It’s now been a year and a half since Kate and I moved into our fifth wheel and made it our permanent home. Over that time, we’ve learned a lot about fifth wheels and their little nuances that differ from a traditional home. We’ve learned that we need to pretty much run a dehumidifier 24/7. We’ve learned that fifth wheels – even though they can be pricey – are most often cheaply made. And we had also learned that almost no matter what you do, it’s almost impossible to stop the fifth wheel from shaking.
Whether it’s simple movements, the dog jumping off the couch, or even just entering/exiting the fifth wheel shakes. At first, it was a massive annoyance. After a few weeks, however, we must have become used to the constant shaking as we didn’t notice it as much.
Although we became used to the constant shake of the fifth wheel, we were always looking for ways to reduce it. We tried some common things and various products, but nothing really eliminated most of the shake until we tried out the STEADYfast Stabilizing System.
What We Tried Before Installing the STEADYfast Stabilizing System
Anytime you stroll through an RV park, you will see that most RVs have wheel chocks in between their tires. These chocks are great for stopping your RV from rolling away from its position after you unhook from your tow vehicle. The chocks, however, are mostly useless in terms of stabilizing your RV. It’s possible that these chocks will reduce some back-to-front movement but nothing tangible.
Most trailers and fifth wheels come installed with scissor jacks that are extended once the trailer is parked. These jacks aim to reduce some of the shaking a trailer experiences. While the jacks do help, again, it’s a minor reduction of overall shaking.
When we first purchased our fifth wheel, we immediately bought a tripod stand in hopes that it would eliminate all shake from our fifth wheel. Well, we can safely say that did not happen. While it may have reduced a small amount of shaking the difference was barely noticeable. We even stopped setting up the tripod as we travelled across Canada because it wasn’t worth setting up and tearing down, even though it takes probably two minutes to set up.
Discovering the STEADYfast Stabilizing System
After trying the various methods above and getting frustrated at the fact our fifth wheel was still shaking, we were still on the lookout for something that could help solve our problem. Surely, with so many RV’s out there, there had to be a way to reduce the shake of our fifth wheel.
Probably the best thing to come from Facebook other than adorable cat and dog videos are the incredibly helpful various RVing Facebook groups on the social network. When Kate and I first moved into our fifth wheel, we were so overwhelmed with questions. Thankfully, the RVing groups on Facebook allowed us to find most of the answers we were looking for. The groups also came through when we were looking at how to solve our shaking problem.
One day as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, I noticed that someone in one of the RVing groups had asked the simple question, “How do I get my RV to stop shaking?” There were plenty of responses but the answers that seemed to be most positive were people talking about the STEADYfast Stabilizing System.
I was intrigued and wondered how I hadn’t yet heard of the STEADYfast Stabilizing System. Immediately, I looked up their website and started to learn all about this supposed magical product that would reduce the shake of our fifth wheel.
What is the STEADYfast Stabilizing System?
The STEADYfast Stabilizing System is a permanently installed brace system that effectively anchors the frame of your fifth wheel or trailer to the ground. This is how it’s described on their website:
“The STEADYfast system anchors the trailer frame to the ground using 3 rigid braces or bars that are attached to high performance self leveling foot plates. The foot plates attach to existing jacks. Conveniently located locking clamps and the rigid design allow your 5th wheel or travel trailer to be stabilized with ease.”
Once the system is installed, STEADYfast claims that customers will see a 90-95% reductions in movement. That’s a pretty substantial percentage. After seeing that impressive figure combined with the amazing reviews that I had read on the various RVing groups, it was a must that we try out the STEADYfast Stabilizing System.
Receiving & Installing the STEADYfast Stabilizing System
A couple weeks after reaching out to STEADYfast our stabilizing system was available for pick up at our local post office here in Tofino. When I went to pick it up, the poor mail person was struggling with handing it over to me. It came in a large box and indeed was very heavy.
