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Old 05-30-2020, 05:21 PM   #1
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2020 Season, bad start

Well, we're off to a great season start this year.
It took forever to get my drum to disc conversion completed. Shorted parts, incorrect parts, and then the whole COVID thing screwing up shipping and getting custom parts for it.
Finally got the install completed and just waiting for the lockdown in Michigan to lighten up a bit. Last minute plan with some friends to head out to a private campground 3+ hours away after work on Friday. It's been 8 months, and I managed to get a bootleg haircut on my lunch time. A few hours later, troubleshooting a job I dodged a HUGE bullet a work. Unknowingly to me, a 1/2 mile away a tree came down bringing with it the X, Y, and Z primary power lines on the same lead of overhead utility lines I was working on. Fortunately, the powercompany was on site and wouldn't be done for quite a while. That ended my day, alive.
Get home, take care of a couple things, and start to hook up so we can get on the road. I start to retract the front landing gear to get it to coupling height. Fortunately my truck was not close to it yet and more fortunately my wife was standing back far enough because the front right landing gear jack instantly failed and sent that side crashing down a good 8" nearly hitting the concrete driveway. So we rip it out and apart real quick to find the same thing everyone else has with this failure. A stripped out top nut on the inner tube. Heck with it, throw in some 6x6 cribbing and let's get going. I'm not letting a broken jack keep me from going.
20 miles down the road and the trucks throws this at me ...
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Dont care. Keep hammering down the road. Half way there we run into a monsoon. It's coming down so hard people have their 4 ways on. Some of these idiots are passing us like there's nothing wrong. Short ways down the road, WHOOPSIE. We see them on the side of the road tangled up with another vehicle and broken windows, and some others all wadded up into the 4' concrete median divider wall.
Get to the campground, WAY LATE, and no hot water. Electric OR gas. Worry about that in the morning. Morning comes around and I find a wet and loose connection.
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At least we got the hot water fixed. Camping is like the Navy, it's an adventure. Lol!
When I get home I'll get some pics of the junk jack. I sent a polite email to Lippert about it in hope of maybe getting a new jack out of it. I'm also gonna see what its gonna take to make an improved repair for the old one.
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Old 05-30-2020, 05:58 PM   #2
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I have to say I am inspired by your shear determination. I'm the same way. Here's to a better return trip and a much better 2020. Cheers from another guy craving a haircut and a bit of freedom...
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Old 05-30-2020, 06:53 PM   #3
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Thanks! We're gonna need it because we're not home yet! Lol!
My COVID hair was way out of control. Normally I'll let it grow out for the winter since I work outside and get my summer cut right around easter time, mid April. I was almost ready to go to Petsmart and turn the dog groomer loose on it. It was getting bad!
Camping right now is weird. Having a little freedom to be able to do it is a welcomed relief, but the campgrounds are a little bare. People are spread out, camp stores are open but only 1 or 2 at a time and you need a mask to enter. It's a little hard to talking to people wearing them, hard to see facial expressions and most are staying a good distance away like there's a plague amongst us.
Oh well, at least we're out.
Hopefully soon you can get out there too and enjoy it!
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Old 05-30-2020, 08:59 PM   #4
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We just did our first weekend last week. Very similar situation. Very awkward for me. I won't wear a mask unless I absolutely have to. Campground was very loose about it but nothing was open for the wife and kids. No pool etc. Which doesn't bother me a bit. We camp in those types of places for them. I'm happy to just sit at my site and relax. Take the occasional walk and then right back.

