In this article, we’re reviewing seven of the best electric jacks on the market. We’ll jot down all of their advantages and disadvantages to give you a better picture on which ones are actually the best. We also took some courtesy to throw in three manual jacks into the mix so you can better see what makes them different.
We also wrote some pointers at the bottom to help you choose the best jack that will work best for the services that you need.
What To Look For When Buying An RV Electric or Manual Jack
There is always a definite set of factors that makes a certain tool or appliance “good” or “bad”. It’s these factors that you have to focus on when buying a product. They’ll tell you whether you’re getting a good one, or if you’re just wasting your money.
The same is true for jacks. So if you’re new to this tool, and you still don’t have a solid idea on what makes it tick, then take it from us. In this part of this article, we’ll do a quick review about what makes a good jack and what features you should look out for when buying one.
If you were ever confused about anything in the reviews above, then this section might be able to clear that up for you. In here, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about electric jacks.
Of course, it’s a no brainer that weight capacity would be here. In fact, this factor should be high on your list of priorities. Jack capacities usually vary, and if you accidentally get one that wouldn’t be able to lift your ride, then you just threw your money away. You will not be able to use that tool at tool, not even for anything.
So to make sure that doesn’t happen, you need to make sure that you know your RV well. Find out its overall weight. If you can somehow, measure it yourself. Its tongue’s weight would amount to around 15 percent of the overall weight. That should be narrow enough to give you an idea as to which weight bracket it’ll most likely fall into.
Of course, you shouldn’t get a jack that would just be cutting it close. As with buying clothes, get the next size up. If your trailer is about 6k lbs, then a jack than can take a 600 would do. However, to give it an allowance of some sort, you should get a jack that has the capacity of about 800 or above.
That’s just to ensure that it can lift your RV comfortably. Plus, it’s better to be sure than to have a jack give up on you and damage your RV. That can even endanger your life. That’s not what you want to happen so you have to be careful when making your choice.
Tongue jacks only lift, well, tongues. They’re not meant to lift the entire RV. They should be capable of braving 15 percent of the total weight. That’s the estimated weight of the tongue or the front part of your RV.
Just as a safety measure, give your jack a 2k or 3k lbs allowance. This means that you should get the jack that can accommodate a tongue that weighs about 2-3 thousand lbs more than what you need. This isn’t just of the stability of your RC. It’s also for your own safety when working with it.
Of course, you could also get a jack that could lift the entire ride. It would have to be about 5k lbs more powerful than those in our list, but they’ll be able to get the job done. Make sure that if you do get one of those, it distributes the RV’s entire weight all over its body, and that it can lift it comfortably.
Sturdiness and Longevity
Of course, sturdiness is an important feature for jacks. Heck, it’s an important feature to focus on when buying anything. A product’s durability can often greatly affect its performance. Plus, this factor will decide whether the jack is actually worth the price at which it’s sold at or not.
The material used to make the product usually decides how durable it is. You don’t even have to know that much about jacks or high-grade materials to be able to judge this one. Even your basic knowledge about them would do. For example, you know full well that steel is stronger than plastic. So of course, an all-steel jack would surely be durable.
Also, pay attention to the little things. Like how many screws does the entire setup have? Are its edges screwed together or welded? These might seem unimportant, but it’s these little things that would tell you how well manufactured a product is.
You should also pay attention to products’ damage resistance features, and if they have one or not. Electric jacks obviously don’t do well with water. However, accidents can’t be helped. So jacks with added safety features get plus points in our book.
Also, anti-deterioration features will extend your tool’s life. That means that you won’t have to replace it for a very long time. Plus, a feature like that can make sure that your jack won’t look like a zombie after just a couple of months. Plastic jacks tend to do that so it’s best to avoid them at all cost.
Warranty is also something that you should pay attention to. Not all jacks have them. However, most of the top ones do. Having a warranty can ensure that no matter what happens, the money that you invested in getting that jack is protected. It also tells you a lot about how confident its maker is on its performance.
