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Old 07-07-2016, 06:19 AM   #1
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power tongue jack installation

Camped in MS this past weekend. Man, was it hot and humid. Made cranking the jack unbearable. I decided I needed a power tongue jack. With the battery in the back of the 21' in a less than optimal location for access to wire a jack, I thought I might get a jack that plugs into the F150 7 pin socket. Well, I did get it and it worked for one cycle and not again. So, I will be returning it. Would it be possible to run a jumper wire from the jack positive wire into the camper's 7 pin connector for power using the camper battery to power the jack? I'm not very knowledgeable of wiring and electrical components, so, any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 07-07-2016, 06:52 AM   #2
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Seems to me you could make an adapter or replace the jack wire with a female 7 pin and wire your jack that way, hooking up only the wires needed. I just did this to make an adapter to allow my lights to stay on while parked, see here http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f8...oner-8167.html
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Old 07-07-2016, 02:28 PM   #3
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Yes, you can use your 21's battery to power the jack. I bought one of these and one of these . It was easy to hook up the jack's power wire to the appropriate terminal in the 7-way socket. I used butyl putty to seal up where the wire enters the socket, and I attached the socket and bracket to the underside of the plate on which the propane cylinders sit (curb side, to stay out of the way of the emergency brake gadget mounted on the street side). When I want to use the power jack, I just plug the trailer's 7-pin plug into the socket, and voila, plentiful power to the jack.

I'll get pix when I can -- it's raining out right now and my camera isn't weatherproof.
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Old 07-07-2016, 03:22 PM   #4
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Thanks dr.paddle and Jim. This is my next project to be completed.
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Old 07-07-2016, 04:10 PM   #5
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Here are some photos of the 7-way socket install underneath Toto's propane tray. The last photo shows the back of the socket, only slightly out of focus , with the butyl-putty seal-I-hope. I do plan to use a zip-tie to snug the wire up to the trailer frame. Any day now. I got some stainless nuts/bolts/washers at the hardware store to mount the bracket to the propane tray, and to mount the socket to the bracket.
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Old 07-07-2016, 05:36 PM   #6
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You are on your way....
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Old 07-07-2016, 06:15 PM   #7
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Sometime in the not too distant past someone pictured a power tongue jack that was tall enough for the motor to clear a tailgate when hooked up. Anyone remember the post?
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Old 07-07-2016, 06:42 PM   #8
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If one is willing to tow with a mid-size truck, the Nissan Frontier tailgate easily clears the motor on my Atwood Premier 4K jack -- I can open the tailgate all the way while hooked up. This was a pleasant surprise to me when I installed the jack a few weeks ago. My Fronty is a short-bed ... not sure if the long-bed would work the same way, but seems like it would.
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Old 07-07-2016, 06:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
Sometime in the not too distant past someone pictured a power tongue jack that was tall enough for the motor to clear a tailgate when hooked up. Anyone remember the post?
Not sure Jon. I know in our case the motor doesn't hit the tailgate on our F150 - but the post certainly does. Only allows the tailgate to lower about halfway.
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Old 07-07-2016, 06:48 PM   #10
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Same here Doug. Our Nissan Frontier tailgate clears on the 19 with power tongue jack. The stinger does push it out some on the Pro WDH that ETI sold us which probably is what allows that clearance.
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Old 07-07-2016, 06:56 PM   #11
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Atwood power tongue jack

Speaking of power jacks I have the Atwood supplied by ETI on my new 19, it sure makes hooking and unhooking the WDH a snap.

My question is, is it normal for it to be really noisy?

I'd hate for it to quit in the middle of a trip.
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
Sometime in the not too distant past someone pictured a power tongue jack that was tall enough for the motor to clear a tailgate when hooked up. Anyone remember the post?
This one? Electric A-frame jack on sale The jack: 3,500 lb 12V DC A-Frame Trailer Jack (SKU: 8655680)
It may or may not clear the tailgate (depending on your trailer's frame height and the tailgate height), but the motor placement beside the column instead of on top of it makes it shorter than the Atwood jacks.

It is still on sale at Princess Auto, and starting on Tuesday (2016 Jul 12-24) a similar jack is on sale for CA$139.99: 3,500 lb 12V DC A-Frame Trailer Jack
(SKU: 8490427)
The two jacks may be the same except that the first one has a remote and a cord set up to plug into the tow vehicle for power, while the second just has an input power lead.
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:08 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by hughharden View Post
Speaking of power jacks I have the Atwood supplied by ETI on my new 19...

