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Old 03-28-2023, 10:15 PM   #1
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Installing an Electric Tongue Jack

While I'm happy with my manual jack and its' removal handle, Princess Auto had this jack on sale for $80 CDN so I thought that I'd give it a try. Wife was happy to hear that she might not have to crank anymore.

A little surprised to find that the weight differential is within a couple of pounds. I'd expected it to be 5-10 lbs. heavier.

One reason that I have a removable handle is that tailgate clearance is tight. I knew that I'd have to rotate the jack 90*. A preliminary look seems good. Of course the holes don't align and new holes would hit the frame. Looks like an adapter plate will be the way to go.

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Old 03-29-2023, 08:57 AM   #2
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I noticed this on sale in the Princess Auto catalogue as well but I was hopeful that the holes might line up.
I suspect my 19 would have the same issue?
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Old 03-29-2023, 10:55 AM   #3
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To be clear, mounted conventionally, the holes line up just fine. If you don't have a close to tailgate situation then it'd be just fine as is.

Some brands allow for the head to be rotated 90*, this isn't one of them. An adapter plate would be required and might be problematic.

It's not a problem for me to make a lower adapter plate. Unfortunately I have a couple of high demand projects to finish first but I'll post my results when it's done.

This is Princess Auto. Items come on sale frequently and it'll probably come on sale again.

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Old 03-29-2023, 07:11 PM   #4
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Some folks take a smoke break from work, I took a look see at how an adapter plate would work. I made a mock up out of plywood. In this case because it's exactly what's needed it'll also serve as a pattern for the aluminum adapter.

Wasn't sure if there would be a negative interaction between the upper and lower bolts but it's all good.

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Old 03-30-2023, 11:12 AM   #5
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Well done! It's always good to keep one's partner from being cranky.
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Old 03-30-2023, 07:07 PM   #6
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In general-- how difficult is installing a power jack? My time is coming.
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Old 03-30-2023, 07:18 PM   #7
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In general-- how difficult is installing a power jack? My time is coming.
Pretty easy. Some jacks ground via the casing/bolts and there is only one wire to connect to +12V. I had to go inside for power but most owners with newer trailers can probably grab power outside in the 7 pin junction box under the tongue. The Bulldog I installed is a great jack. Kind of pricey but fast and pretty quiet. It also rotates 90 degrees without any modifications necessary.

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...tml#post415983
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Old 03-30-2023, 10:03 PM   #8
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Well done! It's always good to keep one's partner from being cranky.
Sigh, if that's all it took.

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Pretty easy. Some jacks ground via the casing/bolts and there is only one wire to connect to +12V. I had to go inside for power but most owners with newer trailers can probably grab power outside in the 7 pin junction box under the tongue. The Bulldog I installed is a great jack. Kind of pricey but fast and pretty quiet. It also rotates 90 degrees without any modifications necessary.

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...tml#post415983
My least favorite way of wiring things is to use the frame as a return circuit. My negative will be going direct to the 7pin box.

Yes, there are some brands that rotate without an adaptor plate. Since I have the material and the tools and kind of like figuring things out that's the way I went or am going, not done yet.

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Old 03-31-2023, 08:44 AM   #9
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Barker tongue jack

I will be putting on a Barker VIP 3500 tongue jack this weekend. Looks like a couple of bolts, run the power wire, and one and done.

I think I will take Ed's (Eggscape) advice and put my super secret security toggle switch in for good measure.
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Old 03-31-2023, 09:14 AM   #10
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Wiring one of these to power is the part I feel the most hazy about. I hope you'll post a couple of detail pics to show how and where you're tapping in.
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Old 03-31-2023, 10:51 AM   #11
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For folks whose jack head will rotate 90 degrees (meaning no new holes would need to be drilled) , Angie and Rhonda (adventures in nomadness) have youtube video on that (as well as MANY other helpful things). It is surprisingly simple.

Ron, that adapter plate is pretty slick looking.
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Old 03-31-2023, 11:14 AM   #12
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I think I will take Ed's (Eggscape) advice and put my super secret security toggle switch in for good measure.
I'll take my own advice and install one. The thought that a passerby could just push the button and activate the jack isn't a good thought.

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Wiring one of these to power is the part I feel the most hazy about. I hope you'll post a couple of detail pics to show how and where you're tapping in.
There are two different scenarios. One for Gen 1 and one for Gen 2.

Gen 1 power has to come from inside the trailer. Not a problem, just exit by the 7 pin cable coming up through the floor.

Gen 2 has an external 7pin junction box under the tongue frame that can be used as a power source.

