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Hydraulic RV Jack Fail!! Four Lessons Learned… The Hard Way.

Hydraulic RV Jack Fail!! Four Lessons Learned… The Hard Way.

You’d think after full-timing for nearly 14 years, we’d know everything, right? But we’re always learning, which means making mistakes sometimes. And man oh man, was this ever a totally avoidable self-inflicted wound! We sometimes say “We learn things the hard way so that you don’t have to” and this sure was an example of that.

The problem with RVing a certain way most of the time (in this case, avoiding winter) is that it’s easy to forget about the basics of cold-weather RVing. We actually knew about this issue, but being snowbirds most of the time, we forgot about this potential cold-weather camping threat, and shot ourselves in the foot. The jack foot that is.

We don’t want to tip our hand too much as to what went wrong, but see how quickly you can figure out what happened when you start watching the video.

Your only hints are that we had an easily-avoidable jack failure related to cold weather. And you can see from the video thumbnail that the foot came off the hydraulic cylinder. We bet that if you’re an avid winter RVer, you won’t even need to watch the video to know which winter RVing basic we completely forgot about!

Leave us a comment and let us know how quickly you figured it out, or if you had to watch through to the reveal. Honor system please! LOL


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Emse

Thursday 27th of June 2019

Hi, I need advice. I don't see any videos from you guys on my issues probably because y'all have MUCH newer RV's. I'm in my first month of the lifestyle, my alfa is 11yrs old and in surprisingly great condition considering it's from a rainy part of the NW coast. My problem: The arm of my slide-out has severe rust from -I'm assuming- years of rain as well as ice maker valve leakage which I've recently found and fixed. How do I help this rust problem without just completely removing the slide and welding on an entirely new arm? Am I limited to just drowning it in Rust-Oleum? Some sections of the arm are flakey like Pillsbury biscuits and crispy like potato chips. I trust yalls professionalism and tips above all other RV YouTubers.

TheRVgeeks

Thursday 27th of June 2019

Hi Emse! Sorry to hear about your trouble. We guess we're lucky, having been the original owners of our now 14-year old Newmar (yes... our RV is actually OLDER than yours, ????), we've kept up with things and haven't had to deal with damage caused by problems a previous owner didn't discover and/or neglected. We'd second what Dave suggested. The forums on iRV2.com and RVForum.net are both great places to get crowd-sourced information... most often on your specific year/make/model of RV. It could help you to uncover if the problem that you're having is actually a common problem for your brand... and what people have done to remedy it.

Barring anything that you find out from the forums... we'd probably tackle this slowly and methodically. Interestingly, rust is actually a fairly good protector. LOOKS ugly, but it's an effective barrier to oxygen penetrating further into the metal, thus stopping further rusting. But if the rust you're seeing is flaking off, then that's a sign that whatever the source of the rust... it may be penetrating further into the metal. So we'd want to remove the rust (trusty cordless drill with a wire wheel to the rescue) in order to determine how far into the metal it has gone. Then... once we were (hopefully) satisfied that it hadn't structurally compromised the arm, we'd go about protecting it with something like Rustoleum.

Not being that intimately familiar with which slide-out mechanism Alfa used on their slides... we're not sure if there are components that you'll need to be extra careful of (like toothed tracks, etc). If these are extra rusty... you may not be able to do much/anything about them, so replacement may be your only option.

Hope this helps!

Dave Densmore

Thursday 27th of June 2019

Emse; I would suggest that you start searching and looking on some of the RV Forums on the web rather than YouTube. My coach is close to 20 now, so I need to use them pretty regular. One that I use is IRV2; http://www.irv2.com/forums and the cleverly named RV Forum; http://www.rvforum.net. Although I've spent more time the last couple years on IRV2 for whatever reason, both have helped me out with issues, even if it's just searching through the forums for a "how to". Who knew when replacing a door hinge that there could be a backing plate that'll fall down if you take all the screws out? I do now! Door hinge successfully replaced. Or when I was 400 miles from home and our Chevy P30 parking brake goes on the fritz, what's a fellow to do? Got my answer, Amazon supplied the parts and shipped them where I was, and I made it home with no drama. The answers to both were in these forums.

I'd suggesting doing some searching on the forums, ask questions as needed, and don't forget- pictures are worth a thousand words! It's going to help to have pictures with your questions.

Good luck with your issue! BTW, always liked the Alfas.

Tim

Sunday 15th of July 2018

We have a HWH jack that leaks out fluid. Anyone know a DIY FIX. Or do I have to spend big bucks and have a professional fix.

TheRVgeeks

Monday 16th of July 2018

Hi Tim! Sorry to hear you’ve got a leaky hydraulic jack! We don’t have any experience fixing that problem as ours (knock on wood) have never leaked. If you haven’t already, you may want to try contacting HWH to find out what they have to say. We’ve heard it’s possible to send jacks in to them for repair, which might allow you to do the repair yourself. Sorry we can’t be of more help... but maybe someone else here has some experience they can share.

Gene Wengert

Friday 17th of March 2017

If you are in Georgia in the next few months, I have a replacement warrantee front jack that needs to be replaced because it leaks on my Ford chassis. I will let you you do it and let you also take a video of how to do it (no charge) and include free coffee, etc.

TheRVgeeks

Friday 17th of March 2017

Darn! We're nowhere near Georgia. We'll miss that coffee. ;-) Hope you make out okay though, Gene, and thanks for the offer!

Nick

Sunday 26th of February 2017

I'm always completely impressed by the videos you guys make, however, this one wowed me. Thank you so much for the time and effort you put in to making these videos.

TheRVgeeks

Sunday 26th of February 2017

Can't thank you enough for taking the time to leave such a nice comment, Nick. Means a lot, and you just made our day. :)

Elizabeth

Monday 20th of February 2017

Thank you. You have such great videos and advice. I'm looking forward to seeing your new tire covers. It looks like we could actually hit the road soon. All the preparation overwhelming. I do believe the more I plan the better the experience will be. Among other things we are considering where our domicile should be. Major considerations are taxes (vehicle) and insurance since we are trying to live on our Social Security and see the country. I noticed in this video that you consulted RV Repair Club which we then joined because you like it and they were running a good special. Escapees is another club I'm looking into. Do you have an opinion about Escapees and their add on options compared to shopping the open market - say for insurance? Any suggestions/advice you have will be appreciated. You guys are the bomb.

TheRVgeeks

Monday 20th of February 2017

Hi Elizabeth! We'll be sure to share any info about tire covers as soon as we know more. Sounds like you're doing lots of research, so we're sure you'll be prepared. By the way, it's not RV Repair Club we mentioned (we don't really know much about them), but rather the user forums at iRV2.com, which are free to join and post on.

We have very little current experience with domicile issues, as the last time we were registered in the US was about 10 years ago, in Montana. We emigrated to Canada after that and things have surely changed since then. The best place we can suggest for current advice and input on that is from two very dear friends of ours: 1) Nina & Paul: http://wheelingit.us/2014/11/25/health-insurance-sd-domicile-are-there-any-options-left-for-younger-fulltime-rvers/ 2) Nikki & Jason: http://www.gonewiththewynns.com/rv-questions-residency-mail-health-insurance

Hope this helps a bit. Safe travels!

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