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 > Best electric tongue jack?

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SoundGuy

S Ontario

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Joined: 02/11/2015

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Posted: 05/30/18 08:19am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ryanw821 wrote:

I installed the Jack Quick 3000 ($99) on my rig 3 years ago now, It's fantastic, I'd certainly buy another one too. For the price of them, they really are fantastic jacks.


An UltraFab knockoff but at half the price probably a good deal as long as you don't try to make a warranty claim later as I did with my UltraFab which include an unlimited 2 yr warranty. As it turned out I did make a claim and was sent another brand new UltraFab 3502, fully paid for under warranty. [emoticon]

Huntindog

Phoenix AZ

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Posted: 05/31/18 07:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is a common question, and there are many threads on this. The common theme seems to be that the Barker owners are very attached to their jacks, almost all of them rave about the fantastic customer service. My take on that is that it can't be all that reliable if customer service is needed so much. That said, there are two basic designs. The front side mounted motor ie: Barker, Ultrafab etc. And the top mounted motor ie: Atwood. Most of the front side mounted motors offer a built in level on the top, which at least on some of them doubles as the plug for the backup hand crank. The front side mounts have many drawbacks. On many TTs using the backup hand crank will require either removing the propane tanks, or turning the crank 1/2 turn, removing it, turning it 180 degrees, reinserting it and repeat this process. Very inconvenient. My concern here is not the need to use the handcrank due to a jack failure so much as a dead battery Due to the motor being mounted on the front side it almost always will result in interference with the tailgate. A common solution is to rotate the jack so that the motor is on the side. But then the hitch light points in the wrong direction. The front side mounts also have several penetrations (holes) in the housing for the switches and backup crank that is a common source of water intrusion into the motor. This is so common that many have posted here that Barker has supplied them with a free cover for the jack. (this is likely the reason for the glowing customer service reports) This style of jack really needs to be covered, to eliminate the risk of water intrusion. Owners report that they can operate the jack without removing the cover by feeling the switch through it. But then the light is useless. Owners report that they don't use the light anyway. Probably because most of them have rotated the jack for tailgate clearance, so it points in the wrong direction. I would have a concern that the light switch would get turned on accidently and since it was under the cover go unnoticed and drain the battery. Then the hand crank would need to be used. See previous concern. If your TT has a front slide, then you may have to use a front side mounted motor as they are a little shorter and less likely to interfere with the slide. The top mounted motor, (Atwood) has no pentrations in the housing for water intrusion. So it doesn't need covering. The backup crank inserts in the front, so there is no propane tank interference. And the motor will not interfere with the tailgate. So the jack can point the light at the hitch where it is needed. The only complaints some have is they don't like the sound of the motor as much as some of the others. That's got to be a personal thing, as mine sounds like music everytime I press the button and it does it's work without me breaking a sweat. And I cannot attest to Atwoods customer service as in 18 years of use, I haven't needed any. I also haven't read about it here either. At any rate, look the features of both styles over closely and decide which one makes sense for you. Spend the money. Then enjoy it. I hope this helps.

* This post was edited 05/31/18 07:17pm by Huntindog *


Huntindog
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Atlee

Mechanicsville, VA

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Posted: 06/01/18 02:08am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I can answer a few questions about the Barker that you raised.

I don't know about customer service, since I have never needed it either. I how have my 3rd Barker. My first Barker was so good, I took it off the trailer I was selling and put it on the new to me trailer I got. It worked fine until I broke it. Got in a hurry and pulled off with the leg still down. Bent it beyond repair.

I bought a new Barker to replace the one I broke.
I let it go when I sold that trailer since the brand new trailer I was buying came with one. Another fail. The one that came with the new trailer was a Chinese off brand that seemed like it was on it's last legs every time I used it.

So I bought a new Barker again. It's designed and built here in the USA. Main reason I bought my first Barker. I any case, I finally fixed the problem of my tailgate not completely opening by turning the head. I've had no problem ever of accidentally switching on the light, either when it was facing forward or turned to the side. It's equally susceptible to being accidentally turned on whether it pointed forward or turned to the side.

