How to Jack Up a Travel Trailerby Valerie Berta
There are many procedures that may require you to jack up your travel trailer: to unhitch it, to change a tire on the road, to make repairs underneath the trailer that require lifting it, or to take the tires off for storage. Always remember that travel trailers are heavier than cars and should be handled accordingly.
Use the proper jacks and jack stands, as every trailer has a different weight and jacks have weight load limits. Failure to use the proper equipment could result in trailer damage and/or personal injury or death.
Park your trailer as level as possible. This will make the jacking easier and safer.
Place the jacks, jack stands and all necessary equipment where you can reach them easily.
Place wheel chocks or other stopping devices (such as wooden stopping blocks) against the tires to secure the trailer in place. When changing a tire, put the chocks on the opposite side to the one you will be working on.
Lower the jack located at the tip of the hitch to unhitch the travel trailer. Always do this first. All travel trailers come with four built-in stabilizer jacks, located at each corner of the trailer, and you can then lower these if you wish.
Position a jack near the damaged tire to change it, if you are changing a tire. It is best to place the jack underneath the axle, and to only jack up the trailer until the trailer's weight is off the tire. If you need to make any other repairs, place the jack near where you need to work, using the frame or the axles (they are the strongest points underneath the trailer).
Position a jack at each corner of the trailer's frame and jack them up, if you need to lift the trailer off the ground entirely. You can replace each of them with a jack stand: secure each jack stand in place near its jack, then carefully lower the jacks and take them off.
When you are finished with the job, position and then lift up the jacks next to the jack stands underneath the trailer, take the stands out, then slowly bring each of the jacks down. You can then take the wheel chocks or other stopping devices off.
- It is recommended to place wooden blocks under and on top of the jacks and jack stands, so that they don't sink in the ground and don't damage the trailer.
Things You'll Need
- Jacks and jack stands of the appropriate weight load capacity (refer to your manufacturer's manual for further instructions)
- Wheel chocks
Valérie Berta has been a writer and photojournalist since 1994. She has worked for "The Jacksonville Journal-Courier," "Riverside Press-Enterprise" and "Agence France-Presse." Berta earned master's degrees in both English and journalism.