As campers get longer and suspensions improve, there are more and more issues of movement inside the camper. At our 42′, I can tell when my 60 pound daughter moves around at the opposite end of the camper. When someone comes up the interior steps, you know it. My mother-in-law is particularly susceptible to motion-sickness and regularly wears her “sea-sick wristbands“.
It’s a camper and not a boat (or even, as I found here- not even a camper ON a boat)! So, here’s what we’ve done to help…
Stabilization via Triangulation
Based on reading online, I was told that JT’s StrongArms were the thing to eliminate shake. As we ordered our Sabre 36QBOK, I made sure they were included in the deal (I got talked into knock-offs called UltraFab Eliminators). I was very excited the first trip out to tighten them down and quite disappointed when I got everything set and ended up sitting in the camper, still feeling the movement. (Since owning the camper, I have since learned that there are other products that use the same triangulation principals – namely the SteadyFast system and DIY solutions.)
My next step is that I wanted the RotoChoks as my between the wheel chocks to replace my cheap plastic/yellow wheel chocks. To be honest, I got these more as “nice wheel chocks” than having any expectations that they would reduce shake and movement in the camper. I think they do dampen it some, but there’s still more to do and get rid of. (Again, there are more than one option for “between-the-wheel chocks”; namely, a lot of people use BAL X-Chocks. I didn’t like that they were metal pressing against the tire,but they have a good track record and my concerns were likely unfounded. Plus, I just like supporting the little guy.)
Jacks Near the Axles
I’ll start with, many people say that the above two things are sufficient in getting their rig “rock solid” as they say. For me- either I’m doing something wrong, have a different definition of “rock solid” or am just more persnickety than the next guy. Which leads me to continuing the quest to achieve house-like stability.
I’ve read that people are installing jacks near the axles to lighten some of the bounce on the tires and suspension. I looked at a new set of electric stabilizers like I have at the rear of my rig but gasped and pee’d a little when I saw the price. I really liked the push-button convenience, but wow – what a cost! I looked around at regular scissor jacks but I didn’t like that it’s 2 more things that I have to put under. I decided to start with the Valterra Stabilizer Stands first. It’s just 1 unit to put under the camper and stows pretty nicely into a folded-up solution.
We’ve been debating this week if it has helped or not. My wife is leaning towards, the rig seems less stable than before. I’m not sure there’s a huge difference in what I’m feeling. And mother-in-law, who sleeps at the opposite end of the camper, was asking about me moving around after we were asleep (aka, rolling over) last night.
(Update: 8/12/2013 – the Valterra Stabilizer Stands aren’t being used anymore. We just didn’t feel like they were helping and wife actually imagined that they made things worse. My next step is to try them in a different place and/or to move onto scissor jacks near the axles.)