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Old 07-18-2015, 06:36 PM   #1
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Disabling Leveling Jacks

Every time I turn around there's another post of someone's MH being lifted off the ground by the tire service so they can "Change the tires easier". Is there any way to easily disable the jacks i.e. popping a circuit breaker, etc? Our coach for example has the Power Gear leveling system. This will pretty much stop the tire service from using your jacks instead of their own.
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Old 07-18-2015, 06:41 PM   #2
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Very simple, tell them don't do it.
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Old 07-18-2015, 06:46 PM   #3
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Very simple, tell them don't do it.
I can tell you how this will work. You tell Bill. Then when you return and they are letting it down off the jacks. john says he didn't get the word.
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Old 07-18-2015, 06:49 PM   #4
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Then you are dealing with the wrong dealership. Have them write on the work order "DO NOT USE THE RV JACKS"
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Old 07-18-2015, 06:57 PM   #5
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Take your keys with you - the ignition must be on to activate them.
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Old 07-18-2015, 07:11 PM   #6
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Take your keys with you - the ignition must be on to activate them.
This or don't leave it, stay there.
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Old 07-19-2015, 07:04 AM   #7
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My jacks haven't worked right since my last tires were installed.
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Old 07-19-2015, 09:28 AM   #8
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I work in a truck/RV shop at a Ford dealer and I am sure a post it note on the control panel would be enough. Could even lie on the note and say they are in need of repair.

I do believe the typical gasser Class A is fine to lift on the jacks.
The flat concrete floor with using the 2 front or rear jacks raising evenly is far easier on the jacks and the chassis than levelling on uneven ground at a campsite.
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Old 07-19-2015, 09:51 AM   #9
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I don't understand the reason for not using the coach jacks, I use mine for lifting the coach any time I need access under the coach, or for any wheel maintenance.

It's fast, easy and I never had a problem with it for any reason. I don't lift the coach with the slides out, and that's been the only limitation I see needed to mention.

I guess it's a matter of what chassis you have, as I'm sure there are some coaches that will sag on the frame when using the jacks this way. But our Spartan Chassis has no issue with it.
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Old 07-19-2015, 09:54 AM   #10
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A good set of tires on my coach is +$3600. This is a significant investment that I want to get my value from, both for cost and safety. How they are mounted and balanced and installed on the coach is critical to getting good life out of them. The last time I had tires installed on the coach I stood right there and watched the whole time.

As they took off a tire and mounted a new one I inspected the old tire thoroughly both inside and out to look for any signs of failing. I also took the time to look at each of the hubs and undercarriage.

The technicians didn't mind me watching and answering my many questions. They didn't even think about using my jacks.
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Old 07-19-2015, 09:59 AM   #11
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You could tell the service manager that the bill the last shop had to pay was several thousand dollars for repairs so not to think about it.
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Old 07-19-2015, 11:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
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I don't understand the reason for not using the coach jacks,
Many coach manuals, and jack system manuals, have statements that the leveling jacks should not be used to lift the wheels off of the ground. Some of the concerns include stability, lack of parking brakes once the rear wheels are off the ground, over-extending the suspension, and safety. Some of the safety concerns are sudden dropping of the coach if a hydraulic line or valve fails, and stability from side-loads as the heavy tires are removed and placed on the hubs -- jacks are designed for vertical loads, and not dynamic side loads.

Another concern is that improper operation can cause damage, either to the jack system or the coach. Has the shop technician been trained to properly use the jacks? On my coach, using a rear corner jack to raise that corner of the coach sounds easy enough, but if you don't extend the front jack first to act as a pivot, it can twist the frame and crack or pop out the windshield.

On other systems, over extending a single jack can cause problems: friends with a four point electrical (not hydraulic) jack system had a malfunction (it could've been operator error) that caused one rear jack to over extend. At that point, the side loads from the unbalanced position jammed the jack and it wouldn't retract - neither using power nor a wrench on the manual override. While in this position, the windshield cracked in several locations. To get the jack retracted, they had to get a tow truck out with a heavy duty air/hydraulic jack to lift the axle and take the weight off of the leveling jack, at which point the side load that bound things up was removed and it could be retracted normally.

Even if done properly, the chances for damage, problems, or injury is not zero. If done improperly, the chances for damage can rise significantly, and the damage could be costly. The best solution is to have the shop use the proper jacking and support methods and not risk using a built-in system for something that it was not designed to do, and for which the technician is likely not trained to use properly.

>HERE< is a recent thread where a shop used the coach's jacks (apparently without permission) to raise the coach, and the leveling system was damaged. It appears that the shop is taking responsibility for the repairs, but wouldn't it have been easier if the shop used the correct gear in the first place and avoided the damage?

Quote:
I use mine for lifting the coach any time I need access under the coach, or for any wheel maintenance.
I hope you put jack stands or cribbing under the frame rails before getting under the coach. As stated above, there are a few different failure modes that can cause the coach to suddenly come down on you. You can get away with it hundreds of times, but it only takes once to seriously ruin your day.

Generally accepted safety procedures say that you should not get under any vehicle that is supported by any type of mechanical or hydraulic jack, whether that jack be portable or installed on the vehicle. You should always have the frame, axles, or tires supported by jack stands, secure cribbing, or ramps. Never use concrete/cinder building blocks, they can suddenly shatter under load.

The same warnings apply to getting under a coach supported by an air suspension: that can also suddenly deflate and lower the coach.
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Old 07-19-2015, 11:25 AM   #13
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I don't understand the reason for not using the coach jacks, I use mine for lifting the coach any time I need access under the coach, or for any wheel maintenance.
It's fast, easy and I never had a problem with it for any reason.
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Old 07-19-2015, 01:04 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by D Lindy View Post
Every time I turn around there's another post of someone's MH being lifted off the ground by the tire service so they can "Change the tires easier". Is there any way to easily disable the jacks i.e. popping a circuit breaker, etc? Our coach for example has the Power Gear leveling system. This will pretty much stop the tire service from using your jacks instead of their own.
I take it that someone here read my post about the nightmare my friends had with the jacks being used on to install new tires on their 2009 Safari.
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