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Old 11-13-2013, 04:09 PM   #1
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Trying to understand Jayco electric jacks vs. automatic levelers

When I look at the Eagle Premier 5Ws, I see they come standard with electric jacks and there is an option for adding electric automatic levelers.
  1. How do the jacks work?
  2. Are the front and rear jacks independently operated?
  3. Are the right and left sides of each jack always at the same height? Is that why you need to put blocks of wood under the low side?

Are the automatic levelers worth paying the $2K? I'm told the automatic system has limits to how uneven a site it can level.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:50 PM   #2
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Welcome.

Front landing gear and rear stabilizers are power in the Eagle Premier and Pinnacles. They operate independent of only front and rear and not side to side. The front have pins to lower or raise them according to grade but you should always have them within 1/2" of one another so that the frame does not twist or too much pressure is applied on one leg at a time. This can be achieved through blocking if you cannot get them that close and is usually a 1" thick piece of blocking away from achieving as the legs adjust in 1.5" increments.

The rear stabilizers will come down together and adjust to the grade on their own and usually require no blocking unless you really are up on one side with boards under the tires. They will not lift the unit, but simply stabilize it from rocking.

Now the leveling system is one that all the legs can work independently of one another. Your tires are not supposed to leave the ground so you are limited on the side to side leveling by a few inches as a result of just the play in the suspension. Front to back is easily achieved and once dialed in, is automatic with the push of a button.

I am not convinced on this system yet so did not go for the option on my new unit. I will carry a few boards to get my side to side leveling done still.

Some here on this forum have this system or comparable and might chime in. I would see if you can watch it on a unit to make your own determination. The few I have seen with it when asked they said it had some limitations if your pad was not close on grade and you still needed to do the boards.
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:02 PM   #3
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I have front and back electric stabilizers on my Eagle TT. They're not "jacks" as they only stabilize the trailer, not for leveling. Yes, they are independently operated between front and rear. They operate in a way that when you lower them, one side comes in contact with something, the other side will continue to lower until it contacts. You can also operate them manually if you loose power or the motors fail. I don't have the auto levelers, but how can that be a bad thing. Most campsites are fairly level in my experience, but if you get one that's not, you could always pre-level by pulling the rig up on a piece of wood on one side to somewhat level it out, then use your auto system. Just a thought, Terry
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:15 PM   #4
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Just purchased a 2014 Pinnacle with the Atwood levelers. Upon delivery took it on a shakedown trip of 1200 miles from MI to FL. Had problems almost from the git-go. Got as far as Savannah and they quit working altogether. Called Jayco and they gave me the name of a dealer nearby which we went to the next day. After trying to fix it for a couple hours their tech. said he felt the controller was bad and needed replacing. Said I'd take it back to my local dealer as parts would need to be ordered. My local dealer had a tech/rep from Atwood come to their site as they had another unit which had yet to be delivered to the customer which wasn't working right either. Atwood tech said it was just a procedural error did a few things to both rvs and I was told mine was set to go. Got it home and went through the set up procedure a few times in my driveway. Seemed to work ok but on the last try to level it for good, the rear levelers didn't come down all the way to the ground by about 1/4". Put them the rest of the way down for stability manually. Not at all convinced the system was worth the money or hassle. Time will tell.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:33 PM   #5
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Did the tech go through the procedure with you?
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loren McKinstry View Post
Just purchased a 2014 Pinnacle with the Atwood levelers. Upon delivery took it on a shakedown trip of 1200 miles from MI to FL. Had problems almost from the git-go. Got as far as Savannah and they quit working altogether. Called Jayco and they gave me the name of a dealer nearby which we went to the next day. After trying to fix it for a couple hours their tech. said he felt the controller was bad and needed replacing. Said I'd take it back to my local dealer as parts would need to be ordered. My local dealer had a tech/rep from Atwood come to their site as they had another unit which had yet to be delivered to the customer which wasn't working right either. Atwood tech said it was just a procedural error did a few things to both rvs and I was told mine was set to go. Got it home and went through the set up procedure a few times in my driveway. Seemed to work ok but on the last try to level it for good, the rear levelers didn't come down all the way to the ground by about 1/4". Put them the rest of the way down for stability manually. Not at all convinced the system was worth the money or hassle. Time will tell.
I think your right time will tell. We used our's twice now and on those 2 trips it worked perfectly.But when we got home we had some problems and could not get it to work. We took to the dealer and they found no problems and said it was working .Back at home setup and leveling work great. So I don't know if it is operator error or problems with the system.
We are going camping over Thanksgiving and we will see what happens.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:35 PM   #7
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Proper procedure is paramount.

