One of the most important things when setting up your RV is getting your rig stable and reducing shake and sway as much as possible. Many people that suffer from motion sickness can have some serious issues in RVs. Just a simple walk from one end of your RV to the other can feel like an earthquake to the other people inside. There are many ways to reduce all of that movement, and one of the most popular options is the X-Chock Wheel Stabilizer system by BAL. They’re easy to install, don’t cost or weigh too much, and work wonders to give you a more stable setup.
Let’s take a quick dive into what X-Chocks do, how to put them on, and some tips on using them properly.
What Are X-Chocks?
First things first, let’s talk about what they aren’t. X-Chocks don’t work on motorhomes or on towable RVs with single axles. They can only be installed between wheels that are relatively close together, so they’re perfect for travel trailers and fifth wheels. They also are not a replacement for traditional block-style wheel chocks. I can’t stress this point enough – always use real chocks to keep your rig from rolling.
X-Chocks are a super clever little pair of devices that “lock” your wheels together, effectively eliminating rocking and swaying from your wheels rolling around. Every step you take inside your rig is sending a bunch of movement downward through the frame and into whatever is touching the ground below. This includes your big squishy rubber tires, and when they receive some of that downward force they try to move and roll around. With X-Chocks installed, you’re taking two separate wheels and sticking them together so neither one can turn.
Proper X-Chock Installation
X-Chocks are really simple to install. We put them on after our rig is nice and level but before we run the slides out. You simply place one of the X-Chocks between two of your tires and start turning the nut on top with the included ratcheting socket. As you tighten that nut down, the arms and pads of the X-Chock reach out in both directions. Once you’ve got the pads seated firmly against the tires on either side, give the nut another turn or two to get them in there nice and tight and then you’re all done. Go around to the other side and do that again. It’s that easy!
Taking them off is just the reverse. We take ours off as soon as the slides are in and before we start moving the nose of our RV up or down to get it ready to hitch up. Use the ratcheting socket on the nut again and loosen them up. They’ll slide right off once you’ve cranked them down far enough.
If you want to see our full setup routine, check out this post: RVing 101: Leveling and Setting Up Your RV Safely
Tips and Tricks
Do NOT use X-Chocks without proper wheel chocks. They are not meant to prevent your RV from rolling, they are only there to reduce the amount of rocking and swaying you feel inside your rig. Our chunky rubber wheel chocks are the first thing we put down and the last thing we put away.
Install X-Chocks AFTER your rig is level and remove them BEFORE hitching up. Because of the way X-Chocks “lock” your wheels together you can damage them or (less likely) your RV’s suspension system if you raise or lower your rig with them installed. They’re not there to keep your rig from rolling because you’re using real wheel chocks too, so just go ahead and take them off.
Crank them closed a few extra turns after taking them off. This will make them “smaller” and easier to install next time you use them. There’s no reason to crank them all the way closed though unless you need to for storage purposes.
Put your X-Chocks on before running your slide(s) out if they cover your wheels. There’s no reason to go crawling around in the dirt if you don’t have to!
They can be used upside down if necessary. We have plenty of room to work around our wheels but we’ve seen some rigs where it’s pretty tight down there. X-Chocks work just fine either end up, so go ahead and turn them upside down if having the nut on the bottom gives you more room to work.
Use them. They make a world of difference and are worth every penny!