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Old 10-24-2013, 01:22 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Summerville, SC
Posts: 53
Leveling Jack comes up slowly

I have a Winnebago Journey DL 2001. It has four hydraulic leveling jacks. After they are deployed, you push a single button to retract them. When I push said button the two front ones are stored in about 20-30 seconds or less. The rear driver side takes about a minute and a half or more and the passenger rear takes well over 2 minutes. Also, on a recent trip the alarm went off for the “jacks down” signal. I pulled over as soon as I could and the rear passenger side jack was down about an inch. I proceeded to a rest area, parked and push the button to level the motor home. I then immediately pushed the switch to raise the jacks on the rear. In about 30 seconds or so the jack was up and the alarm was happy, as was my wife and I.

Any idea if this is a faulty hydraulic motor I need to replace or maybe something less expensive?

Thanks …. Dan dlboarman@bellsouth.net

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Old 10-24-2013, 01:31 PM   #2
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lower the jacks and spray with w.d 40 they grt a lot of dirt on the cylinder shaft.

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Old 10-24-2013, 01:36 PM   #3
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IT may also need a bit of fluid.
Larry B, Luckiest Dreamer
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:38 PM   #4
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I don't think there's anything wrong with the hydraulic system itself. When you store the jacks, do you let the HWH system timeout, and turn itself off, or do you push the OFF button when all the jacks are stored? If you turn the system off when the jack lights go out, they have not completely stored. HWH says to let the jack control panel turn off by timeing out, after the jacks are stored.

Remember, they are retracted hydraulically; they are raised by the two strong coil springs that are attached to each jack foot. The springs eventually get weak, and need replacing. HWH sells the springs, and it's a job that can be done at home, if you are careful to follow safety procedures, and use a simple technique to help you.

I did my own several years ago, as others here have done, as well. If you are going to replace the back pair of springs, post back, or search the forum, and you will get tips on how to make it a pretty easy job.
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:51 PM   #5
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I got this from another web site and used it on ours and it works great. Get a oil squirt can and put automatic transmission fluid (ATF) in it. Deploy the jacks and squirt the ATF up towards the seal where the jacks retract back into. Wipe down the shaft with an old rag or some paper towels. Do this 2 or 3 times. You will be amazed how much dirt and stuff comes out from around that lower seal. And if all is good they will work like new. By the way, the only difference between ATF and hydraulic fluid is the ATF is red.
R & E
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:55 PM   #6
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Location: Summerville, SC
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Thanks for the input.

I did spray with WD40 and it helped. But the rear still takes minutes compared to the front. And, there is issue of the jack coming down.

Post related to storing. You are right that typically I turn the system off once the jacks are stored... mostly because I am ready to go once that final jack is up. I will try it without turning it off.

And, the post related to the springs. It might be the springs. I assumed that once the pressure was off the hydraulics that about any spring pressure would raise them and hold them up. However, I cannot count the number of times I have been wrong !! I will try forcing it up... as if a strong spring and see what happens.

Thanks ... Dan
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:58 PM   #7
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Lastly, I will try cleaning with ATF. Since this is on the rear more dust and dirt probably gets on that area.

I know you guys know this, but the forum is outstanding !!
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Old 10-24-2013, 02:10 PM   #8
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After I spray the WD40 up on the seal, I stick a few Q tips up there to wipe out the dirt. They come out BLACK with road dirt.
Tom and Katharine
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Old 10-24-2013, 02:24 PM   #9
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I have a 2000 Adventurer and had the same problem with rear jacks. One was slower than the other. I cleaned and wiped down and it helped for a while. I then ordered and replaced springs. Winnebago had changed the springs a couple of years after these and made them a bit stronger. They didn't make a lot of difference and I changed both back leveler jacks. They have been fine since but I now have wooden pads I put under the jacks (approx 6" thick) to prevent me from having to extend them out as far. My opinion is that the rams are not the thickest and can be slightly bent at full extension and there is any lateral stress or even big wind. This can put a very small bend in the rams and make it hard or impossible to retract. Also being 6" of the ground they have less distance to be fully retracted. I have seen much larger rams on similar size rvs and don't know why Winnebago went with the lighter ones. JMHO
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:19 PM   #10
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Not WD 40, Not jack fluid or tans fluid, but the lubricant RECOMMENDED in the owner's manual.. Read the manual.

Also, on some Motor homes the rear jack will have a ZERK fitting, a shot or two (two the 1st time only) of white lithium grease in that zerk can help.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:41 PM   #11
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I refer you to this thread Leveling jacks taking forever! which contains documented information that it is normal for jacks to require up to 26 minutes in cold weather to retract.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA 1SG, retired;PPA,Good Sam Life member."We the people are the rightful masters of both the Congress and the Courts - not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow men who pervert theConstitution. "Abraham Lincoln"
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:11 AM   #12
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Ray,In, thanks for the link to the forum. That has a lot of good information on it.'

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Old 10-25-2013, 10:42 AM   #13
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when you retract hwh jacks, the control box is programmed to start retracting the front first. the rear jacks start retracting a few seconds later. the rear jacks are the farther away from the pump, and in some cases are larger jacks, hence they contain more fluid. thats why they take longer.
if your alarm goes off while driving, reach over, hit the store button and keep driving. you dont have to stop. that is the only function that will work on the hwh system without the park brake being set. if the alarm doesnt stop the cylinder or springs need replacing.
if you have a 2001 coach, and have never cleaned or changed the springs, that is a large part of the problem. odds are that you have the original, old style springs. the new springs are stronger than the old ones. springs accumulate road grime and rust between the turns on the springs. this results in springs being 1 to 2 inches longer than original. clean them with a wire brush and rust solvent. it will help. replacing them is the best repair.
if your jack doesnt retract within 4 minutes in 70 degree weather, with new springs, the cylinder will have to be rebuilt. you can send it to hwh, have it repaired, at less cost than a new one, and get a one year warranty on the repair.
download a service manual for your system. its available at the jack system website. power gear, hwh, lippert, kwikee, all have information free for the asking.
wd40 or atf are the recommended cleaning fluids for hwh systems.
but honestly, isnt cleaning the cylinder with some type of cleaner better than doing nothing and complaining.
last, the fluid level has nothing to do with hwh jack retraction. it also has nothing to do with the alarm on the hwh systems. this applies only to power gear systems.
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:08 AM   #14
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Location: Summerville, SC
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Azpete, thanks for the excellent information ! I plan to try cleaning them today and then see how they do on retracting. The slow retracting bothers me but not nearly as much as the one jack starting to deploy as I am driving. You would think that if the rear jacks are naturally going to take longer to retract that HWH would have programmed the control box to start the rear first !?!

On the jack dropping during driving. I don't think I can activate the store feature without first turning on the leveling system. When I do that (with the parking brake on) the first thing the coach does is to lower itself several inches. I know if I start driving too quickly the rear "mud flap" for lack of a better word, will be dragging the road. Maybe if I am driving and turn the system on, a lockout will prevent the lowering function to work? I will test that too today.

If the cleaning does not speed up the retracting, I will look into replacing the springs. I think I can test this by using a 2x4 to force the jack up ... if that works then a stronger spring would probably help.

Again, thanks ... Dan

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