Camping Tips

Pros and Cons of Electric Tongue Jacks For Your Camper

You may have noticed that there are options to add an electric powered tongue jack to your camper. Or maybe you had one go out on you and trying to decide if you should replace it with another electric or replace it by installing a manual trailer jack. The short answer is, it depends on what you want and how much it is worth to you. Today, we will be going over the pros and cons of electric camper tongue jacks, and give the information you need to know to make that decision.


Our 2013 camper came with one included and I felt all fancy having it, even my brother in-law was envious as he was cranking his. He had the last laugh once mine failed in year three of having the camper. I ended up replacing it with a manual jack before a tree fell on our camper the following year.

The one most important thing to keep in mind when deciding to add an electric tongue jack to your camper is realizing that your adding another failure point. At some point in the future, you will need to replace it again.

When you have a manual jack, there is not much to go wrong with it. Maybe a little grease in the gears and you should be good for as long as you own your camper.

When you have an electric trailer jack, it will fail at some point. Though there are brands out their considered to be the best trailer jacks, the better you take care of it, the longer it will last. I learned a lot about this when we got our new camper and here are some tips to keeping your camper’s electric front jack in good shape. By following these tips, you should get more years out of it.

Keep it covered!

You can buy small covers specifically for your these. Don’t just use the cover when your camper is stored, but always have it on. We remove it during travel and set up and put it back on.

So why is it important to keep them covered you ask? Two main reasons. First the cover will keep rain from penetrating your motor. This is what happened to our. It filled with sitting water which rusted everything inside. Eventually, the motor would not run.

Next keeping it covered will help with the sun rays which will make the casing brittle. Everything sun destroys everything camper. It will start to fade, then start to get brittle and eventually crack/brake. Luckily we didn’t have this issue because our camper was so young but I learned this when researching once we got our new camper. It just makes sense.

Grease all fittings

The next tip is to make sure you use dielectric grease on all plugs that are not covered by heat-shrink.

Moister and electric doesn’t go well together. Have you have seen corrosion on your car batteries? Taking off the case and adding some dielectric grease to all the plugs will save you frustration down the road.


When looking into if we should replace our electronic camper trailer jack, the first thing that came to mind was price. Knowing that everything camper related seems to be over-prices, I was expecting a $500 price tag. I ended up surprised when I actually looked them up and was seeing many for under $200.

Price will depend on size which we will talk about below but you can expect to pay between $150-$300.

What Size Electric Tongue Jack do I Need For My Camper?

If you replacing or adding an electric jack to your camper, picking the right size is probably the most important decision you will make. If you select an under-powered jack,  you will replacing it sooner rather than later.

How to pick the correct weight when buying an electric trailer jack

This takes a little more math than one would think but, it’s not too hard to figure out. Remember when looking for a jack that it will not be lifting the whole camper. So camper weight in itself doesn’t come into play here.

The jack needs to be rated for your campers tongue weight plus your load. Let me explain. When you look at the sticker on your camper with VIN, weights, etc, you will see the tongue weight. This is the weight the camper puts on the tongue. The rest of the weight is on the tires.

Keep in mind that the weight on your sticker is for a stock unloaded camper. It doesn’t take into account of anything you place in it. And “things” are heavy!

So, here is how you figure out how big of jack you need to your camper (this is the same process for both electric and manual camper jacks):

  • Find your camper sticker with VIN/weights and write down your “tongue weight”
  • Estimate the weight of everything you have added to your camper. I go with 1,500 pounds
  • Add those together and that is the size tongue jack you need for your camper

You can always go up a little if you are unsure. Better to have too much power than not enough.


Lastly, if you are replacing a manual camper jack with an electric, you will need to run a few wires for power. This is not an issue for some but others may need help. You can expect camper service shops to be expensive and I can see the price of your new electric camper jack to double if having a shop install it.

The Bottom Line

It really comes down to personal preference and how much an electric camper jack is worth to you while camping. It may be a great choice for someone older that may have issues hand cranking the jack but not worth it to the dad who may have to crank the leveling jacks anyway.

Pros of an electric camper jack:

  • Less work
  • Easier for someone older, someone with shoulder/arm issues
  • Easy for the wife and kids to help
  • Can crank in the event the electric motor goes out

Cons of an electric camper jack:

  • More expensive
  • One more failure point. It will go out at some point and need replaced
  • Should use cover
  • You brother in-law will make fun of you lol

Helpful Resources

Video Instructions on How To Install an Electric Tongue Jack



Day Hiking Backpack Checklist

If you plan on day hiking on your next camping trip, having the right gear is important. Today, we are going to go over what items you want to make sure to have with you, even if only out for a few hours. You don’t want to get caught in the middle of nowhere not being prepared. So let’s get started!


If you will be hiking for the day, you will need the right type of backpack. I mean, you need to have a place to store everything we will be going over below. Taking the right kind of backpack is important as well. You want something that is laid out in a way that everything has a place to be.

