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Old 03-29-2011, 04:20 PM   #1
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Leveling jacks, slow retraction

I have a 2006, Dutchstar Diesel Pusher with a spartan Chassis. My problem is when retracting my level pads it takes 5 or more minutes. I had the springs replaced but that hasn't helped one iota. Has anyone an idea of what the problem is?

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Old 03-29-2011, 04:28 PM   #2
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Are they power gear? If so I suggest you red the lubrication instructions in the manual.

NOTE: this may apply to other brands as well but I know it applies to Power Gear since that is what I have.

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Old 03-29-2011, 05:05 PM   #3
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Hi ddelman,
You, most likely, have HWH levelers. Because new springs did not help and assuming you have sprayed the cylinders the only other component are the valves that allow the fluid back into the reservoirs. To see if it is the valves, get a long steel rod. When a jack will not retract, try to force it up. If you can force it up, the problem may be in the cylinders. If you can not force the jack up, the problem may be the valve.
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Old 03-29-2011, 05:57 PM   #4
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I don't know how fast Jacks are supposed to work. On my coach I start the engine to fill air bags and the HWH system to retract the Jacks. Air bags are usually inflated before Jacks are fully retracted...so I turn off the engine and restart jack stowage for a few minutes. I then stow my jack pads, do my walk around ensuring slides are fully in, awning in and locked. By the time I get back in HWH is in travel mode. The last 1/4 to 1/2 inch on my curb side rear is the slowest. All in all probably takes about 5 minutes.
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:46 AM   #5
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I was at the HWH factory 2 summers ago for a nasty bedroom slide leak repair. At that time, they 'tested' the level/stow time of the levelers. I had 2 jacks that would not retract in the test time, 1 of which did not retract at all.

They tested the valves, which were fine and then said the only cure was jack replacement, which I did at a cost of about $500 for both jacks. I also got new springs all the way around. Total bill was $700.

It's a night and day difference. The jacks are back up in less than 60 seconds.

My jacks were 8 years old and we do use them alot.

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Old 03-30-2011, 05:50 AM   #6
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I have lubricated the shafts with silicone and white lithium grease, which is what Newmar uses. Both made a drastic improvement.
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:25 AM   #7
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HWH recommends no lubing but to clean wipe down the piston with automatic trans fluid. That sped mine up dramatically.

If you're where it's cold, the fluid loses its viscosity (ability to flow) and may take over 30 minutes to retract. Again per HWH (in their manual).
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:08 PM   #8
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Slow jacks

You will find many posts for this problem BUT my experience is that slow retraction is usually associated with the seals. I have tried all the lithums grease and such but a good cleaning with WD40 has worked for me. I replaced 3 sets of springs and used the metal pole and everything mentioned but the cleaning of the piston rod with WD40 is all that helped. Even HWH will give you inconsistent answers for this problem. Good Luck and happy RVing.
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:28 PM   #9
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If mine get ''slow'' I hit them with WD40 and give them a good wipe down while they are extended then I hit them with a lite coat of ''White Lube'' and retract them. If they have been down for a month or so I use the above procedure just to clean the dust off them. My jacks are on a Pace Arrow and they are ten years old. The ''Jack Cylinders, pump and control valves'' should last us longer than the coach should last. I worked with hydrolics (sp) for about 15 years and no more than these cylinders are used, they should last forever unless they are made out of paper.

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Old 03-30-2011, 01:44 PM   #10
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Of all the jacks we serviced, We had the most poblems with HWH. They are a good company to deal with but their jacks tend to bind more than any other co. WE had on customer who took his jacks to a regular hyd. cylinder rebuild co. and said he had no more problems after they rebuilt his. I started asking other customers and several told me they went local, rather than going back to the manuf. They also said it was much cheaper. The best way to find out if it is the cylinder, although messy, is to unscrew the hose at the jack and see if it comes up faster. If it is still very slow the jack is the problem.
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:05 PM   #11
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My HWH jacks retract so fast there is a loud"clunk" when each jack hits home and our coach is a 1989 with 66,000 miles on it. I do spray the extended cyl rods whenever I plan on the jacks being down for any extended period of time.
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:10 PM   #12
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Not what they recommend, but I wipe my power gear cylinders down with atf every once ina while. It keeps em working.
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:50 PM   #13
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If the inner seals have twisted the jacks piston will lock right up.
If its bad use a 8 ton jack and jack up jack location and put wood blocks under jack pad than drop the 8 ton jack.
The weight of chassis will force the piston up.
May have to do a few times to keep alarm from going off.
The jack will have to be replaced.
One other thing make sure your fluid level is where it should be or you will have air in your lines.
I had to replace one jack front driver side which I got from HWH. Replacement was no problem just follow instructions.
My system is now 7 years old and still has original springs and they retract without delay.
I do spray with silicone and wipe them down a couple times a season or if shafts get dirty after a rain storm will do it than.

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