Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Fifth-Wheels: hydro or electric leveling
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SUMRX4

VA

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Posted: 09/20/21 12:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So wife and I just returned from the show in Hershey and are no closer to knowing the "one" than before we left. [emoticon]
If anything I now have more questions.
Those of you that have possibly owned a unit with both hydraulic and electric leveling jacks, which do you prefer and why? I realize hydro is faster but I'm not concerned with speed. If more concerned with ease of use, reliability, maintenance (if any) and bypass ability should something fail.

n0arp

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Posted: 09/20/21 12:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've had both, and will only ever have hydraulic going forward.

Much faster, more reliable, more convenient, etc.

We had issues with gears (sheared one) and motors (burned one out) on our electric jacks. On our hydraulic system, the only issue we ever had was a leaking seal that still allowed the system to work until it was replaced. I think you can get auto-leveling with electric now, but auto-leveling with hydraulic is all that was available (I think) when we purchased, and it's a feature I wouldn't want to go without.

You can easily lift the whole trailer with the hydraulics - not something I recommend doing - but it's gotten us out of a pinch on more than one occasion. Once for an emergency suspension repair, and once for getting us unstuck. I don't believe the electric jacks are capable of that.

* This post was edited 09/20/21 02:29pm by n0arp *


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memtb

Wyoming

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Posted: 09/20/21 02:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hydraulic......Bigfoot to be specific! memtb


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fj12ryder

Platte City, MO

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Posted: 09/20/21 03:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've only had the hydraulic auto-level system, but IMO it would be better than electric. With hydraulic, there is one pump and six/four cylinders. Electric would have six/four electric motors and accompanying gears. I prefer the KISS principle.


Howard and Peggy

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Second Chance

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Posted: 09/20/21 03:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've had both. I've experienced a leaky manifold (replaced it myself with part supplied under warranty) with the LCI hydraulic system and had to add CAT anti-stiction fluid to stop the annoying popping sounds. On the other hand, it will lift the trailer off the ground one side at a time to change a tire.

The electric system was much slower and I didn't trust it to lift one side of the trailer (not as robust). A couple of pros for the electric systems - especially ones with the new hall effect motors - is that they are more easily user-repaired.

Bottom line: I don't know that I'd let hydraulic vs. electric make the decision for me. I would be more concerned about a floorplan that would work for us.

Rob


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jdc1

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Posted: 09/20/21 03:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Electric has one motor to fail. Hydro has a motor, the hydraulic pump, rams, and hoses that can fail. You can decide from there.

Second Chance

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Posted: 09/20/21 04:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jdc1 wrote:

Electric has one motor to fail. Hydro has a motor, the hydraulic pump, rams, and hoses that can fail. You can decide from there.


The new electric systems have a motor on each strut.

Rob

Bumpyroad

Virginia

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Posted: 09/20/21 04:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had issues with my hydraulic levelers.
bumpy





griffy00

Grants Pass, OR

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Posted: 09/20/21 05:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We replaced our electric levelers with the BigFoot hydraulic levelers. One major drawback: There is NO manual override should one of the BigFoot hydraulic jacks fail. Recently we had one of the front jacks fail to retract and we could not move the trailer in that condition. I called the BigFoot 24 hour tech line and they diagnosed a pump failure. To raise the jack for travel we had to bleed 64 ounces of ATF fluid (what a mess!) and obtain a floor jack to raise the failed jack. I understand that there are some hydraulic jack systems that do have a manual override.


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Michelle.S

Western NY till fall, then Sebring, FL

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Posted: 09/20/21 05:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We're on our third unit with the Lippert Level-Up Hydraulic system and combined we've covered 100K miles with very little issue. Traveled to the Canadian Maritime with Friends and their brand new Jayco Pinnacle and they had nothing but problems, including one front landing gear ripping loose from the frame. They now have a unit with the Level-Up and no problems.


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