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Old 05-31-2019, 12:40 AM   #1
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THOR #14340
Hydrolic leveling jacks won't retract

A few months ago I did the CHF and today I finally got a chance to take the ol girl for a drive, about 100 miles or so, to a campground in GA. I am ecstatic with the results.

I found myself cruising at 65 and it felt like I was driving my 250HD. Well, almost as good anyway. But it was awesome and I was feeling really relaxed as I cruised down the Interstate. Right up to the point where that nasty cross wind took my confidence to levels it haven't been in years. So I slowed it down to 55-60 and carefully made it the rest of the way to the campground.

It's not the most level place I've ever seen and when I put the front leveling jacks down, they made a horrible noise. The front jacks were about 1/2 way down and when I tried to bring them back up, they wouldn't have anything to do with it.

The rear jacks work fine, but the front refuse to go up. They will go further down, but I have to get underneath the MH and pry them up to make them move upwards.

So I'm here for the next 4 days, on a serious angle, and wondering how to make these jacks retract.

Anyone have any ideas?


Edit: Sorry, I meant hydraulic. Spelled it wrogn. :-)
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Old 05-31-2019, 01:23 AM   #2
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Sounds like you may have bent the rams on the front.
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Old 05-31-2019, 01:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beau388 View Post
Sounds like you may have bent the rams on the front.
Any idea how would I have done that? Doesn't sound to me like that's an easy fix? If push comes to shove, I need to get the jacks up so I can turn the MH around and use the rear jacks to level the coach.

I've got another 3 days to go here and I need to get this beast leveled so I can at least use the refer.
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Old 05-31-2019, 01:44 AM   #4
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So is this the first time you have used these jacks? Did you check the directional solenoid valves to make sure they weren't manually over-ridden?
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Old 05-31-2019, 01:56 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
So is this the first time you have used these jacks? Did you check the directional solenoid valves to make sure they weren't manually over-ridden?
No, I've leveled this coach several times over the last few months. Never a problem, either up or down.

At the site we're at the pad is very much unlevel. So I put several pads under the jack. When I hit the "down" switch, I got a horrible sound and I stopped the process. The jack was down on the pads, and it was in the process of lifting the front of the coach.

I flipped the switch to retract the jacks but it wouldn't respond. I switch it the other way, to lift the coach, and it did, abliet with a lot of noise. Flipped the switch the other way, which should have allowed the jack to retract, but the jack wouldn't come up.

So that's where I'm at. The jacks will go down but will not retract.
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:00 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
Did you check the directional solenoid valves to make sure they weren't manually over-ridden?
No I haven't, how do I do that?
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:15 AM   #7
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What system is installed on your rig?
Lippert?

Can you better describe the racket noise?

Assuming there are two of y'all camping together, can one determine the location the noise originates from??
Like pump area or at the jack itself.
From there, is there noticeable unusual, or erratic movement, and where from?
More of exactly what it is doing.

I might not have your answer without a hands on, but lots of detail and description from your troubleshooting will help, and maybe trigger a memory experience that someone experienced.

Assuming the obvious, tank level is good (the oil for the hydraulic system).

Depending on the system, there is a manual over-ride to retract the jacks on the Lippert system I am aware of.

Good luck!
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:33 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by 10scDust View Post
Can you better describe the racket noise?
lol, no. Nobody in history has ever been able to describe the actual sound that a broken part makes. Aren't you married?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 10scDust View Post
What system is installed on your rig?
Lippert?
No idea. It's on a 2004 Windsport if that helps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 10scDust View Post
Is there noticeable unusual, or erratic movement, and where from?
Nope, that's the problem, there is no movement!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 10scDust View Post
Assuming the obvious, tank level is good (the oil for the hydraulic system).

Depending on the system, there is a manual over-ride to retract the jacks on the Lippert system I am aware of.

Good luck!
Well, I don't know where the tank is but my guess is there is probably one tank for the entire system? And the rear jacks are working fine, so I don't think that's going to be the problem. But tomorrow when the sun comes up, I'll see if I can find the reservoir and see what the level is.

Thank you 10scDust!
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:54 AM   #9
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Meanwhile, you might want to look up your model, plus problem, on a youtube trip.

I am on my first RV and less than a year at that.
So not sure what your system could be.
I have had my share of problems within ours and they are working fine now, (had to replace a directional valve).

I am really only fairly familiar with the Lippert, what we have.

And yes, the hydraulic system should be centralized with only one tank.
Ours rear left compartment door to find it!
(then lay on the ground, lol)

Usually automatic transmission fluid will work (ATF).
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Old 05-31-2019, 03:16 AM   #10
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Maybe good info for ya:

Thor Outlaw 29H - Leveler Controller Location
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Old 05-31-2019, 08:30 PM   #11
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I'm with Dust on his last remark of checking your reservoir fluid level. The sound you are hearing may be the hydraulic pump sucking air. Good luck.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:10 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by rskrbina View Post
I'm with Dust on his last remark of checking your reservoir fluid level. The sound you are hearing may be the hydraulic pump sucking air. Good luck.
I'm not ruling anything out but I don't understand have being low on fluid would stop the levelers from retracting. But that being said, the next morning I hit the retract switch and all 4 of them slid right up where they belonged. I took advantage of this and moved to a more level spot.

