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Old 10-11-2014, 11:00 AM   #1
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Question Jacks down?

Well unfortunately it's getting time once again to close up the RV. Question: Can the hydraulic jacks remain down for stability or should they remain raised?
Living in New England, ya never know what winter will bring
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Old 10-11-2014, 11:08 AM   #2
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I have mine down for all but travel days, but I always clean the shafts , before re-traction, any time they are down for more that a week.
Some owners don't like leaving them down, because the hoses are under constant pressure.
I like having the coach stable when in storage ( in my yard) so I can tune in the sat/TV system , while working on maintenance.
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Old 10-11-2014, 11:18 AM   #3
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Well you are going to get several opinions. I do not store my RV with the jacks down. No reason to. Slides are stored and no one is using the RV. No need to stabilize the RV.
Then think of this most all RV dealers have lots of RV on display for customers, some RV are there a long time...now how many times have you seen the RV lots with every RV with the jacks down?
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Old 10-11-2014, 02:18 PM   #4
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Being fulltimers, we use our jacks all the time and periodically clean them. However, if I was going to store the MH with no one living in it, I would leave the jacks in the store position. Best of luck.
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Old 10-11-2014, 03:41 PM   #5
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It depends on the brand of jacks. HWH says you can leave theirs down indefinitely. The shafts are made of stainless and won't rust or corrode.

Lippert on the other hand says theirs need to be cleaned and lubricated to prevent rust and corrosion every 7 days they are extended. In coastal areas or areas of high salt content in the air they need to be cleaned and lubricated every 3 they are extended.

I don't have any information on Big Foot or other brands.
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Old 10-11-2014, 05:23 PM   #6
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Down, that's what my manual says...plus, that's what they are for.
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Old 10-12-2014, 10:48 AM   #7
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Along the same lines in regards to storage - what about the Air bags? Our coach may sit for several months in storage. The air bags start deflating after only a few days. Is this normal? Should I just deflate them when I park it? Our home base is Florida so freezing is not an issue. It stays parked with the jacks retracted because the coach is not in use.
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Old 10-12-2014, 10:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beepaj View Post
Well unfortunately it's getting time once again to close up the RV. Question: Can the hydraulic jacks remain down for stability or should they remain raised?
Living in New England, ya never know what winter will bring
I have the jacks down when parked to keep the weight off the tires and suspension. However, I don't have to worry about cold wet weather. If you do keep the jacks down over winter I would coat them with grease and wipe it off in the spring before retracting them.

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Old 10-14-2014, 08:47 PM   #9
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With the Lippert system, it makes no difference whether the jacks are extended or retracted; they are always under pressure. I had jack problems with two jacks slowly extending over several days while the rig was stored and the jacks retracted. I rebuilt the jacks and that solved the problem. During the troubleshooting (I learned a lot about hydraulics, more than I wanted to know)http://www.irv2.com/forums/images/smilies/confused.gifI

I bought a pressure gauge and placed in the retract line. When retracted, the pressure runs an average of 2500 lbs, depending on the outside temperature. IIRC, if the pressure drops to 1500 lbs then the alarm goes off when you start the engine (or release the parking brake, I forget which). The manual or Lippert literature has that info about the low pressure alarm, and the indicator light will light "Jacks Down". The only way the monitor knows that the jacks may be down is because the pressure has dropped below an acceptable amount to ensure the jacks are held up in the retracted position.

I don't know what the max pressure is for extending the jacks, because I didn't put the gauge in the extend line. I would expect no more than 2500 lbs because the pump runs either forward or backward depending on whether it's extending or retracting the jacks. (The hoses are rated for 3,000 lbs working pressure).

When extending the jacks, the retract pressure falls to zero, and when retracting, the extend pressure should fall to zero (again, I did not place the gauge in the extend line.

The bottom line is that there is lots of pressure in the system either in the extend or retract mode, so leaving them up or down just means the pressure is always in the cylinders, and either in the extend or retract hoses depending on whether the jacks are extended or retracted.

There are a bunch more things I learned, none of them fun!
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Old 10-14-2014, 08:50 PM   #10
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We keep ours down. \ken
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Old 10-14-2014, 08:57 PM   #11
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It depends on the brand of jacks. HWH says you can leave theirs down indefinitely. The shafts are made of stainless and won't rust or corrode.
That's what HWH told me too and I've done it for 12 years now and have NEVER needed to lube the rams. In fact I've still got the old, original straight springs, not the newer, stronger tapered ones.
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:28 PM   #12
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Just to clarify, the OP has Power Gear jacks.

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Old 10-15-2014, 07:52 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Frunky View Post
With the Lippert system, it makes no difference whether the jacks are extended or retracted; they are always under pressure. I had jack problems with two jacks slowly extending over several days while the rig was stored and the jacks retracted. I rebuilt the jacks and that solved the problem. During the troubleshooting (I learned a lot about hydraulics, more than I wanted to know)http://www.irv2.com/forums/images/smilies/confused.gifI

I bought a pressure gauge and placed in the retract line. When retracted, the pressure runs an average of 2500 lbs, depending on the outside temperature. IIRC, if the pressure drops to 1500 lbs then the alarm goes off when you start the engine (or release the parking brake, I forget which). The manual or Lippert literature has that info about the low pressure alarm, and the indicator light will light "Jacks Down". The only way the monitor knows that the jacks may be down is because the pressure has dropped below an acceptable amount to ensure the jacks are held up in the retracted position.

I don't know what the max pressure is for extending the jacks, because I didn't put the gauge in the extend line. I would expect no more than 2500 lbs because the pump runs either forward or backward depending on whether it's extending or retracting the jacks. (The hoses are rated for 3,000 lbs working pressure).

When extending the jacks, the retract pressure falls to zero, and when retracting, the extend pressure should fall to zero (again, I did not place the gauge in the extend line.

The bottom line is that there is lots of pressure in the system either in the extend or retract mode, so leaving them up or down just means the pressure is always in the cylinders, and either in the extend or retract hoses depending on whether the jacks are extended or retracted.

There are a bunch more things I learned, none of them fun!
The issue with Lippert jacks isn't whether or not the cylinders are under pressure. The issue is the pistons can rust or corrode if left in the down position without regularly cleaning and lubricating them.

As I mentioned in a previous post the manufacturer recommends cleaning and lubrication every 7 days of extended time under "normal" conditions. In a salt air environment they recommend cleaning and lubrication every 3 days.

Unless you're willing to go through the maintenance and cleaning procedure every 3 to 7 days I wouldn't leave them extended for long periods of storage. The last thing you want is rust or corrosion to form on the piston and have it take out a seal when you retract the jacks.
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Old 10-15-2014, 07:58 AM   #14
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If I knew that the coach would be parked for six months, I think I'd raise the coach until wheels were off the ground, crib the frame, then retract the jacks.

Jacks would be caged and tires wouldn't develop any flat spots.
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