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Old 05-15-2024, 01:36 PM   #1
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How often do lube a tongue jack, what do you use, and where do you apply the lube?

The subject pretty much sums up my questions.

We have a 2022 Globetrotter 27FB Twin. The tongue jack doesn't sound happy anymore. So, am thinking about lube.

Hence, my questions:

How often do lube a tongue jack, what do you use to lube it with, and where/how do you apply the lube?
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Old 05-15-2024, 01:46 PM   #2
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Once in a while I use a silicone spray on the tube while it’s extended all the way. I’m not sure the manual specifies too much else, but I haven’t looked lately.
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Old 05-15-2024, 01:58 PM   #3
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From page 1 of the Barker manual:

MAINTENANCE:
Once a year, the powerhead should be removed and a liberal amount of grease (preferably a grease with high melting point) applied directly to the coupling on which the drive pin rests.
DO NOT POUR OIL into top of the jack post.
Once a year, the housing cover should be removed and the gears inspected for proper lubrication.
Remove 4 screws and tap around edge of housing to free cover.

DO NOT insert screw driver blade! (This may damage mating surfaces.)
Before replacing cover, clean matging surfaces.
If lubrication is needed, use Mobilith 460 grease or equivalent.
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File Type: pdf Barker VIP 3500 Power Jack.pdf (1.15 MB, 65 views)
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Old 05-15-2024, 02:07 PM   #4
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Hi Foobar. No amount of lubrication is going to mitigate that uneasy growling you are hearing the power tongue jack make. Airstream power jacks have been known to have a notoriously short service life.
In your situation, annual maintenance is not an option.
Try to minimize use, and know that the scissor jack in your truck and some extra blocking is now your best friend.
I read in one of your earlier posts that you were able to reduce your tongue weight to around 800 lbs. I hope your trip packing hasn’t raised that much. The extra poundage on the hitch will not help on the trip. Towing on the ball, OK. Lifting a heavy tongue with a marginal jack, not so much. Good luck!
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Old 05-16-2024, 07:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitusNW View Post
From page 1 of the Barker manual:

MAINTENANCE:
Once a year, the powerhead should be removed and a liberal amount of grease (preferably a grease with high melting point) applied directly to the coupling on which the drive pin rests.
DO NOT POUR OIL into top of the jack post.
Once a year, the housing cover should be removed and the gears inspected for proper lubrication.
Remove 4 screws and tap around edge of housing to free cover.

DO NOT insert screw driver blade! (This may damage mating surfaces.)
Before replacing cover, clean matging surfaces.
If lubrication is needed, use Mobilith 460 grease or equivalent.
Thanks TitusNW. It looks like I'm overdue in terms of lubing the jack. I'll follow the instructions you provided (thanks!) and tackle this in the next couple of days while I'm on our trip.
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Old 05-16-2024, 07:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Genebuilder View Post
Hi Foobar. No amount of lubrication is going to mitigate that uneasy growling you are hearing the power tongue jack make. Airstream power jacks have been known to have a notoriously short service life.
In your situation, annual maintenance is not an option.
Try to minimize use, and know that the scissor jack in your truck and some extra blocking is now your best friend.
I read in one of your earlier posts that you were able to reduce your tongue weight to around 800 lbs. I hope your trip packing hasn’t raised that much. The extra poundage on the hitch will not help on the trip. Towing on the ball, OK. Lifting a heavy tongue with a marginal jack, not so much. Good luck!
Thanks for the comments Gene. I need to hit a CAT scale again and see where the tongue weight ended up after we loaded the trailer for our current trip. Now that we are towing with an F350 instead of a Cayenne, I'm not as anal so we probably have a tongue weight back in the 1100-1200lb range again with a full tank of fresh water.

I normally use one of those reddish orange round Anderson blocks under the tongue jack foot to reduce the distance the jack has to move every time I use the jack, but unfortunately I have to use the jack to lift the truck+trailer to unload the WD bars in order to install or remove the bars when hitching and unhitching. That puts a lot of load on the factory jack.

That brings up a question. Is there a better, heavier duty tongue jack that fits our Airstreams? Have you upgraded yours? If so, which one did you use?
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Old 05-16-2024, 08:31 AM   #7
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On our dearly departed 16' Bambi we replaced the manual jack with a Husky Super Brute (way overkill, which could have probably lifted the whole trailer, but we liked the silver). We did a lot of research and it gets great reviews. We were going to keep it for our 25' but it would have been a PIA to take it off and swap it, but on second thought I wish we had. We got the one with the remote (splurge, but they've gone up quite a bit in price since then - it was $293, now $450) but never used the remote. The 4k lb might work just as well and $80 cheaper.
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Old 05-16-2024, 09:11 AM   #8
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Also, a bad ground to the frame will stress the jack motor. You may find that just cleaning up the threads and the lock nuts that mount the jack (and provide the grounding) may be a huge help to providing a good working jack. It did for me!
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Old 05-16-2024, 09:33 AM   #9
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Husky super Brute last year, Foobar. Unloading the WD puts a great strain on the jack, lifting the tongue and the heavily loaded rear end of the truck. Fingers crossed your situation doesn’t impact your trip.

