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Old 05-21-2019, 09:15 PM   #1
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Lippert Power Gear levelers slowly leaking down

Hello,
I have a 2016 Forza 36G with 4 jack power gear hydraulic leveling system, with spring return. The issue I am having is that after setting up and leveling after about 2 days I see a noticeable drop in height of coach on the downhill side (side where jacks are extended furthest) - for example distance between tire and fender, or height of tire off ground if I had to lift one wheel slightly off ground to level. The leak down seems to be more significant on right/passenger side the rear jack will drop about 1" per day, front about 1/2". Although this could just be because most of my time testing has been with passenger side extended most, going to repeat test this weekend on other side lifted. After 2+ days its dropped enough to need to be re-leveled again. I marked the rams with sharpie just below the seal, so have confirmed they are indeed retracting. There is no visible leakage anywhere and reservoir is full, so the leak down is self contained fluid remains in system.
I took my coach to a local repair shop they are having trouble reproducing, after discussing further though they take my word for it and have called Lippert to troubleshoot. I have coach back home now plan to take it back to shop also wanted to post here to see if anyone has had same issue before.
My understanding is the system has 3 solenoids/valves (one for each rear jack, and one that controls both front jacks) to pressurize and one solenoid to release the pressure and allow springs to retract jacks.
Few questions:
1. I have seen other posts here on irv2 about seals leaking in the jacks. Is it possible to have an "internal" leak with seals in the jack? Doesn't seem possible with this system since its a spring return there is only one hose going to each jack. If a seal was bad then I would see fluid leaking out right?
2. If not the jacks, then it would probably be issue with the valves in the pump housing? Since the front and rear are both dropping probably the return valve slowly leaking. Does that seem like likely cause? Any other components that we should investigate?
3. Anyone have experience with extended warranties covering issues like this? I have a "exclusionary" platinum plan and reading fine print I don't see anything about leveling system being excluded, so hopefully all good and they will cover this.

All advice/suggestions appreciated!

Thanks
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:53 AM   #2
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Hey Bobca1,

I too am experiencing a similar issue with the Powergear jacks on my mh. In my case it always tends to drift toward the passenger side. I attribute that to be so because it has the heaviest slide (galley and dining table). I haven’t noticed if the front dips too. I am going out with the rig next week for a few days so I plan to do some similar testing. I plan to level the rig and then mark the level of fluid left in the tank to see if fluid is slowly leaking past the valves and into the fluid tank. I will pay attention and check whether the front fades as well.

At least I know I am not nuts as I see someone else having the issue without an obvious leak. We are headed to Fleetwood in July for warranty work so I will have them look at this as well. Will stay tuned for other responses to see if this is a common problem.
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:41 AM   #3
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valve could be letting fluid pass. Could have air in the line. My directions said run jacks 100% out and back in to remove air in lines.
Good luck
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Old 05-22-2019, 09:13 AM   #4
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Over the years, experienced this many times. Never figured out a cause. The solution was to change parking sites. If I stayed in a RV park over a week, that was usually pretty easy and the office would be fine with it. Every once in a while there were times where the first site I was assigned was so bad, I'd go back to the office and ask to move to a different site soon after setting up.

Once moved to a different site, it was rare that I'd have a leak down. So nothing to fix. Weird huh? And yes, I did try the 'fully extend than retract' trick. Never worked for me.

One thing I did notice over the years is that wind could gently rock the RV and it would slowly 'settle'. So occasionally, like once every 3 days, I'd have to extend the jacks on one side or the other to get back to where I wanted it.
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:31 PM   #5
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Thanks for sharing bummer to hear others are having this issue and no fix yet.. I'm taking back into shop early June will post update on what happens. This weekend I am going to do some more testing going to park in other direction in same spot, to put the downhill slope on other side. If it's the return valve leaking then I would expect to see the driver side drop this time, if not then must be the supply side valve. Or seal in the jack... But since it's a single hose I don't see how it could be jack seals (unless fluid was leaking out onto ground, which its not).
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fairway2002 View Post
valve could be letting fluid pass. Could have air in the line. My directions said run jacks 100% out and back in to remove air in lines.
Good luck

Thx will give that a try.
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:39 PM   #7
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Thinking about this a little more... Actually the front jacks may not be leaking. The way this system works the front jacks are on the same line and valve, so if the rear drops on one side, the front must drop too on the same side to keep the frame from twisting. If this is correct then I would expect to see the front jack on opposite side extending the same amount, the front would essentially be rocking in same direction as rear. Will mark all the jacks with sharpie after leveling to confirm this weekend.
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Old 05-23-2019, 06:50 AM   #8
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I have worked on many power gear systems. I never had a jack leak down internally. All the leaking down problems were caused by the solonoid seals leaking. There are three solonoids. 1 for the front two jacks and 1 each for the left and right rear. If they are leaking down and no sign of fluid on the shafts and base plate, you are having leaking solonoid seals. The solonoids are available from Power Gear.
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Old 05-23-2019, 11:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ga traveler View Post
I have worked on many power gear systems. I never had a jack leak down internally. All the leaking down problems were caused by the solonoid seals leaking. There are three solonoids. 1 for the front two jacks and 1 each for the left and right rear. If they are leaking down and no sign of fluid on the shafts and base plate, you are having leaking solonoid seals. The solonoids are available from Power Gear.
Thanks for the confirmation! Found the instructions on lippert support site on how to replace, looks like pretty simple repair once the right valve is identified. I would replace myself, but I have extended warranty, so going to let local shop take care of it this time. I may order a spare (~$150 on eBay, part# 500099) too and have around in case it happens to another one.
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