A 4000lb tongue weight jack might sound like overkill for a 16ft Airstream, but for leveling without overextending on sloping surfaces, a jack with a longer tube—like the Atwood Premier Performance Power Jack with 19” of ram travel—might be your best option. The Atwood jack also comes with a unique feature: the automatic retracting “Robofoot”, which extends the length of the jack up to six inches further.
The Robofoot eliminates the need for wood blocks or a jack plate; this video demonstrates its unique function.
When it’s time to unhitch, select extend (EXT) and the foot swings down into place. Keep an eye on the action: there are two points at which you’ll want to make sure it’s functioning as advertised, as shown in the video.
If your trailer is on a slope the automatic Robofoot base might hang back a bit, causing it to meet the ground at an angle. The low tech solution? Simply nudge it into place with your foot just before it touches down.
Watch as the mechanism slides into place, and ensure that the cotter pin slides all the way to the bottom of the slot and doesn’t get hung up where the hole jogs at the halfway point (so the jack and Robofoot take the full weight of the hitch, not the pin). The Robofoot locks out for stable support. (Raise the trailer slightly while it rests on the jack; again, you want the weight on the foot, not on the pin.)
When you hitch up, the retract (RET) switch pulls up the tube and the Robofoot with it after the coupler is engaged and the ball is seated. You’ll see it magically swing into place; continue to hold RET until you hear it gently grind to a halt—that lets you know the foot is tucked safely under the hitch and it’s time to release the switch.
The Robofoot needs no lubrication, and no tools are required to install or remove it. It can be purchased separately and should fit any inner ram (the “down” tube) with a 2-inch diameter. A spacer tube is available if required under certain conditions.
The aesthetics of such a tall jack on a tiny trailer are a bit awkward, and the option to deeply tip the front of the trailer to level it on a sloping-back surface will be limited with the Robofoot attached. Those comfortable with jack parts won’t mind removing it whenever the extra extension isn’t helpful, and returning to a regular jack foot or plate. Just raise the Robofoot—not all the way, just enough to give yourself room to maneuver while it’s “floating”—and pull out the cotter pin and the washers on both sides. (Do not lose that pin and those washers.)
The 12-volt DC Premier Performance Power Jack also features an LED courtesy light (to illuminate the switch after dark) and the customary bubble level, all under five year warranty. Should the power fail—unlikely, if the trailer batteries are charged—the external access manual override system allows you to operate the jack with a power drill (secure adapter included), or wrench.
Atwood, a familiar name since the mid-60s, is a manufacturer of RV stoves, furnaces, hot water heaters and other appliances as well. Find out more about the Robofoot at atwoodmobile.com