Just a related shot at Airstream, Foobar. My apologies. Trucks offer optional HD tow packages…why not ridiculously expensive Airstreams?
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Old 05-16-2024, 09:36 AM   #10
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Who is Jack?

Quote:
Originally Posted by foobar View Post
How often do lube a tongue, jack, what do you use to lube it with, and where/how do you apply the lube?
I lube mine quite often, a couple times a week maybe, with bourbon, beer, or sometimes vodka over ice in a glass, right in the center of my tongue, one shot at a time. But who is jack?
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Old 05-16-2024, 10:11 AM   #11
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Since you are trolling commas today TR Anderson, amuse yourself with this one:

Eats shoots and leaves.

Apologies again, Foobar
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Old 05-16-2024, 10:48 AM   #12
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Tongue Jack Lubrication

Our jack is still working but after 7 years, it's starting to struggle a bit more every season (I can relate to that).

I'm always amazed at the grease that ends up on the jack post & how this would be depleting the grease remaining on the screw and recirculating ball bearings. I know that's a non-serviceable part on these cheaper jacks but I've toyed with the idea of drilling a small hole (where?) in the post and pumping in a load of grease to alleviate some of the friction.

Grease could be delivered via the rubber-tipped fittings used for servicing applications with threaded plugs. Just not too certain about how to seal up the hole.

Figure there must be someone out there that's actually disassembled/uncrimped one of these things.
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Old 05-16-2024, 02:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Genebuilder View Post
Hi Foobar. No amount of lubrication is going to mitigate that uneasy growling you are hearing the power tongue jack make. Airstream power jacks have been known to have a notoriously short service life...

Mine is a 2006 and is still running fine. I take issues with statements like this. I would agree that "some" might give out early but they do not fail at a "notoriously" high rate.
Like all things mechanical, they do need regular service. Fail to do that and you will not get as long a life as you should. I simply followed the directions that came with mine and lube it every year, or sometimes longer if we don't make as many trips. It is an easy thing to do, just follow the directions. Approaching 65,000 miles and it still works fine.
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Old 05-16-2024, 02:40 PM   #14
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65000 miles in 18 yrs. That’s about 3600 miles a year on straight line average. Pretty light usage. My observations, as a 10,000-12,000 mile + annual traveler, pertain to those who use their trailers frequently, and subject them to loads close to CGVWR. No need to take issue. Relax and enjoy the ride.
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Old 05-16-2024, 03:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Genebuilder View Post
Hi Foobar. No amount of lubrication is going to mitigate that uneasy growling you are hearing the power tongue jack make. Airstream power jacks have been known to have a notoriously short service life.
In your situation, annual maintenance is not an option.
Try to minimize use, and know that the scissor jack in your truck and some extra blocking is now your best friend.
I read in one of your earlier posts that you were able to reduce your tongue weight to around 800 lbs. I hope your trip packing hasn’t raised that much. The extra poundage on the hitch will not help on the trip. Towing on the ball, OK. Lifting a heavy tongue with a marginal jack, not so much. Good luck!
Not sure I agree with your analysis. I have owned 4 heavy tongue weight Airstreams and never had a problem with the tongue jack, other than my 2006 25' where the fuse kept blowing. As far as functionality with the motor, it does get noisy; this one is now going on 7 years and 65k miles on our 28'. I have greased it down once only. I just recently bought a can of White Lightning heavy duty spray lubricant for the ball and did use on jack shaft also. But, really, not had any issues. Works fine, and I use to load the Blue Ox each trip, so lots of work from the jack..."takes a licking and keeps on...working!" Think about it; have to raise up the F250 rear end with the jack after engaging the ball to take stress off while connecting the Sway Bars for the Blue Ox...thats a lot of stress each time. Jacks working fine. If I do replace, there are lots of suggestions here on the Forum...
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Old 05-16-2024, 06:39 PM   #16
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For those who have serviced the jack, what grease do you use for the gears?
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Old 05-16-2024, 10:54 PM   #17
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Another for problem free performance. 22yrs of lifting TV + tongue to load/unload EBs... no complaints.
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Old 05-17-2024, 10:30 AM   #18
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I agree with Titus NW. I also have a 2022 Globetrotter 27 and my jack started making bad noises (grinding gears??) a year ago after a few hundred uses. I bought the proper grease and followed the manuals instructions. There appeared to be plenty on grease already there, so I wasn’t very hopeful. But the noise stopped and is running fine after another year of a lot of traveling.
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Old 05-17-2024, 02:39 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GRadventures View Post
I agree with Titus NW. I also have a 2022 Globetrotter 27 and my jack started making bad noises (grinding gears??) a year ago after a few hundred uses. I bought the proper grease and followed the manuals instructions. There appeared to be plenty on grease already there, so I wasn’t very hopeful. But the noise stopped and is running fine after another year of a lot of traveling.
And what, may I ask, is the proper grease?

Thanks!
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Old 05-18-2024, 09:15 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans627 View Post
And what, may I ask, is the proper grease?

Thanks!
Quote:
Before replacing cover, clean matging surfaces.
If lubrication is needed, use Mobilith 460 grease or equivalent.
This was my understanding. Do I need a grease gun to dispense it?
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