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> Dont know how to lower jacks

Lursa
post Feb 28 2014, 08:05 PM
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Favorite Truck Camper(s): 1991 Cascade
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: 1999 Dodge Ram 2500
Type of Tiedowns used: Torklift
Truck and Camper Setup: Nothing fancy. Camper only weighs 1000 lbs. Hauling a 3,000 lb. steel horse trailer.



I bought my first truck camper, a small Cascade, in Aug. but before I ever got to use it, the truck broke down on the way and I never used the jacks.

The man I bought it from showed me how to do it but I dont really remember. I have 2 very strong saw horses for under it too.

The truck is finally fixed and I need to get the camper off...I'm not mechanical and I dont want to wreck anything...there were things he said to be careful of.

Can anyone give me some tips or things to look out for? Thanks.
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Spanky
post Feb 28 2014, 08:21 PM
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Favorite Truck Camper(s): Lance 1030
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: 1999 F350 Power Stroke Dually SuperCab
Type of Tiedowns used: Torklift
Truck and Camper Setup: 1999 Ford F350 4x4 Super Cab 1 ton Dually Lance 1030 Torklift tiedowns



Well they look mechincal so I would suggest cranking all of them down to the ground and then do about 5 to 10 cranks one at a time to keep the unit level, dont crank it up any higher than it takes to clear the truck, slowly pull out from under it untill clear, place your sawhorses under it and reverse the cranks 5 to 10 turns at a time untill it rest on the saw horses, leave the jacks down on the ground for extra stababilty. I think this is what you are asking.
Gary


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1999 F350 Power Stroke Dually Super Cab, 2003 Lance 1030
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Lursa
post Feb 28 2014, 08:26 PM
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Group: Members
Posts: 11
Joined: 28-February 14
Member No.: 7,439
Favorite Truck Camper(s): 1991 Cascade
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: 1999 Dodge Ram 2500
Type of Tiedowns used: Torklift
Truck and Camper Setup: Nothing fancy. Camper only weighs 1000 lbs. Hauling a 3,000 lb. steel horse trailer.



Yes Spanky, thanks. But are there any 'gotchas?' Also, any surprises with the spring-loaded tie-downs?
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Spanky
post Feb 28 2014, 11:14 PM
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Joined: 24-June 06
From: Silver City, New Mexico
Member No.: 144
Favorite Truck Camper(s): Lance 1030
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: 1999 F350 Power Stroke Dually SuperCab
Type of Tiedowns used: Torklift
Truck and Camper Setup: 1999 Ford F350 4x4 Super Cab 1 ton Dually Lance 1030 Torklift tiedowns



The secret to loading and unloading and no "gotchas" is "SLOW AND EASY" when you get your camper up and clear of the truck bed remember to do a walk around and make sure all is clear and then pull out. Not r
sure what you mean about the tiedowns, I like mine very tight in the front and just snug in the rear. Always make sure you have them all disconnected when unloading.


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1999 F350 Power Stroke Dually Super Cab, 2003 Lance 1030
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Nobody
post Mar 1 2014, 09:01 AM
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Favorite Truck Camper(s): Palomino
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: '99 Ford F-250 SuperCab long bed, 7.3L Power Stroke
Type of Tiedowns used: Blackstone Mfg Co Camper Clampers, looking for TorkLift
Truck and Camper Setup: 2003 SunLite 8.5 WTSB, modified roof lift to support roof air



Pretty sure those are hydraulic jacks. Each one has a reservoir on top & the little 'toggle' type pumps can be seen plainly. I had a set like that on a mid-70's Sunways camper. Been a long time since I had that camper but best I remember I had to pull a pin & lower each leg extension 'til almost to the ground & replace the pin. Did that for each jack then use the pump handle to lower the foot pads to the ground. You can see in the pic that the lower extensions have already been lowered & the pins are in place, & the tiedowns removed. As Spanky said, 'slow & easy' is the ticket. I always tried to raise mine at least 3-4 inches above the floor of my truck bed to compensate for any roughness of the ground where I was parked, when driving out from under the camper. I owned that camper for several years & had to 're-build' the hydraulic pumps while I had it. Just a matter of replacing 'O' rings...
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Spanky
post Mar 1 2014, 09:55 AM
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From: Silver City, New Mexico
Member No.: 144
Favorite Truck Camper(s): Lance 1030
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: 1999 F350 Power Stroke Dually SuperCab
Type of Tiedowns used: Torklift
Truck and Camper Setup: 1999 Ford F350 4x4 Super Cab 1 ton Dually Lance 1030 Torklift tiedowns



Well, looks like I just learned something new.


