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Are your RV Jacks not working for you? heres a Troubleshooting guide

When you’re parking for the night, the last thing you want to do is fuss with a malfunctioning jack. Upon hitting the button, you expect those leveling jacks to go down, keeping your RV on an even slope.  

This could spell a bad start- or finish- to an RV getaway, and bring fearful visions of repair costs to mind. If your RV jacks won’t go down, consider doing some troubleshooting to dig into the real cause. If possible, you might be able to fix the problem. 

When your RV jacks won’t go down, take a look to see if you have faulty fuses. A broken or tripped breaker, or leaks of hydraulic fluid could also be to blame. Parking in cold weather may cause the jack to malfunction, or the parking brake could be to blame.

RV Jacks Won’t Go Down 

At every point in an RV owner’s life, they are likely to encounter a time where their RV jacks won’t go down. Thankfully, as it is such a common occurrence, there are plenty of resources for finding ways to fix it.

Take a look at your RV’s owner’s manual. Allow yourself to be fully aware of all of the ins and outs of your vehicle. This will help you to diagnose and treat the issue.

You won’t have much to worry about if you’re on the road and unable to lower the leveling system. The more significant trouble will arise when you try to park. Attempting to set up camp with RV jacks that won’t go down could keep your entire vehicle from stabilizing.

Why Won’t My RV Jacks Go Down?

  • A faulty or burnt fuse can sever the electrical connection needed to signal the jacks to lower when you hit the button. 
  • It could be a matter of a breaker that has been broken or tripped. This will result in the same issue as the faulty or burnt fuse. 
  • Hydraulic fluid leaking from the hydraulic lines will cause the jack to jam within the mechanism. 
  • Sometimes, this can be simply a matter of the weather; cold, or rainy weather, may break your jacks. 
  • Do you have the parking brake on? The reason RV jacks won’t go down could be because of the parking brake. 
  • If you don’t have enough voltage running a current toward the jacks, this is another reason they may get stuck.

There are plenty of reasons the jacks are not lowering on your vehicle. However, most of these causes are, comparatively, small. They are all fixable issues.

Manually Lowering Your RV’s Jack

If you are desperate, you can lower your HWH system jax. HWH systems are the most common hydraulic leveling jacks systems that manufacturers include in their vehicles. For the most part, they will include a manually triggered override. This will enable you to lower the jacks by hand if need be.

Put the ignition into ACC or on mode. The parking brake must be set before the system can turn on.

  • Using the on button, activate the starter. You will see the ‘power on’ light illuminate. 
  • With the system on, use the directional arrows to indicate that you are lowering the jack. 
  • Press the dump button to release all of the air before you move to lower the jacks. 
  • When you do this, the jacks will lower in pairs of two. Lower the back jacks first followed by the front ones.

This manual mode is a suitable quick fix in the event that your RV jacks won’t go down. It will make it so that you can keep the RV level long enough to troubleshoot or assess the rest of the problem.

Troubleshooting

To help narrow down your complications, run a few basic tests to truly diagnose the damage. It may seem to be a rudimentary step, but it will save you time, and allow your troubleshooting to be much more accurate.

The first step, of course, is to press the jack down button. Do you hear machinery working inside? If you don’t hear anything, it’s likely that there is no power reaching the leveling jack system. Therefore, you can consider that the stabilizing system is malfunctioning due to a blown fuse, tripped breaker, or lack of voltage.

If you press the button and you do hear the RVs jacks attempting to work but failing, then the trouble may be more complex. Try to operate each of your RVs jacks one at a time. This will help you narrow down if the problem is arising with the whole system, or if it is limited to one distinct set of jacks.

Perform a visual inspection on your jacks as well. Get out of your RV and take a walk around. Look closely at each of your jacks. It will help you see if there are any massive external circumstances that are preventing the jack from lowering.

Train your eyes to the ground and keep a look out for leaks. Puddles on the ground will indicate that there is a hydraulic fluid leak. If you are parked in cold weather, the RV jacks may have become frozen to the body of your chassis.

Fixing The Jacks

Fuses Or Breakers

If you’ve investigated the area and concluded that a fuse or breaker has blown or burnt out, you have discovered the primary reason that RV jacks don’t come down.

To remedy this, locate the fuse box in your rv. You should be looking for a 12-volt fuse box, located somewhere in your RVs electrical compartment. The electrical compartment may be in a closet, or other small, covered area.

