There is no such thing as a trailer without a trailer jack. While the trailer jack may look very simple, it's one of the essential elements in any trailer setup. The tongue jack's fundamental use is to lift the front of the trailer to allow it to connect or hitch to a car. While some trailers are very light and manageable to raise by a manual jack, not everyone is that strong. Electric trailer jacks are often the go-to choice for those who want to quickly hitch their trailer without any hiccups along the way, which will be discussed further later on.
Here are the top 4 most important things to think about when it comes to tongue jacks
1. Choosing Jack Size
Whether you're looking for a manual or an electric jack, they have different weight capacities that you need to know before purchasing. The trailer's size and weight are often the first factors taken into consideration when determining the required power, but they are not the only factors. Since the tongue jack is fitted at the front to lift the front of the trailer, you'll want to know how much the tongue jack's weight is. As a good rule of thumb, the jack's importance should never exceed 15% of the trailer's weight.
2. Types of RV Trailer Jacks
- Manual Jacks
Manual jacks come with a hand crank used to lift or lower the trailer's hitch area hydraulically. They are considerably more challenging to use than their electric counterparts because they require a considerable amount of physical power. What makes them tempting for many experts is their durability, making it very hard to break by mistake or from the malfunctioning of internal components. Naturally, manual jacks are cheaper because the materials and their setup are simple.
- Electric Jacks
Electric jacks do all the physical work for you, so you don't have to worry about your back anymore. It's operated by gears, which means pressing a button is all you need to run it. As mentioned on https://www.calloftheopenroad.com/best-electric-tongue-jack/, it's much quicker than manual lifting. It needs to be connected to an electric 12-volt power source because many moving parts need to be fed with power. Even though it's usually quite challenging, it is prone to break more than a manual jack. If you are ever in a situation where the battery isn't operational, a manual crank embedded can override the electric jack in such a scenario.
3. Hitching with the Tongue Jack
If you don't have a lot of experience with hitching and unhitching your trailer, you may feel a bit overwhelmed at first. It's essential to memorize the sequence and make sure not to miss a step to avoid an embarrassing situation. Before you start hooking, make sure you've got the right ball for the coupler. Having a backup person should help you manage to hitch the ball with the coupler as you park. Make sure you've disconnected the utilities and raise your stabilizers first. Drive the vehicle in reverse to reach the coupler, and make sure the ball is then centered under the coupler. Once the ball is centered, lower the jack to connect with the ball. Make sure to close the locking lever to avoid mishaps. Once the jack is retracted, start connecting the chains and cables. Before you move your trailer, ensure that the signals and lights are properly working and remove the chocks.
4. Jack Extensions
Some jacks come with a drop leg that lowers the jack to the ground before you begin the process of reducing it. This is useful with electric and manual jacks because they won't require as much energy or power to do the same job. While some people may tend to use wooden boards or other objects to raise the jack's height, this can be very dangerous. A leg extension will ensure that the rig is safe from rolling over. If you haven't purchased a jack yet, opt for ones that come with the extension or buy them separately.
Getting familiar with the types of tongue jacks and the best ways to do them will aid you immensely with your trailer. There are many different tongue jacks in the market, so it's essential to know the specifications that suit your needs the most. We'd recommend electric jacks, especially if you are a beginner.