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Old 08-13-2019, 06:34 PM   #1
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1977 31' Sovereign
Dorr , Michigan
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Help with power jack

Hello,

I just purchased my 1977 sovereign from a local RV dealer as is and when i went to pick up the trailer i am unable to get the power jack to go up or down. the power jack is older and does not have the manufacture label on it. If i am understanding this correctly the jack is powered off the 12v battery in the trailer. is that correct? If that is correct I am currently unable to get the battery out as the only keys they had for the trailer were for the deadbolt of the door. In an effort to get the trailer home (30 miles) to start the full renovation with minimal work is it possible to cut the one power wire to the jack and using a battery and some jumper wires connect up the circuit to at least get the jack moving so i can safely get this home?

Thanks
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:39 PM   #2
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If the problem is something like the battery on the trailer being dead, then yes, using jumper cables connected directly to the power wires of the Jack should work. If it's mechanical, or something else, that's a whole different story. Do you have a backup hand crank to turn to move the jack up and down?
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:43 PM   #3
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1977 31' Sovereign
Dorr , Michigan
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Originally Posted by Steve Bryant View Post
If the problem is something like the battery on the trailer being dead, then yes, using jumper cables connected directly to the power wires of the Jack should work. If it's mechanical, or something else, that's a whole different story. Do you have a backup hand crank to turn to move the jack up and down?
I did not see a manual override hand crank but i also was unaware until now that they might be one. the jack worked recently as they have moved the trailer around the lot a few times so if i had to guess the battery gave out
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:43 PM   #4
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Yes the jack is powered by the house battery. The house battery is charged by the tow vehicle so that may be a way to power the jack. I don't see why you could not jump power the jack.

You could also remove the jack fairly easily and use a bottle jack to raise or lower the A frame although this takes a little time.

My educated guess is if this is the original jack it is made by Barker. if it is you can take the cover off the jack head lift up the motor and expose the screw shaft. There is a crank made to fit the top of the shaft but with patience you can extend or retract the jack with pliers. An RV repair site should have a crank. I have an extra. If you are interested send me a pm.

You may be able to get at the battery through the bathroom closet. You can still get extra keys for the compartment door. Almost any one will work.
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:25 PM   #5
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Benzonia , Michigan
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Help with power jack

FYI - if indeed your jack is a Barker and that is the issue [not the battery], Barker Mfg. is near you in Battle Creek. We had jack trouble a year ago just before a trip [not under warranty]. The jack fuse kept blowing and after several phone calls to them to troubleshoot we sent the jack head to them via UPS on a Thursday and they repaired and returned it to us the following Tuesday. They only charged us for the parts, not the labor. Great customer service!
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:32 AM   #6
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You might be able to power the jack by plugging the U-cord into the tow vehicle. The charge line from the TV will power the DC system in the trailer. I'd suggest you try that before you start cutting wires. It has worked for me a time or two.
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:19 AM   #7
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1977 31' Sovereign
Dorr , Michigan
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UPDATE.

Thanks everyone for the information and insight into getting the trailer home. We tried making jumper wires to provide power directly to the jack but it appears the motor in it is shot. it appears to be the original 70's jack so it wasn't a big surprise. As a workaround to get the trailer home we were able to remove the retention screws for the motor/gear box on top and that gave us access to the lead screw and using a screw driver we were able raise and lower the trailer jack manually.

Trailer is now home and i will be replacing/repairing the jack during the renovation process
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazycuda View Post
UPDATE.

We tried making jumper wires to provide power directly to the jack but it appears the motor in it is shot.
More likely a microswitch is blown than the motor. There are 2. I have an extra one I don't need if you want me to send it to you.

Since you have taken off the head already though I think you would save yourself future hassle by replacing with a new jack,
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Old Yesterday, 06:22 AM   #9
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1977 31' Sovereign
Dorr , Michigan
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More likely a microswitch is blown than the motor. There are 2. I have an extra one I don't need if you want me to send it to you.

Since you have taken off the head already though I think you would save yourself future hassle by replacing with a new jack,
thank you for the offer but I plan on replacing the jack with a new one as this one has seen better days and the bottom of the post is all beat up.

One question though i see all sorts of weight ratings for jacks but im unsure which will work best for me. my 31' 1977 sovereign is roughly 5100 lbs so do I need a jack rated for the tongue weight of the trailer or the overall weight?
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Old Yesterday, 08:19 AM   #10
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Help with power jack

Since it is often handy to lift the tongue when hitched, get a Jack with plenty of extra capacity. That makes it easier to set WD bar tension on many hitch systems.

For example, I have a 5,000 pound OEM jack on my 6800 pound gross 22 foot dual axle trailer. It easily lifts both tongue and the back of my long bed crew cab Tacoma pickuptruck when I tension my WD bars. The max tongue weight I actually get is only 1200 pounds or so.

Itís one of those ďgo bigĒ within reason situations. If mine needs replacing Iíll probably go to a 6-8 thousand pound one with a ball screw and a remote control, but I do tend to Overkill Engineer a lot of things.

To me, since Iím expecting the jack to lift a lot of weight, and do it every time i hitch up, a more powerful one will probably last longer.
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