Keep your powder dry – and your landing gear greased

7

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
We learned the hard way that it’s necessary to keep the landing gear greased on our RV. We were just preparing to head out on the road after a few months hunkered down in the Northwest. We had everything tied down and packed into place, and rolled the pickup into position to hitch up. At that moment, it all ground to a halt — literally: The landing gear refused to budge — or rather, it refused to lift the fifth wheel high enough to get onto the saddle.

What happened?

Our landing gear, neglected over a several-year period, simply chewed itself up, leaving no gears to mesh together. Talk about grinding to a halt! Happily, the landing gear manufacturer still existed and within a few days we were able to rebuild the landing gear system and head out on the road.

This problem might have been avoided if we (and previous owners) had been smart enough to keep the landing gear greased. And it wouldn’t have been a tough job — really a simple matter of popping a dust cover off the top of the landing gear posts (inside the front compartment of the fifth wheel), applying the appropriate grease and running the jacks up and down a few times.

Grease your trailer tongue jack too?

This same idea may well apply to your travel trailer tongue jack. If there’s a zerk fitting, annual maintenance would apply — a shot of grease and a roll up and down a few times to distribute the grease. Electric jack owners may find they need to open the “head” of the jack to lubricate, which is a bit more of a hassle. But compared to chewing up your gears in the middle of nowhere, what’s a few extra minutes at home?

Finding out how to properly maintain your landing gear (a look at your owner manual will help) will help you sleep better at night, and your landing gear or tongue jack will slide better by day.

##RVDT1428

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ThreeQuarter ton
4 days ago

Many years ago we had the same problem with the landing gear on our first 5er. Replaced the gears, drilled holes in the cover directly above the gears, welded a 1/4″-28 nut to the cover and screwed a grease zerk into the nut. Once a year or so I’d give them a small shot of grease. No more problems!

Tim Bear
4 days ago

We are this minute dealing with a stabilizing jack issue, but grease wasn’t the problem. They’re elec jacks, and the pin connecting the gear box to the worm gear broke. I have that leg off the coach now and have repair parts, but the article was really coincidental timing.

Randy Bitner
5 days ago

There are several good youtube videos on greasing landing gears on a 5thwheel.

M.Q.
5 days ago

Hah! Never owned a fifth wheel… just a class B. When I read the headline, I thought “landing gear” was a metaphor! Today I learned. LOL 🙂

Notfunny
5 days ago

You need to be careful when recommending to GREASE your landing gear!

Mechanical Type Landing Gear (metal to metal) need to have some Lubrication. Preferably a good Lithium Grease.

However you should only use a Silicone Lubricant on Hydraulic Landing Gear. Never USE a Petroleum Based Grease on Hydraulics. Petroleum based product will literally destroy any rubber seals that may be in the Landing Gear. That’s why you should never use WD-40 on anything in the RV, except for Squeaky Door Hinges. WD-40 is petroleum based!

Knowledge is KEY to Lubrication!

Tommy Molnar
4 days ago
Reply to  Notfunny

I use WD-40 on our screw based manual stabilizing jacks. It keeps them quiet and easy to crank – and dust free.

Donald N Wright
5 days ago

i had not thought about that. Thank you.