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 > Happijac question....

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mt-ed

Montaha

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Posted: 05/26/21 08:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Greeting all,

I attempted to offload my camper for the first time yesterday.
I experienced something that concerned me.

While lowering all 4 jacks towards the ground, they stopped
before reaching the ground. I understand that this is normal
as a safety measure.

The peculiar event occurred once the jack feet made contact with
the ground. Not long after the 4 jacks were lifting the camper,
their rpm's slowed rapidly, to the point I thought they were'
going to stop! I had barely lifted the camper an inch or two!

I checked my batteries, and it indicated 12.8V. They had been on shore power (charging) for more than 48 hours, without any drain.
I suspect that the jacks run exclusively on RV house batteries,
based on the robust receiver and all of those fuses! None the less,
I also hooked my camper up to shore power, but can't say I noticed any
significant improvement in performance by doing so.

I ended up raising the camper one leg at a time, and even this
did not result in any significantly improved performance.

So, my question is, is this the same performance that other Happijac users have experienced? Has anyone found any methods to overcome
the experience that the jacks are going to die when a load is
applied to them? Is it not advised, although there is the option,
to raise the camper using all 4 jacks at once, but instead, activate them,one at a time?

Thanks in advance for any insights!!

jimh425

Western MT

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Posted: 05/26/21 08:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, they run on house batteries. Did you loosen the tie downs? Otherwise, you were trying to lift the truck. I assume you disconnected the tie downs.

One other thought, you could be near the maximum length of the jack. In that case, you might need to adjust the jack bracket or use a block to allow them to raise higher. I believe you said you had a flatbed, so you could be higher than a normal bed.


'10 Ford F-450, 6.4, 4.30, 4x4, 14,500 GVWR, '06 Host Rainer 950 Dbl Slide, Torklift Talon tiedowns, Glow Steps, and Fastguns. Bilstein 4600s, Firestone Air Bags, Hankook DH-01 225/19.5 Fs, Curt front hitch, Energy Suspension bump stops.


Johnny G1

Clearwater, British Columbia ,Canada

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Posted: 05/26/21 10:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From owning HappyJac's I found that they were the biggest piece of Junk on the market and the tubes do bend with very little force and being electric was even worst, back to hydraulic jacks was the best answer but more work, was sure happy when it was sold. No more truck camper's for me and I should say Momma??


98 Mountain Aire 34' 210 Cummins Puller and 2001 dodge dully with all the toy's, 400 + hp pullin a 28' 5th wheel Travel Aire. Lots of fun.

mt-ed

Montaha

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Posted: 05/26/21 10:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jimh425 wrote:

Yes, they run on house batteries. Did you loosen the tie downs? Otherwise, you were trying to lift the truck. I assume you disconnected the tie downs.

One other thought, you could be near the maximum length of the jack. In that case, you might need to adjust the jack bracket or use a block to allow them to raise higher. I believe you said you had a flatbed, so you could be higher than a normal bed.


Yep, I did remember to disconnect all attachments to the truck, so I know that wasn't a contributing factor.

Yes, it did seem the legs were quite extended because in addition to it being a flatbed, it is also 4X4 so it's really up there. I seem to recall the bed, unloaded, was about 40-41" high!

It will be very interesting when I raise the camper to reload it! I'm curious to see if it will start off like a jackrabbit, and then slow to a tortoise pace as the legs become "over" extended? Thanks much!

Homeless by Choice

North America

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Posted: 05/27/21 07:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Happijac sells leg extenders that would solved the problem of being "over extended". They are 6" tall, bolt directly to the bottom of the existing jacks, and pricey but well made. You could easily make your own to whatever height would be appropriate for your application.

Happijac leg extenders

LeRoy


Homeless by Choice
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2015 Chevy 3500, Duramax, 4X4, DRW, Crew cab, Long bed
2013 Northern Lite 8'11"Q Sportsman truck camper
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Avid Fox

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Posted: 05/27/21 03:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You said unloaded "for the first time". We must assume they would stop at full extension, rather than slow down. I'm going to suggest some maintenance disassembly and grease on the internal screws might help. Maybe it's just pushing too much resistance in an area of the screws that didn't see much use prior to your tall truck.

I've had HJs on my AF1150 for 6 years, and never had an issue if the batteries are charged.

HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 05/27/21 04:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How heavy is the camper? How heavy is the wiring feeding the control board, and from there to the motors?

My Happijacks slow down some when loaded, and I don't run all of them at once - too big a draw. One end up a few inches and then the other. It is lifting a 3500 lb camper in my case. They should do better with the higher voltage from shore power, that is why I ask about the wiring servicing them. First step in debugging that is to measure the voltage delivered at the jack.

Happijacks come in two versions, an Acme screw and a ball screw. The ball screws turn easier but are much more susceptible to getting dirty or rusty. It looks like on their heaviest duty jacks they've gone back to an Acme screw.

Mine, and the ones on the camper before this, had an overload clutch that makes a nasty ratcheting sound if overloaded, or if run into the end stop. You didn't hear that?


Bigfoot 10.4E, 2015 F350 6.7L DRW 2WD, Autoflex Ultra Air Ride rear suspension, Hellwig Bigwig sway bars front and rear

mt-ed

Montaha

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Posted: 05/27/21 05:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, I'm a bit ashamed to have to admit this, but I assumed that with a new camper, the batteries would be fully charged. Not only were they not charged (6.3v) but I found out that the batteries were severely lacking battery fluid! One took 16oz. of distilled water, and the other took 20oz! I called my local battery supplier (ironically one that sells this same brand of batteries), and they told me the only way batteries could be this low in fluid is if they were overcharged and boiled dry, or they were very old. They then advised me how to find out when they were made. Their mfgr. date was Feb. 2016!

No wonder the poor things couldn't raise the camper!!!!!

Boy, I'm learning SO much having this new camper!!!!

TxGearhead

Texas

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Posted: 05/30/21 07:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You say it's a new camper. New to you, as in in previously owned, or brand new off the assembly line? If it is brand new I would get the dealer to replace those 2016 batteries.
The Happi Jacs should have a section of red paint on the black section of the inner jack to warn you that it's near the end of the travel.


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