Lubricating RV Stabilizer Jacks with the Right and Proper Way

Whether boondocking in the desert or mountain camping on unsteady slopes, recreational vehicles rely on stabilizer jacks to provide firm footing and prevent unnerving rocking. These seemingly simple gear shafts and wheel chucks play an integral role in ensuring RV stability when parked. However, the internal mechanisms enabling stabilizer jack extension and retraction suffer extreme friction loads and corrosion over time. Neglected systems progressively jam and seize, fail to fully contact the ground, or suddenly give out leading to accidents.

By properly lubricating stabilizer jack parts though, one safeguards smooth operation for years while avoiding costly repairs or replacements. The right lubricant formulas greatly reduce abrasive wear on gears, shafts, and cylinders. A liberal coating of grease minimizes creaky sounds and difficult rotation too. This guide will explore DIY best practices for keeping manual, electric, and hydraulic RV stabilizer jacks optimized through robust lubrication.

Here, you’ll get to know the safety measures, cleaning methods, choosing wet or dry lubricants, accessing internal components, generously applying and distributing lubricant fully, operational checks after servicing, and disposal considerations. Proper ongoing jack lubrication as part of regular maintenance tremendously improves stability performance and longevity.

How to Lubricate RV Stabilizer Jacks?

Importance of Lubricating Your RV Stabilizer Jacks

Friction naturally occurs within stabilizer jacks during operation as metal components rub against each other internally. This causes wear over time, more quickly in dusty or wet environments. Without lubrication grease and oil coatings, excessive friction also leads to corrosion, rust formation, and even seizing up.

Signs like difficult rotation, uneven jacking, strange noises, or the need to use more jacking force indicate lubrication servicing is overdue. Attending to it early on ensures smoother operation and dramatically extends the usable life of stabilizer jack systems.

Selecting the Right Lubricant Type

RV stabilizer jacks are exposed to outdoor elements but also have sensitive internal mechanisms. Choosing an appropriate lubricant relies on balancing longevity and messiness. Common options include:

Dry Lubricant Sprays – Ideal for coating exterior jack shafts and gears conveniently. Silicone or PTFE-based formulas resist attracting debris and dirt. However, reapplication is needed often as these lubricants wear off quicker, especially in wet muddy conditions.

Wet Lubricant Oils and Greases – Great for protecting interior components over the long term. Thick lithium greases maintain a heavy-duty lubrication film that can last over a year. But here’s a catch! The oil attracts more road dust and grit over time which must be periodically flushed out.

Specialty Lubricants – Certain extreme pressure or molybdenum-fortified formulas work well for high-load hydraulic leveling jacks. Avoid universal or soap-thickened lubricants. 

Match the lubricant viscosity and properties appropriately to your stabilizer jack’s friction exposures and operating environments.

Step-by-Step Guide to Lubricating Stabilizer Jacks

Prepare adequately before lubricating stabilizer jacks. Securely chock wheels and stabilize the RV with jack stands for safety. Clean jacks thoroughly with a wire brush and degreasing agent especially if old contaminated grease is present.

Applying Lubricant to Manual Screw Jacks

Step 1: Identify the screw shaft and joints needing grease. Consult manuals for details.

Step 2: Apply lubricant liberally over the surfaces, focusing on the threads and gears.

Step 3: Raise and lower the manual handle to distribute the lubricant thoroughly.

Step 4: Wipe off any excess grease and reapply every few months.

Servicing Electric/Hydraulic Jack Lubrication Points

Step 1: Refer to the product manual for specific grease point guidance.

Step 2: Use a grease gun loaded with the recommended lubricant type and quantity.

Step 3: Pump fresh lubricant slowly into the indicated zerks and fittings until resistance, taking care not to overfill.

Step 4: Operate the jack up and down to circulate the new lubricant internally.

After completed lubrication, confirm jacks extend/retract evenly without difficulty or odd sounds. Reapply lubrication regularly based on environmental factors and stabilizer jack duty cycles.

Important Maintenance Tips

Beyond just lubrication, employing other care strategies boosts stabilizer jack longevity further:

Establish Lubrication Schedules – Depending on usage and climate conditions, plan to reapply lubricant every 3-6 months at a minimum, 1-3 months for frequent RVers.

Inspections – Periodically check jacks for smooth operation, odd sounds, and signs of wear/damage. Address issues promptly.

Storage Protection – Shelter jacks from rainfall, road salt spray, and other corrosive elements using RV covers when stored.

Leveling Blocks – Reinforce soft ground contact points with solid pads to prevent sinking.

By being diligent with regular lubrication and proactive inspections, your RV’s stabilizer jacks will stay in reliable working condition for many years of comfortable camping.

To Sum It Up

Neglected and unlubricated RV stabilizer jacks inevitably succumb to friction damage, rusting internals, and even failure risking RV instability accidents. This guide details proper lubricant selection for wet, dry, or specialty jobs. Step-by-step instructions assist DIY application. Following recommended lubrication schedules and storage measures significantly extends stabilizer jack lifespans. Implement these best practices so key RV support systems remain optimized for every adventure.

People Also Ask 

How can I tell exactly where to lubricate my RV jacks?

The product manual that comes with electric and hydraulic leveling jacks will indicate specific lubrication zerks and access points to apply grease. For manual screw jacks, focus lubricant on the lifting threads, gears, and joints visible when extending the jack.

Can I use WD-40 or standard engine oil for lubricating stabilizer jacks?

No, thicker lubricant greases formulated specifically for jacks are better for withstanding friction and weather exposure. Multi-purpose sprays wear off quickly. Oils attract more debris requiring frequent change-outs.

One of my RV jack pads keeps sinking into soft ground. Any tips?

Use solid leveling blocks under each stabilizer jack base whenever parked on sand, marshy grass, or mud to evenly distribute the RV’s weight and prevent sinking that hinders performance.

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