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Old 12-19-2014, 04:29 PM   #1
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Bulge in Hydraulic Hose

I have a 2013 Sunstar 26HE with Lippert Hydraulic Leveling Jacks. I have submitted prior posts with issues relating to these jacks, specifically the jack down light keeps coming on even though the jacks are retracted.

Today, I noticed a slight bulge in one of the hydraulic hoses. This hose has already been replaced once at the dealership because of a bulge. I have contacted my dealership and will be bringing the motorhome in after I return from my trip. My question is;

How durable are these hoses? Obviously, my concern is the hose will burst while I am on my trip. I am assuming the hose will be under the most pressure when the jack is extended, is that correct? I guess I could not use the leveling jacks while on my trip if I am that worried about the issue.

Any insight or thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 12-19-2014, 05:46 PM   #2
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I'd use the jacks until the hose burst if that's what it's destiny is, and have the dealer or mfgr. replace it again. Perhaps the mfgr. is using the cheapest product it can get away with. If you have a second failure I'd suggest you elevate the issue to the mfgrs. upper mgt, or find a better quality hose yourself.
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Old 12-19-2014, 06:07 PM   #3
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Take the hose off and take it to a shop that makes hydraulic hoses- or a tractor dealer. Obviously, inferior hoses were used as replacements.
Don't wait till it bursts or you maybe stranded. You maybe out of pocket 30 bucks.
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Old 12-19-2014, 06:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ernie Ekberg View Post
Take the hose off and take it to a shop that makes hydraulic hoses- or a tractor dealer. Obviously, inferior hoses were used as replacements.
Don't wait till it bursts or you maybe stranded. You maybe out of pocket 30 bucks.
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Old 12-19-2014, 08:52 PM   #5
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Is your MH still under warranty, some have 2 yrs? How long is the hose, and where is it placed? I would determine the cause of the hose bulging (cheap Chinese hose, hose had been squashed, kinked, etc) before replacing it again. That is unusual, I've got a 1975 tractor with original hyd. hoses on the loader.
If out of warranty any hydraulics shop will make a new one. If it is a long hose, run through the frame, buy a coupler, screw the new hose to the old one, pull the old hose out, the new one follows.
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Old 12-19-2014, 09:24 PM   #6
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I would suspect a couple of things regarding the bulge. This is normally caused when the inner tube of the hose get a small hole or crack in it and allows the hydraulic oil to migrate out of the inside tube into the reinforcement between the inner tube and the cover. This type of failure can be caused by inferior rubber products being used that crack or pinhole from being constantly flexed or from a broken reinforcement wire that rubs a hole in the tube from being flexed or pressurized. This condition will continue to worsen until the oil in the bulge finally bursts the cover and causes the oil to leak out. I doubt that the failure would be catastrophic but would cause the oil to be drained from the tank over time. When the hose fails, that cylinder will simply retract to the up postion.

Good quality hydraulic hoses will last a long time on this type of application as the pressures are not high (probably less than 3,000 psi). External deterioration should be the major type of problem with this type of product due to the outside rubber aging and getting brittle and cracking that will allow the steel wire reinforcement to rust and break that will then allow the internal pressure to blow out the inner tube.

Without seeing the installation, I would guess that the hose was probably not the right type for the application (wrong pressure rating or hose not compatible with hydraulic oil) or it was damaged during the installation by kinking or being crushed by movements of the coach. The hoses used in this type of application do not see much movement as the pump, controls and cylinders are bolted solid and the hose is simply used for the simplicity of routing the lines between these components. I would check to see if suspect hose is being crushed by the movement of the coach during driving circumstances or when the cylinders are being extended or retracted.
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Old 12-19-2014, 10:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Hoffie View Post
I would suspect a couple of things regarding the bulge. This is normally caused when the inner tube of the hose get a small hole or crack in it and allows the hydraulic oil to migrate out of the inside tube into the reinforcement between the inner tube and the cover. This type of failure can be caused by inferior rubber products being used that crack or pinhole from being constantly flexed or from a broken reinforcement wire that rubs a hole in the tube from being flexed or pressurized. This condition will continue to worsen until the oil in the bulge finally bursts the cover and causes the oil to leak out. I doubt that the failure would be catastrophic but would cause the oil to be drained from the tank over time. When the hose fails, that cylinder will simply retract to the up postion.

