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Old 04-28-2013, 01:53 AM   #1
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Hi, All,



I've had an ongoing problem with the autoleveling function of the Lippert HydraulicJacks on my 2013 36FB.



My quite good AAARVPro repair guy, here in Plano Texas, has spent hours on the phone with Lippert "Technical Support", during multiple troubleshooting sessions, butwithout a resolution.



PROBLEM:

1. Autoleveling fails to level the coach.

2. "Manual" levelingcan still be usedin leveling the coach.



LIPPERT POSITION

1. Lippert Tech Support explains that their product requires EXACTLY 12.75 Volts of Current Under Load, to function properly.

2. Lippert Tech Support therefore claims that the problem is not their fault, but is the fault of my battery.



QUESTION 1: If the Lippert System requires exactly 12.75 Volts to function, then why does the Manual leveling function still work, while the Autoleveling does not work? How can one option work while the other does not work?

QUESTION 2: Since when does any RV battery deliver exacly 12.75 Volts under any conditions?

QUESTION 3: Do we, as Redwood owners, have any recourse when such a major system fails to function? Does Lippert have to resolve this problem, or can they just get away with blaming this problem on the 12.75 Volt mythology?



Obviously, if this 12.75 Volt claim was legitimate, there would be hundreds of Redwoods with the same problem as my 36FB.



Thank you!



Robt.



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Old 04-28-2013, 05:29 AM   #2
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Robt.,

Has your RV Pro checked the voltage on your battery? Or, just try a battery that has the 12.75 voltage that Lippert is asking for.

Dave from Maine
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Old 04-28-2013, 06:45 AM   #3
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I don't think the problem is with the voltage. Try raising the front jacks higher than the rear and hit "Auto Level". The front will lower to within 6 inches of the ground and then commence its auto leveling routine. If you are unsure you have enough power, plug it into shore power or your TV - just ensure your TV is out of the way.
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:30 AM   #4
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Yes, that's what I would do to diagnose.

Also verify there is actually two batteries in those boxes. Several people have reported issues with the leveling system when only one battery is present. Redwoods only come with one battery off the line. You need to have your dealer install a matched pair of deep cycle batteries on delivery.
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:49 AM   #5
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I plug mine up to AC power before I level or put the slides out, this way you have full DC power.
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:09 AM   #6
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The voltage is not going to be exactly 12.75 volts most of the time. I am in an RV park now and plugged into shorepower. The voltage is reading 12.9 volts.
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:24 AM   #7
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I've had problems leveling with low batty power, but when I plug to the F450, run the generator or shore power I always read full power on my control panel in the Redwood. The slides actually go out faster being powered by one of the three power sources above. My F450 has two batteries which also helps.
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:41 AM   #8
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There have also been reports of a poor ground affecting the battery output. All the grounding takes place on the firewall behind the battery compartment. If that's an issue or you see corrosion, you'll probably find that you need to grind that painted area on the frame & remount the ground wires.
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:57 PM   #9
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Thank you all for your excellent suggestions!

With your permission, I will reply to each, as follows:

Q1: Has your RV Pro checked the voltage on your battery? Or, just try a battery that has the 12.75 voltage that Lippert is asking for.
A1: Yes, multiple times, during the several hours of time spent on the phone with Lippert Tech Support (who are basically just reading from a spec sheet). The voltage varies during various tests, which further indicates this "12.75 Volt Spec Requirement" is nonsense. We have also replaced some electrical components.

Q2: I don't think the problem is with the voltage. Try raising the front jacks higher than the rear and hit "Auto Level". The front will lower to within 6 inches of the ground and then commence its auto leveling routine. If you are unsure you have enough power, plug it into shore power or your TV - just ensure your TV is out of the way.
A2: Yes, we have performed a wide variety of trial-and-error troubleshooting efforts such as these. Nodice.

Q3: Also verify there is actually two batteries in those boxes. Several people have reported issues with the leveling system when only one battery is present. Redwoods only come with one battery off the line. You need to have your dealer install a matched pair of deep cycle batteries on delivery.
A3: Yep, two matched, deep cycle batteries are installed and functioning.

