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Old 03-14-2007, 06:17 AM   #1
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Thought I would pass along a learning from our recent trip to Lake Havasu. We were preparing to leave Friday morning when we couldn't get all four jacks to retract. After calls to the dealer and HWh and much on hold time I went back to the HWH manual again and found a yellow "extra" sheet that described manual jack retraction - ie, engine off, dump air, retract jacks. It worked, so after an hours delay we left - HWH had called back but we told them we had fixed the problem ourselves.

90 miles later the "jacks down" light and bell went off, so we pulled over and called HWH again. The folks were really friendly, but after 45 min of hold time I decided to go a quarter mile off the exit to a Chevron station, the only decent flat parking lot around (everything else was desert).

At the station I started the leveling process to get the jacks all down, and finally got an HWH operator who insisted she take our warranty registration first(we bought the coach used so the old owner was still listed) and finally got a tech.

LSS when you retract your jacks, you should always let the panel shut itself off. I had been turning it off manually once the green travel light came on, but that's a mistake - the extra 6 minutes the panel takes to shut down is actually the time it takes the unit to suck all the oil from the jack resevoirs. If you shut down early there will likely be oil left in the jack sleeves, and on hot days (it was 90) the oil will expand and "push" the jacks back out of their housings a half inch or so, triggering te alarm. So, after 2 plus horsu of unwanted delays, we were back on the road and had no further problems the rest of the weekend.

Since I never got this info as part of the coach delivery, and since the Winnebao and HWH manuals are silent on this feature (as is the leveling jacks pdf file in the Winnebago service tips archive) thought I would pass this along.
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Old 03-14-2007, 06:17 AM   #2
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Thought I would pass along a learning from our recent trip to Lake Havasu. We were preparing to leave Friday morning when we couldn't get all four jacks to retract. After calls to the dealer and HWh and much on hold time I went back to the HWH manual again and found a yellow "extra" sheet that described manual jack retraction - ie, engine off, dump air, retract jacks. It worked, so after an hours delay we left - HWH had called back but we told them we had fixed the problem ourselves.

90 miles later the "jacks down" light and bell went off, so we pulled over and called HWH again. The folks were really friendly, but after 45 min of hold time I decided to go a quarter mile off the exit to a Chevron station, the only decent flat parking lot around (everything else was desert).

At the station I started the leveling process to get the jacks all down, and finally got an HWH operator who insisted she take our warranty registration first(we bought the coach used so the old owner was still listed) and finally got a tech.

LSS when you retract your jacks, you should always let the panel shut itself off. I had been turning it off manually once the green travel light came on, but that's a mistake - the extra 6 minutes the panel takes to shut down is actually the time it takes the unit to suck all the oil from the jack resevoirs. If you shut down early there will likely be oil left in the jack sleeves, and on hot days (it was 90) the oil will expand and "push" the jacks back out of their housings a half inch or so, triggering te alarm. So, after 2 plus horsu of unwanted delays, we were back on the road and had no further problems the rest of the weekend.

Since I never got this info as part of the coach delivery, and since the Winnebao and HWH manuals are silent on this feature (as is the leveling jacks pdf file in the Winnebago service tips archive) thought I would pass this along.
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Old 03-14-2007, 06:25 AM   #3
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That's good information to know. Thanks Phil

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Old 03-14-2007, 07:00 AM   #4
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Also, there seems to be an interlock between "jacks down" and "fill suspension air bags". I had the experience of jacks slacking off full closed position and my not "storing" them when starting to drive and the air bags did not inflate. What a ride until I figured out what was happening. I "stored" the jacks and rode off into the sunset happy as a lark. The jacks were not down but simply off the fully up position.

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Old 03-14-2007, 01:04 PM   #5
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Also A good thing to do is take care of the jack seals. Every 2 to 3 months spray silicon on the jack shafts before restoring, keeps the jack seals lubed. Been using this method for 3 traveling years and it works great...
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Old 03-14-2007, 02:12 PM   #6
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From HWH REPAIR MANUAL: HWH TOUCH PANEL-CONTROLLED LEVELING SYSTEM 310 SERIES
FEATURING: TOUCH PANEL BI-AXIS CONTROL, CENTRAL GROUNDING, KICK-DOWN OR STRAIGHT-ACTING JACKS
WITH OR WITHOUT AIR DUMP

Turn the touch panel on. Push the "STORE" button. The red STORE light should come on. All four jacks will start to reract. Kick-down jacks will fold up when the foot of the jack clears the ground. When a kick-down jack is horizontal, the red warning light for that jack will go out. When a straight-acting jack is extended less than 2 inches, it's red warning light will go out. The foot of the jack should continue to retract completely into the cylinder.
Two minutes after all the red lights go out, the system will shut off.

The springs attached to each jack provide the force to retract the jacks - not hydraulic pressure. If the jacks do not retract, the fluid return is restricted, or the jack spring is weak. Allowing the system to shut off on its' own assures that the hydraulic fluid in the associated components and hoses has returned to the reservoir.
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Old 03-14-2007, 02:22 PM   #7
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"The springs retract your HWH jacks. The hydraulic pump does not "suck" the oil out. The pump does not run when retracting."

Tom,
Some systems do not have springs. On my Sightseer, it uses hydraulic fluid pressure to lower and raise the jacks. The pump runs when they go down and up. No springs.
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Old 03-14-2007, 02:27 PM   #8
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Good reply Red T, but I have a question. If one starts the normal retract procedure, then after the lights go out, two inches before the cylinders have seated, the ignition switch is turned to 'off', do the jacks continue to retract until seated or does the retraction stop because the electricity to the valving has been turned off and the valves return to 'normal closed' position? Whew, that was a long one. I'll have to test it out to see, I guess.

