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Old 12-23-2009, 07:49 AM   #1
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04 Tiffin leveling jack problem

I have a friend with a 04 Tiffin 36'. He is having a problem with the jacks retracting. He said the pump is running and it seems like it is trying to move the jacks by the sound of it running but they will not come up. He has to jack them up with a floor jack. It is the rear jacks that is giving him the problem. The dealers are just wanting to replace the jacks. Any information would be helpful.
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Old 12-23-2009, 08:15 AM   #2
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The pump should not be running when the jacks are retracting. If it is, there may be a problem with the control board. Have your friend call HWH. They are very good at walking you through the trouble shooting process.

During retraction, the solenoids are open (no pump) and the springs pull the jacks up returning the hydraulic fluid to the reservoir. Cold weather increases the viscosity of the fluid and makes slow jacks even worse. If jacks are slow to retract, DO NOT allow them to sit in the retract position too long (more than 8 or 10 minutes) because the solenoids get hot when energized and will burn out. I had this same problem and burned out two of my solenoids before HWH got things corrected.

HWH did end up replacing both my rear jacks, but that was under warranty, and I would only do that as a last resort if I had to pay for it myself. Try other fixes first.

As a temporary fix, you can use a 2 X 4 or other pry bar to "help" the springs return the jacks, or use the floor jack as your friend did. You can also periodically wipe down the shiny part of the jacks with WD-40 while extended to clean them. Make sure the jacks are dried thoroughly after wiping them down before retracting.

When the springs get old, they loose strength and need to be replaced. HWH also has also produced heavier springs that do a better job of retracting the jacks. If your friend replaces the springs, make sure he gets the heavier ones.

Have your friend check the documentation that came with his Tiffin to get the model number of the jacks and call HWH. The model number of the jacks should also be printed on a piece of paper pasted in a rear cabinet. If he is not comfortable doing the work himself, I recommend he still talk to HWH to have them give him advise before he spends a lot of money at a repair shop. As I said, there are several other things to try before replacing the jacks.

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Old 12-23-2009, 09:27 PM   #3
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This the text from a recent Information Bulletin from HWH that was issued on April, 2009:

Diagnostics-slow or non-retracting jacks:
"If a jack will not retract or is slow to retract, the problem is the jack, solenoid valve, velocity valve (if so equipped), or the hose. Slowly remove the hose from the jack. If the jack does not retract properly, replace the jack. If the jack starts to retract properly, tighten the hose and loosen the hose at the manifold. If the jack does not retract, there is a problem with the hose, such as a kink. If the jack retracts and the manifold is equipped with a velocity valve, the velocity valve is most likely the problem. If there is no velocity valve, there may be a problem with the solenoid valve or possibly the outer check valve. Contact HWH technical service."
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