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Post Info TOPIC: Level Up system - Landing gear drifting down - intermittent problem


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Level Up system - Landing gear drifting down - intermittent problem
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We've had an issue with our landing gear slowly drifting down while traveling.  We're on our 3rd time of having this issue diagnosed and repaired.  Last July a selanoid was replaced along with one of the hydraulic hoses, last week another hose plus some gaskets, this week they are still trying to figure out what is causing the issue.   We can't seem to repeat the issue when we're at the shop, but last week after we thought it was repaired, we stopped nearby for the night and the next day we didn't even make it 20 miles down the road before one of the landing gear was a foot down.

So frustrating, the shop is running yet another diagnostic test, looking at Lippert's schematics, etc.  trying to determine what is causing this to continue to occur.

I've now added a new category to my RV tracking list, nights spent at a repair shophmm  In our first 2+ years, that total was 1 night, in the last 6 months we're surpassing 10 nights and who knows when it's going to end for this stay.

If anyone has any suggestions on what to investigate next, we're open to suggestions.



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FT - July 2013

 

2010 38TKSB3 DRV Mobile Suites

2012 Ford F450

 

Dale and Ruth Travelling with Tazzy Kat!

 

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I really can't help but just so you know, you are not alone. My 07 Elite Suite had slide drifting problems....we travelled with 4X4s wedged between the wall and the slide lip to keep it from drifting out. Lippert was great about trying to diagnose the problem over the phone with a myriad of repair shops. We replaced a ram and solinoids many times and never got it fixed. Eventually we sold it with the drifting slide. (yes it was disclosed to the buying dealer) Sorry I can't help but like I said Lippert was great if you haven't called them already. My current 5er has electric slides and jacks......motors, switches and wires.....no more hydraulic problems for me.

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I don't have the answer just a suggestion. Is there a way to cut all electical power to the the control panel and/or system? My thought process here is that road vibration could be playing a part and why you can't replicate the issue sitting at a dealer. Cutting the power would isolate it to a hydraulic issue in my small mind.

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We had a similar issue and the piston seals were leaking in one of the front jacks.

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Dale & Ruth:

Are you finding any indications of hydraulic fluid seeping out from any pistons or around any of the hydraulic line fittings?  If not, then I would suspect it is a check valve in the pump area manifold.

Is it all or just one of he legs?  I.e. it might be just one leg "this time."  But have more than one leg extended?  If the later, then it must be something common to all legs and I would suspect the pump area if I were having this issue.

From years past I thought Terry Miller did a post that he noticed his trailer (MS w\ Level Up) was "settling" over time and had to be "jacked back up" a bit. Perhaps he will chime in with any direct information.

As an aside, as recommend by Quadra, I lubricate all the jack legs, the pistons, with pure silicon spray which you can find on Amazon.  Not WD-40 (Worst thing you can use, IMO as it will attract dirt in that area.)  I spray and lightly wipe down the cylinders.  This provides cleaning, good lubrication and does not impact the hydraulic seals.  I recommend this procedure often based on 8 years without issue with our "Big Foot" system.  The don't move.

I know you will post when you find the problem.

Bill



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Bill & Linda



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Thanks for the replies, will continue to see what the techs can figure out. It's both front legs that are slowly drifting, but neither at the same time / same pace. The problem seems to occur more frequently on warm travel days when it's above 85.

I'm just hoping they don't have to order any parts from Lippert or we'll be stuck here for a very long time based on all our recent experiences with that company.



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FT - July 2013

 

2010 38TKSB3 DRV Mobile Suites

2012 Ford F450

 

Dale and Ruth Travelling with Tazzy Kat!

 

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When using your levellers are the jacks extended a lot? Good practice to use some sort of blocks to take up most of the distance so the jacks don't have to be extended as far. The design of the wimpy and long cylinder creates a lot of side load stresses against the cylinder piston and seals. I bet there is an issue with bad/failing piston seals inside the cylinders. They are by-passing internally. Most of those RV Techs have no idea how to troubleshoot and/or repair..........Most are "Parts-Changers" and not very good at that either. Just GOOGLE around (like on FMCA and many others) and you'll be surprised at all the complaints with Lippert Hydraulic Levellers........They are JUNK. The RV builders that use this cheap crap to beat and cut costs then charge big bucks for the RV.......Leaving the headache with the end user and 9 times out of 10 blame the customer and not the product.
They should all use components like;
Big Foot
HWH
Power Gear



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Bernie, we do use blocks if we're having to extend the landingredients gear much however lately most of our sites have been relatively flat.

