How to Jack Up a Travel Trailer

How to Jack Up a Travel Trailer, Motorhome or a 5th Wheel Trailer?

Recreational vehicles, motorhomes, and travel trailers are among the most convenient inventions for the people who love to travel and prefer to spend time in their vehicles. If you are planning a trip in the woods then travel trailer is going to be very handy for you.  You need to take care of your trailer as well. You must be able to maintain it through regular checkups and frequent servicing. This will allow you to maintain it in top condition and you won’t have to bear with any situation out of the blue. But travel trailers are not as light as your average vehicle either. These trailers have different configurations and are very large size-wise. For this reason, most people are confused about what’s the proper way to jack up a travel trailer or 5th wheel.

So, we are going to answer all you need to know about jacking up a travel trailer!

Jacking up your 5th wheel trailer?

A 5th wheel trailer is very tough when it comes to jacking up. This trailer has a particular coupling type which is called the 5th wheel coupling. It serves to be a connection between the towing unit and the RV or semi-trailer. Usually, a leading trailer or a truck serves to be the towing unit.

You can either link a tractor too. This 5th wheel coupling is also there in some models of semi-trailers which you can link to the trailer. This is a very efficient setup because when your truck turns, the surface of the semi-trailer rotates facing downwards. This turns out to be an efficient link between your trailer and the truck

Different requirements & various methods

5th wheel trailers are pretty tricky for jacking up because it can be dangerous. But there are some useful techniques that you can utilize for this purpose. For instance, if you are on the road and want to change the tire quickly then, of course, you must get off-road and get away from traffic. You will have to be extra cautious if you are on a hill or any slanted road.

  • If you are on a slanted road and the soil beneath you is loose, then you need to jack it up at the axle’s end. It needs to be raised enough that the wheel is above the ground. You can also drive any good wheels and the bad wheels will stay up. You must always keep safety on priority and make sure that the axle that you have jacked up doesn’t get damaged.
  • If you are on a paved road without any slanting then you can use the frame of the trailer for the jacking purpose. You can easily jack your trailer as much as you like. But make sure to place your jack on hard or solid ground, not within loose soil because this is dangerous as well.

Jacking up your travel trailer with a bottle jack?

These travel trailers are very heavy and you need to handle them with gentleness and delicacy. As these trailers are bulky you cannot use your normal vehicle equipment with it because of the enormous weight. Jacking up such vehicles can be an issue and without any adequate training or knowledge, you cannot do it. A bottleneck turns out to be a very useful piece of equipment to do it.

This bottle jack is an essential tool when you go on the road for your trips. This is the safest tool that you can use for the purpose of jacking up your trailer.

What’s this bottle jack?

It’s a jack that looks just like a bottle because of its shape. It has a cylindrical body and neck. There are a couple of variants of this jack; one is the screw variant and the other is the hydraulic variant. In the hydraulic model, the ram emerges vertically from the body when you apply hydraulic pressure with the help of a pump. The screw variant has a lever instead of a pump.

Bottle jack use

If your vehicle has a high clearance ratio then a bottle jack will work for you. Usually, it works well with trucks and travel trailers. Te screw variant has a large unit and it also has a turn for elevation. There is a bevel gear for you to raise the jack by using the gear teeth on the side of the neck of the jack.

When you are using a bottle jack to jack up your travel trailer,

  • Make sure to always position the jack right under your trailer’s axle using a U-bolt plate. Don’t place it on the axle tube because it can easily break and cause vehicle damage.
  • Also, make sure to lose the lug nuts right before you raise the wheel to ensure that you don’t have to work hard when the wheels are in the air.

Bottle Jack

Bottle Jack

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Pro-Lift manufactured a 30-ton B-S20D bottle jack, which is perfect for truck service, auto, shop, and farm use. The best thing about Pro-Lift jack is that it shows long-lasting performance in heat-treated dangerous stress areas. Moreover, it comes with a carrying handle that makes it portable. Therefore, you can easily carry wherever and whenever you want it.

