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Old 01-01-2018, 09:59 AM   #1
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Slide and jack trouble

I have a 38 ft Cedar Creek Fifth wheel. I keep getting low voltage when I operate the jacks, either in or out, or the slides, in or out. I stop, wait a little while and it will work for a little while then quit. Like the batteries are having to recharge. It does that whether it is hooked up to shore power or the alternator on the truck. The batteries are relatively new. Apparently the voltage going to the hydraulic pump gets low. It is cold right now, but it was starting to do that when it was still warm. Took about 45 minutes to get the slides in and the jacks up yesterday.
I would appreciate any suggestions.

Thanks, John Lewis
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Old 01-01-2018, 10:13 PM   #2
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Slide and jack trouble

My initial answer would be to check all the electrical connections, especially the ground connections. My second answer is you may have a failing motor on the pump. Yours would not be the first that has gone bad. Is the pump getting hot? And finally make sure your slide valves are turned completely on, and your pump fluid is full.
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Old 01-02-2018, 12:02 AM   #3
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I agree with Rich. One point to add is to check your batteries with a meter to ensure they are actually fully charged. Then double check all grounds and connections.
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Old 01-02-2018, 10:24 AM   #4
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Thanks for the information. The hydraulic fluid is full. I will check the batteries. I don't know if the motor is getting hot. I will try to check that.
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Old 01-02-2018, 10:29 AM   #5
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Another question, since you asked about the batteries. So even though I am hooked to shore power, the slides and jacks are still working off the batteries? If I have marginal batteries, that would explain why I am having trouble even though I am hooked to shore power.
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Old 01-02-2018, 10:37 AM   #6
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Another question, since you asked about the batteries. So even though I am hooked to shore power, the slides and jacks are still working off the batteries? If I have marginal batteries, that would explain why I am having trouble even though I am hooked to shore power.
Your slides and jacks work off of 12v supplied by converter and batteries. For big power demands, the converter is not always enough by itself, so the batteries pitch in. It is possible your converter is having problems also. When working slides and jacks, we always try to either have shore power, generators, or still connected to truck 7way plug, and have fully charged batteries, to supply ample power.
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Old 01-02-2018, 11:43 AM   #7
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Your slides and jacks work off of 12v supplied by converter and batteries. For big power demands, the converter is not always enough by itself, so the batteries pitch in. It is possible your converter is having problems also. When working slides and jacks, we always try to either have shore power, generators, or still connected to truck 7way plug, and have fully charged batteries, to supply ample power.


Put your voltmeter across the batteries and have someone operate the slide. If the voltage drops substantially under load the problem is most likely the batteries.

The term "relatively new" is relative. A few months or a few years? They are the only part of the system that weakens over time and are the easiest to inadvertently abuse.

They are also the easiest to test.
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Old 01-02-2018, 03:53 PM   #8
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Thanks a lot. Will put a volt meter on the batteries and have someone work the slide.
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Old 01-02-2018, 06:14 PM   #9
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Thanks a lot. Will put a volt meter on the batteries and have someone work the slide.
I had a friend who had the same problem. after much checking he found that he had a bad cell in one of the 4 batteries. Check each cell with a Hydrometer for specific gravity to see if you have a dead cell on one of the batteries. A cheap Hydrometer is only $5 or $6. A voltage meter won't tell if you have a bad cell on these batteries.
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Old 01-02-2018, 06:42 PM   #10
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I had a friend who had the same problem. after much checking he found that he had a bad cell in one of the 4 batteries. Check each cell with a Hydrometer for specific gravity to see if you have a dead cell on one of the batteries. A cheap Hydrometer is only $5 or $6. A voltage meter won't tell if you have a bad cell on these batteries.
Mel
I must respectfully beg to differ, somewhat. A battery can indeed take a surface charge and measure proper voltage with a shorted cell (no load). The key however is how it performs under load. The voltage test (under load) is the first step. Measuring specific gravity of each cell is a great second step if you are unsure and want to take it that far but if you see under about 10V under a medium load you either have poor connection or a bad stack. Personally, I don't care to handle sulphuric acid until it's time to confirm a suspicion.

