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Old 08-20-2016, 07:00 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Southern Maine
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Another Atwood Leveling Leg Problem

So my 2012 Bay Stay had been sitting about a month with the legs extended and when I went to retract them, the left front only came up 2-3". After several attempts of recycling nothing worked to get it retracted so I had to get my electric drill/driver and wind it back up. It retracted find doing that but it won't go back down now only an inch or so than stops and the green light comes on for that jack, the other three jacks go down fine. This is our first motorhome we bought in April so have been bonding alot with this coach!

I'm going to look for the Atwood control part that is centered between the wheels, not sure which compartment it might be in and after that may try to run the motor down and back using jumper cables. If the motor runs the jack up and down what will that tell me, that there is a sheer pin bad? I hate to have to pull the jack off but it looks like it will come off relatively easy.

I've read Luv2Go's post below but couldn't reply to it.
"Luv2Go
You probably have the older system that clutches the jacks when they are retracted. The shear pins in the jack will eventually shear and the jack will stop working. In my case the jacks always fell to the ground and had to be wired up to move the coach so this may not be your issue.

These jacks are simple screw jacks with a small electric motor geared way down to handle the load, not rocket science. Very similar to Atwood's landing jacks for a fifth wheel.

It looks like you've done quite a bit of troubleshooting but I'll include this for completeness:

There are several good troubleshooting guides on the net to help determine the issue. Hereand here to start with. At least one of these shows how to force a fault and use the keypad to run jacks individually. This will help you determine whether there is a shear pin or other jack issue. Not sure they mention it but you can "hot wire" the jack motor with 12VDC to see if it will extend all the way and start lifting the RV. Biggest issue with that is finding something to plug into the connector. Or just cut the connector off and splice it back on later with a waterproof splice.

If it is the jack, you can remove the jack pretty easily and work on it on the bench. Unhook the power connector and remove the four bolts that hold the jack and "hat" onto the chassis brackets. The three screws on the top of the jack gear housing allow you to get the motor and gearing off. Note there should be a lot of grease inside. Also you need to keep dirt out of the gearbox so clean up the outside before you start taking it apart. Obviously take lots of notes/pics on where the "hat", washers, gears, etc are located.

Shear pins are available from Atwood, electronics are another matter. I believe I read thatAtwood does not have the controls for the old style any more and they will want you to buy a whole new system."
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Old 08-21-2016, 08:11 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2012 BayStar View Post
So my 2012 Bay Stay had been sitting about a month with the legs extended and when I went to retract them, the left front only came up 2-3". After several attempts of recycling nothing worked to get it retracted so I had to get my electric drill/driver and wind it back up. It retracted find doing that but it won't go back down now only an inch or so than stops and the green light comes on for that jack, the other three jacks go down fine. This is our first motorhome we bought in April so have been bonding alot with this coach!

I'm going to look for the Atwood control part that is centered between the wheels, not sure which compartment it might be in and after that may try to run the motor down and back using jumper cables. If the motor runs the jack up and down what will that tell me, that there is a sheer pin bad? I hate to have to pull the jack off but it looks like it will come off relatively easy.

I've read Luv2Go's post below but couldn't reply to it....
This sounds much like happened to a couple of ours as they started to fail. It would bind and the old system that didn't count revolutions would think it was touching the ground and light the green LED on the panel. I could free it up for another couple of days by rocking the nut you used the drill on back and forth, but then it would freeze up again. Eventually the shear pin broke on those two jacks.

You can unhook the power cable at the jack itself and try to run the motor directly, note it takes special connectors so you'll have to rig up something.

The control box on our coach is behind a fabric-coated plexiglass board in the compartment in front of the entry door, if you have a compartment there I'd look there first. They are supposed to put the control further away from the wheel than they did on our coach so maybe they actually put it more in the middle of the coach on yours. There are a lot of wires going to the board so you may see some corrugated black wire loom going into it.

I would call Atwood regarding this issue, even though the contact I used has passed away there should be somebody there who is very familiar with these on-going issues.
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Old 08-22-2016, 06:33 AM   #3
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Leg Extension

Thanks Luv2Go for the reply. I thought this might be a common problem and I would get lots of suggestions.

I initially was going to go out and rig a connector up to the motor and run it up and down but I decided I would try a couple of things first. I did find the controller or at least I think I did, pretty much as you described it, in the same compartment as the fresh water tank in front of the door.

I thought the description of various settings of the legs, Auto, Manual Extension, etc. a bit confusing from the Atwood manual so I tried a couple of things. First I started the coach up and turned the pad on and hit Auto. All of the legs went down to level and the lights turned green I believe indicating the controller thought all the legs were down and the coach was level. I got out and the left front leg had only gone down a couple of inches. I then got back in the coach and manually ran that leg down until it contacted the pavement. In all my playing around with it the previous day I had not heard any alarm indicating the legs weren't up so I put it in gear to see if they would all retract when I put it in Drive. I put it in gear and Voila! The alarm sounded and all of the legs stowed fully. Next I just hit Auto again and they all fully deployed and leveled the coach. I retracted them again, ran them through another cycle and they all worked fine. I sprayed some WD40 on the extended legs but there was already some sort of lubricant on them and it didn't really stick to the legs. The legs are all fairly rust free when they are extended and I don't think there is any binding in them or rust problem. One dealer I called said I might have a bent leg if the coach was on an angle but that doesn't appear to be a problem.

I will call Atwood to tell them my problem but I'm hoping it is ok. The dealer that I bought it from, Dave's RV, had previously told me some procedure to set the legs initially to insure they were set up correctly over the phone. I don't remember what I did at the time but I'm wondering if that somehow confused the controller as to where that leg is positioned? He is in Connecticut, otherwise I would have him check it out.

For right now I have left the legs up and don't intend to leave them down while it is sitting in the driveway. I have a couple of short trips coming up in the future I hope so I will check them at the time. We aren't using the coach a lot right now because of many other things going on. I'm assuming lack of use of the coach and it's equipment is not the best thing but I don't have any other choice.
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