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1999 F350 Power Stroke Dually Super Cab, 2003 Lance 1030
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dubob
post Mar 1 2014, 12:24 PM
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Favorite Truck Camper(s): 2011 Lance 992
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: 2010 Chevy 2500HD, Ext Cab, 6.0L
Type of Tiedowns used: Happijac w/ Qwik-Loads
Truck and Camper Setup: TC pulled behind the truck on a gooseneck trailer



Lursa,

Yes, those are hydraulic jacks. You should have a pipe handle that you insert into the pump lever and pump up and down to extend the legs shown in the picture. On one end of that handle there will be 2 slots cut 180 degrees apart from each other. This slotted end is used to close or open the hydraulic pressure valve located adjacent to the pump lever. The valve will have a short solid stem sticking out of it with a pin sticking through it; slide the handle over this stem and place the pin in the slots. Now you can turn the valve using the handle. I??????m guessing you will turn it CW to close the valve and CCW to open it. When it is closed, you pump and the legs will extend and lift the camper up. When you open the valve, the legs will retract and the camper will lower itself until resting on a solid surface like the truck bed or the saw horses.

Again, the caution when lowering is slow and easy. Just open the valve a little and be ready to close it quickly if needed. Raising or lowering the camper should be done in small steps. Try to keep the camper level as it goes up or down. This means 5 to 10 pumps on each jack then move to the next one until all 4 have been pumped evenly. Then repeat this process until the camper is as high as you need it to be to drive the truck out from under it safely.

When you lower it, do the same thing. Open each valve and let it drop a couple of inches and then close the valve. Move to the next jack. Continue this process until the camper is resting on a support. Again, try to keep the camper level as you lower it.

I hope this makes sense to you, and good luck.


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Bob Hicks, from Utah
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Lursa
post Mar 2 2014, 05:42 AM
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Group: Members
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Joined: 28-February 14
Member No.: 7,439
Favorite Truck Camper(s): 1991 Cascade
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: 1999 Dodge Ram 2500
Type of Tiedowns used: Torklift
Truck and Camper Setup: Nothing fancy. Camper only weighs 1000 lbs. Hauling a 3,000 lb. steel horse trailer.



Very helpful all! Yes, they are hydraulic jacks and I have the pump handle.

Unfortunately, the truck did not come home on Fri as hoped...they found more wrong with the truck. Sometime this coming week now I guess.

Anyone ever have a flex plate totally shatter, damage the transmission (had to be replaced) and flywheel AND crack the transfer case? Apparently...neither had they sad.gif

I'm so looking to nicer weather and camping this summer!
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Lursa
post Mar 14 2014, 10:15 PM
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Group: Members
Posts: 11
Joined: 28-February 14
Member No.: 7,439
Favorite Truck Camper(s): 1991 Cascade
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: 1999 Dodge Ram 2500
Type of Tiedowns used: Torklift
Truck and Camper Setup: Nothing fancy. Camper only weighs 1000 lbs. Hauling a 3,000 lb. steel horse trailer.



Hi all.

Well, I got it off the truck successfully....but ran into trouble trying to lower it onto the sawhorses.

I got the sawhorses very level but the camper, on the jacks is not level, altho I leveled it as much as I thought I could taking it off, without stressing them too much.

So when I tried to lower it, I went to a front corner, opened the valve a little bit, and the whole thing lurched sideways away from me, towards the lower side/jack. So I closed it back up again and cranked it up a little again.

I went and tried to lower the back jacks: one valve I cant get to move, the other moves just fine and seems to do nothing...no lowering.

