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Saturday, May 18, 2024

How to Use a Trailer Tongue Jack - Complete RV Guide

Complete RV Guide
A trailer tongue jack is an essential tool for RV owners, allowing for easy hitching and unhitching of trailers and providing stability when parked. Mastering the proper use of a tongue jack ensures smooth and safe towing experiences for RV enthusiasts. Here’s everything you need to know about using a trailer tongue jack once you find the right one from our collection.

Importance of Having a Trailer Tongue Jack

We carry a wide range of trailer tongue jacks that will all get the job done. Wondering what the job is? Here’s why it’s important to have a trailer tongue jack before heading out for your next RV trip.

Hitching and Unhitching: One of the primary functions of a trailer tongue jack is to assist in hitching and unhitching trailers from the RV. By using the trailer tongue jack to raise and lower the trailer tongue onto the hitch ball, RV owners can align the coupler with the hitch receiver with ease, ensuring a secure connection before towing. This process simplifies the otherwise cumbersome task of manually lifting and lowering heavy trailer tongues, reducing the risk of injury and strain for RV enthusiasts.

Stability and Leveling: A trailer tongue jack provides stability and support for the RV when parked, allowing for precise leveling on uneven terrain. By adjusting the height of the trailer tongue using the jack, RV owners can ensure that the RV is level and stable, minimizing the risk of rocking or swaying while parked. This not only enhances comfort and safety inside the RV but also prevents damage to the RV's frame and components caused by uneven weight distribution.

Convenience and Versatility: Beyond its primary functions, a trailer tongue jack offers convenience and versatility for RV owners in various situations. Whether stabilizing the RV during loading and unloading, supporting hitch-mounted accessories such as bike racks or cargo carriers, or providing additional clearance for towing vehicles with low ground clearance, a trailer tongue jack enhances the overall functionality and usability of the RV.

Safety and Peace of Mind: Perhaps most importantly, having a trailer tongue jack instills confidence and peace of mind for RV owners, knowing that they have the necessary equipment to safely and effectively manage towing and parking tasks. By investing in a high-quality trailer tongue jack and properly maintaining it, RV enthusiasts can enjoy worry-free travel experiences, knowing that they are equipped to handle any hitching, leveling, or emergency situations that may arise.

A trailer tongue jack is an indispensable tool for RV owners, offering essential functions that contribute to safe, stable, and convenient towing and parking experiences. From hitching and unhitching trailers to leveling the RV at campsites and facilitating emergency tire changes, a trailer tongue jack plays a crucial role in enhancing the overall functionality, safety, and enjoyment of RV travel.

How to Use a Trailer Tongue Jack For Your RV, Step by Step

1. Safety First

  • Parking: Ensure your RV is parked on a level surface.
  • Chocks: Place wheel chocks on both sides of the wheels to prevent any movement.

2. Raising the Trailer

  • Manual Jack:
    • Insert the handle into the crank.
    • Turn the handle clockwise to raise the trailer.
  • Electric Jack:
    • Connect the jack to the power source (usually the RV's battery).
    • Use the control switch to raise the trailer.

4. Connecting to the Tow Vehicle

  • Align Hitch: Position the tow vehicle so the hitch ball is directly under the trailer coupler.
  • Lower the Trailer:
    • Use the tongue jack to lower the trailer onto the hitch ball.
    • For a manual jack, turn the handle counterclockwise.
    • For an electric jack, use the control switch.

5. Securing the Hitch

  • Latch the Coupler: Ensure the coupler locks securely onto the hitch ball.
  • Attach Safety Chains: Cross the safety chains under the hitch and attach them to the tow vehicle.
  • Connect Electrical Wiring: Plug in the trailer's electrical connector to the tow vehicle.

6. Leveling the Trailer

  • Use the Tongue Jack:
    • Raise or lower the front of the trailer using the tongue jack to achieve a level position.
    • Check the level side-to-side using a bubble level.
  • Side-to-Side Leveling: If the trailer is not level side-to-side, use leveling blocks under the wheels.

7. Stabilizing the Trailer

  • Stabilizer Jacks:
    • Deploy the stabilizer jacks at the corners of the trailer for additional support.
    • Lower them until they are firmly in contact with the ground.

8. Detaching the Tow Vehicle

  • Reverse Steps: To detach, simply reverse the steps:
    • Raise the trailer using the tongue jack.
    • Unlatch the coupler.
    • Disconnect safety chains and electrical wiring.
    • Move the tow vehicle away.

Tips and Reminders

  • Lubricate the Jack: Regularly lubricate the tongue jack's moving parts to ensure smooth operation.
  • Check Weight Capacity: Make sure your tongue jack can handle the weight of your trailer.
  • Use a Jack Stand: For added stability, place a jack stand under the tongue jack when parked.

Towing your RV should be a cinch when you have the right tools and direction. If you need to upgrade your current RV towing and leveling equipment, you’re in the right place. Here at RVupgrades we carry an assortment of essential tools to help you get the job done. Check out our selection or get in touch with us for more information.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

RV Camping Essentials: Must-Have Gear for a Comfortable and Safe Trip


RV parts

The open road and the call of adventure in your RV beckons, promising scenic views, unforgettable experiences, and the freedom to explore at your own pace. But before you hit the gas and disappear into the sunset, there's one crucial step: ensuring you have the essential RV parts and camping gear for a comfortable and safe trip.

