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Old 01-11-2015, 03:42 PM   #1
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Landing Gear Question

This issue may have been answered elsewhere, but I haven't been able to find much on it. So I will post my question with a pre-amble.
I have a fifth wheel with electric front landing gear, and electric rear "stabilizers". My system is not self levelling. I also have SteadyFast stabilizers. Now, I don't expect the SteadyFast to make the RV completely rock solid, but I think it could be steadier than it is now.
Here is the way that I set up the RV now. I level it fore-aft with the front slightly low, then I lower the rear stabilizers, then raise the front again to make the unit level. But I am always unsure how much "force" that I can put on the front landing gear. I realize that the more weight that I can get off the wheels, the steadier the unit will be, but I don't want to wreck the motor or damage the landing gear. I have already broken the bolts that hold the square connecting bar (each end, different occasions). So I am a bit reluctant to put too much strain on the system.
So I guess my question is, how much force should I apply to the front landing gear?
Thanks for your help.
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Old 01-11-2015, 03:55 PM   #2
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You're doing it backwards. Bring the trailer level fore and aft with the front jacks; they are the most powerful ones. Bring down the rear stabilizer(s) until they meet the ground or your blocks and and just a bit more. When you see the back of the FW rise about 1/4", stop. You're done. You're never going to get a FW to stop bouncing around a bit, IMHO. I don't know for sure, but I'd guess you will still get some movement with a 6-point hydraulic leveling system. Maybe someone else here can verify that.
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Old 01-11-2015, 04:20 PM   #3
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You don't state if you've a single motor or dual motor landing gear setup. Also, are the front legs individually extendable? Our original landing gear had a single motor, but extendable legs so I didn't have to have the ground level. If I hadn't had those extendable legs, I would have had to get the spots the feet touched to be level or there'd be unequal load on each leg. That could be one reason you sheared a bolt. A single motor setup is also typically not rated to actually lift your 5ers front end. After having one leg shear while near a train track and not being able to hear or see it was up, and then another jamming, I replaced the whole setup with a new dual motor Bulldog set. Now I can level at the front and even raise the whole unit if I want without any worry.
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Old 01-12-2015, 05:59 PM   #4
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I don't have the six point level system but I do use two bottle jacks (I just happen to have them) under the front axel port and starboards sides. First I do the standard leveling. Next I lower the rear stabilizer to contact to ground. Then I slide the bottle jacks to the frame at the axels using leveling blocks to level them. I do not pump them as I believe they loose pressure over time (even a little defeats). Using the rear stabilizer I raise the RV 1-1/2 inches, slide the bottle jacks under the frame and then lower the stabilizer to snug fit them.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:30 PM   #5
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If he has a bar connecting the 2 legs together than he has 1 motor.
You're doing what I do. Get level side to side, then with the front low I extend my rear stabilizers until they are just snug, then I raise the front until level. This unloads the suspension and eliminates most of the bounce. You don;t say what brand of stabilizers or front legs, find the model and look up the weight ratings. That will give you the most direct answer.
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Old 01-13-2015, 03:26 PM   #6
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The rear jacks are not designed to support the unit. It is a stabilizer. They should always be the last to go down. The length greatly affects stability. Use blocks to shorten length and that will help a lot.
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Old 02-02-2015, 02:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralphie View Post
You're doing it backwards. Bring the trailer level fore and aft with the front jacks; they are the most powerful ones. Bring down the rear stabilizer(s) until they meet the ground or your blocks and and just a bit more. When you see the back of the FW rise about 1/4", stop. You're done. You're never going to get a FW to stop bouncing around a bit, IMHO. I don't know for sure, but I'd guess you will still get some movement with a 6-point hydraulic leveling system. Maybe someone else here can verify that.
The 6 point will take the bounce out but even with the landing legs canted out you will get some wiggle. I have the 6 point and put down the rear stabilizers and put a tripod under the pin. Near perfect.
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