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Old 03-20-2011, 01:34 PM   #1
Dmreese1's Avatar
National RV Owners Club
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PowerGear Leveling Jack Question

Having a discussion at our local RV park here in Key West, FL and there is a bunch of folks telling me it will damage my hydraulic jacks to have all the coach weight on them.

The issue is that to level my Tropical, I have the front wheels up off the ground or just barely on the ground. The "campfire" discussions are that my hydraulic jacks will begin to leak with this constant load on them for 3-4 weeks at a time.

Thought I get the opinion of the NRV group here as a clarification.

Appreciate any help on this.


2005 National Tropical w/Cat 350
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:23 AM   #2
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This is from the Powergear manual

2007 Sea Breeze LX 8321 Ford Chassis
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:41 PM   #3
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I don't think it would matter, if you are lifting the load, you are lifting the load. Rather than lift the front off the ground, I would use leveling blocks under the wheels.

I would say "Urban Legend"

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Old 03-22-2011, 01:33 AM   #4
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If I have to crank up a corner enough to lift a wheel I'll put blocks under it. It just seems prudent to distribute that load as much as possible. The jacks can obviously handle the load in the short term, but I'd be concerned about bleed-down if they were being used to support the full weight of a corner of a coach for any period of time.

Plus, living in earthquake country... I'd rather have a cushioned relationship with terra firma...
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:07 AM   #5
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You will not have a problem with having your front wheels off the ground unless there is a side angle. Never lift the rear wheels off the ground.
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:06 AM   #6
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Will it damage the jacks to hold the weight of the coach: No
Will they start to leak: Yes, Eventually, 100% guarantee there, this is normal as they wear out however and not caused by them holding up the coach.

However, that said.

IF BOTH front wheels are off the ground, and a big wind hits you sideways the rig can be pushed to the side, this can turn your very nice jacks into a pair of very expensive pretzles since they are NOT designed to take a shear load, Compression loads do not bother them but shear loads are a no no.

Likewise if even one REAR wheel is off the ground,, Again this can let the rig move forward or backward and damage the jacks same way.

If you have a handy dandy source of compressed air I'd visit Harbor Freight and ask about their 12 ton air/hydraulic bottle jack, Pick up one of the front wheels (the one nearest the ground) using said jack and slide some nice thick slabs of wood under it and let it back down.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:15 PM   #7
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Thanks to ALL

Great info! Thanks for the advice!

2005 National Tropical w/Cat 350
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:00 PM   #8
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Not hard on the jacks but I think if you have air bags they are not designed to lift a load but to carry a load.

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