Front Stabilizer Rods

I don't know if we are just abnormally heavy, or our camper is built strange, or we're not setting it up correctly, but every step we took inside would rock the entire camper. This was more than annoying so we looked into stabilizing jacks. There were a lot of options, but they all had mediocre reviews or cost way more than we were willing to spend, so I decided to build my own for under $25. They might not be as fancy or sturdy as the professional ones, but they definitely work.

The basic premise of my design is a set of rods that fit inside each other. After the power jacks are lowered, the clamp on the end of the larger rod is tightened. This grabs onto the smaller rod which is attached to the base of the jack legs. This additional support greatly reduces the amount of sway produced when someone moves inside of the camper. When we are ready to move, the clamps are loosened, and the jacks can raise back up without needing to remove the rods because of the way they are attached with pivot points.

The "rods" are pieces of conduit. I got two sizes - one needs to fit inside the other. The diameter to use depends on how much you want to spend. Bigger is better, but costs more. I then cut the pieces and hammered down one end before drilling a bolt hole.

The larger diameter rod needs a way to grab onto the smaller rod which fits inside of it. I was able to fashion such a "rod clamp" out of the above materials.

I bolted the smaller rod to the legs of the front power jacks. The bolt can't be tightened all the way because the rod needs to be able to pivot when the jacks raise and lower, so a lock nut is used.

I ended up having enough material for four rods - two in the front and one on each side. The smaller ends are all connected to the power jack legs.

I used simple L-brackets for braces. They are attached to the camper frame using self-tapping screws. Be sure to wear safety glasses, falling metal shards don't feel too good in the eyes! The placement of these depends on the desired length of the rods.

They were assembled with a bit of glue to hold each of them together. The only piece which will need to be adjusted is the clamp on the end.

For extra grip, I added some RV grip tape that you commonly find applied to steps or running boards. It is kind of like adhesive sand paper. When the rods are tightened in place, this helps keep them there.

The larger rods were then placed over top of the smaller ones and bolted to the L-brackets with lock nuts similar to the way the smaller rods are connected to the jacks.