Leveling Jacks for the winter

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Conquest2011

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Looking for some advice leveling jacks,

I have completed the winterizing process, batteries on a maintainer and other projects completed for this season and now I am not sure what I should do about the leveling jacks. Should I leave the rig leveled or stow the leveling jacks?  Right now the rig is hooked to shore power and leveled with about a 2 foot reveal on each jack leg.

Thanks
 

HappyWanderer

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Leaving them down exposes them to potential damage. You're not taking enough weight off the tires or chassis to make any difference anyway.
 

DearMissMermaid

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I think it's a lot less stress on the rig to store it leveled. :)

I personally wouldn't store a rig for more than a few days without it being completely level. Your frame and cabinetry and other components will thank you. :)
 

NY_Dutch

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Our coach doesn't know the difference between campsites and storage. Back when we stored the rig we leveled with the jacks far enough down to take some of the weight off the suspension. Our Bigfoot jacks are quite capable of lifting the entire coach off the ground, but there's no need to go that far. I've never seen any signs of corrosion or other damage to the jack shafts, but I do wipe them down from time to time with dry silicone spray, including after sitting in one spot for an extended period.
 

HappyWanderer

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DearMissMermaid said:
I think it's a lot less stress on the rig to store it leveled. :)

I personally wouldn't store a rig for more than a few days without it being completely level. Your frame and cabinetry and other components will thank you. :)

Not to be argumentative, but there is no validity to that comment. Vehicles are designed travel down the road twisting and flexing in every direction, and they don't suffer any damage.

The frame and suspension are designed to carry the weight of the vehicle. If you believe that the engineers and manufacturer are wrong, go ahead and leave the jacks down.
.
I know two people who had jacks damaged leaving them down over the winter, and spent several thousand dollars in repair. Basically, for nothing
 

NY_Dutch

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HappyWanderer said:
Not to be argumentative, but there is no validity to that comment. Vehicles are designed travel down the road twisting and flexing in every direction, and they don't suffer any damage.

The frame and suspension are designed to carry the weight of the vehicle. If you believe that the engineers and manufacturer are wrong, go ahead and leave the jacks down.
.
I know two people who had jacks damaged leaving them down over the winter, and spent several thousand dollars in repair. Basically, for nothing

What kind of damage? I've owned a number of pieces of equipment with hydraulic cylinders that were exposed all winter for many years with no damage, including our RV's.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The hydraulic jack manufacturers like to be ultra cautious and have the ram exposed as little as possible. I've seen the ram pitted by salt air (RVs long-term parked near oceans) and they certainly do collect dirt which can damage seals when the jacks are retracted.  Few RVers ever bother to wipe down the ram before retracting after an extended deployment.

Is it likely to happen? Probably not, but neither we or the jack manufacturer know what the environment is going to be like while in storage, so the recommendations err on the side of caution.  If there is no real need to have them down, they are always safer in their tubes.

That said, our jacks were always down when the RV was "stored", cause it was in our yard and we were in & out of it occasionally anyway.  Your mileage may vary...
 

kdbgoat

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This is similar to a question I have. My fifth wheel is on a lot permanently. I will be blocking it up under the frame and hope to have it it level and stable. Should I keep the leveling system deployed, and just put a light coat of grease on the Rams, or retract the Jack's and depend on the blocks?
 

Conquest2011

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Thanks for all the input. I appreciate it.

Well, I have decided to retract the levelers. I was nervous about the retracting the levelers without the truck being hooked up, so I hooked the truck up to it.
Went a lot easier than expected, hmm without hitch. Ha Ha Ha.
However, the landing legs are still extended. Is that okay or should I hook up the truck again and block up the landing legs so they won't extend or am I over thinking this?

Oh yeah, here is a pic of my EMS project, just finished it the other day. Buggered up a little on the left side on the cut, but that is what you can expect from an old wood butcher.

and again thanks for the input and advice.
 

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NY_Dutch

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kdbgoat said:
This is similar to a question I have. My fifth wheel is on a lot permanently. I will be blocking it up under the frame and hope to have it it level and stable. Should I keep the leveling system deployed, and just put a light coat of grease on the Rams, or retract the Jack's and depend on the blocks?

As long you're set up on solid blocking, I'd retract the leveling system.
 

grashley

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Goat, the stabilizers are a quick, convenient way to block up the back of the rig.  If well blocked, they are not needed.

Steve,  This is a new camper.  While the stabilizers are not required - it bounces down the road without them - you will be in and out of the camper all winter.  For your comfort, meaning the camper feels more stable, you may wish to use them.  At my house, I have 30 inches from the stabilizers to the ground.  I put a couple cement blocks, set on a 2x8 with another 2x8 on top, under the jacks to reduce the height.  Besides, they only go down 28 inches  :)

Great setup on the EMS!
 

Conquest2011

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I am with ya Grashley,

After I pulled the truck away after I retracted the levelers, I thought about blocking under the levelers and re-level and I will probably do that. Being a new RV everyone wants to come by see inside and it would a great PIA to level every time someone wants see it. Of course I like the bragging part.  ;)

I lucked out pretty good on the EMS location. The service entry on this model has a direct line through pantry and then runs behind and into base cabinet for the service panel. I watched U-Tube videos on installing these things and man some of the places they have go in. Wow, I wouldn't want to it. Wrestling around with #6 wire in these tight neck and back bending, head banging cubby holes.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Blocking up the landing gear is a good choice, though not strictly necessary.  Anything you do to shorten the landing gear or stabilizers contribues to better stability as well as protecting the mechanism a bit better.
 

kdbgoat

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Dutch and Preacher, thank you for the replies to my inquiry. Steve- I apologize for hijacking your topic.
 

Conquest2011

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Goat you didn't hijack anything, in fact you gave me the answer I was looking for and didn't know it.

I plan on getting in an out of the 5er through out the winter and don't want the leveler extended, so I will use blocking as well. Just got to figure out how.

 

grashley

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Steve, Block under the levelers to within an inch or so, then use the levelers.  Easier to remove, too if you do not need to lift the camper.

Option 2:  Block under the rear frame to ? inch from desired height.  Lower landing gear, (raising rear of camper), add a 1X6 to the blocking then level with landing gear.
 

jymbee

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Gary RV_Wizard said:
Blocking up the landing gear is a good choice, though not strictly necessary.  Anything you do to shorten the landing gear or stabilizers contribues to better stability as well as protecting the mechanism a bit better.

I put some heavy planking under our Class A here at home when parked-- mainly to keep the pads out of the gravel parking area. Only after the fact did I notice the obvious in that-- as you point out-- the shortened landing gear was an additional benefit. Something I had  not thought about beforehand.
 

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