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Tired of finding why is the rv leveling jacks not working? Want to know what are the possible solutions to fix this problem? Don’t worry. It’s a familiar story to many rv owners while going for a week-long adventure or a cross country trip. And, I’m about to cover everything that goes into the topic in this article.
But before we jump into it, I would not recommend you to pretend like an expert just by reading this article. Don’t get me wrong, it will do more harm than good. So, in case you are new to Rving and never fixed anything before then calling a professional is necessary. However, let’s get down to it.
What You'll Need To Troubleshoot RV’s Leveling System
Among so many RV problems you will face on the road, sometimes RV leveling jacks will not retract just to give you a swirling sensation in your stomach. In that situation, if you are camping somewhere, first check whether everything is connected with the jack properly. Make sure the jack is not compromised with the motor, control panel, and the battery.
In order to check thoroughly, you might need tools to repair your camper hydraulic leveling jacks.
Allow me to share some of the tools and guides below.
- Drill Gun: BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill
- Multimeter: Etekcity Digital Multimeter
- Standard Pliers: WORKPRO 7-piece Pliers Set
- Wire Cutters: DOWELL 10-22 AWG Wire Stripper Cutter
- Screwdrivers: CREMAX Magnetic Screwdriver Set
- Wrenches: Milwaukee M18 FUEL 18-Volt Lithium-Ion
- Allen key: EKLIND 10111 Hex-L Key allen
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This is not a tool! But every RV manufacturer makes one for each model. You may think this manual only covers the specifications of RV. That’s not true. Most manufacturers also include quick troubleshoot to common problems. If you are lucky, you may find your problem with a solution there. If you forget to bring it with you on your trip, find a PDF version for your particular model on the internet.
This is your standard handheld power tool. A drill gun is used to create a hole into solid things. But with attachments, you can do a lot more with that.
This tool allows you to check the voltage of electronics and the current going through a live wire. This is useful for checking short circuits as well as whether specific electronics are receiving proper current.
You can use pliers to reach wires, nuts, bolts in tricky places. Plus, it is also useful in holding, pressing components while repairing.
As the name suggests, it cuts wire properly and safely while working on any electrical equipment. This is a must-have tool for any toolbox.
This is a universal tool to have. In most repair work, at some point, you will need a screwdriver to unscrew things.
Most equipment in an RV contains various sizes of nuts and bolts. So, a proper wrench can help you along the way.
This is a special type of tool that corresponds with a special type of nuts and bolts. Most hwh leveling systems use this special type of nuts in a hydraulic valve.
RV Leveling Jacks Not Working: Possible Causes & Solutions
If your RV leveling jacks won’t extend or retract, there could be numerous reasons. Maybe your battery is dead or can’t provide enough voltage to the equipment to work properly. Sometimes bad wiring or old wiring prevents current from reaching equipment. Also, there is a matter of faulty fuse and switch that also aid in not performing accordingly.
From now on I will try to explore all the common causes you will face that hamper the camper leveling system to work properly.
- Can Low Voltage Be an Issue?
- Is my hydraulic Motor pump dead?
- How to check the Battery problem?
- Best way to seal hydraulic leaks?
- Can I replace the switch if it is broken?
- Faulty fuses and electrical breakers.
- Look for an emergency override.
- Is Lippert leveling jacks different?
a) Timed out an error message when trying to retract
b) Unplugging the valve body on a Lippert leveling jack system
c) Water And Ice condensation Around Your Leveling Jacks
1. Can Low Voltage Be an Issue?
Low voltage is the most common problem when it comes to electric components. Every electronics component needs a proper voltage to run. Without adequate voltage, it cannot run the way it is supposed to. Plus, there is a chance low voltage can damage your equipment.
The best way to check a voltage problem is with a multimeter. Etekcity Digital Multimeter is a great tool to check voltage related problems if there is any. This tool comes with an accurate measurement system, lightweight, portable, LCD, and thousands of positive reviews.
