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Old 03-16-2017, 11:10 PM   #1
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Leveling with one bad jack

I have a 2016 Fleetwood Bounder with a leaking rear driver side hydraulic leveling jack (power gear system). I have an appointment in April to get this fixed at the Fleetwood service center, but I am a full timer so I still have a need to level the RV, use the slides, etc. At first it was just a pinhole, so when the jack would start sinking from the leak, I would just re-level every week or so. But now, it is really hemorrhaging fluid - so much to the point that the jack retracts to about 6" off the ground by itself only a few hours after leveling. My question is this - what is my best bet for staying level and using the slides while I have a bad jack? I'm nervous about leveling and just letting one go up using the 3 because I don't want to twist the frame. Should I just use leveling blocks under the tires and use the front jacks to keep it stable? Should I not use the jacks at all? My manual states that jacks should be down before using the slides but both dealerships that I have been to have told me you don't have to have jacks down to use the slides. Thanks for the help!
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Old 03-16-2017, 11:26 PM   #2
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I would find fairly level spots to park until you get the repairs made. Park on blocks of wood if needed. It should be comfortably level inside, but does not have to be like a pool table. Don't bother to put the jacks down until repaired.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:06 AM   #3
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My suggestion, the rear jacks hold the most weight and if one leaks down rapidly, don't use the rear jacks at all.
Try to reasonably level the rear axle with blocks (if needed) under the tires on the low end of the axle. This procedure establishes what level will be for the coach. Then lift the front two jacks slightly to release any twist on the coach chassis. Jacks normally work in pairs so pushing the front button will apply the same amount of hydraulic pressure to each jack from a common manifold allowing the side-to-side level of the front of the coach to adjust to wherever the level of the rear of the coach is. A little out of level front to back won't affect the slides.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swan-Bull View Post
I have a 2016 Fleetwood Bounder with a leaking rear driver side hydraulic leveling jack (power gear system). I have an appointment in April to get this fixed at the Fleetwood service center, but I am a full timer so I still have a need to level the RV, use the slides, etc. At first it was just a pinhole, so when the jack would start sinking from the leak, I would just re-level every week or so. But now, it is really hemorrhaging fluid - so much to the point that the jack retracts to about 6" off the ground by itself only a few hours after leveling. My question is this - what is my best bet for staying level and using the slides while I have a bad jack? I'm nervous about leveling and just letting one go up using the 3 because I don't want to twist the frame. Should I just use leveling blocks under the tires and use the front jacks to keep it stable? Should I not use the jacks at all? My manual states that jacks should be down before using the slides but both dealerships that I have been to have told me you don't have to have jacks down to use the slides. Thanks for the help!
Well Sir,
In my opinion, after about 40+ years of camping/RVing/and all that, you are correct in worrying about or, considering the frame condition when things get out of kilter. Here's just a thought. Since the coach is stable with all four jacks down and doesn't plan on going anywhere, here's what I might do/try. I'd somehow, go purchase, have made, do it yourself, whatever, get a 4"x4" or better yet, a 4"x 6" x what ever length is needed to mimic the length of that jack, from ground to the bottom of the frame.
That is, simply put, you're making the 4"x6" x ?(length) act like a jack. Then, when the jack starts to retract on its own due to fluid loss, you're still sitting on that 4"x6". And, since you (and the motor home) don't move at all, it would be quite stable. AND, this is a cheap fix, probably around $4-$5 at Lowes or Home Depot. Just a thought.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swan-Bull View Post
I have a 2016 Fleetwood Bounder with a leaking rear driver side hydraulic leveling jack (power gear system). I have an appointment in April to get this fixed at the Fleetwood service center, but I am a full timer so I still have a need to level the RV, use the slides, etc. At first it was just a pinhole, so when the jack would start sinking from the leak, I would just re-level every week or so. But now, it is really hemorrhaging fluid - so much to the point that the jack retracts to about 6" off the ground by itself only a few hours after leveling. My question is this - what is my best bet for staying level and using the slides while I have a bad jack? I'm nervous about leveling and just letting one go up using the 3 because I don't want to twist the frame. Should I just use leveling blocks under the tires and use the front jacks to keep it stable? Should I not use the jacks at all? My manual states that jacks should be down before using the slides but both dealerships that I have been to have told me you don't have to have jacks down to use the slides. Thanks for the help!
Swan-Bull
I would park with the corner of the coach with the bad jack over the highest point in a camp site and level the coach using the 3 good/working jacks.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:58 AM   #6
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Could level it (at least that corner) the old fashioned way by driving up on some blocks.
Make that corner high then bring all the rest up to match.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:53 PM   #7
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Swan-Bull
I would park with the corner of the coach with the bad jack over the highest point in a camp site and level the coach using the 3 good/working jacks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Podivin View Post
Could level it (at least that corner) the old fashioned way by driving up on some blocks.
Make that corner high then bring all the rest up to match.
The problem with those ideas is that you're still "tweaking" the frame due to the use of only three jacks. If you're going to use the tires and wheels and, blocks or ramps, then do all the leveling with them and forget the jacks completely until you can get the bad one repaired.
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Old 03-18-2017, 01:53 AM   #8
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Might find a hydraulic shop that can readily repair or provide a workaround.
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