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Old 07-16-2019, 10:30 PM   #1
NXR
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How my $110 SnapPads cost me another $115 (so far)

I really love the concept of SnapPads and I helped a friend install them on his 2019 F-53 chassis, a Forest River GT5 with Lippert leveling jacks and 9" jack foot pads. They went on easily and he has driven over 4,000 miles without incident. He ran the jacks while I positioned them and I gave him instructions when to lower and raise. One of his would not go on so he moved the motorhome a few feet and then it went on. No boards were used to install them.

I went to install my SnapPads on my brand new GT5 on a 2019 F-53 chassis with the same leveling jacks. I did it on the concrete street in front of my home. The front ones went right on but I simply could not get the rear SnapPads on. The wood trick in the instructions did not work either. I decided to wait until I was at a campground with a level pad. When we arrived there I tried to put the rear SnapPads on and they would not go on. The jack feet came down but never would "snap" into place. FWIW, the Lippert 9" leveler feet are somewhat dome-shaped, not flat, and RV SnapPad told me which ones to install. They are the same part number as the ones I installed with my friend.

I used a couple of small pieces of branch on the edge of the SnapPads and both rear SnapPads went on. I visually checked them and the leveler foot pads definitely were under the lip. We drove about forty miles in a few trips and ended up at home. I lowered the jacks a few times on the driveway and all was well. Yesterday our neighbors wanted to see the inside so we moved the motorhome to the street, leveled it, extended the slides and showed it off. When I retracted the jacks to move the motorhome into the driveway, the driver's rear SnapPad stayed on the ground. I was shocked and very thankful that it had not come off while driving.

Today I double-checked the three remaining SnapPads. All three showed the foot lip definitely was under the SnapPad lip. I tried to re-install the one that came off, thinking I may not have had it fully on (even though we went over a couple of railroad tracks and bumpy roads). It would not go on again.

Per the instructions I put a small board under the edge as a shim, my wife lowered the jack and the SnapPad went on but the jack foot seriously bent up on the side where the board was placed. The SnapPad was fully on but I noticed a significant bowing downward on the SnapPad bottom. I was able to easily peel the SnapPad off. The SnapPad appears undamaged.

I then checked the bottom of the other three. The other rear SnapPad was noticeably bowed downward on the bottom as well (meaning the outer edge likely are bent upwards). The passenger front SnapPad, which went right on without any boards, also has a slight bowing on the bottom but nothing like the other two. The driver side front SnapPad bottom is perfectly flat.

I don't know why the jack foot pads are bending, especially since the front one that went right on is also slightly bowed. It's pretty clear to me that the board caused the rear jack foot pads to bend, though. The coach has a grand total of 406 miles on it and only about seventy of those were with some of the SnapPads installed. I would doubt the jack feet pads were bent before I put the SnapPads on. The trip where I got the rear SnapPads installed was our very first outing.

So I ordered three new jack pad feet from Lippert for a touch under $115 with shipping and tax. I guess I'll try again when the replacements arrive.

The SnapPad instructions say they are only intended to be installed once so don't remove and reinstall. I'll need to call RV SnapPad and see what they think.

The instructions do not specify a wood shim thickness but I suspect now it should be quite thin. I used a 1/2" thick piece of wood and it still bent the jack foot. I also suspect that the motorhome should be very level to start with even though the directions do not specify that. It just says "level or near level", whatever that means. I also suspect that the dome shape to the Lippert jack leveler feet may be part of the issue. Most of the videos I watched seemed to show a flat jack foot.

Hope this helps someone else save some money by not doing whatever it was that happened to me. At a minimum, I would run my hand along the bottom of your SnapPads and see how flat the bottom is.

Ray

NOTE: Someone else with a 2019 told me they had a Lippert 9" leveler foot pad fall off on a trip and they figured it may not have been tightened during the OEM installation. So I looked closely at mine and every one was slightly loose. If you can turn the foot pad by hand, it's loose.

There's a 15/16" bolt in the center bottom of the foot pad that needs to be tight. Mine were less than a turn of the bolt to snug it up. I could not find a torque setting so I just snugged them up. If you remove the jack foot pad or loosen that bolt a lot you'll see that there are two O-rings on the bolt next to the bolt head. When you order a replacement foot from Lippert it comes with a new bolt and two new O-rings. Hopefully the instructions will also give the torque. I'll find out in a few days.

I strongly suggest anyone with Lippert leveling jacks give their jack feet pads a twist and see if they spin. If they do, they're loose. The bolt is probably an inch or inch and a half long so it likely won't fall right off but loose is loose.
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:29 AM   #2
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I'm going to suggest that you ask a carpenter friend to build you a wedge to put under the pad as you snap the Snap Pads on the new landing pads. What I have noticed over the years under many, many RVs is that the jacks do not go straight down, they are always at a slight angle towards the outside of the RV...undoubtedly to give more stability. Make a wedge to take out that angle.

