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How To Jack Up A Travel Trailer – Definitive Guide In 2020

Travel trailers or RVs are one of the most convenient inventions for travelers and people who normally like to live in their vehicles when they travel. Travel trailers are always handy when you have to go for a trip in the woods or to a hill station, as you save on motels or other overnight costs.

One of the major aspects of a good travel trailer is that you must maintain it through constant servicing and checkups in order for it to be in prime condition. Perhaps, you can say this is the case with all vehicles, but with travel trailers, comfort and reliability can only be ensured through constant servicing.

However, this is a rather tricky thing to do since travel trailers are not like your average vehicle. They are much larger in size, they have different configurations and they must be treated in a different way. One of the major questions people ask about travel trailers is: what is the proper way to jack up a travel trailer?” We’re here to help you with that.

How do I jack up a fifth-wheel trailer?

A fifth-wheel trailer is one of the most difficult to jack up. The fifth-wheel trailer uses a special kind of coupling called the 5th wheel coupling. This coupling basically provides a link between the semi-trailer or RV and towing unit. The towing unit is usually a truck or a leading trailer.

However, in some cases, you can also attach a tractor. Some travel trailers use the 5th wheel coupling technique to couple the truck’s bed to the trailer. This makes for an efficient set up as when the truck turns, the semi-trailer’s surface facing downward rotates making an efficient connection between the truck and trailer.

Different Requirements, Different Methods

A fifth-wheel trailer can be quite tricky to jack up correctly. It can also be dangerous, but that bit is obvious. There are several ways you could safely and efficiently jack up a fifth-wheel trailer. Supposing that you are on the road and in need to change your wheel quickly, the first thing you should do is get off the road. This means that you should drive off to a safe space away from traffic. If you are on a slanted road, or on a hill, then you need to be extra careful.

  • In the case that you are on a hill and the dirt beneath you is soft, it is a better idea to jack the trailer up only at the end of the axle. You must raise the vehicle enough so that the wheel is above the surface. Alternatively, you can also drive the good wheels (if there are any) on the blocks so that the bad wheel stays up. Remember that safety is a priority and that the axle jacked up on the end does not clearly damage the axle.
  • If you are on a paved road that does not slant, then you can just jack the trailer up using the trailer’s frame. It will allow you to safely lift the wheel up as much as you want, but you should be careful to firmly place the jack on solid ground and not in soft dirt, otherwise, this can be hazardous.

How to jack up a travel trailer using a bottle jack?

Travel trailers are extremely heavy vehicles and you must approach them with delicacy and tenderness. Since these travel trailers are very heavy, normal vehicle equipment does not work very well as they weigh more and you need to be very careful.

Jacking them up is a problem and not many can do it without proper knowledge or training. One of the most useful types of equipment that comes in handy is the bottle jack. The bottle jack is an essential tool to have when you venture out on the roads in your travel trailer. A hydraulic bottle jack is the safest tool to use when trying to fix a wheel or lifting the trailer up.

What is a bottle jack?

A bottle jack is basically a jack that has the shape of a bottle. The bottle jack has a cylindrical body and neck which gives it a unique look. There are two variants of the bottle jack: the hydraulic variant and the screw variant. In the hydraulic variant of the bottle jack, the hydraulic ram emerges from the body vertically. You can achieve this by providing hydraulic pressure to the jack using a pump or a lever.

Use of bottle jacks

The bottle jacks are useful for vehicles with high clearance ratios such as travel trailers and trucks. The screw variant uses a large nut which has a turn for elevation. It uses a bevel gear to raise the jack by exploiting the gear teeth on the sides of the jack’s neck.

When using a bottle jack for your vehicle, here are some tips which will help you safely raise your vehicle up for servicing the wheel change.

  • Remember to always place the bottle jack under the axle on the U bolt plate. It is imperative to note that you should never place it on the axle tube. The axle tube can easily break and cause your vehicle damage.
  • Always remember to loosen the lug nuts before you raise the wheel so you don’t have to work a lot when the wheels are in the air.

How to jack up a single axle travel trailer?

When you venture out to buy a new travel trailer, you usually look for the vehicle with the lowest rate but with the highest comfort, reliability, and performance. When you have a low budget, you usually go for the option which costs less, but there’s a trade-off.

This trade-off usually comes at a price of performance. Similarly, when you go to buy a travel trailer, you get two options: a tandem or double axle trailer or a single axle trailer. And if you really want to save up and buy something that is cheap, then the single axle trailer is probably what you would choose.

What is a single axle trailer?

The single axle trailer, as the name suggests, consists of only a single axle which is connected to both the wheels using springs. Or in other cases, it can be connected to the wheels directly by attaching it to the trailer bed. These single axle trailers are lightweight and therefore easier to tow.

