A jack is a vertical device that is positioned on the tongue of the trailer to help lift or lower your trailer to make it perfectly leveled. It’s also used to hitch and unhitch your trailer from your tow vehicle. If you wish to utilize your travel trailer, you’ll need a jack. If you don’t have a trailer jack you’ll have to lift the entire trailer by hand which is quite impossible. There are a few things you should know about trailer jacks and about your vehicle so you can get the best jack available on the market.
What Size Jack Do You Need?
Not all jacks are made equal because they have different classifications, and lifting capacity.
Your trailer weight and your trailer tongue weight can be found in your owner’s manual.
The tongue weight should not exceed 15% of the overall trailer weight as a rule of thumb. However, if you have a lot of heavy items like a big refrigerator in the front of your trailer, your trailer might become heavier. Don’t forget about the weight of the batteries and the propane tank when it’s full. You can simply calculate the tongue weight by knowing how much your trailer weighs when it’s completely loaded.
If you employ a weight distribution system, tongue weight isn’t the only thing you should be aware of. If you utilize a weight distribution hitch, you’ll most likely require the jack to elevate the back end of your vehicle and trailer to connect and disconnect the weight distribution trailer hitch.
This implies that you’ll also need to know how much your truck’s back end weighs. You won’t be raising it off the ground, but your jack must be capable of supporting both the tongue and the truck end weight.
To determine how much weight is on your back axle, you can check the manual that comes with the vehicle. You can determine how heavy-duty a hitch you require after you know how much your tongue weighs plus a percentage of what your truck end weighs.
It’s usually preferable to have too much power on your jack’s capacity than to have too little.
Types Of Trailer Jacks
You have the option of choosing between a manual or an electric jack.
A manual jack is one that lifts and lowers the tongue using a hand crank. With a manual jack like the Blackout 2,000 lbs Side Wind Swivel Mount Jack you have to use your muscles to level your trailer perfectly. The amount of rotations you must turn is determined by the gradient you are on and the height or lowness of your hitch. While manual jacks are physically harder to use, some people like the workout they provide. They also tend to be cheaper and possibly more durable than electric jacks because there are fewer parts to break.
Electric Trailer Jack
An electric jack is a gear-driven device that does all the work for you with the press of a button. To function, the jack must be attached to your battery, and it can only be powered by a 12-volt source. There are also some excellent drill powered jacks such as the Trailer Valet JX 2K Side which can be used without connecting it to your battery.
If you don’t have access to a power outlet and your battery dies, you can still hitch your trailer with your electric jack. You should have a manual crank on your electric jack that you may use to override the electric parts in case you lose electricity. This ensures that you don’t get stuck somewhere without power and without any way to hitch or move your trailer.
A functional electronic jack will be far easier to operate than a manual jack, particularly for people with back problems.
Other Features To Consider
Straight-Tongue Or A-Frame
The tongue shape of your trailer is important to consider when you are choosing a trailer jack. A-frame and straight-tongue trailer jacks are the most common types. Your trailer has an A-frame tongue if your coupler is fixed on an A-shaped metal frame. A straight-tongue trailer is when the coupler is positioned on the end of a long, steel tube, and you’ll need a jack manufactured to accommodate it.
Side-Wind Or Top-Wind
Cranks are commonly used to raise and lower trailer jacks. Some cranks are set to wind up and down, while others work side to side. Consider which type of crank would be ideal for your trailer because there may be obstacles on your trailer that prevent you from winding a top-wind crank or a side-wind crank.
Weld-on Trailer Jack
Weld-on trailer jacks have a plate or ring that must be welded to the tongue of your trailer. Once installed, these jacks are permanently linked to your trailer tongue, providing a stronger, more robust connection to the trailer than bolt-on models.
Bolt-on Trailer Jack
Bolt-on jacks use u-bolts to attach to the tongue of your trailer. One of the best things about bolt-on tongue jacks is that, unlike weld-on jacks, they can typically be adjusted to sit anywhere along the trailer tongue and are easy to remove or replace. Bolt-on jacks on a-frame trailers normally slide through the jack hole in the trailer’s a-frame and can’t be modified like a straight-tongue trailer’s bolt-on jack.
Wheeled Trailer Jack
Smaller trailers benefit greatly from wheeled trailer jacks. They’re generally bolt-on jacks with a bottom wheel so you can move your trailer by hand or slide it into place to couple it.
Jack Leg Extensions
Some jacks include a ‘drop’ leg that lowers the jack’s bottom to the ground before you begin lowering it. Extensions like these will save you time and effort while leveling your trailer.
An extension is the safest way to make sure your trailer doesn’t tip over. However, some people place boards beneath the jack which is not recommended because the trailer may roll over. As a result, using a trailer jack leg extension to secure your trailer is a much better option.
A jack foot is the bottom of the jack leg that touches the ground. If there is no foot on the jack, the leg would essentially be a hollow tube.
A jack is a necessary trailer accessory if you own a travel trailer. Manual jacks demand more effort from the user since they need them to accomplish the heavy lifting themselves, whereas electric jacks make this task much simpler. Make sure that whichever you choose is able to support the weight of your trailer’s tongue and be able to elevate a portion of the rear end of the tow vehicle.