An RV leveling jack is a tool/piece of machinery that, as its name might already suggest, levels and stabilizes the RV. The jack lifts the RV off the ground, following which stabilization can occur. Stabilization is useful for many reasons. It creates an even equilibrium, improves the vehicle’s balance, and prevents unnecessary swaying. It serves better control in rocky terrains.
There might occur a situation where the leveling jack refuses to retract. This article deals with probable reasons for it and when to contact a professional.
Reasons Why Your RV Leveling Jacks Will Not Retract
There are many different reasons why a leveling jack will not retract. The most common ones include broken fuses, hydraulic leaks, and dysfunctional electrical breakers.
- Broken fuses- A broken fuse disturbs the functional ecosystem of an RV. It will also effectively prevent the retraction of an RV jack if you happen to use one before you fix the fuse. It is one of the first things checked during an RV malfunction, regardless of which domain the issue is at stake.
- Hydraulic leak- A hydraulic leak results in inefficient machinery operation and premature machine component failure. It is, therefore, no surprise that the normal function of a leveling jack goes awry when the RV has a hydraulic leak.
What Should You Do If The Leveling Jack Will Not Retract
You can use several methods in the eventuality that a leveling jack will not retract.
The first step is to check the user manual. You will most likely find a section on leveling jack issues and troubleshooting tips. It is also a prudent choice to keep yourself well-informed about the machine functions of your RV for situations like this.
Secondly, check if the electrical breakers and fuses are in working order. Easily overlooked, they are often the root cause of most RV malfunctions. If an electrical breaker has tripped or burned out, it will abruptly halt the power supply to the jack.
An additional typical run-through is an overview of the internal wiring system. If a wire(any wire) happens to be knocked loose, there is a lag of power flow in the system. It would automatically affect normal processes. A loose wire is easy to fix, and you can do it with a wiring nut and electrician’s tape.
If you are using a hydraulic leveling jack, a manual method can be of help. Each jack has a valve. In the case of a spring retracting system, you might need another lever/board to pry up the jack. In the case of a power retraction system, it is imperative to ensure that all jacks are open.
The center valves are responsible for the front jacks. Open the center valves slowly, in a controlled manner, following which you can retract the frontal jacks. Once this is over, you can open the valves controlling the external rear jacks. Once you retract all four jacks, the RV should be able to be safely transported.
After retracting the jacks, use a few rolls of duct tape to secure the body before you transport it.
Always be careful when you open the valves to retract the jacks. Look out for accumulation of water, which, in cold weather, could quickly freeze and turn into ice. If the water in this area freezes, it locks the feet to the ground or pavement. Extraction of the jacks in this state is risky business and can cause stress and damage the RV’s internal system. A handy trick you can use is to lower the freezing point of the water by sprinkling salt in the areas where water is likely to pool.
In case of a hydraulic leak, check to see if the fluid level is where it ought to be. Hydraulic systems come with seals that stay on. A reduction in the fluid level would be indicative of a leak. However, it is entirely possible to fix the issue by topping up the fluid yourself in most cases. All you need is to have it on hand.
Always remember to check the hydraulic fluid levels before you winterize your RV. It is an easy procedure and could catch a minor issue before becoming a full-blown problem. You can easily fix a faulty jack with short-term solutions, but it is wiser to get a replacement in the long run instead.
Some other things to do in case of a faulty leveling jack include:
- Low voltage can sometimes be a relevant issue. Fix the battery, in this case.
- Most of all, leveling jacks have override buttons for emergencies. The emergency override button can serve as a final resort of sorts when running short on time. But as stated, it is only for emergencies and should not be used as a quick fix.
Should You Take Help From Professionals?
Whether you require professional help is a subjective question. It depends on the amount of knowledge you possess and the available expertise. That said, leveling jack issues are quite common. The user manual usually contains solutions for the same. General common sense helps.
However, if there is a serious problem, it is far better to opt for professional help. It can help save time and prevent recurring difficulties in the future.
As discussed in the article, leveling jack issues could strike you as easily as they could the next person. Fortunately, there are many ways to fix them. The logic behind their functioning is relatively simple, and the remedies too, thereby, are similarly easy.
If you encounter a problem beyond your area of expertise, do not hesitate to seek professional help.
It is also always handy to be reasonably well-acquainted with the intimate functioning processes of your RV. Leveling jacks, for example, are important tools that regulate better movement. Knowing how they function will only make you a better trailer owner.