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Value of Electric Jacks

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#1 OFFLINE   britdog

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 03:40 PM

Hello,

 

I'm close to purchasing my first TC. This would be a Northstar pop up. Also buying a truck, likely an F250. 

 

Not sure until I live with it for a while, but I like to think I'll take it off the truck when I don't plan on using it on consecutive weekends most of the time. I also would like to have a reasonable option to take it off the truck from time to time when I want to take the truck up a rougher road than I would want to take the camper to a remote trailhead, or something. 

 

I'm trying to determine if the electric jacks are worth the almost ~$1200 that Northstar charges for them, or will manual (cordless drill) jacks be just fine. At minimum, I think it's worthwhile to get the unit pre-wired for electric jacks, so I'd at least have the option to add them without too much trouble.

 

Appreciate your experienced-based opinions. 

 

Thank you!



#2 OFFLINE   Electrojake

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 08:30 PM

Hi britdog,
Electrojake (-Ej-) here again. Good to see you post! 
As RV forums go, this place is pretty quiet so I like seeing people post questions.
I recently purchased a new Northstar Arrow-U and I ordered it with electric jacks. They are HappiJack 4160’s
 
Jack_Breakdown.png
They come with this handy wireless remote control…
900_31073.1477693729.jpg
They also have a drill chuck and a hand crank so they can be used in manual mode if I ever blew a motor or had a 12vdc power issue.
 
In my humble opinion (IMHO), running around to all four jacks with a hand crank (or rechargeable drill) is nuts compared to simply pushing “all-lower” or “all-raise” button on a wireless remote controller.
I’d spend the $$$ on the power jacks. 
 
Second item…
Buying a new F250?
This is fodder for a whole ‘nother’ thread but…
Do yourself a favor and buy an F350.
The F250 is a very popular vehicle but it’s a ‘sport truck’ and for a truck camper you need a 'work' truck.
Trust me... even with a small camper you WILL run out of GVWR, so get the bigger truck. (ask Bedlam, He knows!)  :fing32:
 
Please… Save yourself a ton of future aggravation and get (as a minimum) an F350. 
I have a little Northstar Arrow-U on a RAM 3500 and I'm over GVWR. My truck/camper situation is workable but now that I have more experience I would have gone with a RAM 5500 (or F550) cab chassis as a foundation.
---> With every brutally expensive mistake I make I grow a little bit wiser.  :rolleyes:
 
Happy camping!
Regards,
-Ej- 

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#3 OFFLINE   Chief 2

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 03:37 AM

Go with the electric jacks. You won't regret it.



#4 OFFLINE   RichardB

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 03:56 AM

I have a NorthStar 850sc with electric jacks.  I end up taking the camper off more then I original thought I would,  both on long / short trips and the home driveway.  Pushing a button sure is nice vs manual, kind of nice just standing there watching it go up then down.



#5 OFFLINE   joerg68

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 05:17 AM

Having had both... I would say it depends.

 

We leave the camper on year round. Our last camper had the Happijac motors. One of them quit after two years (water intrusion followed by corrosion). It was easy to replace, but for the cost of one motor you can get a very good cordless electric drill. Our new Northstar Arrow has manual jacks.

 

But if you plan to load/unload every few weeks, I would go with the electric jacks. It *is* easier, after all.

 

As for the truck: get the one with enough payload capacity regardless of the number written on the side. The popup is not very heavy and there are many 250/2500 trucks out there that will handle it just fine (and a few choice 150s even). But be conservative with the payload calculations; the official dry weight stated by the manufacturer is just a low starting point. It really depends on the individual truck (gasser/diesel, trim line, 4x4). Go by the door sticker and do not try to make yourself happy with an optimistic weight calculation.

 

Having said that... you can't have too much truck, and if you have a choice to buy something with more payload, go for it.


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#6 OFFLINE   Electrojake

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 04:15 PM

Hello,

I'm close to purchasing my first TC. This would be a Northstar pop up. Also buying a truck, likely an F250. 

Appreciate your experienced-based opinions. 

Is that a long bed or short bed setup your buying?

Just wondering...

-Ej-


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#7 OFFLINE   stuwu4s

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 05:45 PM

if money is not an issue, get the power jacks with remote control.  JMHO

 

not sure if you are alone or will be with someone else, but two people, one on each side can lift a camper very quickly.

if you only take camper off/on, say once a year, then no big deal.

 

but all of the above being said, get the power jacks if possible.