The Hydraulic B-S20D Bottle Jack has equipped with the lifting saddle that is made of steel. This steel saddle can hold approximately 30-ton weight securely. You can also adjust the height of the Pro-Lift jack by using the screw extension. The inbuilt bypass system also provides protection against ram during traveling.

Jacking up your travel trailer (single-axle)?

When you consider buying a travel trailer, most of the time, you look for the best deals and lowest rates, and the highest reliability, performance, and comfort. On a low budget, you look for the options that will cost you less but there’s a catch here! The trade-off here is reduced performance and reliability. If you really want to save and purchase something cheap then you need to go for a single axle trailer.

What’s this single-axle trailer?

As the name goes, this trailer only has one axle. This axle is linked with both the wheels with the help of springs. In some other cases, this axle is directly linked with the bed of the trailer. These single axle trailers are easy to tow because they are lightweight. You won’t have to worry about the price of a double-axle trailer, and you don’t have to do anything about the towing such a heavy vehicle. Single-axle vehicles are very easy to park as well even in tight spaces particularly where the double and the tandem axles are sluggish.

Single axle trailer requirements

These trailers need a tire choke (single axle) along with a hydraulic bottle jack such a jack needs to be very sturdy and must be made of strong material. This will keep itself from ay tension or force that is produced due to the lifting of the heavy trailer. In usual cases, you can pick such a jack only when you can make sure that you won’t use the leveler for the purpose of raising the trailer in the case of a single axle trailer.

Single axle tire choke

Single Axle Chock

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BAL Company constructed plenty of premium quality products, especially for trailers such as roof bows, stabilizing jack, leveling jack, wheel choke, tongue jacks, and more. Apart from these, a single axle 28020-tire choke is one of the best products that are the patent-pending product. It has coated with a superior material that makes it anti-rust and increases its reliability and durability.

The best thing about BAL tire choke is that it prevents the trailer’s wheels from swaying and rolling. Furthermore, it also helps in trailer stabilization that saves you from fishtail. This single axle better-quality tire choke is lightweight and you can easily carry it wherever you want especially in traveling. On the other hand, the lightweight single axle permits you to store it in the storage places for future use.

Black all bottle

Bottle Jack All-in-One

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Alltrade 640912 Jack is all-in-one bottle-jack contains the whole things you want for lifting heavy vehicles in your shop or garages. The capacity of the Powerbuilt jack is 6000 pounds that are perfect for multiple lifting tasks. These tasks can be off-road vehicles, works on SUVs, farming, construction jobs, and floor-joist work. Powerbuilt presented it with a patented design that comes with a combination of jack stand and a bottle jack.

In addition, it is equipped with a safety bar that locks the jack at the required height. It also has a wide base that is made from steel and it provides great stability under a specified load. The range of lifting is about 11-inch to 17.25-inch. However, you can increase it up to 21-inch manually. The company gives you a 1-year warranty as well.

Single-axle trailer – Changing tire

Changing the tires can be very difficult, particularly if you are not familiar with lifting heavy vehicles with a jack. Among the most irksome jobs is to change the tires of a travel trailer that is a single axle. This is a task that needs a lot of skill and patience. These trailers are lightest but at times most difficult to jack up. The best way to do it is by using a good quality bottle jack.

Torin Big Red bottle Jack

Torin Big Red Bottle Jack

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It comes with a rating of 40,000 pounds. This bottle jack is a top quality product. Torin has used forged steel alloy in its construction combined with other sturdy materials. It ensures that this jack doesn’t get out of shape even under high tension and pressure. It is expensive but you won’t find anything better than this bottle jack either. So, we highly recommend it!

You need to be fully prepared in case of any tire bursts or any other problem to fix. You will need a bottle jack and a single choke to change the tire on a single-axle trailer. Make sure that you drive to an empty space and turn the ignition off. Get your bottle jack and choke out and start the process.

The procedure

To begin the process you must run the wheels over the choke so they get lifted slightly. It will ease up the process and will become reliable to make the change. You can lose all the lug nuts at this point and get your wheel to wobble. We recommend that you need to do this before you jack the trailer up.

