How to Fix Loose Camper Jacks

How to Fix Loose Camper Jacks
Camper jacks work to keep the camper shell level when you are camping and parking, and secured to the truck bed when in motion. The camper jacks work with a system of interlocking barrels and screw connectors, and have ratchet-based mechanisms that raise or lower the camper shell. Modern units may come with built-in levels, which help you determine when the camper is at the plumb line and level for camping. Camper jacks loosen over time and require some basic maintenance.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Degreaser
  • Silicone spray lubricant
  • Automotive wax
  • Absorbent towels or rags
Step 1
Raise the jacks with the ratchet system so no pressure is on the jacks and the bases are off the ground. Allow the jacks to hang off the trailer.
Step 2
Spray each jack with the degreaser at the housings where the barrels slide into each other. Let the degreaser penetrate the bearings and fixtures. Wipe down the jacks where the degreaser was sprayed with the towels or rags.
Step 3
Inspect the barrels of the jacks for grit, sediment or other foreign substances. Remove with the towels if present. Coat the entire outer portion of the inner tube on each jack with the silicone spray. Let the silicone penetrate the barrel.
Step 4
Apply a generous amount of the auto wax to the barrels after the silicone has dissipated and penetrated the barrels. Apply the auto wax with one towel, then go over the areas with a fresh towel after.
Step 5
Grab each barrel on each jack and shake vigorously, checking for looseness or slippage. If still loose, repeat the cleaning process and test again. If looseness persists, replace the jack.

Tips & Warnings

Keep your camper parked, with the engine off and the parking brake on when cleaning jacks.

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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