3 Simple Tips to Tackle Electric Jack Trouble on Your RV

You can always manually override your tongue jack if it is powering up and down.

If you own an RV with an electric tongue jack, it is so convenient and easy as long as it works.  But, at some point, you may face the dreaded silence of nothingness when you hit that switch!  It has happened to us.  But, not to worry, many times there is a simple fix that can save you a lot of stress, worry and money.  

The electric tongue jack on our RV is so easy to raise and lower.

3 Simple Tips to Tackle Electric Jack Trouble on Your RV

While leaving Marfa, Texas, in January of 2021, we were getting ready to hitch up after being snowed in.  All we heard when we toggled the extend switch was a dead end click and no movement from our electric tongue jack.  For a moment, we panicked, but we all know that there is a YouTube video out there for practically everything.  A quick search on my phone showed us just what to do!  

A 3/4 inch socket wrench will work to raise and lower your RV.

Manual Crank

You can always bypass the electric system on your jack and manually crank to raise and lower your RV.  Your RV should have come with this tool as a back up.  If you have lost that tool, a 3/4 inch socket is most likely the size that you will need.  

We always have this tool with us.  It is also the right size tool that we use to ensure our stabilizer jacks are nice and tight before we tow.  I love double duty tools.  You can use a universal tool that will adapt to any size or many tool kits will have a set of socket wrenches.  I recommend having a good tool kit on hand for various times you will need it on the road.  If you don't have one, I suggest grabbing one and keeping it in your RV or tow vehicle at all times.  We have owned a Stanley tool kit since we were first married nearly 25 years ago.  

Pop the rubber cap on top of the tongue jack motor to expose the manual override nut.

Attach the socket wrench and turn to raise or lower your RV.  It will not damage the tongue jack motor to do this.

There will be a plate or cover on the top of your jack that you can open.  It reveals the spot for you to manually crank up your jack using the RV tool that came with your rig or a standard 3/4 socket wrench.  Doing this will not damage your jack and will get you to where you need to go.  It may take a little more elbow grease, but my husband and I both have done this and it works just fine.

A dead battery is most likely the cause of a failing electric tongue jack.  Therefore, you may need to replace the battery.

Battery Replacement

However, if your tongue jack is not working, the battery is normally to blame.  It could be something more complicated, but start there.  You can easily replace this battery yourself with a good quality 12 volt battery.  My husband replaced ours with one from Auto Zone.  You can also order from Amazon if you like.  A 12-volt battery that works with your RV will come in lots of price points.  We don't depend on our battery power for many things, so we are less inclined to spend a lot on this item.

If changing the battery does not solve the issue, next check the 30 amp spark plug attached to the battery.  It may be dead also.

Check Your Battery Fuse

Attached to your battery is a 30 amp fuse that may also go out at some point.  The second time our tongue jack stopped working, we went to replace the battery.  Even though we had a fresh battery, the jack still didn't work.  After a simple 30 amp fuse replacement, everything was working again!  

Your RV has a fuse attached to the battery as well as some fuses on the electrical system inside of your RV.  It is wise to have a few fuses on hand in case you need them on the road.  You can't always depend on having a local shop with these items on hand.  Also with supply chain issues still lingering, many times businesses can be out of items.  In an emergency, being out of stock can be a big problem.  Extra fuses take up little room and don't cost a lot.  Being prepared can go a long way!

A few basic tools go a long way in being prepared on the road.

It is likely that you will experience a problem with your tongue jack at some point on the road.  This isn't a deal breaker for us.  Knowing how to tackle the little things with a cool head will go far as you travel in your RV.  Until next time...

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1 comment

  1. We've encountered a dead battery a few time when fetching our camper out of storage. We found that simply plugging the camper into our tow vehicle provided enough power for the tongue jack motor to come back to life. Since then we've also installed a kill switch on our battery to avoid any drainage while in storage and we haven't had any problems since then.


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