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Old 06-12-2013, 04:19 PM   #1
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Thanks to a number of suggestions and posts on this Forum, I found an idea for a simple adapter* to allow me to use my cordless drill to raise and lower the tongue jack. I had doubts the drill would be up to the job, but I was amazed at how well it works. And I spent $1.39 on the whole project.

The last photo shows the 1/2 - 13 coupling nut I bought at Home Depot. This size works for two reasons: 1) the outside of the coupler fits the same socket I use for the stabilizer jack: 3/4" or 13mm. Thus I can do the trailer setup without having to change sockets; 2) the inside diameter (once I drilled out the threads) exactly fits over the crank end of the tongue jack after the handle has been removed.

All I had to do was mark and drill a 9/32" hole crosswise through the coupling nut to accommodate the bolt that once held the handle on. You can see the hole in the last photo. Then I drilled out the threads inside the coupling nut so it would fit over the 1/2" shaft on the jack. You do need a drill press and good bits for the job but it took all of 5 minutes to modify the part. It took longer than that to get over the amazement that it worked.

Thanks to Pooniel for mentioning that he had made an adapter to do the same job (different design but the idea stuck with me).

*The original post with the idea to use a coupling nut was by forum member "Jas", posted in 2010: http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...jack-6055.html. I had to use a different size coupling nut than he did, probably owing to the different sizes of our units.

I should mention that I have 120 pounds of batteries and two full propane tanks on the trailer, so the tongue weight is probably well over the amount it was originally.
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Handle removed, coupling nut installed, original bolt reused.


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My Ryobi 18v in place. The battery is only at about half charge, by the way, so ill have to be careful not to flip the trailer over with a fully charged battery...
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:43 PM   #2
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Thanks to Pooniel for mentioning that he had made an adapter to do the same job (different design but the idea stuck with me).
You're welcome. I've seen some that are similar to yours. Practical experience tells me not to do anything the absolutely requires that I not leave the drill at home. Because it's been left before and no doubt will again.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:45 PM   #3
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That is a GREAT idea!. I hate the tongue crank. With my tank cover, I am always hitting my knuckles.

I already use my drill on the stabilizers. This is on my to do list for sure!
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:50 PM   #4
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Thanks for the part description. I have the parts for the Bal Leveler so I could use the drill for that too.
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:16 PM   #5
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And if I forget to pack the drill along I can use the crank handle for the stabilizers, that came with the trailer, since the socket size is the same.
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:30 PM   #6
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You will melt down your drill. I killed mine using it on my stabilizer legs in 2 camping trips. I now use a cordless 1/2 in. impact driver. Its mad to take bolts out.
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:33 PM   #7
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I had hand crank jacks for five years. Used my 18vt dealt a thousand times on the four stabilizers. Never slowed down. You have a quality drill. It should be fine.
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:01 PM   #8
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I had a lithium 18v ridgid.
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:08 PM   #9
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great design. Thanks for sharing this. Now to find a drill press...........
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:41 AM   #10
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I had hand crank jacks for five years. Used my 18vt dealt a thousand times on the four stabilizers. Never slowed down. You have a quality drill. It should be fine.
I meant to say dewalt, not dealt.
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:58 AM   #11
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And if I forget to pack the drill along I can use the crank handle for the stabilizers, that came with the trailer, since the socket size is the same.
Now that is good design.
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:04 AM   #12
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You will melt down your drill. I killed mine using it on my stabilizer legs in 2 camping trips. I now use a cordless 1/2 in. impact driver. Its mad to take bolts out.
I used a cheap Sears cordless drill to lift the Bal leveler and raise the roof on my Niagara. If that didn't cause a meltdown, then the tongue and stabs on my Aframe don't stand a chance. Particularly with a Ridgid. I would not use an impact driver on the jack for concern of the high sudden torque they can deliver.
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:24 AM   #13
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I'll have to reserve judgement on the meltdown issue. Although the Ryobi is an OK unit, it's certainly no DeWalt or Ridgid. In its favor, though: it's going on 13 years old and I used it for about six years in construction and remodeling work; it hardly slows at all cranking my tongue jack up, not like it does when I drive 4" deck screws into LVL, and; I have a spare one if this one goes.

But I'll keep an ear on it and retire it if it seems to be working too hard. Thanks for the heads-up.
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:49 AM   #14
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Santa brought me a Ryobi 1+ kit for Christmas. It had an 18v cordless drill, cordless air compressor, a charger and two batteries. I've used it countless times. The cordless air compressor is awesome...
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:56 AM   #15
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I've used a B&D that is almost 10yrs old to crank down the stabilizers on the TT. I usually have to set it on the torque setting. Once down I use the hand tool to tighten.

My TT jack crank comes out the front, might have to check if the handle can come off and an adapter made. Guessing it would work for going down but not sure going up would.
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:20 PM   #16
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I've got a used Lippert 3500# I'll take $50 for if someone going to Goshen wants it. Works great, I took it off our 08 Flagstaff 831RLSS when we traded last year. PM me if interested.
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:40 PM   #17
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Switched this morning. Took longer to find the connector nut than to drill the threads and the cross hole. But a 3/4" socket won't work with my 1/2"x13mm connector nut. The 3/4" socket just spun even tho my nut had a 1/2"x13mm label. My 11/64" socket works perfectly tho........

And as recommended, I'll keep the old crank handle with the trailer should it be needed in an emergency.

One other benefit with using the connector nut. It might cut down on trailer theft. I don't think theves will come prepared with the proper tools needed to raise and lower the tongue jack.
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:07 PM   #18
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Switched this morning. Took longer to find the connector nut than to drill the threads and the cross hole. But a 3/4" socket won't work with my 1/2"x13mm connector nut. The 3/4" socket just spun even tho my nut had a 1/2"x13mm label. My 11/64" socket works perfectly tho........
Must be a difference in the manufacturer of the connector nut. Anyway, glad you got it to work. What drill do you have? If you said, I've forgotten...

And I just looked at what I was calling my 3/4" socket, sure enough it's a 13mm socket. Anyway, it fits both the stabilizers and the adapter on the tongue jack, so the exact size is moot. Sorry about the misquote on the size.
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:34 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by thehamguy1 View Post
The last photo shows the 1/2 - 13 coupling nut I bought at Home Depot. This size works for two reasons: 1) the outside of the coupler fits the same socket I use for the stabilizer jack: 3/4" or 13mm. Thus I can do the trailer setup without having to change sockets; 2) the inside diameter (once I drilled out the threads) exactly fits over the crank end of the tongue jack after the handle has been removed.
I tried getting the coupling nut you have in Home Depot Canada and local stores here, they don't have one with a hole. Did you drill the hole yourself? I checked HomeDepot.com, not available there too. If you or anyone know a link to get this part, please post.

My battery drill is not powerful enough to raise the Bal Leveler, did you try your drill for this application?
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:40 PM   #20
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I tried getting the coupling nut you have in Home Depot Canada and local stores here, they don't have one with a hole. Did you drill the hole yourself?
The OP mentioned drilling the sideways hole and drilling out the inside threads.
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