Am I missing a step? I can apply more force to the one that wont move but I didnt want to force it. I am just turning those valves with my fingers....there doesnt seem to be a mechanism other than that.

There is a definite slant to some of the jack legs :-( The lower side of the camper is 2 inches above the sawhorses, the higher side is about 4-5 inches above the sawhorses.

Any suggestions?
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Nobody
post Mar 15 2014, 10:00 AM
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Group: Members
Posts: 124
Joined: 5-November 12
Member No.: 6,339
Favorite Truck Camper(s): Palomino
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: '99 Ford F-250 SuperCab long bed, 7.3L Power Stroke
Type of Tiedowns used: Blackstone Mfg Co Camper Clampers, looking for TorkLift
Truck and Camper Setup: 2003 SunLite 8.5 WTSB, modified roof lift to support roof air



Appears some of your jack(s) are non-operational (at least as far as lowering). Whether it is the hydraulics, mechanical, or some kind of bind I dunno. I do remember on mine that if a lot of the weight wasn't on a particular jack, when I'd release pressure it wouldn't lower. I had to begin releasing pressure at the jack where most weight was concentrated. Appears your jacks are probably the Reico-Titan jacks. I'm not familiar with them. Mine were same age as my old mid 1970s (?) camper. Appears yours have a 'knurled' release knob for releasing pressure for lowering. My pressure releases were similar to what dubob describes, a small 'stud' with a 'pin' thru it & I used a hollow tube with 'notches' cut 180* apart in the end of the tube to turn the release stud. Also, mine were mechanical on the bottom end (the bottom shaft containing the 'foot' was simply a steel tube with a lot of holes in it so you could adjust it for correct height before using the hydraulic portion of the lift). Not sure exactly how the lower portion of the Reico-Titans work?

I'd think that first you must get the camper resting on some kind of solid support & reasonably level, then I'd remove the jacks (at the collar clamps) & do a thorough cleaning of all moving parts, and a re-build if necessary. Appears you may have some rust or corrosion where the release valve won't turn, & that may be the one that has most of the camper weight on it since its opposite won't lower when pressure is released?? If you should 'break' that release valve with lotsa weight on it, you might get bad results ohmy.gif

It's been a lot of years since I had that old camper & I find it hard to remember the details. Somewhere I have a few pix of that rig but don't remember if there are any good shots of the jacks. I'll do some looking & let ya know if I find any more info. I do think that you may hafta get some help to get the camper on to a solid support. I wouldn't try real hard to turn the recalcitrant release valve (at least until you are sure there is no weight on that jack). Might try soaking it with some kind of good penetrating oil (I use Kroil or Liquid Wrench) on the screw threads prior to any aggressive attempt to turn it.

Good luck, I'll be interested in seeing how it works out.
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Lursa
post Mar 22 2014, 02:23 AM
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Group: Members
Posts: 11
Joined: 28-February 14
Member No.: 7,439
Favorite Truck Camper(s): 1991 Cascade
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: 1999 Dodge Ram 2500
Type of Tiedowns used: Torklift
Truck and Camper Setup: Nothing fancy. Camper only weighs 1000 lbs. Hauling a 3,000 lb. steel horse trailer.



So, no progress :-(

I made sure that there was weight on the jack leg where the valve just seemed to continue to open and do nothing. Still does nothing

I got the frozen one unfrozen...it seemed to turn, opening, forever....until it seemed it would unscrew out of the jack. Nothing happened. I did hear 'fluid flowing' a little bit at one point but no movement in lowering the jack.

So I am still stuck and the camper is leaning forward on the front 2 jacks...noticeably.

What is wrong with either what I'm doing or the jacks? The 2 I've been trying to work are the back 2.
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Nobody
post Mar 22 2014, 08:25 AM
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Group: Members
Posts: 124
Joined: 5-November 12
Member No.: 6,339
Favorite Truck Camper(s): Palomino
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: '99 Ford F-250 SuperCab long bed, 7.3L Power Stroke
Type of Tiedowns used: Blackstone Mfg Co Camper Clampers, looking for TorkLift
Truck and Camper Setup: 2003 SunLite 8.5 WTSB, modified roof lift to support roof air



If your two front jacks are working properly, & still have some 'lift' left, I'd jack up the front 'til it was at least level with the back, maybe an inch higher. I'd also use some 'timbers' (4x4s maybe) longitudinally with the camper, on top of the sawhorses. If that don't give you enough height to support the camper, use 2x4s crosswise on top of the timbers.