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#8 OFFLINE   ARSMITH

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 02:27 AM

I have owned my camper since 2008 and everyday I wish it had electric jacks and an electric roof (pop-up).

 

I've used a cordless drill and it gets the legs up/down fast when the weight isn't on them. Once the weight hits it's slow go and you are still having to make a dozen trips around the camper adjusting each leg one at a time.to get it high enough to load or unload. With the electric jacks you hit a button and stand back and watch the show. I assume it that easy or at least I hope it is. It's got to be!   

 

Oh!  Unloading on non level ground with manual jacks. When you hand crank your jacks down to find out you don't enough jack or blocks to get the camper off of you truck. This will make you look like a crazy person walking around mumbling curse words under your breath. :(  

 

Buy the electric jacks!

 

 

Andy :)



#9 OFFLINE   sunliteowner

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 05:02 AM

New to this site,but I built heavy duty saw horses about 1 inch higher than my camper sits on truck. and when I have the rig on truck I unbolt my jacks and store them. Then I bolt them back on and just lift the rig a little over truck bed. I have seen others pull out the truck at camp, if that is what you are planning then I would say electric. I have a concrete drive to set the camper on, that helps a lot.



#10 OFFLINE   britdog

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 01:32 PM

Is that a long bed or short bed setup your buying?

Just wondering...

-Ej-

I'm going with the 6' 10" bed



#11 OFFLINE   britdog

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 02:01 PM

I'm taking the consensus on my jacks question to be go for the electric if you plan on taking the camper off the truck more than a couple times per year. My vision is that I will take the camper off the truck when I'm not using it weekend after weekend and I would like to have the reasonable option of taking it off and on in the field. 

 

On to the truck question. Here are the numbers I'm using in my calculations:

10,000 lbs = F250 GVWR

6,478         = F250 Crew Cab curb weight

 

3,522          = Delta of above, or Max Cargo Weight

 

1,405 lbs  = Northstar TC650 Dry Weight 

170          = Weight of options and accessories

250          = Full 30 gal water tank

20            = Full propane tank

640          =  2 people, 2 dogs, gear (I think this is slightly conservative), Tie Downs, less tailgate removed (50lb)

2,485       = Total cargo weight

 

3522 - 2485 = 1,037 lbs under 10,000 GVWR

 

I'm basing my targeting of an F250 on these numbers. I was feeling comfortable that I had a 1/2 ton safety margin for additional people, gear, inaccurate estimates.

What am I missing? Are there other considerations that you are thinking of beyond these numbers?

 

Thanks so much for sharing your insights and experience. I'm days away from making the final camper selection and probably a little more on the truck. 



#12 OFFLINE   Bedlam

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 03:03 PM

My 2005 F250 XL with Supercab, short bed, diesel and 4wd was 7250 lbs. Make sure you add the weight of configuration changes, options and trim levels.


2012 Interstate Car Carrier ICC10220TA3, 20'x8.5', 8" I-beam frame, dual 5200 lb 4" drop torsion axles, Diamond plate, Towmax 225/75R15 LRE tires on galvanized rims, Harbor Freight 10k lb equalizing hitch, Camping World vent cover, LED lighting, 3' RV door, front and rear door interior light switches, interior plywood walls and floor, 70' of Harbor Freight E-track rail with recessed corner 5k lb D-rings, Dual 42 gal fresh water tanks with Harbor Freight transfer pump, portable dual Harbor Freight 45w solar arrays, 100 lbs LPG in four bottles, PowerArmor Max Solar 5-battery box, Deka 24HR3000 sealed batteries

 

2015 Ram 5500 HD 4wd Tradesman 60" CA, Crew cab with 173.4" wheelbase, 19,000 lb GVWR with 26,000 lb GCWR, Cummins I6 6.7 liter diesel with chassis cab tune 325 hp @ 2800 rpm and 750 ft-lb @ 1700 rpm, Aisin AS69RC 6-speed automatic, New Process NV271 manual transfer case, 14.5k lb Dana S14-111L limited slip and 7250 lb Magna Steyr 275mm with 4.44 ratios, Palfinger Badger low sill flat bed, Dual DeeZee 36x18x18 under bed boxes, Quad DeeZee 48x18x18 above bed boxes, Curt Double Lock 30K lb gooseneck, Dual 3/4" horse stall mats, SuperHitch Magnum 30K dual receiver with 42" SuperTruss, Upper StableLoads, Short range FastGun turnbuckles, 10 Deka 24HR3000 sealed batteries

 

