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Ask Dave: Jacks quit working. Can I use a drill to manually override them?

Dear Dave,
Our Lippert RV stabilizer jacks have quit working using the switch. The front ones quit completely, and the back ones still come up with the switch, but not down. We tried replacing the switches, but no change. Any ideas? What about using a cordless drill if we can’t get them fixed before our next adventure? Thanks much. —Bill and Sue, 2020 Rockwood Mini Lite 2104S

Dear Bill and Sue,
Most Lippert jacks have a manual override. From the photo you included, it looks like the small round plug on the right. I went to www.LCI1.com, where they have several manuals and videos on this product. The manual override is the nut underneath. Disconnect one of the wire leads to the motor and remove the plug and use a 5/16” socket to extend and retract manually. Do not use a drill as it might ruin the motor.

In the troubleshooting section, it said that there are two issues that may affect functionality: low voltage or damaged or disconnected wiring. It also states that the jacks are to be used for stabilizing only and that using them to level could ruin the motors. They recommend leveling first and then extending the jacks. They say not to run them more than two seconds after they touch the ground.

Maintenance of jacks

Your system has two motors per jack, one on each side, and a threaded bar between them called an Acme Screw. For maintenance, they recommend making sure all the wire connections are clean and not corroded. The Acme Screw is pretreated with a light lubricant. I would also recommend visually inspecting it and making sure it is clean and not binding anywhere. The manual also says that you can clean it with mild soap and water. Talking with a Lippert technician, he recommended spraying CRC multi-purpose lubricant and wiping it off. It will lubricate but not collect grit and dirt.

You should also be able to test these by connecting a 12-volt power supply directly to the motor leads. This will verify whether the motor does or does not work, to point you in the right direction. If the motor is not good, there are no serviceable parts, and you would need to replace the motor.


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Why won’t our RV’s jacks retract?

Dear Dave,
We have a 2018 Newmar Sport with an Equalizer Leveling System. We’re having trouble with our jacks not retracting. We had to manually retract them twice, then discovered what appeared to be a loose wire. We thought we had solved the issue, but upon leaving our campsite a pulsing tone was coming from the jacks’ keypad. The same problem occurred today when the jacks would not retract after the rig had been sitting (jacks down) for several months. What do you think may be going on? What might need to be replaced? —Pam, 2018 Newmar Sport

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Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and the author of the “RV Handbook.”

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Bob M
1 month ago

Seems like these electric stabilizer jacks and automatic levelers are junk. Seems like equipment designed for Rv’s are built cheap and end up having problems. Plus other countries use lead free solder which grows whiskers and can short out as the electronics age. Thats why the military don’t use lead free solder.

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