There are two situations that require more cranking than just getting the trailer on and off the ball. First is properly setting up a weight distribution hitch, which requires lifting both the trailer A-frame and the truck enough to get the spring bars in place.
The second situation is a function of campsite selection. My wife has a particular talent for picking spaces that are “better for the dog,” “private and cozy” or provide a “nice view,” which often means more cranking to get the trailer level.
What I need is some help, which is why we’ve been testing the 4500 Brute Power Jack ($309.95) from Husky Towing products. The Brute’s 2 1/4-inch main tube is designed to fit most A-frames and it’s loaded with features that should elevate the general mood in campgrounds throughout the land.
At the Brute’s core is the powerful 12-volt DC electric motor, which needs only moderate gear reduction. This produces a fast travel speed of 10 inches in as little as 38 seconds. The Brute’s full travel range is 18 inches.
Lift efficiency is also aided by the Brute’s ball screw design, which reduces friction with ball bearings that roll through the threads on the Brute’s shaft and nut. This means the motor works less, draws less amperage, creates less heat and produces less noise. The ball screw design increases motor and jack life by greatly reducing wear on important components.
The Husky engineers incorporated what they call SmartStop technology into the Brute design. SmartStop senses the limits of the jack’s range and shuts down the motor early enough to avoid the hard mechanical stop of simply running out of screw threads.
Installing the Brute was quick and easy. Three bolts were removed to take the old jack out and three reinstalled to secure the new jack. With only a single wire to connect to the power source (grounding is done through the frame), it takes only a butt connector to the supplied inline fuse and whatever connector you need for the battery terminal.
The Brute has a useful 6-inch adjustable drop-down leg that provides extended adjustment for a variety of terrain. The leg tucks up tight into the end of the main tube during transport and has several adjustment points that mean greater reach and time saving in trailer setup at the site.
The Brute 4500 has three LED lights that illuminate the entire working area, including the hitch head and weight distribution brackets on the A-frame. Other features include weather-protected switches and a connector storage bracket that keeps the trailer’s cable out of the way and out of the weather when not in use.
The Brute 4500 is available with a wireless remote control ($349.95), which allows you to control the operation of the jack while monitoring the front-to-back leveling of the trailer from up to 40 feet away. The kit also includes two key fobs, which can control the jack from inside of the trailer while you are watching the refrigerator level out.
Difficulty: 2 (out of 5)
Time to Complete: 45 min
Tools needed: Wire pliers, Socket set
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