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Old 07-16-2020, 11:57 AM   #1
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2015 22' FB Sport
Louisville , Kentucky
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Change from Electric Jack to a Manual Jack-Are you Crazy?

I'm thinking about switching from my electric jack to a manual (A-Frame) jack.



I know what you guys are thinking, don't blame you either, LOL! But hear me out.



AS Bambi FB22 2016. I am the third owner. The trailer has been lightly used and in excellent condition. Note, 2nd owner changed from a manual jack to electric (which was a great call for them, as the 2nd owners were a little older).
===========

TV is 1994 F150 5.0L 2WD SWB.



My RV mindset, in a word, is 'nimble'. Or perhaps, 'less is more'. Well, plus I'm cheap.


Story that leads me to my question: First outing for 2020. We're pumped. Lesson One: DO NOT GET EXCITED ABOUT ANYTHING IN 2020. We had done due diligence during the winter. Making sure everything is good, as best as we could tell. Short trip planned to make sure all is OK. The 12V battery was fully charged as I kept it unconnected and covered from the weather. Upon 'hitch up', I connected the battery to the AS, backed the truck up. Hit the toggle switch to raise the trailer. Nothing. Checked connection. Nothing -Should We Stay or Should We Go (The Clash -kinda). Turns out, it seemed to be grounding issue, got it working and hitched up. Whew, dodged that bullet.



Got to the camp site, but the electric jack issue hitch issue returned, grrrrr. Fellow campers are a great resource, with their knowledge/assistance, got unhitched.


Oh, Lesson Two. Tire Jacks were NOT included with our AS (when new). Therefore, I am now, the proud owner of a brand new 2T hydraulic jack.



During our short stay, this jack issue kept swirling. If I switched back to a manual jack, I get reliability, less weight (battery + jack), less head aches (keeping the 12v battery charged, voltage leaks, etc). Not to mention the cost of a new electric jack vs a manual jack. But, that electric jack is pretty convenient. But that's the price my wife will have to pay (uh yea, I'll let you know how that one works out).



I've not experienced the use of a manual A-Frame jack and would like to ask for user experiences when using a manual jack. Is it difficult to raise? What brands you've experienced, etc.



Thanks all who care to respond and took time to read this short story!
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Old 07-16-2020, 12:33 PM   #2
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Old 07-16-2020, 01:46 PM   #3
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1972 23' Safari
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Get a electric...

Get a electric jack and you can also manually lower or raise it with a socket and wrench. Best of both worlds IMO.
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Old 07-16-2020, 01:49 PM   #4
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I took the electric jack off of my 31' Sovereign and put on a good hand cranked one. It is really not difficult at all to lift or lower the trailer. I did it because my previous Airstream had "issues" with the electric jack as well. The hand operated one is geared well enough that it doesn't require that many revolutions to lift or lower. It's just one thing less I have to worry about when getting to roll out or unhook. And, I figure if I don't have enough strength left to use it, my Airstreaming days are over. Just my opinion!
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Old 07-17-2020, 09:27 AM   #5
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1976 Argosy 26
Los Altos , California
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Been there ... done that

Had similar issues with our 76 Argosy, mostly amounting to grounding problems. Like you I thought changing to a manual jack would be better. It worked and it wasnít hard to crank, just took a little longer. After a few years, it started to rust (an eyesore) and my enjoyment of cranking was gone forever. During my restoration I splurged for a new electric which included a backup cranking mechanism. The best of both worlds. Iíve used the backup once and it was easier than the crank. I smile every time I raise and lower my jack now. Regardless of your choice, happy camping.
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Old 07-17-2020, 10:11 AM   #6
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1962 22' Safari
Jackson , Mississippi
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I only have a manual jack and have no complaints. I’m sure it isn’t quite as fast as an electric one, but it doesn’t take long and isn’t physically demanding....and always works
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Old 07-17-2020, 10:20 AM   #7
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1991 34' Limited
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Change from electric to manual jack doesn’t mean you can get rid of the battery. It’s needed to run the fridge and water heater igniters.
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Old 07-17-2020, 11:06 AM   #8
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I wanted to change to an electric jack but decided to stay with the manual jack that came with my 22FB sport....a couple of other considerations..