Good quality hydraulic hoses will last a long time on this type of application as the pressures are not high (probably less than 3,000 psi). External deterioration should be the major type of problem with this type of product due to the outside rubber aging and getting brittle and cracking that will allow the steel wire reinforcement to rust and break that will then allow the internal pressure to blow out the inner tube.

Without seeing the installation, I would guess that the hose was probably not the right type for the application (wrong pressure rating or hose not compatible with hydraulic oil) or it was damaged during the installation by kinking or being crushed by movements of the coach. The hoses used in this type of application do not see much movement as the pump, controls and cylinders are bolted solid and the hose is simply used for the simplicity of routing the lines between these components. I would check to see if suspect hose is being crushed by the movement of the coach during driving circumstances or when the cylinders are being extended or retracted.
Very informative... Thank you very much for your input. I will take a picture of the hose tomorrow and attempt to attach it to the post. I personally think it is a poor quality hose. The dealership told me today they use a local shop to produce the hose to make the turnaround time quicker. When the hose was first installed, I thought it looked inferior to the OEM hoses, but figured Winnebago had switch suppliers.
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Old 12-19-2014, 10:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
Is your MH still under warranty, some have 2 yrs? How long is the hose, and where is it placed? I would determine the cause of the hose bulging (cheap Chinese hose, hose had been squashed, kinked, etc) before replacing it again. That is unusual, I've got a 1975 tractor with original hyd. hoses on the loader.
If out of warranty any hydraulics shop will make a new one. If it is a long hose, run through the frame, buy a coupler, screw the new hose to the old one, pull the old hose out, the new one follows.
Motorhome is outside of the one year warranty; however, since the dealership was not able to fix the jack down light problem (which is probably related to the pressure in the hoses), they agreed to make all repairs related to this issue for the next five years. I have this agreement in writing. I also have an extended warranty, but it has a $200 deductible.
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Old 12-19-2014, 10:20 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ernie Ekberg View Post
Take the hose off and take it to a shop that makes hydraulic hoses- or a tractor dealer. Obviously, inferior hoses were used as replacements.
Don't wait till it bursts or you maybe stranded. You maybe out of pocket 30 bucks.
Unfortunately, I am not confident enough to do that on my own. Even if I was willing to take on this task, I would not do it while away from home. It does not look difficult to do, but I would not know what to do if something went wrong. If I understand the system correctly, worst case scenario is I manually operate/secure the jacks until I get home.

Thank you for the input.
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Old 12-20-2014, 10:46 AM   #10
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It depends on the type of jacks you have to determine what would happen with a burst. On my (recently sold) MH, the jacks were hydraulically powered in both directions. Many others use springs to retract them.

With springs, the jack would retract if the hose burst. With the two-way ones, you could be stuck with a jack that wouldn't retract or even stay retracted if you could push it in mechanically.

I'd agree with your take that you shouldn't use the system until the hose gets replaced.
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Old 12-20-2014, 06:01 PM   #11
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Attached are photos of the bulging hose
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Old 12-20-2014, 06:08 PM   #12
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Now... If the bulging hose is not enough of an issue, I am now having a problem with my slideout. As I was opening the slide, it made a loud skip noise twice as if a gear is missing. The slide still does go in and out, but I now have the noise. Has to go in for repair, so I might as well get the slide looked at too.
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Old 12-20-2014, 08:28 PM   #13
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The hose in this picture appear to a be a thermoplastic type hose like those used on utility boom trucks. They typically do not have wire reinforcement but have yarn (synthetic cord, might even be kevlar for high pressure applications - up to 10,000 psi) With the bulge near the crimped end fitting I would suspect that the end fitting may have been incorrectly assembled. This can cut the innertube as I spoke of before which start the leakage of oil which caused the bulge. Most hydraulic hoses will have embossed or printed laylines on the outside cover of the hose which should indicate the hose manufacture, hose part number and size (inside diameter of th hose), pressure ratings and manufacturing dates. These are normally printed continuously down one or two sides of the hose. You can see this layline on the other black hose next to the replaced line. I suspect the black hose may be a rubber hose with wire reinforcement. If possible, check the layline on the black hose to see what originially used and then see if you can compare it to the replacement line. The replacement looks to be larger diameter than the black one, but this may be correct (check the cylinders to see if one is different size than the other.

