RV Leveling Jacks Not Working: Troubleshooting Tips

Duration: 2:03

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 (without force from a 2×4).

Once you notice RV leveling jacks not working

In this free video lesson, RV maintenance and repair expert Dave Solberg walks you through a quick explanation to teach you 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 for your HWH leveling system.

One particular user who emailed in about this issue said they had cleaned and oil their hydraulic system, but the growling problem still persisted. Growling typically means there’s corrosion somewhere in your hydraulic system, likely in the shafts, and each manufacturer has its own recommendations for troubleshooting this issue. However, Dave believes just about all will steer you away from using any chemicals other than WD-40.

Silicones and cleaning agents such as Dawn dish soap can worsen the corrosion and render your system irreparable. So what you should do is spray the system well with WD-40 and then wipe clean. If this doesn’t do the trick, you might need to invest in new springs (which are responsible for pulling the legs back up) or a new cylinder kit, available through Lippert’s website.

Give Dave’s advice a go; try cleaning and oiling to restore and then utilize proper maintenance from there. If the problem of RV leveling jacks not working persists, go to Lippert and pick up a cylinder kit to start fresh. And check out some of our other videos to learn expert tips on inspecting your leveling jacks or discover what to do when your leveling jacks won’t extend at all. Leave us a comment if these lessons still don’t answer your question, and we’ll do our best to help you find a solution!

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

    Dave,
    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?

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      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.

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
  2. Paul J Berres
    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

    Reply
  3. mcmurraygerry
    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?

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello,

      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.

      Dan
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  4. Tracy Hennessee
    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

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      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.

      Thanks,

      David
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      We’d love to have you be a part of our community. We are convinced you will enjoy the benefits of becoming a member and having access to the best instructional how to videos and professional tips. We would like to offer you a special promotion for your first year membership.
      https://go.rvrepairclub.com/C13446

      Reply
  5. walter zimmerman
    walter zimmerman

    i have a 2004 F R Georgetown on a ford chassis w 3slides after trying the emergency jack raise switch the jacks raised and would not go down again also 2 ot 3 slides quit

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Walter,

      It depends on what kind of system you have, electric or hydraulic and also what the control system is called manufacture/model. A lot of times if you ran them up with the emergency switch the system would need reset. You can usually do this by unplugging the wiring harness to the controller and leave it out for a few minutes. Re install it and then test the system. If the jacks or slides are in a different position it will cause an error and things won’t work. You can also disconnect all power from the coach to do the same thing. Sometimes this will help in this type of situation. If it doesn’t help, I would need to know more about the system you have, manufacture and model of the lift system and control board would be a big help.

      Thanks,

      Dan
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      We’d love to have you be a part of our community. We are convinced you will enjoy the benefits of becoming a member and having access to the best instructional how to videos and professional tips. We would like to offer you a special promotion for your first-year membership.
      https://go.rvrepairclub.com/C14630

      Reply
  6. Lee
    Lee

    I am looking at an Itasca sunrise (2002) with a possible fire in the very front of the RV. I think this is a pump for the leveling jacks. I need more info.

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Lee,

      If the coach has a hydraulic leveling system, the pump and reservoir is usually located near the front. I’m not sure what information you need, is there a problem with the system? Are you saying there was a fire in the front of the RV that may have damaged the system? If you could elaborate on what information is needed I would be glad to assist you the best I can.

      Sincerely,

      Dan
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      We’d love to have you be a part of our community. We are convinced you will enjoy the benefits of becoming a member and having access to the best instructional how to videos and professional tips. We would like to offer you a special promotion for your first-year membership.
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      Reply
  7. macnicol
    macnicol

    On our last trip, Dec 2018 with my 2006 National SeaBreeze LX 32′, the hydraulic leveling jacks deployed correctly, but upon leaving they retracted normally, but slow, and then the control panel displayed at least one of them was still down and would sound an alarm when I removed the parking brake. I visually checked each jack, gave each a sound tap with a rubber mallet, and they all appeared to be fully retracted. Again upon removing the parking brake the control panel beeped and flashed warning lights that they were not retracted. Had to disconnect the power to the control panel so we could drive it home with no problem. Are there sensors that detect when each jack is retracted that could be corroded or dirty that I can clean? Is it a low hydraulic fluid sensor issue? Is it a bad parking brake sensor? Help!

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello,

      Usually when this happens it is due to low fluid. If your fluid is fine, it could be the sensor. They are different for every system so you would have to know what system is in the coach. For example, PowerGear uses float switches to indicate the fluid level. If these go bad, it will cause the issue you are having. Once you know the system you have, you can look up the parts and see what they use for the sensor. This should take care of the problem though.

      I hope this was helpful!

      Dan
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Dear James,

      Thank you for contacting us. What is the year/make/model of your RV? Our experts will need to know this information to help you with your issue.

      Sincerely,

      Taylar
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  8. Ron Brill
    Ron Brill

    We have a 2017 reflection 33 feet, 5th wheel. Electric jacks will not self level. Get error code LR. I can level manually. Fuses look good. Thanks for any help you can give me.