You should try to figure out how to assemble a product before you buy it. Try to ask yourself, can you do this on your own? Would you need to hire a pro for this? Does this jack require a special set of skills to assemble?
If it doesn’t, and you think you can make it happen on your own, then go for it. However, if you think it’s beyond you, or if you see that it’ll need a special tool which you don’t have, don’t buy it. It’ll just cost you more in the end. Just get another model.
If you don’t want to go through all of these, then get a jack that’s welded on. Those are installed to stay on your RV. They don’t require too many processes to get going. Just weld them to your RV, and you’re good.
Bolted on, on the other hand, require more effort. However, they also give you more control over your RV. Plus, they’re removable and you can even use them of multiple vehicles if you want.
Shape and size
Take a good long look at RV’s front and try to research what category it falls into. It could either just be an A-frame or a straight tongue. This is very important because jacks need to latch onto your vehicle to work. If you get the wrong type of tongue, then the jack won’t be able to secure it as much as it has to.
So just remember that RVs with A-frame fronts need A-frame jacks. RVs with straight frame fronts need straight frontal jacks. It’s that easy. Just don’t get them mixed up, and you’ll be fine.
While we make it sound simple, there are actually plenty of people who get this part wrong. So keep every one of our advice at the back of your head and apply them when buying jacks. Follow all of them and you’ll surely get the best tool for your money.
Manual Override feature
One of the reasons why many people still go for manuals and not electrical jacks is because manuals don’t run out of batteries. It’s a good thing that plenty of the top electrical jacks these days have a special manual override feature. This means that in case they do run out of battery, they have a special crank that still makes them usable and operational.
It’s a great feature that ensures that no matter what happens. Your jack will still be able to lift your RV. Really, you might never use this feature in your life. However, it’s still comforting to know that your jack has it. Plus, electric jacks that have this feature, aren’t even that expensive. So it doesn’t really hurt to get a jack that has it.
There are two types of cranks in the market. So either you go with the top or side wind. Personally, we try to headhunt jacks that have both. They’re rare, but they’re comfortable. Plus, they give you the freedom to choose which style you’d want to use.
Still, it depends on what you want. It won’t really make any difference in performance so just go with whichever you think will best fit you.
It’s possible that the budget will take the biggest slice of your decision cake. There are plenty of jacks in the market. Their prices usually vary depending on how feature packed they are. You can get one as cheap as 150 dollars or less. It’s not going to be anything impressive, but it’ll work. It should still be able to lift your RV’s tongue and get the job done.
However, if you have the moola for it, then go for the top ones whose prices usually play around at 300 dollars. Those jacks would surely have amazing features that would make your life ridiculously easier. Plus, the material that they’re made of would surely be of top quality, which is what you should be aiming for.
While the cheap ones work, they often lack durability. They’re typically made of less-expensive materials that easily deteriorate and wear off over time. You can’t really complain because of how much you got them for.
If you need a working electric jack fast, then go for the cheap ones. They’ll still be able to serve you well in the very little time that you’ll have them in great condition. However, if you’re looking for a trusty RV jack that’ll last you years, then prepare a mighty budget for it.
You won’t regret it. Expensive Electric jacks are a worthy investment that reaps you rewards for as long as you have it. Plus, you won’t need a replacement for it for a very long time.
What you should know about Electric Jacks
It pays to be an informed buyer. You can’t have too much information about something. It’s good that you know a lot about a product before shopping around for it. It’ll make your decision making easier and gives you a higher chance of getting a better deal for your money.
So the information above is just some of the basic things that you should know about jacks before buying one. Below is some more important information about them. Pay close attention to the following discussions because they’re vital in getting a good jack.
Take the time to read this now instead of later when you realized you purchase a bad product, and you’re trying to find out where you went wrong with it. Read each section carefully and try to keep them at the back of your mind.
So, Why do RVs have their own jack?
That’s a good question. Electric front jacks or tongue jacks are special tools that will raise your RV a little to easily connect it to a towing truck. This is handy for when you encounter an emergency, and if you need a little help getting back.
