How to manually raise/lower legs when hydraulics fail

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mijdeets

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Aug 2, 2018
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Alberta, Canada
I am new to trailer camping and just found this forum site which I am very excited to explore and learn from you all.  I have an older 5th wheel, kept in very good shape, 1996 TravelAir Rustler 26'.  But I am paranoid that one day the hydraulics won't work on the legs and I won't be able to raise or lower them and be stuck somewhere!  I am just wondering if you can help me understand where I can use the crank that came with the trailer to raise/lower the legs manually on the trailer?  I've attached a picture of where I think it might be?  This compartment is right below the compartment where I can automatically lower/raise the legs.  Is this the where I would manually raise/lower the legs?  I'm not sure why the previous owner has sealed around it.  Would I just pry off the round cap and insert my manual crank there or would I need to unscrew the whole piece first?  And then is it just a matter of turning the manual crank?  That part also baffles me as the trailer must be extremely heavy to crank up or down?  As you can see.....very new ha ha.  Hoping for some help for peace of mind.
 

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Joezeppy

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Upstate NY - Kuyahoora Valley
Your photo was not attached but my 5th wheel has a small plug (which is also caulked over for some reason), in the driver's side propane compartment that you just pry out and then use the crank.
 

BruceinFL

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Mar 12, 2005
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3,205
First, are you sure the legs are hydraulic? Some are just electric motors. The access hole for the crank should be on one side or the other right above the legs or real close. The hole may be plugged since the access is so very rarely used that many people plug the hole to keep out wasps or moisture. In the 20 yrs or so that I have had fifth wheels, I have never had the need to use the crank. (Oh Oh...now I've done it. I better go look for the crank. ;) :D
 

mijdeets

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Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Posts
16
Location
Alberta, Canada
Good point Bruce.  I really don't know if they are hydraulic or electric.  I push the button up or down and the legs go up or down ha ha.  That's the extent of my knowledge right now.  knocking on wood twice so you don't need your crank!
 

Rene T

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Farmington NH
Go into the front compartment so you can see the mechanism. Usually on the right side, drivers side, you'll see the square tubing for the leg. Feel around to the outside of that leg, you should feel a short shaft sticking out of the square tubing. that's where the wrench would go on. Is that shaft adjacent to that plate you pictured? If it is, all you need to do is pry off the plug, insert the wrench and start turning. It won't take much effort. You should try it one time just to make sure you have the right wrench. I have 2 wrenches. One for the front jacks and a different one for the rear stabilizers.
 

mijdeets

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Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Posts
16
Location
Alberta, Canada
Thanks Rene, that was great advise.  I believe I found it and it also appears to be an electric motor as was mentioned earlier.  I will definitely be testing this out to make sure I know what I'm doing.  Will cranking from just this one side raise/lower BOTH legs?  I assume it must eh?
 

Rene T

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Farmington NH
mijdeets said:
Thanks Rene, that was great advise.  I believe I found it and it also appears to be an electric motor as was mentioned earlier.  I will definitely be testing this out to make sure I know what I'm doing.  Will cranking from just this one side raise/lower BOTH legs?  I assume it must eh?

Yes it will raise both sides. When you look in the front compartment, you'll  see a square shaft which connects both legs.
 

Joezeppy

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Mar 16, 2009
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Upstate NY - Kuyahoora Valley
Rene T said:
I have 2 wrenches. One for the front jacks and a different one for the rear stabilizers.
Same here. I've never checked to see if they are both 3/4" but the landing gear wrench has a longer shaft on it to reach all the way in past the propane compartment.
 

Rene T

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Farmington NH
Joezeppy said:
Same here. I've never checked to see if they are both 3/4" but the landing gear wrench has a longer shaft on it to reach all the way in past the propane compartment.

The ends of mine are different.
 

Rene T

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Farmington NH
Now I have to take back nearly everything I said.  I just went out to check my wrenches which I have never used. My rear stabilizers are electric. I have one wrench with about a 1/2" hole down through the center and a slot on the end. The shaft on the front landing gear legs has the corresponding shaft which makes up to the slot in the wrench. I went around to the back expecting to see something different but the shaft is the same. My 2nd wrench has a 3/4" socket on the end like you'd use for the standard scissors jack in the rear. I don't have those. The only thing I can think of is maybe the original owner went from manual scissor jack to the electric stabilizer. I have a wrench now and can't think of anyplace it could be used. Like I've said, I've never used them in the 5 years we've had the rig. I guess I can get rid of a little weight. Every little bit helps.
 

grashley

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May 7, 2015
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Western Kentucky
If I remember correctly, my manual connection is accessed from the switch compartment.  I can see it turn when engaging the landing gear.  I used (or tried to) once when my battery was getting low.  It required LOTS of energy, but it worked.  I plugged in a charger and disconnected the next day.  We were at home.
 

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