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Old 03-19-2006, 08:22 PM   #1
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1978 25' Tradewind
Roseland , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 52
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Temperamental tongue jack

My electric tongue jack works when it wants to. If I give it a good whack sometimes it'll restart. Anyone have this problem out there? Also, it seems like there would be a crank of some sort to raise and lower it manually, but the PO didn't leave it.

Eric, Tina and Kierstin Hedin
'78 Tradewind - Homeschooling RV Tech
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Old 03-19-2006, 08:32 PM   #2
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Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
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What is the brand of the jack? If it's a Barker, there is a manual override, but to use it you have to disconnect the battery power, as the 12VDC applied to the motor acts as a brake. Your problem might be in the switch, as this is the most common repair on the electric jacks. either try to verify the continuity on the 2 positions of the switch, or get a new one, replace it and see if that solves the problem.

Also, verify if you have full voltage to the switch. You can get a new manual crank from the jack manufacturer in any event.

Lew Farber...RVIA Certified Master Tech...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician
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Old 03-19-2006, 08:49 PM   #3
1977 31' Sovereign
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Kalispell , Montana
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Lew, is correct but also check your ground..
1977 31' landyacht Sovereign
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Old 03-20-2006, 06:19 AM   #4
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1974 31' Sovereign
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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The jack on our coach would only go up, not down. It turned out to be the switch. $31.85 + tax and it has worked perfectly since.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 03-20-2006, 06:29 AM   #5
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1996 28' Excella
Okemos , Michigan
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Fixing the jack by slapping it sounds like the problem we had on our old trailer. It was a "superjack". After checking the voltage at the switch terminals, I determined that it was an intermittent open in the motor. The hand crank turned easy enough that I just snipped off the wires and used it manually with the crank. Cheaper than a new $400 electric jack.
Okemos, MI
T.V.:'05 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 Quad Cab Cummins
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Old 03-20-2006, 06:53 AM   #6
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Crestview , Florida
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Question Which one?

My parents are getting us an electric jack for helping them which one do you choose? Haven't started looking yet and don't know if this is something we do ourselves or have a dealer do it.

Minya and the kids

2005 22' Safari-
...lost her in the divorce-
Would like another (Airstream), please!

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Old 03-02-2007, 10:16 AM   #7
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2007 25' Classic
marco island , Florida
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don't know your jack mfg...but...there are 2 allen screws on either side of the head that hold the head on...these screws are also the grounding point for the head....if the screws are not tight thee is no ground and the jack will not work....sounds like this could be your problem since when you beat on the jack it starts to work...if not these screws then i believe it's still a grounding problem. there are cranks available for all jacks from the mfg...they look like a model a engine crank.
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Old 03-02-2007, 01:39 PM   #8
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
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Just came back from Fed Ex sending my head to the factory for a load test. Think it has an intermitent open in one of the windings.

Yes I would say it could be the ground. However it is not likely it is the ground point throught the 2 set screws because if that were the case the head would move or spin free while jacking. Look all along the ground path, the jack to fram connection and the battery to frame connection.

If hitting it helps I would open the jack head and study the switch connection and clean them with a nail file.


If you are getting an electric jack get the heaviest one you can. Rememeber if you are using a weight distrubiting hitch you will be lifting the trailer and truck when loading the bars.
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 03-02-2007, 06:04 PM   #9
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I bent the jack post on My 2006 and had to replace the whole unit parts are not available for the lower half which I think is what is called a recirculating ball screw. Any how I saved the electric motor/head assy If anybody needs one I dont know what a fair price might be but PM me.
"Forbidden Wheels Clubhouse Recon Team"

2004 30ft Slide Out with Hensley Arrow hitch. Pulled By 2010 Dodge 2500 Diesel 4x4 Megacab
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Old 03-02-2007, 07:16 PM   #10
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2002 19' Bambi
Northwestern Ontario , - on the backside of the map and just above the big green spot
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My power jack behaves exactly as you describe - and I also use the "whack" repair technique as a way to make it behave for a while longer.

I've taken to taking the power head apart - drying it out and cleaning/regreasing the gear mechanism - as an annual spring task. I can't say as I have a handle on the "why" this happens - but the unit, including the switch, is not sealed to keep out moisture as you might expect it to be. It seems to like the maintenance schedule - it's always a lot longer before the "whack" therapy is needed again.

Bambi - 2002 (The Toaster)
Pathfinder - 2009 (The Buggy)

"I'm not young enough to know everything ....."
(Oscar Wilde)
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:45 PM   #11
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Salem , Oregon
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Hi, I don't know what kind of motor they use in these jacks, [brush or brushless] but if it is old, well used, and is of the brush type motor; Then wacking it just makes worn out brushes make temperary contact. Replace the motor or brushes if available. I have, and several other mechanics have been able to make starter motors, window motors, and other automotive motors work just a few more times, by wacking them, until you repair or replace them. If these have brushless motors then go back to what the previous posts said.


2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
[ Small Silver Castle ]
2000 Navigator / 2014 F-150 Eco-Boost / Equal-i-zer / P-3
YAMAHA 2400 / AIR #12144
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