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Old 07-16-2018, 02:13 PM   #1
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How my Power Jack Broke... Buying a replacement Q&A

as expected when buying an RV a lot of manufacturer put the cheapest possible parts into them.


my trailer came with a power jack that looks exactly like this - https://www.etrailer.com/Camper-Jack...-3520-BBX.html


We have used the trailer for 2 years. We have a weight distribution hitch. When trained by the dealer (ha ha) on how to hook up we were told to use the power jack to lift the trailer (connected to truck) enough to get slack in chains for attaching hitch bars.

They did not show us the short hand bar that can be used to give you more leverage - so, we always lifted the truck enough to give plenty of slack and make it easy to set the chain holders.


Well - it appears we were likely putting too much strain on a cheap power jack. At the last camp ground it would not lift the trailer... motor kept running, but would not lift. So, I took it apart and found that inside the jack is a threaded shaft. At the top of that shaft WERE two small bits of metal that made the top look like a letter T. Those two small parts snapped off. So, there was nothing for the motor to grip (there is another part inside the head that would rotate the head of the shaft by catching on these two bits sticking out).


NOW THE QUESTION
Obviously, in the future we are not going to lift truck as much and use the hand bar to get the chains set instead of getting it all so loose. This will reduce the strain put on the jack.


Knowing that should I buy the same jack for $145 or should I go up to $207 and get something a bit beefier that advertises ball bearings on the shaft for better performance - https://www.etrailer.com/Camper-Jack/Husky/HT87247.html


MORE INFO
Also - we plan to sell / trade this trailer in a year for a motorhome.

PRO of getting the cheaper jack that matches what I have on there would be having spare parts from existing jack (motor is still good... it's just the shaft that is broke).
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:47 PM   #2
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Id probably put the same back on it since it was miss used
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Old 07-16-2018, 07:20 PM   #3
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i replaced our jack on the previous trailer with a Bulldog. Not expensive and has a better built screw drive.
Most of these type will fail if you over-torque them,
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Old 07-16-2018, 07:32 PM   #4
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I got a jack on amazon and I use it to lift mine enough to get the WD hitch connected. I don't get it high enough to have slack in the chains, but I do have to use it to raise the truck 1-2 inches from nominal height.

The jack I got was one of the cheapest ones available and it has worked great. I think it was rated at 3,500 lbs and cost around $105-$110.
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Old 07-16-2018, 07:43 PM   #5
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The part that broke was probably just a shear pin or roll pin that passes through the vertical shaft. Easily replaced, relubed and put into working order.
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:21 PM   #6
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Bought mine from Harbor Freight two years ago. No issues, but I use my tool for the bars. Husky Center-line, great hitch.
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:35 PM   #7
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The part that broke was probably just a shear pin or roll pin that passes through the vertical shaft. Easily replaced, relubed and put into working order.
X2 The rest of the pin is most likely in a hole that goes all the way through the shaft and can probably be pushed through by installing a new pin. Take the broken off piece to a hardware store and get one with the same diameter as the broken one.
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Old 07-17-2018, 11:17 AM   #8
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I agree with the idea that it is the shear pin that I broke and will attempt to replace it.


I will disassemble the jack again and see if I can gently tap out the remaining pin.


I will then go to Lowes and Tractor Supply to see about finding a replacement.


I've already tried searching online and calling some trailer places in town with no luck.


So, any advice on what I should be looking for in a replacement? soft metal, brittle metal, stainless steel, etc??
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Old 07-17-2018, 11:41 AM   #9
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I bet Ace hardware has them. Id think it would be a shear pin
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Old 07-18-2018, 10:12 AM   #10
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Look for a steel shear pin or steel roll pin. The roll pin "may" be too soft and bend though. A "shear" pin is what you need. Its designed to "shear" when overloaded- just what happened to you.
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:34 AM   #11
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That is kinda funny. Lifting the truck plus the trailer.

Interesting way to use a jack designed just to lift the trailer.

I would buy the most powerful jack they make so you can use it the way you want.
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Old 07-18-2018, 02:41 PM   #12
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During my "training at the dealer" I was told to do the exact same thing.....Use the jack to lift the hitch on the truck so that you can slide on the sway bars....
I am not lifting the truck off of the ground, just enough to get tension off of the hitch so the bars to slide on.
I think I will start using the cheater bar going forward......
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Old 07-18-2018, 03:00 PM   #13
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The cheater bar gives you plenty of leverage to easily lift the WD bars into place to lock them. I am talking about the Drawtite WD that I had.
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Old 07-19-2018, 05:46 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by wfcentral View Post

So, any advice on what I should be looking for in a replacement? soft metal, brittle metal, stainless steel, etc??
If you haven't got the shear pin yet, remove it and take it with you and replace it with same kind. As already mentioned its designed to be the sacrificial part hence the name.
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