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Old 12-20-2015, 11:18 AM   #1
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"Bleed" Lippert Hydraulic Power System?

Hello FR Community. Well my '07 385RLTS is finally out of 2 years of storage and is now in my backyard! I ready to begin using it, and I'm looking forward to being a regular on this site. It's got a Lippert Component Inc Hydraulic Power System, and it seems like hydraulic fluid has leaked out on top. Not sure how, the yellow fill cap seemed to be on properly.

Any way, the fluid is now quite low, but I didn't notice at first and used the power jacks and disconnected the truck. Unfortunately somehow the water pump was on all night and ran the trailer battery down. I used jumper cables to connect the battery from a running car to the trailer battery and was able to get the slide outs out with difficulty.

I thought the difficulty was with battery but now I realize it was probably the low hydraulic fluid too causing problems. Now it won't lift or lower the power jacks at all.

Question 1: Did I damage the Lippert Power System by running it out of hydraulic fluid?

Question 2: If the System is probably undamaged, when I get more fluid tomorrow, do I just fill the reservoir, or do I need to "bleed" the System somehow, like hydraulic brakes on a motorcycle?

here's a photo of how low it is:
http://s1364.photobucket.com/user/st...mgwje.jpg.html

Thank you very much!
Stu Merritt
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Old 12-20-2015, 12:18 PM   #2
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I'm thinking I didn't damage the System. I've probably just got air in the hoses now. I'm gonna try manually retracting the slideouts to hopefully push the fluid and air back into the reservoir. Then I'll hook the truck back up and try to retract the powerjacks. Then I'll fill the reservoir to proper level w/ Dex 3 ATF. I assume there's no way to manually retract the power jacks.

Any input is welcome.

EDIT if I can find the manual override to use w/ powerdrill ; found it: dang hard to get to though.
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Old 12-20-2015, 12:49 PM   #3
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If you're going to manually put the slides in that may allow enough fluid back in the reservoir for the jacks. Top off the reservoir after the slides are in and give the jacks a try. If that works there will probably more fluid in the system than is needed and the extra will just back out of the reservoir. The system is self bleeding and exercising the slides and jacks a few times will bleed the air out.
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Old 12-20-2015, 01:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbles View Post
If you're going to manually put the slides in that may allow enough fluid back in the reservoir for the jacks. Top off the reservoir after the slides are in and give the jacks a try. If that works there will probably more fluid in the system than is needed and the extra will just back out of the reservoir. The system is self bleeding and exercising the slides and jacks a few times will bleed the air out.

I just tried the manual override. Used drill on high speed in reverse for maybe a minute. Can't see anything happening. I got some fluid. Gonna put a bit in and try to retract. Thank you bubbles.
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Old 12-20-2015, 01:48 PM   #5
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OK it worked! I put just enough fluid in and I now have all slideouts and power jacks fully retracted! Tons of frothy bubbles now in the fluid in reservoir. Gonna let the bubbles dissolve before I top it off and extend/retract everything several times, as you suggest. Thank you for you advice bubbles I'm sure I'll be back when the next issue crops up.

Stu Merritt

PS Manual override with the drill must take forever!
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Old 12-21-2015, 12:38 PM   #6
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Need to check for a leak. Fluid went somewhere.
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Old 12-21-2015, 04:29 PM   #7
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Your reservoir looks like the one we had on our last trailer. Because of the design, our started leaking around the o-ring. I would imagine that it probably the case with yours also. Ours started leaking after about 7 years. Jerry.
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Old 12-22-2015, 06:35 PM   #8
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Do not assume the fluid just 'evaporated' and replacing it fixes the problem or your RV may be stuck (with jacks up/down or slide in/out) at a campground or when you want to take off for one.

It is very likely there is a leak somewhere! Could be at a jack/slide, but since the reservoir is low, drop probably caused by bad pump O-ring and/or reservoir tank is cracked & leaking. Ours had both problems.

Rather than taking it to an RV dealer (they all said over the phone that we would have to replace the pump & tank for $2000-$3500), we took it to a farm tractor, garbage truck, bulldozer, etc., hydraulic repair shop ... they charged less than $300 (replaced both the O-ring & the tank although they had to scramble to find a replacement tank as ours was no longer available). Took a few days but well worth the wait!

Notes:
1. Lippert systems seem to have a lot of pump O-ring issues! So ... I now always carry a corded electric drill, the proper (1/4" square/hex?) bit, and extra fluid so I can manually refill & raise/lower if problem reappears someday.
2. I marked each valve (6 or 7 of them in my case) on the manifold with which jack/slide it controls and direction to rotate to put that jack up/slide in (one was the reverse of the others for some reason).
3. After a leak & refill, you may need to cycle up/down, in/out a couple of times to bleed all the air out. Take your time cycling so you do not (strain or) over heat the pump ... I do one valve at a time & pause to let the drill & motor cool some!
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Old 12-28-2015, 10:39 PM   #9
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Thank you Harkerr, Jerry01, and CKinVA,

Sorry for the late reply to you guys. Christmas of course, and I thought (wishful thinking) that the problem was solved and answered, so I haven't checked back.

I will check into it the leak issue. Sounds like the O Ring. If it's the O ring, does it leak onto the top of the reservoir? That's what mine did. I thought maybe the fluid came out the air vent in the reservoir cap since I've got a Hensely TrailerSaver Air Ride hitch AND a Trail Air pin box, so maybe it's too bouncy? I've done very little driving with it so far, but it seems quite smooth in the truck once the bouncing settles. I need to start driving it and taking it to large empty parking lots to practice backing with orange cones. I'll use this opportunity to keep a close eye on this issue.

To CKinVA

1. Lippert systems seem to have a lot of pump O-ring issues! So ... I now always carry a corded electric drill, the proper (1/4" square/hex?) bit, and extra fluid so I can manually refill & raise/lower if problem reappears someday.

I tried to manually retract the slideouts with a powerful cordless drill, and I couldn't see anything happening at all after a minute or two. I definitely had the drill in reverse. I stopped cause I felt like I might be damaging the unit or something. Almost like some odd smell was created. Maybe it was just the smell of the drill heating up b/c of continuous use. I need to gain confidence with this procedure however.

2. I marked each valve (6 or 7 of them in my case) on the manifold with which jack/slide it controls and direction to rotate to put that jack up/slide in (one was the reverse of the others for some reason).

I am not sure what you are talking about here. Could you tell me more?

3. After a leak & refill, you may need to cycle up/down, in/out a couple of times to bleed all the air out. Take your time cycling so you do not (strain or) over heat the pump ... I do one valve at a time & pause to let the drill & motor cool some!

That sounds like very good advice.

I can't thank you guys enough. I can tell the forum is gonna be very helpful to me. It's reassuring.
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