There are three reasons why you may need to know how to remove a trailer jack. First of all, it’s a good idea to keep it in storage when you’re not using it. That way you protect it from corrosion and damage.
Secondly, a trailer jack won’t last forever. So, at some point in time it will need replacing. Last but not least, trailer jacks are known to break down on occasion. It could happen because of poor design or natural wear and tear. Taking it off the trailer tongue and fixing it or replacing it will be necessary then.
Here’s what you need to know about removing a trailer jack.
- Socket set
- Wood pillars or concrete blocks
- Ratchet wrench
- Wheel chocks
Level the trailer
Park your trailer on a hard surface. First, you’ll want to raise the front end of the trailer tongue and have it leveled. Turn the handle on the trailer jack clockwise to do this.
Secure the trailer
There are multiple steps to securing the trailer and creating a safe working environment. After leveling the trailer, you should place wheel chocks under the wheels. Do this on both sides to prevent it from moving.
Then you can use concrete blocks, wood pillars, or even a high-jack to support the weight of the trailer. Slide whatever you plan on using into place, underneath the tongue. This will prevent the trailer from coming down on you after removing the jack.
Now you can turn the handle on the jack counterclockwise until the trailer’s weight is resting on the new support system. Note that there might be a slight difference in elevation between the trailer jack and the makeshift support system.
It won’t matter if the wheel chocks are in place and if the support can handle the entire weight of the tongue.
Loosen and remove bolts
Once the trailer is secure and has proper support, you can proceed to loosen and remove the bolts on the trailer jack. Use the ratchet wrench with the proper socket.
Remove the trailer jack
After all the nuts are off, you can simply pull out the jack. You may need to pull harder if there are signs of corrosion around the base.
Installing a new trailer jack
If you’re doing this to install a new jack, check the evenness of the hole before trying to install the new trailer jack. Cut a larger opening if needed or reshape the mouth with a hammer or pliers to fit the new trailer jack perfectly.
Don’t remove the support pillars or the high-jack before installing and configuring the new trailer jack. It will cause the trailer to come crashing down.
Tips and Warnings
- Even when removing the jack off a small trailer, which you can lift on your own, it’s still a good idea to use something to support its weight when removing the trailer tongue jack
- Always buy trailer jacks based on their weight ratings to make sure they can support your trailer
- Unless you have a commercial scale, you can’t measure the weight of your trailer tongue. Try contacting the manufacturer to get its weight
- Never forget to retract the trailer jack after attaching the trailer to your towing vehicle.
- If the trailer jack is not welded in place but still doesn’t want to come out, tap it a few times with a hammer
- You can also cut your old trailer jack with an acetylene torch. However, this is likely to extend the diameter of the hole in the frame. Therefore, the new trailer jack might not fit without mods
- You can use wax to lubricate a trailer jack and make it easier to pull out. Rub wax on the joint and heat it from underneath. As the wax liquefies, it will seep into any available space and lubricate the core of the jack
- Try to remove the trailer jack when you can park the trailer on a hard surface. This way, if you’re using wooden or concrete blocks, the weight of the tongue won’t push them into soft ground and the tongue won’t come crashing down on you
- Finally, secure the stuff inside your trailer. If you’re doing everything right, nothing will move around. But, a bit of bad luck can cause the trailer tongue to come down and send stuff flying off the shelves in your trailer
If you have a trailer or an RV, or any type of recreational vehicle or home on wheels, you need to become sort of a jack of all trades. Things break down all the time and you may not be able to afford to take your trailer to a repair shop every time.
It’s also worth mentioning that when you’re in the middle of nowhere, nothing but your expertise and tools can get you out of some sticky situations. Knowing how to remove a trailer jack is just one of the many things you’ll have to learn in order to always be safe and comfortable on the road.