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Old 03-19-2012, 02:48 PM   #1
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Insurance Issues with Hydraulic Jack

I have one jack, the driver's side rear, that has become bent and needs to be replaced. My insurance refuses to cover it because it wasn't "hit" or damaged. My extended warranty doesn't cover bent jacks.

I feel that the way it may have been bent is when I park - for 24 hours or less - in front of my house I have to use blocks underneath the jacks because of the incline otherwise. Another possibility could be damage may have been caused by a rogue wind that hit me broadside when I was parked. My MH weighs 22K lbs but many is the time when it has been rockin' and rollin' in winds.

I'm prepared to pay out of pocket EXCEPT that I can't see any case of how the jack could become bent under normal operating conditions, in which case I feel it should be covered by insurance.

Anyone have any opinions or experiences along this line that might help?
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:25 PM   #2
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Parking on an incline and using blocks under the pads is not normal operating conditions. IMHO.

joe
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:12 AM   #3
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This is a difficult question. When I read my hydraulic leveler instruction manual, it says you must not raise any wheels off the ground when leveling.
The problem is that sometimes it's impossible to level the rig without doing this. The only way I can see that you could do this would be to drive the MH up on blocks so that most of the weight is supported by the wheels. In any case, there is a strong warning that you cannot raise the rear wheels off the ground because it is the rear wheels that keep the rig from moving when parked. I think the insurance company assumes you raised the wheels off the ground and the MH slipped positions while in this position.
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:32 AM   #4
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That's going to be a tough call to have it covered by insurance. I wish you the best and hope all works out.
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:42 AM   #5
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We had the same thing happen to us with the Newmar. In Ohio at one of the State Parks the pad was very sloped and we used blocks under the jacks. We had to raise the wheels off of the ground to get it even close to level.

The jack was thus bent, and it cost me out of pocket. I should have known better and just refused the unlevel location. Expensive lesson.

Good luck, but I think you are up against a wall with the insurance co.
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:22 AM   #6
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Another thing that might cause you to bend a jack or two, is dumping your air bags (if you havebags). Do not lower your jacks, without first, dumping your air. The MH will slightly move, forward when the air is dumped, thus bending a jack or two. Ask me how I know!
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:41 AM   #7
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I need to make it clear that I'm not so much trying to get paid for the jack as to find out what could've caused it to be bent. I have no problem paying for it if through my own fault the jack warped. However, I've never raised the coach off the ground, haven't driven off with the jacks still down or anything like that. HWH swears that it is physically impossible for the jacks to warp without an outside agency causing them to. Bottom line, the insurance agent is going to revisit the problem with the RV repair folks where the MH is located to be sure I'm being told the truth and that the jack is bent. I have not physically seen it, I just know it doesn't go up and down. The adjuster has all kinds of pictures that show no sign of damage so I don't know what is going on. Incidentally, HWH says that the jacks are built so that you CAN lift the coach off the ground and maintain it that way. However, needless to say, they absolutely don't recommend that you do that!
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:40 AM   #8
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If you have air bags, you should not raise the wheels off the ground. It puts a lot of strain on the air bags. It could possibly unseat the air bag, and therefor be a costly item to repair.
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:47 AM   #9
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No air bags, I have a gasser.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:41 AM   #10
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This is a post I had made on another site about jack problems.

OK I took pictures! The first one is of my right rear jack, retracted, without the spacer block. Note the 7* outward tilt, held that way by the springs. http://i34.tinypic.com/17vkut.jpg The next one is of the same jack extended, without the spacer block. Note the 7* outward tilt, held even tighter that direction by the springs. You can also see that the pad traveled outward about 2" at full extension. http://i36.tinypic.com/2lieav4.jpg Here is the simple block I made. It's just a piece of 4X4 cut to fit with a piece of aluminum screwed to the top to hold it up. Note the cut corners on the left side. http://i35.tinypic.com/2ccs5yh.jpg This pic shows the block going in place. Note the placement of the bar so it fits in the jack mount cut out. http://i33.tinypic.com/zwc5yh.jpg This one shows the block seated all the way. Just a slip fit when you pull the jack to-wards center/vertical till it stops. http://i37.tinypic.com/121fiiw.jpg Here is the jack extended, with the block not quite all the way in. Note the jack is vertical. Straight up and down push. No side ways movement! http://i36.tinypic.com/jfartj.jpg Since doing this I have had NO problems with my jacks. If left as designed the jacks push against each other and the pads slide outward about 2" each side, about 4" total. When I fully extended them on concrete and tried to retract them the MH would go down, but the pads didn't slide in-wards resulting in a very slightly bent ram and stuck jacks. You really couldn't see the bends because the bends were stopped in the casing. You could pry them up, and they would power back down, but then they would stick on the way up again. I hadn't noticed the bends on the rear jacks and had them rebuilt by HWH. (They didn't say anything about them being bent). When this happened to my front ones I was underneath the MH and I could see the bends when they were extended. I called and asked a HWH engineer why they had a "7* pivot" as they pushed against each other and couldn't "pivot" and was told "thats the way their designed" no reason why. I think this could be a design flaw that nobody is noticing because the bent part gets stuck in the casing and you can't see it. You pry it up take it off and send it in to get rebuilt, $$$. This probably only happens if you lift the MH to full or almost full extension of the jacks, and are on a hard surface. But I'll bet it happens more than we are aware of! What do you guys think? Inquiring mind wants to know! Yaj :h
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:57 AM   #11
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I'm not sure what this had to do with mine but I did find this very interesting. Mine are straight up and down, all the time (when not bent). At least I've never noticed any tilting to one side or another. I'm guessing you had your jacks fully extended in order to put blocks under the wheels in order to take pictures?
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golden View Post
I'm not sure what this had to do with mine but I did find this very interesting. Mine are straight up and down, all the time (when not bent). At least I've never noticed any tilting to one side or another. I'm guessing you had your jacks fully extended in order to put blocks under the wheels in order to take pictures?

They are 2X10 ramps I made to drive up for easier service. I described how mine got bent and how I fixed them. (May not apply to your problem).
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