Your Camper's Tongue Jack
Courtesy of Ron T.
My 1969 13' Gaucho came with just the outer tube
of the jack (and a mossy cement block), so replacing the jack was
my first project once I got the Scotty inside the garage.
Scotty campers use what is called "Round Tube
A-Frame Jack". These jacks are available as either side-wind
or top-wind, with capacities of 1,000, 2,000, 3,000 or 5,000 pounds.
The original jack was most likely welded in place, but you can either
bolt or weld the replacement jack into place. I chose bolt and that
is what is documented below. This procedure would lend itself to
welding as well, simply replace the bolt steps with "weld the new
jack in place".
- Measure the
outside diameter of the outer tube of your existing jack. This
will either be 2.25" or 1.88". If it is the smaller
size, you need the 1,000 pound capacity jack (all three of the
heavier sizes use the 2.25" tube size).
- The smaller size is not found just anywhere. I located mine at
Northern Tool and Equipment, northerntool.com or
1-800-556-7885. They carry the full line of Fulton jacks (Bulldog
brand, "tough and trusted"). If you need one of the other sizes,
you can determine which one by comparing your jack's retracted/extended
measurements with the descriptions on their Web site.
- To do the job as I did, you will need a 4 1/2" angle gringer
with both a cutting wheel (4 1/2" x .040 x 7/8) and a grinding
wheel (4 1/2" x 1/4 x 7/8). You should also use hearing protection
and safetly glasses.
- Using the cutting wheel, cut the upper part of the tube off as
close as you can to the triangular mounting plate it is welded
to. This takes about a minute and then you change the grinder to
the grinding wheel.
- Now grind the tube and its welds down even with the triangular
plate (will take a while), until you can see the outline where
the tube's outer side meets the plate all the way around. I also
ground the surface of the plate to remove the old paint and some
welds that protruded above the plate's edges.
- After applying WD40 at the seam between the tube and plate, hammer
around the tube from below. The tube should break loose and move
upward - drive it up about an eighth of an inch. If it doesn't
break loose, you need to grind some more, or hammer harder as there
must still be some weld holding it.
- Now use the hammer and the upper piece of tube you cut off earlier
to drive the rest of the tube down out of the hole in the plate.
After its out, you need to file around the lip of the hole in the
plate with a half-round file, until you can easily fit the new
jack's tube into it.
- Put the new jack in place, with the plates pointed corners to
the rear, and use a metal punch and hammer to mark exactly where
you want the bolt holes to be, then remove the jack.
- Using a 3/16" bit, drill pilot holes through the plate. Then
switch to a 3/8" bit and drill through the plate, making sure you
are drilling straight on down through the bottom plate. After the
holes are drilled, prime the old plate with a rust-resistant primer.
- Read the instructions and use the correct items - I needed three
3/8 x 3 1/2" grade five cap screw bolts, six washers, and I chose
to use lock nuts.