- Accurately Measures: AC/DC voltage, only for AC current (not for DC current), resistance, and also provides diode and continuity tests
- Jaw Opening: the Clamp measures the AC current in a conductor up to 26mm without interrupting the circuit
- Additional Features: data hold, max reading, and an easy-to-read large LCD
2. Is my hydraulic Motor pump dead?
Hydraulic jack works on fluid that pushes through tubes by a motor. If there’s a problem with the motor, your jacks are likely to stop working.
To see if your motor has a problem, Untether the power connection from the motor and use new wire from the battery to eliminate faulty cable issues. You can use CARTMAN Tool Set to unscrew the connection and use a different wire to see if your motor is dead.
- Comprehensive tool set: Includes all the tools you need for most small repairs and DIY projects, from a hammer, pliers and screwdrivers to a tape measure and many more.
- Durable and reliable: Heat treated and chrome plated to resist corrosion
- Easy organization: Comes with a plastic toolbox storage case to keep all your tools organized and securely stored.
3. How to check the Battery problem?
The battery is the main power source for your leveling jacks to extend and retract. It’s always a good idea to check the battery first in any stuck issue.
There are several ways you can check a battery. The best way among them is to use an Etekcity Digital Multimeter. If it is not discharging required voltage and amps you need to charge it properly before doing any leveling.
4. Best way to seal hydraulic leaks?
Most RV jacks run on the Hydraulics system, which means it needs an adequate amount of fluid to run perfectly. With times and rough use tubes that fluid goes through may get leaked. It will result in a performance issue and at worst it will stop working.
It’s a good practice to check your fluid level from now and then to maintain the proper fluid level. Also, visual inspection is a great way to find leaks if there is any. If you find leaks in your components you can use any sealant or use this great ATP AT-205 Re-Seal which ensures fast and proper seal to any fluid leaks.
5. Can I replace the switch if it is broken?
RV Leveling system responds to the designated built-in switch that it comes with. It may get damaged between your trips.
If that’s the case you need to replace the switch as soon as possible. The leveling system will not work without the switch. Lippert Components Power Switch comes to rescue you from that hassle.
6. Faulty fuses and electrical breakers
Every electronics component of an RV is connected to a Fuse set and a master broker. If there’s a problem in any of those you are likely to have problems with your jacks and all the electronics.
Check if there is any faulty fuse and also check whether the master breaker is tripped off. You can use EPAuto Blade Fuse Set to replace any damaged fuse from their wide range of fuse collection. And if you need a new master breaker you can use T Tocas Circuit Breakers. It’s a great option because it’s compact and waterproof also comes with a manual reset button.
7. Look for an emergency override
When the situation is critical with your stubborn leveling jacks that won’t retract, you would want a quick solution like an override option. It’s comforting that most major brands of RV leveling jacks have one.
In the HWH hydraulic system, there is a pressure release valve on each leg. You can use that to retract them manually after losing the jacks. Lippert system allows the user to unplug the side valve that will auto retract the jacks.
8. Are Lippert leveling jacks different?
Lippert’s system follows its own manufacturing design, which makes it different from other competitors like HWH. So a lot of troubleshooting won’t be the same as the Lippert system. Here are some common issues you may face with Lipert.
a) Timed out an error message when trying to retract
It’s not very unusual to see a timed out error while trying to pull back the jacks. Try holding down the retract button for 3 seconds. It will go away, and you can try again.
b) Unplugging the valve body on a Lippert leveling jack system
The jack override system required you to disconnect the valve, usually placed on the side of the van. Keep in mind; this option is only to get going if you ever get stuck with jack’s problem. Afterward, it would be best if you saw a mechanic for a complete diagnosis.
c) Water and ice condensation around your leveling jacks
it’sIt’s easy to jam or freeze moving parts out in the open in the lower temperature climate. You can use extra wooden panels to prevent sticking with the surface water or use regular salt to decelerate the condensation process.
