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Old 06-07-2021, 02:30 PM   #1
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THOR #5837
Levelers low voltage error

I have a class C -- Chateau 31E, with the Lippert leveling system. Lately I've been getting a low voltage error when I try to level, even when the batteries are fully charged (and the batteries are brand new). The voltage reads 12.5v on the leveler control panel, and it gives a low voltage error. If I start the generator the voltage will go up and I can then operate the levelers, but I normally could operate them with the engine running but not connected to shore power or running the generator.


Any ideas what the problem is?

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Old 06-07-2021, 03:34 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jabrabu View Post
I have a class C -- Chateau 31E, with the Lippert leveling system. Lately I've been getting a low voltage error when I try to level, even when the batteries are fully charged (and the batteries are brand new). The voltage reads 12.5v on the leveler control panel, and it gives a low voltage error. If I start the generator the voltage will go up and I can then operate the levelers, but I normally could operate them with the engine running but not connected to shore power or running the generator.

Any ideas what the problem is?
Normally the jack's control panel reads the voltage available from the chassis battery and not from the house battery bank. You can buy a volt meter that plugs into the dash's power ports to read the chassis battery voltage I suspect your chassis battery is failing or the battery's connections are loose or corroded.
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Old 06-07-2021, 04:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabrabu View Post
I have a class C -- Chateau 31E, with the Lippert leveling system. Lately I've been getting a low voltage error when I try to level, even when the batteries are fully charged (and the batteries are brand new). The voltage reads 12.5v on the leveler control panel, and it gives a low voltage error. If I start the generator the voltage will go up and I can then operate the levelers, but I normally could operate them with the engine running but not connected to shore power or running the generator.


Any ideas what the problem is?
Read your manual. Most LCI leveling systems require 13.1 volts to operate.
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Old 06-07-2021, 04:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Beau388 View Post
Normally the jack's control panel reads the voltage available from the chassis battery and not from the house battery bank. You can buy a volt meter that plugs into the dash's power ports to read the chassis battery voltage I suspect your chassis battery is failing or the battery's connections are loose or corroded.
That is not entirely true.......

I had a '18 Class Outlaw and now have a '2- Super C Magnitude. The leveler motor was powered from the house batteries in both cases. There is a 100A breaker off the house batteies for the levelers that if tripped, will cause a low voltage error because the motor is not getting the required voltage. It was also clear the house batteries powered the motor by looking at the 12V schematics.

In both my Outlaw and Magnitude, the engine had to be running so the alternator provided enough of a voltage boost to the house batteries for the motor to work properly.
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Old 06-07-2021, 05:21 PM   #5
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That is not entirely true.......

I had a '18 Class Outlaw and now have a '2- Super C Magnitude. The leveler motor was powered from the house batteries in both cases. There is a 100A breaker off the house batteies for the levelers that if tripped, will cause a low voltage error because the motor is not getting the required voltage. It was also clear the house batteries powered the motor by looking at the 12V schematics.

In both my Outlaw and Magnitude, the engine had to be running so the alternator provided enough of a voltage boost to the house batteries for the motor to work properly.
Wut Judge said.

Although the coach engine is required to be running by procedure to have that alternator 14.5 VDC go to the house batteries via the IRD, BIRD or BIM to clear the low voltage, you can clear it by connecting to SP or running the generator to have the converter do the same thing.

If running the engine does not clear the low voltage maybe the IRD/BIRD or BIM has failed. In any case, you can still operate the levelers in Manual with the low voltage warning but it is not recommended - good way to shorten the brush life of the hydraulic motor.
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Old 06-07-2021, 07:33 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Judge View Post
That is not entirely true.......

I had a '18 Class Outlaw and now have a '2- Super C Magnitude. The leveler motor was powered from the house batteries in both cases. There is a 100A breaker off the house batteies for the levelers that if tripped, will cause a low voltage error because the motor is not getting the required voltage. It was also clear the house batteries powered the motor by looking at the 12V schematics.

