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Old 01-16-2021, 10:34 PM   #1
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THOR #21850
LCI leveling jacks all going down at once?

I have a 2016 Thor ACE 30.2. This is my first RV (bought Oct last year) so excuse all of my ignorance.

I have had pretty good luck leveling it with a combination of yellow plastic squares and the leveling jacks. I always level in manual mode. But I had a lot of trouble at the site we are at now. The site is a bit out of level, but not totally crazy.

The issue I am having is that if we are low in the rear (rear arrow lit), I add some pads under the rear tires, and then lower the jacks in the rear. At this site that wasn't enough and I had to give up on leveling it perfectly.

But what is really strange is that the front jacks go down at the same time as the rear when only pressing the rear button. My understanding is that if I press the rear button then just the rear pair should go down. Right? It goes so far as to lift the front tires off the ground when I am only pressing the rear button.

One concern is that I have to press fairly hard on the keypad to get things to work.

I have great voltage (new batteries, fully charged etc), and the hydraulic fluid is fine (checked while they were retracted).

Any advice? The controller and keypad look really easy to replace (though not that cheap). Everything hydraulic related would probably be out of my league.

Thanks!
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Old 01-20-2021, 06:21 PM   #2
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I have the 2017 30.2 but in any case. I use the auto level feature on mine. Some folks like to level manually but I have never found it to be “off” after my level so I haven’t needed to do that. But realize if your coach is level from using pads under the wheels the jacks become more of stabilizers than actual jacks.
For me the auto level takes the guess work out.
As for the control pad pressure. Something definitely going on there. A new control pad is probably not an expensive item to replace and likely has a harness under the control pad to just plug it back into.
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Old 01-20-2021, 11:16 PM   #3
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Our front tires would always be off the ground, recalibrating helped but not much. Still off the ground just not as much .
We have 2 sets of pads, so I put 2 or 3 under the front tires.
Then I put 3 or more under each front jack. This way we always have all tires/jacks on something, very stable
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Old 01-20-2021, 11:26 PM   #4
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Does auto level work? And yes, auto level is all I ever use. It works fine for me. Push one button and in less than a minute I am level. I have tried to level manually, but it takes too long.
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Old 01-20-2021, 11:28 PM   #5
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Why use the the yellow plastic squares at all? It just means the jacks have farther to travel before they have any effect. I may use 2bys under the front jacks if I think I have a long way to lift the front but the only reason to use pads under the rear tires is if they may be lifted off the ground.


On the "all jacks" issue: look in the Lippert manual at the procedure to operate the jacks manually in the case of the hydraulic pump/motor not working. it will tell you which valves go to which jacks and how to manually operate the valves. Verify that all your valves are in the correct position; especially if this coach was purchased used. You may find one or more valve out of position because as you surmised: The jacks are supposed to operate in pairs.
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Old 01-21-2021, 05:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Lt Keefer View Post
Does auto level work? And yes, auto level is all I ever use. It works fine for me. Push one button and in less than a minute I am level. I have tried to level manually, but it takes too long.


Agreed... I have not mastered the manual level so I just let the controller do it’s thing.
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Old 01-22-2021, 04:16 AM   #7
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I might have it figured out: I used it again and this time I leveled it by putting the front jacks down first instead of the rear first (the manual does say this, but I didn't think it would matter). When I do that it seems only the front jacks go down, not the rears.

Perhaps if you do the rears first it puts the front ones down as well to prevent you from lifting the rear wheels off and then having the coach roll? I am not sure since I only have one example to work with. I have to do more experimentation, but when setting up camp no one wants to watch me play with the leveling system

I will look at the manual valve procedure as well, that is a great suggestion.

With the yellow blocks the jacks do have to travel further, but it should be closer to level and lifting the coach less, thus minimizing the chances of having the wheels off the ground, right?

Some people do seem to really like the autolevel and some hate it. I just know that the first time I used it the results were all of the wheels off the ground and it scared the heck out of me. I imagine people's opinions are shaped by what kinds of sites they are in. Personally we are boondocking 90% of the time (and full-time) so we aren't always starting with the best sites.
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Old 01-22-2021, 04:18 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Yvonnemarc View Post
As for the control pad pressure. Something definitely going on there. A new control pad is probably not an expensive item to replace and likely has a harness under the control pad to just plug it back into.
That is what I figured, but they are actually around $500!!
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Old 01-23-2021, 03:59 PM   #9
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I think I might have actually figured it out. I was taking the suggestion if operating them manually (at the pump) and found that someone had left the front jacks in manual mode. So...I think that would explain it, the front valves were just always open.

