RV Leveling Jacks Not Working: Troubleshooting Tips

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We’ve had a handful of members write in wondering what to do when the leveling jacks on their RV’s slide room, fifth wheel or tow trailer aren’t working properly. For most of these cases, their hydraulic system has either taken on a disturbing growling noise upon descension of the leveling jacks or they simply won’t retract back into the rig. In this free lesson, RV expert Dave Solberg walks you through a quick explanation to explain how you should troubleshoot when you discover RV leveling jacks not working properly on your rig.

With Dave’s help, you’ll learn what to look for when you notice there’s an issue with your leveling jacks. He shows you how to diagnose the problem, then introduces a few tips for finding a solution. Growing typically means there’s corrosion somewhere in your hydraulic system, and each manufacturer has its own recommendations for troubleshooting. However, Dave believes just about all will steer you away from using any chemicals other than WD-40. Find out what else you need to know to troubleshoot your fault leveling jacks!

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7 Responses to “RV Leveling Jacks Not Working: Troubleshooting Tips”
  1. Joe

    My Fleetwood Southwind has grease fittings at the bottom of the cylinder. I just pumped some grease into to them. Will that hurt anything? What kind of fluid should I use in the system reservoir?

    • Customer Service

      Hello Joe,

      Typically Fleetwood used the Power Gear leveling system which is now owned by Lippert Components Inc (LCI). According to the Power Gear manual, they recommend the following:

      Type A automatic transmission fluid (ATF, Dexron III, etc.,)will work satisfactorily.

      Mercon V is also recommended as an alternative fluid for Power Gear leveling systems operating in environments with large temperature swings

      Operating in cold temperatures (less than -10°F) may cause the jacks may extend and retract slowly. For cold weather operation, fluid specially-formulated for low temperatures may be desirable:

      Mobil DTE 11M, Texaco Rando HDZ-15HVI, Kendall Hyden Glacial Blu, or any Mil. Spec. H5606 hydraulic fluids are recommended for cold weather operation.

      The grease fittings are generally designed to add a small amount of grease to disperse moisture in the cylinder so it should be good.

      David RVRC Video Membership

  2. Paul J Berres

    One Jack refuses to retract. I have used some spray on it – that worked previously but now it doesn’t.
    Previously somebody said a fuse blew…replaced it and it worked. 2000 Itasca Horizon Class A.
    What suggestions do you have for resolution of the problem

  3. mcmurraygerry

    I have a 2012 Tiffin Allegro Open Road. My left rear leveling cylinder will not stay down. I replaced the solenoid valve, and it worked for a couple of days and the started creeping back up. Can anyone give me some ideas of what to look for or at?

    • Customer Service


      There are a few possible causes. Check the solenoid valve for any leaks. The cylinder itself could have a an internal leak, would have to check the seals. The manifold has a check valve that could have failed. Debris could have also entered the system either when the solenoid was installed or prior. You would then have to clean and flush the system. Make sure to visually check everywhere for any sign of a leak.

      I hope this information was helpful.

      RV Repair Club Video Membership

  4. Tracy Hennessee

    Hi can anyone help me. We had the airbags replaced on our 96 american dream, went to use it and the leveling jacks would not work. It let the air out and wound not drop the jacks. The power shut off the system inside that we use to do the jacks . Please can anyone help. Thanks Tracy

    • Customer Service

      Hello Tracy,

      You will need to take the unit back to the service center that replaced the air bags as there is something wired wrong now that shuts the system down. It’s not something that can be easily diagnosed without knowing exactly what was replaced and tracing the wiring system.


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Tags: Dave Solberg, fixing RV leveling jacks, Free Videos, RV leveling jacks, RV maintenance guide, RV Repair Club, RV repair tips, RV videos