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Old 09-16-2012, 09:20 AM   #1
tlg
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Low hydraulic fluid?

Hi everyone. New to the forum. Just picked up a new SilverBack 33rl two weeks ago. Traded a Montana Mountaineer. So far only minor issues with the Cedar Creek, but something came up today, and I'm trying to avoid a trip back to the dealer. The slides started going out slow, then quit before fully extending. Battery is fully charged. I checked the hydraulic fluid in the front storage area, with the slides in. The reservoir is only about a third full. Shouldn't that thing be almost completly full, and if so, could that be the problem. I was wondering if they're shipped with low fluid and the dealer is supposed to top them off. Also, what fluid was in the reservoir appeared to be foaming when the motor finished running. Any help or opinions greatly appreciated. Thanks, Tom
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:02 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlg
Hi everyone. New to the forum. Just picked up a new SilverBack 33rl two weeks ago. Traded a Montana Mountaineer. So far only minor issues with the Cedar Creek, but something came up today, and I'm trying to avoid a trip back to the dealer. The slides started going out slow, then quit before fully extending. Battery is fully charged. I checked the hydraulic fluid in the front storage area, with the slides in. The reservoir is only about a third full. Shouldn't that thing be almost completly full, and if so, could that be the problem. I was wondering if they're shipped with low fluid and the dealer is supposed to top them off. Also, what fluid was in the reservoir appeared to be foaming when the motor finished running. Any help or opinions greatly appreciated. Thanks, Tom
Welcome to the forum Tom.
With you slides in the reservoir should at least be 1/2 full or better.
As far as foaming trans fluid will do that under hydraulic pressure.
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:34 PM   #3
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Thanks. I'm betting it just needs topped off. I'll have wife call the service dept tomorrow, but I think it's just transmission fluid thats it takes. Don't want to start an issue with the dealership, because this is our first unit from them and I have no reason to say anything negative about them. But, having bought a whole bunch of new vehicles over the years, I've learned that it helps a lot if you have an idea what you're problem is before you contact a service writer. Just sayin
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:07 PM   #4
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Update. Of course the dealership wanted us to bring it in. Another dealer in the same group advised to just top it off with automatic transmission fluid. Before doing that, I checked the fluid in the resevior and noticed it was clear, not red. Wife called Lippert and they said the clear fluid is bulk that they use at the factory and to go ahead and mix regular red ATF. Did that and seems to be working fine, but I'll keep a check on it.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:35 PM   #5
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If air gets in the lines, from being low, the pump can also pop the breaker. If the breaker tends to start popping alot, and your tank is full, the breaker will most likely need replaced with one of a higher rating. Many have done this already, including myself.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:36 PM   #6
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Mine says to keep the level 1/2 inch from the top. I pulled the reservior on mine a few weeks ago and noticed the pickup tube would be out of the oil if it were only 1/3 full.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:00 PM   #7
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Thanks. The selling dealer that wanted it brought in said they had to pull a line to release the air, or something. Lippert said not so, just cycle the slides several times and the air would be forced out of the lines. I did this and noticed some bubbles/foam in the tank the first couple of times, then it stopped. I marked the level before I started moving the slides. After the air was released, it went down just a fraction. I assume this small amount of ATF replaced the air in the lines. All seems fine now. I'm hoping theres only going to be minor issues with this unit and I can avoid the service dept as much as possible. They couldn't get the fantastic fan to work at delivery. Wife called the manufacturer of the fan, talked to a tech who walked me thru removing the thermostat. He pronounced it dead and sent a new one which I installed within a couple of days.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:24 PM   #8
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Cycling the slides a couple times should be all that's required. Sounds like you are good to go.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlg
Thanks. The selling dealer that wanted it brought in said they had to pull a line to release the air, or something. Lippert said not so, just cycle the slides several times and the air would be forced out of the lines. I did this and noticed some bubbles/foam in the tank the first couple of times, then it stopped. I marked the level before I started moving the slides. After the air was released, it went down just a fraction. I assume this small amount of ATF replaced the air in the lines. All seems fine now. I'm hoping theres only going to be minor issues with this unit and I can avoid the service dept as much as possible. They couldn't get the fantastic fan to work at delivery. Wife called the manufacturer of the fan, talked to a tech who walked me thru removing the thermostat. He pronounced it dead and sent a new one which I installed within a couple of days.
Keepimg your oil level at a safe height is trickier than first seems. Too low and you grt the foaming and possible slode getting stuck. However many of us have found too high can mean excessive tank overflow. What happens is when you retract jacks or slides, the fluid in the pistons returns very quickly to the sump, remember the pump is reveresed and the fluid is stored. That small fill cap is also the tank breather. The gushing return oil has nowhere to go except out the breather holes.

The point is find a happy medium I use 1- 11/2 low and take care when retracting 4 jacks and 3 slides. With these precautions no stalls and no spills.

Lippert insists on Mercon 4 or Dextron III fluids. These are published as higer grade with better lubricity. Found on line and in their manuals. The "clear" fluid is simply another oil Co. profuct Shell uses clear for instance. Enjoy your nes rig!
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:13 PM   #10
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Well, I was away on a fishing trip this week and the wife put the slides in and out a couple of times. Looks like the level in the tank dropped about 1/2 inch. It must have a leak somewhere. I've crawled underneath and nothings visible, but its going somewhere. Guess its back to the dealer. Bummer.
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