My Class C will level easily when using auto level, but when it is time to retract, the motorhome drops like a rock. Recently, the violent drop caused the black ABS drain line in the slideout to break. The RV service center along with Forest River say the unit is working correctly; however, it never worked that way before when I did an auto retract. What’s the solution? —Harry, 2019 Forest River Forester 3271SF
Most likely you have Lippert hydraulic jacks or Power Gear, which is also owned by Lippert. Since they retracted smoothly originally, I do not believe they are working correctly as your dealer service center is telling you.
My first question is, are they doing this on every retraction now? I have had similar situations when the unit is parked on a very uneven surface and one or more of the jacks is almost fully extended. In this case, I would use a jack pad underneath to reduce the extension distance. You can find several different brands such as the Camco models on Amazon.
Possible causes for hydraulic jacks issue
If it is doing this all the time, then you most likely have air in the line or low hydraulic fluid. You can find the fluid reservoir close to the motor. On your Class C that is usually in a driver side front compartment. If you have a hydraulic slide room, this typically runs that, as well. Find the motor by extending the jacks and you should be able to hear the motor. Open the compartment and find the reservoir and check the fluid level. If it is low, add the recommended fluid, which is typically an Automatic Transmission Fluid Dexron III.
If the level is good, it could be air in the lines, which needs to be bled. Close all the slide rooms and retract the jacks. Check the fluid level and then run all slide rooms and jacks through 2-3 cycles which should purge the air back through the reservoir tank.
Another trick is to extend the jacks slightly before retracting which will prime the system and may provide a smooth retraction.
I have also found several owners that state using the “auto-level” feature raises the rig a little too high and they do not have the problem when manually leveling. You might want to try this, as well.
If they are Lippert-owned jacks, I would suggest contacting them at LCI1.com and talk with a technician. There is a flapper valve they have had an issue with, according to my Winnebago contact.
You might also enjoy this from Dave
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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
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