Just left the shop after they ran extensive diagnostic tests, couldn't find a problem so they are now saying it was most likely air in the line, they flushed the lines. Heading to a spot nearby for the night before we venture too far out of town.

Now, I have had it with repairs, 11 months of what has seemed like non stop trips to various repair shops, tons of stress with my job and the unpredictable schedule. So hoping for a long respite from major repairs.

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FT - July 2013

 

2010 38TKSB3 DRV Mobile Suites

2012 Ford F450

 

Dale and Ruth Travelling with Tazzy Kat!

 

IMAG0142_zps070d30d8.jpg

 

 

 

 



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Air in the line is a "fairy tale".
Flushing lines makes no sense.
Ask if they performed a "static" pressure check on the hydraulic cylinder? This will determine if the cylinder has an internal leak at the piston seals. This will cause cylinders to drift/leak down and not have any external visible leaks.

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Dale & Ruth,  Have you tried the suggestion made by Rick and Janice in this thread <http://rv-dreams.activeboard.com/t60546169/am-i-sinking/>?  We had similar problems with our 2007 Teton that we were never able to diagnose.  It was a Lippert stabilizer system.  We had more than one person tell us that it might be air in the line but we were never able to get it taken care of.  There were many times that we hooked the trailer up to move but couldn't get the jack to stay up.  It would just slide back down.  Eventually I found that it sometimes helped to run the bedroom slide in and out a couple of times.  That's why I think maybe the procedure that Rick and Janice described might be helpful.  

Here is a copy of the suggestions made by Rick and Janice:

"If inside seals are leaking and jacks are bleeding off, you will not find an actual leak of fluid. The fluid will just bleed back into the reservoir and the jacks that are bleeding off will appear to have been retracted like you are describing. I would re-level the rig, mark the fluid level in the reservoir and then measure the extended potion on each jack and either mark the jacks or write down the measurement. Then check daily to see which jacks are retracting by how much and also check the fluid level to see if it rises as they retract. If fluid level rises. then it is inside seals, if not, then start looking for leaks, starting with hose connections at every ram first (including slide rams). Also check for any leaks around the top or bottom of each ram with a white rag or paper towel (red fluid on towel indicated outside seal leak).


Sometimes air also get into the system if fluid level is too low in the reservoir and create the same symptom as a seal leak. If that is your issue, then you will not find any of the above leaks as described. To check for correct fluid level, you need to hook up, raise all jacks and pull all slides in. Then check fluid level. The fluid should be within 1/4" - 1/2" from the top of the reservoir. After filling the reservoir, run the jacks down to ground and retract them a few times, then unhook and re-level the rig and begin extending and retracting the slide in this order to work any air back to the reservoir:

Slide Extend Sequence:
Bedroom
Off Door Side(kitchen)
Door Side(living room /dinette)

Slide Retract Sequence:
Door
Off Door
Bedroom

It is was recommended to us many years ago by the hydraulic design engineer for the DRV systems that you always follow the same sequence every time you set up to to prevent any issue with air in lines. We always follow this sequence and have never had air problems, but have had jack rams fail.  

Don't get discouraged, you really do have a well built rig, this is just part of having a hydraulic system and like anything else that has moving parts, parts will eventually fail. Hydraulic systems are easier to fix and maintain once you understand them and will generally last much longer than mechanical systems. PM me if you have any questions and I can send you my phone number if you we need to talk."

Good luck in getting it taken care of.

 

 



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.....and no. If "Inside Seals" are leaking within the cylinder oil does not go back to the reservoir. It just displaces within the cylinder on both sides of the piston. If oil is draining back to reservoir then one of the control valves are open or leaking. I'm not talking through my hat, I do this everyday for a living.......