Clearance- I tow with a Dodge Durango and my liftgate BARELY clears my manual jack handle. The Durango must be parked straight and the handle has to be down (6 O'clock) position and it will open without hitting the trailer. I mocked up the Husky based on specs, thought I could clear it (with the 90 degree turn), but was not sure....the manual was proven.

Weight- I added segment protectors and upgraded to two Trojan T-105 batteries when I purchased the Sport...that pushed my tongue weight to just over 600# from the "stated" 425 from Airstream...still under max for my vehicle (710#) but pushing it a bit. Husky would have added another 20#.

Now, if I change tow vehicles and move to Lithium on the next upgrade, the Husky might come back in the picture.......
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Old 07-17-2020, 11:20 AM   #9
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I am 69 years old and a member of the sometimes less is more club. Manual jack on a sport 16, see no reason for an electric jack. Maybe on a larger trailer but mine is easy. The comment about the hatch clearence is a good one. Our Jeep clears the jack but not by much.
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Old 07-17-2020, 11:24 AM   #10
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We have had a manual jack on our 19' since we bought it new in 2002. I replace the jack once with an identical manual jack because of stupid damage I did to the original. I do like not being dependent on electrical power even though we have never had a problem. The only thing slightly annoying for me about the manual jack is retracting it completely for towing. Takes a lot of revolutions of the crank. Not really a big deal!

Tim
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Old 07-17-2020, 11:35 AM   #11
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I like that’s manual Jack is noiseless. And it might be faster than the electric one I now have.
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Old 07-17-2020, 11:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sneakinup View Post
I took the electric jack off of my 31' Sovereign and put on a good hand cranked one. It is really not difficult at all to lift or lower the trailer. I did it because my previous Airstream had "issues" with the electric jack as well. The hand operated one is geared well enough that it doesn't require that many revolutions to lift or lower. It's just one thing less I have to worry about when getting to roll out or unhook. And, I figure if I don't have enough strength left to use it, my Airstreaming days are over. Just my opinion!
I need that manual lift that is geared well to not to require many revolutions. Mine require so many revolutions damn the small gears!!! what lift you use?
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Old 07-17-2020, 11:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hikingsolo View Post
Change from electric to manual jack doesnít mean you can get rid of the battery. Itís needed to run the fridge and water heater igniters.
and for emergency brake required by laws in many states.
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Old 07-17-2020, 04:23 PM   #14
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It pays to have a reputable person or rv center check out your elec. jack and fix it rather than just remove it. You and the person who might buy your Airstream down the road will appreciate it.
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Old 07-17-2020, 04:38 PM   #15
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Forty five years ago I had a severe heart attack and barely survived the almost no treatment regimen. I put a tongue jack on my 23 footer for my heart's safety sake. I don't know what happened to that jack or the trailer, but after two more longer TT with jacks, my heart is still working. Huray!
I vote for electric Jacks. Every time my Barker give me a problem< I pack it up and send it back and they fix it for free or send me another one.
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Old 07-18-2020, 04:33 AM   #16
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I don't recall the model number, but mine was a Bulldog A-frame jack. The crank handle faces forward, it's not a sidewinder. I really have no issues cranking my trailer up or down... and I know it's going to work every time.
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Old 07-19-2020, 04:00 PM   #17
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1995 34' Excella
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My electric jack failed about 6 years ago and I sure didnít like the feeling of pushing the button and then nothing. I replaced it with a manual jack because it was cheap and I am not that old or weak and my tongue weight is low. It was a sidewinder. It failed last summer in the Rockyís and finding another manual was not easy. I finally found one at NAPA. It is much better than my old one. It rotates on top and I can lower my tailgate easily. If it fails I will go right back to NAPA and get the same jack. I highly recommend it.

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