I will know in a few days when we move again and report back.

Used RVs are full of surprises aren't they...
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Old 01-25-2021, 02:29 AM   #10
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Don't use the yellow blocks under the tires. They are designed for under the tires on a vehicle that doesn't have leveling jacks, just stabilizer jacks. You are making your leveling jacks do more work than they need to.
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Old 01-25-2021, 03:46 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by HarryS View Post
Don't use the yellow blocks under the tires. They are designed for under the tires on a vehicle that doesn't have leveling jacks, just stabilizer jacks. You are making your leveling jacks do more work than they need to.


I don’t understand that comment. Why would a plastic block care what tire it’s under? When I use blocks under my tires I always use the same number under my jacks. Don’t do it often, only if the site is unlevel enough to have the tires off the ground.
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Old 01-27-2021, 12:44 AM   #12
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The only reason to put pads under the Jack pads is to protect from soft pavement or uneven surfaces. Get yourself a set of Snap Pads and that chore goes away as well. I carry a few 2x12s about 20” long those are wonders for “rough” leveling. I also have some very solid plastic pads called RV Utility Blocks. Available on eBay and Amazon. A little pricy but well worth it.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PX1KITE..._tBleGbP3QV670
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Old 01-27-2021, 03:43 AM   #13
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I have only used then under the tires. But....now that my jacks actually work I might not need them at all.

It is amazing how hard it is to level an rv when both the back and front go up at the same time.

But this thread is great, it gave me the idea to look at the hydraulic valves. Easiest (and cheapest) fix yet!
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Old 01-27-2021, 12:19 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Pete'sMH View Post
When I use blocks under my tires I always use the same number under my jacks. Don’t do it often, only if the site is unlevel enough to have the tires off the ground.

This seems like a logical approach, that way the jack can still reach to do its job!
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Old 01-27-2021, 01:08 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by mcorner View Post
I think I might have actually figured it out. I was taking the suggestion of operating them manually (at the pump) and found that someone had left the front jacks in manual mode. So...I think that would explain it, the front valves were just always open.
Do you mean the set screw, on the directional valve was screwed in, like the manual override position for raising them when the system goes down and you need to use a drill motor to spin the pump (as per the manual)?

Anyway, some of my experience, with things failed and needed replaced, the pad was not the problem.
In the one outside compartment, on the roof side of it, is the "brain" that measures level and controls what valves are open, or closed to the 4 different jacks, like on our rig.
System just wouldn't work or come out of error that time.
I replaced it and problem solved.

But why I ask about the override setting of the valve is, your problem didn't sound like a directional valve malfunction, sounds more of a signal problem to the valve, or 2 of them were stuck open for deployment.

If the override was deployed, I would believe said directional valve to the jack would always raise the jack. That is its purpose, to not leave you stranded with the jacks deployed.

All being deployed at the push of a button, would be a signal issue to the directional valve, and these valves Lippert uses are aka logic valves.
Beside the point, each jack has its own control valve, open or closed.
The hydraulic system also has a directional valve to allow reverse flow and make the jack operate in reverse direction.
The pump always turns in the same direction, the main system directional valve is normally set for jacks to return (up).
Each valve per jack is normal for deployment, this way the jacks don't drift while not in use, and the reason they must be overridden when trying to manual raise them without control power.
The valves are each solenoid operated to make them function. 12v signal to make them operate, no signal for them to return to a home position.
Dirt in the fluid is a bad enemy to these valves and make them stick, or partially stay open, and operate erratically.
I have found regular automatic transmission fluid works just fine in our hydraulic system, which is a LCI mfr.

Since it sounds like you figured it out, or so far so, I would get some dielectric grease. De-oxidizer grease, found in squeeze tubes (the kind you want for ease of use) in electrical sections in stores like Lowes or your local hardware store.
Then carefully unplug the connections at the valves, one at a time, apply the grease to the connection points, and plug them back in for a preventative measure against corrosion of the contact points in the plug.

This grease is also great in turn signal bulb sockets, and it does not hinder the flow of electricity, like some other types of grease will, say some axle greases.

Keep us up to date and good luck.

oh btw... I prefer to manually level out rig vs auto level.
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Old 01-27-2021, 02:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10scDust View Post
Do you mean the set screw, on the directional valve was screwed in, like the manual override position for raising them when the system goes down and you need to use a drill motor to spin the pump (as per the manual)?

