Wednesday, September 27, 2023


Ask Dave: Why aren’t the leveling jacks working?

Answers to questions about RV Repair and Maintenance from RV expert Dave Solberg, author of the “RV Handbook” and the managing editor of the RV Repair Club. This column appears Monday through Saturday in the RV Travel and RV Daily Tips newsletters. (Sign up for an email reminder for each new issue if you do not already receive one.) Today Dave discusses leveling jacks.

Dear Dave,
How do you check to see if the motor has gone bad on your lifting units that get the RV off of the ground? I hear power when we hit the button to lift all four but they aren’t moving. —Holly

Dear Holly,
To provide more specific troubleshooting information we need the make and model of your RV as well as the type of leveling system as there are several on the market. If you have a hydraulic system such as Lippert Components, Inc. (LCI) or HWH Corporation, we can provide some troubleshooting tips.

The hydraulic leveling jacks typically utilize the same hydraulic motor to run the jacks and any slide rooms. The first thing I would check is the level of hydraulic fluid in the reservoir tank.  This is located close to the hydraulic motor in a compartment.

The problem could be the battery

If the reservoir is full, verify there is adequate 12-volt power to the motor. If the motor is making a sound but not working, it could be a weak or sulfated battery. Sometimes the battery will register 12.6 volts and looks to be completely charged. However, if it’s sulfated, it will not hold a charge long enough, especially with the large amp draw of leveling jacks. Use a multimeter to verify 12.6 volts and keep it on while trying to run the jacks down. If the voltage drops considerably, your batteries are sulfated and probably need to be replaced.

Another option is to connect a battery booster to the batteries when trying to extend the jacks. If this works, then, again, you have sulfated batteries. If they still do not extend, try leveling them manually. This can be done by turning the switch on the motor which will allow you to use a cordless drill with a special adapter commonly known as a torx bit and insert it on the top of the motor. There should be one provided by your RV manufacturer. Insert the bit and slowly run the levelers down. Check your owner’s manual to find the switch. You might need to move another switch to disable the slide rooms during the operation.

Read more from Dave here

Dave Solberg worked at Winnebago for 15 years developing the dealer training program, as marketing manager, and conducting shows. As the owner of Passport Media Creations, Dave has developed several RV dealer training programs, the RV Safety Training program for The Recreation Vehicle Safety and Education Foundation, and the accredited RV Driving Safety program being conducted at rallies and shows around the country. Dave is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club.


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Dave Solberg
Dave Solberg
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club. He has been in the RV Industry since 1983 and conducts over 15 seminars at RV shows throughout the country.


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2 years ago

I have powergear. Jacks need to be retracted to check fluid level.

2 years ago

A minor point, Dave, but it could become important for somebody: The bit used on the unit in your photos is a 1/4″ hex drive, NOT a torx bit…

David Telenko
2 years ago
Reply to  Don

Good catch & very observant!
3 kudos!!!

2 years ago
Reply to  Don

It’s a 1/4 inch X torx adapter they sell for drill guns.

David Telenko
2 years ago
Reply to  Crowman

It plainly shows & spells access & 1/4″ hex (AKA) 1/4″ allen wrench. Try enlarging the photos & you’ll see the 1/4″ hex inserted into the manual mechanism!

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