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Old 07-11-2019, 08:45 AM   #1
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HELP! HELP! HELP! About to go on the road and jack dead!

My wife and I are planning a trip tomorrow, our first in a year. Today I checked on the trailer, stored off site, and discovered that the jack is dead.

This has been a repeated problem, and I'm pretty much resigned to replacing it. But for our trip tomorrow afternoon--what do we do right now?

The battery is almost certainly discharged. But usually, when I plug in the truck umbilical, the jack works through the truck's power. This time, nothing. (I checked all of the connections between the battery and the external fuses--they're all apparently fine.)

Is it possible that the "juice" runs through truck umbilical to the battery and then to the jack, and that if the battery is completely discharged, no electricity gets to the jack? That would just mean charging the battery.

Or is it something else?
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:48 AM   #2
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If the batteries are dead then they are probably killing any power you have coming in from the umbilical cord. Check your batteries. They prob need replaced
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:52 AM   #3
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I think it could be a discharged battery. Or it could be whatever has been wrong on and off. You should be able to work the jack manually to get it hooked up to pull to where you can charge it. I strongly suspect the battery is toast, so you could just go ahead and buy a new battery and try the jack with that. On our jack one takes the top cover off and there is a place to use a wrench and turn it manually. And check the position of the use/ store switch.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:15 AM   #4
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“Whoa, Nellie, whoa . . . !”

Your first trip in a year, and you just checked things yesterday, to leave tomorrow?



Suggest hitting the pause button and getting things in order.

Rushing off on a firm schedule is a recipe for disaster IMO. [see all caps etc. title also]

The old batteries are probably shot.

Happy Trails,

Peter
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:37 AM   #5
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Buy a battery and report back
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:14 AM   #6
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Read the threads on battery problems in the repair section of this forum.

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Old 07-11-2019, 10:33 AM   #7
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What Otra said -

Depending on battery status, and if you can't raise the jack by hand turn, you can remove it and use a manual jack, like a bottle jack.

But if you have no skills in using such, call a tech service that will respond to your location. Camping Worlds are frequently on folk's travel route and while they would not be my first choice, they might get you back on track.

Now, sometimes a jack fails because the switches are corroded. Moving the switch multiple times can help. Taking a load off the jack might get it to function to retract. Sometimes you can jiggle a solution. However, you may need to replace batteries and jack.

As said above, your battery bank may be dead. If it is, you can not legally tow your trailer. It must have some battery to operate the brakes if the trailer disconnects.

What Otra said - take your next step very carefully. Your coach is not a high tech super car, but it does take some simple care a feeding to give you a satisfactory performance.

Good luck with your repair. Pat
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Old 07-11-2019, 03:43 PM   #8
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Thanks to almost all of you

Thank you for the quick responses from GMFL, Bill M, CRH, Caffeinated and PKI. Your helpful comments lead me back to the trailer, where I problem-solved the various systems and figured out what was going on. The battery was discharged, indeed. When I jumped the battery with the truck, the jack worked fine, though the battery did not maintain a charge. I also got smart and used a voltage meter and confirmed that the battery was discharged. So I've got the battery charging at home and it should work when I reinstall it tomorrow. I thank you five for your helpful hints--they all helped me work my way out of a tizzy.

For anyone who's interested, I also test-drove the manual jack. First of all, it uses an 11 mm ratchet nut, just in case you care. Second, it is VERY easy to lift the trailer with the manual jack--waaaaaaaay easier than the manual jacks on my sailboats and other trailers, which were all heart attacks waiting to happen. Don't be afraid of doing it! It's easy.

Now, a comment to the author of the one unhelpful--indeed, downright nasty--response. I don't understand why people do this. If one of the people in the community need help, why would you criticize their lifestyle, their decisions, their ability to work through the problem? Perhaps you think it's funny: I can tell you that it never comes across that way. Perhaps you think you're superior because you know something that the questioner doesn't: then I would hope you'd stop and remember back when you didn't know everything. Or even when you planned perfectly and still found that you made a mistake. I want to suggest to you that the reason that listserves like this work is that people like GMFL, Bill M, CRH, Caffeinated and PKI work to help people out, not to criticize. I imagine you standing by someone whose vehicle was in a ditch, with your hands on your hips, saying, "I wouldn't have driven my vehicle into that ditch. You must be an idiot to do something like that."