Q4:I plug mine up to AC power before I level or put the slides out, this way you have full DC power.
A4: Do you mean you plug the hydraulic jacks directly to the AC Power? The trailer itself is plugged into 50 AMP power, but do you mean directly plugging the hyrdaulic system into AC? Thanks, I will ask the RV guy about this.
Q5: The voltage is not going to be exactly 12.75 volts most of the time. I am in an RV park now and plugged into shorepower. The voltage is reading 12.9 volts.
A5: Yes! That is one of the questions of my first post. The "exactly 12.75 volts" claim does not seem to be a valid issue, since Manual Leveling works fine.

Q6: I've had problems leveling with low batty power, but when I plug to the F450, run the generator or shore power I always read full power on my control panel in the Redwood. The slides actually go out faster being powered by one of the three power sources above. My F450 has two batteries which also helps.
A6: By F450, you mean a truck or a generator? Thanks! I will ask the RV repair guy to check this.

Q7: There have also been reports of a poor ground affecting the battery output. All the grounding takes place on the firewall behind the battery compartment. If that's an issue or you see corrosion, you'll probably find that you need to grind that painted area on the frame &remount the ground wires.
A7: I will ask the RV repair guy to check this, too.
I appreciate all your replies. Perhaps once this is resolved, this post will provide some help for others in the future.

Thank you for all your help!

Robt.



Edited by: Mr_Toad
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Toad
Hi, All,



I've had an ongoing problem with the autoleveling function of the Lippert HydraulicJacks on my 2013 36FB.



My quite good AAARVPro repair guy, here in Plano Texas, has spent hours on the phone with Lippert "Technical Support", during multiple troubleshooting sessions, butwithout a resolution.



PROBLEM:

1. Autoleveling fails to level the coach.

2. "Manual" levelingcan still be usedin leveling the coach.



LIPPERT POSITION

1. Lippert Tech Support explains that their product requires EXACTLY 12.75 Volts of Current Under Load, to function properly.

2. Lippert Tech Support therefore claims that the problem is not their fault, but is the fault of my battery.



QUESTION 1: If the Lippert System requires exactly 12.75 Volts to function, then why does the Manual leveling function still work, while the Autoleveling does not work? How can one option work while the other does not work?

QUESTION 2: Since when does any RV battery deliver exacly 12.75 Volts under any conditions?

QUESTION 3: Do we, as Redwood owners, have any recourse when such a major system fails to function? Does Lippert have to resolve this problem, or can they just get away with blaming this problem on the 12.75 Volt mythology?



Obviously, if this 12.75 Volt claim was legitimate, there would be hundreds of Redwoods with the same problem as my 36FB.



Thank you!



Robt.


Robert,



I am a retired electrical/electronics engineer. Battery terminal voltage varies a function of the chargestatus of the battery. A fully charged lead-acid type battery will have terminal voltage in the range of 13.2 to 13.4 volts.As energy is drawn from the battery and it discharges, the terminal voltage will decrease. I expect that the Lippert tech really means that their control system requires a minimum of 12.75 Volts for the Auto-Level control system to function properly. Like others have posted, I recommend that you have the shore power connected or tow vehicle power connected to the coachwhen you are leveling the coach. This will ensure that there is sufficient voltage available as most charging systems will put out14.5 to 14.7 volts when charging the batteries.



All of the suggestions that have been posted are good suggestions. Since you can level the system manually, have you tried re-calibrating the leveling system? If so, and it still doesn't function properly, then possibly the level sensor box (that is mounted to theceiling above the battery and hydraulic pump compartment )and/or the leveling control board is defective. Lippert should be able to walk your technician througha check of those items.



You may have to get Redwood involve in this process also to ge resolution.

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Old 04-29-2013, 03:27 PM   #11
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Thank you very much, Mr. HoosierGuy!

This is excellent information, so I will reply as shown below...also, may I ask a question of you?

QUESTION: If the battery power is adequate to support Manual Leveling without interruption, then how is the battery power not adequate to support AutoLeveling at all? Does that make sense to you?


