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Old 08-17-2019, 10:49 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2016 Thor Outlaw 29H
State: Tennessee
Posts: 429
THOR #13869
Lippert hydraulic control panel

As well versed as I am at the mechanical end of this system, not so much on the electronic part.
Maybe somebody can share an experience/remedy.

Left this morning to our 600 mile away destination, and now the control panel will not tturn on.
It reads: Communication Error, check wiring.

Key on, engine running, parking brake on- nothing.

Pulled panel, unplugged it, plugged it back in, said something like please wait, then same.
Fuse at pump still good.
No blown fuses at panel, system runs on 12vdc.

We can use the RV without the jacks.
Thinking the control panel itself, but do not know.
Been an awfully long day and will look at my "bring along literature" for it, thought I would post it here meanwhile.

Thanks ahead of time and will let y'all know what I find, when I do.

Have a nice weekend.

Lippert hydraulic leveling system
2016 Outlaw class C
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:34 AM   #2
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2013 ACE 30.1
State: Alberta
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THOR #2631
I am not a leveling jack expert, but since you have done all the things the troubleshooting manual advises for the leveling control panel.......what about checking the wiring connections at the leveling sense module? Mine is located in a basement cubby (near the hydraulic pump cubby) screwed to the bottom side of the coach floor. Maybe one of the cables (or wires in a connector) has come loose.
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Old 08-18-2019, 03:25 PM   #3
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2016 Thor Outlaw 29H
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THOR #13869
Thanks Javelin, we do not have one of those in any of our cubby compartments, still looking for it.
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Old 08-18-2019, 04:18 PM   #4
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THOR #2631
Maybe someone with your specific coach will advise on location of the level sensor unit.....assuming your Lippert jack system uses it. I would think that any "automatic" jack leveling system would have its own level sensor to determine electronically "what is level". I am attaching a schematic (from a Lippert Operations and Service Manual) which may not be what you actually have, but it might help you see how typical Lippert jack system components are wired. The level sensor unit (I call it that) which I pictured in a previous post is represented in the top left corner of this schematic. it looks like the control pad beside the driver chair is wired directly to this level sensor......so probably bad connection somewhere or a failed module perhaps? Sometimes the pins in connectors get pushed out of the connector and fail to make contact as they should.
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Old 08-18-2019, 06:10 PM   #5
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THOR #13869
Found it, yes in a cubby.
The power plug to this controller measures 14.2.

Did not probe any other plug in pins, it's hard to reach, but the wires to the touch panel show no more than 10 volts.

I am thinking this controller is the culprit.
Going to study those schematics, thank you.
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Old 08-18-2019, 06:35 PM   #6
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Model: Palazzo 33.3 34'bunkhouse
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THOR #4735
Questions:

- you are getting 12v power to the LCI Panel, right? It is powered thru the CHASSIS battery bank...

- are you getting 12v power to the HYDRAULICS module? It is powered thru the HOUSE battery bank, though.

It's quite possible that you have simply tripped a BUSS BREAKER that is inline with the Hydraulics, since your panel works, but your hydraulics do not...or may not be. These breakers may be located near the House battery bank, possibly mounted on the wall, and may have a little yellow or red 'flag' protruding out slightly if it is 'tripped'.... pushing it back in will reset the fuse/breaker.



A similar problem happened to us while on a sloping site in South Dakota back in 2014 when we were relatively new to the coach. After allowing the panel to 'auto level', I found some tires off the ground and was not comfortable.
I went back into the coach and tried to turn the LCI panel back on, but nothing. Nada, no lights, no power, nothing... OMG!
While I was a little taken aback, especially as the panel had just worked in order to level the coach in the first place, I immediately jumped to the conclusion that it 'must' be something to do with low hydraulic fluid, or something like that - it certainly couldn't have been electrical, or so I thought.
After checking the fluid tank, and finding it very low, I rushed to the truck stop nearby, bought 2 quarts of fluid, and emptied them into the tank - but, still no power at the panel.

Hmmmmm ????!, well, o.k., I'll try to 'manually' ratchet the legs back up....(that was a futile effort, and probably not something you really want to have to try)...

so, finally, exasperated, I actually did what I should have done to start with - call THOR customer service. They were quite efficient and intelligent, too, as he almost immediately knew what the answer might be - just go to your battery compartment, find one of the 'fuse/buss breakers' on the wall, probably a 50amp or 100amp size, and push that little 'flag' thingy back in.

Sure enough, I now had power back at the panel, and I easily brought up the legs....

BUT!! ! ! now, I had another issue - fluid bursting out all over my front hydraulics and generator compartment! The fluid I had added, though the tank 'looked' close to empty, was EXACTLY at the level it already should have been, as when the legs are extended, the fluid is out AT THE LEGS, not in the tank - I had just severely overfilled the tank, and now the extra had to go out SOMEWHERE.... crazy.

Five years later, and probably 90,000 miles later, that hydraulics area is still 'a leaky mess' as trying to clean it up, around the hoses, the module, and all the areas that are in that small area is difficult - but, alas, it hasn't effected the performance of the leveling system, or anything to do with travel - I'll just leave it just like it is!
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Old 08-19-2019, 12:41 AM   #7
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THOR #13869
Thanks on the input Turnerfam.

The pushbutton panel, inside, on wall, does not work.
It displays a message, when key is on & parking brake set, Comm error check wiring.
Hard to notice as panel is not lit.
Our pushbutton panel lights up when turned on.

All 12v circuit breakers not tripped at battery compartment.
With engine running 14.2v on both sides of all 3 telling me none tripped also.