It is because that the loosening of lug nuts is a lot difficult once you jack your vehicle. Therefore, make sure that you loosen them on the ground. But make sure that you don’t lose them so much that the tire falls off. Just do it halfway! Then you must find the U bolt plate on your trailer’s axle. Keep in mind that you never place your jack on the axle tube. This will damage the tube and your vehicle will become non-functional.

The correct spot to position your jack is the U-bolt plate. Now crank the pump on your bottle jack. You can do so by pushing it down and then pulling it up. You can carry on this process until you have your vehicle on the height and in the position you want it to be in. Now lose the lug nuts further for removing the tire entirely.

Get the spare tire out

Now get your spare tire out or buy a new one altogether. Make sure to have a look at the spare tire. See if there are any punctures in it or any other problems. After full satisfaction, get it in position and tighten the nuts up. Same again, just tighten them halfway through and release the bottle jack lever and let the vehicle go down. Then it’s time for you to tighten the nuts entirely to complete the process!

Jacking up your horse trailer?

Horse trailers are very non-traditional types of travel trailers. These trailers can come in handy for a variety of objectives. But usually, they are commonly used for transporting livestock or horses. These trailers also come in a variety of mechanisms and designs.

Different types

The designs of these trailers may involve being pulled by an SUV or a truck. Some of these trailers are also useful for small units that can only carry a couple of horses. The larger units might feature space for five horses as well.

Stock trailers are the cheapest of all these models and in such a trailer, the comfort of the animals doesn’t matter at all. But these trailers are not recommendable for the horses’ well-being. Horse trailers are better than stock trailers because they feature various configurations for comfort. These are heavy as well because of their weight and the horses’ weight as well.

Jacking it up

It is fairly challenging as well to jack a horse trailer up. This job also requires a lot of skills and patience. These trailers usually feature double-axle mechanisms for firm support. They must have excellent suspension to ensure excellent comfort for your animals to keep them free of any stress and adjust their bodyweight.

To jack your horse trailer up properly, you need to make sure that your tires are adequately leveled. We suggest you to only use a good quality leveler to ensure that you can easily level out your tires and fix them up. After that, it is a good option for you to either use a ramp or a choke for elevating your back or front wheels.

If you are jacking to work on the hind wheels then elevate the front wheels on the ramp or choke. It will provide extra support to the tires. After that, you need to get a floor jack to provide support to your vehicle.

Things to consider

Make sure that you check the rating of your jack to see how much it can support. If the weight of your trailer is more than the rating of your jack then don’t use it at all. It can prevent you from any unwanted incident that is of hazardous nature. You need to place the floor jack right under the axle and pull the crank consistently.

Again, make sure that you lose the lug nuts, halfway before you jack it. When you raise the floor afterward then lose the nuts all the way and remove the tires. Get your spare tire and replace it and tighten the lug nuts halfway. Now lower the jack and let the tires touch the ground and tighten them all the way.

Grey-Profile-Floor

Floor Jack

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Pro-Lift presented the F-767 floor jack that is the best 2-ton extra low profile jack. It offers you excellent access to low-ground clearance of vehicles. Additionally, provides you a range of lifting from 3.5-inch to 14-inch. Therefore, you can fit the floor jack under the clearance of 3.5-inch. This is the reason, it is easy to maneuver, and you can reposition it as your requirement.

The manufacturer uses heavy-duty steel to construct it, which increases its durability. The patented and unique bypass device provides over-pumping protection and an inbuilt safety valve protects from overload. The Company gives you a 90-days warranty as well.

Putting a trailer on a jack stand?

What’s this jack stand?

It is a critical piece of equipment that you must keep in your trailer. It provides solid support to your trailer as it is lifted in the air. Jack stands are useful for shorter stands in terms of ground clearance. These stands assist in elevating the jack to a compatible height.

These stands come in different designs and versions. They all have different functionalities as well. When you are purchasing a jack stand for yourself you need to make sure that they come with a correct weight limit. Not considering this factor can result in an unsafe situation.

