure you have lowered your built-in stabilizers correctly. Then check to make sure they are resting on wood blocks and not just the ground.

After that, double-check to see that your wheels are chocked and not moving. Then some owners put X chocks between the tires to hold them still and steady while they are not traveling.

Besides X chocks, there are different plastic products you can use that may be cheaper than the all-metal X chocks. You can look at the products when you go to an RV accessories outlet.

But sometimes, these commercial and built-in options are not enough. Some owners have complained that every time someone turns in their sleep, they are woken up due to the movement of the trailer.

They have gone the extra mile and decided to build their own stabilizers to make sure their trailer does not move when someone else moves. It should not cost a lot of money to build your own as the solutions have been quite simple in design and do not use a lot of materials.

How do RV Stabilizers Work?

The thing to know is that stabilizing jacks are not leveling jacks. The two systems have different purposes even though some owners confuse those purposes and try to use stabilizing jacks as levelers.

The purpose of the stabilizing jack is to keep your trailer from moving when you walk around inside the trailer. This is done by lowering them to the ground and making sure they are snug.

However, before you use those jacks, you need to make sure you are parked on level ground, and then use the levelers to level the trailer. Once that is done, then you can lower the stabilizing jacks to cut movement.

The key to using stabilizing jacks is to use a block of wood. That way you do not damage the asphalt underneath your trailer or dig into the ground and lose more stability.

Plus, the blocks of wood keep you from lowering the jacks too far. The drawback to using a block of wood per stabilizer is that some owners use too many blocks of wood and still do not get the stability they are looking for.

What you have to watch out for is the distance you can lower these jacks. You will get information saying something like, these jacks can hold 5000 pounds but only if they are extended between 13-3/4” and 23-1/2”.

If you do less than 13 3/4 inches, then that weight limit goes down significantly. The jacks won’t stabilize the trailer properly and you will experience a lot of rocking and rolling and maybe other problems.

Do You Need a Stabilizer For RV?


All RVs come with stabilizers. They just may not look the same or extend as far as some owners would like. Then some people use stabilizers for their slide-outs. Normally you do not need to do that as slide-outs are designed to support themselves.

But that is not always the case and you may find that your model needs some extra help. To answer the question, yes, RVs need stabilizers as leveling is not going to be enough, even with all wheels on the ground. Trailers especially need stabilizers.

Before you use them though, make sure your RV or trailer is level. Then find the right place to put those stabilizers. You can’t use the floor of the slide-out as the jacks will damage that flooring material. You need to place the stabilizing jacks on solid metal.

We are focusing on slide-out issues because that is a possible vulnerable spot. With constant use the support system can weaken so you may need stabilizers eventually. Plus, many RVs and trailers come with at least 1 slide-out and up to 3.

Using stabilizers is essential to protect your slide-out from any possible damage that occurs from constant use. You can be the judge of when you use them but make sure to use 2 for each slide-out. One won’t do the trick.

Also, your use of stabilizers with your RV will depend on how much rocking it does when someone moves.

Can You Add Stabilizers To RV?

Yes, you can and there are companies out there making commercial products that can be added to your existing system. One such product is called the 5th wheel stabilizer and these are steel or other metal rods that connect to your existing jacks.

These additions work for RVs, 5th wheels, travel trailers, and so on. Also, they come in different sizes to work with the size of your RV, etc. These metal stabilizers form an X when installed correctly and are secured by a pin that fits into the landing gear on your trailers, etc.

There are different varieties of this product, each designed to work with 5th wheel landing gear, scissor jacks as well as hitches. Then if you do not want to spend that much money, you can always build your own.

There is nothing stopping you from doing this as the trailer, etc., is not moving or on the road. The key is to make sure you add the stabilizers to the right spot on your RV, etc. Usually, the frame is the best spot to add the extra security.

Plus, you can design them to fit your size of RV or trailer exactly. That will help stabilize your trailer, etc., better.

Homemade Stabilizer For Camper


The most popular option seems to be the eye bolt, 2 x 4, and ratchet strap design. This design seems to work really well and is very simple to put together.

All you need will be 4 2 x 4s, 4 eye bolts, and 2 ratchet straps. That will keep the cost down as you do not need to buy 4 8-foot 2 x 4s. You can get away with using one or two 2 x 4s 8 to 12 feet long depending on the warp.

Of course, you can move up to 4 x 4s if you need extra strength as some trailers, etc., are extremely heavy. There are plenty of YouTube videos on this topic as well and they seem to use the 2 x 4 option over any other one.

Those videos’ length depends on who is doing the project and how much explanation they provide. You should paint the wood or at least stain it and then put verathane over the stain. That way the wood will last longer and blend in with your RV’s, etc., designs and color schemes.

You do have a lot of freedom to make your own design if the one we are about to describe does not suit your purposes.

