Electric Tongue Jack Installation

How To Install an Electric Trailer Jack

A trailer jack is an important device installed on the front tongue to raise and lower the trailer for hitching to and unhitching from your vehicle. Without a jack, connecting and disconnecting the heavy trailer would be impossible, as you cannot lift it by hand. When choosing a jack, consider its max weight capacity and lift type, like screw or hydraulic. Quality jacks are sturdily built from steel or aluminum. Be sure to pick one rated for at least your trailer's full-loaded weight. With proper use and maintenance, a heavy-duty jack will serve you well for years of camping trips. Selecting the right jack allows you to easily hitch up and take advantage of the convenience of RV travel.

Types of Trailer Jacks

When it comes to trailer jacks, selecting the right type is a crucial decision for every RV enthusiast. The primary choice you'll need to make is between a manual trailer jack and an electric trailer jack.

Manual Jacks VS Electric Jacks

Manual Trailer Jacks

Manual jacks are the traditional, hand-cranked style that rely on your physical strength to operate. They offer a few advantages:

  • Cost-Effective and Durable - Manual jacks are often more affordable than electric ones. With fewer parts to break, they can also be extremely long-lasting. This makes them a great value choice.
  • Precise Leveling Control - The hand-crank gives you total precision when leveling your trailer by allowing you to make fine adjustments. RV veterans appreciate the control of manual jacks.
  • Reliable Physical Backup - In a situation where batteries die, manual jacks provide a failsafe way to operate the device without power.

However, cranking a manual jack to lift a heavy RV by hand can be physically exhausting and challenging, especially for those with back issues.

Electric Trailer Jacks

Electric jacks use an electric motor to raise and lower the trailer simply at the push of a button. Here are their advantages:

  • Effortless Operation - Electric jacks do all the hard work for you, making hitching and setup much easier.
  • RV Battery Powers the Motor - Powered by your RV battery, the electric motor smoothly lifts your trailer with ease.
  • Manual Override Capability - Most electric jacks have a way to manually operate them as well in case battery power runs out.
  • Back-Friendly for RV Users - Perfect for anyone with back problems, electric jacks reduce physical strain.

The downside is electric jacks cost more upfront than manual ones. However, their convenience can be worth the investment for many RVers.

When picking between manual vs. electric trailer jacks, consider your budget, physical needs, and preference for effortless or precision operation. Either option allows you to safely level and hitch your trailers.

How strong of a trailer jack do I need?

To determine the strength of an electric trailer jack, you need to consider the weight of your trailer. The jack should be able to lift the weight of your trailer tongue. The weight of the trailer tongue is usually around 15% of the gross trailer weight (GTW).

For example, if your trailer weighs 10,000 pounds, then the tongue weight would be approximately 1,500 pounds. Therefore, you would need an electric jack that can lift at least 1,500 pounds.

Is top wind or side wind trailer jack better?

Trailer jacks use cranks to move up and down, with some cranks operating side-to-side. Choose the crank style that suits your trailer best, considering potential obstacles that might hinder top-wind or side-wind cranking. Both have their own pros and cons.

Side wide VS Top wide

Top wind jacks

Top wind jacks operate by cranking a vertical handle positioned on top of the jack. This upright design lends itself to a few advantages:

  • Increased stability - With the tongue weight centered directly over the jack, top wind models resist tipping or leaning.
  • Unobstructed operation - The vertical handle allows you to crank freely without the trailer frame or walls getting in the way.
  • A better line of sight - Since you stand facing the hitch, visibility for precise leveling is improved.
  • Ease of maintenance - Accessing inner components for lubrication is simpler with top-mounted handles.

The trade-off is that top wind handles are more exposed to the elements and require vigilant weatherproofing.

Side wind jacks

Side wind jacks feature a horizontal side handle you crank laterally to operate. Benefits include:

  • Compact operation - The side handle allows use in tight spaces where a vertical handle would be hard to maneuver.
  • Weather protection - Inner gears are less exposed to rain, mud and road debris.
  • Cost savings - Side wind models tend to be more budget-friendly in some cases.

The downsides are potential stability issues if the weight isn't balanced and limited visibility of the hitch.

For larger trailers, RVers may find the stability and operational control of a top wind jack worth the added cost and maintenance. Smaller campers that require jack operation in tight spaces may gravitate toward side wind models.

Are Electric Trailer Jacks Worth It?

Manual jacks take a lot of time to operate, and for older folks, trying to effortlessly lift or lower a trailer is nearly impossible. For those with back issues, it's a real struggle. Some manual jacks have crank handles that can hit the propane cover, and the whole operation can be quite unnerving.

After using an electric trailer jack, most RV users find it hard to go back to manual ones because electric jacks offer various advantages in terms of convenience, ease of use, and the potential to reduce physical strain. They're especially beneficial for those looking to simplify the setup process, avoid the hassle of manual cranking, and lower the risk of physical stress-related injuries.

What is the best electric jack for a travel trailer?

If you're looking for a powerful, easy-to-use electric jack for your travel trailer, Kohree Electric Trailer Jacks will be a great option.

