Best Electric Trailer Jacks: Top 3 Products to Enjoy your Trailing Days
- Best Electric Trailer Jacks: Top 3 Products to Enjoy your Trailing Days
The trailer jack (also known as a tongue jack or an A-Frame) is a trailer owner’s best friend! This piece of machinery is mounted on the tongue of the trailer and helps lift and lower the front in order to make the connection with the towing vehicle.
When it comes to smaller/lighter trailers, this operation can be done manually, but it still puts a lot of strain on your back and body. Not to mention that you would have to be as strong as The Hulk to pull this off with medium to large trailers!
In most cases, the trailer comes equipped with a manual trailer jack, which is better than no jack at all. However, manual devices still require some physical effort which can make things difficult for the less muscle-packed among us.
Luckily, nowadays we have electric trailer tongues that solve the effort problem and are quite easy to use. In fact, to show you just how cool they are, we put together a list with the best electric trailer jacks you can use to find the product for your needs.
1. Bulldog Reese 500199 A-Frame Power Jack
The Bulldog is a screw drive power jack that can lift 4,000 lbs., has 22 inches of total travel height (14” travel + 8” drop leg), and it fits all 2.25-inch A-frames. Furthermore, it can be used even if you have a weight-distribution hitch system.
Due to the smart plunger pin system, anyone can easily adjust the drop leg to the desired height. The release pin is shaped in U and spring-loaded, so when you pull it back, you don’t have to go through the same ordeal as you do with regular pin and clip systems. With this system, you just put the pin in the “out” position, adjust the length and release the pin back into one of the adjustment holes.
If you happen to reach the camping spot at night, the jack comes with 3 LED courtesy lights to help you see in low-light conditions. Also, there is a manual hand crank in case something happens with the electrical part or you run out of battery.
Finally, this trailer tongue is made with corrosion-resistant materials and uses a protective case of heavy-duty plastic to cover the sensitive parts (the engine and control panel). Overall, the Bulldog is our top choice because it only takes about 15 minutes to install (including the wiring) and it operates quickly and smoothly.
2. Husky 82022 Super Brute Electric Jack with Remote Control
If you own a big trailer, and/or want a device you can rely on in the worst driving conditions, the Husky 82022 Super Brute may be the best choice for you. Designed to lift to 5,000 lbs. this bad boy is created with durability and ease of use in mind.
At the core of its design, the Super Brute features a super-solid screw with a high capacity ball nut which can withstand the forces that come into place when you’re lifting 2.5 tons of weight. This allows the jack to lift a trailer up to 18 inches, at a rate of 6 inches in 60 seconds.
But more interestingly, this design provides rolling friction which is easier to pull than the standard sliding design of standard power jacks. This innovative design also means less amperage drawn from the battery, less heat, and less power required.
The Super Brute draws 24 Amps of current in full load and uses a 6-inch 10-gauge power supply line to connect the electric jack to the vehicle’s battery. Furthermore, Smart Stop technology kicks in when the jack reaches its full length. The technology cuts the power from the battery in order to avoid superheating the engine, this way increasing the life of the device.
The jack is easy to control using the soft-trigger switches with backlit panel installed at the top. It also comes with a remote control that lets you operate the jack while carefully monitoring the level of enjoying a cup of coffee. Furthermore, the jack is equipped with a 3-sided high-output LED directional light system that lets you make the hookup even in low-light conditions.
Finally, the jack’s sensitive parts (the cord’s end and the switches) are protected from the weather, which increases its resistance in time. Overall, the Super Brute earns its name and is one of the best designs on the market right now!
3. Uriah Products UC500010 Electric Trailer Jack
If you’re looking for a straight-up product, without any bells or whistles, this may be a perfect one. With 9 to 31.5-inch lift range and 18-inch travel height, this baby can help tow an up to 5,000 lbs. trailer. Furthermore, the oversized footpad provides more stability and helps prevent any accidents.
The control panel is straight forward (an up/down switch) and the motor is protected by a one-piece plastic housing. To prevent any damage from overheating, the motor has automatic thermal protection. You also get LED lights so you can easily and safely operate the jack at nighttime.
If you’re worried about power consumption, the UC500010 power jack uses a ball screw design that helps increase the efficiency of the motor and reduces noise and amperage drawn from the battery. This happens because the friction between parts is reduced.
To increase durability, the 7-way connector is protected by a storage cap that keeps dust and humidity out.
Finally, the jack comes with an emergency manual crank that will come in handy in a situation without electrical power. You may not have the LED lights helping and it may require some cranking, but you won’t be left stranded!
Best Electric Trailer Jacks Buying Guide
As you can see, a tongue jack is quite a useful acquisition since it allows you to lift a heavy trailer without worrying about back injuries or unsafe coupling (as it happens when you do this by hand). It does the job nicely and it even offers an extra balance point for the trailer when it’s not hooked to a vehicle.
