There are certain things that are considered essential when owning an RV or camper. Drinking water hoses, electrical cords, and sewer hoses are just a few examples.
But there are other things that are considered to be essential when it comes to the safety of you and your family. Smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and CO detectors are some of the first things that come to mind when talking about RV safety devices.
But what about RV wheel chocks? Sure, we all know that we should always toss these small yellow wedges under our wheels when our RVs are parked.
However, RV wheel chocks are much more important than that. They are the only thing that keeps your RV stationary when it’s not hooked to a tow vehicle. The last thing you want is for your camper to roll when it’s not supposed to.
In this article we are going to take a deep dive into why RV wheel chocks are so important, the different types of wheel chocks for your camper, and certain things to consider when choosing the best RV wheel chocks for your RV.
Let’s jump in…
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- What Are Wheel Chocks
- Types Of RV Wheel Chocks
- Do RV Wheel Chocks Expire
- How To Use RV Wheel Chocks
- What To Consider When Buying RV Wheel Chocks
- Best Plastic RV Wheel Chocks
- Best Rubber RV Wheel Chocks
- Best X-Chocks (scissor chocks)
- Best Leveling Wheel Chocks
- In Conclusion
What Are Wheel Chocks
Wheel chocks, or wheel blocks, are small wedges that are made from plastic, rubber, or aluminum. They are designed to keep a vehicle, or in this case, an RV from accidentally rolling or moving. Wheel chocks are also referred to as wheel stops, chock blocks, or trailer chocks.
As we stated above, trailer wheel chocks are a very important safety device and making sure you have the right wheel chocks for your camper is just as important.
Types Of RV Wheel Chocks
Wheel chocks are available in different shapes and materials, but we are going to focus on the three main RV wheel chocks. Chock blocks, scissor chocks, and leveling chocks.
The chock blocks, or wedge chocks, are the most common type of camper wheel stop and what you see every RV owner at the campground using. These “blocks” are typically made of lightweight plastic or a more durable, heavy-duty rubber.
The Scissor chocks, or most commonly referred to as X-Chocks, are not made to stop the RV from rolling, despite having “chock” in the name. These types of wheel chocks are made for camper wheel stabilization.
In other words, they help keep your travel trailer or fifth wheel from rocking, not from rolling. X-Chocks should always be used in conjunction with a set of wedge type wheel chocks.
Plastic Wheel Chocks
The most common, and possibly the most budget friendly wheel chocks for campers, are the infamous yellow plastic chocks. While they may be the most popular, they may not be the best choice for your rig.
If you have a small, lightweight camper, the plastic RV wheel chocks should work just fine.
On the other hand, if you have a motorhome or large fifth-wheel camper, a better choice might be a heavier duty rubber chock.
Always check the size and weight restrictions on plastic wheel chocks before putting them up to the task of keeping your camper in place.
- Ideal for smaller campers
- Can become brittle over time
- They expire
- Cannot handle larger RVs
Rubber Wheel Chocks
Rubber wheel chocks are a great choice for heavier RVs, fifth wheels, and travel trailers because they have fewer weight and size restrictions than their plastic counterparts.
In addition, rubber wheel chocks are more durable, less susceptible to damage from the elements, and they last years longer than the typical plastic chocks.
- Designed for heavier RVs
- Non-slip rubber
- Heavy duty and rugged
- Some users notice a strong scent when new
- Some options do not have handles
X-Chocks (wheel stabilizers)
Scissor chocks, or X-Chocks, are designed to help reduce the amount of back and forth rocking in your camper that occurs whenever someone walks around. I’m sure you felt it on more than one occasion. You’re relaxing in bed when someone walks to the bathroom, and it feels like you’re on a ride at the carnival.
While these RV wheels chocks are a great choice for stopping the front to back motion, they are not designed, or recommended, to be used to keep your camper in place.
X-Chocks should be used along with a plastic or rubber wheel chock.
- Helps prevent front to back rocking
- Compact for easy storage
- Can be locked to prevent theft
- Cannot be used on single axle campers
- Will not work if trailers tires are too close together
- Should only be used with standard wheel chocks
Leveling RV Wheel Chocks
There is nothing worse than camping in an RV that is unlevel. Not only is it extremely uncomfortable, certain RV fridges will not operate correctly if your camper is unlevel for too long.
