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Old 11-13-2012, 07:50 PM   #1
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Old School Camper Jacks

One of the high tech jacks on my pop up truck camper has gone tango uniform. I think the weld or crimp on the nut that interfaces with the jackscrew went bad. First of all I have never been impressed with these jacks, they are unsightly and the cheap galvanize finish has been gone for years which has resulted in rust showing on the bottom of the jack leg.

Years ago I had a 8' cabover that must have weighed 1800 lbs, and used cable jacks that were not attached to the camper to install and remove it. While they were a little tricky to get balanced right the first time, they were bulletproof. You didn't want the kids or dogs around when you were loading or unloading, but other than than they worked fine.

I'm thinking about stripping off the Reico Titan jacks and using an old school jack system again. One thing I wonder about is the engineeering that has gone into the newer campers.....the old school jacks I'm looking at have about 2 feet of contact with the underside of the camper....I wonder if that is enough spread of the weight on the camper to not cause a problem...seems to me that camper construction hasn't changed much over the years, if anything they are probably built out of better material in later years than they were 40 years ago, my old pop up is a 1996.

Anybody with experience or thoughts on this old school solution to getting the camper on and off the truck.....by the way, my pop up weighs about 1400 lbs.....

thanks, Mike

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Old 11-13-2012, 08:01 PM   #2
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I've been using those jacks since the mid 60's. like them way better. The one downside is when you get where your going you can't remove the core unless you take them with you. My camper weighs around 2300, never had a problem.

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Old 11-14-2012, 04:04 PM   #3
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We used those old school cable type jacks to load/unload our Casita TC in the mid 70's. It was at times a bit exciting if the balance point was changed (i.e. left water in the tank), but they worked great. I wouldn't think they'd be a problem for new style rigs, but might want to check with your TC manufacturer to see what changes they might have made to accommodate the corner jacks vs. the cable style. Good luck!
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:17 AM   #4
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I've used cable camper jacks quite a bit in the past. If you know your balance point, and are careful, I don't see a problem. One point though, typical pop up campers are more compact than your average camper, usually notably narrower, so the clearance between the jacks and the truck will be much closer. Don't scratch the sides of you pickup box. The guys at Hallmark use cable jacks in the shop, and if I remember, they might have extensions on them to increase clearance. I'd like to get those ugly, heavy camper jacks off of my popup, am curious how you get along.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:59 PM   #5
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To continue the story......after considering just replacing the defective jack, for $200 here in Kingman or $156 plus shipping on Ebay, or going with cable jacks I found a set of cable jacks in Victorville, Ca which just happened to be on the way to the in-laws for Thanksgiving. they were in excellent condition and for $80 they were mine. I got home yesterday and set about lifting the camper off the temporary jack on one side and the two Reico jacks on the other. As with the last time I used cable jacks, they were a little suspect as I started out but I stopped every few cranks and tried to shake the camper to see how stable it was....turned out if was rock solid. So, long story short, I got rid of the unsightly old jacks and my camper looks much better....and as a bonus I can get it on the ground (I actually have it setting on concrete blocks) where it is super stable.

I don't forsee an occasion when I might need to remove the camper any place other than at home, but if I do I guess I'm just out of luck. But this is camper number 4 in the past few decades and I don't ever remember having the need in the past. Oh well, we'll see.

Bottom line, if your camper jacks go bad....go find some old school cable jacks, they work fine.
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