Good luck on your return trip!
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Old 05-31-2020, 05:43 AM   #5
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Just curious, did your landing gear act up at all before it failed?
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Old 05-31-2020, 06:53 AM   #6
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Well, when I think about it only once did it ever error out when we were not at home. I'm pretty sure it was an out of stroke error on the middle jacks. At home my driveway has a bit of downslope to it and a slight tilt. Only once or twice have I ever got it to auto level there. Fronts work fine, then it drops the rear jacks. The rear jacks do their "stabilizing" on both sides and then it should go to the middle jacks but errors out. All I get is auto level failed error message. Toward the end of last year in the driveway I did have an issue with the front right jack. It seemed it was out of calibration. I parked the trailer along side the house that's pretty level and used the panel to drop each jack about 6-8". Then went to retract all mode and then everything was fine. I used the front jacks about 5 or 6 more times since then and no issues. This failure was very sudden with no symptoms or clues it was about to happen. No laboring, no slowing down, no errors, etc...
We are up here at the KOA in Tawas. I left the trailer connected to the truck and dropped the front of jack and put just enough down force on it to get some weight off the truck without having the trailer tilt to one side. I dropped the rear jacks and put some pressure on them to stabilize. When I dropped the front jack down the system gave an error code of the front right jack, because there is no motor plugged in, but still kept working. Because of the error code, I am still able to drop the middle jacks to stabilize. Surprisingly the trailer doesn't move much at all.
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Old 05-31-2020, 07:10 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info. Can't believe they don't put any grease fittings on this system! Safe travels!
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Old 05-31-2020, 08:20 PM   #8
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When I pulled mine apart there was a ton of grease on the screw and the top inside of the leg post.
We made it home with no issues and I got to looking at the damaged jack and the failure is the nut the screw threads into to makenitngonup and down. The inside of the nut has all the threads completely sheared off. All the threads are stuck in the grooves of the screw. Trying to get the nut out of the post without destroying either is gonna be a challenge.
I was thinking of having a new nut machined and make it longer. I have to rethink how I'm gonna do this...
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Old 06-01-2020, 05:55 AM   #9
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I also have 2017 Northpoint and haven't had any issues (not bragging lol). Good luck at re inventing the wheel. I'm sure when said and done it will better and long lasting.
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Old 06-01-2020, 08:33 PM   #10
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Here's some pics of my jack leg(s) taken apart. First pic you can see there was no lack of lubrication. There is blue grease all over the screw. The blob in the middle of the screw is the threads of the top of the inner tube. They are stuck on it from the grease and move freely thru the threads on the screw.
I had the DW hold the post over a trouble light to clearly show the clean shear off of the threads.

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Old 06-09-2020, 10:39 AM   #11
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Update;
The jack failure happened on a friday. Sunday evening I placed an order with etrailer for a new jack leg assembly. That same evening I decided to reach out to Lippert about it. Monday my jack shipped out from etrailer and I also got a reply back from a customer service rep from Lippert. They asked for pics of the leg, vin tag, date of purchase and my address. I got the pics sent out that nite. Tuesday I got a reply back from Lippert basically telling me too bad, so sad because it's out of warranty, BUT they would sell me a new one at 50% off their price from the Lippert parts store. I get the whole warranty thing and thought it was worth a shot of getting a new one since these are becoming a problem, and possible a very serious (safety) problem. The next day, Wednesday, my new jack shows up from etrailer and I got it installed. Works like a champ, for now. We'll see how long this one lasts. Lol! Two days later we are packed up and headed out for another weekend trip. Had I gone the Lippert route, I'd still be waiting for a jack.

I am still going to work on possibly improving the failing jack leg issue and will keep you all posted. Probably a new thread on that.
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Old 06-15-2020, 07:26 PM   #12
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Update;
The jack failure happened on a friday. Sunday evening I placed an order with etrailer for a new jack leg assembly. That same evening I decided to reach out to Lippert about it. Monday my jack shipped out from etrailer and I also got a reply back from a customer service rep from Lippert. They asked for pics of the leg, vin tag, date of purchase and my address. I got the pics sent out that nite. Tuesday I got a reply back from Lippert basically telling me too bad, so sad because it's out of warranty, BUT they would sell me a new one at 50% off their price from the Lippert parts store. I get the whole warranty thing and thought it was worth a shot of getting a new one since these are becoming a problem, and possible a very serious (safety) problem. The next day, Wednesday, my new jack shows up from etrailer and I got it installed. Works like a champ, for now. We'll see how long this one lasts. Lol! Two days later we are packed up and headed out for another weekend trip. Had I gone the Lippert route, I'd still be waiting for a jack.

I am still going to work on possibly improving the failing jack leg issue and will keep you all posted. Probably a new thread on that.

Does the one from etrailer look any different from the Lippert? Apart from the threads being stripped out. Seems like the "nut" must be pretty soft as it looks like there must have been 1-1/2" of thread that got stripped out.
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Old 06-15-2020, 07:51 PM   #13
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I didnt take the new one from etrailer apart to see if the internal "nut" was improved or the is the same. If I had to guess, its prolly the same. The screw is a acme thread and there are about 7 threads in it. You are right, there is like 1-1/2" of threads that sheared right off. My dad and I looked the old one over to see what can be done to make it better. He said the same thing I said, it's a bunch of recycled junk crap metal from china. That's why they sheared off the way they did. A new "nut" cam be made out of solid stock and machined down to fit. The issue is installing it in the new leg. The old one is 4 sided stamped to hold it in place. I dont know how I could do that. I gotta do some more investigating on the manufacturing process.
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Old 06-16-2020, 06:54 AM   #14
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I'm assuming the "nut" sits on top of the leg. If so it would seem you wouldn't need much holding the "nut" into the leg since you're pretty much just lifting the leg. You could drill a couple of holes into the leg where the "nut" goes into the leg and do what's called a rosette weld. Here's a short how to if you're unfamiliar with them. https://garage.eastwood.com/eastwood...or-spot-welds/


Seems like that would be plenty to keep the "nut" in the leg.
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Old 06-16-2020, 07:50 AM   #15
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Here's what the leg looks like .

