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Old 05-09-2020, 08:49 AM   #1
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Be aware: Fifth Wheel Landing Gear Maintenance

I have a 2020 Eagle HT 30.5 CKTS fifth wheel, which is just less than 1 year old. I recently did some maintenance that I plan to do annually. For the first time I looked very closely at the landing gear, only to discover the grease zerk fittings for the spiral gears and the drive screw & nut are both facing the front of the compartment with no way to get a grease gun onto them (barely enough room for my fingers.) I removed the cover on on the top of the leg, and using an endoscope camera, was able to see the gears were almost completely dry. (I removed the entire battery box to access the drive side of the landing gear.) I removed the straight zerks and installed new right angle zerks, and moved the straight zerks to the plugged holes on the opposite side of the landing gear tube, which are somewhat more accessible. (By the way, the zerks are metric M8) I had to remove the motor and the gear box to access the upper zerk. Following a recommendation during this process I took the gear box apart and discovered it, too, was almost completely void of grease. I added a fair amount of grease to the gear box and re-assembled it. I also followed another recommendation and pumped about 50 shots (with hand grease gun) into the upper and lower zerks almost filling the area around the spiral gears and the drive screw & nut (25 one each side of the tube.) Inspection with my camera showed the cavity well filled with grease. The last step was to apply grease on the entire length of the drive screw from the bottom after removing the foot and lower leg from the landing gear. I used a piece of 1/2" foam pipe insulation, spread grease inside it and slid it up and down the screw from the bottom.

What is important here is the the factory does not add grease to the landing gear. No grease had ever been pumped through the zerks! The original manufacturer of the landing gear puts just a few dabs of grease on the gears to wet them. Neither Lippert nor Jayco greased them, and the installation of them makes it impossible to add grease via the zerks.
So each of us has to check the landing gear and be sure they get greased properly. I suspect there have been many early failures of landing gear because they do not get greased sufficiently or routinely. Anyone who has had a failure knows these components are very expensive!
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Old 05-09-2020, 09:04 AM   #2
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Would this adapter work vs installing 90 degree zerks?

Lincoln Lubrication 5883 Slotted Right Angle 90 Degree Coupler https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000G76OMA..._GxSTEbSVN07JN


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Old 05-09-2020, 09:14 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mopar_Earl View Post
Would this adapter work vs installing 90 degree zerks?

Lincoln Lubrication 5883 Slotted Right Angle 90 Degree Coupler https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000G76OMA..._GxSTEbSVN07JN


Earl
I didn't give that a try - mostly because I didn't have one laying around! My guess is it would be very difficult to get it on the Zerk because I had barely enough room for my finger. I suspect it might be hard to snap it onto the Zerk.
There may be some other 5'ers that have more room, but on the HT's it is extremely tight.!
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Old 05-09-2020, 09:25 AM   #4
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Nature Ist, what brand is your landing gear? Mine are Lippert and I do not have zerks on mine.
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Old 05-09-2020, 09:34 AM   #5
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I guess I need to look at mine now.
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Old 05-09-2020, 10:11 AM   #6
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I had a Ď16 HT and never knew I had the ability to grease it. Now Iíll have to check out my Eagle which Iíve owned nearly a year. Thanks for the post.
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Old 05-09-2020, 10:16 AM   #7
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We have a 2015 Pinnacle 36KPTS. It came with the Lippert 6 point Ground Control 2.0 system. I have followed a protocol much the same as yours for the last 3 years. Our leg stands came with no zerks and are very difficult to access as well. The first time I took ours apart they had almost no grease on them. We had numerous acquaintences who have experienced failures in both the small gears at the top as well as the main jackscrew. Thus far (keeping our fingers crossed) we have not had any problems although , as you pointed out, keeping these maintained is not easy due to difficulty in getting to them.
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Old 05-09-2020, 11:21 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by AKRUEBBE View Post
Nature Ist, what brand is your landing gear? Mine are Lippert and I do not have zerks on mine.
Mine are Lippert. The zerks are not easy to find, but I do hear that some do not come with them. They are at the very top of the tube, and on the lead jack they are hidden by the gearbox and motor. It is also possible the holes are drilled, but simply plugged, so you can barely see where the zerk should be. There are some good YouTube videos on this process
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Old 05-09-2020, 12:47 PM   #9
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Thanks for the heads up and when I get mines back I will check it.
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Old 05-09-2020, 01:04 PM   #10
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The ones on my rig are Lippert and they have a removable cap on the top. I popped the top on the one I could see and it was full of grease. The other side as far as I can tell is not accessible without removing some inside paneling in the front compartment. I see no way to lube these at the bottom other than the dry lube I have been using.

Mine are 10 years old and are working and looking good.
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Old 05-09-2020, 02:01 PM   #11
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The ones on my rig are Lippert and they have a removable cap on the top. I popped the top on the one I could see and it was full of grease. The other side as far as I can tell is not accessible without removing some inside paneling in the front compartment. I see no way to lube these at the bottom other than the dry lube I have been using.

