Having the right caravan jack is essential for your trip. From hitching and unhitching to changing a flat tyre, you can't risk travelling without one. So which caravan jack should you choose? Check out our guide to caravan jacks.
Safety is number one. So, when buying a caravan jack, make sure it is appropriate to the Australian standard and able to support your caravan's weight. Each caravan jack has a "rated to" specification, so you need to determine your tare mass (aka the empty weight of your caravan), your gross trailer mass and your tow ball weight.
Uses Of A Caravan Jack:
Every caravan needs a jack for two uses:
To hitch and unhitch the caravan by jacking the caravan coupling from the vehicle's tow ball.
To jack up the side of the caravan to change the tyres in case of a flat.
Not all caravan jacks can do both jobs, so it's important to understand the differences between the jacks before you buy.
Manual vs Electric:
Whether you buy a manual caravan jack or an electric caravan jack comes down to personal preference. At the end of the day, a manual jack will be physically tougher to operate, whereas an electric jack is typically more expensive but easier to use.
Manual Caravan Jack:
A manual caravan jack has a hand crank to lift and lower the tongue, and is powered by your muscles. You crank it up, then you crank it down.
Some ground levels mean you may need to work harder than other places! There are fewer parts to break than on an electric jack but it can be tough on your body if you have back or shoulder issues.
Electric Caravan Jack:
An electric jack does the hard work for you. It runs off a 12-volt power source (typically from your caravan battery) and uses a gear-driven mechanism to go up and down. All you need to do is press the button - no strength required.
If you lose power for some reason, the manufacturers have thought of a solution - they've added an emergency crank so you aren't left unable to hitch your van.
There are lots of reasons you might want to choose an electric model over a manual, but the biggest is if you have shoulder or back problems, or really just want an easier trip!
If you want to unhitch your caravan from your tow vehicle, an electric jack is a great solution. Some caravan jack models, like the Black Jack Electric Trailer Jack, even come with a built-in level to help you make sure your caravan is level when unhitched.
However, this caravan jack can NOT be used for tyre changes.
For unhitching and tyre changing, you need an all-in-one hydraulic caravan jack.
Hydraulic caravan jacks, like the Trail-A-Mate Hydraulic Jockey Wheel and Jack, are designed so you don't need power. Most models can be removed from the chassis easily to use as a lift when you need to change a tyre.
Here at My Generator, we stock both manual and electric caravan jacks.
Manual Models We Recommend:
Top of our list of manual caravan jacks is the Trail-A-Mate Hydraulic Jockey Wheel & Jack. Designed for use with caravans, trailers and horse-floats, the kit quickly and easily converts from a jockey wheel to hydraulic jack - all you need to do is swap the wheel to the included solid baseplate.
The Trail-A-Mate has a rated lifting capacity of 1000kg, so it's ideal for jacking caravans or trailers up to 2900kg ATM, no matter how low your caravan or camper trailer.
It suits standard 50mm clamps so you can do a straight swap with your existing jockey wheel. It comes with a base plate, lifting clamp, jacking bracket, jacking handle, wheel only, extendable wheel brace and a built-in safety lock.
Another simple, great value option is the Kojack 4T Jack Kit with higher extension.
This 3-piece jack mounts under the caravan chassis, and is compatible with both ball and block fittings to match most Australian caravans.
Electric Models We Recommend:
Black Jack caravan jacks have made hitching and unhitching caravans easier than ever. You will wonder why you didn't get one sooner!
Black Jack is a permanent replacement for the manual jockey wheel. The bracket comes with numerous holes to allow you to fit it to practically any A frame.
Realistically in Australia, the most any draw bar is going to weigh is 350kg at the upper end and the Black Jack electric jack can lift 1600kg, so it is well engineered for Aussie caravans. The downward stroke is 550mm which should allow it to lift clear of any tow vehicle's hitch in any conditions. Just push the button and like magic, you can lift your caravan up or down.
The Black Jack caravan jack wires to your 12V power source and you can buy a bundle with the wiring kit you need. If the battery goes flat, there's an emergency cranking handle to get you out of trouble. You also get a solid base plate from which to work, a built-in spirit level and LED light.
We offer a wide range of bundles for your convenience - check out bundles with a DIY wiring harness kit, weight scale, jockey wheel, or clamp.
Now you have seen some of our favourites, see the full range and shop all caravan jacks here.
DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.