Leveling chocks make getting your camper level simple and painless. All that you need to do is back, or pull your rig onto these curved ramps and when your camper is level, use the provided chock to lock the wheels in place.
- Easy to use
- Takes the guesswork out of using traditional leveling blocks (how many to use)
- High weight rating
- Can be pricey
- May be difficult to use if wheels are too close together
Do RV Wheel Chocks Expire
Yes. The very popular plastic wheel chocks do expire. They are made of plastic that will, over time, begin to break down and become brittle.
There are many factors that can cause your camper wheel chocks to wear out even if you’re not using them daily. Cold weather and freezing temperatures make the plastic more susceptible to hairline cracks and chips, especially if you use a hammer or mallet to install them.
At the other end of the scale, UV rays from direct sunlight are another major contributor to the plastic breaking down.
Your RV wheel chocks may seem like they are in perfect working order to the naked eye, however, they can still fail on you when you need them the most. The last thing you want is your camper moving when it’s disconnected from your tow vehicle.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so make sure you check the “use by” date or the expiration date on your RV wheel chocks.
How To Find The Expiration Date On Plastic Wheel Chocks
If you have the plastic wheel chocks, finding the expiration date is very easy. There will be a stamp somewhere on the chock that reads: “Replace By” or “Expires On” and then a date. The date will typically be inside a circle that looks just like a clock face with one hand pointing to a number.
The large number in the middle of the circle is the year, and the number that the arrow is pointing to is the month. In the image below, the expiration date would be October 2020.
So, before you head out on your next great adventure, take a few minutes to make sure your RV wheel chocks aren’t expired. In addition, check the overall condition of your chocks. Are they cracked, chipped, or broken? If so, this might be the perfect time to replace them and avoid a disaster down the road.
- While you’re checking for the expiration date on your wheel chocks, now is a good time to check the expiration dates on your RV smoke detectors and CO alarms.
How To Use RV Wheel Chocks
Chocking your RV wheels seems like a fairly straightforward process, however, there are a few things you should know to make sure you are installing your wheel stops correctly. Otherwise, it is only a matter of time before the unthinkable happens.
By now you know how important it is to make sure your rig stays put once you disconnect it from your tow vehicle. Not only is this important for the safety of you and your family, but for the overall safety of those around you as well.
Before unhooking your camper from the tow vehicle, place your RV wheel chocks in front, and back, of your camper’s wheels.
Some RV owners will place the chocks in front of the leading wheels and slightly pull the vehicle forward. After setting the parking brake, place another chock behind the back of the same wheel. By doing so, when the parking brake is released, the camper will “settle” equally in between the chocks.
What To Consider When Buying RV Wheel Chocks
Before jumping in and buying the least expensive set of camper wheel chocks you find, there are certain things to consider. You don’t want to spend your money on something as important as wheel stops only to find out they aren’t rated for your rig, or they simply aren’t what you wanted.
Some things to consider are weight rating of the RV wheel chock, how easy they are to use, and the overall quality of the chocks.
Certain RV wheel chocks will have a maximum weight rating. Make sure you know the weight of your FULLY LOADED camper before making a purchase.
If you’re not sure how heavy your camper is, check the owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s website and look for your specific RV.
If you buy wheel chocks that aren’t rated for your rig, you take the risk of them failing or not doing the job they were made for.
Along with weight rating, make sure the RV wheel chock is the correct size for your rig. If you have a larger rig, like a Class A motorhome, the small yellow wheel chocks may not be the best fit.
In addition, when shopping for scissor chocks, or X-chocks, make sure you know the distance between the wheels for a proper fit.
RV wheel chocks are subjected to harsh environments and weather extremes. You will want to make sure the wheel stops you choose are durable enough to handle anything you put them through.
As we stated above, the plastic wheel chocks do have an expiration, or “use by” date, but they will perform well in most situations for smaller campers.
A good rule of thumb is to pay attention to the build material. For wedge chocks, make sure they are made from a high-quality UV resistant plastic or a more durable rubber.