Shouldn’t tow vehicles be able to lift the RV themselves? Well, they can’t and they need a little help. That’s why it’s your responsibility as an RV owner to always have a tongue jack ready inside your vehicle for when something like this happens.
So, Why do RVs have their own jack? That’s because they’re heavier than normal vehicles. Regular car jacks aren’t made to accommodate their weight. So there are jacks that are made specifically for them. Some of these are called tongue jacks, which would only lift the vehicle’s front part and not its whole body. This makes it easier for towing vehicles to latch on to its “tongue” or the beam in front of it.
When you use an RV jack, it’ll push against the ground and pull your RV, by its “tongue,” up. It’s not that hard to imagine how important it is. You can’t really tell when an accident will happen so you have to be ready, and you need to always have a trusty jack wherever you go.
It’ll be a hassle to try connecting an RV to a towing truck without a jack. It won’t take too much time. It might even cause dents and damages to your vehicle’s front area.
What does a tongue jack do?
Tongue jacks are pretty easy to figure out. Once you know how to get them working, you won’t find it hard to operate one. They usually work the same. So here are the correct sequence of steps that you should do to successfully operate a tongue jack and raise your vehicle.
- Take out the pin to drop the main part of the jack firmly in the ground
- Let the jack push against the ground to raise your trailer up
- Position the tow car close to your trailer’s tongue
- Lower the jack to the hitch that will connect the beam of your trailer and the tow car
- Adjust your jack until your trailer connects with the tow car
Don’t worry, you can do this entire process without a shred of special skill or technical knowledge. It’s really that easy. Of course, the real process would depend on the kind of jack that you have but this is more or less how you’ll go about doing it.
Having these steps in mind should give you an idea as to what you want your jack to be like. This is why it’s important that it’s easy to operate it. So when you’re shopping, take a jack and imagine yourself doing the steps above with that jack. If you think you can handle it, then purchase it.
Types of electric jacks for RV tongues
There are plenty of electrical jacks in the market. In order to pick the right one for your RV, you need to know which type it specifically needs. In most cases, getting the wrong jack type for the wrong RV tongue means that you can’t use that jack. So be careful when choosing and focus on this information a lot.
This jack type can be welded or bolted. Its weight capacity is usually somewhere between 2k lbs and 2k lbs. This type of jack is most popular to travelers and experienced RVers who are always on the go.
Some of them are battery operated while some are plugged. You can choose to go with either of those; they perform just as well as the other so it wouldn’t that much of a difference. Just make sure that you’re going with an electrically operated one. You don’t stand a chance trying to control a jack like this manually. It’ll just tear your arms apart.
Heavy Duty Jacks
If somehow your RV weighs more than the normal ones, there are still jacks in the market than can carry it. Those are the heavy-duty jacks. They can accommodate trailers that weight up to 12k lbs, which is impressive.
There are even some who can take more than that. Whatever weight you need, there’s one available out there for it. It’ll cost you of course, but at least it can get the job done for you.
Jacks like these are also equipped with more support frames. So you’ll never be truly left alone trying to operate it yourself. They’re almost always electric so you only have to choose whether you want to go with the order or battery operated.
Side Mount Jack
This jack type lets the jack swing out when towing and swing down when it’s jacking. It can either be bolted or welded.
Side mounts can be mounted in three different ways. Either you go with pipe mounting, drop leg or pin swivel. The last one isn’t capable of handling heavyweights and can only support about 1.5k lbs max.
Pipe mounting, on the other hand, usually handles weights twice or thrice more than pic swivels. Their capacity ranges from 2-7k lbs. The last one, the drop leg, has the most capacity as 8-12k lbs. Nothing can beat that mounting type.
Why would you want to get an Electric jack?
There are plenty of reasons why it’s a good idea to get an electric jack. Aside from making your life so much easier, there are other heavy benefits that owning a tool like this can give you. Here are some of them:
Sure and secure lifting
Why risk your RV? Get the right tool now. With the proper jack, you’ll be able to take your vehicle higher in a safer and easier way. Plus, now you can keep it up for as long as you need it to.
