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Old 11-29-2015, 06:39 AM   #1
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Extend jacks for winter storage

Should I extend my jacks to keep the weight off the tires during winter storage.
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Old 11-29-2015, 06:46 AM   #2
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I have stored my 40ft jacks extended for years without any issues.
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Old 11-29-2015, 06:51 AM   #3
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I don't like to expose the chrome part of the jacks for a long period of time if I don't have to. Here in Canada for the cold winter months I put 2 X 10 wood boards under tires then I use 6 X6 on ground plus 2 X6 on top till it touches or very close to jack bottom plates then I release air from suspension and the motorhome weight is on the jacks and not on tires. This way all weight is off tires and chrome part of jacks is not expose to elements in winter
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Old 11-29-2015, 07:25 AM   #4
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I don't think it would corrode the chrome in a normal climate, but in an area where there is salt in the air, it may. (Sea side, or next to a salted highway) We regularly store chrome outdoors in the elements without a second thought and it survives well. That chrome does not get to hide in a compartment most of it's life or live mostly out of reach from atmospheric fallout either. Of course there is chrome and there is chrome, some may start out with a weak finish. In a Canadian winter, the temperature is low and that is a positive factor which would reduce the reaction. I have heard people say that in long term use the shafts could be sprayed with a corrosion inhibitor. I'm not sure if that's a good idea unless it was just hydraulic fluid.
In any case I have never seen a post from someone who found corroded jacks.
High Ball has the solution for sure!! +1
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Old 11-29-2015, 07:33 AM   #5
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The tire makers say yes, to help the tires out. The jack makers say the jack is less vulnerable if retracted, so they prefer it that way. I say both are taking a very narrow viewpoint and it makes little practical difference in the long run. IMO you should do what ever is convenient for YOU. Ours are normally always down, but that's more because we are in and out of the rig during the off-season.
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Old 11-29-2015, 10:22 AM   #6
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My Mh sits w/jacks up when stored. 13 yrs and no problems.
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Old 11-29-2015, 01:07 PM   #7
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Jacks down, that's what my manual says for storage and that's what they are there for.
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Old 11-30-2015, 05:53 AM   #8
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Extend jacks during storage

Thanks to all who responded. I love this forum because I get a wealth of information from the many veterans around the country, I have decided to extend the jacks and keep the weight off the tires during the winter storage.
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Old 11-30-2015, 07:25 AM   #9
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Thanks to all who responded. I love this forum because I get a wealth of information from the many veterans around the country, I have decided to extend the jacks and keep the weight off the tires during the winter storage.
Just spray the jack legs with silicone to protect them when extended for a long period if time is what my manual says.
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:59 AM   #10
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I don't like to expose the chrome part of the jacks for a long period of time if I don't have to. Here in Canada for the cold winter months I put 2 X 10 wood boards under tires then I use 6 X6 on ground plus 2 X6 on top till it touches or very close to jack bottom plates then I release air from suspension and the motorhome weight is on the jacks and not on tires. This way all weight is off tires and chrome part of jacks is not expose to elements in winter
If you have HWH jacks the shaft is made from SST and will not rust. HWH says it will not harm them to store for extended periods extended. They do say to wipe them with a rag wetted with WD40, then again with a dry rag, to clean dirt from them.
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:11 AM   #11
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I compromise and achieve both aims.
With the MH fully aired up, pack under the jack pads with blocks leaving a 1/2" gap. Then dump the air. Jacks are fully retracted and there is minimal weight on the tyres. Win-Win.
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:15 AM   #12
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I compromise and achieve both aims.
With the MH fully aired up, pack under the jack pads with blocks leaving a 1/2" gap. Then dump the air. Jacks are fully retracted and there is minimal weight on the tyres. Win-Win.
That is exactly how mine is stored over the winter......Just a bit higher right now as I am doing a service on it, and it seems I need a bit more room to work under it these days......
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Old 11-30-2015, 06:46 PM   #13
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The Chassis makers recommend it,, here are some guidelines.

In the fall, Place wood blocks (2x 12 by 12 works well) under each jack.. I will explain in a bit.. Extend, Spray or wipe with the lubricant you use.. Come spring, Re-lubricate and retract, Pick up blocks after moving RV.

Now why the blocks..
I have had my jacks freeze to the ground but NEVER to the wood blocks, If you have to move the RV before it thaws for any reason (Say to get gas cause you ahd to use the generator for 3 days.. My RV was "Wired" to power the needed services in the house (Furenace, Fridge, Freezer, Microwave, TV/Radio/Computer and SOME lights) this way you can retract jacks.. The blocks will freeze to the ground but a gentle tap from an 8 pound hammer and they just naturally pop free.
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Old 11-30-2015, 07:49 PM   #14
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A couple of thoughts.

1. If your storage parking space is not flat and hard, your leveling jacks are retracted, and you let all of the air out of the bags, then the frame and the structure of your "house" will be subjected to twisting forces for the duration of the storage time. I understand that this is not supposed to be detrimental to the bags themselves, but they are hardly the most expensive thing to be worrying about. I am more concerned about the chassis twist, however minor, for an extended time period. Last winter, I parked in my back yard on the grass, with sheets of plywood under the tires to keep them from sinking into the mud during the spring thaw. I used my portable compressor to periodically reinflate the suspension bags to keep them at or near ride height. This year, we have a compacted gravel parking pad, and I have learned more about how the jacks work. It's jacks-down for me. The leveling system is designed to prevent the application of twisting forces to the frame and coach body. The suspension bag stops are not.

2. If you build cribbing to allow the retracted jacks to support the sprung weight of the MH, and the frame twists as a result, you're swapping chassis life for (arguable) tire life. I don't believe for one second that those retracted jacks are all in the same plane. I don't know how much torsional force it takes to cause damage, but I'm very sure that zero torsional force won't be detrimental. I have absurd visions of crawling around beneath the coach with lasers, trying to adjust the cribbing to get the frame straight. I'd rather buy new tires than to fix all of the problems caused by prolonged frame twisting. If you really love your tires, you can buy some jack stands, lift the coach and support the axles with the tires off the ground. Careful, no parking brake! Don't forget to inflate the bags or level with jacks, though, because they are protecting the frame.

Way more than my two cents...



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