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A trailer jack is an important part of safe towing. If you need to add a jack to or replace one on a trailer, the following information can help you choose among the many kinds to find the right one.
Trailer jacks come in different weight capacities and lengths. Remember to consider the length of the jack in both the retracted and extended positions. When extended, the jack has to lift your coupler high enough for it to clear the hitch ball on the vehicle. And the jack has to retract far enough to clear the ground when you're traveling. The following information can help you find a jack with the proper weight capacity and length for your application:
Trailer tongue weight (TW) is the downward pressure that the coupler places on the hitch ball. Typically, TW is 10 to 15 percent of your gross trailer weight (GTW), which is the weight of the trailer when it is fully loaded. For example, a 5,000-lb trailer has a TW of 500 lbs to 750 lbs pressing down on the ball.
Side-mount jacks either bolt or weld to the side of the frame of a pole tongue or A-frame trailer. The pivoting design lets the jack swing up and out of the way for towing and down for jacking. Manual crank jacks come in one of two styles - cranking from the side (most common) or top. One type may work better than the other depending on the clearance around your trailer.
Three mounting styles for side mount jacks:
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