RV leveling jacks help to keep your RV steady and stable while you are parked and stationary. That said, they don’t always work. Sometimes, RV leveling jacks won’t extend.
Today, we are going to cover a variety of troubleshooting steps that you need to undertake if your RV leveling jacks aren’t working as they should.
How Do Leveling Jacks Work?
The main purpose of an RV leveling jack is to make sure that the entire RV is standing straight and even. An RV leveling jack, also known as a stabilizer jack, is a special metal arm, or a set of metal arms, that are installed right into the frame of your RV.
When you are standing still and stationary, these extend from the frame of the RV onto the ground below. The aim of this is of course to keep the RV straight, level, and steady.
This is not unlike the leveling arms that you would see on heavy duty construction equipment. Some RVs have automated leveling systems, but many still come with basic hydraulic leveling jacks.
What To Do If Your RV Leveling Jacks Won’t Extend: Troubleshooting
There are a variety of troubleshooting methods available in case your RV leveling jacks are not extending properly. Let’s take a look at all of the things that you can do to try to remedy this situation.
1. Test it Out
The first thing that you want to do is to just test the leveling jack system out to try to figure out exactly what is wrong with it. First, you want to press the button to extend the leveling jacks, and here you want to see if you can hear anything. If you can hear any noise, it might be some sort of power-related issue.
Moreover, if there is a noise, but nothing is moving, it may also be an issue with the motor or any of the moving components. If you can hear the jacks trying to extend, but there’s nothing happening, there could be a fairly complex mechanical issue that is to blame.
You then also want to try to extend all of the jacks separately. This is in order to figure out whether it is the whole system that is having a problem, or if it is just an individual jack. Once you’ve done your testing, you then want to take a closer look at the system.
2. Take a Closer Look
You now want to take a closer look at each of the individual leveling jacks to see if there are any obvious and visible issues. There could be some obstructions or obstacles in the way that are preventing the leveling jacks from extending.
If there is no obstacle in the way of the leveling Jack, then you want to take a closer look at the hydraulic components. If you can see hydraulic fluid leaking out somewhere, then you know exactly what the problem is. If hydraulic fluid is leaking out, the hydraulic system will need to be either repaired or replaced.
There is also the potential that if the weather outside is extremely cold, the leveling jacks have somehow frozen into place. You can try pouring a bit of warm water onto them to see if this fixes the issue. If you still don’t know what the problem with your RV leveling jacks is, take a look at the next step on the list.
3. Take a Look at Your Owner’s Manual
Before you start messing with the RV leveling jacks, you should always take a closer look at the owner’s manual. First and foremost, if you know exactly how the leveling jack system works, you are much more likely to be able to figure out what the problem is.
It might be a very simple problem that you just aren’t aware of. Moreover, the owner’s manual can give you exact and detailed troubleshooting methods for your exact RV leveling jacks.
Remember that here we can only give you some fairly vague and basic advice, as there are many types of RV leveling jacks, and they’ll all have slightly different troubleshooting methods.
The owner’s manual may even have a list of specific problems and solutions to those problems. If this still doesn’t work, move on to the next step.
4. Extend the Jacks Manually
What you want to do now is to perform a manual extension on the RV leveling jacks. Most hydraulic systems out there come with so-called HWH leveling systems, and they come complete with manual overrides, which means that you will be able to extend the jacks by hand.
Simply put, take the jacks in your hands and try to pull them out (or use the manual override system). If you can extend them by hand, then it is a sign that it’s not really an issue of physical damage, at least not to the moving components.
If everything can extend and retract perfectly fine, then it might be some other kind of mechanical or electrical problem. If the RV jacks can move freely, but they aren’t moving, then it’s going to be the motor, the fuse, the electrical breakers, or anything else of the sort.
5. Check the Electronic Components
What you want to do now is to take a much closer look at the system as a whole, specifically the electronics. For one, a fuse or breaker might be blown or tripped. If this is the case, you just need to replace the fuse or flip the breaker back in the other direction.
You then also want to take a much closer look at the wires that connect the electrical panel to the leveling system of the RV. Sometimes, wires can get loose, disconnected, afraid, or broken.
You then also want to look to see if there’s any kind of short circuit or any kind of fire damage present. If it is just a very basic problem concerning the electronics, you might be able to fix it.
However, these systems can sometimes be quite complex, in which case you will need professional assistance. For instance, if the motor that controls the movement of the RV leveling jacks is broken, this will need to be repaired or even replaced.
6. Call in the Big Guns
If all else fails, your RV leveling jacks won’t extend, and you just don’t know what the problem is, then you will have to ask a professional for help. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an RV leveling jack specialist, but it should be somebody who knows their hydraulic systems.
How Do I Reset My RV Leveling System?
Exactly how to reset your RV leveling system is going to depend on the exact type of system in question. There are automatic leveling systems out there, as well as hydraulic leveling systems. Then, in terms of hydraulic leveling systems, there are several types of these.
Generally speaking, resetting the system is going to involve turning it off completely and then hitting or pressing a specific series or combination of buttons.
Some systems may even come with a dedicated reset button. The only way to really figure out how exactly to reset your specific RV leveling system is to read the owner’s manual.
How Do You Manually Extend A Lippert Jack?
When you want to perform a manual override on your Lippert jack, first you need to disconnect the wires. You then need to remove the rubber plug from the top of the gearbox.
You then need to use a ratchet with the appropriate size bit to turn the nut on the inside of the gearbox. Turning it counterclockwise will retract the jack, and turning it clockwise will extend it.
If the first option is not feasible for you, you may also have a secondary manual override system located underneath the gearbox.
Remove the rubber cap and then use a power drill with the appropriate bit for your RV leveling system. Generally speaking, turning it clockwise will extend it, and turning it counterclockwise will retract it.
Where Do I Put Leveling Jacks On My RV?
Although it can differ slightly from one RV to another, generally speaking, you would put RB leveling jacks both at the front and the rear of the unit.
For the most part, you will have two on the left and two on the right. Most units will have a total of four jacks, one in more or less each corner of the RV.
How Many Leveling Jacks Does An RV Need?
As mentioned above, for the best results, most RV’s generally have four leveling jacks, one located in each corner of the RV.
If your RV leveling jacks won’t extend or retract, you should follow the steps and tips we have listed above. If all else fails, you will however need to call a professional for assistance.