First you have to make sure that you lower the front legs to the 2nd hole, I sometimes use the 3rd depending.

Then go through the proper sequence of activating the auto leveling system.

Hint: we put 2 of the orange Lynx leveling blocks underneath each of the back levelers, again depending on how the left to right slope is, more for an extra pad on soft ground. This also gives you less travel for the back jacks to extend. We found this works well after some trial and error so it may be an operator getting familiar on the best way to do the auto levelers.

With that we we would not be without them...no carrying and running up on boards.
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loren McKinstry View Post
Just purchased a 2014 Pinnacle with the Atwood levelers. ...
So are Atwood levelers an aftermarket leveler system? Or are they the ones installed by Jayco, if you order a 5W with the auto leveler option?
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:09 AM   #9
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The Atwood Leveling system is not available as a aftermarket add on, it is installed by Jayco when you order the Auto Leveler Option.

When we bought our 2011 Pinnacle the Auto Leveler Option was not available, so I installed the Reico Titan aftermarket system.

Since we Fulltime in our Pinnacle and typically move every two weeks or so, the Leveling System has been great, we love ours. There are some limitations but like most landing gear there is a limit to the travel.

Ours is not fully automatic but has a remote, that allows you to control the two front motors and the two rear motors separately or together for front to rear leveling and then side to side leveling. Once the leveling is done, we have a button that says "All Up" that I use to raise the 5er another inch or tow, now setup is very easy and the 5er is Rock Solid.
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Old 11-14-2013, 01:57 PM   #10
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I've got the Atwood automatic leveling system in my 2013 Pinnacle, and it was nothing but trouble from the first time I used it.
It resulted in an emergency call to Coach-Net for "road side" assistance on our first trip and pulls back and forth to the dealer after each of the first three trips we took.
As is turns out, all of the issues I experienced were due to two problems; Parts Failure and User Error, and not necessarily in that order...
First, I had a defective motor in one of the front legs. It had a major corrosion issue right from the factory and after some intermittent problems, failed completely. The dealer replaced it and the problems that resulted from that disappeared.
As to the user error, Larry G previously said that proper procedure was "paramount". I would actually take issue with that; I found that it is MANDATORY that the user follow the procedure perfectly, as written, each and every time the system is used. If you screw up you back out from where you are using the reverse procedure. Any deviation from the procedure will result in a failure of the system to work properly, if at all. You can actually cause the system to completely fail and lock out if you try to 'fix' a situation using the control panel outside the of the documented procedures.
Additionally, the error codes provided on the control panel are completely worthless in a diagnostic situation, as is the information in the outdated Atwood manual .
So you may get the idea that I am not happy with the system, right? Wrong! I am actually quite satisfied with it now, as it has performed flawlessly since both of the issues were resolved. There are few things better than hitting the Auto button and making your way to the cooler while the system levels your rig. Larry G also provided some great hints as to "hole number 2" on the front legs and blocks under the rear legs, although the only time I have needed them was on a site that was extremely high in the front. That site required the front legs to retract a long way from the just off the truck position and conversely the back legs required more extension than the system would allow without the use of blocks.
Would I buy the system again? Sure would unless something better were to become available.
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