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Old 02-07-2013, 03:32 PM   #1
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Bigfoot Jacks issue


I'm trying to help my neighbor with a problem. He got the original jacks on his Cruise Master replaced with 4 Bigfoot units. They work fine, but since each jack has its own pump/oil reservoir, it's a pain to crawl down there everytime they need to be refilled, plus half the oil gets spilled while doing so.

We're trying to figure out a way of installing an additional tank somewhere in the engine bay, and plumb it to the jacks so that there's no need to fill each reservoir independently.

Has anyone done something like that? I'm just trying to think of potential issues before we get our hands dirty. Any suggestions?

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Old 02-07-2013, 09:00 PM   #2
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Art: My 2000 Georgie Boy Landau has Bigfoot jacks, and in over 12 years, I've added about 4 oz of fluid to one jack reservoir, probably 10 years ago. They just have not leaked or lost fluid.

Using a central reservoir would have to be plumbed as a closed system. If fluid is allowed to fill the reservoirs with the jacks extended they will overflow when retracted.
Just a thought....Is your neighbor filling the jacks or checking the fluid level with the jacks extended? That may be why they always need fluid....Check or fill only with the jacks retracted....
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:42 PM   #3
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That's a good point. I'll ask him tomorrow. I was wondering why he has to refill so often. I thought it was normal, since our rig has an HWH system that doesn't work and we don't use/need so I'm not very familiar with leveling systems.

I guess we will check tomorrow. Maybe there's no need for that adaptation. In case there was, I was thinking maybe connecting all four pumps on each jack to the extra reservoir directly, skipping the individual tanks, because the way he suggested was to use the extra tank to refill all the tanks, which doesn't make a lot of sense, since the oil wouldn't be distributed evenly, and there wouldn't be a way for the oil to go just to the tank that needed it. In other words, some tanks would be too full while others would be too empty. If we skipped the individual tanks, each jack would get the oil needed from the "main" tank.

We'll see. Thanks for the input!
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:11 AM   #4
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I agree with the previous posts. The Big Foot jacks should not need frequent maintenance. I cut a tie wrap to measure the 3/4" level on mine and bought a pump oil can with a flxible spout to use for filling. Level does have to be checked with jacks in "up" position so crawling under is kind of a pain. If you need expert technicaal advice contact Rick in Tech Support at Quadra Manufacturing. He has been extremely helpful to me in the past.

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Old 02-08-2013, 02:03 PM   #5
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Well, I just talked to my neighbor.
He says the jacks do leak a little bit over time, and fixing them is not an option since they are still giving him good service. But his issue is not just how often he has to add fluid, but how hard it is everytime he has to. He says he does check the level with the jacks in the upper position, and that last time he had to add fluid, it took about a quart to refill all of them, and that he usually has to add some more everytime he travels, depending on how often he operates them (he's a winter texan so he basically travels twice a year).

In other words, he wanted me to help him improve something that's not that big of a problem, but maybe could be done anyway. I told him that, from my point of view, it would not be a good idea to have a tank to refill all the tanks using just one line (he was thinking of it the same as the battery watering systems, just use gravity to bring the fluid to the reservoirs in each jack). Doing it that way, there would be no way to control which tank the fluid goes to. And given how the tanks-pumps are assembled, theres no way to bypass the individual tanks so all the pumps would feed off the extra tank. I suggested just installing 4 oil hoses, from the top of each tank to the engine compartment, doing some kind of base, and label each hose, so he could easily add oil remotely with a funnel to the jack that needed it, therefore no more crawling under the moho and spilling a bunch of oil. But then as he said, 'how do I know which jack needs oil? I would still need to get down there to check.' I suggested using some device like a mirror attached to a long stick, so he didn't have to get down there, but he didn't seem to like the idea very much.

Any other options we might be missing?
Thanks everyone for your help. I appreciate it.
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