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Old 03-03-2019, 11:45 AM   #1
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Please help diagnose my jack problem

Hi all. 2012 Flying Cloud 27FB with original Barker jack from the factory. Had some intermittent failures toward the end of last season meaning - I could flip the switch to raise it but it wouldnít raise. I could then flip the switch to lower it and it would, and then raising would work after that. When I finally parked it for the winter, I was having no luck with it at all. So....

I bought replacement switches (for the jack and the jack light). Followed a few threads here, talked with the Barker folks - carefully photographed and wrote down the wiring, and frankly, just replaced each cable one at a time. I am 100% certain I put the switches in correctly.

Connected to one (not two - only thought I needed one) battery - flipped switch - nothing in either direction. Checked online fuse from jack - not blown. Loosened, cleaned, retightened ground screw on frame, tried again - nothing.

Wondered if battery switch needed to be on - but of course it wouldnít go on with just one battery connected.

So last thing I tried was to connect the 7-pin to the truck. This got me clearance lights on the trailer so I was hopeful - but nothing from the jack.

Is it as simple as needing both batteries connected and battery switch on? I thought the jack could get power from the tow vehicle - maybe Iím wrong there.

Any insights in to what I should try next?

If everything I did should have worked, Iíll call a local RV shop to come out and swap out the jack. Just thought for sure I had this...

Thanks for your diagnostic help!!
Steve (not Jack.... )
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Old 03-03-2019, 11:56 AM   #2
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Hmmm.


Could be that the motor has failed, either ate the brushes, or burned out a winding.


Time to pull out the mulltimeter and firts see if the motor leads are getting voltage from the switch.



The polarity should reverse as you put the switch into the UP or DOWN position. If that's happening, the motor is fried somehow. If not, you need to trace it back and see where the voltage stops...


They are pretty basic. Its a DC motor that gets power from the switch. The switch is a double-pole, double throw center-off switch. Its wired to reverse the power and ground to the motor to control direction. SOme jacks have limit switches wired to stop the motor when it hits the end of travel. You could have a bad limit switch as well. The symptoms, to me, indicate possible motor issues, as I mentioned above..


Trace the wiring and see what you can figure out.
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:04 PM   #3
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Thanks. So youíre saying connecting to a single battery or to the 7-pin on the running truck (which turned on the trailerís clearance lights) should have been sufficient juice to run the jack?

Iím Daisy sitting at the moment while DW is out - getting snow later so if I canít check it today, I may just assume the worst and schedule a replacement.....first trip is in a few weeks - gotta head to the tire shop for new sneakers before the season!!
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:18 PM   #4
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The jack and the break away switch power both come directly off the battery and not affected by the store switch. That wire is off one battery positive in our 2011, is that connected?
We also had similar problems but the new switch solved them.
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:27 PM   #5
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Don't assume anything regarding wiring in an Airstream. In my 2002, the power for the jack comes from the trailer side of the disconnect. If batteries are disconnected, my jack will not work. Some jacks get their ground through the frame. Mine had a separate ground wire that went inside to the ground buss bar in the 12V distribution panel. I was testing the power line to the frame and had power, but no power across the motor since the ground side of the motor was coming from a separate wire, not the frame. It had partially pulled out of its terminal. Sometimes it would make connection, sometimes it wouldn't. As suggested, check for power and ground inside the motor/switch housing. If there and at the motor windings, probably a bad motor. If no power or no ground, follow your power (and ground, if you have it) wires to their termination.

Al
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:35 PM   #6
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. . . following up on Al’s ground observation . . . check the ground wire and all connections for continuity. Any removable terminal screws or wire nuts to be checked. Ditto for crimps especially where the ground wire usually attaches at the batt neg terminal. I remember a thread where the jack ground actually went down the steel tube, and completed the circuit via the bolts and metal-to-metal contact with the tongue steel A-frame.[*] Not sure if this applies, but focusing on a good ground might be productive IMO.

Good luck, and good ground for that matter!

Peter

[*] — the owner removed the steel vertical tube, and scraped/sanded all contact areas.
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Old 03-03-2019, 01:06 PM   #7
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I stopped in mid-edit and couldn't save the result. Does the light work? If so you probably have good power and ground at the jack. Hold the light switch down and push the motor switch. If the light dims there is a high resistance connection somewhere. IF not the problem is probably inside the jack.

Al
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Old 03-03-2019, 01:08 PM   #8
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does the light work?
Same power/ ground as jack.
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Old 03-03-2019, 01:16 PM   #9
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Dueling Als on the ground!

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Old 03-03-2019, 01:46 PM   #10
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Awesome advice everyone - thanks!

To satisfy a curiosity, I brought both batteries to the trailer and hooked up like I was starting the camping season (God that felt great!). Anyway - jack works in both directions (jack light hasnít worked for years - Iím assuming bulb since the new switch didnít make a difference).

Iíll include a pic from curbside of my batteries. Maybe thereís a clue in here somewhere for why a single battery wasnít enough - or possibly not fully connected? Still wondering if the tow vehicle should be enough to power the jack - but come to think of it - thereís nothing in the 7-pins for that....you have clearance, left/right directionals, brakes, etc - but nothing there for the jack so maybe I answered my own question there (my truck has 2 batteries in it...).

Ok in the pic, note on the street side battery (the one furthest from you) thereís a black cable with a yellow crimp on the POSITIVE post. That cable is the positive cable from the jack. With the single battery, I connected this to the pos post.

If I understand correctly, the jack is grounded to the a-frame (thatís where I cleaned the connection and re-tightened it). You also see on that same battery on the NEGATIVE posts thereís the neg to neg connection (connecting both batts) and another black cable with a blue crimp. Iím embarrassed to admit I have no clue what that is - but I connected that to the neg post of the single battery as well.

That got me nothing on the single battery.

Connecting both batteries Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2361.JPG
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ID:	334901as you see in the pic got me running. Since it all worked, I didnít bother testing but certainly would if intermittent failure happens again.

Does this suggest anything? Leave comments about what it suggests about me personally aside please

Thanks!

PS - I will say several folks have posted here about swapping out for the Husky super brute and I was very tempted to do just that. Perhaps another time.....
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Old 03-03-2019, 01:50 PM   #11
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Glad it's working! Yeah, won't be long before we in the NE are camping again!

Happy Trails,

Peter
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Old 03-03-2019, 01:59 PM   #12
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Good news!

I do have one more question though, you bought and installed a new light switch when it only needed a new bulb?
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Old 03-03-2019, 02:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlinCal View Post
Good news!



I do have one more question though, you bought and installed a new light switch when it only needed a new bulb?

Literally laughed out loud here!!!! Touchť!

Look - Donít tell DW. Iíve wasted more money by doing stupid things like this with the trailer than I care to recount. I was about to buy a new jack before connecting both batteries! Iím PT Barnumís dream customer.....


Again - just our secret now, ok?
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Old 03-03-2019, 02:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Glad it's working! Yeah, won't be long before we in the NE are camping again!

Happy Trails,

Peter


I can not WAIT!!!! Starting with Pets and Paws on the Cape (multi-unit Rally) https://capecodmassachusetts.airstre...yer-4-2019.pdf and ending with the awesome Black Bear Music festival again this year: https://www.blackbearmusicfest.com/

Bookended by creatures as it should be!
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