2018 Host Mammoth 11.5, Polarized dual pane windows, Powered and lit awning, Swing out Rieco-Titan jacks, Fantastic Fan in cab over, Aero-Flo vent covers, 3x160w Zamp Solar with 30A controller, External 24" TV with DVD, Cargo slide tray, dual 6-volt batteries, 2.5KW LPG Onan, External LPG connection, 2-way water heater, Therford 3-burner cook top, Convection/Microwave, 8 cu ft 2-way Norcold Fridge, Loveseat with foot rest, U-shaped dinette, 1000W PSW Zamp inverter, King Jack amplified OTA antenna, 40" Samsung UN40J5200 smart TV in living room, Electric heater fireplace, Accordion bedroom door, Full wall passenger-side cab over wardrobe, 32" Samsung UN32J5205 smart TV in Bedroom

 
 

#13 OFFLINE   britdog

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 07:24 AM

My 2005 F250 XL with Supercab, Long bed, diesel and 4wd was 7250 lbs. Make sure you add the weight of configuration changes, options and trim levels.

Thanks for sharing that.

I'm targeting the gas 6.2L with standard bed and in 2017, they went to the aluminum body, so I think my estimated curb weight from a unit outfitted like what I am looking for seems like a good estimate (772 lbs less than your 2005). No?



#14 OFFLINE   Bedlam

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 09:09 AM

Here is the link to the base weights of the trucks: https://www.fleet.fo...ups_-_Specs.pdf

This does not add the weight of options, trim levels or customer added equipment to the numbers. There used to be a table showing Ford option weights and I cannot find 2017, but here is last year's: https://www.fleet.fo...yload_SB_v5.pdf


2012 Interstate Car Carrier ICC10220TA3, 20'x8.5', 8" I-beam frame, dual 5200 lb 4" drop torsion axles, Diamond plate, Towmax 225/75R15 LRE tires on galvanized rims, Harbor Freight 10k lb equalizing hitch, Camping World vent cover, LED lighting, 3' RV door, front and rear door interior light switches, interior plywood walls and floor, 70' of Harbor Freight E-track rail with recessed corner 5k lb D-rings, Dual 42 gal fresh water tanks with Harbor Freight transfer pump, portable dual Harbor Freight 45w solar arrays, 100 lbs LPG in four bottles, PowerArmor Max Solar 5-battery box, Deka 24HR3000 sealed batteries

 

2015 Ram 5500 HD 4wd Tradesman 60" CA, Crew cab with 173.4" wheelbase, 19,000 lb GVWR with 26,000 lb GCWR, Cummins I6 6.7 liter diesel with chassis cab tune 325 hp @ 2800 rpm and 750 ft-lb @ 1700 rpm, Aisin AS69RC 6-speed automatic, New Process NV271 manual transfer case, 14.5k lb Dana S14-111L limited slip and 7250 lb Magna Steyr 275mm with 4.44 ratios, Palfinger Badger low sill flat bed, Dual DeeZee 36x18x18 under bed boxes, Quad DeeZee 48x18x18 above bed boxes, Curt Double Lock 30K lb gooseneck, Dual 3/4" horse stall mats, SuperHitch Magnum 30K dual receiver with 42" SuperTruss, Upper StableLoads, Short range FastGun turnbuckles, 10 Deka 24HR3000 sealed batteries

 

2018 Host Mammoth 11.5, Polarized dual pane windows, Powered and lit awning, Swing out Rieco-Titan jacks, Fantastic Fan in cab over, Aero-Flo vent covers, 3x160w Zamp Solar with 30A controller, External 24" TV with DVD, Cargo slide tray, dual 6-volt batteries, 2.5KW LPG Onan, External LPG connection, 2-way water heater, Therford 3-burner cook top, Convection/Microwave, 8 cu ft 2-way Norcold Fridge, Loveseat with foot rest, U-shaped dinette, 1000W PSW Zamp inverter, King Jack amplified OTA antenna, 40" Samsung UN40J5200 smart TV in living room, Electric heater fireplace, Accordion bedroom door, Full wall passenger-side cab over wardrobe, 32" Samsung UN32J5205 smart TV in Bedroom

 
 

#15 OFFLINE   britdog

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 01:16 PM

Here is the link to the base weights of the trucks: https://www.fleet.fo...ups_-_Specs.pdf

This does not add the weight of options, trim levels or customer added equipment to the numbers. There used to be a table showing Ford option weights and I cannot find 2017, but here is last year's: https://www.fleet.fo...yload_SB_v5.pdf

Thank you for the links. They validate the vehicle weights I've been working with for the F250 XLT Crew Cab 4x4. 

