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How To Jack Up A Travel Trailer – 5 Types of Travel Trailers

To ensure that your travel trailer provides you the most comfort and good service, you need to properly maintain it. To perform proper maintenance, you will often need to jack up a trailer. So, now you might ask, how to jack up a travel trailer?

The method to jack up a travel trailer will depend on what type of travel trailer you will use. We’ll be covering the common types and discussing the steps needed to properly jack them up.

So, where to jack up a travel trailer? You need to keep 2 things in mind before picking a place:

  • The surface should be level
  • The surface should be solid and strong

Trying to lift a travel trailer on uneven ground can make it difficult to properly balance the trailer and also runs the risk of damaging the trailer. If you want to know how to jack up travel trailer to change the tire, this is essential to ensuring a smooth attempt.

You should also make sure to jack up the trailer on solid ground. If the ground cannot properly support the trailer, there is a chance for the trailer to collapse which can be very dangerous. As you read this article, you’ll find that finding a proper place is often the first step and is incredibly important to ensuring that the process works.

Jacking Up Different Types of Trailers

The difficulty and complexity of jacking up a travel trailer can vary wildly depending on what type of trailer you are using.

With how many times you might end up needing to jack up a trailer, it is important to familiarize yourself with the task for your particular trailer. We’ll be covering the few important ones and the specific methods used for them.

1. The Way To Jack Up A Single Axle Trailer

First, let us start by looking at the process of jacking up a single axle trailer. This is one of the cheapest types of trailers you can find in the market, and it trades security and performance for general ease of use.

As a result, it also happens to be one of the easier ones to try and jack up. As always remember to park your trailer at a proper place that is even and can support the weight of your trailer before attempting to jack it up.

Step 1. Get Proper Tools

Single axle trailers have a single axle to which the wheels are connected. They generally tend to be smaller and lighter than most other types of trailers.

For jacking them up, you usually need a single axle tire chock and a hydraulic jack that can meet the weight of the particular model of trailer you are using.

Jacking Up A Single Axle Trailer

Step 2. Use the Chocks

Next, place the chocks on the safe surface and then push or pull your trailer towards it. Chocks will lock the trailer in place as well as lift it a bit to help you work better. Once properly placed on the chock, you can then move on to the next step.

Step 3. Locate the Backing Plate

One of the safest ways to lift a single axle trailer is via the backing plate. While the lighter weight means that there is less stress if lifted by the axle, it is not recommended.

The backing plate is usually located near the brakes of your trailer. If you need help identifying it, it is recommended to check the instruction manual of your model.

Step 4. Place the Hydraulic Jack

Once the backing plate is located, slide the hydraulic jack under the backing plate. Make sure that it is properly in contact before fully operating the jack.

Step 5. Operate the Jack

After ensuring that they are in contact, you can then operate the jack. Hydraulic jacks are usually operated by a lever. Operate the lever until you have jacked up the trailer to the desired height.

2. Jacking Up Double Axel Trailer

There isn’t too much of a difference regarding the steps to jack up a dual axel trailer. You will usually need a double or dual axel wheel chock but most of the steps remain the same as a single axel. It is recommended to avoid lifting it via the axles due to the increased weight.

3. Jacking Up A Tandem Axel Trailer

Tandem axel trailers are trailers that feature two sets of the same axels. This gives the trailer increased strength and weight carrying capacity.

Alongside better carrying capacity they feature better suspension meaning these types of trailers see heavy-duty use. You will often need to jack up tandem axel trailers to fix their leveling and reduce strain on them.

The steps of jacking up a tandem axel trailer are listed below:

Step 1. Get Proper Tools

Due to the heavyweight that tandem axel trailers have, using a jack is often very risky. There are very few jacks that can support the weight of these types of trailers. Often the best way to jack up this type of trailer is via a dual axle tire ramp. You should keep multiples of these in case.

Step 2. Use the Wheel Ramp

Next, you will want to properly position the wheel ramp. The wheel ramp acts as a balance, so if you see that the rear wheel is deflated, position the ramp near the rear wheel.

Make sure the wheel ramp is properly aligned.

Jacking Up A Tandem Axel Trailer

Step 3. Drive The Trailer Up the Ramp

Once you have positioned the wheel ramp properly, you will need to drive the trailer up the ramp. This will jack up the trailer allowing you to then change the tire or perform maintenance.

4. 3 Steps To Jack Up A Camper Trailer

Camper trailers or RVs come in differing sizes. However, the general method to jack them up involves making use of a proper jack.

Using a jack to lift up the RV trailer is generally the safest and most efficient method. Hydraulic jacks are commonly used, but you must see the capacity of the jack and compare it with the weight of your RV or camper trailer.

Jacking Up A Camper Trailer

Step 1. Park the Camper Trailer

The first step is to make sure you need properly park the camper trailer and then set the parking brake. This will lock the trailer in place, and you will then be able to safely jack the camper trailer up.

Step 2. Locate the Support Points

Camper trailers do not feature backing plates and instead feature two support points. You can identify them via two flat metal bars on both sides. Once you have located the support points, place the jack on the point close to the unbalanced side.

Step 3. Operate the Jack

Once the jack has been placed on the supporting point, you can then operate the jack. This will lift up the RV and allow you to change the tire if needed or perform maintenance.

5. The Process of Jacking Up A Fifth Wheel Trailer

Fifth wheel trailers are much heavier than most other trailers. As a result, they can be dangerous to jack up if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Hydraulic jacks often do not have enough carrying capacity to lift fifth-wheel trailers safely, so you will probably need to use a bottle jack. Bottle jacks are generally stronger and thus can safely lift these trailers.

Most steps to jack up a fifth wheel trailer remain consistent with other trailer types. You will need to learn how to operate a bottle jack

These jacks make use of a pump to lift the trailer. As for the place you want to place the jack under, it is the U bolt plate. 

Jacking Up A Fifth Wheel Trailer

Can You Place the Jack Under the Axels?

While it is possible in some types of trailers to place the jack under the axles and then jack it up. However, the axel is quite sensitive and not meant to hold up the load of the trailer.

As a result, jacking a trailer up via the axel can pose the risk of the axel breaking and the trailer collapsing. Jacking via axels should always be a last resort.

Make sure to properly look for the support points on your travel trailers. They are made to hold the weight of most trailers.

Final Verdict

Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll have a better idea of how to jack up a travel trailer. Being able to identify your trailer type and having the right tools are essential to properly jacking up a travel trailer.

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