I don't recall, but the important issue is:
Is the dipstick on the outside (suction side) of the filter or the inside (clean fluid going to pump side).
IF on the outside (my assumption, but need to VERIFY) this is not a critical issue.
But, if on the inside where it could restrict flow to the pump, you do need to address it.
Yes you need to remove the lid-- no big deal. new gasket and two bolts.
May be a good time to change filters and refill reservoir with fresh oil.
Ex: 2003 Alpine 38FDDS. Ex: 1997 Safari Sahara. Ex: 1993 Foretravel U240