Choosing the Right Trailer Jack for Your Needs - A Comprehensive Guide

Choosing the Right Trailer Jack for Your Needs – A Comprehensive Guide

Choosing the proper trailer jack ensures safe and secure trailer operation. The jack you choose must be able to handle your trailer tongue weight.

An electric jack is a powerhouse engineered to simplify trailer hitching and leveling tasks. It offers intuitive controls to streamline the process, minimizing efforts and eliminating strain.

Size & Capacity

The capacity and size of a trailer jack are crucial factors in determining its ability to support the tongue weight of your trailer. The jack’s height is also crucial because it determines how easily you can couple and uncouple your trailer from your tow vehicle.

Some jacks have a unique feature that allows you to preset the jack leg at a specific height, making it quicker and easier to hook up your trailer. Others, such as heavy-duty weld-on jacks, feature a quick-drop leg that allows the jack leg to drop immediately when you release the pin.

The jack’s height is measured when it is fully extended, not when it is retracted, and the weight capacity is determined by how high the jack leg can be raised to support the tongue weight of your trailer.

Weight & Weight Distribution

Trailer jacks must be capable of supporting the tongue weight of your trailer. It is the most important thing to consider when selecting a trailer jack.

It would help to use a tongue weight scale to determine your tongue weight. To do this, park your trailer on a level surface and put a scale under the tongue jack (you may need to use blocks).

Then, lower the jack until it’s pressing on the scale. Then, read the reading to determine how much your trailer’s tongue weighs. Remember that this method doesn’t account for the weight of your trailer if you use a weight distribution system. It can significantly alter your tongue weight. Therefore, this method should only be used as a guide.

Height & Weight Capacity

In addition to how high the trailer jack can go, it’s essential to consider its weight capacity. The jack leg, foot, and handle combination determines the jack’s ability to lift and support.

Many jacks come with a jack foot that mounts to the bottom of the jack leg. It provides added stability, especially on uneven terrain. It also reduces friction between the jack and the ground when raising or lowering.

Many jacks can be mounted with either bolt-on hardware or weld-on models. Bolt-on jacks are easier to install and can be removed more easily should the need arise. Weld-on jacks are more permanent and require professional welding skills and equipment to mount.

Mounting System

Jacks need to be mounted securely to prevent them from accidentally slipping or rolling off the trailer tongue. It’s essential to work incrementally, checking the jack leg and foot as you raise or lower it to ensure everything works correctly.

Most jacks are secured with a cap screw and cotter pin, so you can easily replace them if they get damaged or worn out. Some jacks also have a foot or wheel that can be removed to allow you to pivot or move the trailer if necessary.

Some jacks feature a quick drop leg that lowers and raises the trailer tongue with just one button. It can help you save time and energy, especially when loading and unloading.

Additional Features

Trailer jacks are exposed to the elements constantly and can wear out or break over time. Fortunately, the individual components are affordable and relatively easy to replace. For example, the handle can deteriorate over time, leaving you with an uncomfortable grip, or it may simply dry rot from use. Changing the handle can be done quickly enough, but replacing the internal gears and pins is a more involved job that requires some DIY expertise.

Some trailer jacks have a drop leg, which can lower the trailer faster and save power by bringing the bottom of the jack closer to the ground. They also have a protective finish, such as powder coating or zinc plating, that resists the elements. It protects them from rusting and runaway road debris and salt.

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