Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Lose the shake with a 5th wheel or goose neck tripod

By Jim Twamley

The “king pin” on a 5th wheel is the point where the trailer attaches to the “hitch” of the tow vehicle. Many people do not like the fact that 5th wheel trailers have a tendency to pitch and roll when they are not supported so they carry a “king pin” support device.

These devices come as a bipod or a tripod. Here is a bipod that I use. Notice that I place it front to back in alignment with the trailer. This inhibits the very slight front and back motion that may be experienced with an unsupported 5th wheel when you walk around in it. They also now make struts that attach to the landing gear that have the same effect.

Notice that this bipod support has a chain between the two legs for tension and one leg has a jack on it for tightening. I like this type because you can get it good and snug while the other tripod types have to be screwed into position. Also notice that the rear leg is on a wooden platform – this is because the trailer is on an incline and this leg is of a fixed length. No problem, just place a suitable block under this leg and jack it up under the “king pin.”

Here is a tripod for a “goose neck” hitch. The “goose neck” hitch attaches to a receiver ball mounted in the center of the truck bed. Many people like these better because they do not take up as much room in the bed of the truck as a standard 5th wheel “king pin” hitch. If you have a “goose neck” hitch be sure to order the corresponding support unit because the standard unit will not fit a typical “goose neck” style hitch. No matter which type of device you use, it will help to stabilize your unit.


Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.



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Joe (@guest_147151)
2 years ago

I believe they are a waste of money! I used and not used them, and never noticed any difference in stability. Until I put mine in storage, all it did was take up room. I keep hoping I’ll find a use for it.

Gayle (@guest_147112)
2 years ago

You are correct Jim. I never had a stabilizing jack for my previous 5th wheel, but it could have used one. Now though, my current 5th wheel doesn’t need one. With the 6 point hydraulic leveling system, the unit has no movement.

Dean Dennis (@guest_82066)
3 years ago

Junk. Buy JT Steong Arms or equivalent to triangulate the legs for a much strong and secure method. Plus they go with the coach. Way easier to deal with.

Dick Snyder (@guest_81910)
3 years ago

We use a tripod stabilizer that hooks on the king pin and each leg is fully adjustable. Also use x-chocks between the wheels and put down the rear stabilizers. With all that in place, everything is rock solid and stays that way.

Alaska Traveler (@guest_81823)
3 years ago

Been living in a 5th wheeler for 10 years now….Haven’t noticed any excessive movement. Guess I have my “sea” legs.

Dorrie Mullins (@guest_81803)
3 years ago

We have one but see no difference. Maybe try it again. Our problem is after a while the 5th gets shaky. We get the best level spot, I even go inside with a leveler. Put the rubber footing under the stabilizers, chocks behind the tires and put the chocks between the two tires. After about 3 weeks the 5th starts to shake bad. Trying to figure out why. Happens on concrete and gravel.

BubbaChris (@guest_81788)
3 years ago

Winfield RV Products makes a version as well. But my real reason for commenting is they also make a version that attaches to a hitch (if you have one) on the rear of your fifth wheel or trailer to create a different system for more stability. This leaves the area under the front of your fifth wheel available for gear or even parking your truck. I heard that going forward they will be sold with the MORryde branding.

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