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Old 12-03-2013, 04:02 PM   #1
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HWH leveling system

Many folks, including me, have had many problems, under a variety of conditions, getting our jacks up. Week springs, dirt, bent jacks, defective shuttle valve, low fluid... and the list goes on.

This coach is new to me as of late May. The jacks have had a retract issue from time to time. I have washed them with WD40 as 'the book' says to do but I have still had them come up slowly, especially in cold weather.

A few weeks back I started an experiment. I sprayed the jacks with CRC Power Lube with PTFE. I can now report that the jacks are working better than ever.

I have not had a chance to do a full extend cleaning of the jacks until today. I retracted the jacks in record time and started the coach to inflate the air ride bags. Then I pulled the paired 4x4x16' blocks and extended the jacks. Next I sprayed WD40 up into the seal area and wiped each jack down. Then I sprayed them with the CRC and rubbed my (clean) hand over the ram to spread the CRC over the entire surface. I retracted the jacks in very short order, dumped the air and repositioned the blocks. I releveled the coach.

Putting lube on the jacks is not recommended by HWH, especially silicone. They claim it causes the jacks to stick. This is not the case with the CRC and it does not attract dirt.

It will be nice to hear of others who try this and see if my results are just good fortune for me or if I have really stumbled upon a fix for the dreaded "jacks won't come up" repeating issue. I do hope this is a FIX. It is most frustrating when you are trying to get a early start but you have to wait a half hour or more for your jacks to retract! ( Less painful.)

Happy trails all.

Rick
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:12 PM   #2
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I used PB Garage Door Track Lube and that resolved my jack issues. I believe the cleaner that is in it did the trick.
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:38 AM   #3
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If someone has tried to "lube" the rams with silicone or something similar, they likely will be helped by using a cleaner. Mine have never been touched in any way, and continue to work fine after 10 years and 80k+ miles. And most of that 10 years (except for the 80k+ miles and during service appointments), the jacks have been down with the extended rams exposed.
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:36 AM   #4
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Rick,
It sounds like your remedy for slow retracting jacks has some merit. On our coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT, the jacks have been pretty darn good in retracting, "most of the time". But, at times, they can become a bit stubborn. Especially the left rear which, is the farthest one from the manifold and reservoir.

Now, based on climatic conditions, our jacks take a certain amount of time to retract, around 2 minutes, plus or minus, 30 seconds to a minute. Once I've gone past that time frame, it's time to get out the "lever". Now, what I mean by Lever is, at home I use a 1.5" x 1.5" x 4' long, piece of wood and a block of wood that's about 12" high. I use the long piece, placed on the 12" high one (as a fulcrum) and force the jack up. It always has about an inch to go when it either slows way down or stops.

On the road, in camp site, if that jack is acting up, I break out the shovel and one of my leveling blocks and do the same thing, leverage it up. But, as stated, about 95% of the time, they're all good boys and travel up like they're supposed to.

But, your method of "improving" the retraction process sounds intriguing to me. I'll have to purchase some of that and see what kind of effect it has on ours. I'll report back after the trial period. Thanks for the tip.
Scott
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Rick,
It sounds like your remedy for slow retracting jacks has some merit. On our coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT, the jacks have been pretty darn good in retracting, "most of the time". But, at times, they can become a bit stubborn. Especially the left rear which, is the farthest one from the manifold and reservoir.

Now, based on climatic conditions, our jacks take a certain amount of time to retract, around 2 minutes, plus or minus, 30 seconds to a minute. Once I've gone past that time frame, it's time to get out the "lever". Now, what I mean by Lever is, at home I use a 1.5" x 1.5" x 4' long, piece of wood and a block of wood that's about 12" high. I use the long piece, placed on the 12" high one (as a fulcrum) and force the jack up. It always has about an inch to go when it either slows way down or stops.

On the road, in camp site, if that jack is acting up, I break out the shovel and one of my leveling blocks and do the same thing, leverage it up. But, as stated, about 95% of the time, they're all good boys and travel up like they're supposed to.

But, your method of "improving" the retraction process sounds intriguing to me. I'll have to purchase some of that and see what kind of effect it has on ours. I'll report back after the trial period. Thanks for the tip.
Scott
Oh boy! Been there and done that. I carried a stainless steel channel about 5' long, that was give to me, for that purpose. What a pain.

Here is a update for you all about the WD40 washing and CRC lubing. At the moment it is 34*. I just timed storing the jacks. All 4 were up in less than 2 min and closer to 1 1/2. They are not at an extreme extension so I would expect the retract time to be good but this is much faster than when I started using this coach under warmer conditions and about as level.

We bought the coach in FL in May. The jacks were customarily slow and I simply washed them with WD40. Yes, that helped but was short lived. When I found out about this CRC product for slide lubing (Power Gear), and it worked so well, I tried it on my awning tracks. They were very noisy. What a difference! Well, why not the jacks? We now see the good results.

We have cold weather coming in tonight. It will be in the low 20's tomorrow and I will do another test and post the results. So far I am really pleased.

Happy trails,
Rick
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerichorick View Post
Oh boy! Been there and done that. I carried a stainless steel channel about 5' long, that was give to me, for that purpose. What a pain.

Here is a update for you all about the WD40 washing and CRC lubing. At the moment it is 34*. I just timed storing the jacks. All 4 were up in less than 2 min and closer to 1 1/2. They are not at an extreme extension so I would expect the retract time to be good but this is much faster than when I started using this coach under warmer conditions and about as level.

We bought the coach in FL in May. The jacks were customarily slow and I simply washed them with WD40. Yes, that helped but was short lived. When I found out about this CRC product for slide lubing (Power Gear), and it worked so well, I tried it on my awning tracks. They were very noisy. What a difference! Well, why not the jacks? We now see the good results.

We have cold weather coming in tonight. It will be in the low 20's tomorrow and I will do another test and post the results. So far I am really pleased.

Happy trails,
Rick
Rick,
I don't have to do it all the time, only once in a while and, it's not all that hard. If and when I have to do it, it takes all of about 30 seconds to open a compartment, grab the shovel and the leveling block and place it in the correct position, DONE! It probably happens around, oh I'd say, one in 10 or 15 times of retraction. If it happened every time, I'd have already done something about it. But, like stated, I'll give that method a try.
Scott
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Old 12-06-2013, 07:57 AM   #7
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Yea know Scott, sometimes that 30 sec shovel trick is just what you want to avoid when you are breaking camp on a crummy day. I hope this trick I am using works well for you too.
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