Written by the Getaway Couple Rae & Jason
If you enjoy going off-roading and camping off-grid, a truck camper might be for you. They can take you to some pretty epic remote places where you can enjoy sunsets and silence. However, the right truck camper jacks can make loading and unloading your truck camper as simple as possible. We’ve created this guide to make understanding truck camper jacks as straightforward as possible. So let’s get started!
What Are Truck Camper Jacks?
No matter how strong you think you are, you’re not going to be lifting most truck campers with your bare hands. Truck campers are very heavy, and truck camper jacks will do all of the heavy lifting for you.
There are several different types of jacks, including tripod, corner-mounted, and stable-lift jacks. Picking which type is right for you will depend on your truck, truck camper, and how you plan to use your truck camper.
How Do Truck Camper Jacks Work?
Truck camper jacks lift the weight of the truck camper off of your truck. They typically use a steel support shaft running down their center. The steel support shaft has a series of gears and threads inside it to allow the post to extend and retract as necessary.
The amount of extension will depend on the jacks you select for your setup. However, you’ll want to make sure your jacks provide enough extension to lift your rig enough that you can pull your truck out without any issues.
Electric vs. Manual vs. Hydraulic Jacks
Despite all serving the same function, how the truck camper jacks achieve the result is different. Many truck camper owners view electric jacks as the best option for jacks for a truck camper. They’ll pull power from the truck’s electrical system or an onboard battery bank. However, many love the ease of raising, lowering, and leveling their truck camper with the press of a button (or even an app on their phone).
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, manual jacks are one option. You’ll have to adjust these using a crank or a pump system, which means more work. This system is similar to what you see used on a travel trailer for stability. You can get attachments for your drill to make this process painless.
The other options for jacks are hydraulic jacks. These jacks allow you to raise and lower the camper in and out of your truck easily. However, these jacks do require some manual work. You’ll need to pump up these jacks to create pressure in the hydraulic chamber. As pressure builds in the chamber, the jacks extend, and you’ll need to relieve the pressure to lower the jacks.
Types of Truck Camper Jacks
There are a few options when it comes to truck camper jacks. It’s essential that whichever type of jack you pick, you want one that can safely hold the weight of your truck camper. Be sure to build in a buffer for any gear or supplies you’ll be adding to your camper.
1. Tripod Truck Camper Jacks
While some truck camper jacks attach directly to the camper, tripod truck camper jacks do not. Instead, these jacks typically fold up very compactly and allow you to store them away until you need them. Each time you need to use them, you’ll have to position them each time you need to use them.
One of the significant drawbacks of these jacks is that they’re not designed for when you’re storing your truck camper. You should only use these when loading and unloading your truck camper. These typically come in packs of two or four; most choose to buy four and are glad they did. However, due to their design, these are manual jacks that require you to crank them up to do the heavy lifting.
2. Corner-Mounted Jacks
Corner-mounted jacks are one of the most popular options for truck campers. These attach the four corners of the truck camper and come in electric, hydraulic, and manual options. If you’re using a dually truck to haul your truck camper, you’ll need to make the jacks have a “swing out” feature to conquer the width of the dual rear wheels on the truck.
If you’re buying a new truck camper, it will likely come with a set of corner-mounted jacks already installed on your rig. Whether you add them on later or your camper came with them, you’ll love how simple they typically are to use and how easily they get the job done.
3. Stable-Lift Camper Jacks
The Stable-Lift camper jacks have a performance that is as solid as its construction. It’s one of the safest and most convenient ways to lift your truck campers on the market. This system is an electric lift that can have any camper in or out of a truck bed in two minutes. You no longer have to worry about wobbling or wearing yourself out when loading and unloading your camper.
While this might sound great, they’re the most expensive option for truck camper jacks. The $3600 to $4,000 price tag will be a tough pill to swallow for anyone considering them as an option.
How To Level A Truck Camper With Your Jacks
Whether you’re off-roading in your truck camper or in a campground, there’s a good chance you’ll need to level it. You should only use the jacks for leveling your truck camper after unloading it. Many truck camper users will level their truck first before unloading, so they know the camper will be nearly level when they unload it.
You can lower the jacks once you unhook the tie downs and turnbuckles. You want all the jacks to touch at the same time. Depending on the type of jacks you’re using, you may need to control electric jacks manually. This helps ensure they start lifting the rig once all the jacks touch the ground.
Protect Your Truck Camper Jacks With RV SnapPad
You want to protect the landing gear of your truck camper jacks. If your jacks stay connected to your camper, they will take a lot of abuse while you’re traveling. If you’re taking your truck camper on some off-roading adventures, you never know when you’ll hit a boulder or other obstacle. RV SnapPads are tough enough to take the abuse and will protect your landing gear.
RV SnapPads create a wider footprint for your truck camper jacks, increasing stability whether your camper is sitting in storage or at a campsite. Because RV SnapPads stay in place once installed, you won’t have to worry about carrying wood or plastic blocks to put down before lowering your jacks. The SnapPad Mini 6 and SnapPad Mini 5.5 fits round jacks found on most truck campers.
Truck Camper Jacks Aren’t As Complicated As You Thought
While truck camper jacks can feel intimidating, they’re relatively simple. It can take a considerable amount of time to load and unload a truck camper when you’re new. However, it's a fairly simple process once you get the hang of it. If you’ve wanted to consider a truck camper but were worried about dealing with the jacks to support them, hopefully, we’ve been able to ease your worries!