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Old 03-28-2013, 03:36 PM   #1
JnSWells
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Hydraulic fluid level?

Our 2012 Montana's hydraulic fluid level shows just over half full, this is a very large tank a gallon or more.(with slides closed) I have read to fill within 1 inch of the top and another site said two-thirds full. With slides retracted where should we fill it to? Thanks
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:05 PM   #2
CORattler
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One inch from the top. Use a marker to draw a line at one inch. That allows you to fill to the correct point each time you top off. If in doubt, check with the manufacturer.
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:22 PM   #3
RJI47
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Why would it be down so much? Is there a leak in the system?
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:30 PM   #4
8.1al
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by RJI47

Why would it be down so much? Is there a leak in the system?
Must be a leak somewhere
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:40 PM   #5
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I think what you might find on because the rig is fairly new just by running all the slides etc... out and in you most likely have purged the air out of the lines and the level has dropped as my 2012 3100 did Mine was down last fall and I added to it and the level has not dropped know
I would fill it up as stated draw a line and keep a eye on it
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:18 PM   #6
Bigsky3625RE
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Mine is low as well. What fluid do I use?
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:44 PM   #7
8.1al
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Cheap ATF
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:01 PM   #8
DQDick
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Before you do that call Lippert. When our level-up was installed by Lippert they told me the new large tank shouldn't be more than half full. The old smaller tank with only the slides on the system was supposed to be filled one inch from the top.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:02 PM   #9
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I hope this is still the case, but for my 2006 here's the story.

For the fluid it's ATF Type A (not type F). It's hard to find but confirm with your autoparts person that Dexron or Mercon are suitable replacements for Type A. Just find the cheapest stuff you can find - nothing fancy is needed, except that it needs to be a suitable Type A or equivalent.

My manual for my 2006 Monty gave me the amount to fill and I thought it was 1/2" or 1/4" from the top of the reservoir. I marked it with a permanent marker so I don't have to look it up or remember it anymore. CHECK and REFILL ONLY with the slides are Retracted!!!

When I bought the rig, I never had or leak but this was one of the things I corrected when I started having start/stop slide movement problems. The fluid was just plain low (less than half) and I never found out why, but after refilling the fluid I have never had to refill (it's been 5 or 6 years since). Besides, the fluid being too low, I also experienced weak batteries (I have since improved recharging), not having the rear stabilizers down (this prevents unnecessary extra movement when slides are retracted and extended) and finally the last thing I corrected is I put in better resetting breakers (dual parallel 40 amp worked for me). All this within the first year of ownership. Since that first year and all these corrections, I've had no problems.
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:00 AM   #10
jswharton
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My manual states to replace the fluid every 36 months. Is that common practice, how often do you change?
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:02 AM   #11
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Jim,

Since you have the 6-point level up, the best time to check the level of the fluid is when it is hooked to your truck with all legs up and the rooms all in. If you need to, add enough Dexron/Dexron III or, Mercon/Mercon 5 to the tank to take itup to 1" or 3/4" from the fill cap. It may be possible that the fluid you are pouring in is a different color than what may be already in the tank. That's OK, it is only a red dye. At that point, use a black permanent marker to draw a line at that level. Later, when you have the unit set up on the leveling jacks and the rooms extended, draw another black line where the fluid level is. Now, you have a gage whether or not you may have a leak. No matter what position the rooms or jacks are in, if the fluid level is below either black line, there may be a leak. But, be mindful of what position everything is in.

For example: you may have the rooms extended and the front jacks on the ground but, the leveling system isn't in use. That fluid level most likely is not going to be at the bottom line. On the otherhand, you may have the unit set-up on an uneven lot that requires some of the leveling legs to extended further than they may normally. The fluid line may be lower than the bottom black line on the tank. Don't become too alarmed at this point. The hydraulic system may be using more fluid from the reservoir to operate as it needs to.

I also read something in this thread about changing the fluid. Unless Lippert is doing something completely different than they use to from when I worked there.......and they could be, my thought is that this would be impossible to do. First, how are you going to accomplish that when a good percentage of fluid will remain the pump, hoses and cylinder tubs? And, how are you going to empty the reservoir? Is there a drain plug in it somewhere? Just asking!

I hope this easy for everyone to understand and, if there are any questions or corrections, please let me know because, I do misunderstand things at times.
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:51 AM   #12
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When you check fluid level should slides be in or out?
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:14 AM   #13
DQDick
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Everything should be in.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:58 AM   #14
JnSWells
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Called Lippert this morning and was instructed to hook up to truck, all slideouts in, raise the jacks and fill to 1 inch from top of tank. There is no leaks and they stated this is quite common as it has purged all air.. Also found out it holds 7 quarts full. Thanks for all replies
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:20 AM   #15
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7 quarts?! WOW. I don't think mine holds that much, but my reservoir is not that big, it's on an '06 model and only moves the slides. Are you referring to a Level up?

When the slides are extended the level in the reservoir drops a lot (to below the 1/2 way point) but I'm guessing it's because the fluid gets sucked into the mechanics to push the slides out. This is why you NEVER refill when the slide are extended or you can imagine as the fluid is returned to the reservoir things will try to overflow or bust the reservoir. NO fun and messy, too.
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:47 AM   #16
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by JnSWells

Called Lippert this morning and was instructed to hook up to truck, all slideouts in, raise the jacks and fill to 1 inch from top of tank. There is no leaks and they stated this is quite common as it has purged all air.. Also found out it holds 7 quarts full. Thanks for all replies
Looks like DQDick needs to add fluid.
Mike
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Old 01-17-2014, 02:59 PM   #17
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Just got my RV back from having the rams replaced on the bedroom and big slide on the drivers side. The reservoir tank was only 2/3 full with all slides in. I questioned the tech and he said that was the correct level. I call BS. That's NOT what Lippert says. I'll extend the slides tomorrow to see if there is any fluid left in the reservoir. If not, I'm adding enough to comply with Lipperts recommendation. What a hassle!
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:21 PM   #18
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My manual also says use type A ATF. Unfortunately, that fluid was made from whale oil and is no longer made. Lippert has a sheet that gives all the recommended oils for their systems, and is hard to find, but go to:
http://www.lci1.com/support/leveling...rized-leveling

Then scroll down under Lipsheets to 0291:Hydraulic Fluid Recommendation

This sheet will give all the brands recommended, including extreme cold weather fluids, which might help with the sluggish operation of these systems when it's really cold.

There are all the other sheets there that will help with other problems.
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Old 01-18-2014, 02:41 AM   #19
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OK after reading fluid recommendations I have a question. Synthetic fluids are recommended for temps below freezing. Has anyone changed to synthetic fluid? I have noticed a sluggish operation of our slides in below freezing temps. I do realize a complete flush of the system would require extra labor. My thought was to drain tank and replace with synthetic. Maybe after a year or so drain tank again and fill with new fluid again. Flushing the system seems to be to much for me.

Would synthetic fluid help the system to operate better in freezing temps?
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Old 01-18-2014, 07:49 AM   #20
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Synthetic fluid might help. Got to be a reason why they have that option for cold weather. Most fluids, including motor oils, are compatible with each other. I would think a simple system as is on these rigs, would be good with a blend of synthetic and a little regular fluid without any harm. They fill the system with clear hydraulic fluid, tell us it's OK to top up with ATF, then tell us to put anti-stiction fluid in the system to stop the popping. We're not flying at 35,000 feet with these trailers, so it is probably OK to mix the fluids.
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