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Old 01-16-2006, 01:07 PM   #1
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Unhappy Power hitch jack - fried?

Took Toasty (16' CCD) for her inaugural jaunt around the neighborhood yesterday. Really went well, except for the backing back into the driveway part, which was long and difficult. I see lots of parking-lot-practice in my future.

What made life harder was the squirrly/non-performance of the power hitch jack.
When deparing the driveway, I fully retracted the hitch as instructed. Instread of quiely stopping at the end of travel, it made a horrid noise and blew its fuse.

After our return, I replaced the fuse and tried to extend the hitch tube, which blew more fuses. Finally, I was briefly able to get the tube to move up and down with the swtich, but it would not extend more than an inch before stopping. Now, the "up" (extend) switch position does nothing and the "down" (retract) works as normal. The power hitch jack is thus 50% useless. The emergency
manual crank seems to work in both directions, thankfully.

I this thing fried? Or is it just 'unsynchronized'? The Airstream manual talks about removing the power head for lube, and also about making sure it's 'synchronized' when reinstalling. But of course it provides NO information about how to actually DO any of this.

Anyone know where to get docs to service this thing or know any tricks?

Frustrated,
Thanks,
jon
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Old 01-16-2006, 01:47 PM   #2
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I have a friend in town who also has a 16 with power hitch and has had the same problem. I will try to ask what if any fix he's found. While we love our 16, it sure has issues. Have you checked your trailer for various problems, such as overhead cabinets being properly anchored (VERY important to check this), continuity within the antennae/video cables and outlets, door lock sticking/jamming, speaker and stereo system disconnects, wheel hub lubrication (did you get in on this recall?)? I have also posted in past on fixes for noisy refridgerator fan (which will otherwise drive you insane) and for hooking up a small flatscreen without that anitquated tv shelf.
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Old 01-16-2006, 08:08 PM   #3
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Hello Frozen Chosen

Hello Frozen,

Yeah, I followed the 2004 16' CCD thread with GREAT interest. Never did see a conclusion on the cabinet attachment issue though. Is it still considered necessary to install supporting brackets IF it appears that all screws both top and bottom were properly installed? If I do install bracket(s), is there some "stud" I'm trying to hit behind the inner aluminum skin, or is the skin itself the only support?

On the hub lube recall, I assumed (probably stupidly) that the dealer would have corrected this in advance of our Nov 2005 purchase. Probably oughta check on that though!

Fridge-wise, we tried it briefly on both gas and 120, and it seemed to cool, though we didn't hear a fan at any time. Perhaps a problem in and of itself?

Far as the H2O systems go, we're keeping our fingers crossed, as we took delivery of a winterized unit.

We did check the routing of the propane over the jacks, and there is no contact with moving parts, luckily.

Hmm, I'll have to check phone/cable continuity.

BTW, I've measured 12V current draw of various thingies in our Toaster, and would be happy to post my findings it there is interest.

THANKS!
jon
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Old 01-16-2006, 08:10 PM   #4
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Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention that the striker on our deadbolt was installed upside down! Couldn't get it to lock to save my soul. Finally disassembled, turned it over, reinstalled, and poof! Works perfectly now.

jon
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Old 01-16-2006, 09:03 PM   #5
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It seems to be a common problem. I had a simialr issue with ours. When at Jackson Center the tech before he even took it apart said "I've seen this before". The issue he was talking about was that he said that they short out when the tube fully retracts. He opened ours up, patched it up and it's worked ever since without any further fuses blowing.
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Old 01-16-2006, 11:38 PM   #6
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I'd love to know what it is that he fixed, as I have the same problem as you Silvertwinkie. It shorts immediately as the tube fully retracts.
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Old 01-17-2006, 11:17 PM   #7
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T Dad (sounds hip, no?), if you've checked and found the shelves seem properly anchored, I wouldn't mess with it. Ours looks fine also, and I don't care for the sound of the fix. We enjoy the trailer a lot, and find it just right for weekend trips and a few longer excursions. I bought the 1000W Yamaha genset and find it keeps up fine (no A/C in my unit). The single battery will not get you through a weekend, so figure on purchaing a small generator.
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Old 01-17-2006, 11:57 PM   #8
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I believe he insulated the wire (elec tape) and moved the wire out of harms way. It's worked well now for about 9 months. I don't anticipate any further issues with it.
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Old 02-06-2006, 09:45 AM   #9
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Fixed!

OK, Here's the different but happy ending to my power hitch jack story.

Removed the power head from the jack, took off its cover, and after
looking at the docs and the guts awhile, the problem was obvious:
the gear on the drive shaft was not meshed with (nor could it be made
to mesh) with the gear on the limit switch. Sent the powerhead to
dealer with a note, they replaced the limit switch assembly, I
re-synced the jack and power head, and everything works fine now.

The Airstream manual, at least for the 2004 Int'l trailers, only
reproduces a less-than-useful couple of pages from the hitch jack
docs. The full version is available at
http://www.barkermfg.com/product_ins...tructions.html.

Quick note on how this thing works: The power head has no idea of what
the actual position of the jack is. It uses a limit switch which cuts
power to the jack at each end of its travel, one for extend and one
for retract. The limit switches are activated by a mechanism driven
by the jack's drive shaft, which flips the switches after the correct
number of rotations which would extend or retract the jack from one
end to the other. For this scheme to work, the powerhead must be
"synced" to the jack. Anything which disturbes the sync, such as the
gears not perfectly meshing, will cause the jack to stall at one end
of travel or the other, which immediately blows the fuse.

Hope this helps someone and thanks as always,
jon
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Old 02-06-2006, 11:26 AM   #10
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We saw this thread back when we purchased our '05 CCD 19. So from the start I never raised or lowered the hitch jack to its limits....and have never had a problem. We've spent at least 3 months on the road with this trailer.
We remove the removable base plate which allows minimal up/down jack movement when traveling.
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