HoosierGuy: I am a retired electrical/electronics engineer. Battery terminal voltage varies a function of the charge status of the battery. A fully charged lead-acid type battery will have terminal voltage in the range of 13.2 to 13.4 volts. As energy is drawn from the battery and it discharges, the terminal voltage will decrease. I expect that the Lippert tech really means that their control system requires a minimum of 12.75 Volts for the Auto-Level control system to function properly. Like others have posted, I recommend that you have the shore power connected or tow vehicle power connected to the coach when you are leveling the coach. This will ensure that there is sufficient voltage available as most charging systems will put out 14.5 to 14.7 volts when charging the batteries.
REPLY: Yep....in EVERY attempt at resolving this, the 36FB has been attached to the 50 amp RV park connection.


HoosierGuy: All of the suggestions that have been posted are good suggestions. Since you can level the system manually, have you tried re-calibrating the leveling system? If so, and it still doesn't function properly, then possibly the level sensor box ( that is mounted to the ceiling above the battery and hydraulic pump compartment ) and/or the leveling control board is defective. Lippert should be able to walk your technician through a check of those items.
REPLY: Yep...my RV repair guy has been on the phone for about four total hours with Lippert, and re-calibrating was just one of the multiple trial and error solutions offered by Lippert.


HoosierGuy: You may have to get Redwood involve in this process also to ge resolution.
REPLY: Nope....Redwood says it is Lippert's product, so Lippert has to resolve it. But I have not spoken with Redwood myself, as yet.

Edited by: Mr_Toad
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:52 PM   #12
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Even if you had 12.75V under normal load, it would spike down below 12.75 as soon as they hydraulic pump started.

Something sounds fishy - I just leveled mine and the refigerator said DC LO because I had everyhing turned on. Didn't have a voltmeter, but I'm guessing the refrigerator doesn't say that until it drops down to around 11v??

Incidently, while at the Dealer he showed me a DRV with the 6pt Lippert system that was failing. It would take off and try to relevel itself whenever it felt like it and at one point they thought it was going to tip over. The owner said he needed a seat belt for his recliner because he felt like he was in flight simulator. Lippert sent a new leveling box.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atom ant
Even if you had 12.75V under normal load, it would spike down below 12.75 as soon as they hydraulic pump started.

Something sounds fishy - I just leveled mine and the refigerator said DC LO because I had everyhing turned on. Didn't have a voltmeter, but I'm guessing the refrigerator doesn't say that until it drops down to around 11v??

Incidently, while at the Dealer he showed me a DRV with the 6pt Lippert system that was failing. It would take off and try to relevel itself whenever it felt like it and at one point they thought it was going to tip over. The owner said he needed a seat belt for his recliner because he felt like he was in flight simulator. Lippert sent a new leveling box.
Brad, make sure you have 2 batteries in your coach. My refrigerator had voltage issues until I put the second battery in.
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:34 PM   #14
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There is the possibility that you could have a defective battery from the standpoint that one or more cells are shorting out when the battery is under load. The would cause a sudden drop in voltage of 2.2 volts per bad cell. Has your technician checked the battery voltage while you are trying to operate the leveling system?

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Old 04-29-2013, 05:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Toad

Thank you very much, Mr. HoosierGuy!



This is excellent information, so I will reply as shown below...also, may I ask a question of you?



QUESTION: If the battery power is adequate to support Manual Leveling without interruption, then how is the battery power not adequate to support AutoLeveling at all? Does that make sense to you?





HoosierGuy: I am a retired electrical/electronics engineer. Battery terminal voltage varies a function of the charge status of the battery. A fully charged lead-acid type battery will have terminal voltage in the range of 13.2 to 13.4 volts. As energy is drawn from the battery and it discharges, the terminal voltage will decrease. I expect that the Lippert tech really means that their control system requires a minimum of 12.75 Volts for the Auto-Level control system to function properly. Like others have posted, I recommend that you have the shore power connected or tow vehicle power connected to the coach when you are leveling the coach. This will ensure that there is sufficient voltage available as most charging systems will put out 14.5 to 14.7 volts when charging the batteries.

REPLY: Yep....in EVERY attempt at resolving this, the 36FB has been attached to the 50 amp RV park connection.





HoosierGuy: All of the suggestions that have been posted are good suggestions. Since you can level the system manually, have you tried re-calibrating the leveling system? If so, and it still doesn't function properly, then possibly the level sensor box ( that is mounted to the ceiling above the battery and hydraulic pump compartment ) and/or the leveling control board is defective. Lippert should be able to walk your technician through a check of those items.

