Both stabilizer and leveling jacks are important parts necessary for trailers or caravans. They help to level the vehicle in order to make it firm and balanced on uneven ground. Therefore, at first glance, the two of them seem to serve the same purpose.
For this reason, many want to know the differences between stabilizer jacks vs leveling jacks. Their dissimilarities are actually quite plentiful. Curious to know what they are? Scroll down below!
Jump To Contents
- What Are Stabilizers and Leveling Jacks Used for?
- Difference Between Stabilizer Jacks and Leveling Jacks
- Benefits And Drawbacks of Stabilizer Jacks
- Benefits And Drawbacks of Leveling Jacks
- Which Is Better? Stabilizer Jacks or Leveling Jacks?
What Are Stabilizers and Leveling Jacks Used for?
To understand their differences, let us first understand what stabilizer jacks and leveling jacks exactly are.
Stabilizer jacks are a piece of metal installed in RVs (Recreational Vehicles) and are used after the trailer has been parked. The metal pieces of the stabilizer need to be extended manually from the vehicle till they touch the ground.
Although, these days, people are often seen using automated stabilizer jacks that do not need to be leveled manually.
Leveling jacks are also used to level an RV or a caravan. They support the entire weight of the vehicle, and this helps the caravan to remain steady when people inside are walking through it. These jacks work automatically with the push of a button.
Difference Between Stabilizer Jacks and Leveling Jacks
Although the description of stabilizer jacks and leveling jacks are very similar, there are quite a few contrasts between them. The differences between the two jacks have been stated as follows:
A leveling jack can lift the caravan high enough to keep the wheels above the ground. But a stabilizer jack cannot do so as it cannot support the entire weight of the vehicle.
Yet, it is not recommended to raise leveling jacks so high that the wheels are not touching the ground. Some even try to change the wheels in such conditions. This is greatly advised against as this unsteady condition makes the chances of accidents more probable.
As mentioned previously, a stabilizer jack levels the vehicle, but it does not support the entire weight of the caravan or RV. Whereas, the leveling jack withstands the entire weight while simultaneously keeping the vehicle steady.
Stabilizer jacks can be either manual or electric, but all leveling jacks are automated.
Both jacks prevent the caravan from rocking, but in different ways. The stabilizer jacks level the RV by reducing side-to-side motion (back and forth movement), whereas the leveling jacks reduce up and down motion.
Every RV contains stabilizer jacks in all four corners of the vehicle, but leveling jacks are not available in all trailers.
Benefits And Drawbacks of Stabilizer Jacks
Benefits of Stabilizer Jacks
As stabilizer jacks are a mandatory part of every caravan, they must provide several benefits. But people often wonder what they exactly are.
To answer this question, some of the most notable ones have been stated as follows.
1. Provides More Stability
After parking your trailer, try walking through it first without using stabilizer jacks. Then level the vehicle using your stablizer jacks and do the same thing again.
You can feel a significant difference while doing so. Not using stabilizer jacks at all will result in a very uncomfortable experience. This is also quite dangerous as the vehicle will be more prone to accidents if it is unstable due to the heavy weight of the trailer.
2. Easily Repaired or Replaceable
If damaged, stabilizer jacks can be very easily repaired or replaced, and this is also extremely inexpensive to do so.
This statement is applicable only for manual stabilizer jacks, as the electric ones are a bit more costly.
3. Easy To Use
Stabilizer jacks are very easy to use once you get the hang of them. The less you have to extend the jacks, the more stable the trailer will be. Therefore, try parking in a suitable location where the bottom of the trailer isn’t too far from the ground.
Drawbacks of Stabilizer Jacks
Despite their many benefits, stabilizer jacks do contain a few drawbacks. Some of them have been stated below.
1. Don’t Give Enough Height
If your purpose is to lift your caravan a considerable amount of distance from the ground, using stabilizer jacks won’t serve this purpose. This is because they barely make a difference in height while used for leveling and certainly do not lift the wheels of the RV from the ground.
You may see your vehicle barely rise, but not a significant amount.
2. Can Only Support Partially
You cannot expect your stabilizer jacks to support the entire weight of the RV, as they can only withstand a couple of hundred pounds.
The wheels of the vehicle are still the ones supporting the weight as they have not been lifted from the ground.
3. Requires Even Surfaces to Work on
Manual stabilizer jacks can be tedious to use while the car is parked on a very uneven path. In such cases, automated ones of leveling jacks are a better option.
Benefits And Drawbacks of Leveling Jacks
Benefits of Leveling Jacks
1. Cannot Support Large Weight
As mentioned previously, unlike stabilizer jacks, leveling jacks are able to support the entire weight of the vehicle as it is being leveled. This makes it easier to bring your caravan to a proper level point.
2. Easy to Use
Leveling jacks, especially the automated ones, are quite easy to use and make the tedious job of stabilizing the car very simple.
As this type of jack can lift the wheels of the RV above the ground, it makes it easier to work on the vehicle.
Drawbacks of Leveling Jacks
Along with their benefits also comes a few disadvantages:
1. Increase Air Resistance
This type of jack tends to increase the air resistance of the structure of a car.
2. Need a Suitable Surface to Work on
Leveling jacks are not suitable for all surfaces, such as an icy path, where they impose the risk of slipping out of place.
3. Can Wear and Tear Easily
Containing built-in leveling jacks in an RV causes the suspension system to wear out more quickly.
Which Is Better? Stabilizer Jacks or Leveling Jacks?
Both stabilizer jacks and leveling jacks are required for leveling a caravan, and as proved by their dissimilarities, the two of them serve different purposes.
Stabilizer jacks are a mandatory part of RVs, and this is quite self-explanatory in the aspect of their necessity. These jacks are a must for all caravans and trailer vehicles.
Not all trailers contain leveling jacks, but the ones that do are of very good quality. These jacks make leveling very easy as it can be done automatically with the push of a button and saves us from the task of tedious labor.
Stabilizer jacks and leveling jacks are both necessary in order to ensure the stability of a caravan. In other words, they are a must-have for vehicles designed to be trailers. As both their jobs are to level an RV, people often mistake them to be the same thing.
Whereas, in reality, the two of them have several differences amongst them. Therefore, if you ever see someone confused between the comparison of stabilizer jacks vs leveling jacks, make sure to let them know what they are!
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