In both my Outlaw and Magnitude, the engine had to be running so the alternator provided enough of a voltage boost to the house batteries for the motor to work properly.
What you state is entirely true that the house batteries power the motor, but the motor relay is controlled by the computer powered by the chassis battery. You can trip the 100 amp circuit breaker and the panel will still show the chassis battery voltage. This is because the interlock for the parking brake powered by the chassis battery also goes to the jack's computer. The whole interlock circuit and relay board (down by the drivers left foot) is powered by the chassis battery. That board powers everything in the front cap except the power ports and the radio.

At least, that the way my coach works.
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Old 06-07-2021, 07:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Beau388 View Post
What you state is entirely true that the house batteries power the motor, but the motor relay is controlled by the computer powered by the chassis battery. You can trip the 100 amp circuit breaker and the panel will still show the chassis battery voltage. This is because the interlock for the parking brake powered by the chassis battery also goes to the jack's computer. The whole interlock circuit and relay board (down by the drivers left foot) is powered by the chassis battery. That board powers everything in the front cap except the power ports and the radio.

At least, that the way my coach works.

That is correct.... the Leveler Control Panel is powered on a seperate circuit so it can let you know when the house batteries don't have enough voltage to power the motor or should the 100A breaker trip.

But at the end of the day, the low voltage warning is all about an issue with the house batteries and not the chassis battery. When he starts his genny, the Converter is charging the house batteries and giving them enough of a boost to overcome the low voltage threshold.
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Old 06-07-2021, 08:11 PM   #8
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If the levelers are not working (low voltage) with engine running it is an indication that the alternator is not charging the house batteries. Try increasing the engine rpms be and see if the voltage increases. If not check the BIRD/BIM. If at high idle, approximately 1000 RPM the voltage increases to over 13.1 (should be about 13.7) all is normal and the jacks should work.

I always leveled before shutting down the engine for that reason.

My current system will not level with engine running or ignition key turned on.
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Old 06-07-2021, 08:58 PM   #9
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....or, just put the system into "Manual" mode, and level it anyway....
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Old 06-07-2021, 11:28 PM   #10
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Like Judge I have the Omni and the Big engine has to be running to put jacks down or slides out which is a good idea so the motors will always have plenty of power to work and not shorten their life.
Previous motor home did not require the big engine to be running to do anything, but I would have the engine or the generator running before operating slides or jacks anyway.
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Old 06-08-2021, 03:22 AM   #11
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....or, just put the system into "Manual" mode, and level it anyway....
Not with a low voltage error
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Old 06-10-2021, 04:08 PM   #12
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I'm still getting the low voltage error for the leveling system.


The house batteries are brand new. I fully charged them with a trickle charger. I also charged the chassis battery. All the batteries seem to be fine.


The RV was plugged into shore power for days, and the batteries indicated fully charged on the control panel. But when I went to operate the levelers (with the engine running), I got the low voltage error. The voltage reading on the leveler display was 12.3 volts. So it seems like the converter is not properly charging from shore power. However, when I checked the voltage at the batteries without shore power, they read around 12.3 volts, and when I plugged into shore power the voltage went up to 13+ volts, so it looks like the converter is sending charging power. If I start the generator I get enough of a voltage boost to operate the levelers, but shore power doesn't give this boost.



Any idea what's going on? If I were sure it was the converter, I would just replace it, but I'm not sure.
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Old 06-10-2021, 04:29 PM   #13
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So if the voltage goes over 13 volts after plugging into shore power, your Converter is providing power to the battery. Also, if the generator is running and your battery voltage goes over 13 volts, the Converter is doing its job. Your Converter is likely fine.... especially if you have no issues with the house batteries running down when on shore power and the Use / Store switch is in the USE position.

If the levelers are giving a low voltage alarm when the engine is running (with no shore or genny power), that means what EA37TS said in an earlier post.... the house batteries are not getting a boost from the alternator to keep the voltage high enough to run the leveler motor.