You don’t have to worry about the costs of neither buying the double axle trailers nor do you have to worry about exuberant costs of towing those heavy vehicles. These single-axle vehicles also make it really easy to park in tight spaces where double axles or tandem axles would normally give out.

Requirements of a single axle trailer

The single axle trailers require a single axle tire chock and a hydraulic jack such as the Alltrade 640912 Black 3 Ton which is a strong hydraulic bottle jack. This hydraulic jack uses strong and sturdy materials to protect itself from the tension and force produced by lifting a heavy vehicle up.

You can usually choose the kind of bottle jack you want to use, but we strongly recommend the Alltrade 640912 as it is foolproof and never fails. Make sure that you don’t use a leveler for raising the travel trailer if it is a single axle trailer. There is a huge risk involved in doing this and we do not recommend it.

How do I change the tire on a single axle travel trailer?

Changing tires can be a tough job especially if you are not used to lifting heavy vehicles with a jack. One of the trickiest jobs is to change the tire on a single axle travel trailer. This requires patience as well as skill.

The single axle travel trailers are some of the lightest yet some of the trickiest to get to levitate. As we have explained earlier, the best way to lift up a single axle travel trailer is to use a well-renowned brand of bottle jacks. If you are to take our opinion, we would recommend you to use Torin Big Red bottle jack.

Torin Big Red bottle Jack

Rating in at 40,000 pounds, the Big Red is one of the finest bottle jacks the market has to offer. This particular product is engineered using forged alloyed steel and other sturdy materials in order to ensure that the jack does not break even under high pressure, even though it can stand up to 40,000 pounds of weight. While it is a costly product, we would still recommend it on the grounds that you will not find a better or more reliable alternative to this product. In the case that you get a flat tire or your tire bursts due to the heat or another reason, you should be prepared to fix the problem. For changing the tire on a single axle trailer, you will need a single chock and a bottle jack. Firstly, you should get your vehicle to a safe spot away from traffic. Just drive to an empty space or a parking lot and turn off the ignition. Get your chock and bottle jack out and begin the procedure.

The procedure

First, you will want to run your wheels over your chock so they can be lifted a bit. This will help ease out the process and make it reliable for you to change the tire. Right now, it is a good idea to loosen all the lug nuts and get your wheel a bit wobbly. It is highly advised that you should do this before you use the jack to lift the vehicle up.

Because, once the vehicle is up, you will have a range of difficulty loosening the lug nuts. It is better to loosen them on the ground, but remember the aim is to loosen. Do not get them so loose that the tire falls off, only halfway so that you can properly remove the lug nuts and tire later.

Secondly, what you will need to do is find the U bolt plate on the axel. Remember to never ever place the jack on the actual axel tube as it may get damaged causing you to lose functionality of your vehicle altogether.

The U bolt plate is the correct spot for the bottle jack to be placed. After doing this, crank up the pump on the jack by pushing it down and pulling it back up. Continue this process until you have your vehicle in the position you want it. Then, all you have to do is further loosen the lug nuts and you can then remove the tire.

Time to get your spare out

Get your spare tire out or if you can, buy a new tire and replace the old one. Check your spare tire for any punctures or any other problems. Then just get the new tire in place and get the lug nuts tightened. Remember to only tighten them halfway and not all the way through. Next, release your bottle jack lever and let it go down. Tighten the nuts all the way through in order to seal the deal.

You may like: Complete guide to making stable your travel trailer

How do I jack up a horse trailer?

One of the more unconventional kinds of travel trailers is horse trailers. These trailers are used for a variety of purposes, but most of the time, they are used to transport horses and livestock. There is a range of designs and mechanisms that are available on the market.

Different Types

These mechanisms can range from being pulled by a truck or a tractor to being pulled by an SUV. Some of these horse trailers are used for small units which can carry up to 2 or 3 horses, while the larger units can carry up to 5 horses at a time.

The cheapest form of horse trailers is called stock trailers where the comfort of the animals inside does not really matter. However, this is obviously not suitable for horses as horses are required for work or competitions. Therefore, they need to be in fit condition when they arrive. The horse trailers are elaborate in the sense that they are heavier than the normal stock trailers because there are several installations for comfort. These horse trailers are also difficult to pull because they are heavy from the installations and the horses themselves.

Jacking a Horse Trailer Up

Jacking up horse trailers is a fairly challenging job and requires patience and skill. The horse trailers usually have double axle or tandem axle mechanisms in order to provide firmer support. Horse trailers need to have good suspensions in order to provide a great amount of comfort to the animals so there are less stress and pressure on the animals to adjust their weight.

In order to properly jack up your horse trailer, first you need to make sure that your tires are leveled properly. We would recommend you to use a good leveler so that you can easily get your tires leveled out and fixed. Then it is a good idea to use either chocks or a ramp to elevate the front or the back wheels of the vehicle.

