Originally Posted by Jane P.
My tow hitch is 16". What size bottle jack would I need? Would these work for me?
You have a 19' Bigfoot
whose tow hitch is 16" (off the ground?)
I agree with Gene in that a 10 ton (20,000 pound) jack is overkill. I happen to have a tiny little 2 ton (4,000 pound) bottle jack that came with my Fiber Stream
. It is adequate for me because my trailer weighs 3,100 pounds fully loaded.
Your question is: Bottle or Scissor? Each design has it's merits. But before you select a design, think about what parameters you need to meet for the job, such as:
- Weight Capacity. I suggest a 4 ton (8,000 pound) jack for your trailer. Possibly lighter to carry and push under the flat than a 10 ton unit.
- Lift Height, or Travel. How high do you need to raise the hub in order to mount a fully inflated tire? Getting the flat off is one thing, getting the spare (or replacement) on is something else.
- Retracted Height. Great travel is no good if the retracted jack is too tall to fit under the frame near the flat. Don't ask me how I know this.
Single Ram Bottle jacks (like your example) may be good at #1 and #2 but inadequate at #3. Or shorter single ram bottle jacks could be good at #1 and #3 but lacking at #2. Gene's suggestion of a Double Ram Bottle Jack is a good choice for this reason.
What about Scissor Jacks? They can be a lighter and simpler design alternative to meet all 3 parameters listed above BUT have you noticed that all
of the suggested scissor jacks here are motorized?
My experience has been that hand cranking a manual scissors jack can be much more exertion than pumping a bottle jack that has an adequately long handle. However, a scissors jack has a smoother travel than a bottle jack, especially when lowering the new tire back down to the pavement if you don't have a precise control of the bottle jack bleed valve. A motorized scissor solves this problem IF you can trust that your Battery
will be charged enough at all times AND that the cord will be long enough to reach a 12 volt DC outlet.
If you trust your 12 volt source along the side of the road, get a Motorized Scissors Jack. But I don't trust my Battery
to be 100% available and a manual Double Ram Bottle Jack would be my choice.