Is a Tripod Necessary for a Fifth Wheel?

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If you’ve never gone camping in an RV, you might be surprised at how much motion you feel while walking. During that first night at the campsite, you might feel like you’re on a boat instead of an RV.

To help reduce this motion, many fifth wheel owners purchase a 5th wheel tripod stabilizer that secures underneath the front cap.

Let’s learn more about these devices and if it’s worth getting one before your next camping trip.

Let’s get started!

What Is a 5th Wheel Tripod Stabilizer? 

A 5th wheel tripod stabilizer looks like a tripod that sits underneath your 5th wheel hitch.

Whether you have a gooseneck or 5th wheel king pin, there are tripod stabilizers for your rig.

The tripod legs adjust to different heights, and the top connects to the underneath of the 5th wheel front cap, where the hitch is.

These stabilizers reduce the side-to-side and back-and-forth rocking most RVers feel as they move around their rig.

Is a Tripod Necessary for a Fifth Wheel?

While not necessary, a tripod is a beneficial addition to keep the 5th wheel more stable.

If you feel like you’re constantly on a boat in the middle of the ocean, it’s probably time to invest in a tripod stabilizer.

It’s not something you need to buy before your first camping trip, but once you start camping regularly, it’s worth it. You might wonder why it took you so long once you noticed the reduction in the rocking motion.

How Do I Keep My 5th Wheel From Rocking?

Aside from a 5th wheel tripod stabilizer, additional equipment that helps keep 5th wheels from rocking includes X-chocks and additional stabilizer jacks.

Despite the name, X-chocks aren’t just chocks to prevent your tires from moving. Instead, you insert the X-chocks between the two tires to also reduce motion.

Once the 5th wheel is chocked and level, you tighten the x-chocks between the tires and leave them for the duration of your stay.

X-Chock Wheel Stabilizer - Pair - One Handle - 28012
  • Provides added stabilization and prevents tire shifts by applying opposing force to tandem tire applications
  • As opposed to other chocks, the X-Chock works with the tires’ natural movement instead of against them

You’ll also see some RVers installing additional stabilizer jacks or rig wooden blocks to create their own.

More extended 5th wheels might benefit from additional support to keep the rig from rocking as you walk from the front to back.

Aftermarket folding manual stabilizers can be a good purchase as they don’t attach to the rig and provide stability in the rear of the 5th wheel.

Top 5th Wheel Tripod Stabilizers

A 5th wheel tripod stabilizer is a convenient addition to your camping gear, and it’s well worth the investment.

Below are four excellent options to keep your 5th wheel from rocking.

Always ensure your rig is level before putting a tripod stabilizer under the hitch.

Highest Rated: Camco Eaz-Lift King Pin Tripod 5th Wheel Stabilizer

Camco Eaz-Lift 5th Wheel King Pin Tripod Stabilizer, Adjustable from 39 to 53 Inches (48855)
  • Tripod Stabilizer: RV wheel stabilizer is designed to support the overhang at the front of your trailer, preventing it...
  • How to Adjust: Make major height adjustments by simply moving the adjustable foot pads inward or outward; make minor...

Load Capacity: 5,000 pounds
Adjustable Height: 39-53 inches
Product Weight: 27 pounds

Setup is easy with this Eaz-Lift king pin tripod stabilizer.

Screw the hitch cup onto the tripod’s hitch connector.

Attach the bottom pads with the locking nuts and bolts in the kit.

Thread the chain through the three tripod legs, leaving enough slack to adjust the height.

Then set up the tripod underneath the king pin and adjust the legs accordingly.

Finally, attach the hitch cup at the tripod’s top to the king pin. Once you set the top, tighten the chain at the bottom with the quick link.

Keep in Mind: Have you seen this Insane 57 Foot Fifth Wheel Camper? You won’t want to miss it!

