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Old 09-25-2013, 08:26 AM   #1
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Power jack with no wheel

I paid for a power jack on my A128S and didn't realize until I got home (400+ miles away) that I had a manual jack. The dealer shipped one to me and I just got around to installing it yesterday. The jack has HH-3500 on it and is a VIP 3500 Power Jack.

That jack came with a plate on the bottom instead of a caster. I called the company H&H Engineering and got a nasty customer service person (isn't that an oxymoron) who said they don't recommend a caster for the power jack because it's off to the side. She wouldn't offer much more than that but I assume they think the caster position puts torque on their power jack when operating. I pointed out this would take pinpoint precision when backing the tow vehicle to hook up the trailer, but she wouldn't respond.

I want a wheel so I can get darn close, but then move the trailer and inch or two to hook up, but then I'm new to all this.

I'd like the opinion of you more experienced folks who have pulled trailers for a long time. What do you think? Anyone using a caster on their power jack?
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:14 AM   #2
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I had the same issue with my dealer. I was charged for a Power Jack and the dealer switched it out with a manual jack. They then tried to charge me again for the Power Jack. I didn't do that and contacted Forest River about my concern. They installed a Power Jack at no charge when I attended the 2013 Forest River Owner's Rally in Indiana this past August. Not sure how Forest River handled it with the dealer after the fact. As a side note, I don't have a wheel for my power jack but one could be easily installed instead of using the flat plate. At this time I don't have a need for it but don't see why you couldn't use one just to roll it back a few inches, etc.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:21 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayfaringgirl View Post
I paid for a power jack on my A128S and didn't realize until I got home (400+ miles away) that I had a manual jack. The dealer shipped one to me and I just got around to installing it yesterday. The jack has HH-3500 on it and is a VIP 3500 Power Jack.

That jack came with a plate on the bottom instead of a caster. I called the company H&H Engineering and got a nasty customer service person (isn't that an oxymoron) who said they don't recommend a caster for the power jack because it's off to the side. She wouldn't offer much more than that but I assume they think the caster position puts torque on their power jack when operating. I pointed out this would take pinpoint precision when backing the tow vehicle to hook up the trailer, but she wouldn't respond.

I want a wheel so I can get darn close, but then move the trailer and inch or two to hook up, but then I'm new to all this.

I'd like the opinion of you more experienced folks who have pulled trailers for a long time. What do you think? Anyone using a caster on their power jack?

You will have to buy a caster wheel separately. The bottom plate on the power jack will come off. The caster wheel will slip right in, as long as you get the right type of wheel for the jack end. take the caster wheel off every time you pull the unit or you will at some time down the road smash it on something.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:33 AM   #4
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Do NOT put a caster on the front jack... It does put added stress on the point that the jack attaches to the A frame of camper. It also isn't nearly as stable once you are set and "camping" as the wheel allows the tongue to move too easily.

No offense but you need to be precise when backing up to the rig to drop the ball on! Look at a number of the campers on here, mine included, that are 30' + feet with tongue weights over 1,000 LBS... There is no way I am going to move the tongue around to get it to set on the ball.

You will learn tricks while doing this. I generally will no back up perfectly under the ball. I would rather be a 1/2" or so too far forward so the camper will actually pull the truck back when hitching. I do this to make sure that locking mechanism doesn't get bound up. I also don't fret if I am a half a ball width off to one side as I can set the camper on top of it and take some of the weight off the jack and then just push/pull the tongue to get it to drop on...

Just my $0.02 NO WHEEL...
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:33 AM   #5
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Howdy and welcome to the forums Gale. I wouldn't believe you would really want a swivel caster on a camper trailer, as you need it to be stable as all possible when unhooked/camping........especially since you use the tongue jack to level the camper fore and aft.

You could attach a removable swivel caster, but this would get to be a pain...installing and removing it.

I don't have a light travel trailer, so I probably couldn't move mine even if it was on a swivel caster.

Here is how I did solve my problem of hooking up, perfect EVERY time. Just throwing other options out there for you:

Made a wireless backup camera system cheaply

Feel free to private message me if you have any questions or concerns.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:36 AM   #6
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The caster wheel will also put a undue amount of side loading on the jack as well as being difficult to turn if the wheel is pointing forward/back and you need to move the tongue side to side. IMO, practice lining up and forget the caster.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:40 AM   #7
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My 05 Jayco (4400# dry) came with wheel and pad. I could not move it on my level driveway with the wheel. Found it useless and gave it to my father in law. Brownie points. You can buy the wheels at Tractor Supply if you have one nearby.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
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My 05 Jayco (4400# dry) came with wheel and pad. I could not move it on my level driveway with the wheel. Found it useless
X2. Our 2000# popup had a manual jack with a wheel, but there is no way you were going to push it even 6". And, when un-hooking on any slope at all, it makes the trailer very prone to roll. Wheel chocks keep it from moving from front to back, but the tongue could roll sideways as well. I had a plastic "dog dish" (not really, was made for the tongue wheel) that I put down for this, but then you can't push the trailer even if you have a small army to help push it.

So I would recommend the power jack and keep the flat plate. My son (11) decided I needed a backup camera, so he organized the family to get me one for Father's Day. He picked out the Eyeball Hitch Cam. It works very well to get within an inch or two of the ball - its hard to judge depth on the 2D screen sometimes, so I find it is still helpful to have a spotter or I get out and take a look if by myself for that last little bit, but overall it is super simple and works well to simplify the process. No yelling or arguing whether the problem lies with the driver or the director!!

iBall Wireless Trailer Hitch Camera | iBall Wireless Trailer Hitch Camera
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:34 AM   #9
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Although I will probably get camera eventually for backing and security, right now i use these.

Amazon.com: Camco 44603 Magnetic Hitch Alignment Kit: Automotive


Silly looking - YES ......Effective - VERY
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Old 09-25-2013, 11:37 AM   #10
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Hi Gale and welcome to the FRF!!

I wonder if you must hitch alone?? Do you have someone who can
watch for you when you're backing up to the trailer?
If you're doing it alone that does make it more difficult!
There are options that some have mentioned here-
cameras, special mirrors, some sort of magnetic stick with a ball on the
end??

I will have to agree with others that you really don't want a wheel on there.
Even a -slight- incline (and what parking lot, driveway is perfectly flat?)
can allow your trailer to move. It might move without warning.
It might move and crush your hand or your legs or toes!
I've seen with my own eyes a small trailer roll off the back of a camp ground
pad and into the woods below!
It's not a pretty sight.

Don't worry about the wheel. You are better off without it.
If you absolutely positively WANT one no matter what you can get them
at Harbor Freight and the previously mentioned Tractor Supply.
I've got one in my junk pile in my garage but it would cost more to mail
it than it's worth.....

Good luck and Happy Camping!!
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