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etrailer Electric Jack with Footplate Installation on a Travel Trailer

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How to Install the etrailer Electric Jack with Footplate Installation on a Travel Trailer


Today on our 2011 Forest River Flagstaff travel trailer, we're going to show you how to replace your tongue jack with the etrailer electric tongue jack. And this is what our jack looks like when it's installed. You can see it's gonna bolt to the same location that the previous jack was in. It's got the standard A-frame attachment. You get new hardware as far as the star washers and washers, that way you can ensure you get good ground contact when you secure your jack. It comes with the wiring that's necessary, and it is fuse protected here on the jack but it's not a bad idea to have fuse protection back at the battery, because if we get a shortage between the battery and at this point somewhere, it is possible that you could damage the wiring because the protection's way over here.

It has 25 and an eighth inch of lift available to it. And we've got it up pretty high right now on our trailer. We can raise and lower it with the powered mechanism here. And this jack has a 3,500 pound rating. So that's gonna be more than enough for our Flagstaff here to be able to lift it up and down with plenty of power, do it fairly rapidly and safely.

It can give you a kind of a quick speed operation here. What I'll do is I'll place a jack near the tongue here, and this way you can kinda see the distance. And we're gonna go down just so we touch it and back up. Just so you could see we've got my two fingers here. So we're looking at probably a distance of about two inches, maybe an inch and a half to two inches there.

So we touch the jack there. And we've quickly put in close to three inches worth of gap there. So you can see it moves fairly fast. There are definitely some faster jacks out there on the market, but I would say that the speed is definitely acceptable. We can easily go up and down to hook up to our trailer.

