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Old 11-09-2015, 08:09 PM   #1
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Power Gear Jacks Fluid Change

I getting ready to flush/replace my coach’s power steering system fluid. While I’m at it, I figured I may as well do the same for my Power Gear Automatic Leveling Jacks at the same time. If I’m not mistaken, they both use Dexron III or equivalent ATF. My coach is 10 years old now and I've never changed either fluid.

I found the needed info in my Freightliner’s service manual for the power steering service, but my Power Gear manual doesn’t describe how to change the fluid, only how to top it off. Looking at the Power Gear fluid resevoir, it looks like one could drain the old fluid from the bottom drain plug and then re-fill it at the top fill hole. I would assume this is done with the jacks raised. Am I missing anything?

Thanks.

Craig
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Old 11-09-2015, 08:16 PM   #2
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It would make sense to drain the tank with the jacks raised, it would be holding the maximum amount of fluid, however, the fluid is not filtered anywhere so in all likelihood most of the contamination would still be in the hoses. If you are ambitious you could drain the tank, put new fluid in and then take one hose loose at time on a jack and drain the fluid that is in the hose and continue to add fluid to the tank until you drain sufficient fluid.

The jacks are used, in comparison to the power steering system, a very small fraction of the time. The fluid would not be "wore" out, I'd leave it alone.
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Old 11-11-2015, 06:54 AM   #3
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The jacks are used, in comparison to the power steering system, a very small fraction of the time. The fluid would not be "wore" out, I'd leave it alone.
Plus it is not subjected to heat like the tranny or PS. Unless it was contaminated by dirt or water, I'd leave it alone too.
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Old 11-11-2015, 10:07 AM   #4
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I getting ready to flush/replace my coachís power steering system fluid. While Iím at it, I figured I may as well do the same for my Power Gear Automatic Leveling Jacks at the same time. If Iím not mistaken, they both use Dexron III or equivalent ATF. My coach is 10 years old now and I've never changed either fluid.

I found the needed info in my Freightlinerís service manual for the power steering service, but my Power Gear manual doesnít describe how to change the fluid, only how to top it off. Looking at the Power Gear fluid resevoir, it looks like one could drain the old fluid from the bottom drain plug and then re-fill it at the top fill hole. I would assume this is done with the jacks raised. Am I missing anything?

Thanks.

Craig
Based on both power steering and transmission mechanisms, how they work, what wears, and more, changing the fluids on those two components makes sense. But, in all reality, what wears on a very infrequently used, hydraulic jack leveling system? I mean, the pump runs for a very miniscule amount of time, the jacks go down or up, and the pump quits. We're looking at maybe, MAYBE, what, 8 hours of continuous run time in say, 5-10 years and, maybe 50K-75K miles?

I'm not saying your thought about changing it is wrong, not at all, nothing wrong with keeping up with preventative maintenance. But, in my opinion, and the fact that in all the manuals I have for our HWH 625 Computer Controlled Automatic Leveling system on our '04 Horizon, there's no mention of any fluid change-out at all. There's only top-off proceedures.

I guess you can if you feel the need to. It surely won't hurt anything. And, if you do only the reservoir, you're looking at what, maybe a couple quarts or, a gallon? But, you've still got all that, that's in the lines, and each jack. Your choice.
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Old 11-11-2015, 11:20 AM   #5
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Our Power Level system on '08 Bounder recommends fluid change every 36 months. About 2 and half years ago topped mine off. No issues since. I haven't thought about them since then. I agree that as a closed system - no leaks etc - the likelihood of fluid contamination is very low. And without heat, like a tranny, I can't imagine the fluid breaking down. I can imagine an ESP asking if they fluid was changed if there was a failure and claim. I think I will take that chance. Not broke. Don't fix it.
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Old 11-11-2015, 12:24 PM   #6
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You can speak directly to a Power Gear Tech 574-537-8900. They should be able to assist.
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Old 11-11-2015, 12:31 PM   #7
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You can speak directly to a Power Gear Tech 574-537-8900. They should be able to assist.
They were at one time - notoriously difficult to speak with, get a hold of, and sluggish to return calls. I hope that's changed.
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Old 11-11-2015, 12:36 PM   #8
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They were very available via email for a few years as the slow down in the industry caused a reduction in staff however they responded quickly. They're now owned by Lippert and are fully staffed.
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They were at one time - notoriously difficult to speak with, get a hold of, and sluggish to return calls. I hope that's changed.
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Old 11-11-2015, 12:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Man View Post
I getting ready to flush/replace my coachís power steering system fluid. While Iím at it, I figured I may as well do the same for my Power Gear Automatic Leveling Jacks at the same time. If Iím not mistaken, they both use Dexron III or equivalent ATF. My coach is 10 years old now and I've never changed either fluid.
I found the needed info in my Freightlinerís service manual for the power steering service, but my Power Gear manual doesnít describe how to change the fluid, only how to top it off. Looking at the Power Gear fluid resevoir, it looks like one could drain the old fluid from the bottom drain plug and then re-fill it at the top fill hole. I would assume this is done with the jacks raised. Am I missing anything?
Thanks.
Craig
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Neither my PS/PB fliud or my RVA jack fluid has been "changed" in 144k miles.
Wondering why you are changing yours?
Mel
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Old 11-12-2015, 04:31 PM   #10
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Power Gear Jacks Fluid Change

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Gadget Man
Neither my PS/PB fliud or my RVA jack fluid has been "changed" in 144k miles.
Wondering why you are changing yours?