My question is, is it normal for it to be really noisy?
Apparently yes; Ian mentioned that the one he installed was quieter than the Atwood. I noticed that some jacks use a recirculating ball screw, while other use an acme-form screw (no balls, just greased). The recirculating balls should have less friction, but would be noisier if not very precisely built (and for a couple hundred bucks, it ain't gonna be a precision bit of kit).
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:21 PM   #14
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Atwood jack

Thanks for the info I won't worry about it. Although I'm tempted to pick up the one at Princess Auto for $139 sounds like a deal.
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drpaddle View Post
If one is willing to tow with a mid-size truck, the Nissan Frontier tailgate easily clears the motor on my Atwood Premier 4K jack -- I can open the tailgate all the way while hooked up. This was a pleasant surprise to me when I installed the jack a few weeks ago. My Fronty is a short-bed ... not sure if the long-bed would work the same way, but seems like it would.
All of the difference between the short-bed and long-bed is within the wheelbase - the part from the rear axle rearward is identical - so no, it doesn't matter to clearance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
Not sure Jon. I know in our case the motor doesn't hit the tailgate on our F150 - but the post certainly does. Only allows the tailgate to lower about halfway.
Since the Atwood motor is on top of the post, and even other brands' motors are just as high as the post, I don't get how this works. In any case, the jack is under the (open) tailgate, so they hit unless the jack is short enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg A View Post
Same here Doug. Our Nissan Frontier tailgate clears on the 19 with power tongue jack. The stinger does push it out some on the Pro WDH that ETI sold us which probably is what allows that clearance.
The jack can clear the tailgate by being behind the lowered tailgate (which is the case for these Frontier with WD), or by being lower than the lowered tailgate. Since all the A-frame jacks mount in the same place on the trailer, the only way to get clearance by jack choice is by getting a shorter jack, or using one that mounts elsewhere (on the side of the tongue further back).
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:29 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Since the Atwood motor is on top of the post, and even other brands' motors are just as high as the post, I don't get how this works. In any case, the jack is under the (open) tailgate, so they hit unless the jack is short enough.
The motor on my Atwood 4000 is a bit higher, so, when the tailgate swings down, it clears the head - but not the post.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:36 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
The jack can clear the tailgate by being behind the lowered tailgate (which is the case for these Frontier with WD), or by being lower than the lowered tailgate. Since all the A-frame jacks mount in the same place on the trailer, the only way to get clearance by jack choice is by getting a shorter jack, or using one that mounts elsewhere (on the side of the tongue further back).

or getting a longer stinger can resolve the issue. I got one that was 2" longer and was able to open the tailgate, also use if the Jack-E-up allow use with any length of stinger.
To me, available use of the bed compartment far outweighs any benefit from a power jack! Just be aware in any scenario not to decrease the hitch capacity.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:43 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
The motor on my Atwood 4000 is a bit higher, so, when the tailgate swings down, it clears the head - but not the post.
Ah, now I get it: the face of the tailgate isn't hitting the top of the jack - the edge is just catching the front of the post. Sooo close...

The other style of jack wouldn't help, and would actually make it worse unless you turned the motor away from the front. A much shorter jack could fit under the tailgate, but I haven't been able to find one that short. There are short-travel jacks, but the mounting flange is set too low on them, so they don't hang down very far but they stick up at least 13 inches from the top of the coupler.

Get one of those notched tailgates for fifth-wheel towing, and you're set!
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:45 PM   #19
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The jack can clear the tailgate by being behind the lowered tailgate...
or getting a longer stinger can resolve the issue.
Yes, because it moves the jack back to behind the lowered tailgate, by moving the whole trailer back.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:51 PM   #20
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Get one of those notched tailgates for fifth-wheel towing, and you're set!
Yeah, I thought about it, but I'd lose the integrated step in the tailgate, the back up camera which helps me hook up, and the tonneau cover to keep everything dry. I can live with not being able to lower the gate when hooked up. If needed, I lower the tailgate gently and rest it on the post. The top of the tailgate is black ABS plastic, so neither the post or the tailgate is susceptible to damage.
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