Landing Gear by Venture Manufacturing Co.
Sometimes the smallest thing can drive one mad, like the front landing gear on my fifth wheel. No matter how flat or level the ground is, I invariably have to remove the extension pin, slide the leg out and place a shim of wood or plastic under one of the legs just to level out the front end. I thought the best way to eliminate this annoyance would be to have independent control of each leg of my landing gear by adding a second drive motor to my right landing gear. The label on my existing drive motor said Venture Manufacturing, so I contacted them to inquire about a way to make this change. It turns out this was a common request from RV owners and they had a kit all ready to go that included a new drive leg to replace the slave leg, a second drive motor with reduction gear, and switch to activate it. This was just what I was looking for; I was sold and placed the order.
Installation was quite simple and the tools needed were fairly basic and include:
9/16 wrench, or ratchet & socket
3/8 nut driver or socket
Adjustable wrench or pliers
Drill and 1¾” hole saw
10AWG crimps or wire nuts
(4) #8 x 1” screws to attach the switch
When dealing with the support system for a 10,000 pound toyhauler, safety is a major concern and great care should be taken when removing and replacing the landing gear. Ensuring the trailer is fully supported by means other than the existing landing gear is the first order of business. You could either hitch your toyhauler up to your tow vehicle or place stands under the frame to support the weight of your toyhauler. My preference was to use a pair of 3K pound jack stands; this gave me a clear workspace without having the bumper of my truck always at my back.
Once I had my toyhauler safely up on jack stands, I disconnected all power and removed the batteries for easy access to the right side compartment. After that, it was quite simple:
1. Disconnect the cross drive bar from the drive motor and slave landing gear.
2. Remove the cross drive bar.
3. Unbolt and remove the slave landing gear.
4. Install the new active drive landing gear.
5. Drill a hole for the new drive gear’s manual crank and install the sleeve.
6. Install the new motor and reduction gear.
7. Install the new switch and wire up the power.
I added a few extras to my install: a very cool dual switch plate with circuit breakers from BullDog ($200) and a pair of quick release landing gear pins from Venture ($20) which eliminated another of life’s little annoyances, messing with the manual clip style pins. In addition, I took this opportunity to refresh the original drive motor ($90), bagged it and stashed it in my toyhauler as a spare. All that was left to do was to cross my fingers and test my work.
Unfortunately, mixing the BullDog and Venture products served up a small glitch and pressing the “extend” button caused the legs to retract. After laughing for a few seconds I reversed the polarity on the switch and the landing gear was now in sync with the switch.
All told, the project took just under three hours after getting the front securely up on jack stands. Now, when one leg is shorter than the other there is no need to find the right size shim to even them out—there is an electronic solution to this manual annoyance.
Venture Manufacturing has provided landing gear and slide-out actuators for nearly 70% of the RV industry, so odds are pretty good they made yours. Visit them on the web at www.VentureMfgCo.com.
This kit sells for $300-$350 depending on the style of legs you need and if you mention this article, Venture will give you a $50 discount off your order! BullDog can be found on the web at www.CequentPerformanceProducts.com.