Kohree Electric Trailer Jack 3700lbs

  • Impressive 4000LBS Capacity: The Kohree Electric Trailer Jack is a powerhouse with a 4000LBS tested capacity, thanks to its low-maintenance 12V DC electric gear motor. Lift your trailer stably and with ease.
  • Time and Energy Saver: Say goodbye to strenuous manual cranking. Simply push a button, and this RV electric jack will raise or lower your A-frame trailer automatically, cutting your lifting time by nearly 50%. No more sore arms and shoulders – it's quicker and quieter.
  • Adjustable Height: Adapt to different lifting needs with the adjustable 5-gear drop leg, offering an 8-inch height increase. The maximum extended height is a generous 22 inches, fully retracting to a compact 9 inches.
  • Safety at Night: Featuring two convenient LED lights, this camper jack ensures safe nighttime hookup. It also incorporates a built-in circuit breaker for additional protection. In case of an accident, it will automatically disconnect and reconnect after about 2 minutes.
  • Wide Range of Uses: Crafted from heavy-duty steel with an anti-rust coating, this electric tongue jack is built to withstand various elements. It comes complete with a hand crank and a weatherproof jack cover, making it suitable for RVs, 5th wheels, A-frame trailers, and campers.

Kohree Electric Trailer Jack 5000lbs

  • Exceptional 5000LBS Capacity: This Kohree Electric Trailer Jack is your reliable companion, boasting a powerful 12V DC motor that delivers unmatched torque. This incredible strength allows you to effortlessly raise or lower your A-frame trailer, making light work of even a 5000-pound load.
  • Simplicity in Action: Say goodbye to manual cranking and welcome the ease of operation. This RV electric jack simplifies the process with a convenient push-button design, providing quick and automatic height adjustments for your A-frame trailer.
  • Nighttime Safety and Built to Last: Safety is paramount, and this tongue jack delivers. Equipped with two built-in LED lights, it ensures hassle-free and secure nighttime hookup. What's more, it incorporates a dependable circuit breaker that will automatically disconnect in case of excessive amperage, reconnecting approximately 2 minutes later. Durability is assured with a robust steel construction and an anti-rust coating on the exterior.
  • Height Adaptation: Achieve flexible height adjustments with the 5-gear drop leg, providing an 8-inch increase to meet varying lifting requirements. Whether you need to reach the impressive maximum extended height of 22 inches or prefer a compact 9.8 inches when fully retracted, this jack has you covered.
  • Universal Application: Versatility meets durability with this electric tongue jack. It's a perfect fit for RVs, 5th wheels, A-frame trailers, boats, and campers, ensuring it can handle all your needs. It even includes a hand crank and a Weatherproof Jack Cover, making it a well-rounded solution for any situation.

How to install Kohree Electric Trailer Jack?

Here are the detailed steps for installing the Kohree Electric Tongue Jack, and they are applicable to most other brands of electric tongue jacks as well. Most trailer owners can install a new trailer tongue jack in less than 30 minutes.

1. Park your RV and hitch it to the tow vehicle. Set the parking brake.

2. Disconnect the trailer battery's ground cable and secure it will not connect to any metal.

3. After unscrewing three securing bolts of the old jack, remove the old jack.

4. Use sandpaper or a wire brush to scrape the paint surface around the A-frame's bolt holes where the jack's mounting plate will attach until the internal metal is exposed.

scrape the paint surface

Mainly way to connect: when you mount, make sure that at least one of the bolt holes has good clean metal contact to provide a ground. It will ground to your trailer frame's mounting bolts and has just one positive wire you need to connect to your trailer battery.

ground to your trailer frame's mounting bolts

Another way to connect: If you have prepared a negative wire for your trailer jack, you can also connect the negative wire to a mounting bolt that has good metal contact.

connect the negative wire to a mounting bolt

5. Remove the footplate from the new jack and slide the tube into the A-frame's hole.

6. Guide the footplate into the jack's leg. Ensure the groove in the leg is aligned with the one on the footplate. Do not insert the lock pin yet.

7. Slide a 3/8-16 in lock washer onto each of the three 3/8-16 in. bolts, then insert the bolts through the mounting plate, the star washers and the A-frame.

8. Secure each bolt with a 3/8-16 in hex nut and secure each bolt.

9. Unravel the black wire and lay it out along the A-frame to the battery.

10. Connect the wire lead to the battery's positive terminal (+).

11. Reconnect the battery's ground cable.

12. Press the extend/retract switch to test that the connection is correct and the jack is working. Also press the LED ON/OFF Switch to confirm the light is working.

13. Push the footplate up fully and insert the lock pin.

14. Retract the jack for travel.

For step-by-step guidance on properly installing Kohree electric RV tongue jack, be sure to check out the two detailed installation videos provided at the end of this article showing different wiring.

How to Use Kohree Electric Trailer Jack?

Extend/Retract Switch: The metal pipe has two red lines that you can use to control the extending and retracting of the jack. Be sure not to exceed these red lines when extending or retracting.

LED ON/OFF Switch: This switch allows you to control the light for better visibility at night.

