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Old 10-19-2016, 11:17 AM   #1
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Alternative Electric Jack Method?

There are other threads about blown jack fuses. This is meant to be a little different.

The in-line 30a,32v fuse blew when I was raising/lowering the trailer for winterization. Well, actually, the "filament" looks in tact but you can see in the pics that something melted and formed what looks like a ball of solder on the outside of the glass. Something very hot happened here!

So I grabbed the handy emergency wrench which is basically a female square "socket" welded to a handle. You remove the level/cover and pop on to the stud to raise/lower manually. But to get 360 degrees of rotation, you'd have to remove the LP tanks.

So I tried to use other sockets instead and realized the 6 and 12 point sockets are really for round bolts, not square studs.

I'm going to test this out for emergency use instead:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0020...236_SY340_QL65

It's meant to be attached to a 3/8" ratchet and used as a hex wrench but I'm thinking of using it in reverse, meaning, put the hex wrench end in to my 18v drill chuck and attach the 3/8" (female square) end to the 3/8" post on my jack.

And if it works, I'm wondering if I could avoid the electric use of the jack entirely and just use my drill for this permanently. I mean, it's very simple to just unscrew the top of the jack to access the stud and then replace the top of the jack.

Has anyone done that?

On a 10-point scale (1 being not at all, 1 being yuuuge) how stupid an idea is this?

I've also ordered more 30a fuses just in case 😀

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Old 10-19-2016, 11:50 AM   #2
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Just noticed a typo I can't edit. The scale is 1=not at all, 10=yuuuge....

Sheesh 😕
😀
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:15 PM   #3
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Recently burned out a jack fuse myself when lifting tongue and TV to get pressure off spring bars.

You can buy a set of 8 point sockets from Harbor Freight or Sears for less money, and then when you run into square headed set screws on something you'll be set.

Just curious, but my jack motor is the same height as my 30# propane cylinders, so no clearance problem with the supplied tool. Do you have 40# cylinders?
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:10 PM   #4
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I would check the fuse holder for corrosion and replace the fuse. That fuse failed because of heat at the holder contacts rather than over current through the fuse.
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnside Bob View Post
Recently burned out a jack fuse myself when lifting tongue and TV to get pressure off spring bars.



You can buy a set of 8 point sockets from Harbor Freight or Sears for less money, and then when you run into square headed set screws on something you'll be set.



Just curious, but my jack motor is the same height as my 30# propane cylinders, so no clearance problem with the supplied tool. Do you have 40# cylinders?

Thanks - no, they're 30#ers...

Regardless of the socket, any thoughts on whether doing it that way all the time is a viable alternative?

Thanks!
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
I would check the fuse holder for corrosion and replace the fuse. That fuse failed because of heat at the holder contacts rather than over current through the fuse.

Thanks - I will check that. I was wondering if that could be the cause of the failure...I wasn't stressing the jack more than usual....
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Old 10-20-2016, 11:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
Thanks - no, they're 30#ers...

Regardless of the socket, any thoughts on whether doing it that way all the time is a viable alternative?

Thanks!
I would be cautious about using a battery powered drill motor for this application, especially if you will be using the jack to lift trailer tongue and tow vehicle to release spring bar tension.

You might be OK with a heavy duty AC drill motor, like a Milwaulkie 1/2 inch chuck Magnum 'hole shooter'.

If you have a torque wrench you could figure out the torque, in foot pounds, required to operate your jack at your maximum load. You could then look at the specs on whatever drill you are considering to see if it is capable of producing the required torque.
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Old 10-20-2016, 11:30 AM   #8
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Thanks - good points. I'll stick with emergency use only and inspect/replace the weatherproof fuse holder.
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Old 10-20-2016, 02:22 PM   #9
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The folks at Baker are very helpful, you might want to give them a call and see if they know why you blew your fuse.
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Old 10-20-2016, 03:26 PM   #10
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I use a Sears 18 volt battery drill for the stabilizers and the tongue electric jack when necessary. Works fine, torque is not an issue. Set drill on highest setting and wind away. The drill and batteries are about 6 years old. The batteries are getting tired and are not lasting as long as they used too.
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Old 10-20-2016, 05:24 PM   #11
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I have used my portable drill to activate the jack. The head of the jack got out of time (my error) so we arrived at a camp site and promptly stripped the gears in the head. The top of the jack (after the head is removed) is a pipe with a slot across the top. My spouse suggested that a spade bit would fit into the slot - it did. We were able to use the jack driven by the portable drill to allow us to hitch up and once home, unhitch. Gears were ordered, replaced and head timed. But we keep a spade bit in the tool box just in case. We also purchased the hand crank as well.

While the portable drill is a very good work around, I prefer having the jack work as designed - one less thing to hassle with. My opinion.
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Old 10-20-2016, 06:03 PM   #12
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SteveSueMac, you can either carry and store the drill & chuck, retrieve it, pop off the level, connect the drill, crank the jack, remove the drill/chuck, replace the level, store the drill OR flip a toggle switch up or down. Either way, multiply this operation by at least four for each camping trip. To me, using the toggle switch is a no-brainer. Of course you need to rectify the electrical problem, which should be done regardless.
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Old 10-21-2016, 10:27 AM   #13
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The blob of solder is from under the metal fuse cap where the fuse material is soldered to the fuse cap. For sure it got really hot...surprised it didn't blow
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Old 10-24-2016, 07:38 AM   #14
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"I use a Sears 18 volt battery drill for the stabilizers and the tongue electric jack when necessary."

Don't use your drill!!- It is not designed for that!! Drills are designed for drilling.
Instead Use an 18 volt impact. Ryobi makes a drill /impact combo set.( 1 comes with one 18 volt Drill and 1 Impact Home Depot) . Under $100 bucks. My Ryobi Went on the road with me for 40 days last summer. I used that impact every day on all 4 stabilizer jacks. Battery lasted for 3 or for set up/break downs. Great for lifting stabilizers daily and tongue jack if needed.

Impact socket set at Harbor freight is decent quality- Its in my tool travel bag as well.
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