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Old 03-14-2007, 02:43 PM   #9
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When the red lights go out, I usually jump out and have a look see myself just to make sure all is up and OK. I don't trust those lights anyway. The jack pads look like they are all the way up to me, then It's ok to drive. One more walk around just to see. You'll never know how many times I find something that I forgot to do. LOL.
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Old 03-14-2007, 04:11 PM   #10
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To each his own,
When their down for extended times 30 days etc. I'll keep using silicon to keep the seals from turning inside out and keep them moving smoooooth, No leaks, No runs!
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Old 03-14-2007, 05:25 PM   #11
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I just finished reading about the jacks in the HWH manual prior to reading this post.

I says they need no lubrication. Only hose them off if they are muddy. Being lazy, I'll fly with what the manufacturers say.

Same with the slide out mechanism. No lube, only hose off.
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Old 03-14-2007, 05:48 PM   #12
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Every week or two? That would mean that all the slides have to come in before the jacks are cycled up and down. Winnebago recommends not to extend slides without jacks down and coach level.
TACO BELL-think outside the bun.

There are more posts about HWH recommending WD 40 wipe off and others dating back 2 years.
I'll keep using my Silicon Spray every 30 days or when I feel it's needed. I also know others with many Years experence that use it like myself and have had no problems with their seals, slides or jacks. SOOOOOO.... I would say it doesn't hurt to bend over once in a while and spray!
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Old 03-15-2007, 04:19 AM   #13
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As usual, lots of diffferent opinions, which is a good thing.

Two responses to the many posts: my comment about letting the panel stay on after the travel light comes on to make sure the fluid returns to the resevoir is what the HWH tech told me on the phone. He also did say that if I had the problem again after following these instructions that the next issue would likely be the springs.
Second, the "tech" at my dealer suggested, as have a couple others, to wipe the jacks when down and then spray them lightly with silicone to keep the seals lubricated which also seems reasonable. Finally (comment 3, I guess), the HWH tech also suggested if we park the coach with jacks extended for long periods, that we exercise them every thirty days, cleaning the sleeves before retracting. Also seems to make sense, at least to me.

Thanks, everyone, for the feedback!
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Old 03-15-2007, 05:35 AM   #14
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To spray or not to spray...this is like asking if it is safe to use propane while on the road. People have very different opinions based on rumor, personal experience, fact in some cases, and repetition of others' opinion.

HWH does as I recall recommend not spraying the shaft due to the spray potentially damaging the seals due to interaction of the solvents in the spray with the seal or by the coating attracting dust and dirt and then damaging the seals as the jacks are raised or lowered.

We have lived with inconsistent jack performance ever since we have owned the coach and I'm seriously considering a trip to HWH this summer to try to resolve the problem of slow retraction once and for all.

When a jack doesn't retract within a nominal time period for that air temperature, I turn the jack control system off and then hit store again. Usually this will work, but long after the jack should have retracted. A long time ago I turned the jacks down alarm baffle to its fully closed position so the annoying ding-ding isn't as loud and annoying anymore.

When I first talked to HWH a year ago about the problem, they said my springs were the likely culprit and they sent me a new set of springs. My friend and I replaced them and the jacks performed much better, but as time went by we still had slow retraction at times.

While at Forest City last year, Winnebago put another set of new springs on and again the jacks seemed to be fixed but we continued to have sporadic retraction problems.

Understanding the admonishment about not spraying the jacks, I have anyway once in a while (and always wipe the cylinder clean.) After this occasional routine, the jacks always retract as they should.

HWH has told me slow retraction is either bad springs or a bad cylinder(s). In my case, it can't be the springs, so it must be the cylinders.
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Old 03-15-2007, 06:11 AM   #15
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I think one reason for all the varying cylinder fix suggestions on RV forums about HWH goes back to what people have been told over the years by HWH techs. I know my own experience calling them has lead to several different techs telling me different things to do. Including replace the slow jack, new springs needed, extent the cylinders and wipe down rams with transmission oil and retract, spray with silicone, spray with
WD-40, defective solenoid, O-ring seal damaged, etc.: Now HWH is not the only jack company out there and they all most likely have similar problems and techs that freely give out ideas to cure them. We as RV'ers try there suggestions and if it works we hit the RV forums with our advise. It all boils down to whatever works go for it. About the most damage you can do is destroy the O-ring seal. The O-Ring is a 25 cent item, but may cost you $100's to have replaced if you can't do it yourself. In my years of experience with hydraulic cylinders the most problems come from cylinders that do not have hydraulic pressure in both directions. In other words a spring return in one direction. Another problem with RV jacks is the fact that when the retract bottom is pushed, the rams may bind as they first start to retract because the weight of the RV is not even on all jacks. The bottom line is clean lube coated rams that return under spring load will in the long run give fewer problems than dry dirty rams.
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Old 03-15-2007, 06:19 AM   #16
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While the jacks are retracting. I usually finnish picking up in and around the MH. I let the system shut itself down. This can be done with the key in the AUX position.
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Old 03-15-2007, 06:30 AM   #17
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That is one interesting point on my jacks. They retract and operate normally, but my jack panel will not turn on with the key in the accessory position. The only way the jack panel will come on is with the key in the start position. Anyone else experience this?

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