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Old 09-21-2017, 09:46 AM   #1
3 Rivet Member
2016 23' Flying Cloud
Fanwood , New Jersey
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 103
What to do IF tongue jack fails?

We got 2016 FC23D in June this year, and before that we had never owned or traveled in an RV. So our learning curve has been steep.

After a few trips, I'm beginning to be a bit more comfortable with hitching and unhitching. But a thought occurred to me if the jack fails for some reason, what can I do?

If it's electrical (no battery power), it's easy. Generator or shore power can get you out of such situation.

But what if the motor fails?

It could be just fuse, of course, and that can be replaced.

(But I've just realized that I haven't learned what kind of fuse that I should bring with me for possible replacement!)

But if motor is fried or short circuited for whatever the reason may be, can we bring the tongue up and down manually?

Smaller trailers (not necessarily travel trailers) seem to use such manual mechanism, and I would think that in case of such unlikely motor failure, there has to be a way to move the tongue up and down manually.

I just don't know how. Will anyone enlighten me?


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Old 09-21-2017, 09:50 AM   #2
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2017 30' International
Broomfield , Colorado
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What to do IF tongue jack fails?

If the motor fails or if you have absolutely no power to the unit you simply manually crank it using the tool provided.

If the driveshaft gearing fails… Which is quite rare I believe… Well then you're pretty much dead in the water.

For what it's worth I've had to manually crank mine maybe twice in 10 years or so due to not having power (Dead batteries and no shore power).

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Old 09-21-2017, 09:51 AM   #3
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2007 30' Classic S/O
Somewhere , South Carolina
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Take a look in your owners brief case looking for the manual specific to your brand of jack for instructions on manual operation. Or search for that brand and model for details.

I bet the tool is in your "stuff" somewhere.

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Old 09-21-2017, 09:57 AM   #4
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Good Ol' , USA
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Always carry a 6-ton bottle jack and plenty of pieces of 2x4, 4x4, and 6x6 lumber. Just about any of those pieces, cut 12"-18", can be used in whatever combination you need to take the place of the electric jack. That way, if the electric jack fails in any way, you can still raise and lower, hitch and unhitch the trailer.

Depending on the tow vehicle involved, you might already have a decent jack that can be used with the trailer.

The main thing is to do it all safely.
“What’s good for me may not be good for the weak minded.”

1987 Avion 34W
1995 Ford F250 7.3L PowerStroke
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:04 AM   #5
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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First thing that can happen with a power jack is the fuse blows. Got a spare? If not "borrow" one for the time it takes to run the jack. Go get a spare after you are un-hitched.

Battery dead? Hook up the TV and let it supply current. You may have to put it in gear to make this happen. You also may need to charge for 10 minutes or so to get enough to move the jack.

Motor dead? Grab the supplied tool. Can't find the tool? Ask the people in the next campsite. Their tool may fit your jack.

Gears stripped? Bottle jack or scissors jack and some leveling blocks will get you on or off the hitch. No jack? check with the guys next door ....

Gears stripped and jack down? Get it far enough up with the jack and pull the foot. Then get it hitched and over to an RV outfit.

Any time you blow up a jack there is the basic question of what to do next. Leave it and go shopping or haul it to a dealer? Jacks are fairly generic. You don't *have* to get them from AS. Warranty may be an issue, but having them fail in warranty is quite rare. Cell phones will let you shop from the campsite. Neighbors might give you a lift to or from a local RV dealer. Absolute worst case - you swap your power jack for a temporary manual jack. Yes, it's expensive. It's not as expensive as a tow or abandoning the trailer.

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Old 09-21-2017, 12:01 PM   #6
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, Minnesota
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I like the "you may have a decent (tow vehicle) jack that can be used" comment.
I'd do that before I'd use the manual crank.
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:25 AM   #7
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1994 30' Excella
Livingston , Texas
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Failed Power Jack

In the twenty + years I have owned my 1994 3o ft. Excella, I have replaced various systems due to age and failure, ...the AC, fridge, etc... and the powered jack post.

