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Old 05-10-2021, 04:19 PM   #1
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Forester has certainly gotten the better of me

I thought I went into this with my eyes open, but I truly knew nothing and after almost two years of trying to operate a motorhome I know the war is over. So many little things that go wrong at all the worst times, Thanks Murphey, but it is impossible to get good help when needed. Although it is almost two years of ownership 11 months the motorhome was at a dealership or factory so it's not like I really got to experience all the troubles that I could have as it was safely tucked away for repairs.
After spending three months in Florida and getting away from the Ohio winter I thought this was starting to work out. A little problem here, another there, watch a YouTube or ask on a forum and little problems disappear for a time. Today I get the oil changed for a trip to Glacier and down the Pacific Coast Highway for 2 1/2 months the fun can really start. Get back home go to level it get the tires up so the leveling is easier and go push the Auto Level button and start thinking of what I need to pack.

Not so fast my friend.

Levelers do not all even extend when a Low Voltage issue pops up -- Hit OK to acknowledge. OK, here we go again, back to YouTube we can get this.

Not this time, nothing really found and I can't even locate on the Forester where I can manually raise the arms so I can move it if necessary. I am sure I will find it someday.. But for now I think the ride is over and time to go back to reality and bad hotels. Thanks to all in the Forum you have taken me a good ways to thinking I can do this, but without Dealerships that can help when the big problems come up I can see this isn't something for me.

Good luck to one and all and thanks for the help.
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Old 05-10-2021, 04:59 PM   #2
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I have always suggested to folks interested in the RV lifestyle that if you need to rely on Dealerships to keep you up and running then you will be in for a rude awakening.
TRUE WORDS...

some of the best help can come from campground neighbors... ask for help and you surely will get it
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Old 05-10-2021, 05:01 PM   #3
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You get me wrong. I have no interest in ever having a dealership do anything. And they wouldnít anyway. It is getting information to fix things. There are very few things I wouldnít try, there is so little information on what to do that gets me. And I donít seem to be able to find where to look.
Thanks for your reply.
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Old 05-10-2021, 05:02 PM   #4
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So much angst for a relatively simple issue. I have always suggested to folks interested in the RV lifestyle that if you need to rely on Dealerships to keep you up and running then you will be in for a rude awakening.
Also, I would always choose an independent RV shop or mobile RV technician, over using a dealer. It's worth it, even with the reimbursement hassle.
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Old 05-10-2021, 05:12 PM   #5
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A lot of great advice, but that's not the issue. The Motorhome cannot be moved anyway until I figure out what the Low Voltage problem is

If anyone has advice on that, then maybe I can see this Forum being helpful. BTW, my current neighbors know nothing about RVs. If there are any other suggestions I would certainly be in your debt.
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Old 05-10-2021, 05:18 PM   #6
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Low voltage? Levelers are 12 volt so start with the batteries. Were you on shore power or was the generator running. If so, is the converter charging the batteries? If not, is the converter breaker tripped? Battery disconnect in off position? Levelers and slide-outs are power hogs. Unless the batteries are in excellent condition and fully charged don't expect them to handle that type of load without the converter's assistance.

As for help solving issues, this forum has been an excellent source of learning for me. There are additional groups on Facebook that are also helpful.
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Old 05-10-2021, 05:33 PM   #7
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Kirk, it has for me to reading on here I have learned so much. But when I am having a bad day it doesn't always work out for me.

But thank you... Excellent starting advice. I have in on shore power, and I have the engine running while trying the system. It has to be running or I cannot access leveling on One Control. I also try on my phone app, I can see the voltage drop from 13.? volts to 3.? volts then after a while the low voltage error. I have seen on YouTube all these nice videos where the person opens this little door on the side of their RV and BOOM there is the controller. I cannot even find my "controller". Now parked in my driveway I have looked on two sides but have not laid out in the mud after one the the rainiest Mother Days I have witnessed. I would love to work on something to at least manually bring up the arms, that's why I put this in a Forester section so I could possibly get some related to my case information. I think someone on YouTube said this came from the Truck battery, but I do not believe that. I do apologize but it just has got to me for such a simple problem.

I just wish I could understand the problem.

And I wish I knew mobile technicians in my area.

Thanks for your input
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Old 05-10-2021, 05:41 PM   #8
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What system do you have. LCI, Big Foot, ???. If LCI it’s easy to retract using a battery powered drill.
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Old 05-10-2021, 05:49 PM   #9
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What system do you have. LCI, Big Foot, ???. If LCI itís easy to retract using a battery powered drill.

If you can find it? Where is the controller on a Forester? I have seen the YouTube, it looked like you open up a release point with an allen wrench and use the battery drill to bring up the arms???? maybe????
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Old 05-10-2021, 05:49 PM   #10
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Did I read that correctly? 13.1 volts, which indicates charging, to 3 volts under load?

I just went through a similar scenario with my chassis battery. It measured as fully charged but any significant load dropped it to 6 volts. After checking everything possible I had to admit it the battery wasn't salvageable.
The engine would start fine using the emergency start switch, alternator putting out, converter charging when on shore power. Just the end for my 4 year old chassis battery. The new battery is doing fine.

