VIDEO: See? I DO Know Jack

Posted In: Airstream, Blog, Maintenance, RV Products, Video

For those of you who think I don’t know jack about RV repair, I finally have a video to prove you wrong.

In the past you’ve heard me bemoan the fragility of our power jack. The sacrificial part in question is a little nylon gear.

This gear works fine for the most part, but if it’s ever stressed (let’s say you raise the jack a little too high due to parking at an odd angle), it will indeed fail. It’s actually designed to fail — this saves the other gears and motor from being trashed.

It’s possible to operate a power jack manually. But it’s not a lot of fun. The process involves removing the cover of the jack with an Allen wrench, inserting a metal wand, and cranking. It takes about 10-15 minutes (I’ll detail this procedure the next time our little gear dies!) to unhitch your Airstream in this fashion.

Thankfully, as you’ll see in the video, replacing one of these nylon gears is a cinch. If you are a heavy user of your RV, you should consider keeping a spare nylon gear on your rig. The first time we experienced a power jack failure, we were camping in rural Canada ( a few hours north of Glacier National Park). We went a couple of weeks without our power jack. I’d rather not repeat that experience.

A couple more notes about the video:

(1) It’s not “necessary” to grease the nylon gear itself. We went ahead and got everything nice & sloppy.

(2) Do me a favor and make sure your propane tanks are closed/off when operating the jack with the cover open. Occasionally, tiny sparks are emitted from the jack assembly.  Sparks and propane are not a good combination.

If you are seeking a new power jack gear (or ANY other part, for that matter), you can always contact Airstream.com. The factory service center is truly amazing — they can service ANY Airstream built during the past 80 years!


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