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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > hydro or electric leveling

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Campinghoss@51

Windsor NC

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Posted: 09/21/21 04:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have auto leveling electric on our current fiver and my son has hydraulic on his. We camp side by side a lot and he has problems with his system. Ours so far with many camping miles has had zero. Ours will lift the tires off the ground easily which I do not do on a regular basis.

I think I would concentrate more on the floor plan than anything. If you don't get a plan that fits your needs it will be a bigger problem down the road.


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schlep1967

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Posted: 09/21/21 05:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You can get bad units in every variation. I would prefer electric. Less chance of a hydraulic oil mess. No big lines running back through the trailer just wires. And the big one. If something goes wrong, I have half a chance of fixing it. If your one electric motor on the hydraulics fails, you are stuck. If one of the 6 electric motors fail, there is another one on the opposite side. Run one side up, remove the motor and install it on the other side. Run that one up and you are on your way.

If I had my way I would prefer the old front landing gear and back stabilizers. Much less to go wrong without all the fancy self leveling electronics.


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ChuckSteed

Mtn Home, Idaho

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Posted: 09/21/21 06:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lippert Six POint Hydraulic and only Hyd slide outs... The In Wall electric slides are a finicky pain...

And for those that DONT know the hyd system .. IF THE HYD pump motor fails then the entire system is easily manually overridden with a simple cordless drill, 1/4 inch allen bit for pump motor end and 5/32 allen wrench...

If a Schwintek IN Wall slide out fails due to a motor then you have to lift both motors up out of the tracks and manually try and push the slide in

My current fifth wheel is 3 slides, all hydraulic and six point hyd level up system.. 8 years of use.. no issues with anything

laknox

Arizona

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Posted: 09/21/21 09:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SUMRX4 wrote:

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.


All your lightweight rigs are going to have electric levelers. My KZ has 4-pt and I love it. The only reason I think it's slow, has more to do with the sluggishness of the controller as opposed to the motors being particularly slow. Personally, I'd trade that off than having to deal with a nasty hydraulic leak. I had plenty of dealing with hydros in 40+ years of farming and don't really want to deal with it again. As for "strength", the 4 jacks on my KZ will easily lift it off the ground. 2 are plenty to lift one side, and this happens whenever we're on unlevel ground, like parked in the street in front of my house. Curb side tires are 1-2" off the ground when I'm level due to the road crown and the gutter. I'd have =zero= issues in jacking my rig to change a tire using the leveling jacks.

Lyle


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Allworth

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Posted: 09/21/21 12:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The more "gee-whiz" goodies you have, the more things to go wrong. (and sooner or later they will).

I will stick with electric jacks.

I admit that having used electric/hydraulic disk brakes for 10 years now, I would never go back.

A


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TXiceman

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Posted: 09/22/21 08:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Why are people calling hydraulic systems "Hydro". Most places, Hydro refers to electric powered, coming from hydro-electric.

Ken


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laknox

Arizona

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Posted: 09/22/21 09:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TXiceman wrote:

Why are people calling hydraulic systems "Hydro". Most places, Hydro refers to electric powered, coming from hydro-electric.

Ken


Just a shortcut that people who work with and on hydraulic systems use. Hell, watch Deadliest Catch and they're always talking about "working the hydros" or "the hydros leaked", or the like.

BTW, oil hydraulics came along =way= after water hydraulics did. The old mining method of spraying massive jets of water at a hillside to wash gold/silver down into a sluice is called "hydraulic mining". "Hydro dam" is actually short for "hydraulic dam" as it's hydraulic pressure that turns the turbines. [emoticon]

Lyle

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Posted: 09/22/21 06:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lyle, go to Canada or the UK and ask about the hydro, they will hand you an electric plug. As for Deadliest Catch, I never watch it. As a retired mechanical engineer, I will continue to spell out hydraulic and not short cut it.

Ken

* This post was edited 09/22/21 09:12pm by TXiceman *

laknox

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Posted: 09/23/21 09:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TXiceman wrote:

Lyle, go to Canada or the UK and ask about the hydro, they will hand you an electric plug. As for Deadliest Catch, I never watch it. As a retired mechanical engineer, I will continue to spell out hydraulic and not short cut it.

Ken


Oh, I know that. Context is everything, though. :-)

Lyle

work2much

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Posted: 09/23/21 03:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Based on the number of posts I have seen on various groups having issues with hydraulics we went with electric. The two models of Grand Design were looked at had one with electric and one with hydraulic. Solitude 2930 and Solitude 310GK

Advantages to Hydraulic jacks and slides:

Much faster
Hydraulic has a higher rating for weight and will lift the wheels off the ground.

Advantages with electric:

Lower weight
Less components and complexity. Less to go wrong.
Less Maintenance.
Easily serviced by myself with simple hand tools. If a motor fails I can replace it myself. If a front jack motor fails I can take one of the rear and still be able to hitch.

In the end for me I would rather it take longer for the trailer to level and have a simple system that I can fix myself. During the minute or two it takes to level I am busy anyway pulling our chairs and setting up camp.

I liked the fact that it reduced weight. As full timers we are already pushing the GVWR of the trailer. For some of the same reasons we also didn't want electronic command systems to turn on lights etc.

Give me simple and something I can repair myself out in the boondocks.


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