Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Stabilizing Your Tiny Trailer: a Few Essentials

Okay, so you've arrived at your camp spot, you park the trailer, but when you get in, do you find youself having to worry about motion sickness because your tiny trailer rocks and rolls so much?

A month ago I wrote a blog post on trailer security, making sure your lovely tiny home doesn't get stolen. This post is about just making sure your trailer has a stable foundation as you enter it, move around and around up and down in it, and then leave it. Although your tiny home is mobile, it doesn't have to be a trampoline experience!

Here is a list of equipment to use to make your camping home feel (and be) more stable.

Mounted stabilizers. My tiny trailer came with mounted rear stabilizers. They are angled and meet the ground at about a 45-degree angle, which lessens side-to-side sway, although some just slide straight down. I just pull mine down, but some larger RVs have scissor-jack stabilizers.

Rear stabilizer and pad

Portable (stacking) stabilizer jacks. I use these for the front of my tiny trailer. I didn't for the first few trips but then realized that the front swivel jack (with the wheel) created a triangular foundation that was susceptible to rocking. The jacks lessen that.

Stabilizer jack pads. Sometimes the ground is pretty soft, so there needs to be some kind of pad to keep the jack foot from sinking into the ground (thus making the stabilizer ineffectual). I have a pack of four. You can see my yellow jack pads in the photos above.

Wheel chocks. You don't want your trailer rolling down a hill once you've unhitched it. Wheel chocks keep it sitting where you want it. One of my wheel chocks is also a security lock. That's not in the photo below because I mounted it on the tire not raised by wheel blocks.

Leveling blocks. Even flat-earthers admit the earth, while not round, certainly has its rolls. Leveling blocks help ensure that the lateral lean of the trailer is, if not non-existent, at least minimal.

Leveling blocks and wheel chocks. 

Tongue jack wheel dock. I know some who use this to keep the wheel from moving around or sinking in wet conditions. I don't use it because often there is not much space between the tongue jack's swivel wheel and the ground. If the ground were soft, though, I'd have to improvise with a piece of wood or stabilizer jack pad or one of my leveling blocks.

A leveling device. How do you know your trailer's level? I just use a small, 8-inch carpenter's level. I had mounted bubble levels on the trailer frame, available at Wal-Mart, but was never sure about how accurate they were . . . and then they didn't stick. For me, the carpenter's level is enough. I slap it on the tongue to determine whether I need leveling blocks to level side to side, and also how much to raise or lower the tongue jack to level the trailer front to back. I also double check by slapping the level on the counter and floor inside the trailer prior to finishing off the leveling job.

The above items are what I use to create a foundation for my trailer that is safe and sound. I'd sure like to hear if other campers have something useful that I haven't mentioned.

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