Trailer hitch jack?

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Trailer hitch jack?

Postby astroman97 [OP] » December 7th 2014, 1:39am

Just thinking in my head so far, I was thinking if it would work to design a jack that would plug into the hitch and like a trailer leg jack a person could just turn the handle to raised the vehical of the ground..obviously there would be a wider foot print on the jack leg..hope I describe it enough to picture it..wonder if anyone tried this or suggestions? Not a fan of the factory jack think I only used it once normally use a floor jack but if a person could do it without bending down as much?
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Re: Trailer hitch jack?

Postby Lumpy » December 7th 2014, 3:06am

I think it's a great idea. It's a little problematic as in most "normal" people jack a car up to change a tire. That could be deadly if jacked onto the hitch point and then the car took a lean toward the (now removed) wheel and the person changing the tire.

But for us, jacking from there till we can get jack stands under some place (the outboard legs of the hitch) it's about the strongest point, best weight distributed spot on the van.


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Re: Trailer hitch jack?

Postby RECox286 » December 7th 2014, 3:44am

Think about the geometry of the fixed jack in relation to the tilt of the vehicle

and the foot on the ground. Something will try to grow, and it will be the jack's

foot on the ground as it tries to slide backward to stay vertical to the plane of the

vehicle. IOTW, the foot of the jack will want to back up, making for a somewhat

unstable situation which will likely end up in a minor earthquake as something yields.

I wouldn't want to be around for the show, even with all four tires still on the vehicle.

Now, if you could figure out how to articulate the jack to remain vertical to both the

vehicle and the ground at the same time...

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Re: Trailer hitch jack?

Postby astroman97 [OP] » December 7th 2014, 4:24am

RECox286 wrote:Think about the geometry of the fixed jack in relation to the tilt of the vehicle

and the foot on the ground. Something will try to grow, and it will be the jack's

foot on the ground as it tries to slide backward to stay vertical to the plane of the

vehicle. IOTW, the foot of the jack will want to back up, making for a somewhat

unstable situation which will likely end up in a minor earthquake as something yields.

I wouldn't want to be around for the show, even with all four tires still on the vehicle.

Now, if you could figure out how to articulate the jack to remain vertical to both the

vehicle and the ground at the same time...

Uncle Bob

I was thinking like they have in a semi trailer ...the legs on those do have a pivot to them
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Re: Trailer hitch jack?

Postby redfury » December 7th 2014, 7:37am

work it like an old bumper jack. Best yet would be to have a simple 3 legged base.
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Re: Trailer hitch jack?

Postby pauldeere » December 7th 2014, 1:07pm

Thinking about this jack idea, in my mind. Would it work?...Would the three legged version, as mentioned, be the best?......Where would you store this jack in the vehicle when not in use?........Keeping in mind the trailer hitch has a tongue capacity, this is the amount of force that can be applied downward or upward on the receiver. Would this jack exceed the tongue capacity?.......
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Re: Trailer hitch jack?

Postby chevymaher » December 7th 2014, 1:58pm

pauldeere wrote: Would this jack exceed the tongue capacity?.......

I am pretty sure the back of the van is more than 500 lb tongue capacity. Or whatever that particular hitch is. I have jacked up cars by them before and not damaged anything. I am pretty sure that rating is due to service factors in use. On bumps and things the force on the hitch is multiplied by the 10th power for a split second.
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Re: Trailer hitch jack?

Postby Lumpy » December 7th 2014, 4:50pm

Lifting from trailer hitch vs tongue capacity isn't a good comparison for the reasons Maher suggests. ANY time you jack a wheel off the ground you're surely exceeding the recommended payload or some other term. But payload, tongue capacity and those terms apply to a MOVING vehicle in use; not a vehicle sitting still and being jacked.

If we put a van, ~4000-5000 lbs, on a lift, and raise it off the floor, we've exceeded the recommended MAX payload (1200 lbs) by 3x-4x. That doesn't mean it's going to damage the van.

Think about how a hitch is mounted. If we mount a hitch on the BUMPER, it's rated WAY less for load capacity than if it's bolted to the frame. Yet for decades, we lifted our cars with a bumper jack on nothing more than that 11 ga chromed metal bumper.

I see tons of advantages to using such a strong point and only one disadvantage. That is that it's not balanced from side to side. Jack it from there then apply jackstands seems very safe. But that's probably not something the average car owner would do. Only us AstroSafaridiots have that kind of foresight.


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