DIY 2x4 Camper Stabilizer

As we said, this is the most popular of all the homemade designs you can find on the internet and at RV discussion forums. It really does not take a long time to do this project, you just have to make sure you get the angles right.

To start off, you need to measure from the ground to the bottom of your frame. This will give you the length you will need. Then cut the 2 x 4s to size. One end will need a 45-degree angle cut to make sure it fits securely under the frame while giving it full support.

Next, you need to put the eye bolts into the 2 x 4s. One instruction said to put an adult hand on the end of the board that touches the ground and then mark the spot where your longest finger ends.

That is where you place the eye bolt. Now once you have measured all four boards, drill a pilot hole for the eye bolts and secure them into place. The key here is to make sure you put the eye-bolts on the correct side of the board.

If you don’t your ratchet straps won’t connect and the stabilizers won’t work properly. If at all. Do these steps slowly and carefully, making sure you have the right spot on your frame, the cuts on the correct end of the 2 x 4, as well as the eye bolt in the right place.

After you have everything checked and double-checked, connect the ratchet straps to the eye bolts and place the 2 x 4s in position. Or you can put the 2 x 4s in position first and then connect the straps. When the 2 x 4s are in position, they should be at a 45-degree angle to the trailer.

The ratchet straps will tighten the two boards when you pull them tight. Once that is done, your trailer should be stable. Most people make 2 sets, one for the front and one for the back.

Other owners make 3 sets and put the extra set between the tires.

DIY RV Stabilizer Bars


The good news here is that you do not have to make your own rods. You will need to buy metal conduit poles or rods to make this work. You will need to flatten both ends of the conduit after you cut them to size.

Next, you will need to drill a hole in each end for the hardware to go through. The materials you will need are:

10' of Larger Diameter Conduit - The wider it is, the sturdier it will be...

10' of Smaller Diameter Conduit - Needs to fit easily in the larger diameter conduit

Various conduit fittings to allow larger conduit to grab onto smaller conduit - See Step 3

6 x Small "L" Brackets - See Step 4

Various Bolts, and Washers - Size depends on your RV power jacks

8 x Lock Nuts - Size depends on the size of the bolts

Self Tapping Screws - Must fit through holes in "L" Brackets

There are a lot of detailed instructions that go with this DIY design. To get those instructions and photos, just click on this link. The photos provide you with a very close-up view so you know if you are doing something wrong or not.

This project is more involved than the simple 2 x 4 option and will take a lot more skill and time to get it done properly. Once completed, you should notice the difference in your trailer.

You should have a lot more stability than you had before. Now there is a similar system with truck campers that look built into the design. Those rods go from the jacks to the frame under the upper and lower body of the camper.

But they work when the truck camper is sitting by itself and not in the bed of the truck. With the trailer method, you can make alterations to the design if this design does not do it for you.

DIY 5th Wheel Stabilizer

We mentioned this product earlier and it is similar to the DIY method we just talked about. Except these are specifically made to a certain length and you have to measure your trailer’s jack distance to get the right size.

The set up and design are the same as above except you do not have to do the fabrication work. You save time and energy by buying these 5th Wheel Stabilizers. All the hard work is done for you. Plus, they do come in a variety of sizes to make sure you get the one that fits your trailer model.

These cross pieces are also adjustable just in case there was a mistake in measuring. You are covered and can simply adjust the cross pieces to get a perfect fit. The hardware is included.

Then you attach them to your jacks in an X style. This style provides the best stabilization you can get. What makes this design so attractive, is that the company made them to fold up as the jacks are retracted.

That means you only have to install them once. You get constant stability every time you lower your jacks. That makes setting up your trailer a lot easier and faster. The only part that needs to be removed when you retract your jacks will be the pins.

Do not leave them in place.

Where To Place RV Stabilizer Jacks


When you are making your own, there are two places you need to focus on. For the second DIY project we described above, they will go on the jacks themselves. Once you lower them, there should be holes for adjustment.

You just put the pins through the rods and then through one of those holes. Pick the same hole on each side of the front or the back jacks. These rods do not attach to the frame or the body of your trailer, etc.

For the 2 x 4 method, you want the 45-degree angled ends to of directly under the frame. There is no other place to put them. Do not use your bumpers as those items are not made for stabilizing a lot of weight.

They are made to absorb impact and any extra weight can damage them. You will want to use the same spots at the front and the rear on both sides of the trailer. You do not want to put them off-center from each other.

You can also put these 2 x 4s between the tires, but again the angled side goes on the frame and not the axles. Some people put them on the suspension mounts where they are welded to the frame.

Some Final Words

Stabilizing your trailer or slide-outs is important. Not only are you more comfortable all day and night but these extra supports help your trailer last longer.

They should reduce the stress on the frame and make sure it is well supported. You can buy your extra stabilizers or make them yourself. The latter option is going to be cheaper. They are not hard to make if you do it right.

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