I understand you are not going to do this repair yourself but it might help you make sure the shop does it right if they did do something that was less than best when they did the job the first time.
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Old 12-20-2014, 08:41 PM   #14
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Rossi6998, The orange hose is connected to the retract port on the jack.
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Old 12-20-2014, 10:19 PM   #15
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Rossi, since the hydraulic jacks are part of the chassis package from Ford, and not installed by Winnebago, they may be covered under the 3 yr chassis warranty. Winnebago (I would call them directly rather than talk to a dealer) should b able to confirm.
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Old 12-21-2014, 12:50 AM   #16
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The hose in this picture appear to a be a thermoplastic type hose like those used on utility boom trucks. They typically do not have wire reinforcement but have yarn (synthetic cord, might even be kevlar for high pressure applications - up to 10,000 psi) With the bulge near the crimped end fitting I would suspect that the end fitting may have been incorrectly assembled. This can cut the innertube as I spoke of before which start the leakage of oil which caused the bulge. Most hydraulic hoses will have embossed or printed laylines on the outside cover of the hose which should indicate the hose manufacture, hose part number and size (inside diameter of th hose), pressure ratings and manufacturing dates. These are normally printed continuously down one or two sides of the hose. You can see this layline on the other black hose next to the replaced line. I suspect the black hose may be a rubber hose with wire reinforcement. If possible, check the layline on the black hose to see what originially used and then see if you can compare it to the replacement line. The replacement looks to be larger diameter than the black one, but this may be correct (check the cylinders to see if one is different size than the other.

I understand you are not going to do this repair yourself but it might help you make sure the shop does it right if they did do something that was less than best when they did the job the first time.
Again, thank you for the valuable input. I appreciate everything you have included in your reply to my post. I will check the hoses tomorrow. I am curious to see how the two hoses (OEM vs Replacement) compare.
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Old 12-21-2014, 12:53 AM   #17
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Rossi6998, The orange hose is connected to the retract port on the jack.
I'm not sure what that means? Is that good news or bad news?

Thanks
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Old 12-21-2014, 12:59 AM   #18
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Rossi, since the hydraulic jacks are part of the chassis package from Ford, and not installed by Winnebago, they may be covered under the 3 yr chassis warranty. Winnebago (I would call them directly rather than talk to a dealer) should b able to confirm.
Hey Macnut - I have friends that work for Ford. I'll talk with them, but I do not think the hydraulic jacks are part of the Ford chassis package. I think they are actually installed by Winnebago (but I could be wrong).
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Old 12-21-2014, 06:53 AM   #19
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Rossi6998, The Lippert jacks use hyd pressure to retract the jacks, so that means two things if it blows out completely you will not be able to raise the jacks and secondly if the pressure is leaking off this will cause the jack down alarm to go off. The systems looks for >1500 psi pressure on the retract lines to confirm the jacks are up.
The jacks are installed by Winnebago.
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Old 12-21-2014, 07:12 AM   #20
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Just take the coach back to the dealer with that picture. They can remove the hose and take it and the picture to whoever made the hose for them. That shop is responsible for the job not being done properly, and will very likely do what they can to make it right - including use of a different (higher psi rating) hose material to make the new/replacement hose.

This should not be that big a deal. The shop likely didn't get any working psi specs from the dealer when they requested the hose, and just guessed wrong when making it? Absolute worst case, you or the dealer will be paying what should be a very reasonable price for a new hose to be built of higher quality materials. End of problem.

Last thought. Not familiar with this system, but many (most?) hydraulic systems have a built in bypass circuit to handle incidents where maximum system pressure is exceeded. Rather than blowing out the weakest link somewhere in the system, it's designed to pop off, relieving excessive pressure into the low side of the system. If that valve isn't working properly, and isn't relieving excess pressure, maybe this hose is the weak link?
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