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Old 07-01-2022, 11:25 AM   #1
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won't fully Retract pedestals 2006 Monarch 33 foot

I am off grid on my 20 acres hayfield that got incredibly wet and soft. The hydraulic leveling system is not fully operational in that the jacks are not completely retracting. Complicating this matter is that the whole motorhome itself on the tires has probably sunk six inches while not being moved. The jacks push themselves remain extended in the ground about 6 in minimum probably more. Now they won't retract. It sounded like the retract pump was working initially but it quit long before the jacks were fully retracted so now they are plunged into the ground at least 60 in still all the way around.

So now I'm stuck in my field and I looked at the owner's manual and it looks like it can either be electrical or hydraulic and possibly from overfilling the hydraulic reservoir rather than it being underfilled. Is there a workaround so that one could manually retract the jacks so that they don't create piers?
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Old 07-01-2022, 11:36 AM   #2
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If I am reading your post correctly, it sounds to me that your hydraulic levelling jacks are buried in mud and the retracting mechanism just doesn't have the power to lift them free. Most systems don't provide a lot of power to lift the jacks, and the suction of the mud under your motorhome is stronger than the hydraulics.

I doubt there's much you can do to correct this problem short of digging the feet of your hydraulic jacks free of mud and trying again.

Good luck with that.
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Old 07-01-2022, 11:53 AM   #3
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I have owned a number of motorhomes from basic gas units to luxury diesels and have never had a hydraulic jack system that "power" retracts. All of mine have relied on the springs on the jacks to pull the foot up once the hydraulic pressure is released.

I've had jack pads stuck a few times when sunk in and each time I had to dig the material off the top of them, and sometimes get the shovel under them to start the movement with some upward pressure.
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Old 07-01-2022, 12:27 PM   #4
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If the jacks on your Monarch are hydraulic, they are single-action and do not power retract - there are springs on each jack that give a bit of lift but won't overcome much resistance. If you can see springs on the jack legs, they are hydraulic. Electric-powered jacks don't have much power in reverse either, so even a few inches of mud is enough to stop them. Is there a brand name on the jack controller? If Atwood they are probably electric; if Power Gear or HWH they are single-action hydraulic.



In either case, the answer is to either dig out around the jacks or slip a pole of some sort under each one and give it some help by prying upward. Drive it straight until the wheels are up on top of the surface - turning the steering just creates more resistance to movement.


You will probably have to dig a path for the coach wheels too, and maybe line it with planks or "traction pads" made for that purpose.
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Old 07-02-2022, 08:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
If the jacks on your Monarch are hydraulic, they are single-action and do not power retract - there are springs on each jack that give a bit of lift but won't overcome much resistance. If you can see springs on the jack legs, they are hydraulic. Electric-powered jacks don't have much power in reverse either, so even a few inches of mud is enough to stop them. Is there a brand name on the jack controller? If Atwood they are probably electric; if Power Gear or HWH they are single-action hydraulic.



In either case, the answer is to either dig out around the jacks or slip a pole of some sort under each one and give it some help by prying upward. Drive it straight until the wheels are up on top of the surface - turning the steering just creates more resistance to movement.


You will probably have to dig a path for the coach wheels too, and maybe line it with planks or "traction pads" made for that purpose.
You may be referring to jack models that are specifically installed on the Monarch but my Winnebago has hydraulic jacks that do not rely on springs for retraction. They retract via running of the pump motor, and I'm supposing, the reversing of hydraulic fluid flow. Having said this, I have no idea whether the pressure to retract is less than pressure to extend.

The OP did mention that the pump stopped when they tried to retract. This makes it sound like they have a system similar to mine. OP, is the pump running at all now? If not, then I'd guess there's a big fuse blown or possibly a breaker that needs to be reset.

Agree with the posts here stating that the jacks need to be uncovered and possibly assisted by prying up during retraction.

I do have first hand experience with getting stuck. Can usually drive in my yard anytime but I found out the hard way that this isn't so if it has rained non stop for a couple of days. My motorhome sank about the same 6 inches and slowed to a stop. I immediately shut the engine down before making things worse, then waited a couple of days before attempting to get it unstuck. Turned out to be easy placing wood under the jacks and lifting enough to put some wood under the tires. Cleaned up the ruts afterwards and it wasn't long before the evidence of my goof was gone!
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Old 07-02-2022, 09:41 AM   #6
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The Monaco Monarch, HR Admiral and Safari Simba (gas) of this era are similar coaches. As near as I can tell from the 2006 Monarch owner's manual, the Power Gear system is similar to the one in my coach: hydraulic extend and spring retract.

As noted in a previous post, it should be easy confirm this on the OP's coach by looking for springs next to the hydraulic cylinders each location. There may not be a lot of room to see underneath at this point.

If it is spring return, then get out the shovel and pry bar.

That doesn't fix the wheels/tires being underground. If it were me, I'd be inclined to talk up the local truck towing service about methods to lift the coach evenly until I could get solid earth under the tires. I'd be disinclined to used the leveling jacks for the lift. I'm cautious that way, though.

Based on past experience, it would cost me about $200 or so to have the truck guys show up with blocking and their big compressor and jacks. Fast and safe.
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Old 07-02-2022, 09:49 AM   #7
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My jacks are hydraulic up and down and they don't have springs.
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Old 07-02-2022, 10:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
You may be referring to jack models that are specifically installed on the Monarch but my Winnebago has hydraulic jacks that do not rely on springs for retraction. They retract via running of the pump motor, and I'm supposing, the reversing of hydraulic fluid flow. Having said this, I have no idea whether the pressure to retract is less than pressure to extend.
Yes, I was specifically referring to the jacks on a Monarch of that vintage. My own coach has hydraulic jacks similar to yours, but we aren't talking about my coach or yours or UFO Pilot's coach either.
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