It won't be a pleasant task but I recommend taking the batteries for a load test. Sounds like they are toast and dragging the converter down.
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Old 05-10-2021, 05:51 PM   #11
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Maybe I didn't make myself clear, my first RV I bought at 64 I am now 66 and have maybe had in my possession for 12 months so I haven't been experimenting with it much. And I get very dizzy getting up and down crawling under it for long periods of time.
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Old 05-10-2021, 06:04 PM   #12
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Kirk you may be right if I knew which battery to look at I am even confused about that watching videos. My initial trip out none of the electric worked from the battery after a few hours. Got back and discovered both coach batteries were bad. So they are only 20 months old. May be bad I am not sure, I have kept it plugged into shore power when in my possession. Is it the truck battery I do not know for sure, it has never shown any problems.

Tomorrow will be a different day, will try to call Lippert to see if they can help. I think I have a Lippert system but I am not sure. Looked through all of the documents that came with the motorhome and there is nothing about the leveling system.
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Old 05-10-2021, 06:34 PM   #13
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The leveling system should run off of the house batteries. On my Forester they are under the top entry step. I have to add distilled water to them every 60 or so days since I keep our unit on shore power at home. I have a Progressive Dynamics 4 stage converter/charger which has maintained my house batteries very well the past 4 years.If you have the same brand converter/charger, as long as you keep the batteries water level full they should be fine but the 3 volts sounds like they are not. Have you checked the water level lately?
I'll be back in a couple of hours to check for your reply.
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Kirk you may be right if I knew which battery to look at I am even confused about that watching videos. My initial trip out none of the electric worked from the battery after a few hours. Got back and discovered both coach batteries were bad. So they are only 20 months old. May be bad I am not sure, I have kept it plugged into shore power when in my possession. Is it the truck battery I do not know for sure, it has never shown any problems.

Tomorrow will be a different day, will try to call Lippert to see if they can help. I think I have a Lippert system but I am not sure. Looked through all of the documents that came with the motorhome and there is nothing about the leveling system.
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Old 05-10-2021, 06:37 PM   #14
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Kirk you may be right if I knew which battery to look at I am even confused about that watching videos. My initial trip out none of the electric worked from the battery after a few hours. Got back and discovered both coach batteries were bad. So they are only 20 months old. May be bad I am not sure, I have kept it plugged into shore power when in my possession. Is it the truck battery I do not know for sure, it has never shown any problems.

Tomorrow will be a different day, will try to call Lippert to see if they can help. I think I have a Lippert system but I am not sure. Looked through all of the documents that came with the motorhome and there is nothing about the leveling system.
Given the voltage drop, it certainly sounds like the house batteries are toast. When you can't provide the current (amperage needed) the voltage will sag. I'd recommend that you disconnect (negative first) and cart it down to the local auto parts store for a load test.

Basically the battery, converter, etc can only produce so many amps at 12V so you're basically measuring total watts. So if the total watts needed, exceeds watts available, your voltage will drop as the amps exceed capacity. Once the voltage is outside the operating range for the device, it stops working.

P(watts) = V(volts) * I(amps) Watt's Law
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Old 05-10-2021, 06:38 PM   #15
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Test the house batteries. I think you may find that to be the problem. If you are plugged in to 30 amp it should still work. I leave the motor off and run my bigfoot levelers on shore power. Sorry I do not know how your system works but these are just ideas to try. If you put a meter on your house batteries with shore power off it should read 12.6 volts. Shore power on 13.1 volts or a bit more. Good luck and don't give up. My ac just broke lost all the refrigerant. Looks like I am in for a new ac.
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Old 05-10-2021, 07:25 PM   #16
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Have you considered going to an entry level travel trailer? Not trying to pour salt on a wound, but you have a pretty complicated piece of equipment that has a LOT of things that can go wrong and requires a lot of technical expertise. A travel trailer with no slides, a power awning, tongue and stabilizer jacks all on their own switch with NO remote or app connectivity is what Iíd recommend. Easy setup and about 1/50 as complex as what you currently have.
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Old 05-10-2021, 07:35 PM   #17
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Dustman, Good idea, but how do I get the motorhome out of the driveway Or do I just rent it out if I can add a sewer connection. That should be easy.

I am truly only interested in a Motorhome that I can see the country. I am not a person that is totally stupid. Although this does not mean anything but I have an Engineering Degree and worked 40 plus years in different industries. I only have problems asking simple questions. Lovely how you have to defend yourself on this forum just to get a simple solution as Duckogram had said before he deleted all his non-helpful posts.

I have added some water to the batteries and will see if they are fried tomorrow when I take them back to Auto Zone and let them tell me how I have destroyed them on the four trips I have taken....
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Old 05-10-2021, 08:06 PM   #18
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I posted instructions on how to manually retract your jacks (not arms) per your inquiry. I posted the location of the control unit on your rig. I deleted the posts because I felt that it would be dangerous for you to try to manually retract the jacks.

I am sorry that you feel that my deleted posts were not helpful.
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Old 05-10-2021, 08:11 PM   #19
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Ducky --- that was a good thing to say.. not like the your other posts it was so much better. But the first one did not help.

And yes I liked knowing where the controller was.... but I certainly was not going to try crushing myself

I can use any advice that can help..
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Old 05-10-2021, 10:42 PM   #20
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Iím not much help with the levelers, since I donít have them.

Regarding your batteries. While the RV was at the dealerships there is no way to know if the coach batteries were left on, then when they finally get around to repairing the problem, the batteries are dead or really low on voltage. Each time the batteries are drained like that their life span is shortened.

I donít know if you have 2 coach batteries or one. If thereís 2, one with a bad cell or two will bring down the power of the other one.

The truck battery is a probably in good shape, because itís not often that mechanics leave the key in the on position without the engine running.

Hopefully Lippert will have the info you need.
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