A fifth wheel parked in an RV park using a 5th wheel tripod stabilizer
Source: Amazon

Steel Structure: Ultra-Fab Products Steel King Pin Tripod Stabilizer

UF Ultra-Fab Products 19-950001 Steel King Pin Tripod Stabilizer
  • Rock solid, stabilizes even the heaviest trailer and Stabilizes front-to-back and side-to-side
  • Unique design brings the stabilizer to the king pin

Load Capacity: 5,000 pounds
Adjustable Height: 37-50 inches
Product Weight: 23 pounds

A lifetime warranty comes with purchasing this steel king pin tripod stabilizer.

The adjustable hitch cup has a heavy-duty construction.

The setup is the same as the Camco Eaz-Lift tripod. The main difference is the steel structure.

Gooseneck Option: Gooseneck RV Stabilizer Tripod

Dumble Gooseneck RV Stabilizer Tripod - 2-5/16in Ball Joint 7500lb Cap 5th Wheel Tripod Stabilizer Adjustable Jack
  • [Reduce Movement in Your Mobile Home]: Whether camping for the weekend or living the full-timer life, the Dumble RV...
  • [Fits Your Needs]: 2-5/16-inch (5.9cm) ball hitch on this RV gooseneck tripod stabilizer jack fits your RV travel...

Load Capacity: 7,500 pounds
Adjustable Height: 30-44 inches
Product Weight: 22 pounds

This tripod has an entirely different connection at the top.

It features a 2-5/16-inch ball hitch instead of a hitch connector like the Eaz-Lift and Ultra-Fab.

With steel construction powder-coated for durability, this gooseneck 5th wheel tripod stabilizer can last.

However, before purchasing this budget-friendly option, ensure your 5th wheel has a gooseneck and not a king pin.

Work With Andersen Ultimate Hitch: Ultra-Fab Steel Gooseneck Tripod Stabilizer

Ultra Fab 19-950450 Steel Gooseneck Tripod Stabilizer
  • Gooseneck connector for horse and cargo trailers
  • Heavy-duty steel construction

Load Capacity: 5,000 pounds
Adjustable Height: 31-54 inches
Product Weight: 24 pounds

If you have a king pin but prefer to tow with a gooseneck hitch, you’ve probably bought an Andersen Hitch conversion.

This Ultra-Fab 5th wheel tripod stabilizer works well with those conversions.

It’s similar to the budget-friendly option we listed above and features heavy-duty steel construction.

Keep in Mind: Looking for a new fifth wheel? Travel in style on your road trips with these Top 5 Luxury Fifth Wheels

A fifth wheel parked using a 5th wheel tripod stabilizer
Source: Amazon

How Do You Use a 5th Wheel Tripod? 

Setting up a 5th wheel tripod stabilizer isn’t challenging. The crucial thing you want to remember is to completely level and set up your 5th wheel before adjusting the tripod stabilizer.

Like the X-chocks between the tires, the tripod stabilizer doesn’t attach to the 5th wheel hitch until the rig is level and the stabilizing jacks are down.

If you put it underneath the 5th wheel hitch before leveling, you risk damaging the hitch or breaking the tripod when the rig adjusts.

After your 5th wheel is level, you can easily set up the tripod underneath the hitch.

Whether you have a hitch connector or ball hitch, the setup is the same.

Loosely thread the chains and slide the tripod underneath the hitch.

Adjust the legs to the correct height and twist the connector or ball hitch until it’s securely underneath the 5th wheel hitch.

Tighten the chains last.

Quit the Rocking With a 5th Wheel Tripod Stabilizer 

Even if it’s only you and your spouse in a 5th wheel, the rocking front-to-back and side-to-side can make you feel like you’re on a boat instead of inside an RV.

Reduce this motion by getting a 5th wheel tripod stabilizer. However, you still might want to go outside to jump around during your morning aerobics routine.

Do you have a 5th wheel tripod stabilizer? Have you seen a reduction in rocking since you started using it?

Last update on 2022-08-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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