Mine are 10 years old and are working and looking good.
You may be among the lucky ones. Especially because they are 10 years old, there was probably a different approach at the time of manufacture. It seems these days everything is less instead of more. From what I can gather, if your upper gears are encased in grease, the nut on the lead screw should be also. I suspect you did yourself a favor by adding dry lube. If you are hooked up sometime, it is easy to pull the feet off, raise the legs, and look up inside the jack, where you can see the screw and observe it's condition.
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature Ist View Post
Mine are Lippert. The zerks are not easy to find, but I do hear that some do not come with them. They are at the very top of the tube, and on the lead jack they are hidden by the gearbox and motor. It is also possible the holes are drilled, but simply plugged, so you can barely see where the zerk should be. There are some good YouTube videos on this process
Like AKRUEBBE I have no zerks on mine either. I have the Lippert 3.0 Ground control system in mine. Everything I find says to just grease the external with silicone and if needed take the landing pad off and spray some Lithium up the leg on the screw. Is yours a different system than mine, or am I just missing something? I canít see or feel any place to add a zerk.
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:38 PM   #13
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Like AKRUEBBE I have no zerks on mine either. I have the Lippert 3.0 Ground control system in mine. Everything I find says to just grease the external with silicone and if needed take the landing pad off and spray some Lithium up the leg on the screw. Is yours a different system than mine, or am I just missing something? I canít see or feel any place to add a zerk.
Same here.............I can't imagine getting a can of spray Lithium that would spray all the way up! Also, to do that wouldn't you need to entirely remove the inner leg?
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:40 PM   #14
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Like AKRUEBBE I have no zerks on mine either. I have the Lippert 3.0 Ground control system in mine. Everything I find says to just grease the external with silicone and if needed take the landing pad off and spray some Lithium up the leg on the screw. Is yours a different system than mine, or am I just missing something? I canít see or feel any place to add a zerk.
That's pretty much what I do. I try to do it every 6 months.
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Old 05-22-2020, 05:49 PM   #15
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That's pretty much what I do. I try to do it every 6 months.
Dan, Next time you do it I would love to see pics of your procedure along the way!
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Old 05-22-2020, 06:03 PM   #16
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Dan, Next time you do it I would love to see pics of your procedure along the way!
No problem! It's due to be done next month...hopefully before we get to leave for Yellowstone!
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Old 05-22-2020, 06:23 PM   #17
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Like others have mentioned... there are no zerks on the front landing gears on my fifth wheel either. I ran my hand up all sides of the tube, used a mirror to examine as best as I could, looked at the top of the motor and gear drive... no zerks that I could find.
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Old 05-22-2020, 08:09 PM   #18
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I do not have the 3.0 leveling system, but it appears that the landing gear is the same mechanism, assuming it is not a hydraulic driven landing gear. Either way, the landing gear has a ring and pinion style gear that changes the horizontal drive to the vertical screw that extends and retracts the lower leg. Those gears are at the very top of the tube, if there are no Zerks or plugs within the top 4" to 6" then you can remove the cover to see inside to determine how much grease is present. The lower set of Zerks on mine allow the injection of grease into the section below the ring and pinion gears, but above the nut the drive screw turns in. The YouTube videos on this are good examples of what may need to be done to preserve the life span of the landing gear.
I can say that it was almost impossible to find the Zerks, and absolutely impossible to add grease the way they were set up from the factory.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:04 AM   #19
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Thanks guys. A nice lazy Saturday morning, then I read this thread and have to get my lazy sorry a$$ off the couch and inspect my landing gear for jerck fittings. No, I don't have them either.


But what we did do - and for entirely different reasons - is buy a set of Anderson Leveling Blocks.


https://tinyurl.com/y7y7d7ys


WE bought them to reduce the shaking of the house when the washing machine is on the spin cycle. They don't help with that very much.


But what we did not first think of - and something they do very well - is they keep our landing gear and leveling jacks from ever moving more than 1 - 2". And we will never see an out of stroke error again....
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:26 AM   #20
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Thanks guys. A nice lazy Saturday morning, then I read this thread and have to get my lazy sorry a$$ off the couch and inspect my landing gear for jerck fittings. No, I don't have them either.
But what we did do - and for entirely different reasons - is buy a set of Anderson Leveling Blocks.
https://tinyurl.com/y7y7d7ys
WE bought them to reduce the shaking of the house when the washing machine is on the spin cycle. They don't help with that very much. But what we did not first think of - and something they do very well - is they keep our landing gear and leveling jacks from ever moving more than 1 - 2". And we will never see an out of stroke error again....
Angus, they probably will not work if you have Snap-Pads installed? I very seldom get out of stroke errors. My rear and middle jacks are mounted in the center of the mounting bracket. I think I'm going to drop them one hole or two. I think that would definitely eliminate any out of stroke errors.
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