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Just a quick note.  Bill's mention of our trailer settling did not involve the cylinders leaking down.  Since we sit in one place for long periods, things naturally settle into the ground and thus need re-leveling.

Terry



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2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
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Terry and Jo wrote:

Just a quick note.  Bill's mention of our trailer settling did not involve the cylinders leaking down.  Since we sit in one place for long periods, things naturally settle into the ground and thus need re-leveling.

Terry


 Terry:

Thanks for the correction. Glad I "mis-remembered" your issue and you don't have this problem. It's been a long time since that post.

Bill



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Bill & Linda



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Well we're mobile again but not 100% convinced this is totally repaired. After a couple of days with no drifting on the landing gear we packed up, brought in all the slides in the order recommended by the shop, hitched up, saw a small amount of drifting which stopped after we hit the retract button again. Waited a bit, no more movement so we slowly headed down the road without incident, made a 100 mile move today and we're hoping the issue is resolved but we're keeping a very close eye on everything.

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FT - July 2013

 

2010 38TKSB3 DRV Mobile Suites

2012 Ford F450

 

Dale and Ruth Travelling with Tazzy Kat!

 

IMAG0142_zps070d30d8.jpg

 

 

 

 



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Easier to repair than manual? I have replaced an electric jack. Piece of cake. I have had both and prefer independent electric jacks. Know this doesn't help original poster but needed to rebuttal that statement.

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Here we go again, another malfunction on Saturday as we arrived in our AZ state park for our planned 8 day visit. It was the weekend so nothing we could do but wait until today and call the shop. We're now on the schedule for next Tuesday, worked through all the logistics today and feeling very relieved that at least for this 9 day break we can enjoy where we are, have a little time to plan for the next repair and hope and pray that it truly will be fixed this time. This time we'Re checking into a hotel so my work life is not causing us so much stress.

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FT - July 2013

 

2010 38TKSB3 DRV Mobile Suites

2012 Ford F450

 

Dale and Ruth Travelling with Tazzy Kat!

 

IMAG0142_zps070d30d8.jpg

 

 

 

 



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NWescapee wrote:

........and hope and pray that it truly will be fixed this time.


 On an RV nothing is ever truly fixed. There is always something to maintain and repair.



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Understand there is always maintenance, but this is the 4th time we'll be in the shop for the same issue. This time I'm hoping the repair actually works long enough that we can continue life on the road for a while.

As this will be our 3rd trip to the repair shop in 4 weeks and in the past 11 months we've had 12 weeks of our life in various repair shops for truck or RV issues, I'm getting cranky and losing my patience, so yeah, I'm kind of tired and frustrated about it right now.

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FT - July 2013

 

2010 38TKSB3 DRV Mobile Suites

2012 Ford F450

 

Dale and Ruth Travelling with Tazzy Kat!

 

IMAG0142_zps070d30d8.jpg

 

 

 

 



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Ruth,

Not sure how this will work, but I'm a member over at SOITC and just did a search with the search phrase "hydraulic" to see what I'd get.  I'll post the link here to see if you can get to see the different topics on hydraulics.  Not all of those will relate to your problem, so you'll have to search around a bit.

SOITC Threads on Hydraulics

If you aren't a member over there, you can still sign up for the forums and have more access and the ability to ask those there about your problem.  I do know that they have encountered different causes for the problem, so someone might be able to really give you some tips for the repair facility.  Also, 5th Wheel Forums has a section for DRV owners as well as Thor Forums, so you might even check there for answers.  You'll find some of the same folks on all three of those forum sites.

Worse comes to worse, call Slade at Rolling Retreats.  You guys bought from them and Slade is really knowledgeable.

Terry



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2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
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Thanks Terry, we have searched The Suites forum, our service manager has spoken to both DRV and Lippert. Current theory is that even though the valve tested &quot;good&quot; they think it still has an issue so they have a new one on order and will replace it Tuesday. Hoping this fixes it.

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FT - July 2013

 

2010 38TKSB3 DRV Mobile Suites

2012 Ford F450

 

Dale and Ruth Travelling with Tazzy Kat!