Jacking up your vehicle?

For adequately jacking up your trailer that’s heavy and get more ground clearance, you just need a good quality jack stand to allow the vehicle to elevate itself properly. If you are looking to raise the entire vehicle then you should drive the fore-wheels of your vehicle to the ramp or chokes.

After that, you can position a jack stand right under your vehicle and hoist your jack on the stand. Next is to crank the lever up and elevate your vehicle. You can also use chokes as an alternative way and use the stand to lift the trailer up from the side you need. This will not allow you much control and the situation is more prone to accidents.

However, this will be a lot easier to achieve because the chokes are far easier to set and you won’t take much time to get your vehicle to the chokes either. Another way of doing it is by using just two jacks and lifting the entire vehicle up but it is a less reliable technique. It is useful if you don’t have any chokes or ramp. Nevertheless, you must achieve the balance in a proper manner here otherwise, there I no support for your trailer on which it can stand.

Steel-Jack-Stands

Jack Stand

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AmazonBasics presented a high-quality steel jack that comes with an auto stand. The heavy-duty stand can hold more than 3-ton or about 60000 pounds weight. The base of the jack is square that enhances the stability level and makes it ideal for underbody repairs. The compact design of the steel jack stand is lightweight and more durable. Therefore, you can use it in your shop and garages.

Additionally, you can easily carry it and keep it in the trunk just like further roadside types of equipment. The self-locking is the best feature of this product that permits you to adjust the height as your requirements. The AmazonBasics gives you a 1-year warranty as well.

Jacking up your Class-A Motorhome?

What’s this Class-A motorhome?

Class-A motorhomes have a relatively durable and strong chassis. The mainframe is identical to a commercial bus and even 18-wheelers have that same design and construction. These motorhomes have heavier and larger wheels. The diameter on average of these wheels is 22.5-inch.

These tires support the weight of the entire vehicle. But these motorhomes are not fuel-efficient. These vehicles have beds and couches in them. And four to five people can comfortably fit in them as well. This is your closest option on the road. The design will vary from one model to another.

Jacking up your motorhome

If you are looking to jack up your Class-A motorhome then you have to be very careful because of the immense weight. Therefore, you need to go for high quality and very durable jacks. Such motorhomes can weigh up to 16 tons. So you require a jack that can support this much weight with ease.

For this reason, you need to go for the air bottle jacks as they are good for lifting RVs. To remove the tires you will need a good quality impact wrench. The tires might seem a bit too heavy but removing them is generally is a one-man job. You can also go for professional assistance in this regard.

Libra Leveling Jacks

Leveling Jacks

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Libra manufactured a two-leveling scissor jack that offers 5000 pounds capacity to keep the RV stable and leveled. You can adjust the height from 4-inch to 24-inch as the requirements of the situation. The best thing about the product is that it provides brilliant stability even on soft surfaces. This is because of an extensive bow-tie base.

Moreover, it is featuring with leveling and stabilizing camper, trailers, RVs, and other. Keep in mind that never tries to use it for lifting purposes, changing tires, and supporting the weight of vehicles. Improper use of the Libra jack can cause any serious damage or injury. Additionally, improper use also voids the warranty.

Frequently Ask Questions (FAQS)

What size Jack do I need for my trailer?

As per the rule of thumb, a tongue weighs about 10% to 15% of the trailer weight. For example, a trailer weighs 4600 pounds, so you should have between 460 pounds and 690 pounds of tongue weight. Therefore, between 1000 pounds to 2000 pounds jack size is fine for your trailer.

Can you jack up a truck by the axle?

Yes! You can safely jack up your truck by the axle. Additionally, if you are using a hydraulic floor jack, it will lift the whole truck at once because it is designed to carry greatly more weight.

What is a trailer jack?

Plenty of hitch jacks are available on the market and each of them varies in terms of weight, price, and other features. These are also known as tongue jacks or trailer jacks. A trailer jack is designed to lift up and stabilize a trailer so you can use it for towing purposes. Moreover, many accessories of the hitch are also accessible that makes the towing process a little easier.

