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Old 05-22-2020, 10:36 AM   #1
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2013 25' Flying Cloud
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Tongue Jack Intermittent Failure

I have an OEM tongue jack that sometimes fails to operate. At times I can mess with the switch and the jack SLOWLY starts and then works fine. It seems like it really struggles to get started and then takes off. Other times it wont work at all! Any suggestions.
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:49 AM   #2
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Could be a weak motor, poor jack to frame connection, poor switch contacts or excessive friction. Take it loose of the frame, remove paint and rust from parts of both surfaces reattach. Lube the moving parts and the sliding post (silicone or other dry lube here). See if that helps. If not try to bypass the switch to see if you need to do something with the switch. After that it gets harder.....
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:52 AM   #3
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This is usually a sign of a bad ground, at least you have to check that before worrying about the motor. These are installed so the ground is the jack mounting plate to the trailer frame. Get some rust in there and Voila, bad ground. You need to put the trailer tongue on a jack stand or hitched to your TV. Then you need to remove a bolt or all three holding the jack. Clean it up between the two, use some dielectric grease to prevent this happening again, and reinstall. If that does not fix it, you have a motor problem, most likely. Oh one other thing. I did come across a case once of a fuse that was not right, when replaced, everything worked fine. These fuses are a little hard to find in stores because they are slow blow.
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Sorry Brian, you beat me to it....
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Old 05-22-2020, 11:14 AM   #4
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Mine acted the exact same way, it turned out to be loose wiring on the switch. One of spade connectors was so loose it fell off when I removed the switch from the plastic head.

While you are at it, If it is a Barker Jack with the OEM glass in-line fuse, you may want to replace it with a 10 gauge wire inline Maxi Fuse. Mine used to blow a fuse a few times a year until I did that.
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Old 05-22-2020, 11:33 PM   #5
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Tongue jack

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I will try them and let you know the results. I also read some threads on the forum that mostly recommended tossing the OEM jack in the junk and installing a new Husky 5000! Seems like the Baker jack is a problem.
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Old 05-23-2020, 04:58 AM   #6
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Husky has been on mine for 8? Years.

No issues.
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Old 05-23-2020, 06:57 AM   #7
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When I had this problem with the OEM Barker Jack it turned out to be the switch.

Initially I thought my problem was caused by a bad ground--rust forming over the winter when trailer, stored outside, wasn't used. So I pulled the jack, wire wheeled everything to insure good electrical contact of jack bolt plate to trailer tongue assembly. No change.

Called Barker. After listening to my description the answer was immediate--bad switch. Even tho my unit was several years out of warranty they sent replacement switch free of charge. Has worked great since.

Burnside
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:27 AM   #8
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We had two OEM jacks go bad in one year. We have a 2018 25ft FC, these they are now made by Lippert with no customer service for replacement. Both ran slow and then seized up. Had to call a service onetime to get it back on the hitch. My dealer recommend and I went to a Husky HB4500 4500 lbs with no problems at all. These OEM jacks are junk, my dealer will not replace any OEM jack with a Airstream OEM. He said he does not have time to fight with all the warranty paperwork and I agree. But do check your wiring and battery voltage before using it.
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Old 05-23-2020, 11:34 AM   #9
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Had that exact issue with it not working when I needed to continue on our trip, and leave the RV park in Palm Springs. After rotating the cap housing the bubble level, I sprayed on some white lithium grease to the gear below. Also sprayed silicone lubricant on the jack “leg”. That did it. And it’s worked perfectly ever since, without the intermittent issue.
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Old 05-23-2020, 11:41 AM   #10
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I've had many failures with the Baker jack. So often, I keep a new spare DPDT switch in my tool box. I also keep spares for the two small micro switches. Other than the fuse and ground issues mentioned here I had the main swtich DPDT failures 3-4 times in 10 years of ownership. I recently was getting ready for a trip and the jack failed again. I contacted my local dealer for a new one at about $500, but in a way I was lucky he had none in stock. Called a couple of other RV dealers and they did not have any for an Airstream.

So I scrambled for a solution as I was leaving the next morning. Of course the failure was discovered in late afternoon so options were limited. At first I thought it was the main switch so I went to Grainger to buy two. I replaced it and still no go. I could make the jack work using jumper wires, so under closer inspection I could see one of the two micro switches had rusted into the failure mode. I went online to Grainger again and got lucky with two in stock. 4 O'clock now and raced in cross town Portland traffic to get them both. I spent less than $25 and it is easy to replace them both in minutes.

I'm not at home now but if someone wants to know the part numbers, send me a note. One caveat is the main switch seems to have metric threads, so the waterproof cap doesn't fit. You can order it at the same time. Garingers are all over the US, but if one isn't nearby they can ship them to you.
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Old 05-23-2020, 12:44 PM   #11
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We had a broken fuse holder - the one in the battery box. Although the fuse was good, there was no continuity through it.
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Old 05-23-2020, 04:53 PM   #12
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Two notes on tongue jacks:
Do not go from up to down or visa versa, wait a few seconds for the motor to relax. Any movement in the opposite directing causes overload.
Besure and use a fresh star washer under the head of one of the hold down bolt heads so as to insure a good ground. They become corroded, un-noticeably so over time.
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Old 05-23-2020, 05:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnside Bob View Post
When I had this problem with the OEM Barker Jack it turned out to be the switch.

Initially I thought my problem was caused by a bad ground--rust forming over the winter when trailer, stored outside, wasn't used. So I pulled the jack, wire wheeled everything to insure good electrical contact of jack bolt plate to trailer tongue assembly. No change.

Called Barker. After listening to my description the answer was immediate--bad switch. Even tho my unit was several years out of warranty they sent replacement switch free of charge. Has worked great since.

Burnside
I had the exact experience as Bob. You will need to synchronize the jack but instructions were included with the replacement switch.
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Old 05-23-2020, 06:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Barber View Post
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I will try them and let you know the results. I also read some threads on the forum that mostly recommended tossing the OEM jack in the junk and installing a new Husky 5000! Seems like the Baker jack is a problem.
Yep I put a Husky 5000 on 3 years ago. It's really a different type of jack from the OEM's. These use a ball and screw concept which is similar to jacks you see in many service facilities who don't use the old center post hydraulic lift systems. They are very capable of lifting some heavy loads. Plus that Husky was a lot less money than the OEM, and also has a manual crank port in case of a loss of power or electronics. No synchronization required.

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Old 05-23-2020, 06:28 PM   #15
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The Barker works. It likely just needs some switch help. However, the last thing I want to do when on a trip is work on a jack when I need to leave. Hence, a Husky now graces the tongue. Great jack. Pat
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