 

IMAG0142_zps070d30d8.jpg

 

 

 

 



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Hopes for you here as well, Ruth.  At the moment, one of the two furnaces on our 2010 has gone on the fritz.  Initially, the tech thought that it was the thermistor that ends at the wall at the edge of the hallway.  We got the furnace to run by putting an ice cube next to that after exposing it.  The tech put in another thermistor the other day, but it still isn't working right.  While the furnace would run and shut off at a certain point, that point was at 92 degrees while the interior of the coach was only 72 degrees.  So, now they are looking into a control board located in the rear A/C that also controls the thermostat.  Sure hoping that we don't rule out everything but the thermostat, because the tech told me that Dometic no longer supplies the same thermostat that we have as original equipment.

Terry



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2019 Ford Expedition Max as Tag-along or Scout

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Not sure why the &quot;techs&quot; can't be techs and actually know how to diagnose and troubleshoot. Most out there are just plain ol' overpriced " Parts Changers ". Oh that didn't work .......Lets try this. Oh that didn't work either......



-- Edited by TRAILERKING on Wednesday 16th of March 2016 02:40:35 PM

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Terry, an RV Tech warned us about the thermostat issue, Dale was able to order one through Amazon, we've kept it as a spare part for 2 years after the warning. If you need it I have part numbrrs, etc. P M me your email and I can send a photo.

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FT - July 2013

 

2010 38TKSB3 DRV Mobile Suites

2012 Ford F450

 

Dale and Ruth Travelling with Tazzy Kat!

 

IMAG0142_zps070d30d8.jpg

 

 

 

 



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Thanks, Ruth.  Since we bought our RV brand new, I'm pretty sure I still have the original owner's manual for all of our stuff.  I can get that information there, but if not, then I'll let you know.  Our RV tech was back out yesterday and he explained that the difference between the 5 button thermostat and the newer ones was the number of wires available for use between the thermostat and the control board up in the A/C.

He was out for about 2 hours or so yesterday and we worked at trying different things, and he now thinks that the board is the problem.  Here's hoping our issue is resolved before the 30th, because that is the day we leave for Oregon.  If it's not, I may have to call the extended warranty company and make sure that they will work with someone up there.

Terry



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2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
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2019 Ford Expedition Max as Tag-along or Scout

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Terry,
Let me know what the tech finds out as we are having the same problem with ours as well. We are up to about $1800 dollars in labor/parts now and still having problems.

Items we have changed out: 1) thermostat 2) board in the rear A/C unit 3) board in the furnace with another DRV board 4) changed the furnace board out to a Dino board 5) checked all wiring to and from the furnace 6) reterminated most all of the wires 7) replaced the heat sensor in the furnace. 8) checked the ignighter settings.

About to change the sail switch out.



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I don't know if our problem is the same as yours.  Our furnace will run and light the burners and create heat, but the temperatures aren't right for shut-off and start up.  In trying to use up some more propane out of the leased 120 gallon tank, we set our thermostat settings to 72 in the living room.  About a week ago, the furnace burner would run but the tech had to set the temp up into the 90's.  Then the burner would go off at 92 degrees.  Yesterday, the furnace and burner still operate correctly, but still at a higher than desired temperature.

I thought the sail switch was more along the lines of a burner not lighting for some reason, but what do I know about some of those things.  I guess I should learn a bit more, but we've had so few problems with our Mobile Suites, I've had little to give me experience.

Terry



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2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
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2019 Ford Expedition Max as Tag-along or Scout

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Ricki

GREAT IDEA ... I'm a gear head, so I think like you.  When a great artist was asked "how to you sculpt a woman's body out of a block of marble?"  ... his response ... I just remove everything that doesn't look like the woman.  Your point ... the problem is either (1) hydraulic (2) electrical or (3) mechanical.  Removing the electrical part of the problem begins to isolate the route cause.  



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This thread is about 2 1/2 years old, and since Howard prefers we not post to anything over one year old, I am closing this one.

Terry



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2019 Ford Expedition Max as Tag-along or Scout

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