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Old 12-13-2017, 07:24 PM   #1
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Model: 38RSSA
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THOR #4040
Filed a complaint with NHTSA - LIPPERT Front levelers leaking

Well it looks like my front levelers have given up the ghost and now I need to replace them.

I contacted LIPPERT and they took all of my information but said that since it was past the 1 year warranty -- NO LUCK. Would not replace.

Short story -- front levelers were leaking down while going down the road. Had to stop several times on one trip to retract them back up. Took the trailer to RVs For Less for some other work -- while it was there -- over the weekend the front levelers leaked down to the ground.

This is a safety issued so I contacted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and reported the problem.

If you have a similar problem report your problem to them. Safety issues need to be corrected. Here is the link to report the problem:

he link is www.https://www.nhtsa.gov/

Then click on the box --- report a problem.

Anyone with leveler problems should jump on board.

Below is what I got back after I filed my complaint.

Don
-------------------------------------------------------------

This email is to confirm we received your vehicle complaint submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Thank you for this public service as it is through actions like yours that together we can save lives on America's roadways.
Your tracking number assigned by NHTSA for this issue is ---------. Please keep this number for your records and for future reference. Once your complaint has been processed, you will be able to view it online and find any related documents. Please allow two business days for NHTSA to review your complaint.
What happens next?
Your complaint will be reviewed by NHTSA technical staff and entered into our database. If any additional information is needed, a NHTSA investigator will contact you.
Every complaint is taken seriously, reviewed in detail and analyzed for defects trends. Your complaint is important because it helps to inform NHTSA, other vehicle owners and manufacturers about potential safety concerns. Such information helps save lives, and we encourage you to share the resources available at www.SaferCar.gov with your family, friends and others in your community.
Will my vehicle be recalled?
When a manufacturer or NHTSA determines that a car or item of motor vehicle equipment creates an unreasonable risk to safety or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that car or equipment. That can be done by repairing it, replacing it, offering a refund (for equipment) or, in rare cases, repurchasing the car.
If your vehicle is included in a recall, the manufacturer will contact you. Sign up to receive recall email alerts from NHTSA if there's ever a recall involving your vehicle.
If you have any other questions regarding your complaint, please contact NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation:
  • Phone: 888-327-4236, Monday-Friday, 8:00AM to 8:00PM EST(Spanish-speaking representatives available)
    TTY: 888-424-9153
    (Please have your ODI number referenced above available.)
  • Email: https://www.nhtsa.gov/about-nhtsa/contact-us
    (Please indicate your ODI Number referenced above in the contact form.)
Thank you for contacting us and playing a critical role in helping to keep our roads safe.
PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL, IT HAS BEEN AUTO-GENERATED. __________________
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Old 12-13-2017, 07:57 PM   #2
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Why ius it that evybody likes to scream safety, Safety, SAFETY, SAFETY!!!, and then we find out it's more of a "pain in the butt"; nothing more!


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Old 12-13-2017, 08:02 PM   #3
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Don't see how its a safety issue when you know they drop down, secure them up, or remove them and then it's not an issue any more.
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Old 12-13-2017, 08:24 PM   #4
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Thank you...
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Old 12-13-2017, 09:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by cpmath View Post
Don't see how its a safety issue when you know they drop down, secure them up, or remove them and then it's not an issue any more.
Your not serious right. You can't remove the 3' long hydraulic cylinders, and unless you modify the frame to attach chain or something like that you can't keep them up. I can't help but notice you are a motorhome owner, so would you crawl under you rig each time you move the secure the ram? Does a 22 FE even have hydraulic leveling?

It is a safety issue when an item that has been working correctly and then drops unexpectedly when you are driving down the road.
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Old 12-13-2017, 09:22 PM   #6
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I think what they are saying is that the levelers only have a one year warranty (reportedly), so if they fail after that period the owner must repair or replace at their expense.

I suppose it can be seen as a safety issue, but so are worn out tires or brakes. When they wear out it's up to the owner to replace them before it leads to an accident. In these cases there is no "backup".

In the case of levelers, I think they could (should?) all have retraction springs so as to keep them up off the road when the hydraulic cylinder or valves leak.
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Old 12-13-2017, 09:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance View Post
In the case of levelers, I think they could (should?) all have retraction springs so as to keep them up off the road when the hydraulic cylinder or valves leak.
I am really surprised they don't. The HWH levelers I had on my former DP did, and the after market HWH levelers I had added to the Gemini do too.
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Old 12-13-2017, 11:24 PM   #8
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I was just looking at this issue on another forum and it seems a possible solution is to use auto retract each time you store the legs. This allows the system to build up to a certain pressure bore it shuts off. If you use the manual retract it may not build the need pressure to balance the system,

Anyhow, worth a try and I agree it certainly is a safety issue.
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Old 12-13-2017, 11:38 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Buckshot View Post
I was just looking at this issue on another forum and it seems a possible solution is to use auto retract each time you store the legs. This allows the system to build up to a certain pressure bore it shuts off. If you use the manual retract it may not build the need pressure to balance the system,

Anyhow, worth a try and I agree it certainly is a safety issue.
How's that gonna help when the problem is the hydraulic pressure leaks out of the cylinder allowing them to move?
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Old 12-14-2017, 12:20 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Tfryman View Post
How's that gonna help when the problem is the hydraulic pressure leaks out of the cylinder allowing them to move?
A hydraulic expert I assume!
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Old 12-14-2017, 12:29 AM   #11
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Your have 2 issues, first they are broken and must be fixed, the other is a design problem that when broken make them unsafe.

