Happijac tilted
#1
I recently installed Happijac swing outs on my 2010 EC850 to accommodate a new DRW. When locked in the "out" position, the driver's side jack is angled back slightly so the foot is about 1-1/2" behind the passenger side (as measured from the rear jacks). It's not an installation error - I followed the directions exactly and double checked my work. The problem seems to have a number of causes. First, based on the thickness of the caulking (bottom to top, and compared to the passenger side) the top of the front half of the bracket was not installed flush to the camper at the factory, so the tilt begins there. It wasn't obvious with the fixed jacks. Second, the square bolt shoulders on the jack going into round holes on the swing out force an additional 3/32" tilt in the same direction over the height of the hinge, which extrapolates to a much larger offset at the foot. Finally, the play in the hinge exacerbates the offset.

It seems like the first step is to see if I can remount the bracket flush with the camper, but I'm not sure what I'll run into, and whether I can use a shim to straighten it (if necessary). Is the corner of the camper wood or aluminum? Is there adhesive under the bracket? It looks like there are two set screws that are match-drilled and tapped after both halves of the bracket are attached, so I'd only have deal with the front half.

Has anyone else run into a similar issue? Any advice?

Thanks,
Nick
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#2
I have not run into this issue, although I have bent a rear jack bracket on an Arctic Fox camper.
The Eagle Cap camper frames are aluminum but I don't know how much, if any, wood reinforcement is built into the jack point corners.  There's never been a reported jack point attachment failure on any Eagle Cap.

Camper manufacturers learned their lesson from the (circa) 2005 Arctic Fox jack corner failures and now build the corners strong enough for swing out brackets.

If you are the original owner and know that the jack leg was never bumped into anything then it is still "as built" from the factory.
However, snagging a jack while truck mounted is not uncommon (although it's usually involves a rear jack).
An event of that sort could put the jack leg askew.

In any event, I would assume that there is sealant and/or adhesive under the bracket.
And I would attempt to remove and shim the bracket into plumb.
Any repair beyond that would send me to the repair shop for more advice and evaluation.
AKA: testdog
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#3
Thanks for the reply and the background, Rich.

I'm the original owner, and there's been no damage to the jack. The leg is straight and the L- and Z-brackets show no sign of separation. I think it's a matter of the initial installation and tolerance stack up between the various interfaces, but there are maddening contradictions. There's almost 1/8 more" caulking between the camper and the top of the L-bracket than there is at the bottom. That would point to it being the initial source of the tilt. However, the Z-bracket looks flush all around, and  L and Z are pinned prior to installation. Not only that, but the swing out bolts are force-centered (by their square shoulders) in the Z-bracket holes, so the holes in the L-bracket don't seem to have a way to cause tilt. In other words, it seems that if the Z-bracket is aligned correctly, the jack should be, too. There is play in the swing out hinge, and any slight tilt could be magnified through that interface. 

I'll have to contact Happijac and see if they have any ideas.
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#4
As I suspected, everything boils down to the Z-bracket installation: if it's not plumb, then the jack won't be, either. L is locked to Z using holes pre-drilled by Happijac, so it doesn't affect the tilt. There are no adjustments between Z and the jack, regardless of whether a swing out is used. The tech I spoke with at Happijac said the 1-1/2" difference wasn't a good thing, but wasn't necessarily a bad thing, either. Still, just looking at it makes me queasy.

It looks like I have two options to fix it: 1) remove everything back to Z, shim it, and then reinstall, or 2) grind the square shoulders off the swing out bolts, re-align and then use dowels to prevent rotation.

Anyone have a recommendation for which is the better solution, or perhaps even a different solution?
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#5
The brackets are bedded into an imperfect layer of butyl tape that may be producing some of the irregularity you are seeing, at least that is the case with my front two swing-outs as well, yet this noticeable similar difference in plumb has never caused a problem on my 995...
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#6
When you say "similar difference" does that mean you're seeing close to a 1-1/2" offset? 

I was wondering about the butyl tape, but the Z-brackets appear to be seated flush on both sides and show no sign of movement.

The front edge of the swing out is offset from the front edge of the Z-bracket by 0.10" at the bottom hole and 0.18" at the top hole. Forced centering of the bolts into the holes makes that a repeatable (and non-adjustable) offset. That doesn't extrapolate to 1-1/2" at the bottom, but it does tilt the jack somewhat. I think the play in the hinge does the rest.

I plan to elongate (slot) the top and middle holes in the bracket to plumb the jack (I don't want to move the bottom hole forward due to material considerations). If I keep the same diameter, the square bolt-shoulder should "grab" and prevent rotation once everything is tight.
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#7
We’re on the road (DW driving now), so can’t measure right now but when extended, the pass side front jack is canted at the bottom about an inch or so toward the drivers side jack...In nearly ten years its never gotton any worse or been any kind of problem...I would think that to shim an extend a bolt or two out to make plumb (if this is what I think you’re considering) might cause an unintended lever effect on the campers aluminum frame - but then I’m not an expert - just something to consider...Pick your poison - lol
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#8
3tons,

The lever effect is exactly what I'm trying to eliminate. If the jack feet don't move as I lower the camper, the tilt angle increases as the leg shortens - thereby increasing the stress on the bracket. I agree that shimming between the bracket and the camper is not a good idea. What I'm proposing is to remove the jack and swing out and then elongate the middle and top holes in the bracket so the swing out can be tightened in the correct orientation. It shouldn't take much - with the tolerance in the holes, I can almost get there before the bolts are tightened. Once that happens, however, forced centering realigns the swing out to the tilted orientation. If I slot the top and bottom holes and pivot on the middle, I can probably get by with 1/8".  However, there's less material toward the front, so I was thinking of moving the middle and top holes back (instead of the lower one forward).
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#9
Well after looking at the L and Z brackets (only) on mine, it doesn't appear to me that there’s not much to be done about a ‘north-south’ jack leg attitude other than to possibly elongate the holes on the jack bracket...However, shimming of the jack bracket might be a viable option for jack leg having a ‘east-west’ attitude..If having elongated (or resizing of) the holes, it might be possible to narrow them back to their proper size by applying a weld bead...
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#10
I used a Dremel to extend the top and bottom holes in the bracket about 1/16" each. That got me within 5/8" in the free standing position. I then dropped the jack and pushed the foot forward before lowering the camper. It stayed put, and the jack is much better aligned now "north-south", as you'd say. Then I noticed the passenger side jack tilts in a bit. Angry  The jack itself appears to have a slight bow in it, and the Z-bracket is not flush on the outside face (slightly proud at the top). That's a much different problem that will require re-seating both brackets. I think I'll live with it for now. I'm not sure what to think about the bow in the jack. 

Thanks for all the info on your setup. It was helpful and reassuring to know that you've not had any problems with a similar issue.
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