Installing a Frame Trailer Jack (Step-by-Step Guide)

How to install a trailer jack? How to mount a trailer jack?

Installing a frame trailer jack is fairly easy if you have the right tools and carefully follow the steps.

I admit, the first time I helped with this I was pretty intimidated but that’s ok, you’ll master it in no time.

I wanted to share the advice I learned when going through this process, so created this guide.

Let’s get started.

If you are still looking for transport, take a few minutes to check out the most expensive horse trailer guide.

How to Install Electric Tongue Jack?

Here I’ll outline the steps to follow when installing an A frame trailer jack on your trailer frame. But first, let’s take a quick look at how using this type of jack will help you.

Electric jacks make hitching up your horse trailer so much easier! You can use them on both goosenecks and bumper pulls.

And while an electric jack is a slower way to move your trailer up and down, it will save you the physical effort of trying to do this manually.

You will quickly adjust to having a bit of patience believe me!

There are even ways to create a DIY electric trailer jack, so take a look.

Ok, ready? Let’s go!

Step 1 – Thoroughly Read Your Jack’s Installation Instructions

I know, many people, myself included tend to skim through the installation instruction manual but in this case slow down and read it carefully.

Also, read the product description to make sure you are fully familiar with all the details. You also might see an assembly diagram, which can guide you.

Improper installation can mean that your jack does work properly or safely.

Step 2 – Ensure Your Have The Necessary Tools

After reading the instructions and before you go any further, make sure you have all the necessary tools to complete the installation of your electric trailer tongue jack. 

Tools will include jack stands, a torque wrench, wheel chocks, and bolts suitable for the jack model that you have. Jack stands and chocks are important safety equipment, so make sure you have the appropriate ones for your trailer.

There’s never any harm in using extra safety measures such as protective equipment! Even consider using non-skid safety shoes when placing and adjusting the chocks and jack stands.

Step 3 – Look At Weight Capacities

One of the most important things you need to look at is the weight capacity of the lip for the jack and your trailer. Compatibility is essential for safely using your jack. You will probably want a heavy duty jack for increased safety and durability.

When it comes to weight capacity, don’t ignore safety warnings. It something goes wrong a serious accident could happen.

Step 4 – Put Your Trailer On a Level Surface

Next, you need to put your horse trailer in a safe place on level ground. Once in place put the chocks on the trailer wheels to keep it in place.

Step 5 – Place The Jack Stands

Next place the jack stands under your trailer’s tongue. Make sure that the stands are capable to support the weight of your horse trailer.

Step 6 – Remove The Existing Jack

Once the trailer is stable and well supported take out the existing jack (jockey wheel). Be careful not to misplace the flat washers and bolts. I find having a container right next to me to put them in is the best way not to lose them.

Step 7 – Insert The Electric Jack

Once the existing jack is out of the way, place the electric jack into the a-frame jack opening. Make sure to line up the plate holes with the bolt holes.

Also, ensure that the jack’s motor is facing forward. In other words, the motor should face your towing vehicle.

CHECK: Electric Hydraulic Jack for Horse Trailer

Step 8 – Insert The Bolts and Washers

Next, place the washers on your bolts. Make sure you use the size that is indicated in the instructions. A common size grade 5 3/8th inch diameter bolts.

If the bolts and washers you removed with the original jack are the right size and will fit through the hole dimensions you can use these. If not you will need to purchase them. That is if they don’t come with your jack model.

Some jacks will also require star washers. When you have everything organized insert the bolts into the matching bolt hole.

Step 9 – Tighten The Bolts

Once your bolts and washers are organized, put them through the bolt holes and tighten them. One recommendation is to tighten them to 15-30 foot-pounds.

However, always check the correct tightness in your jack’s instructions in case it differs.

Step 10 – Check For a Lower Support Plate

The lower support plate is located under the trailer tongue. To safely operate an electric jack you must have this.

If it is not there, then you will need to install one.

Step 11 – Install Fuse Holder

Once the jack is in place, you install the fuse holder. Place the fuse holder close to the power source’s positive terminal. You want it to be as close as possible. 

This might require soldering or crimping the connection.

Step 12 – Wire Jack Lead Directly

This is not a mandatory step but an alternative way to connect your jack to a power source. First, make sure all vehicle battery power sources are disconnected before working with electrical connections. 

If doing this route, connect the jack lead to the reset breaker directly. Once safely connected use tie wraps to secure the wire to the A frame.

Step 13 – Connect The Jack Lead

Once your fuse holder is in place, connect it to the jack lead. And you are all set with your new electrical tongue jack!

If you are still worried about installing your electric trailer jack, consider asking a professional. Someone that works as a mechanic for RV travel will be familiar with these types of jacks. Just remember to consider labor costs in your budget.

Take a look at this video to give you a visual guide on how to hook up an electric trailer A-frame jack.

 FAQs

How big of an electric tongue jack do I need?

The general rule for determining the size of the electrical jack that you need is to calculate 10 – 15% of the fully loaded trailer weight. [1]
Also, to really ensure you get the right frame-mounted jack, compare its max lift capacity with that of the tongue weight, load capacity.

How high do trailer jacks go?

How high a heavy duty A-frame jack go will vary depending on the model. You will need a jack that extends high enough to lift the tongue so it goes higher than your trailer hitch. [2]
But it also must retract enough so that it doesn’t touch the ground when you’re driving. Giving yourself additional ground clearance is better than 

Conclusion

I hope this has helped your confidence about installing an A frame trailer jack. As you can see, it is pretty easy.

Remember to choose the correct jack before installation, what a pain it would be if you find out after that fact and have to go through the process again!

trailer jack

Resources

1. What size tongue jack do I need for my trailer? [Internet]. Venture Trailers. [cited 2022 Sep 12]. Available from: https://venturetrailers.com/resource/what-size-tongue-jack-do-i-need-for-my-trailer/#:~:text=The%20required%20weight%20capacity%20of

2. Available from: https://www.etrailer.com/faq-trailer-jacks.aspx

Siun L
Siun L

Siun is an all-around animal lover, with a passion for horses. She grew up in the United States, competing in the hunters, equitation, and jumpers. Now living in Ireland, she competes with her own showjumping horses. She is experienced in the care and training of horses, as well as teaching riding lessons. She loves to combine her love for horses with her work. When not working, Siun will be found at the stables, rain or shine.
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