 

So, with my estimate of being ~1000lbs below the GVWR, fully loaded, I feel comfortable that this vehicle is right for my application. The F350 would be harder to find, a bit more expensive and a harsher ride when not loaded. 

 

Would you guys agree, or am I missing something?



#16 OFFLINE   Bedlam

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 02:31 PM

If you get the F250 with the camper package and upgrade from the base wheels, you have F350 in F250 clothing and documentation. I really don't think you can discern the difference in ride between the two and tire pressure will make more of difference than that badge. Knowing you are going for payload, I don't see why you would not choose the SRW F350 because finding the correctly outfitted F250 may also be a challenge.

2012 Interstate Car Carrier ICC10220TA3, 20'x8.5', 8" I-beam frame, dual 5200 lb 4" drop torsion axles, Diamond plate, Towmax 225/75R15 LRE tires on galvanized rims, Harbor Freight 10k lb equalizing hitch, Camping World vent cover, LED lighting, 3' RV door, front and rear door interior light switches, interior plywood walls and floor, 70' of Harbor Freight E-track rail with recessed corner 5k lb D-rings, Dual 42 gal fresh water tanks with Harbor Freight transfer pump, portable dual Harbor Freight 45w solar arrays, 100 lbs LPG in four bottles, PowerArmor Max Solar 5-battery box, Deka 24HR3000 sealed batteries

 

2015 Ram 5500 HD 4wd Tradesman 60" CA, Crew cab with 173.4" wheelbase, 19,000 lb GVWR with 26,000 lb GCWR, Cummins I6 6.7 liter diesel with chassis cab tune 325 hp @ 2800 rpm and 750 ft-lb @ 1700 rpm, Aisin AS69RC 6-speed automatic, New Process NV271 manual transfer case, 14.5k lb Dana S14-111L limited slip and 7250 lb Magna Steyr 275mm with 4.44 ratios, Palfinger Badger low sill flat bed, Dual DeeZee 36x18x18 under bed boxes, Quad DeeZee 48x18x18 above bed boxes, Curt Double Lock 30K lb gooseneck, Dual 3/4" horse stall mats, SuperHitch Magnum 30K dual receiver with 42" SuperTruss, Upper StableLoads, Short range FastGun turnbuckles, 10 Deka 24HR3000 sealed batteries

 

2018 Host Mammoth 11.5, Polarized dual pane windows, Powered and lit awning, Swing out Rieco-Titan jacks, Fantastic Fan in cab over, Aero-Flo vent covers, 3x160w Zamp Solar with 30A controller, External 24" TV with DVD, Cargo slide tray, dual 6-volt batteries, 2.5KW LPG Onan, External LPG connection, 2-way water heater, Therford 3-burner cook top, Convection/Microwave, 8 cu ft 2-way Norcold Fridge, Loveseat with foot rest, U-shaped dinette, 1000W PSW Zamp inverter, King Jack amplified OTA antenna, 40" Samsung UN40J5200 smart TV in living room, Electric heater fireplace, Accordion bedroom door, Full wall passenger-side cab over wardrobe, 32" Samsung UN32J5205 smart TV in Bedroom

 
 

#17 OFFLINE   Electrojake

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 06:08 PM



I'm going with the 6' 10" bed

Sorry for this obnoxiously long post but since you do not have the truck or the camper yet let me run this by you. . .
 
Short bed truck dimensions differ significantly between brands.
 
You mentioned you were in the market for a Ford but your choice of camper was a Northstar.
A Ford short bed is a lot longer than a RAM short-bed. Dont rely on published specs for bed length dimensions. Do what I did… Take a tape measure and a note pad to the dealer and measure the length of the truck’s bed right out to the face of the tail lights and then measure the base dimensions of the camper unit you are planning to buy. On some camper-to-truck combinations that extra long bed of the Ford can get in the way of the camper.
 
I was originally looking to purchase a NorthernLite 8-11Q which would have fit perfectly on an F350 short-bed. Then during my camper shopping process I eventually switched to wanting a NorthStar camper. 
Even though I had my heart set on getting a new F350, after some careful measurements I came to the realization that short-bed camper dimensions vary significantly among manufacturers. IMHO the Northstar product fit a lot better on the shorter RAM than on the Ford. Thus I bought a RAM 3500 rather than the Ford F350 that I honestly desired. 
 
