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Old 04-30-2010, 10:50 PM   #1
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2002 22' International
Austin , Texas
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Question Tongue Jack..Electric vs Manual

My electric tongue jack is giving me fits. It's intermittent (but stopped completely this week) which means it might be a grounding problem or even motor brushes. I've had to use manual crank most times in the past month. I'll try to make sure grounds are good in a few days, but in the mean time I'll consider a replacement.

I need help to understand the jack weight ratings. My jack is an Ultra Fab 3002 (3,000 Llbs rating?). The specs say my tongue weight is about 500 Llbs. If I wanted to put a manual jack on the front what rating do I really need. Surely, 2000 llb should do it. Right??. Why do I now have a 3,000llb jack for a 500llb tongue weight?
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:56 PM   #2
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The specs are for a trailer with no items on board. That include water in the tank as well as propane. Also, when attaching the WD bars, the back of the TV is often raised to remove the tension. You need to figure that weight in as well.
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Old 04-30-2010, 11:03 PM   #3
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My jack is ancient, compared to yours, but it needs greased regularly. Have you had a look into that?
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:47 AM   #4
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When we bought our Tradewind, the power head on the electric jack was gone, and the only way of using the jack was with a small manual emergency handle, perhaps 6" long. Needless to say, this was a complete knuckle buster, and I replaced it w/ a 5000 lbs manual Bulldog jack with a side winder handle, which I mounted forwards. I also painted it to match the trailer tongue, which has aluminum paint.

This jack appears to work very well, and takes relatively little effort. The only thing to watch is that if the hitch hangs up on the ball, it seems fine with the idea of lifting the tow vehicle as well .

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Old 05-01-2010, 07:28 AM   #5
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Yup, lots of folks tend to use their jacks not just to hitch / unhitch (i.e. raise and lower the tongue of their trailer), but also to hitch and then raise the rear of their tow vehicle so that snapping up the chains on the weight distribution bars is easier. Naturally, this takes the load from several hunred pounds to several thousand pounds. Not surprisingly, the jacks don't last as long with that much load.
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Old 05-01-2010, 07:33 AM   #6
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I have had both kinds over the years. Unless one has health problems I consider the power jack a high priced luxury based on the number of minutes per year one spends jacking up the trailer tongue. Certainly the manual jack is more reliable.
Using the cost versus minutes of use, the furnace, air conditioner etc. are a much better value
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:20 PM   #7
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Ordered new UF3500

I took my 3002 off the trailer and took it apart to inspect. The motor brushes were all messed up and corroded. One of the brush springs was no longer functioning. The brushes are on the bottom end of the motor as it is mounted on the trailer. This means that any moisture that gets in there will accumulate at this bottom and around the brushes. Not sure how to prevent deterioration in the long term. There is a cover to put over the jack, but condensation could still cause problems.

Interestingly, the UF 3002 that was installed on my trailer had a 2" tube. However, the hole in my trailer tongue was 2-1/4". I have always noticed some "wiggle" in the trailer when parked. The new 3500 I'm getting has the full size 2-1/4" tube, so I hope that my trailer will be more stable.
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Old 05-05-2010, 10:01 PM   #8
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In Austin I bet you get high humidity. So just the air getting inside the motor would do it over long periods of time. Then there are times when you use the motor such that it generates a lot of heat on the inside and that hot air comes in contact with the cooler exterior of the motor body would be a great combo if one were to distill water out of the air.

A full motor condom is what is needed!

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Old 05-05-2010, 10:51 PM   #9
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I had similar problems with my new one. Turned out to be just some bad connections on the switch. Pull the cover off and take a look.
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Old 05-29-2010, 10:11 PM   #10
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I have the 3002 on my Argosy. The switch worked fine for the first year, it's now "less than intermittent" operation almost made me chuck it for a better unit. I took it apart this afternoon and found the problem The switch is mounted in such a manner that ANY moisture that finds its way into the housing lands right on the switch. Unfortunately, that also means that any lubrication oils that sweat out of the drive also work their way into the switch as well. The switch was covered with a mixture of water and oil - quite a bit of which must have worked into the switch itself. Ultra-Fab wants about 20 bucks for the "correct" replacement switch, but it's really only a spring-loaded DPDT with a center off position wired as a simple reversing switch. BTW - the soldering of the leads to the switch was some of the worst work I have ever seen - cold joints, poorly trimmed insulation, etc.

Our solution should end the problem once and for all. We have eliminated the jack mounted switch. Instead, we are using a 4-wire, flat trailer connector whose leads exit form the old switch hole (to which I added a grommet). A small box with a non-spring loaded DPDT switch, a length of flat 4-wire with the mating connector makes for a removable/mobile controller. We did the wiring on the jack head today, I'll to wire up the switch in the box tomorrow.
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