That angle is what I believe the Snap Pad people would like you to adjust for with the wood as you snap on the pads. A wedge would make a flat surface for the Snap Pad as you're installing it. So a wedge is much more appropriate in my mind then just a piece of wood under the edge of the pad which might put undue strain on either the Snap Pad or the landing pad, causing the bends.

Mine have been on for 3 years now, show no tenancy to want to loosen, were installed with a wedge, and my landing pads are also dome shaped like yours.

I've been full timing for 15 years now and I am sooooo happy with the Snap Pads. No more (except on rare occasions) having to mess with putting my own landing pads down and removing them when I leave.

I hope you figure out what the problem is with the Snap Pads and when you do, I think you'll love them too.
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:20 AM   #3
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I didn't see you mention it but when I installed mine I put a layer of dish soap around the snap pad. They snapped right into place. Been on over 6K miles so far.
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:32 AM   #4
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Why did you buy more new ones instead of working with customer service first?
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Old 07-17-2019, 02:46 PM   #5
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Yes, a wedge likely could be more appropriate. I have some that are used to level door frames when they get installed. Thinking back, I think the reason the one came off might be for the reason you mentioned, the angle. Perhaps the angle it hit the road was just enough to pop the lip off even though the edge of the foot was under the SnapPad lip.

Do your SnapPads "spin" on the jack foot or are they snug? All of these are very snug.


Yes, I had "copious quantities" of dish washing soap on them, just like when I did the first ones.


I sent a web query to SnapPad a few days ago with no response. I just emailed them with a pointer to this thread.

I ordered new Lippert jack foot pads to replace the bent one(s). One way or another I'll need them. Unfortunately Lippert has them back ordered so I may not have them for about two weeks.

I did not order new SnapPads yet. I'll wait to hear what they say. I did peel the other rear one off today because its bottom was very bowed and I do not want to risk it coming off and killing anyone. Interestingly, I do not see any bending or deformity in that jack foot plate at all. It's still dome-shaped but looks even all the way around. I can't really tell until I remove it and turn it upside down but I'm not going to do do that until I have the replacements with the new O-rings.

Ray
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:24 PM   #6
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Since the jack feet are on back order, why not take yours off and take them to any shop and ask them to straighten them? A little heat and a 6 lb sledge will straighten them out, probably much less expensively then the new feet. Then just cancel the jack pad order.

To answer your question, I have no idea if my pads spin on the jack feet or not. And I'll check that tomorrow when I leave here and move to another RV park...if I remember and if it's not too uncomfortable to do so.
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_HiTek View Post
Since the jack feet are on back order, why not take yours off and take them to any shop and ask them to straighten them? A little heat and a 6 lb sledge will straighten them out, probably much less expensively then the new feet. Then just cancel the jack pad order.
I received an excellent response from the SnapPad folks a short while ago. I did send them a picture. I have the XTRA pads.

What is showing is a concave/dished foot and sadly not an unusual sight on these newer rigs with these particular LCI feet.

Why do the feet change shape on some rigs and not apparently on others, well rig sizes and weight can differ from model to model, Class A to 5th wheel and the bigger and heavier the rig the more inclined this may happen.

Our lineup of pads are all designed around the foot, we use the exact landing foot and then set about designing the perfect fit, a flat foot requires a shallow pad cavity, a more upturned one (like our Prime model of pads) is designed to encompass the very concave foot with a deeper cavity to hold it in place. This Xtra pad fits a flat foot.

For some peace of mind, the XTRA has been the #1 selling pad since we opened our doors, many rigs are 10-15 years old and still sporting them with no issues. This new landing foot came in around 2017 and we have seen this shape on a number of rigs long before any pads were installed and brand spanking new ones too. Your landing feet are use to heavy hydraulic pressure when leveling, so the 4 lb pad should not cause your foot to bend or distort during installation or removal.

In saying that Ray, these jack feet are perfectly fine if you plan on leveling them on "top" of a pad, wood, block, plastic etc, they will not be compatible for a "fitted" pad like ours, they simply will not stay on over time. I have actually never seen a SnapPad become concave on any foot and certainly while holding onto the foot, this jack appears to be pushing through the pad. I will get the install expert to take a look tomorrow morning on this.

You mentioned you have replaced or ordered 3 new feet, have you received and replaced your landing feet already or are you about to, if you have not gotten them yet, then they should arrive from the factory in the flat shape. You will be able to get them installed successfully if so and hopefully offer a more solid base for your feet, let me know.