LED Switch

Note: If you're using the jack for the first time or haven't used it in a while, it may require a sizeable instantaneous current starting from the lowest point to start successfully. In such cases, it's recommended to use the hand crank to raise the jack by 0.1 inches.

Notice: Kohree electric jack comes with a circuit breaker installed, which means no more fuses. If you accidentally operate the product in error, the circuit will disconnect automatically and return to normal use after about 2 minutes.

How to Maintain an Electric Trailer Jack?

  1. Cover the motor cover when not in use.
  2. Inspect the device components perishable, repair or replace damaged or worn components. Only use identical replacement parts when servicing.
  3. The jack's motor is sealed and maintenance-free.
  4. Use a jack block under the jack to prevent rusting, wear and tear.
  5. Check the wiring from time-to-time. Ensure all the connections are tight and free from corrosion. Ensure the ground wire has a solid metal-to-metal contact with the trailer frame.
  6. Disconnect the battery from the trailer jack if it will not require power for several days. This will prevent the battery from discharging.

Kohree Electric Trailer Jack Troubleshooting

Having issues getting your Kohree electric trailer jack to turn on? Here are some tips to get it working again:

1. Poor Ground Connection

The ground connection between the jack mounting plate and coupler needs to be clean and tight. Remove any paint or corrosion between these contact points and ensure the star washers are making direct metal-to-metal contact. This connection is critical for proper electrical contact.

2. Low Voltage or Dead Battery

Your jack needs at least 10 Volts DC to operate. Use a voltmeter to test the battery voltage. If it's low, try charging the battery. Or connect the trailer wiring to your tow vehicle and start the engine to provide power through the connector. Check all wiring connections to make sure they are clean and tight.

3. No Power From The Trailer Connector

Test the trailer connector with a voltmeter to see if it has power when the tow vehicle is running. If not, there may be a problem with the connector itself or the wiring leading to it. Check all pins and wires and repair or replace the connector if needed.

How do you manually crank an Kohree electric trailer jack?

The manual crank is an easy backup option for times when electric power isn't available. Every Kohree electric trailer jack comes with a manual crank that you can use by removing the rubber dust cap at the top of the jack. Insert the manual crank handle into the hole and engage the drive screw.

To extend the jack, turn the handle clockwise. To retract the jack, turn the handle counter-clockwise.

Manually crank an Kohree electric trailer jack

Why put wood under trailer jack?

There are several reasons why we put a trailer jack on a wood block:

  • Preventing Sinking: It helps prevent the jacks from sinking into soft ground, especially on surfaces like grass, gravel, sand, or mud. Without wood blocks, the trailer's weight can cause the jacks to dig in and become stuck or uneven.
  • Enhancing Stability: Using thick wood blocks spreads the weight over a larger surface area, providing a solid base that keeps the jacks stable. These blocks act as a portable platform for parking.
  • Surface Protection: Wood blocks protect delicate surfaces, such as concrete, asphalt, or polished floors, from damage. These surfaces can crack or crumble under the concentrated pressure of trailer jacks. Wood distributes the force, avoiding damage or creating divots or holes.
  • Preventing Rust: Placing wood under the jacks keeps the bottoms of the jack and stabilizers out of water or mud, helping prevent rusting and extending the life of these components.

How to lift a trailer up without a hand crank?

When a trailer's hand crank is missing or broken, there is a most efficient method to lift your trailer safely. Use a portable drill with the appropriate socket attached. Most trailer jacks have a hex bolt head that a socket can fit over. With the drill set to low torque and speed, carefully engage the socket and raise the trailer slowly just as you would with the hand crank. Ensure the drill battery is well charged first. Before you begin, make sure the drill's battery is fully charged.

For lighter trailers, you can have someone stand on the back bumper while another person lifts the front by hand. Make sure to chock the wheels if the brakes aren't engaged.

To ensure safety, block the wheels to prevent the trailer from moving before you try to lift the tongue. This way, the wheels are secured, and the trailer won't pivot or fall off the jack.

It is worth noting that if you are not hurrying to lift the trailer, the better way is to find a new hand crank. You can try to contact the after-sales customer service of your trailer jack or buy a suitable hand crank online. The best way is to equip your trailer with an Electric Jack, eliminating the hassle of manually cranking the trailer.

Should I store my travel trailer with the jacks down?

Storing your travel trailer with the jacks engaged has several benefits. It relieves pressure on the tires and suspension, preventing flat spots or damage that can occur from prolonged weight on the tires. Using jack stands under the frame evenly distributes the weight, giving the tires a break and ensuring their longevity. This also adds stability to the trailer, reducing rocking or shifting during storage.

Moreover, keeping your trailer level is crucial for certain appliances to function correctly. For instance, refrigerators rely on even gravity flow of cooling fluids through their ducts, which requires a level surface. Storing your trailer on a level surface with the jacks down ensures appliances like the refrigerator operate efficiently. A level interior also enhances convenience for accessing cabinets, counters, and moving around comfortably. Preventing side-to-side rocking makes it easier to access various components.

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