If you are jacking the trailer up so that you can work on the back wheels, try and get the front wheels elevated on the chocks or the ramp. You should do vice versa for the front wheels. Doing this aids in the process by giving you more support for the tires. Next, you should get a floor jack which should support your vehicle.

Things to Remember

Always remember to check the rating on the jack to see if it can readily support your vehicle. If the rating on the jack is less than the weight of your vehicle, you should never ever use it to raise the vehicle up. Remember that doing this can be extremely dangerous and hazardous to you and those around you. The floor jack should be placed under the axel and then the crank should be pulled continuously in order for the floor to raise itself. 

Again, you should always loosen the lug nuts on the tire before you put the floor jack underneath the vehicle. Doing this helps you with loosening the nuts later. Make sure that you only go halfway and do not turn it all the way. Then you can wait until the floor is raised; now you can loosen the nuts further and remove the old tire. Then get the spare tire and replace it by tightening the lug nuts again. Now it is safe to lower the jack and let the tires touch the ground again.

How do I put the travel trailers on the jack stands?

What is a jack stand?

Jack stands are an integral part of the equipment which you should keep in your travel trailers. The jack stand provides rigid support for your vehicle while your vehicle is lifted up in the air. Jack stands are basically used for jacks that are shorter when compared to the ground clearance of the vehicle. Jack stands help largely in elevating the jack to a height which is compatible with the jack.

These jack stands are available in various sizes and functionalities in order to cater to a large number of users. When buying jack stands or using them, it is imperative to get the jack stands that are of the correct weight limit. The wrong weight limit can result in a very unsafe condition and you could end up with a serious injury.

How to Jack-up a Vehicle?

In order to properly jack up a vehicle that is heavy and has more ground clearance, you will undoubtedly need a jack stand to let the vehicle elevate itself. If you want to raise the entire vehicle up, it is recommended that you drive the front wheels of the vehicle up to chocks or a ramp.

Then you can place the jack stand underneath the vehicle and hoist your jack on the jack stands and crank the lever up to elevate the vehicle. Alternatively, you can use chocks to keep the vehicle in place and use the jack stands to lift the vehicle up from the sides you want to. This will give you less control and you are more prone to hazards or unsafe conditions.

But, this will be easier to do as the chocks are easier to fit and it does not take a lot of time to get the vehicle on to the chocks. Another alternative to this is that you could just have the entire vehicle on 2 sets of jacks which is a less reliable way to do it, but if you don’t have a ramp or some chocks, then 2 sets of jack stands and 2 jacks will be needed in order to get this right. It is important to get the balance correct with this; otherwise, your vehicle can easily fall without proper support.

How to Jack-up a Class-A Motorhome?

What is a class-A motorhome?

A Class-A motorhome is built on a relatively strong and durable chassis. The mainframe used is that of a typical commercial bus, truck, or other motorhomes. Even 18-wheelers use a similar design. The wheels on a Class-A, are generally larger and heavier, typically with a diameter of 22.5 inches. These are capable of supporting the entire load of the motorhome. One of the downsides of having a Class-A is fuel efficiency. It’s not meant to optimize fuel well.

Normally, there are couches or beds inside the motorhome. Two to four people can fit inside the home. The Class-A is mainly suggested if you’re looking for something closer to home and also if you want more personal space. Most range between 33 to 45 feet long, but that differs from model to model.

Jack-up a Class-A Motorhome

Jacking up a Class-A motorhome is no easy task. The immense weight of the behemoth calls for desperate measures. It is recommended to use heavy duty leveling jacks. These motorhomes weigh between 10,000 to 32,000 pounds (5 to 16 tons). You’ll be needing jacks that can support that much and more. Air bottle jacks are perfect as these can usually handle the weight of the RV.

For removing the tires, an impact wrench of industrial-grade can be used. The tires may seem heavy, but they can easily be removed by just one man. Get a professional to help if you feel you won’t be able to do it.

Libra Leveling Jacks

If you don’t want to do the hard work of searching for the best jack, then try Libra’s set of 2 leveling jacks. These are scissor jacks which have a capacity of around 5,000 pounds each (2.5 tons). Two of them can easily support the entire 5-ton weight of your RV. You might need another jack if yours weighs 6 or more tons. These scissor jacks have a magnetic socket, crank handle, and mounting screws. They even include some extra parts!

Leveling a Class-A motorhome isn’t too hard if you have the right equipment. Normally, three people can easily set up a jack. We recommend that you have at least one other person to help you since jacking them up can be dangerous.

Wrap up

Jacking up a travel trailer, luxury RVs or a small pop up camper can be hard work and does require a lot of patience and strength. However, once you get the hang of it and have changed a few tires, then you can easily do this without fail. Remember to always check your weight rating of the vehicle so that you can get the best and suitable jack for your vehicle. We have recommended some great products throughout this article which we feel should prove to be helpful to you. These products are top-notch products in the industry and we believe they will serve the right purpose for your needs.

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