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Old 07-21-2017, 04:54 PM   #1
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Leveling Jack Issues

We just purchased our first RV - a 2005 Alpine 40' FDTS. There is a problem with the jacks. One of the jacks won't go down right at first and you have to hit the button a few times - and it will eventually go down. The other jack went down fine although wouldn't go up - it went up a couple of inches and then stopped. The prior owner said he would just push it up with his hand but now that doesn't work either. Anyone have an idea of what the issue could be?
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Old 07-21-2017, 05:00 PM   #2
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The first simple thing to check is hydraulic fluid level in the HWH reservoir.

And Welcome to iRV2 and the world of Alpine Coach!
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Old 07-21-2017, 08:03 PM   #3
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Also make sure they are clean. I extend them as much as practical and use a small brush or plastic scraping tool to remove the crud that collects where where the piston retracts. Depending on particular conditions this may be required a few times a year. HWH recommends WD-40. IMHO it is OK for cleaning, not as a lube.
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Old 07-21-2017, 10:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoDawg226 View Post
We just purchased our first RV - a 2005 Alpine 40' FDTS. There is a problem with the jacks. One of the jacks won't go down right at first and you have to hit the button a few times - and it will eventually go down. The other jack went down fine although wouldn't go up - it went up a couple of inches and then stopped. The prior owner said he would just push it up with his hand but now that doesn't work either. Anyone have an idea of what the issue could be?


Welcome to Alpine ownership and IRV2!

You have 4 jacks, tell us which of them you are having problems with. We also need to know if the pump is running but jacks are not going down. The way the HWH system works, it determines the low point and extends those 2 jacks at the same time. It then extends the next lowest corner then finally the 4th jack. I then check the "level" by opening the bathroom door to see if it stays where I put it, if not a will make adjustments as required. If your system continually levels the coach with the same corner/side low you may need to adjust your control panel, but that is for another discussion after we get your system operating properly.

Do as Bob suggests, verify you have sufficient fluid in the reservoir. This is checked when the jacks are in the raised position, if you check in the extended position you will actually over fill the system and when you do retract the reservoir will over flow and make a mess in that small compartment! If you are low add fluid then cycle the jacks 2 or 3 times to see if they are now operating properly.

The jacks are designed to be self lubricating, when the jack is retracted it sits in hydraulic fluid. As has been suggested, you can add additional lubrication for the lower seals with either HWH fluid or WD-40. You should NEVER need to scrape the jack with anything, the lower seal is designed to wipe it as it is retracted. If you were to get something like mud dried on the shaft, loosen it with WD-40, and use a clean, soft rag so you do not scratch the ram, to wipe it off.

If you need to assist a jack to retract I carry an axe with me, I will start the retract cycle and place the lever under the offending jack pad to "help" it along. I then extend and retract the jacks several time to spread the hydraulic fluid. If this is not working I use WD-40 and then run a couple of cycles.

According to HWH the jack system on our Alpines should retract in about 2 minutes.
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Old 07-22-2017, 06:12 AM   #5
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The pump was running as three of the jacks went down fine. The one that we had trouble getting down was the passenger side rear. The one that won't go up is the drivers side front. We will check the fluid too. I'll come back and let you know if the fluid is fine. I'm sure I'll be asking lots of questions so I appreciate all of your input!
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Old 07-22-2017, 06:14 AM   #6
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Basic questions

How much do you typically have to pay for an oil change? And do you know how many grease fittings are on the unit?
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Old 07-22-2017, 06:26 AM   #7
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Price for an oil change --perhaps $250 or more depending on where you have it done. Needs to include: 1-oil filter, and 2-fuel filters [primary and secondary] on a 2005. Also need to include annual and periodic service on the generator.
Good question on grease points: 2-fittings on each drive line u-joint [must lube all 4 end sockets], and 1 on drive shaft; 4 on king pins [2 each, top/bottom], 2 on drag link, 2 on tie rod, 2 on steering column.
PS-- getting old, at least one on each king pin but thinking its 2 each [smile]
PSS--grease points on your electric generator slide rollers but not familiar with where.
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Old 07-22-2017, 08:42 AM   #8
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Thanks for the quick reply. How many people change their own oil? 😊 Also, back to the jacks, the hydraulic fluid level is fine. The cylinders have also been lubricated and are not dirty.
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Old 07-22-2017, 10:07 AM   #9
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Still not working correctly? Could be a bad jack. It wouldn't be the first time one needed to be replaced. Unlikely to be the leveling sensor in the HWH bay based on your description of the problem. Although adjusting the sensor will be one of the easiest things you will ever do on the coach.

I'm sure at least a handful of owners do their own oil change. If you have the proper tools, work space and means to collect and dispose of gallons of oil, have at it. If you are able to get it into a Cummins shop or other reputable shop once a year, have the guys that do that type of work all day, every day do the work. They'll give it a multi-point inspection and you'll be under your awning with a cold beverage before you know it.
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Old 07-22-2017, 01:53 PM   #10
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Yes - jack still doesn't go up - starts but then stops and you have to help it up.
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Old 07-22-2017, 03:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoDawg226 View Post
The pump was running as three of the jacks went down fine. The one that we had trouble getting down was the passenger side rear. The one that won't go up is the drivers side front. We will check the fluid too. I'll come back and let you know if the fluid is fine. I'm sure I'll be asking lots of questions so I appreciate all of your input!


When you had 3 jacks down and the curb side rear did not go down
1) did the pump continue to run?
2) was that corner the high spot? HWH extends the jack that is the high point last, I have had times when the system shut off before the high point jack was completely down.

Driver's/street side front - with the ram completely extended, spray the ram with WD-40, completely wet it, then wipe it down with a clean soft towel. Then respray the ram and retract/extend it 2 or 3 times. If it still does not retract by itself either you have a bent ram, weak springs or low fluid.

Fluid - don't tell us it is fine, tell us how you checked the level.
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Old 07-22-2017, 03:37 PM   #12
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How much do you typically have to pay for an oil change? And do you know how many grease fittings are on the unit?


I do oil changes at Speedco. They have stores all over the country, typically at junctions of major interstates, they cater to long haul truckers, get them in and out fast. The last time I had mine done it was $225 (that does not include the gen set). When I figure the cost of the oil and parts, they are getting about $20 for their labor, to me it is worth the 20 bucks.

When I bring the coach in I tell the tech that their will be a quiz when he is done, I want to know how many zerks he lubed. If he tells me the wrong # I send him back telling him he missed a few!
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Old 07-22-2017, 06:57 PM   #13
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Yes - the pump did change ntinue to run. And the jack did go down - eventually.

It was actually fairly level so not 100% sure it was the high spot.

I actually did not check the level - the former owner did. I would have no idea how to check it - as I said, we have a lot to learn!

Thanks for the info on the oil changes - very helpful. We used to be OTR truck drivers but have been away from it for 15 years.
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Old 07-22-2017, 07:38 PM   #14
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With slides and jacks retracted, the oil level in the HWH bay reservoir should be 1" below the top. This can be quite a pain to check. Fluid should be clear. Add only HWH hydraulic fluid.
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