My motor failed... so I just found the "TOOL" from my tool locker, hooked up, finished raising the post and motored over to my a nearby RV dealer for a replacement. Easy-peasy...

It's not all that difficult to replace the unit yourself, but I am older and wiser now, so I just let the professionals do it and wrote the check...

If you keep your unit long enough... stuff will happen (like the 3-4 tire blow outs I have had going down the road...), systems will fail, etc... it's just all part of the experience.

It is useful to think about "what ifs" and "what would I do if" scenarios... these topics sometimes come up around the "happy hour" campfires with your fellow campers... "...there I was when..." and I have learned alot over the years about how people handle different problems with ingenuity and a good attitude. My solution is to model my Boy Scout and military training a best I can... "Be prepared" and "always have an alternate plan"

Good luck, Happy camping to you my friend...
94 30" Excella
99 GMC 3/4 Ton 6.0L
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:32 AM   #8
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2016 30' Classic
Livingston , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 25
The jack on my 2016 Classic actually went just three months after delivery. After getting bounced back and forth between A/S and Atwood, AS. Shipped me a new one which was easy to install. In the meantime used the bottle jack and muscle power to lift and lower jack. Only regret is sticking with Atwood and the 3000. Atwood 3000 has nylon gears which are more susceptible to burnout. Not certain of your jack, but Atwood 3000 takes a 30 amp cartridge fuse. Good luck and happy trails.
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:33 AM   #9
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2007 25' Classic
Hutto , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 68
I've had the gears in my jack strip out before and had to use the emergency crank. It is not user friendly. Of course you can use a bottle jack in an emergency. On long trips it is better to have spares than to use the emergency crank over and over.

Now, I carry a spare set of gears for the jack and also a spare manual jack for the A frame. Manual, crank type jacks are 50 to 100 dollars. The jack is easy to temporarily replace - just 3 bolts and a wire. Careful to tape up the unused wire to prevent shorts.
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Old 09-22-2017, 10:39 AM   #10
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2015 28' Flying Cloud
Cumming , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 288
Tongue jack

Replaced mine with the Husky Brute 5000. Great choice
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Old 09-22-2017, 10:41 AM   #11
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2016 28' Pendleton
terre haute , Indiana
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Posts: 28
the wires can come lose. Take the head apart and take the wires on and off. Sometimes it is a bad connection. The fuse can blow. Carry a spare. The tool with my 2016 was just an adapter. When the jack failed I borrowed a drill from the guy next door but it wasn't powerful enough to crank up the jack. Then I borrowed some vice grips and went round and round. Our first AS came with a crank handle. After this experience I went out and bought one instead of that worthless adapter. $15. Well worth it if it happens again.
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Old 09-22-2017, 10:42 AM   #12
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2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
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I use a proper socket and my battery drill. Works like a champ. Easy pesy!

Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
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Old 09-22-2017, 10:49 AM   #13
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2007 30' Classic S/O
Somewhere , South Carolina
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Originally Posted by DeltaRon View Post
Replaced mine with the Husky Brute 5000. Great choice

My husky, never failed yet. Got the tools, unused. Knock on wood.
S/OS #001
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 5.9L 6 Speed
16" Michelins, Hi Spec Wheels, Max Brake, Carslile Actuator, Equal-i-zer, Dill TPMS. Campfire cook.
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:01 AM   #14
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
Stillwater , Minnesota
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 13
What To Do IF Tongue Jack Fails?

I have a 2016 25-ft FC and the Tongue jack motor just quit working during the first year, just before a three week trip. Just plain quit. Seemed like an electrical problem, but the fuse and wiring was all good. I looked everywhere but I did not have the hand crank tool - it was not included with my new trailer. I got online and bought both the AS hand crank and a socket exactly matching the one on the hand crank. Putting the socket on my cordless drill worked like a charm, as AWChief indicated. Up and down, no problem. Fortunately I got it into the dealer and they were able to replace the motor, but I still carry the drill and socket with me on all trips (hand crank also). The dealer also could not determine the problem. Stuff happens.

Doug and Betsy
2016 F-150 3.5L Eco-Boost Lariat
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