    Reply
  9. Joe Deener
    Joe Deener

    I have a 2008 Forest River Berkshire 360QS that has automatic leveling jacks but they won’t go down. Help

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Dear Joe,

      Thank you for your patience. In response to your question-

      I believe those are the hydraulic system and you will want to inspect the pump and reservoir. Check the fluid level and make sure it as the proper height. If it is low, fill it to the full line and check the system for leaks when operating. If the fluid level is fine you should hear the pump make a noise when the switch is activated. If the pump is trying but nothing is moving then the problem is most likely with the solenoid valves. If the pump does not run at all there could be a problem with low or no voltage going to the pump. It could be with the switch or connections. These systems need good strong battery power to operate so make sure your batteries are fully charged and are in good working order. Having them load tested is always a good idea to make sure the problem isn’t with the batteries. If you have an indicator light on the controls and it goes out when the switch is pressed, this usually indicates a voltage drop. Lastly there could be a problem with the control panel itself and it might not be sending the correct signal to the pump. Some have a separate control panel from the switch and the problem could be there as well. I would start with checking the fluid level in the reservoir and the condition of the battery. I hope this helps!

      We’d love to have you be a part of our community. We are convinced you will enjoy the benefits of becoming a member and having access to the best instructional how to videos and professional tips. We would like to offer you a special promotion for your first-year membership
      https://go.rvrepairclub.com/c17418

      Sincerely,
      Dan
      RV Repair Club Technical Expert

      Reply
  10. John Mason
    John Mason

    I have a 2005 Winnebago Adventurer 35A. The system will not turn on, its like a fuse blew. I cannot find the location of the fuses. They are not in the main panel. This is also causing a problem with my slides, if they are related.

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi John. If nothing on the 12v system is working, you will want to check the fuse panel and voltage to it. This could cause your slides not to work as well. According to the wiring diagram it is located at the main distribution center on the lower right hand side of the kitchen. It should be at the top of the load center. I will email you the diagram.
      Thanks
      Dan-RV Repair Club

      Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hey Keith!

      In regards to your issue, we’d love to help! Could you please supply us with the following information:
      -Year
      -Make
      -Model of your RV
      -What you’ve already done to attempt to fix the issue

      Once we have those bits of information, we’d be more than happy to forward your issue onto our experts!

      Sincerely,

      Jessica
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  11. CECIL
    CECIL

    Good Morning, i have a 2000 coachman santara 35 ft class a, when i bought it the leveling system worked once. it is a hwh 310 system, now you can hear the pump making a noise but nothing moves, i did remove the motor to clean the armature, but still the same problem, any ideas ? it seems like the pump is not pumping. thanks

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Cecil,

      It is possible there is an issue with the pump itself. There could also be an issue with the solenoid or fluid as well. Typically if there was a problem with low or bad fluid they would try to move a little bit. If there is no movement at all it is either the solenoid or the pump.

      We do have a video that might help as well:
      https://www.rvrepairclub.com/video/rv-leveling-jacks-not-working-014989/

      Sincerely,

      Dan
      RV Repair Club Technical Expert

      Reply
  12. Kimberly Downing
    Kimberly Downing

    Hi I have a 1997 Fleetwood Bounder class A RV and my PowerGear Hydrologic Jack’s aren’t working. There is no power to my switch board inside the rv so I cant operate the Jack’s but the sensor that lights up and beeps at you indicating that there is a Jack not fully retracted (it’s got a broken spring needing replaced) alarms so there is power going to that. Please help I’m not sure what to do to help fix this problem so I can set my Jack’s down to level my rv. Also I believe my parking brake is not working properly, when set no light indicating that the brake has been set comes on so I’m not sure if this has anything to do with anything. Please help thank you

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi there Kimberly!

      That’s a great question!

      The ‘Ask an Expert’ section is currently for members to our online community. We do have a promotional offer if you are interested. This would include access to expert advice (like this), plus discounts, hours of Premium videos, etc. Please feel free to take a look. You can message us right back with your question if you decide to become a member and you will have a response within 1-2 business days from our experts!

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      Sincerely,

      Jessica
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Ken!

      That’s a great question!

      The ‘Ask an Expert’ section is currently for members to our online community. We do have a promotional offer if you are interested. This would include access to expert advice (like this), plus discounts, hours of Premium videos, etc. Please feel free to take a look. You can message us right back with your question if you decide to become a member and you will have a response within 1-2 business days from our experts!

      Please follow the steps below to receive the annual membership at the introductory rate:

      1. Click on the email link: https://go.rvrepairclub.com/C21678
      2. Click on the Premium Membership offer.
      3. The Checkout page will display your Premium Membership purchase.
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      If you have any further questions, please contact Customer Service at 1-855-706-3536 at your earliest convenience, or chat with us on our site.

      We greatly appreciate your business!

