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Old 09-12-2011, 09:07 PM   #1
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Electric Stabilizer Jacks

I am a little embarrased to admit this but, here it goes..... I forgot to disconnect my two deep cycle batteries when I parked my TT at the RV storage after a wonderful 3 day weekend camping trip. As you all know, there is things that still draw power from the batteries, ie: carbon monoxide detector, smoke detectors....etc. Well, I guess my extend/retract switch on my front stabilizer jack somehow got activated in the "retract" position while it was sitting there in storage, (don't ask me how) for 3 weeks.
Well, over the Labor day weekend my wife and I drove to the RV storage to pick up our TT to go Dry Camping up in the Mountains in Colorado (we live in Colorado) The camp spot we went to is about an hour and a half from where we live. When I hooked up my truck to the TT brake/light cord, we heard this motor buzzing sound. When I found out that it was my front stabilizer jack motor, I immediately turned off the switch and just thought "wow that was weird" So, we took off for our fun adventure up to the mountains and when we got there, That is when we realized that our batteries were completely drained. BTW, there was NO hook ups where we were, let me just repeat that. I had to leave the power cord hooked up to my truck to extend the slide out. And then I realized that my front stabilizer would not extend. So, there I went ALL the way down the mountain to go buy 2 new batteries (1/12 hour drive and 179.00) in my truck. When I got back to the campsite, I tried to use the jack crank bar to extend the stabilizer as the motor would not do it for me automatically. The cotter pin broke off as the stabilizer was so far retracted when I used all my muscle and I had to resort to using my jack from my truck to give it a half-assed stabilization (I can hear you all laughing right now) Anyhooo, we made the best of it and had a good weekend. When we got back to the RV storage I wanted to find out what was wrong with my stabilizer so I worked on it for a bit and was able to un-stick it after I removed the motor. Well the motor shaft broke so I went on-line to Lippert Components Inc website who where the MFR'S of this thing and found out that the replacement cost for the motor was 530.00!!!! ouch! kiss me before you.... I then went on E-bay and found that same motor for 199.00 and bought it right away! Sorry my tale of woe is so long, I just thought I would share with you this little piece of the dream we all have.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:15 PM   #2
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I always try to do a thorough preflight before I take off.
Tends to eliminate that sinking feeling and loud scraping noise at touchdown.

Seriously, a pre-departure checklist is a must. Finding out you have a fridge full of spoiled food 6 hours into the boonies or no heat is no fun.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:34 PM   #3
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I am learning that very fast!
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:10 PM   #4
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Is your storage area secure? Sounds to me as if someone was "checking out" your power jacks and pushed the switch. Mine "stick" sometimes too.
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:19 AM   #5
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yeah, I was wondering about how secure my storage area was myself as I cannot seen to think how my switch can just "activate" itself on it's own. My wife and I reconned a lot of them before deciding on this one and it is gated, security cameras, and the owner lives on site and his place overlooks where my Trailer sits. but yeah,......
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:18 AM   #6
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When I first got my trailer I was putting the stabilizers up came back to the front an heard a clanking noise, my switch was stuck in the up position, if I didn't come back to the front of the trailer it would have stayed on and I guess I would have had the same problem! And the switch was just slightly ajar, hard to tell the switch was on!
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:16 PM   #7
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sticky button

Yea I sometimes have the same issue with the buttons of my stab. legs sticking, but mine makes enough noise so you can hear it's still on when I take my finger off of the button, so I can't believe when you left it you didn't know it was stuck, if it was. Sounds like somebody having a look at your trailer in the storage yard, while they were in there on their own business. Wish people would leave other peoples property alone, would make my job a lot easier.


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Old 09-14-2011, 02:23 PM   #8
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The first time a visiting 6 year old started pushing buttons on the stabs I also "learned fast".

That switch is the kill switch for the front landing gear and the stabilizers get a fuse pull in storage. Harder (though not impossible) to steal a 5th wheel with no power to the gear.
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:06 PM   #9
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Just got my trailer Saturday. During the walk-through, the techie guy said to wiggle the switch to make sure it releases. From reading this thread, this may be a common issue.

Lou's idea is a great one; need to look into that.
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