Electric Truck Camper Jacks: Worth The Cost?
Thanks for your support! If you make a purchase using our links in this article, we may make a commission. And, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See the full disclosure here.
Truck campers are one of the least common RV types, but despite this, they’re an excellent choice for truck owners looking for a great camper. But one aspect of truck campers can cause frustration for some: the jacks. Electric truck camper jacks are the answer to this frustration.
With manual truck camper jacks, you need to adjust the jacks by hand. This can become tedious, especially for frequent campers. Thankfully, there is a better solution: electric truck camper jacks. But despite the convenience they provide, are electric truck camper jacks worth the cost?
Let’s take a closer look at electric truck camper jacks, how they work, and whether or not they’re worth adding to your camper.
Do All Truck Campers Have Electric Jacks?
A truck camper’s jacks are what lift it up to be placed in your truck bed. Without them, you’d be stuck with the very difficult task of lifting the truck camper by hand.
There are a variety of different types of truck camper jacks you’ll find, and in some cases, these will be electric jacks that work at the push of a button. These include:
- Tripod jacks, which fold up compactly and are stored away between uses. These are primarily for loading and unloading the camper. These are almost always manual jacks
- Corner-mounted jacks, attach to each of the four corners of your truck camper. These are the most popular truck camper jack types and are frequently electric.
- Stable-life jacks are a patented type of electric truck camper jack that provides extremely sturdy and stable support. The frame sits below the truck chassis when the camper is loaded into the bed.
However, while they’re fairly common on newer models, electric truck camper jacks are far from universal. Older truck camper models usually have manual jacks.
Rather than being operated by a button press, these need to be manually cranked when raising and lowering the camper.
Can You Add Electric Truck Camper Jacks?
If you don’t have electric truck camper jacks already, the good news is that you can, in fact, add them to your camper. It’s a fairly common upgrade, and while it requires a little know-how, it’s not especially difficult.
Most electric truck camper jacks will provide you with instructions for installation. Broadly speaking, the process will consist of removing the old jacks, attaching the new jacks, and running the electrical components.
There will also be a circuit board to install, typically by the main electrical panel, which will control the electric truck camper jacks.
Once installed, your truck camper will now be much nicer and easier to operate. Rather than tediously cranking manual jacks, you’ll be able to raise and lower your truck camper at the push of a button.
How Do Power Camper Jacks Work?
A power camper jack works much the same as a manual camper jack: it raises and lowers to change the height of the camper. But whereas manual jacks needed to be cranked up and down by hand, power jacks do so at the push of a button (or, in some cases, a remote control).
This saves you both time and effort moving the camper up and down. And, in case the electric jack fails, it will still have a crank you can use to raise and lower it.
In addition to being able to raise and lower all jacks, you’ll also be able to adjust individual jacks. This will allow you to calibrate the jacks, as well as ensure you’re level even if the ground isn’t completely even.
Can You Load A Truck Camper Without Jacks?
If, for some reason, you find yourself with a truck camper that has broken jacks or, worse, no jacks at all, you might wonder if you can load it without them.
The answer is yes, but it’s not commonly done, nor is it easy. In fact, due to the size and weight of truck campers, it can be a bit risky to do so. If at all possible, you should avoid loading a truck camper without jacks.
However, if there truly is no other option, then your best option is to use a forklift or crane. While some load truck campers using a pair of sawhorses, this is extremely dangerous and not recommended. Instead, hoist the camper up extremely carefully using a forklift or crane, taking precautions to avoid it swinging.
If you don’t have jacks on your truck camper, you should install them ASAP. Loading a truck camper without jacks should only be treated as an absolute last resort.
Can You Sleep In A Truck Camper On Jacks?
Wondering if you can sleep in a truck camper that’s on jacks, rather than in a truck bed?
In fact, you absolutely can. In the vast majority of cases, the jacks are designed to support the weight of the camper on their own, as well as the weight of a few occupants. Of course, be sure to check your manual for any precautions to take beforehand.
You may also want to provide extra stability using jack stands, blocks, or pads. This will reduce any movement of the truck camper while you’re inside it. However, even with the default jacks, you should still be able to sleep comfortably in your truck camper.
As an added bonus, with your truck camper off your truck, you’ll be free to drive your vehicle around while leaving the camper at the campsite. This is very convenient and can really expand your options when on a camping trip.
Can You Store A Truck Camper On Jacks?
If you’re storing your truck camper, it is absolutely possible to store it on the jacks. These are designed to support the weight of the camper, after all.
However, many people take the extra precaution of providing extra support, especially for extended storage, as spending too much time on the jacks can cause excess wear and tear.
There are a variety of truck camper accessories for adding extra stability, such as using sawhorses or specially designed truck camper stands. Another option is a camper dolly, essentially a metal frame with wheels you place under the camper before lowering the jacks.
Do You Need To Put Something Under Truck Camper Jacks?
Your electric truck camper jacks will already have foot pads to help spread out the weight of the camper. That said, many people use additional jack pads, both for more height and for more protection for the camper. These simply go under the jack when extending.
Many of the same options for long-term storage can also work when camping. Options like dollies or the FastGun Wobble Stopper will provide extra stability and reduce wear and tear on the frame over time.
How Much Do Electric Truck Camper Jacks Cost?
If you’re looking to upgrade your jacks, you might wonder, how much do electric truck camper jacks cost?
Like most RV products, there’s a pretty wide range of prices that you’ll find. At the low end, you can find electric jack kits for around $1,000, while prices top out at $4,000.
Rather than fully replacing your jacks, some kits simply convert the mechanism of your existing jack. In addition to being cheaper, these kinds of electric truck camper jacks are generally a bit simpler to install as well.
Are Electric Camper Jacks Worth It?
Ultimately, whether or not electric truck camper jacks are worth it comes down to personal preference.
Electric jacks are not strictly necessary, and you can get plenty of use out of a truck camper with manual jacks. Ultimately, they still fulfill the same function: supporting your truck camper off the ground.
But, loading and unloading a truck camper frequently with manual camper jacks can be exhausting. If you’re a frequent camper, you might quickly find yourself growing tired of going through this process every time you head out to camp.
So, for frequent campers, especially if you go out most weekends, electric truck camper jacks are well worth it. The time and effort saved will go a long way to making your camping trips smoother; just one push of a button, and your truck camper is ready to go.
However, for less frequent campers, the costs are harder to justify. If you only take your camper out a few times a year, dropping $1,000 or more for the upgrade is a lot of money for something you’ll only use occasionally.
That said, if you have the money to spare and absolutely hate hand-cranking your truck camper jacks, it may still be worth it to upgrade.
Final Thoughts On Electric Truck Camper Jacks
So as you can see, electric truck camper jacks are hugely convenient for any truck camper owner. They save you time and effort so you can spend more time enjoying the splendor of nature.
If your truck camper doesn’t come with electric truck camper jacks, the good news: you can add them aftermarket to your camper. While it will require some tools and some work, it’s not a hugely difficult process and most electric truck camper jack kits will include most or all of what you need for the installation.
Once installed, you’ll be able to raise and lower your jacks at the simple push of a button. With this added convenience, you’ll be able to enjoy your camping trips more than ever.
Ryan Milejczak – Author and Part-Time RVer
Ryan Milejczak (mill-LAY-check) is a full-time freelancer writer and Florida native with a passion for RVs.
Ryan has been writing about RVing and sustainable living for the past 3 years while traveling.
Currently, he’s saving up to do his own camper van conversion, which he plans to take across the US and Mexico.
When he’s not writing, Ryan loves cooking, hiking, practicing his Spanish, and taking care of his plants (currently at 23 plants and counting!)