      Sincerely,

      Jessica
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  13. Steve Quai
    Steve Quai

    Have a 2004 Winnebago Brave with the HWH 325 series Leveling System. While driving the yellow ‘Jacks Down’ indicator light turned on and buzzer sounded, pulled over and found the LR jack was down about 1/4 inch with the round RF jack indicator on the keypad was ‘red’. Could not force the jacks up and drove for 3 hours with the error indicators on. Upon arrival neither the jacks or slides (2) were working (both were stuck closed) and the RF, RR and LR jack keypad indicators were ‘red’. After turning the engine off both slides extended on AC/ battery power, jacks made a strange clicking sound and appeared to be the relays? Also noticed red hydraulic fluid on the front corner of left slide had splashed over the outside panel (subsequently looked under the bed but could not seen any leakage from the hoses though could not clearly see the connectors). Also the RF jack has considerable leakage on the outside of the jack and assume the fluid level is low. I have not check the hydraulic fluid level as we have to move soon and the slides are still extended. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hey Steve!

      That’s a great question!

      The ‘Ask an Expert’ section is currently for members to our online community. We do have a promotional offer if you are interested. This would include access to expert advice (like this), plus discounts, hours of Premium videos, etc. Please feel free to take a look. You can message us right back with your question if you decide to become a member and you will have a response within 1-2 business days from our experts!

      Please follow the steps below to receive the annual membership at the introductory rate:

      1. Click on the email link: https://go.rvrepairclub.com/C21974
      2. Click on the Premium Membership offer.
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      If you have any further questions, please contact Customer Service at 1-855-706-3536 at your earliest convenience, or chat with us on our site.

      We greatly appreciate your business!

      Sincerely,

      Jessica
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Mindy,

      Thank you for contacting us. Great question! The ‘Ask an Expert’ section is currently for members of our online community. By becoming a member, you will have access to our expert’s knowledge in RV Repair. With your membership you will also receive discounts on products and hours of Premium video content.

      If you are interested in becoming a member to RV Repair Club, please click on the special offer below:

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      Sincerely,

      Joan
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  14. Rick
    Rick

    When I retract my big foot leveling system 1of the jacks comes down about an inch. Can you give me a reason

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Rick!

      We’d love to help!

      The ‘Ask an Expert’ section is currently for members to our online community. We do have a promotional offer if you are interested. This would include access to expert advice (like this), plus discounts, hours of Premium videos, etc. Please feel free to take a look. You can message us right back with your question if you decide to become a member and you will have a response within 1-2 business days from our experts!

      Please follow the steps below to receive the annual membership at the introductory rate:

      1. Click on the email link: https://go.rvrepairclub.com/C22462
      2. Click on the Premium Membership offer.
      3. The Checkout page will display your Premium Membership purchase.
      4. Fill in your Billing Details and create an account password.
      5. Fill in your debit/credit card information.
      6. Finish by clicking Complete Order.

      If you have any further questions, please contact Customer Service at 1-855-706-3536 at your earliest convenience, or chat with us on our site.

      We greatly appreciate your business!

      Sincerely,

      Jessica
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  15. Dean D'Ambrosi
    Dean D'Ambrosi

    Dave,
    My 2006 Fleetwood Southwind is having a problem with the jacks and when I had it diagnosed I was told that the control board is not functioning. We are able to bypass the controls and raise and lower the jacks, so we know the jacks function. The system is made by Lippert and although we were able to find the touch pad we have not been able to find the control. We are also looking to try a custom control made by HWH, but they are on back order.

    So I have a couple of questions. 1) Can you think of any sources that might have the Lippert touch panel and or control? 2) Do you know of any other panel or control that might work with this system? 3) Do you know of an secondary or used part suppliers we might be able to try for the parts? 4) Are there any “manual” (fifth wheel type) jack that I can use under the current jacks while we are trying to locate the right parts?

    Thank you for your help and counsel!

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      The best thing to do would be to contact Lippert directly at lci1.com and see what boards can be used in it’s place. They make newer boards that can be used on multiple models but you would have to check based on your model what should be used. I am not sure about switching between manufactures. I have always stayed with the same ones to make sure they work properly. The only secondary parts stores would be places like Ebay or marketplace suppliers. I know many people use the scissors jacks underneath when they don’t want to replace the leveling system controllers as they can get very pricey. Bottle jacks can be used as well but scissor jacks work well.

      Sincerely,

      Dan
      RV Repair Club Technical Expert

      Reply
  16. Frederick Louk
    Frederick Louk

    I have a Jayco Talon and one of the rear jacks is not retracting when the other 5 do. How can I fix this?

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      I believe those use the electric jacks. You want to check the connection to the motor itself. There should be a wire harness on it. Make sure it is good and all of the prongs are good as well. You can also test the voltage at the harness while operating the jacks to make sure voltage is good. If there is voltage to the jack and it doesn’t move then the motor is most likely the issue. If there is no voltage to the jack it most likely the controller not sending voltage. There is another wire harness on the controller so make sure to check this as well.

      Sincerely,

      Dan
      RV Repair Club Technical Expert

      Reply