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Old 04-14-2011, 01:33 PM   #1
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New HWH Jacks

Over the past year, the rear passenger side jack was getting slower and slower in retracting and eventually had to be pried up each time getting harder and harder to do. In May of last year, a repair shop replaced the springs with heavier ones (supposedly). Lately, the driver's side rear started exhibiting the same symptoms.

While in Elkhart, IN we stopped at Stuart's Service, a Master Authorized HWH Service Center, and they told us that the jacks needed replaced. One of these days, the prying would not work. Well that happened the morning of moving over to their shop but we were able to get it retracted enough to drive it about ten miles from Cummins Coach Care to Stuart's.

The jacks were replaced and the owner stressed to us that it is very important to recycle the jacks at least once a month. If they stay in the extended position too long they do not get the lubrication they need and the seals dry out causing them to fail. He said to read the second page of the owner's manual. I haven't done that yet but trust that he knows what he is saying.

We found Stuart's Service to be very helpful and pleasant to deal with. This was our second visit having visited them with an HWH leak on our 2000 Alpine several years ago.

Safe travels!
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Old 04-16-2011, 02:54 AM   #2
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Additionally those jack shafts get dirty, and need to be kept clean. So what I do is take a little HWH hyd fluid on a towel and wipe them off about once a month. They need to be down so you can clean the exposed portion of the shaft. Chris Cratch was told by HWH to spray a little 3M Dry Silicone lube on a towel and then wipe them down with that about once a month or so. I have been doing that and my jacks now go right back into the housing without a problem

One other thing I do, I use 4" blocks under those jacks so I don't overextend them by accident, which would be a bad thing. Plus it give the jack plate a bigger footprint so it's supported better. Now if I'm on a concrete pad, I don't use the pads, but if i'm on asphalt or gravel they always go out.
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Old 04-16-2011, 04:01 AM   #3
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We have electric jacks but also lube the shafts every time we pull them up after camping. We had issues in the beginning when we purchased the coach, but after reading the manual which states to spray with a dry lube every 3 or so cycles, we've had no issues at all in 2 years, knock knock on wood.
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Old 04-16-2011, 05:38 AM   #4
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Glad you had the same experience at Stuart's that I had. Chuck is great and very informative. I had two jacks replaced all new springs and bought an extra selonoid for half the cost that a dealer in my home state wanted just to repair one jack.
I rec'd the same instructions about excersizing the jacks along with traveling info and cleaning the jacks if needed. I couldn't believe how fast we were in and out of his facility. One hour! but when you have guys that have been with you for thirty years, I guess they know what they're doing. Again I give them a BIG .
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:30 PM   #5
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All - the stock number on the Silicone Dry lube is:

3M - 08897 Dry Silicone Lubricant. Napa can order it for you.

It also seems to work on the rollers for the genset slide. I don't put it on the screw ram, use machine oil and then wipe if off so I leave a thin film. I do genset slide maintenance twice or three times a year, since many problems reported, I am sort of anal about it.
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Old 04-16-2011, 07:48 PM   #6
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Stuart's website:
HWH Replacement Parts - Stuart's Services
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:21 PM   #7
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I went to Lowe's and purchased a pressure treated 2x10 12' long. I cut that into 4 pieces each one 3'. Now some of you are wondering what I do with them (some of you have dirty minds ). I place a brass drawer pull on the end of each one and now I have a 3' long jack pad that will not rot and I do not have to lean way under the coach to install or remove them! This spreads the weight so when we are on hot asphalt or wet mud we do not have problems with the jack pad digging into the site. I have also been known to double them up when the slope is a bit excessive giving me 3" of added height that is NOT the extended jack. By the way, they stack really nice in the bays.
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:34 PM   #8
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Might I suggest you face both side of the board with 1/4" plywood, turn each face 90 degrees from the grain of the board being covered? Why?

1. This will give the board additional strength it needs if the ground below is the least bit unlevel.

2. It will keep it from weather checking, and yes, pressure treated wood will weather check, pressure treating keep bugs out and from rotting, it does not waterproof the wood, so it will weather check and crack at least that is the way I understand it.

3. I like your idea, but wood is heavy, that is why I want some kind of plastic pads which are rated for 12K lbs each minimum as they won’t hold debris as bad as the wood will, and are easier to clean off prior to putting away. They don’t weight as much either.
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:37 PM   #9
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As a former Forester, and a lot of experience manufacturing wood products, especially lumber, plywood, OSB, and particleboard/MDF I agree with Monty's view that facing the board with 1/4" plywood would give you a longer lasting jack pad. Pressure treating the wood will not stop weather checking, as he said. But you need to face the sides and the ends to keep it from checking because it will dry from the ends as well as the surface. Pressure treated wood is moist from the treatment, and as it dries out, it will check, ends included.

In addition if it it's a western U.S. species being treated (typically hemlock), it won't treat all the way to the core, like Southern Pine. So it will eventually rot in the center when it checks.