Once home, I opened the box to inspect its contents. It’s no wonder the package is so heavy. Inside I saw the various braces which would be mounted to our fifth wheel. I picked one up and immediately remarked to Kate about how solid these were. You could see and feel the quality of the product right away. This was a great first impression.
Next came the installation of the system. This is the part that I was worried about. I’m the furthest thing from a “handyman” and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to install the system. However, the STEADYfast website claims that installation is rather easy and should take no longer than 2-3 hours. I imagined that for myself that it would take much longer than that. It once took me 4 days to put a small BBQ together.
In order to prepare myself for the installation, I watched various Youtube videos from STEADYfast as well as customers who had installed the system. This gave me a better idea of what I was going to be doing during the installation rather than reading the instruction manual that came with the package. I’ve never been good with written instructions but combining them with Youtube videos provided the perfect amount of knowledge I needed to successfully install the system.
Over the course of a couple of days, I spent probably 8-10 hours installing the system. Like I said, I’m not handy and a lot of that time was taken to double check and make sure that I was installing everything properly. If I were to install the system again, it would probably only take 2-3 hours.
Looking back now, most of the installation was pretty straightforward and easy. That being said, there was one challenging/frustrating part for me. There are brackets that have to be installed onto the frame of your trailer. To do so, you have to drill some holes followed by installing the bracket onto the frame with self-threading bolts.
The self-threading bolts are a bit of a challenge. Even in some of the videos I’ve watched, this part of the installation is the most challenging for others. I knew I wasn’t alone but I still had to get the job done. The challenge was actually getting the bolts to thread and push through the drilled hole to successfully mount the brackets. At one point, Kate had to take over because I was getting frustrated with this part of the install. She managed to successfully get one of the bolts into the frame. While she was doing that I found an impact drill in our workshop here at Crystal Cove Beach Resort. This made the job MUCH easier and I highly recommend using one to make your life easier.
Does the STEADYfast Stabilizing System Actually Work?
The simple answer is a resounding YES! I first installed the rear brace and Kate and I immediately noticed how much more stable the fifth wheel was particularly in the rear of the fifth wheel. The next day after installing the front and side braces the shaking movement within the RV reduced even further.
A week after installing the STEADYfast Stabilizing System we had to move to another site. This gave us a good idea of how quick and easy it is to set up each time you move your fifth wheel or trailer. There are locking brackets that quickly turn up and down to engage/disengage the system and allow for the rear and front jacks to extend/retract. That’s basically all you have to do when moving sites.
The one interesting thing we noticed after moving to our next site was that the system didn’t work as well. The site we were at was very unlevel from back to front and meant that we had to extend our front jacks quite a bit. I figured this was the reason for the system not working as well, so I emailed STEADYfast.
Anytime you email STEADYfast you’re going to get a rather quick response from Owner/Inventor Paul Hanscom. I had asked Paul about whether or not being on an unlevel site would affect the performance of the system. He quickly responded to say…
“Typically concrete, asphalt and hard ground are relatively easy to get the movement reduction, especially when they are level. Gravel, sand, and grass it are very difficult to set up and get the same movement reduction, but there are things you can do to get the best possible. Sites that aren’t level are more difficult to set up on, but you should be able to get similar performance.”
The site we were on was very soft gravel and incredibly unlevel, so based on Paul’s response it made sense that we weren’t seeing the optimal performance from the system. Nonetheless, it still reduced the shaking of our fifth wheel a considerable amount. Some of the things that can be done when using the STEADYfast stabilizing system on soft ground include using various blocking techniques that are described in the instruction manual.
Overall, we’ve been very happy with the STEADYfast stabilizing system. Not only has the system helped to reduce the movement of our fifth wheel, but the customer service we experienced when we had questions was top notch.
If you want to take the shake out of your trailer or fifth wheel, we highly recommend you give the STEADYfast Stabilizing System a try.
Disclaimer – We received the STEADTfast Stabilizing System in exchange for this post. All opinions in this post are 100% truthful in regards to how we feel about the product.