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Old 09-09-2019, 11:56 AM   #1
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2017 30' Classic
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Power Tongue Jack Operation W/O Batteries

I'm planning on taking our Classic to storage early next month. This facility stores many RVs in fairgrounds buildings over the winter for a very reasonable cost. During storage we'll have NO access to our trailer. For this reason, I intend to remove the batteries and put them on a maintainer in our heated garage over the winter.

My question is in regards to using the power tongue jack. I'd like to remove the batteries prior to towing the trailer up to storage rather than removing the batteries once there. However, without batteries the tongue jack won't operate. Would there be any issues is using the NOCO Boost or similar jump starter to power the tongue jack for the purposes of unhitching? Once unhitched the storage place uses a tractor to move trailers around so they won't need to raise/lower the tongue.

Any thoughts on this? Thanks.
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:18 PM   #2
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Your 12V hot line off your TV might be enough to run the jack.
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:34 PM   #3
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Plan B. Find your owners manual for the power jack and look up manual jack operation.
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:36 PM   #4
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Not sure why you say "without batteries the tongue jack won't operate." I thought all of the Airstream jacks had a manual jack hidden away in the case of the power jack. My 22 does. It's not fun to use it, but because of the gears, it wasn't terrible terrible. And it allowed me to hitch and unhitch. Also, I've used it when the battery was dead but I was plugged into the umbilical to the truck. (But you might need a battery for that.)
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:44 PM   #5
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Without your batteries, you have no power for the break away switch to activate the brakes. Likely not legal to tow that way.

Lithium jump start pack might well do the job. Good backup power source for the cell phones too. There is a spec for the brakes. Might need too do some testing to validate the concept.

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Old 09-09-2019, 01:44 PM   #6
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Just leave one battery in. Your brakes will work and then use your power jack when dropping off the trailer. Life's too short to hand-crank, and wouldn't taking a jump start pack weigh just as much to lug out there as one of your existing batteries? Keep it simple. (Unless you are talking about some kind of interior installation of huge Lithiums...then I get it. But in that case, just put one 12v car battery in for this operation?)

Side note: Do they move your trailer into storage position with their tractor while you are there, and then it doesn't move all winter? I'd be hesitant to let anybody move my Airstream around (espec a 30 footer) unless I supervised, and supervised them moving my neighbor in to position as well. Too many anecdotes of ad-hoc storage places and inexperienced (with backing things up) employees using tractors and backing trailers into things that don't move, or sideswiping other things...support posts, overhead beams, what have you...and you have no recourse for the thousands of dollars to repair.
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:44 PM   #7
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Thanks for the Replies

Once again the wisdom and experience on this forum are appreciated.

I totally knew the trailer brakes need power to operation. Yet I managed to complete forget about this little detail. Thanks for that reminder. It's as short haul to the fairgrounds, but I'm not going anywhere without trailer brakes.

I'm going to go with what a few of you said and just remove one battery and then remove the second one when I drop the trailer off. That way I don't have to buy the NOCO Booster. Which, BTW, is small and only weighs a few pounds for the 1500 amp model. I'll get it sometime in the future to have it for other uses.

I've had to crank this trailer up and down using the handle a few times this Summer due to a short in the switch. I'll pass on that this time around, especially disconnecting the Equal-i-zer. Pain in the back (literally) using the handle.

As for the storage, this fairgrounds has been doing this for years. Very organized with a website, reservation forms, etc. First time we've used it, but I've spoken to several owners of rigs, some with 5th wheels much longer than our trailer, and they all speak very highly of the staff and how carefully they work with the trailers. No one I spoke with has ever had any issues nor heard of anyone having any issues.

Besides, my only other option is to leave the trailer outside in a North Idaho winter, something I don't want to do. We are expecting over 200 inches between October and April according to some predictions.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:00 AM   #8
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I carry a 20v battery powered drill to use on the stabilizers. This also works on the tongue jack. So well in fact, when my smart jack bites the dust I will prob just replace with a manual jack.
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Old 09-11-2019, 03:45 PM   #9
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Two things

Rzbrn: Where'd you get a 20v drill? The most I've seen is 12s and 18s!


Hoagie: Have you checked your ground? What I thought was a switch problem on my jack turned out to be a ground problem, not the switch. When my on-the-road mechanic rewired the switch to bypass something on that switch to the second ground the allegedly faulty switch worked fine.



I know that's not a competent description, but it's the best I can do.
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Old 09-11-2019, 03:48 PM   #10
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Not legal

Quote:
Originally Posted by PKI View Post
Likely not legal to tow that way.

I've been told it's DEFINITELY not legal to tow that way.



By the way, we used to live in Walnut Creek. Moved there in the extremely early 60s, maybe '60 or '61. We had a picture window that looked out across a wide valley with Mt. Diablo in the distance. The house was on Piedras drive. My parents probably bought it for $10,000 ... probably worth at least 10x that now.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:22 PM   #11
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almost all tongue jacks have a manual option
just pop off the top and you'll see a nut that can be turn with one of the include rods.

we use a dewalt 18v drill to raise/lower the side stabilizers
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belbein View Post
Rzbrn: Where'd you get a 20v drill? The most I've seen is 12s and 18s!


Hoagie: Have you checked your ground? What I thought was a switch problem on my jack turned out to be a ground problem, not the switch. When my on-the-road mechanic rewired the switch to bypass something on that switch to the second ground the allegedly faulty switch worked fine.



I know that's not a competent description, but it's the best I can do.
Dewalt Atomic 20V
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