Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Life never seems to get easier!

Some of you may know that I was having problems with the leveling system in my motorhome. Last year, I had two jacks that were reluctant to retract and I ended up calling HWH technical support. Their directions were to put the jacks down and then try to retract them. On those that will not retract, loosen the fitting on top of the jack. If the jack then retracts, the problem is in the solenoid or someplace else, but not in the jack. I did as directed, putting all the jacks down. When I went to retract them, they all retracted very well! We spent much of the winter in Mexico and never had a problem. However, I would always retract the jacks the afternoon before we were to travel, just in case I had a problem.

Last month in Massachusetts I used the leveling system several times and had no problem. On the afternoon of our last day, I tried to retract the jacks and the two problem ones would not come up. The rear DID retract with a little help from me, prying up with a bar. The front right would not budge at all. I had to dig a hole under the jack and use the car jack from my Jeep and I finally got it up, but it was very difficult.

At home, I called HWH to see about ordering replacements, but all of their agents were tied up and they took my name and number to call me later. When I called the next day, they wouldn’t take my name as they were still working on the old call list. I made arrangements to have the jacks repaired at a hydraulic shop in Crystal River. Yesterday the owner called to tell me they were having a problem with one jack and I decided to run right over to see what was going on. On the 24 mile trip to the shop, I encountered some of the heaviest rain I’ve seen in years.

When I got there the owner showed me the problem and though it’s difficult to describe, the system that monitored when the jack is all the way up was badly broken. It’s a magnetic switch and the magnet and housing was jammed all the way down the inside of the jack. Absolutely could not be done by the action of the hydraulic system. I think the guy working on it got confused on all the cylinders in front of him and jammed something down inside.  At any rate, I took the magnet and housing home to work on it myself. It was still raining hard and a number of streets and parking lots were flooded, but I had no problem driving home.

I moved the motorhome to the paved driveway and found that there was no alarm from the missing jacks. When the switch is disconnected the system doesn’t register jack down. I took the crumpled magnet housing and gently tapped it back into shape, and I wanted to run it back to the shop. By now the rain had completely stopped and it was very nice out. The trip was intended to be quick, but that was hoping for too much. As I approached Crystal River I ran over something and put a good hole in the back right tire. It went flat almost instantly and I had to drive on the flat tire a short way. Luckily, all the things needed for a tire change were handy and worked well and I had the spare on in only a few minutes. I think I did a real quick job for a 68 year old. When I got home, I tried to pressurize the tire to see where the hole was and found a hole that you could stick a pen in. The tire was a goner.

I’ve been debating whether to replace the tires before our winter trip  or not. This morning I solved the dilemma by having four new Goodyears put on.  This may not seem like a spell of good luck, but it could have happened on my first trip when it was pouring so hard. As it was, the rain had cooled the air and I didn’t even work up a sweat changing the tire.

The jacks are supposed to be ready this afternoon and I already have the motorhome raised and ready to work on. Tomorrow, I’ll be under the shade of the motorhome and I’m hoping the rain holds off for a while.

That’s it for today.

1 comment:

  1. Good to see progress is being made on the jacks, remember mine when we visited. Good thing your shop was in operation then too. The tire was one of those blessings in disguise, it could have happened on a trip or less opertune time like mine always do.Sounds like the Pensacola trip will be a good test flight for your winter Mexico trip to see if all is well with the motorhome.You and Helen be safe out there, we think of you guys all the time. Sam & Donna...