Power at control module, in cubby compartment shows 14.2 volts with engine on and brake set.

The pushbutton module shows 10.1v with brake set & engine running.
Unplugged and plugged back in all connections on other controller in the cubby.
Makes me think main leveler controller in cubby is at fault.

Just to be clear, the leveller pushbutton panel, in house, does not even turn on at all.
No timing out as it never came on to begin with.
All parameters in place to turn it on, i.e. parking brake set and key in on position, engine running.

At the controller panel, in basement cubby hole, parameters in place to turn on, power supply plug reads 14.2vdc.
Turn off key and it reads zero vdc.

Parameters in place, brake set key on running engine, pushbutton panel on inside wall, voltage there reads 10 vdc if we are lucky on its plug.

Should there be 12vdc shown downstream at the pushbutton controller in this condition?
Or the 14.2 as alternator is putting out?
It is showing only 10.
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At my young age, lol...
You could still maybe see me rolling down the highway, on my motorcycle, pulling a trailer with camp gear, smiling, beard in braids...
Feeling The Wind! (FTW)
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Old 08-19-2019, 12:57 PM   #8
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THOR #2631
I think your error message is saying there is a problem between the level sense (controller in the cubby) and the key pad beside the driver. If the cable between them checks out OK (all wires and contacts are good) then it sounds like either the controller or keypad has failed.

I would suggest contacting Lippert tech support and see what they would suggest. That's like asking a barber if you need a haircut......but hopefully they will know from experience which is the more likely failed unit. Ask them about the 10vdc at the keypad. If the controller is only providing the keypad with 10vdc (I don't know if this is normal) then perhaps the controller is more suspect.....but that is a WAG.
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:05 AM   #9
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
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THOR #13869
Thanks javelin.
Exactly my plans, although if it is either, nothing to do about it on the road.
We should be home late Saturday evening.

The RV is usable without the jacks.
Hoping our next campsite is fairly level.

I will let y'all know what I find out, it just will not be for a few days.

Thanks everyone, Rusty

And it is my bad for not calling them already.
It easily gets put aside in my mind while attention is on county fair, daughter, grandkids, next location, boondocking, then it is dusk again, lol.
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At my young age, lol...
You could still maybe see me rolling down the highway, on my motorcycle, pulling a trailer with camp gear, smiling, beard in braids...
Feeling The Wind! (FTW)
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:59 PM   #10
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2016 Thor Outlaw 29H
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Posts: 429
THOR #13869
For what its worth, it was the 4 point leveler control located in the basement cubby accessed from outside the rig, as javelin mentioned and showed a picture of, thank you.

I'll be honest, I did not call Lippert, and maybe I should have.
I am not an electronics tech, nor an electrician, but have analytical skills and was trained to be a machinist/machine repairman having learned some about a lot of them, especially hydraulics.
I took the $350 gamble on my hunch of the problem lying in the 4 point leveling controller, and it was the culprit.

The Lippert troubleshooting guide said it could be one of three possibilities.
1. the parking brake not set, 2. the key not on and/or the engine running, 3. Time out error of the panel being on over 4 minutes and to turn it off, then back on.

Inside the RV on the wall control, the screen was never lit, and would not turn on.
But if you looked carefully, an error message read Comm Error/Check Wiring.
This was only there with the park brake set and either the engine running or just the ignition turned to the on position.
Removing it from the wall, my meter read 10vdc across all wires using the end yellow one as the common.
Remove any of those two settings: parking brake set, or ignition key in on &/or engine running, and nothing displayed on the screen.

It did not "time out' because, IMHO, it never really turned on, illuminating the screen display.

At the 4 point leveling control module, outside in the cubby, the plug that has only two larger gauge wires, power supply plug.
That plug read 14.2 volts with the parking brake set and engine running.
I only tested this with the engine running.
If I eliminated either parking brake, or ignition switch to off position, I read zero volts at that plug.
I did not attempt to read voltages at other plug ins on that module, as it was hard to reach up in there to do so.
Besides, at the wall panel I got 10 volts dc.
I was expecting to see 14v, or maybe at least 12v as the engine was putting out, and the level control module down below read that.

Getting home, and the module that I gambled upon was here, I installed it.
It worked! Hooray!
So I manually leveled it and gave it a level initiation as set it.

I find out, with engine running, parking brake set, new module installed down below, and not turning on the system with the wall control.
I take it off the wall, unplug it and read voltages as I did in my initial trouble shooting that read 10 volts dc.
In the same sequence of using the meter, parking brake set, engine running, I get 5.4 to 6.3 volts dc.
Parking brake set, key on engine not running, I read 5.3 to 5.5 volts dc.

Then returning the plug to the wall mount device, the screen lights up and says it is in error, which I cleared, and now it is fixed.

I hope this helps someone in the future if they experience the same conditions as we did.
It's kind of a pain making your camping week without the thing being level.
Have a nice day!
Rusty
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At my young age, lol...
You could still maybe see me rolling down the highway, on my motorcycle, pulling a trailer with camp gear, smiling, beard in braids...
Feeling The Wind! (FTW)
Rusty
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Old 08-25-2019, 10:55 PM   #11
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THOR #2631
Glad you found your trouble; even with the unfortunate added cost to you for the new level sense controller. Excellent write up and logical reasoning to make your final determination of which one to replace. Thanks for sharing the correct voltages with the forum too......so we all can learn a little if it ever happens to us. It would be interesting to know how or what event led to the demise of the old level sense controller......the manufacturer probably knows their common device weaknesses though. Happy Camping and leveling.
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