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Old 10-18-2011, 08:11 PM   #1
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Electric or Hydraulic Jacks

Is one any better than the other?
On a 2005 Pace Arrow 37c
Sorry to be asking so many questions new to motorhome and want to make sure we get what we need....

Cliff & Denise

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Old 10-18-2011, 08:28 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by wchipper View Post
Is one any better than the other?
Sorry to be asking so many questions new to motorhome and want to mack sure we get what we need....
Questions are great, that is how you learn. We have HWH hydraulic and are happy with them but never had electric so can't help you. Soon someone with experience should be along with their opinion and experience with them.

Jerry J.
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:05 AM   #3
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We have had both and currently have the HWH hydraulic jacks. It depends on who makes the electric jacks - Atwoods have a lot of problems. We had electric jacks on our former coach but it was light weight (Allegro 32BA) and had no problems although others did. I can't remember who made those jacks, sorry. I think all jacks have issues, some sooner than later but Atwoods - well I just wouldn't even consider them on a heavier coach at all. We have had one HWH jack replaced under warranty so they aren't perfect either but seem to have a whole lot less problems than Atwoods by far.
Mel (Melanie) and Harry
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:23 AM   #4
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While both are good, hydraulics usually have more 'umph', especially for heavy coaches.

The electrics need a simple pair of easily routed wires along with a switch (and relays, etc, etc) to operate the individual motors.

The hydraulics are more complex and need a those wires as well to a control panel but have a centrally located motor/pump, tubing, distribution valve to and possibly from the rams. The reservoir needs checking/flushing plus there is always the possibility of a very messy leak.

If the a part of the hydraulic system fails, it can get extremely expensive, and often worse for many folks, time consuming for the fix plus waiting for unique parts vs a simple motor or gearbox replacement.
Dave W along with my DW, Susan and our poodlepups, Callie & Molly,2011 Ford F250 6.7 CCLB, 5er Hitch Option w/B&W Hitch,,Ride Rite air bags, 2014 Montana High Country 343RL (38')
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:53 AM   #5
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HWH on mine. 41k on MH. I leave mine down 'all the way' when storing/living in it. (That helps take a load off the tires). The jacks work fine. There is now a TINY leak at the hose fitting to the front right jack.
I will have to replace that hose soon.
I haven't checked the resevoir yet, and it may be getting low.
I will flush the whole system at the hose fix time.

I too think hydraulic is the way to go on any heavy vehicle. Very few problems, and actually a simple system, if you understand it.

PS: NEVER, EVER use any "stop-leak" products in your jacks.
Or in ANY other system on your vehicle. They are disigned to 'swell' the seals, and/or 'plug' the leak.
Problem is.....it keeps on 'swelling' until seal fails, and can also 'plug-up' areas you don't want plugged.

A/C systems don't like sealants !!!!

If you have a tiny leak in a fluid system, make sure you keep it 'topped-up' until you can get it fixed. You don't want air getting into it.
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by IC2 View Post
If the a part of the hydraulic system fails, it can get extremely expensive, and often worse for many folks, time consuming for the fix plus waiting for unique parts vs a simple motor or gearbox replacement.
And the same can be true for electric units if they use proprietary motors or switches or the company is out of business. With a hyd. unit almost any hyd. shop can fix a ram or make a new hose.

I'll stick with HWH systems, but I've never had any other. Ours has four 12,000# rams and I leave the front axle off the ground for 6 months at a time with no problems. After 9 years they're still doing fine, haven't even had to add fluid.
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Old 10-20-2011, 07:58 AM   #7
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Atwood v HWH

Lots of great answers so far...I'm curious if you have a weight for you coach. My 07 Phaeton comes in at 33,000#. I have the Atwoods, and knock on wood, no issues. But, many others with the same size coach have had multiple failures. I've read enough posts on the issues that I know to call Sue at Atwood when it happens and she'll walk me through the process of getting under way and paying for a replacement jack that is not cheap. A known issue of broken jacks, no replacement parts for their customers so they can sell whole jacks. Not the best long term plan as I would now go out of my way to not get them next time.

My only HWH experience wasn't great...I have an HWH slide piston. Back in 07 there was a bad batch of crimps on the hoses, and they leaked at an unrepairable spot. Since I use my motorhome infrequently, mine didn't leak until just out of warranty. The gal that took my call at HWH knew exactly the issue, and was my advocate asking the higher ups to warranty the part, and I was denied. It was only a $130 hose, but I felt like I got a sense of how HWH handles their business right there. So...I'm left not wanting their system on my next coach.

I've heard good things about Bigfoot (Bigfoot - Quadra Manufacturing), I'd be curious if there's any experience with those here.
2007 Tiffin Phaeton 40QSH w/MBE926
Park City, UT
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Old 10-22-2011, 01:24 PM   #8
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Thanks guys for your help.... we went with Hydraulic...

Got us a Holiday Rambler Admiral 34SBD we are happy with this find....
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Old 10-24-2011, 05:18 PM   #9
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Great wchipper! Now go out and have some FUN!

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