This week I spent some time with some HWH® Corporation leveling techs and learned much more about our levelers than I had known previously. I got some helpful tips from them and thought I’d share them with you.
- Never work under an RV or change tires using leveling jacks to lift it.
- Make sure the area is clear before raising or lowering jacks.
- Don’t build a mountain of blocks to try and level!
While little maintenance is needed, several methods were mentioned to keep the jacks clean, particularly in dusty conditions.
- Spray the lift cylinders with WD40 and wipe off periodically.
- Spray lift cylinders with a mix of Dawn and water but don’t wipe off.
- Our RV manufacturer recommended spraying the jacks with silicone, but HWH does not.
- Check the hydraulic connections near the pump for any leaks or seepage.
- Wires can corrode – double-check the connections.
- Use a wire brush to clean rust on springs and paint if desired.
Just like exercising the generator, it is important to exercise the jacks once a month by retracting and extending them.
Pop goes the jack!
We had loud pops underneath the motorhome while in Arizona last winter. Pops enough to shake it! I called the RV manufacturer and they thought the solenoid needed replacing and told me how to check which jack was the issue.
- Level the RV.
- Crawl under enough to draw a line in marker at top of the jack cylinder on all four jacks.
- Check daily to identify which jack is moving. It may take several days.
Temperature changes and hydraulic fluid
The pops stopped once we got to Minnesota. Turns out it was not the solenoid.
- As temperature changes the hydraulic fluid expands and contracts.
- Expansion and contraction can slightly raise or lower the jacks.
- In extreme temperature swings, the jacks can literally “pop” and shake the motorhome. In the almost-50-degree fluctuation from morning to night here in Arizona, there was a lot of contraction and expansion going on!
- It is okay to store the RV with the jacks down, but you must still exercise them once a month.
- It is recommended to use no more than a 2” board under the jacks. Don’t build a mountain of boards to level the RV. We are sometimes forced to use a couple of 2” boards on unlevel sites, as the jacks will only lift so far. But that is not recommended.
- Do not leave tires in the air and axles hanging. Place boards under tires in extreme conditions and manually lower jacks to rest on the boards.
- Slides in or out when leveling? This is always a point of discussion. The best advice is not from forums, Facebook or even this wonderfully informative website. It is from the RV manufacturer. Read the manual and follow the sequence they recommend.
- Auto level again after slides are out, if needed. Our motorhome’ s jack tech recommended leveling with the slides out as needed as the motorhome settles and jacks retract slightly.
- Double-check if the level feels “off” with a level gauge and manually adjust if needed. This is the gauge I have used for the last eight years and am really happy with it.
- The leveling sensor, usually near the hydraulic pump, can be adjusted.
- Refer to instructions in manual or online.
Forget about it! It is not going to happen. The levelers are designed to be within a 0.5 – 0.7 degree tolerance. If they went for a zero-tolerance, the auto levelers would be working all day to get to the impossibly perfect level. Campfires and s’mores would never get going!