I don't need to see any other shots of the landing feet thanks Ray but would like to take a look at the two pads you removed when its convenient.

We will get this worked out for you and appreciate your patience while we try :-)


So yeah, apparently mine were originally flat but are now concave and they've seen this before. I always wondered why they were dome-shaped and apparently they are not supposed to be. My guess would be that when we leveled it numerous times at the dealer on dirt the jacks slowly pushed them out of shape. But it only arrived at the dealer at the end of May and we've only had it for a hundred miles or so. I dunno...

I'll post a follow-up whenever the replacement pads arrive, probably two weeks.

Jim, they're about $32 a piece if I ordered the correct ones. I really do not want to risk a brand new unit on a damaged pad. I know metal is metal and they're not supporting the entire weight. Unfortunately they do not have a part number on them but Lippert has very few feet on their site and this is the only one that matched what I have.

https://store.lci1.com/9in-foot-pad-...es-324269.html

I'm thinking a query to Forest River's warranty department is in order if this has been seen before by the SnapPad folks.

The picture I just added was hi-def and was of the bowing at the bottom of the rear SnapPad that was still on, the one I peeled off today right after I took the picture. You can see the bent foot in the background behind and on the left of the SnapPad.

Ray
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Old 07-22-2019, 02:49 PM   #8
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UPDATE: Lippert came through and the back-ordered jack feet arrived today, about a week earlier than expected.

And I owe the RV SnapPad folks a big apology. Everything they told me about how there was a bowing problem with these Gen II Lippert jack feet was correct. I've added three pictures below of an old one (by "old" I mean barely a month since new) with the new one alongside it. Wow, there was such a difference I wasn't sure I had purchased the correct replacement parts.

From Day One I thought it was dumb that the contact points for the jack feet was just a few points and not the entire foot. As it turns out, they either were already bent when the motorhome arrived from Forest River or at the dealer. The dealer has been 1,000% fantastic on everything so I doubt it happened there and if it did, it happened within the first day or so of them having it.

On the one picture I circled the rust on the bottom of the foot, which actually is the only part of the jack foot that contacted the concrete. You cannot really tell on that picture, but the "flower" things are indented upwards so they provide no ground contact.

I will find a nice level parking lot before I try to re-install the rear SnapPads. I suspect they will go on exactly as designed.

Unfortunately, while there were new bolts and o-rings, there were no instructions on the torque setting. So I just snugged them up so that the jack foot will not rotate. The installation pattern is bolt - washer - o-ring - foot pad - o-ring and screw the bolt in. The very bottom of the jack itself is concave-shaped to accept that top o-ring.

Ray
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Old 07-22-2019, 03:05 PM   #9
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NXR, Are those feet stamped steel?
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Old 07-22-2019, 03:40 PM   #10
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NXR, Are those feet stamped steel?
Lynn
Probably. The metal is not very thick, especially since the rear two would be lifting close to 15,000 pounds between them.

If the ground is anything but solid I can easily conceive of the jack piston pushing the center down. Hopefully the much thicker SnapPads will keep that from happening again.

Ray
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Old 07-22-2019, 04:31 PM   #11
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Probably. The metal is not very thick, especially since the rear two would be lifting close to 15,000 pounds between them.

If the ground is anything but solid I can easily conceive of the jack piston pushing the center down. Hopefully the much thicker SnapPads will keep that from happening again.

Ray
I'm sorry but those feet don't look like they would hold up the weight of your RV even with Snap-Pads.
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Old 07-23-2019, 11:31 AM   #12
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I am contemplating welding a 9" circle of 1/4 plate steel to the bottom of my jacks. Or maybe even a 12x12 steel plate to give them even more stability.
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Old 07-23-2019, 04:20 PM   #13
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I would not be surprised if the designers of those pads didn't consider the thoughts of some of the ol' timer engineers around the office. I would suspect that the softness of the metal pads allows them to bend under certain stresses that RV'ers might subject them to.

Personally, I would prefer to accidentally bend a sacrificial metal plate on problematic ground then have it twist and distort the end of the ram and the ram continue down onto the likely uneven surface causing the break. Or have a heavy plate cause the rams bolt to break. At least I'd still be able to use it pretty much the rest of the trip. Even with a bend.

I had a bent pad on my Bounder that was that way when I bought it and when I got to Mexico, had a mechanic take it to a metal shop and straighten it out for me. Cost all of $10.
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Old 07-23-2019, 04:36 PM   #14
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If I was guessing I'd say it's from the jacks being extended on gravel and the gravel "squishing" enough to form a bowl.
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