The landing gear of an RV is crucial to the success of any road trip. It allows the vehicle to be stabilized during normal driving conditions. It also helps protect the undercarriage and suspension system from damage caused by uneven ground surfaces.
How Does RV Landing Gear Work? Push the button on your RV panel that will start the landing gear motor. The gears inside the motor rotate. Its motor is connected with the drive shaft that will lift it up and down depending on the need. If you want to park the RV, you need to move the gears down so that it can lift the weight.
It is a fixed structure to support the vehicle’s weight when parked so that your tires do not wear out prematurely.
What is an RV Landing Gear?
Landing gears serve as an essential safety feature. If you decide to park on a soft surface such as grass or mud, it will absorb most of the shock from this impact, preventing damage to your RV.
It is a support system that allows an RV to be set on its side when loading or unloading cargo to accommodate changes in elevation or levelness.
Its primary purpose is to provide stability and safety for those on board or in the surrounding area.
Working of an RV Landing Gear
The working of an RV landing gear is simple. First, you need to remember a few things, and you are good to go.
There is a power switch that is connected with the gear motor through cables. The gear motor is then connected with the drive shaft. When you want to lower it, push the button, and the motor will move its legs down.
The drive shafts will make sure that they both land the ground at the same time. In case the motor stops working, you can use the crank handle to move it manually.
Lowering and Raising the Landing Gear
You need to know where your landing gears are present. Once you know their exact location, now the next step is using them. First, place a heavy stone behind your rear wheels.
In this way, it will not skid away once released. Now lower both of its legs halfway down using the button in your RV.
Make sure both the legs are at equal length. Now using snap pins, lower both the legs so that they both hit the ground simultaneously.
Now unhitch it, and it will support your vehicle. You can also use plastic pads under the legs of the gears so that both are at the same level.
With the help of electric controls, you can lower the rear stabilizers if your RV has them. Similarly, when you want to start traveling, push the button of the gear motor, and it will lift it up.
Why Do You Need RV Landing Gear?
RVs are the ultimate vacation vehicles. They empower you to travel to faraway places without ever having to leave home.
RVs are large vehicles with a heavy load rating for extended periods. It is an essential part of the structure that facilitates their mobility.
Surprisingly enough, many people have never realized what their landing gear does for them? or why it is installed on their RV? until they get stuck somewhere.
On the other hand, if you are like most people who own an RV, you will end up parking on a steep hillside at some point in your life.
Without some leveling system, your trailer will topple over while parked on a hill. It allows the vehicle to land safely on a flat surface, and it also has a hand crank which makes it much easier for you to move your vehicle from that same surface.
Without proper landing gear, you will have to use your strength to move your vehicle from the ground. It can become difficult for you if you are parked at a slanted place and it gets stuck.
In case you are using a damaged or old system, it will be hard for you to land on the ground safely.
It functions as a shock absorber for bumps in the road or rough landings at campsites. It accomplishes this basic task with different components and methods.
Parts of RV Landing Gear
The landing gear of an RV consists of many components. There are many types available in the market, but they all have one thing in common.
Their crank handle allows you to jack up your vehicle and raise it at the desired height.
A crank handle allows it to be fixed in place to not retract after use. This thing makes it very difficult for anyone short or weak to lower its gear.
In some devices, a mechanism automatically lifts up and down the vehicle using a gear motor.
These are either hydraulically controlled landing gears or electrically driven landing gears.
It takes the energy stored in the spring and converts it into rotational energy to move the load up and down.
A gear motor comes in several different styles with varying torque ratings to convert rotational motion into linear motion.
The driveshaft is its third part. It is connected with the gear motor. The movement of the motor allows the driveshaft to lift up or down the weight slowly.
Where is Landing Gear Installed?
The landing gear is present on the underside of RVs, usually at the front bottom of the vehicle.
Some vehicles have stabilizers that are attached to the rear end. Its position makes it possible for them to hold a heavy amount of load.
How Much Weight Can RV landing gear hold?
