Atwood Levelegs Electric Jacks troubleshooting
If your Atwood Levelegs electric jacks quietly refuse to move, make sure that the engine is running, the rig is in park, and you have the parking/emergency brake set.
Periodically, especially if the rig has been sitting for a while, my Atwood Levelegs electric jacks will refuse to retract and will display flashing green and red lights, usually in one corner, indicating which jack is having trouble. So far, one or another of the methods listed below has always worked for me and I've never had to resort to manually retracting the jack by spinning the retractor nut.
This is the official procedure for fixing that condition. It seldom works for me, but it has on occasion.
- Press On to shut off the alarm
- Visually inspect the leveler to make sure it's not stuck or jammed
- Manually extend slightly, then retract that jack by holding down the EXT key and pressing the two keys on each side of the lights, then RET plus the same two keys.
If That Doesn't Work
Next, try turning off the key and manually spinning the retractor nut a few turns (they're on the end of the motors near the top of each leg and should turn fairly easily) for the leg with the blinking red light. If you take a paper towel or rag with you, you can keep your hand from getting grimy. For me, that will usually clean up the contacts and it will work. I have to do this periodically when the rig sits for a month or so.
In some cases, after doing the above steps, you have to follow this sequence to clear the error:
- Unplug the wire to the motor on the troublesome jack, (there's a connector a foot or so from the motor -- it has a retaining clip that has to be pried up before pulling it apart)
- Turn the system on
- Press RET and All
- Reconnect the jack by plugging it back in
- Press RET and ALL again to clear the error
If this works and you can find a place that rebuilds electric motors, you could probably remove the offending jack and take it in for cleaning. They come off fairly easily when fully retracted. Obviously, you don't want to be removing or even loosening them when they are extended and holding up the rig. Whatever it costs, it will be quite a bit less expensive than buying a new jack. In theory, you could take the motor apart and clean it up yourself, but I've read the procedure on this and I wouldn't recommend it unless you're fairly skilled at dealing with the insides of electric motors.
One Final Sequence to Try Before Becoming Hysterical
This is the official fail-safe troubleshooting sequence from Atwood if everything else fails:
- Disconnect power to one jack by pulling apart the plug
- Turn power on at keyboard
- Press RET and ALL (alarm should sound and lights will blink)
- Turn power OFF by pressing the ON button
- Spin the motor nuts on all jacks (this is not on the official list, but it can't hurt)
- Reconnect disconnected jack
- Press the ON button
- For each jack, hold down the EXT button and press the two buttons adjacent to a corner for ten seconds to extend each jack slightly. Have someone watch the jacks and make sure they all move
- Press and release the RET and ALL buttons together to bring the jacks back up
- Cross your fingers and hang on to a rabbit's foot ;)
The Last Resort
Here's the ultimate solution if absolutely everything above fails. You can retract the jacks manually by turning the nut on the end of the motor. I believe 500 full revolutions moves that jack up one inch so you might rather just shoot yourself unless you have an electric drill with the correct socket attachment. If the jacks are retracted fully and the control unit won't shut up, you can unplug the jack on the back of the control unit and drive without the distraction -- just make very sure that you've visually inspected all the jacks to make certain that they are fully retracted before going anywhere.
I've made 4.5" high square blocks to put under the jacks (made from a 2X12, or 2X10 board -- can't remember which). I put those under the blocks for any stay of more than a night or two and occasionally run the jacks up and down when the rig is parked for a month or more. The jacks haven't acted up on me in a couple of years.
It seems the jacks only get cranky when they haven't been used in a while and they are fully extended.
If you make blocks like these, I'd recommend using treated lumber, then priming and painting them, otherwise they'll rot quickly when in contact with the ground. Be sure to alternate the direction of the grain in the three layers to keep them from cracking. I've tapered one side of each block slightly, in case the jacks ever fail and I have to drive up onto the blocks to level the rig.
The dryer sheet stapled to the top may, or may not, deter mice and insects from crawling up the jacks and into the rig.
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— Bob Ray