Saves you time
With an electric jack, you’ll never have to spend hours trying to get the RV up; the entire towing process can be down in under 30 minutes. Sure some RVs are slower than others, but they’re not that slow and even they won’t take an entire hour to reach their max height limit.
Keeps you out of harm’s way
We don’t even have to tell you how dangerous it is to try and lift an RV using a manual jack. We’re sure that you have a pretty good idea about it. Having an electric jack ensures that you won’t have to put yourself at risk again like that. Plus, an electric requires almost no hard effort so you don’t need to strain any parts of your body to operate it.
Lifts the trailer more stabley
An electric tow truck can hold your trailer more securely while it’s not connected to a tow truck yet.
Makes the towing process a breeze
While towing is generally considered a hassle, having an electric jack can make it a breeze. Now it doesn’t have to feel as stressful, and you don’t have to sweat as much for it.
There are plenty of other reasons why getting an electric jack is a good idea, but these should be more than enough to convince you that you need one. The main point is that a tool like this can make your life so much easier. It can make an activity that’s generally considered to be a hassle and time consuming, suddenly easy and manageable.
So, go get one. Trust us. You need it.
If you’re still confused about some things, check out these common questions and see if they can clear that out for you. These are the questions that we usually hear people ask so we took the time to answer all of them here.
Suggest some good brands
Of course, in anything and in any industry, someone always leads the race. In tongue jacks, there are also some leading manufacturers whose name regularly shows up in rankings and recommendations.
We suggest the company Bulldog and the other one, Husky. They might seem familiar to you. Some of their best products made it in our list. In terms of jacks, these two are the best of the best. They’re considered the top tier. We’ll give you a bit of a background on each of them to help you get to know them more.
Of course, they’re not the only ones. There are other good brands out there. However, we felt that these two are the most prominent and consistent ones in the market.
Husky not only pumps out great product after great product but they also have a really strong customer support system. It’s really amazing. You’ll rarely encounter a problem with any of their good, but if you do, they make sure that they can resolve it in the best and most efficient way possible.
They pride themselves with great quality products and very knowledgeable employees. Really, it shows in their products. Any of their items seem very intuitive. As if the person making them is really an RVer wanting to solve an actual problem.
Bulldog is an established company. They have a century-long history to back them up and many loyal customers who can attest to their great products and services.
This company has an excellent and accommodating customer service that is knowledgeable about their products as well as about RVing. It’s really nice and assuring.
Bulldog always makes their products with great quality. All of them seems so well manufactured and very clean cut. You won’t regret getting anything from them. They have never pumped out a bad product for a very long time.
Of course, other manufacturers can also offer you great products. However, these two are just on a whole other level that we had to mention them separately. Do check out their offerings and see if there’s anything you like. You’ll never be disappointed if you go with these brands. They really have the best.
What jack size do you I need?
As we mentioned before, the size or the max weight capacity that you need is dependent on the size of your RV. More specifically, the size of your RV’s tongue. You need to get yourself a jack that can carry more than the weight of your tongue to ensure stability.
If you don’t know how to get your RV tongue’s weight, here’s how to do it. Get the overall weight of your RV. You can either google it or measure it somehow. Just make sure it’s correct. Then multiply it to .10 to get its 10%. So if you have a 2000 lbs trailer, then your tongue weight would fall somewhere around 200 lbs.
So does that mean you should get a 200 lbs jack? No. You need to get the jack than can accommodate thrice of that. This is just for security purposes. You don’t want to take chances at this so it’s best that you’re super sure that you jack can handle you RV.
So for a 200 lbs tongue, get a jack that can accommodate around 1-2k lbs of weight. It’s that easy. Just stick to that formula whenever you’re getting a jack for your trailer. It’s okay to get a jack with higher capacity. That’s actually much better.
If you don’t do it like this, you might get your RV in trouble. That’s the last thing that you’d want to happen. So just follow these simple rules when buying your jack.
Also, read the product descriptions carefully. Some of them write down important details that you don’t want to miss. They also often describe the best RV type that they’re most compatible with. So before buying anything, find the one that best matches your ride.