Right now the OP is at the First step stage of the troubleshooting sequence so let's take it a step at a time. Per your own words "After much checking". There is no need for much checking, just a logical sequence of tests.
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Old 01-02-2018, 07:00 PM   #11
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I must respectfully beg to differ, somewhat. A battery can indeed take a surface charge and measure proper voltage with a shorted cell (no load). The key however is how it performs under load. The voltage test (under load) is the first step. Measuring specific gravity of each cell is a great second step if you are unsure and want to take it that far but if you see under about 10V under a medium load you either have poor connection or a bad stack. Personally, I don't care to handle sulphuric acid until it's time to confirm a suspicion.

Right now the OP is at the First step stage of the troubleshooting sequence so let's take it a step at a time. Per your own words "After much checking". There is no need for much checking, just a logical sequence of tests.
And I have to Respectfully differ with you. A voltage reading will not tell you which cell is dead. The only way to prove a dead cell is with a Hydrometer and specific gravity test.
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Old 01-02-2018, 09:13 PM   #12
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And I have to Respectfully differ with you. A voltage reading will not tell you which cell is dead. The only way to prove a dead cell is with a Hydrometer and specific gravity test.
You are absolutely correct but I must ask what good does it do to know which cell is bad when one dead cell will necessitate the replacement of the entire stack? That is of course unless all of the batteries are new and one fails prematurely? Then we get back to the question of "realativy new". I'm only saying that the logical next step is to determine if the batteries are the problem.
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Old 01-02-2018, 10:13 PM   #13
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You are absolutely correct but I must ask what good does it do to know which cell is bad when one dead cell will necessitate the replacement of the entire stack? That is of course unless all of the batteries are new and one fails prematurely? Then we get back to the question of "realativy new". I'm only saying that the logical next step is to determine if the batteries are the problem.
I have to agree with you there. My friends batteries were only 6 months old and golf cart batteries 4 of them. He only had to replace the one, not all 4 to get his slide working properly again. Of course a bad ground or loose connection would cause the same sort of problem. and voltage reading would be very important to trouble shoot.
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Old 01-02-2018, 10:13 PM   #14
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Slide and jack trouble

Johnat4mc, could you tell us what batteries you have and what you mean by relatively new. Have they ever gone completely dead and you have recharged them. A good single fully charged battery will operate your slides and jacks. The converter will help if connected to shore power but does not have the amperage. This is the same for being connected to your truck.

Going to get barked at for this, providing everything else seems ok, if you have a fully charged battery charger/starter pak or know someone who does, attach it to your batteries and operate your jacks or slides. If they work, you more then likely have bad or failing batteries. I say this as I've seen dealers do this when units sit on a lot and they need moved or opened.
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Old 01-02-2018, 10:39 PM   #15
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Old 01-03-2018, 10:01 AM   #16
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Thanks for all your replies. My plans are to take all the batteries out and take them to a parts store and have them tested. I understand that when they test them they put them under a load so hopefully that will detect a bad battery or batteries. The batteries are 2 years old, but I realize that is old enough for them to be having issues.
Again thanks for your help.
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:20 PM   #17
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I had a cable come out of the crimped terminal. Bad cramp. I purchased 3/0 welding cable, terminal ends and made my own replacement cables. Problem solved.
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:47 AM   #18
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Again thanks for all your replies. As a followup, it ended up being he batteries. I took them to a Sam's Club and they tested them and they all were bad. And those six-volt golf cart batteries are only warrantied for a year. I am thinking about switching,, when these go bad, which will probably be within a couple of years, to a couple of those Optiva 12 volt batteries, instead of the 4 six-volts. Hopefully would get a little longer service.
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Old 03-19-2018, 05:42 PM   #19
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I'm having a similar problem - I'm plugged in to shore power, have the converter and an inverter charger to charge batteries, and four six volt batteries. Inverter charger is reading "float", so I'm assuming my batteries are good.

I am getting a relay click when I try to engage any hydraulic component, and the voltage across the motors terminals is 13.6 VDC. With the fact that voltage is present at the motor, I'm leaning towards ruling out the electrical components/system, and currently think the motor is bad. Any other ideas?
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Old 03-20-2018, 12:52 AM   #20
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