Where do you place the jack for raising a truck?

You have to slide the jack stand for placing it near your jack, under a secure area like the frame of a vehicle. Placing the jack for raising a truck is totally based on the situation. For example, if you want to raise the rear or front wheels then you need to place the jack stand either near the wheels or near side of the jack. Let me clear one thing that jack itself is used to raise your vehicle, but the stand of the jack is holding your vehicles in an appropriate place.

What kind of Jack do you use for a lifted truck?

There are many types of jacks are used to lift up the truck and few of them are listed below. Keep in mind that all kinds of jacks are different from each other.

  • Bottle jack
  • Hi-Lift jack
  • Uni-jack
  • Trolley jack
  • Scissor jack
  • Floor jack
  • Service jack
  • Triple lift jack
  • Electric Hydraulic jack

What is the best area on a vehicle to place a jack?

There are numerous types of jacks are used to lift up your vehicle and all have different methods and specific areas where you can place them. For example, if you have the best hydraulic jack then there is a need to place its handle into a suitable location as well as pump ups and downs.

Use it very nicely, even strokes, and takes the handle of jack from the lowest point to the highest point on every stroke to eliminate the labor involvement. Furthermore, you have to place the stand of jack under your vehicle, for example, nears the jack or stand touching the jack.

Can you jack a vehicle on a slope?

Yes! You can jack your vehicle even from perpendicular to the sloppy area but your vehicle’s tire should be flat on the high side. On the other hand, if you leave your trailer in gear, and depend on if your vehicle is on a rear-wheel drive or front-wheel drive, do not try to jack up both wheels from the front side if it is on the front-wheel drive. This is because; a vehicle on a slope is an incredibly unstable object on the road.

How much weight can 3-ton jack stands hold?

The superior quality steel jack stands to provide support load more than 6000 lbs. these stands can adjust rapidly from 11-3/4-inches to a maximum of 16-3/8-inch. This is for storage purposes and repair works.

Are bottle jacks good as compared to floor jack?

Floor jacks are easier and quicker to use. If the vehicles are not at the much ground clearance then usually a bottle jack will not suitable. The floor jacks are also provided more stability due to its longer base. Additionally, they distribute the vehicle’s weight equally.

However, the bottle jack is cheaper but can lift more loads with ease. The best thing about bottle jack is that they are smaller and you can easily carry it as compared to the floor jack. Therefore, you can use it in tight places conveniently but floor jack is bigger and ideal to use in large areas.

Are scissor jacks safe?

Both the floor jacks and scissor jacks have their own place and use, but according to different situations, the use of scissor jacks can be inconvenient. You can say that a scissor jack is a device that is used to lift up the vehicle carefully and slowly. These are diagonal metal pieces, which expand and contract in a way like a pair of scissors.

Can 2-ton jack lift SUV?

The 2-ton weight is the safest working limit of the jacks. You will not face any problem related to weight. However, a 2-ton weight jack is not recommended for four-wheel-drive vehicles.

Is it bad to leave a vehicle on a jack?

It is dangerous for the vehicles and their surroundings to leave them on a jack overnight. Even the smallest amount of leaks can reason to collapse over time.

How high can a scissor jack go?

The scissor jack is the best jack for raising both lighter and heavier vehicles. The maximum height of lighting the vehicle up is about 15-inch to 30-inch.

What is the capacity of scissor jack?

The scissor jack can lift about 1-ton to 2-ton and it provides the best stability to the vehicle if it is under the weight capacity. In another case, if you try to lift more than 2-ton weight, it will not provide its best performance.

Which oil is used in hydraulic jack?

The mineral-based oil is known as Hydraulic Jack Oil that is well suitable for hydraulic jack. You can also use it for bottle type and hydraulic trolley type jacks. Additionally, if have electric car hoists, you can also try this oil for better results.

Is it safe to change a tire on an incline?

Well, you can change a tire on an inclined surface, but it is a risky, more difficult and dangerous task too. However, try to purchase heavy-duty jack that lifts up more weight with great stability in severe situations as well.