Anyway, some of my experience, with things failed and needed replaced, the pad was not the problem.
In the one outside compartment, on the roof side of it, is the "brain" that measures level and controls what valves are open, or closed to the 4 different jacks, like on our rig.
System just wouldn't work or come out of error that time.
I replaced it and problem solved.

But why I ask about the override setting of the valve is, your problem didn't sound like a directional valve malfunction, sounds more of a signal problem to the valve, or 2 of them were stuck open for deployment.

If the override was deployed, I would believe said directional valve to the jack would always raise the jack. That is its purpose, to not leave you stranded with the jacks deployed.

All being deployed at the push of a button, would be a signal issue to the directional valve, and these valves Lippert uses are aka logic valves.
Beside the point, each jack has its own control valve, open or closed.
The hydraulic system also has a directional valve to allow reverse flow and make the jack operate in reverse direction.
The pump always turns in the same direction, the main system directional valve is normally set for jacks to return (up).
Each valve per jack is normal for deployment, this way the jacks don't drift while not in use, and the reason they must be overridden when trying to manual raise them without control power.
The valves are each solenoid operated to make them function. 12v signal to make them operate, no signal for them to return to a home position.
Dirt in the fluid is a bad enemy to these valves and make them stick, or partially stay open, and operate erratically.
I have found regular automatic transmission fluid works just fine in our hydraulic system, which is a LCI mfr.

Since it sounds like you figured it out, or so far so, I would get some dielectric grease. De-oxidizer grease, found in squeeze tubes (the kind you want for ease of use) in electrical sections in stores like Lowes or your local hardware store.
Then carefully unplug the connections at the valves, one at a time, apply the grease to the connection points, and plug them back in for a preventative measure against corrosion of the contact points in the plug.

This grease is also great in turn signal bulb sockets, and it does not hinder the flow of electricity, like some other types of grease will, say some axle greases.

Keep us up to date and good luck.

oh btw... I prefer to manually level out rig vs auto level.
Lippert has multiple leveling systems so maybe your describing a different system than mine; This is my control panel:



On mine there are 5 valves:

One to each jack for extending pressure and return flow - open or shut - this is the valve used with the manual override procedure.

One directional valve for retraction pressure which goes to all jacks at the same time - two positions - extend pressure with retraction fluid return or retraction pressure with extend fluid return.



The manual override procedure does not utilize the reversing valve; you reverse the direction of the motor to extend or retract the jack(s) you are overriding.

If a jack's valve is left in the "Override" position it will always extend when any jacks are being extended and retract when all jacks (or any jacks in AUTO level) are being retracted.
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Old 01-27-2021, 10:25 PM   #17
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Jack pads

Be careful about just putting the jacks down without something flat and solid beneath. The pads on the ends will dish if you raise it on anything soft.
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Old 01-27-2021, 10:33 PM   #18
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Try using snap pads on the feet of your levelers. They snap in place and never come off. I've been in muddy rainy conditions and didn't want to get soaked when arriving at site. They also reduce the distance levelers have to travel by an inch. I also prefer manual leveling as I have had wheels off the ground from auto.
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Old 01-28-2021, 10:00 PM   #19
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There seem to be as many opinions on this as RV owners!

After experiencing way too many excess angle levels with the "autolevel" on my ACE 29.3, I've switched to all manual leveling. This might say more about where I'm camping than anything else! My basic principle is that I don't want ANY wheel off the ground. Using autolevel resulted in wheels off the ground more than I was comfortable with.

I now level it manually and it normally takes less than five minutes. The only thing I wish for is an "UP" button for each of the four jacks. When I "blow it", I have to raise them all and start over. This really isn't a giant deal, but is annoying.

As far as lowering front vs rear first really depends on which side is high. Since most motor homes, my ACE in particular, can't "lower" either end, the "HIGH" end is fixed. If you lower the HIGH end first, it means the LOW end will have to extend much further.

My procedure is to

1) F to R, which is higher? Lower the jacks on the LOW end first. If this lifts the wheels off the ground (like it did just this week), raise the low side just to the point where the wheels begin to rise.

2) L to R, adjust last, but in a site that isn't level, expect at least one wheel to rise off the ground. When that happens, I start all over. When I've used autolevel, too many wheels-sometimes all four!- are off the ground. This is unacceptable to me.

This weeks camping resulted in a L to R level rig but a F to R sloping downward to the rear. It wasn't an issue for anything other than if you want your fried eggs to be perfectly in the center of your pan. Mine were not. But my rig was stable, didn't rock and didn't put extra pressure on the jacks.

Just my 2˘ worth.
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