For stabilizing chocks, look for heavy duty aluminum or steel construction that is strong enough to handle the task of keeping your camper stable and secure.
Best Plastic RV Wheel Chocks
The Camco 44414 plastic RV wheel chock is hands down the most popular camper wheel stop on the market. If you are looking for a lightweight, durable, UV resistant wheel chock for your small travel trailer or camper, you can’t go wrong with these chocks from Camco.
The elevated ribs on the bottom of these plastic wheel chocks provide enough gripping strength to keep your camper securely in place.
Although they have an average “lifespan” of 4 to 5 years, the affordability of these wedge type wheel stops makes replacing them hassle and stress free. Plus, they won’t break the bank.
The bright yellow color of these RV wheel chocks makes it much easier to spot them when breaking camp so you don’t accidentally leave one behind.
In addition, they are extremely lightweight and compact so they don’t take up much space in your RV basement storage compartment.
- Durable plastic material with UV inhibitors
- Budget friendly
- Ideal for new camper owners
- Not designed for larger rigs
- Prone to chipping and cracking over time
- Will need to be replaced before “use by” date
Best Rubber RV Wheel Chocks
Another very common wheel chock used by many RV owners are the MaxxHaul wheel stops. These high-quality rubber wheel chocks are very easy to use and at 4 pounds each, will not blow away in high winds.
The non-slip rubber bottom of these trailer wheel stops provides peace-of-mind knowing your RV will stay put on any terrain.
You won’t have to worry about mistakenly rolling over these travel trailer wheel blocks because of their strength and sturdiness, unlike the smaller plastic wheel stops.
An added convenience of these rubber wheel stops is the built-in handle which makes breaking camp a breeze.
- Built-In handle
- At 8 pounds for two, these chocks can withstand high winds
- Ideal for motorhomes and larger travel trailers
- Some RV owners complain about the strong rubber odor when new
Best X-Chocks (scissor chocks)
These stabilizing X-Chocks are one of the best ways to keep your camper from rocking back and forth when someone is walking around inside.
They work by using a threaded rod that extends the legs of the scissor chocks while tightening, pushing against each wheel until they are firmly locked in place.
These scissor type wheel chocks will fit in spaces between tires that are between 2 inches up to 10 inches. Always check the distance between your camper’s tires to ensure they will fit.
While this type of RV wheel chock may keep your RV from rolling, you should always use these in conjunction with a standard wedge type wheel chock.
The BAL X-Chocks are made from a durable steel, have a rust resistant coating, and have a built-in anti-theft device. (ability to install a padlock)
Weighing just 7.5 pounds, these travel trailer wheel chocks are lightweight and compact for easy storage.
The main downside of these wheel stabilizers is they will only work on campers with more than one axle.
- Made in the USA
- Extremely sturdy and well built
- Ability to lock with your own padlock
- Can only be used with tandem axle RVs
- Will not fit if tires are too close together
Best Leveling Wheel Chocks
If you have been looking for a high-quality and durable leveling wheel chock for your camper, look no further than these Anderson RV levelers.
With a weight rating of up to 30,000 pounds, these RV leveling chocks are sure to meet the needs of any RV owner.
These leveling blocks are extremely easy to use making the process of leveling your camper simple and hassle-free. Simply drive on the curved ramp, and when your camper is level, place the provided wheel chock under the curved piece to hold your camper in place.
The Anderson leveling chocks are made from a brightly colored red plastic that makes them easy to spot, even in low-light conditions.
- Easy to use
- High weight rating, yet lightweight and compact for easy storage
- Comes in a 2-pack for tandem axle campers
- Will not work with tires over 31 inches in diameter
- May have issues with when wheels are too close together
We can’t stress enough the importance of having a set of durable, sturdy wheel chocks for your RV. They are an essential part of your gear and should never be overlooked. It’s also a good idea to put your chocks on the list of routine gear checks and make note of the expiration date if you’re using the plastic type.
In addition to checking the expiration date on your chocks, make sure you check the expiration dates on your RV smoke detectors and CO detectors.
What are your thoughts on wheel chocks expiring? Do you still use yours after the “Best By” date? Let us know in the comment section below.