REPLY: Yep...my RV repair guy has been on the phone for about four total hours with Lippert, and re-calibrating was just one of the multiple trial and error solutions offered by Lippert.





HoosierGuy: You may have to get Redwood involve in this process also to ge resolution.

REPLY: Nope....Redwood says it is Lippert's product, so Lippert has to resolve it. But I have not spoken with Redwood myself, as yet.


I can only conjecture as to a possible answer to your question because I don't havespecific knowledge on the electronic control and level sensor in the Lippert system. It may be possible to operate the leveling system manually even though it doesn't function correctly in the automatic mode. In the manual mode, the electronics are essentially bypassed except for those circuits required to activate the pump motor in either direction.



In the automatic mode, the control system may require aminimum level of voltage at the batteryin order for the "level sensor" circuits to function properly. Closed loop control systems require a reference (likely some value of voltage in this case) in order to drive towards a target (the leveled condition as determine by the sensor). If the battery voltage dips too low (this could happen even when connected to shore power if the battery/s are failing under load)when operating thesystem in automatic mode, the circuits may not have sufficient voltage to develope the correct reference for the "level sensor", therefore it does not achieve a level condition. This may be why the Lippert tech support is directing your technician towards the possibility of a bad battery. It may be necessary to remove your battery/s (I hope you have at least 2) and have them checked with a load tester.



Edited by: hoosierguy
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave&Ginny
Quote:
Originally Posted by atom ant
Even if you had 12.75V under normal load, it would spike down below 12.75 as soon as they hydraulic pump started.

Something sounds fishy - I just leveled mine and the refigerator said DC LO because I had everyhing turned on. Didn't have a voltmeter, but I'm guessing the refrigerator doesn't say that until it drops down to around 11v??

Incidently, while at the Dealer he showed me a DRV with the 6pt Lippert system that was failing. It would take off and try to relevel itself whenever it felt like it and at one point they thought it was going to tip over. The owner said he needed a seat belt for his recliner because he felt like he was in flight simulator. Lippert sent a new leveling box.
Brad, make sure you have 2 batteries in your coach.¬* My refrigerator had voltage issues until I put the second battery in.
Thanks for the info Dave - in retrospect I should have pushed for it under Royce's advice, but I had ideas I would go back to 6V. Now I'm too lazy to change out the battery box and customize a vented one.

Hoosierguys explanation makes sense on the leveling, the manual would bypass the leveling module which would explain why it is only having trouble on auto level.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:46 PM   #17
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Hey Brad, sounds as if you are home safely and how was the pull with your rolling hotel and big bad truck? Say hello to Dory and Sarah ...Sure was glad you needed a cold one when you got there. Sure made it easy for me to use hospitality as an excuse...And they went down so good
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Old 04-30-2013, 01:19 AM   #18
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Hey Brad, ¬*sounds as if you are home safely and how was the pull with your rolling hotel and big bad truck? Say hello to Dory and Sarah ...Sure was glad you needed a cold one when you got there.¬*¬* Sure made it easy for me to use hospitality as an excuse...And they went down so good
That was just what the Doc ordered Royce, after that long day. It towed like a dream after I got that Tri-glide adjusted to where I liked it. Brakes are awesome. Snow again for Colorado and 20 degrees so the Redwood may get a pink cocktail tomorrow so I can postpone this season a few weeks.

We all enjoyed you and Rachel's hospitality, thank you! Sarah wanted to know why you wear a cowboy hat with your robe I told her we were in Texas!
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:18 AM   #19
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Brad, Tell little Miss Sarah that I am a real cowboy (which is true) and we wear our Cowboy hats everywhere except in church and the shower.... I also wear mine to keep the sun from burning my old bald head.
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:24 AM   #20
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Hi, Mr. Royce!

Thanks for your post...but do you have some experience with any problems with your Lippert Jacks?



(I'm re-claiming the thread, obviously....since this is a potentially very expensing and very problematic challenge for me, if the Lippert Jacks should altogether fail in the future.)

Thanks in advance!

Robt.

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