Once moved, I only heard the offending noise once, and that was when the leveler was almost fully extended. So I don't know, it may be that it's low of fluid. And I don't know where the reserve is so I'll have to wait until we get home to check it.

But in the meantime, I still riding high on how great the coach drives since the CHF. It feels so firm and solid. Doesn't wander anymore and really drives great.

Put me in the group that is extremely satisfied with the results of a couple of hours work.
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Old 06-01-2019, 09:07 PM   #13
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Not to hijack the thread but I recently read that you should replace the hydraulic fluid every two years (power gear system). But haven’t seen or heard anything on this forum (or others) about folks doing that. Or how. Seems like it’d be cheap enough and certainly couldn’t hurt but I’d like to hear more from my forum friends. Any thoughts?
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Old 06-01-2019, 09:33 PM   #14
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Well I was wondering, since your coach is listed as a 2004, if you occasionally lubricate (monthly or depending on salt air/dirt/dust situation where camping) the jack rams....especially if they are steel. My jack rams are aluminum, but I lubricate them with silicone spray to keep them and any exposed seal lip as clean as possible (especially for extended camping). The other thing is if your system uses return springs (not hydraulics) it is not impossible for springs to lose some steam (like the rest of us) with age. Might be worth trying some silicon spray first (or something that will not attack seals) and see if the rams operate more easily afterwards.



Regarding the fluid reservoir.....I would follow the pump motor noise as they are usually co-located.


Regarding the fluid change......I have never done it, but often thought it should be done. I would probably just remove some fluid with a turkey baster (the DW needs a new one anyway) to a low level in the reservoir and then top up again with new transmission fluid. I am not sure if getting air into the pump/lines is an easy fix (like cycling the rams a few times) or if the hydraulic system would then have to be bled like brakes.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:01 PM   #15
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Squerly,
Have you tried running the jacks in and out a few times?
If you're getting that sound only when they're full deployed: low fluid!
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:41 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by javelin View Post
Well I was wondering, since your coach is listed as a 2004, if you occasionally lubricate (monthly or depending on salt air/dirt/dust situation where camping) the jack rams....especially if they are steel. My jack rams are aluminum, but I lubricate them with silicone spray to keep them and any exposed seal lip as clean as possible (especially for extended camping). The other thing is if your system uses return springs (not hydraulics) it is not impossible for springs to lose some steam (like the rest of us) with age. Might be worth trying some silicon spray first (or something that will not attack seals) and see if the rams operate more easily afterwards.



Regarding the fluid reservoir.....I would follow the pump motor noise as they are usually co-located.


Regarding the fluid change......I have never done it, but often thought it should be done. I would probably just remove some fluid with a turkey baster (the DW needs a new one anyway) to a low level in the reservoir and then top up again with new transmission fluid. I am not sure if getting air into the pump/lines is an easy fix (like cycling the rams a few times) or if the hydraulic system would then have to be bled like brakes.


Turkey blaster or maybe a siphon hose is a great idea! I was thinking it would require opening the system and I wasn’t eager to do that. Wouldn’t take but a few minutes. Might have to do it a couple of times a few months apart to get “all” of it but even doing it once should get most of it. Thanks for a good suggestion. The owners manual says ATF is a suitable fluid. I wonder if it’s ideal of just “suitable”.... I think I’ll get a text off to lippert.
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Old 06-02-2019, 12:22 PM   #17
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This is what Lippert recommends when adding or replacing the Leveler fluid and also the replacement interval. It's right out of the Lippert Service Manual.

Also.... I do remember reading in the service manual that raising and lowering the jacks will eventually purge air from the lines.

I have also included what they recommend to check when one or two jacks won't retract.
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Old 06-03-2019, 12:10 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Judge View Post
This is what Lippert recommends when adding or replacing the Leveler fluid and also the replacement interval. It's right out of the Lippert Service Manual.



Also.... I do remember reading in the service manual that raising and lowering the jacks will eventually purge air from the lines.



I have also included what they recommend to check when one or two jacks won't retract.


That’s helpful. Thanks for posting. I think I’ll have a go when we get back from our next trip.
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Old 06-03-2019, 12:39 AM   #19
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THOR #14340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judge View Post
This is what Lippert recommends when adding or replacing the Leveler fluid and also the replacement interval. It's right out of the Lippert Service Manual.

Also.... I do remember reading in the service manual that raising and lowering the jacks will eventually purge air from the lines.

I have also included what they recommend to check when one or two jacks won't retract.
Good to know thanks!
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Old 06-09-2019, 01:48 AM   #20
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Low voltage on batteries will cause jack’s to do stupid things, I would check them.
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