Look for any tripped breakers. It’s best to inspect the circuit breaker panel before you examine the fuses, as a tripped breaker is a much easier fix. Flip any breakers in the off position back on. If this does not solve the issue of your jack not lowering, or if the breaker was not tripped in the first place, move on to the next step.

Next, turn on the switch that usually lowers the jack. While the switch is flipped, attempt to identify the burnt fuses using a fuse tester. You can also locate this fuse by typing the leveling systems model type and model number into Google. All RV fuse boxes and leveling systems are slightly different from each other. Be sure that you are searching for the right one.

You may also have a labeled diagram next to the fuses, or on the inside of the fuse box panel.

To replace the fuse, you must first purchase a replacement fuse that matches the same voltage and amperage as the previous one. The ratings for these will be written directly onto the fuses. Thankfully, generic fuses are fairly inexpensive. You can buy them in sets online, at Auto parts shops, or hardware stores.

Tip: 

A box of spare fuses to keep in your RV is always a wise investment. It will allow you to do quick, simple repairs like this without needing to rush to a hardware store. 

Turn off the jack operation button. If possible, prevent the stabilizing components from being powered at all. This is to prevent surges, or the Jack suddenly coming on when you aren’t expecting it once you have put the working fuse in.

Remove the bad fuse with a pair of fuse pullers or needle-nose pliers. Your RV might already have a pair of fuse pullers – plastic pincer type tools that are designed to fit around fuses – already hanging in the electrical compartment. Securely grab the fuse between the jaws of your tool and squeeze gently to maintain a grip. Pull it straight out of the fuse block. 

Plug the new fuse into the empty fuse space left by the old one. Position the fuse so that the amperage number is up, facing you. Slide it into the vacant spot until it is securely in place. This should be a very easy task, as the fuse will likely pop right into place. You won’t need any extra tools.

Now that you have replaced the fuse, try to lower your RV jack again. Since this is the cause for most jack lowering malfunctions, it’s very likely you will have solved the snag.

Checking Hydraulic Fluid

Take a look at the hydraulic lines for your RVs jack and verify that you have enough fluid in your reservoir. If you don’t have a full tank, it could cause responsiveness issues in the jack.

Unfortunately by the time you notice a leak, it may be too late to simply add more. Especially in systems like those that level your rv, anything added to the reservoir may take dozens of cycles to reach the leaking part of the seal.

In this case, you will need to repair or replace the leaking part. If you can locate the model number of your jack, you may be able to buy a seal kit for it. There may be a sticker near the top of the cylinder that displays this, or, if you have external springs, it may be behind these. 

If it is behind the springs it may be difficult to see – you can try poking your cell phone camera gently into the cavity and separating the springs with a screwdriver. You should be able to move it enough to snap a quick picture, allowing you to see the model number.

In a true pinch, you may be able to apply a leak stop additive. A slow leak can be quelled by coating the ram with a silicone based lubricant. Once you have done so, refill the reservoir. 

Try to move the jack down. If you are able to get it unstuck, move it up and down a few more times to ensure that the lubricant is evenly coated.

Frozen Jacks

An RV leveling Jack that has reacted to cold air by freezing to the chassis will not lower. However, this is a relievingly simple obstacle to overcome.

Fill a spray bottle with warm water. Carefully spray the jacks, and any ice surrounding it, with the warm water. This should melt the ice and allow the jacks to lower.

Check The Voltage 

Another common problem with electrical components associated with your RVs jacks is low voltage. Every electronic device and your RV needs full, correct voltage to operate adequately.

To check this, you will need to use a multimeter. Hook your multimeter up to your electrical panel and assess the voltage. You should be seeing at least 12.5 volts.

While you are at it, verify that there is a current coming from the converter that is charging that battery. Additionally, check your battery connections and groundings. Load testing the battery to ensure it hasn’t gone bad will help you find out if it is causing the problem. 

Conclusion

RV jacks that won’t go down is a surprisingly common issue for RVs. It is just one of the many hiccups and bumps in the road that you should anticipate as you are going through your journey of RV ownership. 

Many times, the root of this problem will be relatively minor. 80% of RV jack failures occur within the fuse. Simply replacing the fuse will allow you to move right along your way, parking the vehicle and keeping it level. If you are parked somewhere cold, another simple fix could be warming up the area around the jack. If it is frozen, warm water will do the trick.

Finally, more complex issues include leaks in the hydraulic reservoir or voltage issues. These may require full replacements or repairs, depending on the problem. However, you are not completely up the creek without a paddle. You can manually lower your jacks in most hydraulic models.

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