Huntindog wrote:

This is a common question, and there are many threads on this. The common theme seems to be that the Barker owners are very attached to their jacks, almost all of them rave about the fantastic customer service. My take on that is that it can't be all that reliable if customer service is needed so much. That said, there are two basic designs. The front side mounted motor ie: Barker, Ultrafab etc. And the top mounted motor ie: Atwood. Most of the front side mounted motors offer a built in level on the top, which at least on some of them doubles as the plug for the backup hand crank. The front side mounts have many drawbacks. On many TTs using the backup hand crank will require either removing the propane tanks, or turning the crank 1/2 turn, removing it, turning it 180 degrees, reinserting it and repeat this process. Very inconvenient. My concern here is not the need to use the handcrank due to a jack failure so much as a dead battery Due to the motor being mounted on the front side it almost always will result in interference with the tailgate. A common solution is to rotate the jack so that the motor is on the side. But then the hitch light points in the wrong direction. The front side mounts also have several penetrations (holes) in the housing for the switches and backup crank that is a common source of water intrusion into the motor. This is so common that many have posted here that Barker has supplied them with a free cover for the jack. (this is likely the reason for the glowing customer service reports) This style of jack really needs to be covered, to eliminate the risk of water intrusion. Owners report that they can operate the jack without removing the cover by feeling the switch through it. But then the light is useless. Owners report that they don't use the light anyway. Probably because most of them have rotated the jack for tailgate clearance, so it points in the wrong direction. I would have a concern that the light switch would get turned on accidently and since it was under the cover go unnoticed and drain the battery. Then the hand crank would need to be used. See previous concern. If your TT has a front slide, then you may have to use a front side mounted motor as they are a little shorter and less likely to interfere with the slide. The top mounted motor, (Atwood) has no pentrations in the housing for water intrusion. So it doesn't need covering. The backup crank inserts in the front, so there is no propane tank interference. And the motor will not interfere with the tailgate. So the jack can point the light at the hitch where it is needed. The only complaints some have is they don't like the sound of the motor as much as some of the others. That's got to be a personal thing, as mine sounds like music everytime I press the button and it does it's work without me breaking a sweat. And I cannot attest to Atwoods customer service as in 18 years of use, I haven't needed any. I also haven't read about it here either. At any rate, look the features of both styles over closely and decide which one makes sense for you. Spend the money. Then enjoy it. I hope this helps.



Erroll, Mary
2021 Coachmen Freedom Express 20SE
2014 F150 Supercab 4x4 w/ 8' box, Ecoboost & HD Pkg
Equal-i-zer Hitch

LarryJM

NoVa

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Joined: 11/09/2007

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Posted: 06/01/18 03:30am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Atlee wrote:


I don't know about customer service, since I have never needed it either. I how have my 3rd Barker. My first Barker was so good, I took it off the trailer I was selling and put it on the new to me trailer I got.


Am still on my 1st Barker and like you took it off my previous trailer back in 2007 when I purchased my current trailer. The jack is now close to 30 years old and has had one failure of the micro switches due to simple corrosion and wearing out about 8 years ago. When the up switch went I jammed the jack and damaged the gears which I was able to get from Barker for like $15 to $20 or so. The micro switches are standard and cheap and I now keep a spare set in a baggie inside the motor cover on the jack for emergencies. The switches are not sealed so eventually they will fail just from moisture and corrosion. I also have mine covered and don't have an issue with accidently turning the light on which I never use anyway since I also use my jack without removing the cover. I made my cover and have two web hooks inside the cover to hand my safety chains on when in storage to keep them off the ground and the hooks out of the weather.

In todays "throw away society" it's refreshing to have something that is not only made in the USA, but has repair parts readily available even for really old model equipment.

I would highly recommend the Barker for an electric tongue jack based on my personal experiences and from other owners I have read about over the years.

Larry


2001 standard box 7.3L E-350 PSD Van with 4.10 rear and 2007 Holiday Rambler Aluma-Lite 8306S Been RV'ing since 1974.
RAINKAP INSTALL////ETERNABOND INSTALL


Huntindog

Phoenix AZ

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Joined: 04/08/2002

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Posted: 06/01/18 07:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have been on this forum a long time. As I said, many Barker owners rave about their jacks... And they most always comment about the great customer service. At one time Barker was giving away covers for free.... It was a big topic on this forum, and bought them a lot of favorable good will here.
But the issues I wrote about are real. In fact there are two reports of failures on this very thread. One of them had good things to say about the customer service, the other one just fixed it himself.
You can take the reliability record any way you want to.

But the actual design/construction differences and shortcomings of the front motor style jacks are not opinion at all. Any one can plainly see what they are, just by looking at a picture of the two different styles.

I have never seen a report of an Atwood failure here.... That doesn't mean there haven't been any. But the Atwood design IS inherently less likely to have a problem.

I do think that the Barkers are one of the better front motor design jacks.... Still.... The very BEST customer service is never needing it in the first place.


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