Rear Jack or Rear Stabilizer for a Fifth Wheel
Some RV’s won’t have a rear “jack” or leveling jack at all. What they have is a “stabilizer” jack. The difference is really important.
The IDEA behind a stabilizer is that it makes contact with the ground and then gets tightened up snug enough so that the RV doesn’t bounce around when people walk around inside the RV. That is the idea behind stabilization. Its not really meant to carry lots of weight – and in fact one of the RV’s we had the place the stabilizer fastened to the frame really was not a good spot and the frame wasn’t meant to be lifted from that spot. So if you would have tried to lift the frame it would have warped. At least that was my observation.
But if you have a leveling jack, that jack and its relationship to the frame is quite different. It is design to take much larger chunks of weight from the RV and actually be used to level the frame. Our Open Range 399 BHS actually has a leveling system.
A quick note on leveling – even though our RV has a leveling system, we still try to do our best by raising the low side of the RV by driving up on something – usually 2×8’s. Some people use plastic leveling brick thingys . Then the leveling system really only has to level the unit an inch or two left to right. Also, if you don’t park on a level surface I think the RV is unsafe. So even front to back you should park the RV so he leveling system only had to work with a few inches, not several feet.
Here is a picture of the rear leveling jack along with its stabilizing bar ( explained in an earlier article ) :