Personally, I used orange plastic pads I bought from Camping World 6 years ago and they have lasted through two motorhomes and 70,000 miles, and have worked perfectly. I didn't screw some hooks or drawer pulls on them to make them easier to pull out but I could. They warp a little but they haven't broken and they spread out the ground pressure a little bit. They're lightweight and don't take a lot of space.

I do have a couple blocks of 2x8 that I use when I need a little more leveling. They'e just straight Kiln Dry Douglas-fir that were sprayed with a little polyurethane and they do just as good a job as treated lumber for this task; and in some ways better because they don't check as much because they're already dried and they have plenty of moisture resistance for jack pads, which typically don't sit in water a lot.

So, most any chunk of structural framing lumber will work for this application, but hemlock will rot the fastest. Whether it's treated or not doesn't make a lot of difference because it stays dry most of the time under the coach, and KD lumber usually weighs less. What also works even better, and I have it for my jacks at home, is a piece of 1 1/4" OSB. Doesn't crack, split, and spreads the load just fine. A little heavy and hard to buy since Weyerhaeuser was the only company that makes it, but it's the sub-floor in my new home in Tacoma and it just doesn't flex.
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Old 04-19-2011, 11:48 PM   #10
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OF - thank you. I use some 4X6 faced with 1/2" plywood for my jack pads. But I want something lighter, which take up less space and won't rot, and cleans up easy. So I am going to order the 12X12" or 16X16" pads from this place (http://www.rvstainless.com/ShopbyProducts/JackPadsandOutriggers/tabid/69/Default.aspx)
If you live/camp in the Pacific NW, in the winter time (sometimes even the summer time), you know it rains and rains and then rains some more, the ground gets soft and your jacks can sink in the mud. Florida is another place which comes to mind, because it’s a lot of sand. When we were there for my school for 3 months, when we tried to level up, the rear jacks (even with my pads) sank out of sight (had to dig them out), and we ended up putting a 8”X8”X8' board in the ground (like a railroad tie) then my pads on top of that and we quit sinking. Having something with a good surface area would prevent the sinking part. Although the above pads are not thick, they would be much lighter than the wood I currently carry. Now, you also must think about the weight issue on those pads, as the home made wood ones work well for. The plastic ones are weight rated, so you need at least 6-10K (guess here) rating on them, as you might have that much weight on them.

The only other thing I need is some good ramps, however, I have some wooden homemade ones I picked up in a garage sale in Tennessee, but the ones “Takepride” posted a link to a few months back would be better. I am on a weight reduction kick for the motorhome, but I’m still debating whether I need to have my 12 Ton Jack stands with me or not. The 12 Ton bottle jack is coming along.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:01 AM   #11
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Dave:

I have a nice collection of pressure treated blocks, well split. You're welcome to them. I'm hoping to find the same thing as Monty, but am using KD as OF mentions. I also have the thick black plastic pads with aluminum handles for under the jacks. Very little height, but they protect the blocks or stop sinking in asphalt and dirt.

I've found the pressure treated splits much easier anyway.

I also shattered most of my orange blocks with my 16,000 lb. coach. I can't imagine the 33,000 lb coach being nicer to them. Lynx did replace my first set, but balked on the second.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:54 PM   #12
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I agree, the PT blocks will eventually split, but then I have only invested about $20 and 30 minutes of time so I can replace them and not be out mega bucks, additionally they give me 1 1/2 " of added height as well as spread the load over 270 square inches (36" x 7.5"). I am tired of digging out the jacks, muchless releveling the coach every day when you sink into the springtime primordial ooze (not to mention hot asphalt and angry CG hosts). And I have destroyed a set of the orange "jack pads" I would not put them under anyone's motorhome no matter what the weight.

The black plastic pads look like a good idea (the 16"x16" will give you 256 Square inches of support), but I'll bet the first time you put them down under one of our coaches and it rains you will be up to you inverter in the ooze (you still have to crawl under the coach to retreive them, my 3' pads stick out the sides, all I have to do is bend down), no thanks I'll stick to my old hemlock (I can even drink it if it gets too bad)! And if they sink too far I could abandon them, eventually they will rot . Maybe next time I will not use PT and be green ?
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:17 PM   #13
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DrDave - I would tend to disagree with you about the 16" pads. When I worked in the High Voltage Utility Industry on substations, we had crains which used big pads and they did not sink and the weights I'm talking about are in the tens/hundreds of thousands of pounds, like moving a 500KV transformer for instance. The broader you support a load the more load you can support. So the pads would work. Not faulting you on your choice, but I am looking for ease and weight reduction in my camping.
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDaveCA View Post
...The black plastic pads look like a good idea (the 16"x16" will give you 256 Square inches of support), but I'll bet the first time you put them down under one of our coaches and it rains you will be up to you inverter in the ooze (you still have to crawl under the coach to retreive them, my 3' pads stick out the sides, all I have to do is bend down)...
I still like the idea of using the black plastic pads mentioned by OldRVer, but I would attach a short piece of rope to the holes that already appear to be in them to use for pulling them from under the coach after the jacks are retracted. Rope that I've attached to the big wooden blocks that I currently use works just fine to avoid crawling under the coach.
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