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The best RV stabilizer

It’s a good idea to have wooden planks or bricks in your RV, as you need to level the sides when setting up RV stabilizers.
It’s a good idea to have wooden planks or bricks in your RV, as you need to level the sides when setting up RV stabilizers. (BestReviews)

When you arrive at the RV park, it's time to unhitch and enjoy your vacation. But before you kick back and relax, you need to set up your RV stabilizer. Having a quality stabilizer makes a big difference by eliminating wobbling as you walk inside.

With so many types of RV stabilizers on the market, you might be wondering which one is best for your RV. While you can use any stabilizer that is compatible with your RV's design and weight, you want one that's both convenient and affordable.

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Before your next road trip, give our buying guide on RV stabilizers a read. We're sharing all the features you should compare and including recommendations of the top models on the market. Our top pick, Lippert's Power Tongue Jack, allows you to level your RV with the press of a button.

Considerations when choosing RV stabilizers

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Finding a compatible stabilizer

To find a compatible RV stabilizer, measure the distance from the ground to the undercarriage of the RV. It's also important to take into account the thickness of a stabilizer pad you may use, so subtract two to four inches from the total distance.

RV weight

RV stabilizers might be compatible with a variety of RVs, but they're in no way universal. This is mostly due to variances in weight capacities, so it's important to know your RV's weight prior to comparing stabilizers. While it generally ranges from 3,000 pounds to over 7,000 pounds, it's recommended to choose an RV stabilizer that holds no less than 5,000 pounds.

Types of RV stabilizers

Tripod stabilizer: Not only are tripod stabilizers user-friendly, they're often more affordable than other designs. While they excel at minimizing side-to-side movement and bouncing, they're less effective at stopping front to back bouncing.

Scissor stabilizer: Scissor stabilizers are among the most stable options, as they're adept at preventing swaying and bouncing in all directions. The only downside to these is the amount of time involved in setup. Depending on which one you choose, you may need to break out a power drill for cranking if manual tools aren't included.

Telescopic stabilizer: Telescopic stabilizers are attached to the undercarriage of the RV. Operate the crank, either manually or by way of a power drill, to drop the stabilizer leg to the ground. Height adjustments to the leg are relatively straightforward, though fine-tuning the height can be somewhat time-consuming.

Fifth-wheel stabilizer: Fifth-wheel stabilizers are used in conjunction with other RV stabilizers. Their goal is to stabilize the chassis of the RV to minimize swaying and shaking. The ease of installation varies considerably with these stabilizers, which is important to consider if your main stabilizers are already time-consuming to set up.

Materials

RV stabilizers made of steel are the strongest and most durable option, making this material the top choice. However, if you're worried about rust and corrosion, cast aluminum is an excellent alternative.

Price

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Entry-level RV stabilizers made of cast aluminum cost between $30 and $100. Mid-range stabilizers priced closer to $200 feature steel construction and often have rust-resistant coatings. If you're willing to spend $200 or more, you can find a broad range of electric models.

FAQ

Q. Does it matter whether I get a manual or electric RV stabilizer?

A. It boils down to your budget and how desirable convenience is to you. Some manual stabilizers require power tools for cranking, so you need to carry those in your RV. Electric RV stabilizers have easy setup but can cost up to ten times more than manual ones.

Q. How do I know when I've reached the right height with the leg of the RV stabilizer?

A. A good rule of thumb is to cease cranking when you meet resistance. If you overextend the leg, you can throw your RV off balance and cause damage to the stabilizer.

RV stabilizers we recommend

Best of the best: Lippert's Power Tongue Jack

Our take: Convenient design with fuss-free setup, well liked by RV owners nationwide.

What we like: Significantly cuts down on the amount of time involved with stabilization. Compatible with several trailer types.

What we dislike: Weight limit is 3,500 pounds, so it's not usable for heavier RVs.

Our take: Simple, reliable design that won't break the bank.

What we like: Swivel stabilizer pole makes it easy to adjust the jack to the right height. Durable cast aluminum construction.

What we dislike: Can be a bit wobbly when used at full 17-inch extension.

Our take: Unique scissor jack design that offers four points of stabilization.

What we like: Jacks are easy to raise with included tools, and each jack has a 5,000-pound weight capacity.

What we dislike: Setup can be more time-consuming than other options.

Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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