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Old 04-16-2014, 07:47 PM   #1
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2017 25' Flying Cloud
Denville , New Jersey
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Got lucky today

The snow melted this morning and off I went with two young grandchildren in tow to our trip to Ronks, PA. Stopped for lunch, landed here mid afternoon, with plans to unhitch, food shop and then playground.

Imagine my surprise when my power tongue jack made a really weird noise and then failed. The power was fine, just inner tube would not come down. Not to worry the girl scout in me went and got the hand deploy thingy and was smug in remembering what to do. Haha no go. Now I am in small campground, two grandkids with choice to drive around with trailer hitched for four days, or maybe remove hitch from receiver and keep that level with bottle jack( only jack I had).

One quick phone call to a utility trailer place had me packing up and making a visit to them. The very kind man explained there is a fiber gear inside that failed which is why the hand crank did not work. that I own a shiney new one, how do I prevent that from happening again? What is point of having handle thingy if the gear fails? I get thAt this Airstream is not new, no issue with that, it is just scarey knowing you could really get stuck someplace. I got lucky today, in that I was close to help, the kids were good and it was not the weekend. I plan now to get the wide type car jack incase this were to ever happen again.

2006 Bambi CCD ("EireStream!!")
2010 Funfinder
2005 T@B
2001 Teardrop, Mountain Hardware Tent
For some perfection takes a little longer...
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:02 PM   #2
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2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
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The fiber gear is designed to fail when there is binding in the jack so you do not tear up any "hard" parts. That's why it is fiber. I always carry a spare. If the lid, or top cover, is loose it will allow misalignment of the gear train as well, wearing the fiber gear quickly.


"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:29 PM   #3
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1966 26' Overlander
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Apr 2002
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The condition is not unique to Airstream trailers. All trailers with a jack in the front are subject to the issue. The jack rides right behind the TV and is subject to being in the way of any dust and dirt the TV kicks up during a tow. The jack is lifting 50 to 500 pounds when in use. With enough dirt and enough use the shaft will bind because of wear or debris lodged in the mechanism.

Suggestions -
Always make sure the "lid" or top piece is in place. Gravity being what it is, will pull water, dust and dirt down into the internals of the jack with out that cover. In fact clean the top cover if plastic use a vinyl cleaner or conditioner. (In AZ all exterior plastic and rubber parts including weather strips for doors and windows should be conditioned once a year)
Wipe the shaft or gear track before retracting
Lubricate internal wear points periodically (depends on use and different jacks operate differenty.

Just a suggestion.
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