Imagine this – you've reached your dream campsite, only to realize you forgot the essentials! A wobbly RV, uncomfortable outdoor seating, or a lack of basic supplies can quickly turn your dream vacation into a frustrating experience.

Don’t worry though! This comprehensive guide explores the must-have RV camping gear that goes beyond the RV itself. From creating a stable and comfortable living space to ensuring safety and preparedness, this list will equip you for a smooth and enjoyable RV adventure.

Setting Up Camp: RV Parts and Accessories for Stability and Comfort

1. Leveling Blocks

An essential for most campsites, leveling blocks allow you to adjust the height of your RV to achieve a stable and comfortable living space. Uneven ground can cause your RV to tilt, leading to wobbly furniture, malfunctioning appliances, and a generally unpleasant experience. Leveling blocks come in various materials like plastic or wood, and can be stacked to achieve the desired height.

EZ Leveler Jack Pads

While traditional leveling blocks can get the job done, consider investing in a product like the Valterra Stackers EZ Leveler Jack Pads. This 10-pack of stackable leveling blocks offers superior convenience and functionality compared to basic leveling blocks. Here's why:

  • Versatility: The Valterra Stackers are multi-taskers! Not only can you use them as leveling blocks, but they can also function as jack pads or tongue wheel supports. This eliminates the need for carrying separate equipment for each purpose, saving you space and simplifying your packing list.
  • Stackable Design: The blocks easily stack on top of each other, allowing you to achieve the perfect height for your RV, addressing uneven terrain effectively.
  • Smooth Ramp Design: The Valterra Stackers feature a built-in, easy-glide ramp on each block. This allows you to drive your RV onto the blocks smoothly and effortlessly, preventing any potential scraping or damage to your tires.
  • Convenient Storage: These leveling blocks come with a handy Velcro strap for easy storage when not in use. No more scrambling for loose blocks – simply stack them together, secure them with the strap, and toss them in your designated storage compartment.
  • Durability: Made from high-impact polyethylene plastic, the Valterra Stackers are built to withstand the weight of your RV (up to 4,000 lbs per block) and various weather conditions.

2. RV Chocks

Once your RV is leveled, chock your wheels to prevent them from rolling. Chocks come in different sizes and materials, with plastic or rubber chocks being popular choices for their affordability and ease of use.

EZ Leveler Jack Pads

Here's why the Reese Towpower Wheel Chocks are a great addition to your RV camping essentials:

  • Durable Construction: Made from high-impact polymer, these chocks are built to last. They can withstand the weight of your RV and various weather conditions, ensuring reliable performance for years to come.
  • Designed for Stability: The Reese Towpower Wheel Chocks feature a wedge design that grips firmly onto the ground, preventing your RV from rolling even on uneven terrain.
  • Ideal Size: These chocks are sized for wheels under 17 inches, making them suitable for most RV tires. They are compact and lightweight, allowing for easy storage in your RV's designated compartment.

3. Camping Chairs

Who doesn't love relaxing around a campfire after a day of exploration? Invest in comfortable and sturdy camping chairs that can withstand outdoor use. Consider features like cup holders, reclining options, and portability when choosing your chairs.

4. Outdoor Rug

An outdoor rug adds a touch of comfort and defines your living space outside the RV. It provides a clean and comfortable surface for relaxing, socializing, or enjoying meals outdoors. Choose a weather-resistant rug that can be easily rolled up for storage.

Essential Supplies: Be Prepared for Anything

  • Freshwater Hose and RV Water Filter: A freshwater hose is necessary to fill your RV's freshwater tank with clean drinking water. Consider purchasing a dedicated RV hose with appropriate connectors, and don't forget a drinking water filter to ensure safe and clean water consumption.
  • Basic RV Tools: Being prepared for minor repairs is essential. Pack a basic RV toolkit that includes screwdrivers, a hammer, pliers, a wrench set, and a utility knife. You might also consider adding duct tape, zip ties, and extra fuses for electrical troubleshooting.
  • First-Aid Kit: Accidents happen, even on camping trips. A well-stocked first-aid kit is essential for treating minor injuries like cuts, scrapes, or insect bites. Include essentials like bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any necessary medications.

Safety and Security: Peace of Mind on the Road

  • Fire Extinguisher: A fire extinguisher is a non-negotiable safety item for any RV. Choose a multi-purpose fire extinguisher that can handle various types of fires. Make sure to familiarize yourself with how to use it properly before your trip.
  • Carbon Monoxide Detector: Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can be deadly. Install a carbon monoxide detector in your RV to alert you to any potential dangers and ensure your safety.
  • Surge Protector: Power surges at campgrounds can damage your RV's electrical system. Invest in a high-quality RV surge protector to safeguard your electronics from unexpected voltage fluctuations.
  • Flashlight and Headlamp: A reliable flashlight and headlamp are essential for navigating your RV and campsite, especially at night. Consider a headlamp for hands-free convenience.
EZ Leveler Jack Pads

Gearing Up for Memories that Last a Lifetime

By investing in the essential RV camping gear listed above, you're setting yourself up for a comfortable, safe, and enjoyable adventure.

Remember, for all your RV Parts and accessories needs, we offer a wide variety of RV essentials to suit your specific needs and budget. So, stock up on the gear, plan your route, and get ready to experience the magic of RV camping! With the right preparation, you'll be creating memories that last a lifetime under the open sky.

Now that you're equipped with the knowledge and essentials,  let the adventure begin! Happy RVing!