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Old 10-23-2015, 06:06 PM   #1
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Switching from MH to 5th Wheel with Questions

Hi Y'all. We are selling the 2000 Allegro Bay and have begun looking at 5th wheels. I have lots of questions but here are two of them. First, I'd like to know the pros and cons of electric and hydraulic jacks. Second, why are the power cords not hard wired - it seems like a hassle along with the fact that I'd like to hard wire power protection. Thanks for your help.

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Old 10-23-2015, 06:50 PM   #2
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Flyer,
Never had electric jacks, so no idea about them. Hydraulic jacks usually have a back up system so they can be lowered/raised by had vice powered, so for me that's a big pro. Now as for your power cord, most 5ers have removable power cords because they are external to the RV (stick out), so they are removable to prevent damage during transit.
Hope this helps.
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Old 10-23-2015, 08:47 PM   #3
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We just went from our 05 DutchStar (bought new) to a 16 DRV Elite Suite Houston. We love the additional room. It's like a small home.
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Old 10-23-2015, 08:50 PM   #4
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Typically a hydraulic leveling system works like a motorhome. They work faster then than electric jacks. Another way to say it is 'Electric' hacks are old school.

My 5th wheel has the 6 point leveling system. It makes it easy to disconnect from the truck then easy to level. Unlike a motorhome you need to be outside by the leveling system control panel.

With the older style electric system it only works the front jacks. You use the front jacks to get it off the truck then level front to back only. Not side to side. I believe you need boards under your tires to level side to side.

With a 6 point hydraulic system you can lift one side if you need to change a tire.

Note: on my trailer when I hit 'Auto Level' I still need to tweak it a bit as it is just close to level. I need to then set my system to 'manual' mode and lower the front just a bit.
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Old 10-24-2015, 12:13 PM   #5
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I just went from Class A to 5th wheel.

I've had 6 Class A's and got fed up with the high cost of maintenance. I have to have a truck for work anyways.

I don't regret it one Iota! Wish I would have done it sooner!

I wish I had auto level jacks but don't. Hydraulic would be nicer.
I have Electric jacks on a gorgeous 5 year old, well appointed 40' 5th Wheel. It wasn't a deal breaker for me that it had an electric leveling system . Takes me about 10 minutes longer than an auto level system would take. I can do a lot of leveling for the extra $5,000 it would cost for an auto system.
Most RV sites I go to are pretty level so some I don't have to do anything but front to back. On auto level, you still have to raise the front to get off the truck and level from there.

I'd find the model and floor plan you like in the price range you want. If it comes with hydraulic or auto level, great! If not, you're still okay! If affordable and an absolute must, you can have an after market system installed.
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Old 10-24-2015, 10:10 PM   #6
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Our jacks are hydraulic and we have a 4 point auto level system. It has been dead on level and really stable every time we have used it in the past 3 seasons.

Our external electric cord is a 30 footer. I recently replaced the cord with an all weather, flexible, smaller diameter and lighter cord with 4 6 gauge stranded wires that I built myself for around $110. A great improvement. We also have a hard wired 50 amp Progressive surge protector that is in the coach basement just past the inlet plug. Works well.

We also made the switch from a dp 3 1/2 years ago. Much better economically for us and we are having just as much fun.
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Old 10-26-2015, 09:16 PM   #7
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We have a light 5er. About 8,000 dry and 30 ft. Had to go on O2 and it was hard for me to bend and crank even just the back jacks, so I had Rieco-Titan electric jacks installed and barring a few minor issues I think they are Great! Mine are not total auto- I have a remote control. The old front legs were replaced and added back also. I can level front to back and side to side. Most places in 2 or 3 minutes. They have been on for three years and I wouldn't be without them. They are at 5,000 each. You operate them two at a time; fronts,backs,right side, or left side. I love mine.
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Old 10-27-2015, 01:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
With the older style electric system it only works the front jacks. You use the front jacks to get it off the truck then level front to back only. Not side to side. I believe you need boards under your tires to level side to side.
All true, but then, we used to pitch a tent and that took much longer.
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Old 10-27-2015, 01:20 PM   #9
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Good info here: RV Safety|RV Towing Calculator|Tow Ratings|GCWR
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