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 (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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24 Responses to “RV Leveling Jacks Not Working: Troubleshooting Tips”
  1. 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

      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

    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

    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

      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

    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

      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

    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

      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

    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

      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.
      https://go.rvrepairclub.com/C14630

      Reply
  7. 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

      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

      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

    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

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

    Reply
    • 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

    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

      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

      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

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

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