Hiking backpack with plenty of room for all your gear. Bright colors help people find you if lost.

Backpack tips

A bright colored backpack can help you be seen if you are in trouble and people are searching for you. Using a dark colored or camouflage backpack will work if you also use it for hunting but if not, go with a bright color. If you do go dark, make sure to pack a bright (hunter orange) color rag just in case.

You want to get a backpack that has a lot of room but comfortable to carry around all day. Pictured above is a large outdoor hiking backpack that has plenty of room and pockets for everything you may need.

Things to think about when buying a hiking backpack are: will you even hike camp (do you need room for a tent like above)? Does it have room for everything you need? Is it too big (how much can you carry)?


Heading out in unfamiliar land without anything to help you get around is just kinda dumb. How many news reports have you seen about hikers getting lost with search parties being sent out to find them? You cannot depend on having phone service when in the woods or underpopulated areas. It is important to know where you are and how to get back.


Taking a map that has local landmarks is a good idea. You can usually find these at local tourist stations. Make a note of landmarks on the map as you head out so you can look for them if lost on your way back.


Compass to help you read a map if you get lost.

Compasses are not used nearly as much as they should be. Having a compass will help when trying to read a map. Knowing which way is what can help you confirm landmarks in a specific direction. A compass app can be found on most (if not all) smart phones. One thing to remember is that if your phone dies, you will not have a compass. A small pocket compass is cheap and well worth the little space it will take in your backpack.


A real GPS is always a smart idea and can replace your map and compass. You can not rely on your phone GPS, you would want a dedicated device strictly for this. Just make sure it has a personal GPS locator function built into it.

Sun Protection

Even if you plan on hiking in the woods, sun lotion is a smart thing to pack. Have you ever got sun burned on a cloudy day? Being hidden under trees will protect you but if you will be in open areas, you will wish you had it. It is smart to pack a small tube of sun lotion that doesn’t take much room and will not add unneeded weight to your pack.

It is recommended not to use spray lotion for a couple reasons. One, you will be taking arousal into nature. Second, more and more people are having chemical reactions to them. You do not want to be too far out if you have one. This happened to me nephew and it was BAD!

Extra Clothes

You may not think of something like an extra pair of clothes as something you will need, but it is. Weather changes, it could be cool when you leave but become very hot. Or, it could be a nice day and the sun goes down quicker than you thought. Preparing for the weather can ave you from suffering weather changes.

What if you run into the perfect swimming creek or pond? I bet you will be kicking yourself that you didn’t bring an extra pair of your skimmies (bra/undies)!

What if it rains? Do you have a poncho? They are light and easy to pack.

Lastly, pack a pair of work gloves. You can thank me later.

Emergency/Survivor Gear

Starting a fire with flint as part of your emergency survival gear while hiking.

Even if you are going out for a few hours, having some basic survivor gear can save your life. Just a few simple things can be the difference between life and death in case of an emergency. Here is what I carry:

  • Knife (both pocket and larger K-Bar type for cutting wood)
  • Flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Flint or small box of waterproof matches
  • Small radio with crank power (for weather if you get stuck)
  • Multi-tool like a Leatherman or Gerber
  • First-aid kit with extra tape that can be used in making a splent
  • Whistle
  • A few MRE’s (meals ready to eat) in case you are stuck overnight or two
  • Water sanitize tablets
  • Small tarp to make shelter if needed
  • Rappelling rope
  • Pistol (if laws allow and you have your CCW) since you never know what you will run into

Water and Protein

Getting water out of a creek to drink using a filtered water bottle or using sanitize tablets.

You will of course take water on your hike, but make sure to take enough to last. You need plenty of water to stay hydrated but water is heavy! A gallon of water weighs over 8 pounds, and that’s a lot of weight to add to your pack.

Using a water bottle that has a built in filter not only make hiking fun by refilling from lakes and streams, it also cuts real pounds from your back. The technology of today is awesome! Here is one from Amazon that gets great reviews.

Besides water, protein is just as important. Staying hydrated and fueled will keep you energetic and keep you feeling good. packing things like jerky, protein bars or a jar of peanut butter will make sure you will have the power throughout the day.


So, above we covered a checklist of things to take on a day hike. You may think of your hike as harmless fun but all you have to do is watch the news to see what type of things that can happen while out. The above may sound like overkill but being prepared is being responsible. Your friends and family want you to come back!

So a quick overview of things you need:

  • good backpack with plenty of room
  • map and compass
  • sun protection
  • extra clothes or at least socks
  • poncho
  • emergency and survival gear including: knife, flashlight, fire starter, radio, multi-tool, whistle, MRE, water tablets, small tarp, rope and firearm (if allowed, have CCW and in a area with predators)
  • water bottle with filter
  • protein snacks like jerky

Stay safe and enjoy Mother Nature!