Don't Know H&H Jack
My H&H Super Power Jack failed to descend in June and 1000 miles from home in Beddeck, Nova Scotia. And I was unable to manually crank down, as it was jammed within the post assembly. The motor rotated but the drive gear’s shaft did not move. Therefore I assumed the fiber gear is worn out too. Two problems. OK, now what? Using my tow vehicle jack, extra wood blocks and an emergency bottle jack I was able to unhitch and set up camp.
Since my Safari was less then a year old, I called Jackson Center for help. The gentlemen patch me in to the (OEM) Barker Mfg. Rep, in Michigan. The Barker Rep suggested I try again to free-up the shaft by tapping it and manually cranking it in a CCW direction. But that didn’t release me from the jam I was in. He asked if I had dragged the jack. “No No, I never did a careless thing like that. I can honestly say I’m always very careful about hitching and unhitching my trailer.” I told him I located a local RV Sales & Service dealer about 40 miles away and would like to get this warranted unit repaired or replaced ASAP because I still had 10 days left on my three week trip.
I easily unbolted the Jack and power cable so that the following morning I could drive the unit over the river and through the woods to that nearest RV dealer outside Sydney, NS. That RV dealer was my helpful advocate. He made calls to the Barker Rep trying to resolve my problem. But the result was that Barker wouldn’t authorize a repair or replacement and I was advised to UPS it back to the factory when I returned to the USA. OK, but in the mean time I needed a Jack. The RV dealer said that Barker Mfg. after inspecting the Jack, might not honor the warranty and say that I did something to damage the Jack. I told him that I honestly don’t know what I could have done, and I don’t know what to do differently to prevent it from happening again. Not knowing the cause can be a bigger problem! However could I have somehow allowed the trailer to move while supported on the jack, which could have bent the shaft in the post assembly? Maybe it was my fault because jacks are designed for vertical loading, and there is Murphy’s Law and the Second Law, and stuff happens.
Two options: Buy a replacement at about $350 +15% tax or buy an inexpensive manual unit with a side hand crank. I chose the latter, thinking that when this issue is resolved with Barker Mfg, I’ll have a spare Jack and a good campfire story to tell at the next rally. The “universal” three-hole pattern on all Jacks is designed to fit all trailers. Yeah, within a 1/16 inch. So, I had to dig out my small file to enlarge two holes about 1/32 inch.
I sent my lame Jack via UPS to Barker Mfg in Battle Creek, MI, with a letter full of names, dates, numbers, chronology of events and a request that they please repair or replace my warranted H&H Super Power Jack.
Three weeks later my repaired jack arrived but without an explanations of what was broken, repaired or replaced, so I called Barker and asked if it was caused by the limit switches. Their answer: The limit switches were OK. The fiber gear was stripped and was replaced because the shaft was “out of timing.” What? A timing problem? How did that happen? I never read about any timing in the Owner’s Instructions. True, but reading between the lines, on the last page of the Owner’s Instructions is a procedure entitled “Install Powerhead” which states: “Powerhead must be synchronized with the jackpost.” In addition there is a sticker on the jackpost labeled “WARNING, If head is removed from post both units must be re-synchronized as follows.” Another lesson learned the hard way.
How it happened: Last winter while the batteries were removed, I had to move the trailer. I simply removed the powerhead, performed the annual lubrication routine, and then used the handy hand crank to hitch-up and later unhitch. Not knowing that a time would come with some critical configuration inwhich the limit switches could not be toggled to shut off the motor. In June it happened, the shaft was driven too far up and it jammed. Now in hindsight it is all very obvious of how this jack assembly works. And although it was my fault, Barker fixed it for free. I wonder if they considered rewriting the Instruction pamphlet for campers like me.
1.) Has anyone had a similar problem?
2.) Would it be beneficial to replace the footpad with a wheel or caster to allow for some accidental movement while camping or hitching?