I am not familiar with your coach specifically, but if it has a BIM or BIRD that manages the charge from the alternator to the house batteries when the engine is running, that may be the problem.

You need to download your schematics from the Thor Owners Resource Site and see if you have a battery management device like a BIM or BIRD. Then you can start troubleshooting it and looking for things such as loose wiring or a defective device.
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Old 06-10-2021, 06:46 PM   #14
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Question: When you say you are connected to shore power, are you connected on a 50A or 30A or are you on an extension cord?
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Old 06-10-2021, 06:55 PM   #15
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Question: When you say you are connected to shore power, are you connected on a 50A or 30A or are you on an extension cord?

On an extension cord - 20A.
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Old 06-10-2021, 07:05 PM   #16
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On an extension cord - 20A.
So, the help I can offer you is to replace your extension cord. I had a similar issue thinking my converter was faulty because there was not enough current (not voltage) coming out of an extension cord. Like what you saw, the voltage on the battery looks good but stuff doesn't seem to work right. I thought my charger was dead. I chased my tail for days on that one and learned a really good lesson.

Go to Home Depot and get the beefiest and shortest extension cord you can get that will do the job, they are color coded, white being the lightest duty and red being the most and orange somewhere in the middle. Read the tags the the one with the best/highest rating.

It will cost you a few bucks but you will not regret it. If it turns out that it doesn't help, the store will give you a refund no questions asked.
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Old 06-11-2021, 02:54 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Judge View Post
That is not entirely true.......

I had a '18 Class Outlaw and now have a '2- Super C Magnitude. The leveler motor was powered from the house batteries in both cases. There is a 100A breaker off the house batteies for the levelers that if tripped, will cause a low voltage error because the motor is not getting the required voltage. It was also clear the house batteries powered the motor by looking at the 12V schematics.

In both my Outlaw and Magnitude, the engine had to be running so the alternator provided enough of a voltage boost to the house batteries for the motor to work properly.
My '16 Outlaw is the same way. My question is I have had the rig in the driveway plugged into 15 amp. I moved it to the back yard this AM for a party, and when I scrolled through the leveler display, it said the voltage was 18.3 with it plugged in to another 15 amp circuit. Is this something I have to look into?
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Old 06-11-2021, 03:46 PM   #18
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My '16 Outlaw is the same way. My question is I have had the rig in the driveway plugged into 15 amp. I moved it to the back yard this AM for a party, and when I scrolled through the leveler display, it said the voltage was 18.3 with it plugged in to another 15 amp circuit. Is this something I have to look into?
If it is reading 18.3 volts, yes check it out. If the converter is putting out 18 volts you're going to have some fried batteries.
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Old 06-11-2021, 03:51 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by omar1951 View Post
My '16 Outlaw is the same way. My question is I have had the rig in the driveway plugged into 15 amp. I moved it to the back yard this AM for a party, and when I scrolled through the leveler display, it said the voltage was 18.3 with it plugged in to another 15 amp circuit. Is this something I have to look into?
As EA37TS said..... you should never see 18.3V regardless of whether you are plugged into a 15A circuit or a 30A circuit.

You might want to put a voltmeter on the hosue batteries to see if they really are at 18V plugged in or whether it is just a bad leveler display.

If your multimeter says 18V at the house batteries, unplug it right away and check the water level in the cells. They are probabyl cooked. If your meter says ~13V, then the leveler display could be the issue.
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Old 06-11-2021, 05:38 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Judge View Post
As EA37TS said..... you should never see 18.3V regardless of whether you are plugged into a 15A circuit or a 30A circuit.

You might want to put a voltmeter on the hosue batteries to see if they really are at 18V plugged in or whether it is just a bad leveler display.

If your multimeter says 18V at the house batteries, unplug it right away and check the water level in the cells. They are probabyl cooked. If your meter says ~13V, then the leveler display could be the issue.

Must be the leveler display. Both batteries read 13.8, and the water is still up to snuff.
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