Tuesday, November 28, 2023


RV levelers — What maintenance?


By Chris Dougherty
Chris Dougherty is a certified RV technician. Here is a letter he received from a reader while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor.

Dear Chris,
We spend six months as snowbirds in Florida near Orlando.  The jacks are down for the full six months. Do the shafts need to be lubricated and retracted during the six months? Do the shafts need to be lubricated at all? We have a 2013 Winnebago Adventurer 37F that has Lippert Components jacks. —Dave H.

Dear Dave,
Great question. I’ve been asked this one a lot, and the answer is no, you don’t need to lube the pistons.

That said, it is necessary to clean them, and make sure there is no road debris or grime on them. Once the piston rod clears the seal, it is ‘lubricated’ inside the cylinder barrel. It’s not a bad idea to operate them occasionally, but there is no maintenance requirement on Lippert’s part to do so.


Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.



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AikenRVer (@guest_5912)
6 years ago

I have Lippert jacks on my Winnebago Journey. The LCI manual states “If jacks are down for extended periods, it is recommended to spray exposed leveling jack rods with a
silicone lubricant every seven days for protection. If your coach is located in a salty environment, it is
recommended to spray the rods every 2 to 3 days.”
Not sure what constitutes extended period, but I have found the jacks retract much smoother if I spray every time before retracting. I periodically spray with WD-40 and wipe clean, then silicone spray.

Grumpyoldtimer (@guest_5826)
6 years ago

I found your answer regarding lubing leveling jacks interesting and at odds with my personal experience. We also have a Winnebago product, a 2004 Itasca Suncruiser with an HWH leveling system. And like Dave we are set up in the winter for several months in a warm climate (Tuscon).
I have found that the jacks will not retract in the allotted time before the system shuts off (to keep from over extending the solenoids). The manual STRONGLY recommends not extending the retract time beyond the auto shutoff time or risk damaging the solenoids.
I have found that if I thoroughly wipe down the pistons AND spray with a good silicone lube that they come right up. Just wiping them down does not do it if they have been sitting for several months.
Just my experience, or maybe the HWH pistons are different.

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