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Old 02-25-2010, 06:53 PM   #1
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What type of hydraulic fluid for levelers?

When replacing the hydraulic fluid in my leveler system, what type of fluid should be used? I have been told that it is important to use the correct type to match the seals in the system. Then I was told it doesn't matter use "any" ATF to top off. I have RVA Jacks JII "22.5A" on my 99 Monaco. The operating instructions do not mention the correct fluid. Is it okay to mix with other types? Is it ever necessary to flush out system?
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Old 02-25-2010, 09:07 PM   #2
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It's always best to follow the mfr's recommendation. If you can't connect with the jack mfr (try Google) ask Monaco. I'm assuming you don't have the manual,or you'd know the answer already!!
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Old 02-26-2010, 05:07 AM   #3
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Usually Dextron III or equivalent is used.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:18 AM   #4
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HWH does have their own hydraulic fluid. It's clear but it's properties are the same as Dexron III so you can use ATF if you wish. If you have HWH slideouts as well you may want to consider staying with the HWH fluid rather than Dexron. The HWH fluid won't leave a stain on your carpeting should you ever develop a leak in the slideout hydraulics, whereas the red Dexron will. Otherwise, they'll both work just fine. I stuck with the clear HWH fluid for that reason. It costs more than Dexron but you really don't need to add any once it's topped off and all the air is burped out of the system. The only time the fluid level would ever go down is if you get a leak. New coaches typically need to add some at their one year service because the air has finally been purged from the system. After that the level should remain the same.

One other thing to keep in mind when checking your fluid level is that hydraulic rams need to be fully collapsed whenever you check the oil level in the reservoir. Otherwise, when you collapse them, the oil will overflow out ther reservoir's breather cap. So when you check your oil level you need to be sure that the jacks are fully retracted. Now most people understand this so it's not a big problem.

However, if you have HWH's side mounted slideout mechanisms, as my Allegro Bus does, you need to extend the slides when you check the oil level. That's just the opposite as to what you might think but the reason is that the side mounted slideout mechanisms use a scissors type mechanism to extend the slideout. The hydraulic ram actually collapses in order to extend the scissors mechanism and extends when the slideout is retracted. If you have separate reservoir (as I do) for the slideouts be sure to run the slideouts out before checking the oil level. Note that this is onkly for the side mounted mechanism. If you have the older style "under the floor" mechanism then the slides are operated directly bythe hydraulic cylinders and you want them retracted when checking the oil level.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruzer View Post
One other thing to keep in mind when checking your fluid level is that hydraulic rams need to be fully collapsed whenever you check the oil level in the reservoir. Otherwise, when you collapse them, the oil will overflow out ther reservoir's breather cap. So when you check your oil level you need to be sure that the jacks are fully retracted. Now most people understand this so it's not a big problem.
Just so I understand correctly... The Operating Instructions states the following:

"If it is necessary to fill with additional fluid, start by extending any jack 6" from fully retracted position (other jacks should be fully retracted). Unscrew reservoir cap from top of pump, fill until red light and bong turn off then stop adding fluid and replace cap."

Is this contradicting what you said? Or... is the difference in checking vs adding fluid?

Thanks for your help! This forum is always helpful to me.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:36 AM   #6
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you are correct on checking the fluid level procedure
Dextron 3 or equivalent is what is recommended for RVA Jacks, go to their web site for further details.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:54 AM   #7
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Apparently RVA has a slightly different procedure than HWH. They want one jack extended a bit. Not quite sure why, but if that's what they want, then that's the way to do it. It sounds like their alarm system measures fluid level rather than using jack height positioning sensors. Maybe they want that cushion to give the alarm more room to breathe.
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Old 02-26-2010, 03:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
The HWH fluid won't leave a stain on your carpeting should you ever develop a leak in the slideout hydraulics, whereas the red Dexron will.
Ours would just leak into the basement, so I don't worry about the color. In fact, the color helps to see if there is a leak (had one on one jack several years ago).

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Old 02-28-2010, 12:25 PM   #9
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Carefully clean the outside of the tank where the fluid is stored or the area around the filler tube.

Odds are there is a label,, Mine says Dextron III
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