Now I'll tell you why I'm calling you out. Many years ago, when I was new to sailing, I saw a comment by someone on one of the sailing listserves that told a story about a stopcock that had come open and sank a boat. Sitting in my office miles from my boat, I asked: On my newly acquired XYZ sailboat, where's the stopcock?--because I intended to go up to the lake and check. The first response I got was just like the one here. It called me stupid for not knowing the answer. It said that I didn't deserve to have an XYZ sailboat if I didn't know basic things like this. It criticized my intelligence and parenthood. It said that if I was so stupid that I didn't know this, I had no business posting the question. It was totally uncalled for, not the least bit helpful, in no way appropriate. I decided that from that point on I was not going to be silent about this kind of bad behavior, hence this paragraph addressed just to you.
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Old 07-11-2019, 03:58 PM   #9
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IF your battery was so discharged that the truck couldn't drive the jack while charging it, it is likely not recoverable. Be prepared to replace it.


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Old 07-11-2019, 03:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belbein View Post

Now, a comment to the author of the one unhelpful--indeed, downright nasty--response. I don't understand why people do this. If one of the people in the community need help, why would you criticize their lifestyle, their decisions, their ability to work through the problem? Perhaps you think it's funny: I can tell you that it never comes across that way. Perhaps you think you're superior because you know something that the questioner doesn't: then I would hope you'd stop and remember back when you didn't know everything. Or even when you planned perfectly and still found that you made a mistake. I want to suggest to you that the reason that listserves like this work is that people like GMFL, Bill M, CRH, Caffeinated and PKI work to help people out, not to criticize. I imagine you standing by someone whose vehicle was in a ditch, with your hands on your hips, saying, "I wouldn't have driven my vehicle into that ditch. You must be an idiot to do something like that."

Now I'll tell you why I'm calling you out. Many years ago, when I was new to sailing, I saw a comment by someone on one of the sailing listserves that told a story about a stopcock that had come open and sank a boat. Sitting in my office miles from my boat, I asked: On my newly acquired XYZ sailboat, where's the stopcock?--because I intended to go up to the lake and check. The first response I got was just like the one here. It called me stupid for not knowing the answer. It said that I didn't deserve to have an XYZ sailboat if I didn't know basic things like this. It criticized my intelligence and parenthood. It said that if I was so stupid that I didn't know this, I had no business posting the question. It was totally uncalled for, not the least bit helpful, in no way appropriate. I decided that from that point on I was not going to be silent about this kind of bad behavior, hence this paragraph addressed just to you.
Spot on, my friend. I too have noticed some arrogant, cocky, egotistical, downright mean, posts from various frequent flyers on this forum. Glad you pointed it out.
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Old 07-11-2019, 04:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
IF your battery was so discharged that the truck couldn't drive the jack while charging it, it is likely not recoverable. Be prepared to replace it.


Al


Second this. I would spend a few dollars on a new set of batteries even if simply off the shelf from the box stores. The completely discharged batteries likely will not hold a meaningful charge. I’ve been there.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:49 PM   #12
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Dead Battery cooks an Alternator, and a bad Alternator kills a battery

Does anyone have knowledge on an old adage that a dead batery kills an alternator, and a dead alternator kills a battery?

I have wondered that for years.

A dead battery pulls so much juice from an alternator that the alternator over heats and burns out the alternator, and if the alternator is not functioning properly, it pulls the battery so low that it dreastically shortens the life of the battery.

Is this true?


Does a TV limit the amps to the TT batteries?

Or does taking a trailer that has been sitting for a very long time with no battery maintenance run a risk of burning up the alternator in the TV?

Just Curious.

Seems like replacing batteries before towing could save a much more expexive repair.

Anyone got real knowledge on this rather than just speculation?
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:14 PM   #13
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You are correct. Alternators are designed to maintain a charge in the battery, not charge a dead battery. When you start your car, you use a small amount of the charge in the battery and the alternator brings the battery back to full charge rather quickly. Any more than that and the alternator can overheat and die.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:47 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by majorairhead View Post
Spot on, my friend. I too have noticed some arrogant, cocky, egotistical, downright mean, posts from various frequent flyers on this forum. Glad you pointed it out.

Did a post get deleted by Admin? I've seen occasional posts than blame the OP or other posters for merely not knowing something or for having a different opinion, but I don't see such a post here.
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