One of the things that is present on the jack to help speed up connecting and disconnecting so we don't have to rely on the motor doing the entirety of the travel, if you look down at the bottom on the foot, it does have a drop leg that comes included with it. This way we can quickly lower the drop leg down to take up for any kind of space when we're hooked up to our vehicle. We can simulate that here with our jack stand. And so you can see here, if you we're hooked up to a trailer on your coupler here and you wanted to disconnect to drop your trailer off, if you we're using just the motor you would have to go entirely this distance here, which would take a lot longer. We can easily just pull that pin out and then the leg drops down here and we can line it up with the closest slot that we have available. And we've quickly taken up a lot of that space without having to operate our jack. That's gonna save some battery life, and just a lot of time of not having to operate the component for such a long time. This is the maximum distance that you're gonna get for your drop leg. You've got total of four different adjustment holes for being able to drop the leg down. On the front of our jack here, we've got two buttons. You've got one toggle switch here that has two directions for up and down. Up will raise your jack just like the arrow shows, and down will lower your trailer jack just like the arrow shows. The one next to it is a light that we can turn on here in the front. And this is really useful at night when you're trying to unhook your trailer at the back or something. A lot of times when you're going to unhook, you've already placed your vehicle back into park so you don't have those reverse lights lighting up at the back. And even if you do have reverse lights, it may just not, just the position of those reverse lights may not light up the ball on the back of your trailer very well. So you can flip this light on and that way when you're backing up, it lights up the coupler here, making it a little bit easier to see hooking it up in the darkness. Now under some circumstances, you might be in a place where the battery goes completely dead on your trailer. Maybe your truck is dead as well. And maybe an accident occurred, or something happened damaged your wiring. Whatever regardless happened, or maybe the jack motor may have failed as well. There's a lot of different scenarios that could cause the jack here electrically not to work. You do get a manual lever included with it. The cap here on top, you simply just twist that and this pulls off. And then our arm here fits right in there, and we can manually lower or raise our jack. So now that we've covered some of the features of our jack, why don't you follow along with us and we'll show you how to get your old one off and your new one installed. First thing we're gonna wanna do is get our trailer supported so that way we can remove the jack. Now, of course, you probably wanna make sure you did all your diagnostics first. Check to see if you've got good ground, good power and everything to your jack. But it follows your diagnosis results and replacement. We're gonna take some jack stands and put them under the frame. Another option you do have at home if you don't have jack stands or a floor jack to be able to lift it up and put on your stands, you can actually just put this on the back of your vehicle. Now the issue there is if you had an inoperable jack, you might not be able to do so. So if your jack doesn't work at all and you can't get on a vehicle to support it, jack stands and a floor jack is the way to go. We've got these jack stands here that have a jack actually built into them. So we can just pump that up right with those. But more than likely at home, you're gonna have a separate either floor or bottle jack and a separate jack stand. Make sure that you do use jack stands though 'cause we don't wanna just trust the hydraulics of a jack holding it up. We wanna make sure we got something solid under it. Once we've got it supported, we can start to remove it. We're gonna take the pin out here on the bottom since this has a foot plate on it. Now you may or may not be able to get the foot plate all the way out right now. If the jack isn't new, that's no big deal. We're gonna take the pin out though so that way when we lift the jack up, the foot plate's gonna stay here on the bottom. You can see here the pin has received some damage. So we're gonna be fixing all kinds of stuff when we replace this jack. So now we're gonna next disconnect our wiring. And your wiring is typically zip tied to your jack, where it runs down from the motor. And we can see that here where it's coming down from the motor, it's zip tied. This is usually how you get it right from the factory. It comes like that. And then the wiring's gonna run back towards your battery. If we follow ours down the frame here, it comes around and it comes over right here, to a wire nut here. So we can go ahead and just connect to this. We've just gonna twist those there, and we're gonna separate off our wire. This end here slip directly to our positive, so it's currently live and exposed. So we're gonna put our wire nut back on there. If you're gonna leave your connection attached like this with just the bare wire, make sure you put some electrical tape or something over it so that way it can't short out, or you can disconnect it here from the other end. We're planning on hooking right back to this though 'cause this is a circuit breaker. It's nice circuit protection to ensure that if we have any shorts on this wire, it can open up and it's not gonna cause any kinda wiring damage, or get hot, or anything like that. Also wanted to just mention that we did take the propane tanks out of the way. That's not necessary in a lot of cases. You could probably do this without having to take those out of the way, but for camera purposes, it makes things a lot easier for you guys to see at home. All right, so we've got our wiring disconnected. It's just a single positive wire, and actually it gets its ground through the base when we add our attachment bolts here. That's where it gets its ground from. So at this point, we're pretty much fully disconnected. We just gotta take our hardware out here, and we can pull our jack up. We're gonna use a half inch socket to remove these bolts. You might wanna double check that at home 'cause your sizes can vary. So when we put our gun on there, we we're unable to get the gun to zip it loose. We're gonna put a little bit of penetrant on there to help ease the removal of the bolt. I'll show you a little wrench trick here. If you don't have a breaker bar or anything like that at home, you can use a wrench. So it's a half inch wrench, the same size of the socket. I'm taking another wrench, it' a little bit bigger than the wrench that we've got on the socket, and it actually takes the open end here. You can hook it right in to the. The closed end hooks into the open end just like that. And then we can use this to get a lot more leverage to get these broke loose. And we're just gonna turn these by a turn or two, and then our gun should probably be able to take it from there. So we've got all the hardware removed, the jack simply lifts straight up now, and then we can set this aside. You may want to save your foot plate depending on the jack you're replacing it with. Some come with them and some don't, and it may or may not be compatible with our new one. Now the new one that we have comes with a foot plate. So we're not gonna reuse this, but it is still just kind of a thing to think about 'cause these can be kind of expensive sometimes and if you can reuse it there's nothing wrong with it. It's a good little thing to have around. So here we've got our new jack that we're gonna be installing in there. We can see that it's got the wire running down it. Very similarly to the jack we just removed. You do get some hardware with it here, but you'll see that you're not getting bolts. You're just getting your washers and star washers. So we're gonna reuse the bolts, but replace the washers with the ones that it comes included with. And we need to get our foot plate off of here that it comes with. So we can slide this down through the unit. We're gonna pull the pin. We're gonna set our foot plate down here. So that way when we're sliding it down through the hole, we can slide our jack right into it. And now we're gonna align our jack up with the light facing forward. Slide it on through the holes, and then we can insert our foot into our jack here. It does have a notch so you will have to line that up. And this might seem like, hey, this jack's looking like it's way too short. Well, a big part of that is because this jack is fully retracted right now. The previous one that we'd removed had already been extended down some before it failed. So that's why it seemed like it was so much closer to the ground. So we can go ahead and secure this now with the hardware. We're gonna reuse the bolts. But we're gonna use the new star and flat washers. So we'll slide a flat washer on first, then the star washer, and thread it right back into place. We're gonna get each one of these started, and then we can run 'em down. Now that we've got our new jack run down, we're gonna go back and we're gonna torque all the hardware to the specifications outlined in the instructions. And it is important that you get all these tight. These star washers are kinda doing double duty, providing ground with the bolts. The bolts are threaded right into the metal, and then the star washer digs through the paint on the jack to give us that ground. So if you don't have these tightened down all the way, there's a good chance that your jack's not gonna work properly. It might work intermittently, might even blow some fuses 'cause they're drawing some extra current from poor grounding. Just wanna make sure we've got those on there so that way it operates the way we intend it to. Now next thing we need to do is get our wire routed over to our battery and connected. So I'm just gonna route it back down the same channels that the previous jack was until we get back over there towards our battery. All right, and now with our positive connection made, that pretty much completes our install. At this point, we could re-install our propane tanks and our battery cover there, and also get our jack stands removed. So we're gonna go and lower this down until we can get our jack stands off of here. And there we go, we're high enough to where we can slide our jacks right out of there. And that completes our installation of the etrailer tongue jack on our 2011 Forest River Flagstaff travel trailer..


Info for this part was:

Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Dustin K
Video Edited:
Dustin K
Employee Cole B
Installed by:
Cole B
Employee Randy B
Installed by:
Randy B
Employee Zach D
Video by:
Zach D
Employee David F
Test Fit:
David F

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