You HAVE TO get the weight off the jacks before you can remove/work on them!

After you've raised the front of the camper to level or a little higher than the rear, try lowering the rear again, just a little. If that works then I'd say just continue a tiny bit at a time 'til the camper is resting on your sawhorse (or whatever) support. I always tried to keep my jacks extended, just touching the ground (or driveway) to provide additional stability & support to the camper. You don't need to put much weight on 'em, just so they don't retract inadvertently in a big wind or if some part of the support structure should fail.

If you're still not able to lower the rear jacks, get some help, & get the support structure as close as possible to the bottom of the camper. Then use a hydraulic jack (or a Hi-Lift truck/farm jack if you have one, or friends who do) to lift one rear corner of the camper just enough to remove weight from that jack foot, slide another board or block under that corner, remove the auxiliary jack & do the same for the other rear corner. Once that's done you should be able to use the front jacks to raise the front of the camper high enough to get support under it also. Then release the tension on all jacks (if there is any), pull ALL jacks & do a thorough cleaning/re-build. Pretty sure the Reico-Titan website has a PDF with instructions/procedures for that.

Good luck!
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Myaj
post Apr 1 2014, 11:40 PM
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I have those same jacks and sometimes they do act up. Its not fun when they do. Sometimes its simply a matter of its not sitting straight so it can't slide down when you release the pressure, I lightly kick them a little to jiggle it loose.. but for gods sake, only loosen that screw a little bit and then retighten it while you get used to how far and fast it will lower. And since its on 4 legs, sometimes one of those legs will be wobbling in the breeze, while you are raising or lowering.. that always unnerves me. I have had a few times where either the leg just simply would NOT come down, no matter what I did. Or a jack wouldn't release pressure. Secured it again, walked away for a few hours, came back and tried again and it was fine. But I know mine are leaking and really do need to replace the seals.

Can you get the truck back under it and leave it on the truck for now? That's probably the most safe thing. Or get a few more sawhorses under it, and try to get the bed end (front) a little higher than the rear so it doesn't tip forward. Its a lot of weight, and if one of the jacks fails, it is a mess to pick back up and someone could get seriously hurt.

They do sell replacement seal kits for those jacks.. its probably worth it to get those, take them apart, replace all the seals, and put them back together. Its the Maintenance Kit, with seals and parts to rebuild 2 jacks, $58. So about $120 total to redo the seals on all four. Not cheap, but new jacks are a lot more expensive.

http://www.riecotitan.com/camperjacks/hydraulicjack.php It really doesn't have much "how to" info, but the parts list does help you see what does what (like the fill hole).

Ah, here we go!
Installation & Operating Instructions:
http://riecotitan.com/flyers/Hydraulicinstruc.pdf

Maintenance Instructions:
http://www.riecotitan.com/flyers/hydraulicmaintenance.pdf

Reading through those, it sounds like yours have lost their prime (and that's possibly what I see too after they sit a while). I need to print those out, glad you asked the question smile.gif
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Lursa
post May 14 2014, 01:53 AM
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Group: Members
Posts: 11
Joined: 28-February 14
Member No.: 7,439
Favorite Truck Camper(s): 1991 Cascade
Type and Brand of Truck(s) Owned: 1999 Dodge Ram 2500
Type of Tiedowns used: Torklift
Truck and Camper Setup: Nothing fancy. Camper only weighs 1000 lbs. Hauling a 3,000 lb. steel horse trailer.



Thanks Mayj. The thing can be very unstable on the jacks and it is unnerving. Once I did get weight on the back ones tho, they worked ok. But the friend that was helping me undid one valve too much and it seems all the hydraulic fluid came out.

I'll use your links to to see if I can find out where to add more. There was no obvious place. And to see if I can use transmission fluid....for my log splitter, you can use either.

Thanks for the links.
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