Once you get this step done, everything else would just flow more smoothly. It’s just this one crucial detail that would set the foundation for the next steps. So don’t take it too lightly and focus when doing it.
How to connect the tow vehicle to my RV?
Before doing the connection, do some inspection first. Is this vehicle capable of supporting my ride’s weight? Can it handle the trailer securely? These are important questions that you should be asking prior to doing the hook up between the vehicles.
When you’re done and sure about the entire set up. Then do the hitching. Be careful not to tilt the trailer even just a little. Always check if the weight of the RV is evenly distributed all over the tow truck, otherwise, you might have problems when you hit the road.
Start connecting. Attach your trailer to your jack and start lifting its mouth until the beam in front of the RV meets is at the same height as the hook of the tow truck. Once you get this done. Then start pushing them together.
After you’re sure that they’re secure and ready, let go. You should see the tow truck’s hinge lock into the beam of your RV. Now take the chains in front of your trailer and secure them to the tow truck. They will ensure that your RV stays connected to the tow vehicle in case their connection with the beam accidentally breaks. Just be careful not to make it too tight or that might cause problems when making turns.
If your RV is one of those really big ones, double-check your brakes. Make sure it’s switched to your trailer’s front side. This is important to make sure to make the trailer move while it’s being towed.
Also, you’ll need an electrical connector to join the tow vehicle and the RV. You can use either a seven-way or a four-way depending on the type of tow truck you’re attaching your vehicle to.
That’s it. Just make sure to check all of it again before you give the other vehicle’s driver a go signal to start going. Once everything is ready, then go. You can never be too sure about all of these.
How do you operate an RV electric jack?
The fact that it’s electric makes the entire process much simpler. The modern electric jacks are very user-friendly. They usually only require a couple of clicks before they start working.
Before everything, make sure that your tool has all the power it needs. If that’s battery-operated, make sure it’s charged, and if it’s corded, then make sure it’s plugged. Then pull the pin on the jack’s leg. This will place the jack’s foot securely on the floor. After that, align the two-leg holes and put the pin back where you pulled it out from.
Once that’s done. Start extending the jack to lift your trailer. Have the tow vehicle positioned somewhere near the back where its hitch can align directly with the RV’s beam.
It’s obvious what you should do after that. Join them together and connect. Back your tow vehicle a little until it connects to the beam. And you’re done, just do some more securing where it’s needed and then drive away.
How do I get my trailer off of the Tow car?
That’s not so hard to do either. So once you get to your intended destination, just pick a spot and park your vehicles. Make sure that the spot is stable and flat. Before you go out and check on your RV, ensure that you leave the tow car on brake. Kill the motor before exiting the vehicle.
Now find heavy blocks for your RV’s tires. You’d want one for all of the rear and the front tires. These will ensure that the car won’t roll away while you work on it. Once you have that secured, take all of the security chains that you attached to the tow and your trailer.
Then start putting pressure on the latch and rotate your hand wheel going counterclockwise. This will loosen the coupler.
Now push your RV to your tow car and using the beam in front, lift the trailer. This would release it entirely from the tow car.
Once your trailer is free, put the coupler down on a safe place. You can put it anywhere that you’re sure is secure. That’s it. You’re done. It wasn’t even that hard was it?
It’s okay to be nervous the first time. It’ll get easier the more you do it. Just don’t miss any detail because all of them are vital to make this entire process go as smoothly as it should.
Full and complete knowledge about a product usually results in better and more informed decisions about it. Now that you know a lot about electric jacks, you should be able to narrow down a list of units that would best work for your needs.
Now jacks don’t seem as complicated anymore. You can now confidently walk into a store and get the perfect one for you RV. It’s so easy and not at all stressful. Now your chances of getting a great product is much, much higher.
Of course, we do highly recommend that you check out the products on our list above. However, if you follow our tips, we’re sure that you’ll get a really good one even if it’s not on our recommendations.
We hope that this article helps you out a lot. Just try to remember everything that we taught you here because they’ll be very helpful to you as an RVer. Still, researching more help. Thanks again and good luck!