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Old 03-31-2023, 12:25 PM   #13
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Wiring one of these to power is the part I feel the most hazy about.
Whats the worst thing that can happen
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Old 03-31-2023, 09:55 PM   #14
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I'll take my own advice and install one. The thought that a passerby could just push the button and activate the jack isn't a good thought.



There are two different scenarios. One for Gen 1 and one for Gen 2.

Gen 1 power has to come from inside the trailer. Not a problem, just exit by the 7 pin cable coming up through the floor.

Gen 2 has an external 7pin junction box under the tongue frame that can be used as a power source.

Ron
Thanks. I just had a (maybe crazy) idea. If you wire up a 7-pin plug as part of a detachable harness so you get power to the jack from your tow vehicle instead of the trailer, you wouldn't need a cutoff switch. Simply insert the plug to raise the jack off the ball, roll forward a foot if it's necessary to lower the front again, unplug when you're done adjusting the height, and stow your wiring harness. Now no one can mess with your jack.
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Old 03-31-2023, 09:59 PM   #15
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Whats the worst thing that can happen
If I am doing it, the worst that can happen might be pretty bad. Like maybe butchering my trailer's wiring.
As an example of my electrical abilities, I don't think I could do a decent solder job if my life depended on it.
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Old 04-01-2023, 11:00 AM   #16
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Thanks. I just had a (maybe crazy) idea. If you wire up a 7-pin plug as part of a detachable harness so you get power to the jack from your tow vehicle instead of the trailer, you wouldn't need a cutoff switch. Simply insert the plug to raise the jack off the ball, roll forward a foot if it's necessary to lower the front again, unplug when you're done adjusting the height, and stow your wiring harness. Now no one can mess with your jack.
Many vehicles do not provide power to the 7 pin connector unless the vehicle is running and other things have taken place like your foot has been on the brake etc. Vehicles are way to smart now…not like the old days. Also your vehicle has to be nearby. Sometimes we move it forward so we can move around the trailer to set the jacks without having to climb over the tongue.
Many jacks do come with the plug already installed so it can work for some.
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Old 04-01-2023, 01:25 PM   #17
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Whats the worst thing that can happen
As Reace used to say, "what could go wrong."

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Thanks. I just had a (maybe crazy) idea. If you wire up a 7-pin plug as part of a detachable harness so you get power to the jack from your tow vehicle instead of the trailer, you wouldn't need a cutoff switch. Simply insert the plug to raise the jack off the ball, roll forward a foot if it's necessary to lower the front again, unplug when you're done adjusting the height, and stow your wiring harness. Now no one can mess with your jack.
I'll stick with the KISS principle. Nothing simpler than an out-of-sight inline switch.

So, bolted it on, took my kayak battery and hooked it up. Operated smoothly, more quiet than I expected.

Happy that my old larger base fits. I like the larger footprint for soft pavement and ground.

Big rain cloud headed this way so I won't be installing the wiring today. But I did take a quick look to see if the provided wiring would reach the 7 pin box. I'd already noticed that the white lead was about 2' shorter than the black. Sure enough, it's about 6" too short to reach the box. That's because they expect you to sand down to bare metal at the jack base and install the ground there. Just what I don't want, another external ground subject to corrosion.

So, all that's left is to do the hookup wiring, what could go wrong?

Ron
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Old 04-20-2023, 05:38 PM   #18
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The rain clouds parted for a couple of hours so I finished hooking up the tongue jack.

I was happy to find that the 7 pin box had grommets that would accommodate the power wires to the jack. Just shoved an awl through to expand it a bit and shoved the wires through before it contracted. Saved drilling a hole in the box.

I installed a hidden switch so I can de-activate the jack for security reasons or to prevent someone from pushing the switch when they shouldn't. Wouldn't be good if the stabilizers were down.

I thought that I'd make a tube that could save some up and down time and wear on the unit. Sched 10 pipe is a perfect sliding fit over the jack tube. Might be handy in some situations.

I'll make up a base plate for it and call it done.

While I was using the jack I thought that I'd do a down and dirty weigh the tongue. 490 lbs. but that's with the tongue box pretty empty and no water so my "on the road" weight is probably different. Never weighed the tongue of any trailer before so it was interesting to see what the weight actually was.

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Old 04-27-2024, 03:36 PM   #19
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Super secret switch location

The other day I installed a Bulldog 3.5K lbs. powered jack. It is negative grounded to the trailer frame and one lead off the jack to the battery positive.

Any advice on the secret location for a switch, and a good weatherproof switch to use?

You can P.M. me if you don't want to spill your secret to the public.
Trust me, I won't tell anybody. I swear. Boy Scouts honor!
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