9. Contact A Roadside Service
If you are a total beginner or not experienced enough to fix the RV problems, it’s time to call a professional. AAA service or any Roadside service expert in this particular troubleshoot will work. There’s a good chance such an agency will be nearby. So, don’t worry.
FAQ about RV Leveling Jacks
1. Can You Use Stabilizer Jacks To Level A Trailer?
Yes, you can use stabilizer jacks to level a trailer as long as it’s on the flat surface. But keep in mind that most manufacturers do not recommend that. It’s also a good idea to read the manual carefully before use.
2. Do I Need Leveling Blocks With The Auto Level?
Generally, the auto level system eliminates the need for any leveling blocks. They have enough length to level on their own without adding RV leveling blocks. But there will be times when you will come across an uneven or soft surface, where it makes sense to use leveling blocks.
3. How Do I Manually Retract My Power Gear Jacks?
In the time of electric failure, you may need to retract the camper leveling system manually. The different camper van has a different leveling system. So, the retraction process may vary. It’s best to follow the owner’s manual.
In the case of a hydraulic system, look for the hydraulic reservoir on your camper. Once you have found the chamber there you will see a motor, hydraulic fluid tank, and all the wiring connecting to the system.
- First, you need to disconnect the motor from the battery. It’s to prevent any accidental movement from the motor itself.
- Second, open the hydraulic valve of corresponding leveling feet using Allen wrench. Some systems have both feet paired to one valve. Make sure you are opening the right valve. Use onboard instruction or manual to identify.
- Third, remove the rubber cap from the motor. You will see a socket connection. Now use a power drill with a matched socket bit. Make sure you retract slowly and carefully with the power drill.
4. How Do You Check RV Jack Level Fluid?
RV jack fluid stays in the hydraulic tank. First of all, find where the hydraulic tank is for your particular model. If you can find yourself, read the manual first. If it’s not in the manual try to contact the manufacturer.
Once you find the tank, you will see a low fluid indication on the tank. As long as the fluid is over the minimum fluid level your system will work. it’s also a good idea to check all the hydraulic tubes if there are any leaks. If you found one, seal it immediately.
5. How Do You Lubricate RV Leveling Jacks?
In order to keep RV Jacks operational, you need to maintain a proper lubricant level. RV jack uses ATF type lubricant. To meet the required level of lubricant it’s a good idea to go through manufactures instructions cautiously.
The rule of thumb is that you fill the reservoir till the opening. Then extend and retract the jacks a couple of times to distribute the lubricants properly. After that, if there is room for more lubricant, fill the rest, and distribute it. Do this until the tank is full.
6. How Do I Reset My Leveling Powering Jacks?
Many jack systems in the RV’s employ different reset procedures. To know how to reset your leveling system, best to read the instructions in the manual. Resetting the system allows you to go back to original settings or create a new default setting based on the current level.
With the lci leveling system, go to manual mode. And try to level your trailer as close as possible using the front, rear, left and right button. After carefully doing that, turn off your touch control. Then press the front button 5 times and rear button 5 times. In some model holding down left and a right button also reset the system settings
If you have done that correctly you will see controlled flashing and hear a beep. Finally, display a message that the setting has been reset.
7. How Do RV Self-Leveling Jacks Work?
RV jacks are part of the motorhome leveling system also known as a bigfoot leveling system. The system is consisting of components like hydraulic jacks, motor, lubricant reservoir, onboard computer, and a control panel. All these components work together to balance the trailer to an appropriate level safely and securely.
Owning an RV is a blessing. It brings joy and good memories of your short life span. Like any other vehicle, it will need repair and fixing from time to time.
I hope this article will help you understand the fundamentals of RV leveling jacks not working problems, the reasons, and some easy solutions to fix the problem. Enough to get on with your days without much to worry about.