Now, when you decide it’s time to get one for yourself, you’ll notice there are several decisions to make. You’ll need to know about your trailer’s total weight (loaded and unloaded), the height you need, and other important features we listed below.
Before you decide on the weight capacity of your jack, you need to know the total weight of your trailer (loaded and unloaded).
You also need to know that the tongue of the trailer supports about 10 to 15% of the total weight. So, the jack doesn’t need to be capable of lifting the entire trailer, just the tongue. A good rule of thumb is to select a rating that’s higher than the weight capacity you need, but this also depends on the overall price.
However, never go under the weight capacity required by your trailer!
Besides the weight capacity, the height to which the jack can extend and compress is crucial. You need a device that can lift the trailer high enough to clear the hitch ball on the towing vehicle and clear the ground for moving when retracted.
So, when you browse for products, you need to look at the distance between the up and down positions of the jack.
For instance, a jack that can extend to 18” is ideal for a medium-sized trailer, while one that only has 10” in the middle is better suited for a lightweight trailer.
Wheels vs. Solid Foot
If you take a look at our reviews, you’ll notice that none come with wheels. They all have a solid foot that sits on the ground and supports the lifting process.
This happens because all the products above are designed for mid-size to large trailers. Of course, they are just as useful for a lighter camper, but this depends on your budget and preferences.
Jack models with wheels are useful for those trailers that can be pushed around by hand. This way, once unhitched, you can use the wheels on the jack to pull the trailer in its storage/parking spot. However, make sure the wheels are heavy-duty and large enough to support the weight of the trailer. Otherwise, they will be an inconvenience instead of a helping feature.
Most jacks only come with one wire that needs to be connected to the positive of the towing vehicle’s battery. You can also use an external battery (like the 12V designs installed on some trailers), but it needs to have the voltage specified in the jack’s installation instructions.
While producers try to make the wiring easy and user-friendly, some jack models are a bit more difficult to wire. Even more, some come with remote control, which needs to be powered up separately. Regardless, if you feel you can’t handle it, it’s best to employ a professional to do this task.
It won’t be too expensive (it’s a light job for a professional) and you are sure both your car battery and the motor of the jack are protected.
Quick note: some jacks continue to drive power from your battery even when not in use. So, make sure to check for this specification when you’re browsing products and reviews.
Since this is not a product you want to buy every year, look for corrosion-resistant surfaces and heavy-duty materials. Also, the motor and connectors should be protected against dust and weather.
Overall, if you don’t abuse this product and you perform the suggested maintenance, a well-designed model should last as long as the trailer.
While these may spice up the price a little bit, we don’t consider them optional. And, if you want to make sure your jack is durable and reliable, neither should you.
For instance, the Smart Stop functionality means the jack will automatically stop when it reaches the right height or it’s fully retracted. It’s also a feature that protects the engine from overheating, which implies a longer lifespan for the electronics involved.
Another feature that shouldn’t be optional is the manual override. This is a backup plan that comes in handy when the electrical system fails and consists of a crankshaft that lets you operate the jack manually.
Some people also consider the level of noise made by the engine (some are quite noisy) and the speed. While the noise can be somehow ignored (unless you’re using it in a trailer park at 5 AM), the speed can be a bit of a concern. Basic models take longer to reach max/min height, and this can be an inconvenience.
So, if you want a fast-acting device, you need a high-end motor, a leg designed for speed, and/or an automatic drop leg that lets you adjust the height quickly.
How to Install an Electric Trailer Jack
In most cases (this includes the products we reviewed above), the installation is fairly simple and headache-free.
All you need to do is put the jack’s leg through the tongue’s orifice and bolt it down using the provided bolts. Once this operation is complete, connect the wiring to the positive of the battery and you’re good to go.
Do I really need Another Jack?
If you are the kind of car owner who enjoys getting their hands dirty, you probably have all sorts of tools in your garage. This means that you probably already have a car jack of some sorts, so why not use that one to lift and lower the trailer?
Well, there are three main types of jacks in the industry, and each has its own use. As such:
- Scissor jacks – Budget-friendly, but don’t have enough leverage to provide enough lift power. Still, they have their use, especially in an emergency, since they are highly portable.
- Floor jacks – Due to hydraulics they can lift a rather heavy object in an upward direction. They are perfect for changing tires or conducting various maintenance projects on your vehicle. However, they’re not designed for lifting and lowering a trailer and are not very portable.
- A-frame/tongue jacks – Because they attach directly onto the tongue of the trailer (or the A-frame) they work right where you need them to be. Also, they’re a lot more powerful than the other designs and make traveling with a trailer, camper, or RV easier.
In conclusion, if you want to do the job right, you need the tool that’s specially designed for it. Sure, you could use other tools in an emergency, but for the long-term, if you own a trailer, you need a trailer jack.
An electric jack is quite handy when you own mid-sized or large trailer. It takes the effort out of the job and it lets you enjoy traveling with a camper in style. It’s also safer, more reliable, and easier to use than any other devices that might do the trick.