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Old 04-01-2009, 09:46 PM   #1
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1976 31' Sovereign
Marietta , 30064
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Super Jack limiter fail

I raised my Super Jack too far and it ate up the #2/#3 "fiberboard" gear. $50 later another gear assembly will be here on Friday. This jack supposedly has a limiter switch but I guess its operation is beyond me. Shouldn't it have stopped before it did a #2 on my #2/#3? Should I just draw a warning line on the jack post that tells me "if you see this line, STOP" and forget about the supposed limiter switch? (and thank you to the people who came before me in this for providing info here on getting another #2/#3)

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Old 04-01-2009, 10:41 PM   #2
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When my Super Jack finally bit the dust I opted to buy whatever Camping World had on the shelf. Big mistake! It lasted about 1 season camping. I bought another Super Jack since as the original one lasted me over 20 years.
The idea about the line(mark)on the shaft is a good idea. Getting the part and fixing it was actually a less costly way to go for you. I lost a couple of hundred $ on that Camping World piece of crap. I'll never do that again.

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Old 04-02-2009, 06:01 AM   #3
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There is a set up to ensure the limit switches engage before the jack screw reaches it's limit.

I don't have that procedure in front of me and I am about to leave but if you call the manufacture they will have it. Check it out before you replace the gears.
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:29 AM   #4
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I've had trouble with my jack eating up the gears since we bought it. The last time I took it to the dealer, it ate up the gear while they were operating it. They put in a new gear and it ate up that one too. They replaced the 2nd one and said I should try using it and if I have any more trouble with it, they would replace the whole thing.
They said they believe the manufacturer was using the wrong material for that gear.
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:19 AM   #5
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jack parts

Originally Posted by chrisd37 View Post
I raised my Super Jack too far and it ate up the #2/#3 "fiberboard" gear.
That is a bit of a bummer. I would like to shead a little light on the problem and what happened for others who are reading this.

The limit switch has a plastic wheel that has two little barbs or tits that run into the limit switches.

If the timing is set up right the jack stops once it encounters the limit switch. At that point, if your unit has not gone high enough then you have to go the other way to be able to put wood under your jack and the get it high enough to be able to disconnect the unit(get the trailer on/off the ball). If one of those tits breakes off then the limit switch will not cut off the and the fiber gear will get in a real bad strain and teeth will come off. Then both parts will have to be replaced.

I tried a few times to glue my own tits on the wheel and had NO luck in doing so.
The only other thing I could suggest is get a feel for the sound of your jack and if it sounds like it is straining to hard stop and put more wood under the jack.

Dan Brown
Denton NC
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:31 AM   #6
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I can't speak to the operation of motorized jacks on the older model Airstreams, but on at least the jack used on our '06 there is a "calibration" process that you have to go through, espcially if you remove the motor head (don't ask how I know this). I don't remember them off the top of my head, but it was in the instructions in the paperwork that came with our '06.
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:32 AM   #7
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Did this on the way home when we first bought the trailer. The setup procedure is on the sticker attached to the jack on ours. Basically, it involves setting the jack with the manual crank to a specified location. Then the motor is run to one of the limit switches (I forget which one) while it's off the jack. The basic idea is that the motor should stop because of the limit switch before the jack reaches the mechanical stop. Obviously, if the jack reaches the mechanical stop before the motor stops, the gear has gotta give.

For $50 the local Airstream dealer sold us a new gear. The installation of the gear and the setup procedure were pretty simple. I have a copy of those instructions somewhere in the trailer. I'll look around and see if I can find them. Will post them when I can.

The PO wasn't much of a mechanic, but he was great about keeping the paperwork.
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:33 PM   #8
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I had an issue with ours that it kept blowing fuses. One of our more knowledgeable forum members told me about one of the issues that happens while I was at a forums rally. The hot wire runs under the tank cover and over time the tank cover can crush the wire or rub against it breaking the insulation on the wire. Upon inspection I discovered that the insulation was indeed broken right at the area where the wire runs under the cover. I cut the broken insulation section of the wire out and spliced the wire together with an appropriate sized wire nut and then taped the heck out of the junction with electrical tape to insure that no water could inter the splice. I haven't blown a fuse since. I had really become quite tired of taking the head off and hand cranking the tongue every time and reinstalling the head before hitting the road for each leg of a trip.

On a tangent note. I was at the Florida State Rally and was going to have Camping World replace the Super Jack while I was there. The model they sell has a light on each side and the bolt holes wouldn't line up so the tank cover and the Pole-ez flag pole holder wouldn't be in the way of the lights so they didn't replace it. The issue that remains is that the gear has some teeth that are evidently missing as it clicks or skips as it lifts under load. I didn't realize I could replace just the gears. I'll have to do that in the near future.
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Old 04-02-2009, 03:14 PM   #9
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I stripped the gear in my trailer as soon as I got it home. I was lucky to find an entire motor head that was in good condition except that the limit switch was not working on it as well (I ran the motor for a long time both directions when it was off the shaft and it would never shut off). Where is this limit switch located? When I had the top off the gear box there was nothing of like that to be seen.
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Old 04-03-2009, 05:20 AM   #10
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1976 31' Sovereign
Marietta , 30064
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Hey, cool, I had my trailer two whole weeks before stripping the gear. It sounds like I am doing well! Heh heh.

Dan4ods (I think I am buying a couple panels from you right now) I do have the white plastic box with wires and the white plastic gear. I figured that was the limiter switch but could not see what would push the bendy thing back and forth to change the circuit to "stop". I will look for some tits on the plastic wheel. They could be there and I just didnt notice them.

I should be able to calibrate the limit switch without too much trouble assuming it has the bits intact to push the cut off thing back & forth at its limits. I understand now what is supposed to happen. That's good news.

I will also go with painting or stickering a red warning section on the jack that, when seen, means "you are about to spend $50, pal." A yellow bit might be in order just beneath the red. These will only be visible when the jack is really high, so they wont detract from the appearance under normal circumstances.

Putting wood under the jack is a great idea. I have a block of wood that came with the trailer. I thought that was just to keep the jack from messing itself up on the bottom against the driveway and possibly to level the surface. More/taller wood underneath the jack to get the jack operating on a higher plane relative to the tow ball is clearly the voice of experience. Thanks!
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Old 04-05-2009, 09:38 AM   #11
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I finally got to the instructions for the Super Jack. My scanner is down, so I'll just copy the section about synchronizing the jack here.

It is ESSENTIAL that the following procedure is used BEFORE power head is replaced on the post.

1. With 12 volts connected, ground the power head to trailer "A" frame. Operate main switch in the "post retracting direction" until the motor stops automatically.

2. Using emergency handle, crank the post clockwise by hand until fully retracted then turn crank ONE TURN counterclockwise.

3. Replace head on post and make sure that drive pin is engaged with post coupler. Tighten allen set screws.

I would also suggest running the motor both directions while the head is off the jack to confirm that the limit switches do indeed work.

One new gear and the synchronizing procedure above seems to have fixed ours.

Best of luck.
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Old 04-13-2009, 03:52 PM   #12
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Thanks! But it turned out my limiter switch does not work. One white plastic gear does not turn the other one.

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