Look at your RV’s manual. It will tell you what type of load limit your particular landing gear has, as well as any other safety precautions that must be taken into consideration when hauling large loads.
It provides stability to the vehicle, which means it needs to be strong enough to hold up the weight. It also needs to be durable to not wear out easily over time with regular use.
Its weight is much low as compared to the weight of the vehicle. For example, landing gear for 5000 pounds can carry far more weight than 5000 pounds.
The weight of a class A RV is between 12000 pounds to 31000 pounds. Similarly, class B RV weighs around 5500 pounds to 10500 pounds. Finally, class C RVs have an average weight of 11000 pounds to 21000 pounds.
A landing gear having the capacity of 5000 lbs. can easily lift Class B and Class C type RVs. However, you need to increase its lift capacity if you want to carry class A RV.
Dimensions of an RV Landing Gear
Make sure to read the dimensions of the landing gear that your manufacturer recommends.
Some manufacturers will recommend a specific width, but other manufacturers will provide you with a range of acceptable widths.
The same applies to length. You should adjust its height according to taller vehicles that are heavier and shorter ones that are lighter in weight.
There is no average dimension as every company makes it according to its style and design. These are user-friendly. Once you read the manual, you will grasp the whole mechanism.
It comes in several different styles. Most are made from steel, but some are also made from aluminum or composite materials.
In all these cases, user manuals are convenient. You can easily read the manual online and find its length, width, and height.
Reasons of Failure of RV Landing Gear
The failure can be due to weak steel, which does not pass through the tests required for landings. In addition, there are other factors like improper installation or broken parts that can lead to failure.
The technicians who do the installations must be trained to use the right type of equipment.
Its failure may occur because of corrosion. However, it is simply the result of prolonged exposure to water, which can happen if you spend most of your time in an area with high humidity.
Sometimes the hydraulic system will stop working correctly for some reason. The motor gear starts producing weird noises.
It may be because gears need to be replaced after a certain amount of time.
Now it’s time to replace them. The motor might stop lifting the legs. You need first to diagnose the problem.
You can also call a mechanic or take help from the manual. One of the most common reasons is the lack of proper maintenance, making it prone to damages.
There may occur some power issues. For example, the button might stop working.
It may be because of any loose wire. You should check the connections correctly. Use a new set of wires if you see any damaged wire.
Another reason is improper use. The owners should follow the instructions for their RVs to get the most out of their investment.
Many drivers ignore warnings from experts regarding its design, size, and shape. Therefore, the owners have to be cautious while choosing a product based on its features, and if you are not satisfied with everything about it, you should not purchase it at all.
Landing gear Maintenance and Safety
RVs are a great form of accommodation when traveling abroad. They allow you to visit places that would otherwise be inaccessible, often without the use of public transportation.
When driving in your RV, it is vital to ensure all your landing gear is in good condition and working order. Also, check for any cracks before traveling.
In case one leg fails to work correctly, there could be devastating consequences. Therefore, you need to use the correct technique if you want to solve the problem.
It is common for older vehicles to break down in the middle of nowhere. It means that you will have to get help from a tow truck or rent a car.
Getting your RV fixed may cost you thousands of dollars if it is not under warranty, and it can also be stressful.
You can prevent this nightmare by learning how the engine and other parts work and ensuring these are always working correctly.
You should also invest in high-quality tools that you can use to fix the problems on your own whenever required without calling anyone else for help. Finally, you should grease its parts once a week.
In fact, without lubrication, it will wear out rapidly and may even cause serious damage to the machine. Grease keeps the gears from wearing out and helps them run smoothly.
Cost of an RV Landing Gear
RVs are becoming more popular, and there is no doubt about it. However, for anyone thinking of buying an RV, you should do proper research before making that purchase.
You can purchase them at any local RV dealer or online store. It comes in different sizes to fit the needs of everyone who owns one.
You can visit any nearby store and ask the mechanic about the installation charges. In this way, you can get an estimation of the total value.
Landing gear alone can cost you around $400 to $800, depending upon the size of both legs and the speed of the motor. However, you can learn the installation process and avoid the installation charges.