I would not be waiting for a manufacture fix to the design problem, rather consider making your own fix to keep them from falling down. Could a bungee cord and some hooks do the trick?
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Old 12-14-2017, 03:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckshot View Post
A hydraulic expert I assume!
Nope, a reading expert.

From the OP:

Quote:
Short story -- front levelers were leaking down while going down the road.
But I also know how hydraulic systems work.
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Old 12-14-2017, 06:24 AM   #13
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WOW, all these motorhome owners replying to this thread. I guess if there Jacks starting falling down in transit that they might not have the same reaction.
It is a safety issue. They are not designed to lower and hit,drag on the ground while in transit. The key word is designed. DRV has switched to a different style because of issues with them.

If you have nothing positive to add just keep it to yourself. This thread was designed to inform DRV owners of an issue and that they should file a report if they have the same issue. If NITSA gets enough reports, they will investigate it and might force a recall.
I guess all of the people with Takata air bags could have rigged, disabled there air bags to be OK. But NITSA did not think that they should.

Bottom line, please stop trolling and giving advice that no one has asked for. I believe the posting member has already spent $1500 plus to get them rebuilt. And I think his $100k plus unit is just over a year old.

Rant over....
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Old 12-14-2017, 11:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rynosback View Post
WOW, all these motorhome owners replying to this thread. I guess if there Jacks starting falling down in transit that they might not have the same reaction.
It is a safety issue. They are not designed to lower and hit,drag on the ground while in transit. The key word is designed. DRV has switched to a different style because of issues with them.

If you have nothing positive to add just keep it to yourself. This thread was designed to inform DRV owners of an issue and that they should file a report if they have the same issue. If NITSA gets enough reports, they will investigate it and might force a recall.
I guess all of the people with Takata air bags could have rigged, disabled there air bags to be OK. But NITSA did not think that they should.

Bottom line, please stop trolling and giving advice that no one has asked for. I believe the posting member has already spent $1500 plus to get them rebuilt. And I think his $100k plus unit is just over a year old.

Rant over....
Well said - I was considering a similar post. What makes this forum different from the others is the amiable atmosphere, and it would be a shame to see this one stoop to the discourteous and mean-spirited level as the others. Even though some members have accumulated many posts over a very short period of time, it does not mean that they have they are experts. If I don't have a specific solution to a member's problem, I don't respond to the thread.

For what it's worth, I see the original poster's concern as a potential safety issue that merits looking into. Even if the levelers are no longer under warranty, this does not mean that a (potential) flaw in the design of the system lets the manufacturer off the hook. Indeed, I am always interested in what issues/problems others are having so that if there is a systematic pattern, the appropriate manufacturers can be put on alert.

Just my two cents.
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Old 12-14-2017, 02:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
Why ius it that evybody likes to scream safety, Safety, SAFETY, SAFETY!!!, and then we find out it's more of a "pain in the butt"; nothing more!


Good luck!
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpmath View Post
Don't see how its a safety issue when you know they drop down, secure them up, or remove them and then it's not an issue any more.
I thought this was a DRV section of the forum ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tfryman View Post
How's that gonna help when the problem is the hydraulic pressure leaks out of the cylinder allowing them to move?
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocP View Post
Even if the levelers are no longer under warranty, this does not mean that a (potential) flaw in the design of the system lets the manufacturer off the hook. Indeed, I am always interested in what issues/problems others are having so that if there is a systematic pattern, the appropriate manufacturers can be put on alert.

Just my two cents.
If the complaint is found to have any merit with the NHTSA and they either have Lippert issue a voluntary or forced recall, then warranty has no play. In the automotive world as far as the NHTSA is concerned, recalls are forever.

FWIIW, I specifically asked the DRV factory reps about this cylinder issue before placing my order. I was informed that the subject jacks have since been replaced with a different style, which so far has had no issues.

I have also heard the tip about using the auto retract to make sure the jacks are all up, all the way.
The LevelUp I have on my current trailer has the same front jacks that were an issue on the DRV trailers, although we have been fortunate to have had zero problems in 8.5 years of use. I also have always used the auto retract function just about all the time.
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Old 12-14-2017, 03:25 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Porthole View Post
I thought this was a DRV section of the forum ? .
Is the DRV section forbidden to everyone else?
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Old 12-14-2017, 04:30 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
Is the DRV section forbidden to everyone else?
Not at all. But with no irons in the fire, why add negative comments?

I have yet to see a motor coach with levelers like we have on 5th wheel trailers.
And I have yet to see 5th wheel trailers with funky springs hanging down.
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Old 12-14-2017, 04:34 PM   #18
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Ok guys I have a question, when hooking up my truck I have always manually raised the rear jacks then connected my truck and then manually raised the front jacks. So those that are using the "Auto Retract" are you leaving all the jacks down then manually raising the front jacks to get the trailer connected then once it is going to the AR function and raising all the legs together? With the known issues with this system I want to do the best I can to keep ours working correctly. My assumption is the AR function can be accessed in the "manual" section of the control panel.
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Old 12-14-2017, 04:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porthole View Post
Not at all. But with no irons in the fire, why add negative comments?

I have yet to see a motor coach with levelers like we have on 5th wheel trailers.
And I have yet to see 5th wheel trailers with funky springs hanging down.
Negative comments? I guess I see it as an attempt to remind folks that the "Sky isn't falling...".

I'm very active in a Can Am Spyder Forum.
(www.Spderlovers.com)
We had an actual recall on some 2013 model year bikes because they were catching fire!
In my book: dangling levelers just doesn't quite come up to that level of concern...
But that's just me!
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Old 12-14-2017, 04:54 PM   #20
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[QUOTE=Porthole;101338]Not at all. But with no irons in the fire, why add negative comments?



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