What Do You Do if Your Tongue Jack Slips Off The Blocks?
What if your trailer tongue falls off the blocks?
I would not have dreamt ever needing to know what to do if the tongue jack fell off the blocks. Ever! But it can happen. Especially to a newbie.
It can be as simple as loose gravel, poorly distributed weight on a slope or the wrong blocks.
We’re fortunate to own a travel trailer built by Outdoors RV, which is built like a tank. The fall didn’t even phase the trailer!
So let’s break down some typical causes, solutions and preventions.
Is This A Potential Problem For Everyone?
If your tongue jack reaches your hitch ball without the use of blocks, this will likely never be a problem.
If this is your situation, you probably have a trailer in which the frame is set low to the ground.
If your rig is designed for more “off-road” capability, its frame is set higher. In other words you’ll need blocks under the tongue jack. So there’s a potential for it to fall.
How Do You Prevent Your Tongue Jack From Falling Off The Blocks?
First, being conscientious of the type of ground, approximate degrees of the slope and types of blocks you have is a good place to begin.
⭐ And no matter what, ALWAYS make sure your wheel chocks are secure! And I mean really secure.
We thought ours were and it still fell off the blocks! Why? Loose gravel and heavy rain.
We’re glad it did, because we’ll never make that mistake again. And if we can prevent at least one person from having the same problem, then it’s worth it.
What Type Of Blocks Are Best For Soft Ground?
Most importantly, stock several pieces of two by tens that are approximately 20” to 24” long.
If it’s too short, it’s susceptible to sinking into loose ground. The bigger the base, the better.
If it’s too big, storage is an issue. So find suitable ground between length and space constraints.
Once you have a large base, the rest of the blocks you use are based on your preference.
Know The Height Of Your Hitch Coupler From The Ground
If you’re sociable, the easiest tip is to find someone with a lower hitch ball than you. It might just solve your problem the fastest (and safest).
But it’s important to know the height of your coupler with the tongue jack fully extended. This will make it easier to find someone nearby with a trailer ball low enough.
You’ll find most people in campgrounds happy to help. In fact, most of them love to problem solve.
We were fortunate enough to have a friend in the campground who could help. Mike has a truck with a lower hitch ball, which allowed us to hold the trailer, while stacking more blocks under the tongue jack.
Know Your Approximate Tongue Weight
It’s unlikely you’ll find a jack of any sort that can’t handle your tongue weight. If you recall, your tongue weight is approximately 10% of your gross weight.
But it is helpful to know when buying or borrowing a jack to solve your problem.
That begs the next question. What are good jacks to use for raising your trailer tongue?
What Are Some Solutions For Getting Your Tongue Jack Lifted After Falling?
- We already mentioned finding someone with a low hitch ball.
- A high lift is your best solution if no one has a lower hitch. It will do the job. But it’s large and heavy. Storing it on the trailer or in your tow vehicle will eat a lot of your GVWR. If you can afford the weight, it’s a great tool to have on board.
- A bottle jack that can handle the capacity of your tongue weight could be a solution if it jacks up high enough. It’s not a bad idea to stock one that can handle your trailers axle in case of a flat anyway.
- A speed jack will probably not work. And it’s unlikely you’re carrying one around in your tow vehicle. It’s too heavy and takes up a lot of space. It also may not elevate the tongue high enough on a trailer with a high frame.
What Tools Should You Stock In Case It Falls?
As mentioned previously, here’s a list of problem solving tools:
- High lift
- Bottle jack
- Additional leveling blocks
- Leather gloves
- A large bottle of “patience.”
What Direction Should You Place Your Base Blocks Under The Tongue Jack?
This is a simple answer. Place the wood longwise in whatever direction the trailer is directing pressure. In other words, if the trailer is trying to roll forward, place the base board parallel to the trailer.
In the end, we still had a great time on our practice runs before going full time. And clearly, we learned some very important lessons. And these lessons made us even more excited to leave for our journey.
So, most importantly, know what can happen with different types of ground. Then, be prepared by equipping yourself with the right blocks.
If nothing else, you can’t go wrong if you stock your trailer with enough two by tens for your tongue jack, wheels and stabilizers.
If you take these precautions, you’ll likely never need to jack your tongue back up.
Have you ever encountered a similar issue with your trailer?