My leveling jacks stopped working! Argh!
No, this is not the end of the world – not even a catastrophe actually. Just a bit inconvenient. Possibly the two most significant problems that this causes is 1) it is reported that the refrigerator should only be ran when level and 2) the RV rocks when the wind blows.
When I purchased Shaneeda, the semi-automatic hydraulic leveling jack system from PowerGear was not working. The pump would run but the jacks would not move (like the dump valve was open). I worked on other issues for a couple months and when I next tried the jacks, they worked. I was pleased with my good luck.
They jacks have worked dozens of times since then. Right up until last week. For some reason, they stopped. The lights on the control panel lit up but nothing happened when the buttons were pressed (as in nothing, no sound, no noise, no nothing). The pump would not even run.
I checked fuses and wiring to the extent that I was able – the control box seems to be accessible only by removing the dash – I did not go that far. I discovered that the pump was ok by manually grounding the contact point on the solenoid.
The behavior made me think there was something wrong with the neutral or parking brake switch. An intermittent connection perhaps??
I spent hours poking around at the system hoping to spot something obvious. Finally, I had a bit of luck. I really felt that something was wrong with either the emergency brake switch or the neutral/park switch. Both of these must be in the right position for the system to allow the jacks to go down. I had the engine running and was moving the emergency brake and gear shift lever to various positions while trying the leveling system. Suddenly, the pump started running!! Aha!!
It turns out that there is a bit of a dead spot in my neutral/park gear shift switch. Moving the shift lever ever so slightly (pull it slightly off park) solves that problem and the leveler pump runs, as it should.
Victory!?!? Well, not quite.
The pump was now running but the jacks were still not going down.
Using the PowerGear troubleshooting guide, I eventually tested for +12V power at the solenoid valve leads. I tested the inline fuse and it tested ok. However; there was power immediately ‘upstream’ (towards the battery) of the inline fuse holder. Turns out the connection INSIDE the inline fuse holder was faulty. Even pulling the fuse in and out a dozen times did not help (scrape the contact points clean). I gently squeezed the holder to squeeze the contact points together and this helped. Clearly the inline fuse holder or the connections inside of it are faulty. However; I now had +12V at the solenoid valves.
I fired up the system, pressed the jack down button and off they went!! Yippee – problem solved!
I will be replacing that inline fuse holder but for now, it is working well enough.
I called out to an Internet forum for help while all of this was going on. It was suggested that I should replace the control panel and control box. A little online sleuthing indicates that those parts are something around $1000.00. I am not a big fan of the “replace parts til it works” form of troubleshooting and, in this case, could not have afforded it anyway. My point, however; is that many times people begin replacing parts (spending money) when it is not necessary.