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You can see the stamp in the leg that's holding the nut in. All 4 sides of the leg are stamped. I do like that rosette weld idea. I cant imagine doing that weld, one on each side, wouldn't hold that nut in there. You gotta figure each leg is going to have a good 1500# of weight trying to push that nut out of the top of the leg post when you lower the landing gear. Pin weight on my trailer is like 2800#. Call it 3k for easy figuring and divide by 2 and you got 1500 for each leg. So that equates each weld has to hold just under 400#
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Old 06-16-2020, 09:17 AM   #16
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I didn't know they were called rosette welds or that you needed a special nozzles, always just drilled the holes and welded it shut. Other options, grind a slot in the tube and weld to the nut, you could also grind a nice chamfer on the top of the tube and the flange of the nut, lay a nice weld all the way around and grind flush.
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Old 06-16-2020, 09:24 AM   #17
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Here's what the leg looks like .

Attachment 60124

You can see the stamp in the leg that's holding the nut in. All 4 sides of the leg are stamped. I do like that rosette weld idea. I cant imagine doing that weld, one on each side, wouldn't hold that nut in there. You gotta figure each leg is going to have a good 1500# of weight trying to push that nut out of the top of the leg post when you lower the landing gear. Pin weight on my trailer is like 2800#. Call it 3k for easy figuring and divide by 2 and you got 1500 for each leg. So that equates each weld has to hold just under 400#

Perhaps I'm misthinking this, but assuming the nut is at the top of the leg the load is on the threads and the nut is being pushed down onto the leg. I assumed when the leg collapsed the stripped threads were pushed down into the leg. To me that says the top lip of the leg the nut sits on is the load bearing part and that the load is down. When you raise the leg in preparation to connect to the TV the load is still at the same point in that scenario. Once the RV is connected to the TV and you're lifting the leg the pressure is still down until the leg comes off the ground. Now those "squeeze" points or the welds are carrying the weight of the leg which is minimal. But, like I said, I may not have a good mental picture of what's going on.
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Old 06-16-2020, 09:43 AM   #18
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I didn't know they were called rosette welds or that you needed a special nozzles, always just drilled the holes and welded it shut. Other options, grind a slot in the tube and weld to the nut, you could also grind a nice chamfer on the top of the tube and the flange of the nut, lay a nice weld all the way around and grind flush.
I did think about doing a chamfer on the top of the leg post and the nut and run a pass on all 4 sides. Along with doing rosette welds or like you said cut a slot in the leg tube and weld it to the nut filling it back in I thin would work also.
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Old 06-16-2020, 09:50 AM   #19
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Perhaps I'm misthinking this, but assuming the nut is at the top of the leg the load is on the threads and the nut is being pushed down onto the leg. I assumed when the leg collapsed the stripped threads were pushed down into the leg. To me that says the top lip of the leg the nut sits on is the load bearing part and that the load is down. When you raise the leg in preparation to connect to the TV the load is still at the same point in that scenario. Once the RV is connected to the TV and you're lifting the leg the pressure is still down until the leg comes off the ground. Now those "squeeze" points or the welds are carrying the weight of the leg which is minimal. But, like I said, I may not have a good mental picture of what's going on.
No, I think you're right on the load being on the nut pressing down on the top of the leg tube, when it's being retracted, lowering the trailer down. I think when you lift the trailer up, extending the legs the pressure, I think, is taking the nut and trying to push it up out of the tube. Either way, the threads in the nut have a lot of pressure on them, along with the threads on the screw. My dad was a welder for the power company for 40 years. He looked it over and said the screw is hardened steel. And the nut was probably the recycled junk we sent to china, they made it out of a bunch of crap metal and sent it back. Lol!
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:03 PM   #20
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Pitman is correct, when the camper is being raised, the not is loaded on top of the leg, the weld really only needs to hold when the landing gear is retracted.
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