Here goes...

I have always done most of my own vehicle maintenance. When I first bought my current coach back in 2006, I knew almost nothing about diesel engines or air suspensions, so I immersed myself with information. Some of it I attained in this forum, most of it from reading and attending manufacture seminars. That being said, something I pay close attention to is the maintenance schedule for my coach and all of its components. Many of the maintenance periods are too frequent for an RV IMHO, so I created my own maintenance chart and adjusted them according to my usage.

Freightliner calls for a power steering system fluid flush every 5 years/48k miles. Most people like me think this is too frequent so I doubled that period. My coach just turned 10 years old, so it's now due according to my chart.

The Power Gear owners manual calls for a fluid change every 3 years. Again this is excessive, so I changed that period to 10 years as well.

Dexon III equivalent ATF is only $11 a gallon at Walmart. I'm retired and have plenty of time on my hands, so I see no reason why I shouldn't follow my 10 year schedule.

My son is a forklift service manager for a large material handling company. He deals with hydraulic systems on a daily basis, so I called him for his professional opinion. He said most forklifts go 5-6 years with the same hydraulic fluid. Those forklifts are used everyday unlike my jacks, so they see a lot more service hours. Forklift hydraulic systems however employ a fluid filter, whereas my PS and jacks don't. He added that even though people think forklift hydraulics are a closed system, dirt can enter the system via the pistons/rams, just like my jacks. He said that since I have no filter, it wouldn't hurt to replace the reservoir fluid. While he didn't think replacing the fluid was critical, he agreed....why not? It certainly won't hurt anything. He said at the very least, I could drain a cup of fluid and check it for dirt and/or fragments and move on from there. My opinion is if I'm going that far, I'll just drain the entire reservoir. Again, ATF is fairly inexpensive.

So there you have it. Some may choose to never change their fluid. Chances are they may be ok. I choose to change mine at 10 years cause it's easy to do and inexpensive. My chances of being "ok" are a little bit better than those that don't.

Happy travels...

Craig
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Old 11-13-2015, 08:16 AM   #11
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Here goes...

Freightliner calls for a power steering system fluid flush every 5 years/48k miles. Most people like me think this is too frequent so I doubled that period. My coach just turned 10 years old, so it's now due according to my chart.

The Power Gear owners manual calls for a fluid change every 3 years. Again this is excessive, so I changed that period to 10 years as well.

Craig
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Thanks
Me thinks if your owners manuals state that those fluids should be drained/flushed/changed they most certainly should be... (at the recommended intervals).

However although my owners manual does tell me which fluid is used in the PS/PB system and in the leveling jack reservoir.... it says nothing about periodically draining, changing or flushing those systems/reservoirs.

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Old 11-15-2015, 08:58 PM   #12
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Power Gear Jacks Fluid Change

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.....although my owners manual does tell me which fluid is used in the PS/PB system and in the leveling jack reservoir.... it says nothing about periodically draining, changing or flushing those systems/reservoirs.

Mel,

My RV owners manual didn't give me that information either, I had to download a copy of my chassis service manual to get the service intervals. The service schedule for my leveling system however was in my Power Gear owners manual.

Happy travels...

Craig
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Old 11-16-2015, 07:58 AM   #13
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Mel,

My RV owners manual didn't give me that information either, I had to download a copy of my chassis service manual to get the service intervals. The service schedule for my leveling system however was in my Power Gear owners manual.
Happy travels...
Craig
Craig
Thanks.
My RVA Jack manual says nothing about changing the Dexron fluid used in the leveling system....nor does my Magnum Blue Streak Chassis service manual.
The chassis service manual says nothing about changing the Dexron used in the PS/PB system either.

Neither have been changed in 144k miles...perhaps they should be?
Mel
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Old 11-17-2015, 12:07 AM   #14
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Power Gear Jacks Fluid Change

Mel,

I'm certainly no expert, so I can't tell you what might be needed for your specific motorhome. I personally do what's prudent and/or recommended by the manufacturer. Since you have no documented service intervals then there is not much for you to go on. If you have a mechanic that you trust I would definitely ask him for his professional opinion just to be safe.

Sorry I can't be of more help.

Craig
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