What is the difference between the floor jack and trolley jack?

The floor jack is a lightweight option for you, which provides easy maneuverability. It has a sufficient amount of ability to raise heavy vehicles. They are not having any kind of wheel so you cannot use drag and drop method to reposition it.

The trolley jack has a lengthy pole and springs are also attached to it. These are much heavier selection but it can comfortably lift up the heavier vehicles in a perfect way. Due to wheels, you can easily drag it wherever you want to reposition it.

Can I use one jack stand?

It completely depends on the situation. You want to either lift one wheel from the front end or back end or want to lift an entire vehicle. Consequently, if you want to lift only one end of your vehicle, you just need 02 jack stands. Apart from that, if you want to raise an entire vehicle, you have to use 04 jack stands.

Do I need jack stands to change brakes?

If you need to change the brake pads, it does not just lift up the vehicle by using a jack, you have to use a heavy-duty jack stand as well. This is because; it keeps your vehicle propping up in a better way.

Are Jack stands safe?

Remember that jack stand is not used to lift up the vehicle, it delivers a fixed support in the safest way for the raised vehicles like travel trailers. As an alternative, you can also use Ramps that is also a good option and provide solid and large point of contact in case of any failure. Nevertheless, jack stands are more versatile as compared to Ramps.

Is it OK to jack up a car by the differential?

The differential has specially designed for carrying heavier vehicles. It also provides great support in the air as well. For jacking up a travel trailer, if you are going to use the rear differential then you need premium quality and heavy-duty hydraulic floor jack along with jack stand. For that reason, they are highly rated for trailers weight.

What are the signs of a bad rear differential?

While raising a travel trailer, supportiveness is playing a very important role. The following are the few signs that indicate a bad rear differential:

  • Some clunking noise comes from the vehicle
  • Irritating a little grinding noise at the time of acceleration or vehicle’s speed
  • Fluid leaking
  • Vibration

What size electric jack do I need for my travel trailer?

An electric jack can lift 3650 pounds heavier steel gears. According to our experts, a trailer jack that comes with a 2-1/4-inch diameter is highly recommends for 18-inch travel trailers. Additionally, you can say that this diameter is according to standard A-frame style for a trailer tongue.

What is a low profile jack?

If you have particularly those vehicles that are low to the ground then you should have a jack for raising them higher. This is because; the repair and maintenance purposes and accessing the side panels of them. The Low to ground vehicles includes show cars, sports cars, and more.

Can you use a car jack on a truck?

This is a very important point to understand that you cannot lift your travel trailer with a single jack. A single jack is suitable for lifting a car. However, you need two to four jacks for lifting an entire trailer.

How much does it cost to lift a vehicle?

Lifting cost is typically depending on the size of your trailer lift, its installation, and the required a kit. Therefore, if you configure it by yourself, you just need to purchase a lift kit that is costing about $400 to $4000. In another case, if you need any profession, it can cost almost $800 to $8000.

If you think you can lift the vehicle by using a kit in an effective way, do it. However, if you have any doubts, please do not take any kind of risk and hire a professional.

How much can a 2-ton jack stand hold?

A pair of jack stand means that it can hold either the front side or back side of the vehicles. According to our experts, keep in mind that if your vehicle weighs 2-ton, always use at least 2.5-ton jack stand for lifting them.

Final word

Jacking a travel trailer up can be a tough job and it requires a good amount of skills, patience, and experience. However, with the passage of time, you will get used to it and any chance of failure will be little to none.

Make sure that you always check the rating for weight when you consider a jack for purchasing according to your vehicle. In the above text, we have mentioned some of the best items that you can use to jack your trailers. Be sure to make a selection after confirming the weight ratings. This is mandatory to keep yourself safe from any unwanted incidents.

We have also mentioned different techniques that you can employ for jacking up different types of trailers. In addition to the right tools also make sure that you choose the right techniques to jack your trailer to guarantee the safety of yourself and everyone around you. We surely hope that through this post we have been able to respond to the question of what’s the proper way to jack up a travel trailer or 5th wheel!

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