There is a solution!
A Chevy short bed is sized in between the longer Ford and the stubby RAM. I myself didn't buy a Chevy because If I came home with a General Motors product my wife would probably divorce me, (meh… it’s political), and that’s fodder for a whole different thread.  :rolleyes:
 
The Closer…
Don’t let “me” tell you what camper to put on which truck. That is totally up to you. Properly matching a camper to a truck is part of the fun of shopping!
I just want you to be aware that there are significant differences in truck bed dimensions & camper builds.
 
A tape measure is your friend.  :fing32:
Happy shopping,
 -Ej-

2016 RAM 3500 Longhorn - Cummins/AISIN, 4x4, SRW, ShortBd.
2017 Northstar Arrow-U


#18 OFFLINE   britdog

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 03:03 PM

Thanks for bringing this up, Ej. I measured both the camper and the F250 bed today. The camper in-bed length is exactly 7'. The F250 bed is 84" or 7' form the front of the bed to the back of the bed, as you can see in the pic. To me that seems absolutely perfect, as I'd have great access to the rear bumper and step. 

Here's the pic: https://www.amazon.c...bKIvjggwJr4fyi



#19 OFFLINE   sunliteowner

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 05:22 AM

A quick question on truck and camper weight, so my camper weight is 1750, and my GAWR is 1770 and my GAWF is 1770 and my GVWR weight is 3085. Am I well under the weight load of my truck? 2006 ram 1500 club cab. We travel with a light load. No riders in camper. Also pulling a 14 foot aluminum boat. I try to keep tong weight off trailer hitch. Thanks.



#20 OFFLINE   Bedlam

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 12:09 PM

I believe your truck (2006-2013 Ram 1500) came with a 10.5" Chrysler axle that has a OEM rating of 8500-9000 lbs. You will be over the Dodge specifications and may need to upgrade the tires, rims and suspension. I would guess that the rear of your truck is over 2000 lbs empty before loading the camper? I'm not sure where you got those number you posted, but none of them look correct to me.
 
 
 

2012 Interstate Car Carrier ICC10220TA3, 20'x8.5', 8" I-beam frame, dual 5200 lb 4" drop torsion axles, Diamond plate, Towmax 225/75R15 LRE tires on galvanized rims, Harbor Freight 10k lb equalizing hitch, Camping World vent cover, LED lighting, 3' RV door, front and rear door interior light switches, interior plywood walls and floor, 70' of Harbor Freight E-track rail with recessed corner 5k lb D-rings, Dual 42 gal fresh water tanks with Harbor Freight transfer pump, portable dual Harbor Freight 45w solar arrays, 100 lbs LPG in four bottles, PowerArmor Max Solar 5-battery box, Deka 24HR3000 sealed batteries

 

2015 Ram 5500 HD 4wd Tradesman 60" CA, Crew cab with 173.4" wheelbase, 19,000 lb GVWR with 26,000 lb GCWR, Cummins I6 6.7 liter diesel with chassis cab tune 325 hp @ 2800 rpm and 750 ft-lb @ 1700 rpm, Aisin AS69RC 6-speed automatic, New Process NV271 manual transfer case, 14.5k lb Dana S14-111L limited slip and 7250 lb Magna Steyr 275mm with 4.44 ratios, Palfinger Badger low sill flat bed, Dual DeeZee 36x18x18 under bed boxes, Quad DeeZee 48x18x18 above bed boxes, Curt Double Lock 30K lb gooseneck, Dual 3/4" horse stall mats, SuperHitch Magnum 30K dual receiver with 42" SuperTruss, Upper StableLoads, Short range FastGun turnbuckles, 10 Deka 24HR3000 sealed batteries

 

2018 Host Mammoth 11.5, Polarized dual pane windows, Powered and lit awning, Swing out Rieco-Titan jacks, Fantastic Fan in cab over, Aero-Flo vent covers, 3x160w Zamp Solar with 30A controller, External 24" TV with DVD, Cargo slide tray, dual 6-volt batteries, 2.5KW LPG Onan, External LPG connection, 2-way water heater, Therford 3-burner cook top, Convection/Microwave, 8 cu ft 2-way Norcold Fridge, Loveseat with foot rest, U-shaped dinette, 1000W PSW Zamp inverter, King Jack amplified OTA antenna, 40" Samsung UN40J5200 smart TV in living room, Electric heater fireplace, Accordion bedroom door, Full wall passenger-side cab over wardrobe, 32" Samsung UN32J5205 smart TV in Bedroom

 
 





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