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Old 11-26-2019, 07:31 PM   #1
CADman_KS
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Hydraulics ran out of oil...

We parked our 5er on a relatively unlevel spot today, for the first time. Not that we've been out much, but we've always been on level pads.

The jacks had to extend so far to get it autoleveled, that we ran out of hydraulic fluid for the slide outs to work. Fortunately, I knew that we were only about 1/2 full in the reservoir with everything retracted. Had to add a quart to get the slide out.

Note to new owners:. Make sure that your dealer has the reservoir properly filled so you don't get stuck like we did!!
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Old 11-26-2019, 10:24 PM   #2
rohrmann
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The reservoir should be filled when the jacks and slides are fully retracted. The level should be about 1/2" from the lip of the fill plug when everything is retracted.
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Old 11-27-2019, 06:07 AM   #3
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I would like to add to this post, the thought that if you need to add fluid, you may want to make it the hydraulic fork oil. I replaced my factory fluid with fork oil and all the popping stopped. Just a thought.
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Old 11-27-2019, 06:34 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by rohrmann View Post
The reservoir should be filled when the jacks and slides are fully retracted. The level should be about 1/2" from the lip of the fill plug when everything is retracted.
Correct, and I KNEW that ours was not at that level with everything retracted. I should have added some, but never having hydraulic jacks before, I didn't realize it was going to be that important.

Lesson learned for sure...
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Old 11-27-2019, 06:39 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by BiigDaddy View Post
I would like to add to this post, the thought that if you need to add fluid, you may want to make it the hydraulic fork oil. I replaced my factory fluid with fork oil and all the popping stopped. Just a thought.
Whatever came from the factory was not ATF, or was some kind of clear ATF. I was a little concerned that we should add ATF (red) when the original stuff was not.

I wonder if regular tractor hydraulic fluid would work as well? It is not red. Hydraulic fork oil is pretty thin stuff. Is it too thin???
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Old 11-27-2019, 06:46 AM   #6
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... Hydraulic fork oil is pretty thin stuff. Is it too thin???
ATF is approximately 10W according to the intraweb, and everything you read there is true.

Most fork oil is 7.5W - 15W, so they are both pretty thin. I actually run 5W in my KTM (I think factory recommend is 4W), and that stuff pours like water...
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Old 11-27-2019, 06:46 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by CADman_KS View Post
Whatever came from the factory was not ATF, or was some kind of clear ATF. I was a little concerned that we should add ATF (red) when the original stuff was not.

I wonder if regular tractor hydraulic fluid would work as well? It is not red. Hydraulic fork oil is pretty thin stuff. Is it too thin???
https://www.amazon.com/Maxima-56916-...4858695&sr=8-8

This is what I used, and its been worth the money. The popping has stopped and it keeps level when we're in one spot for a long duration.
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Old 11-27-2019, 07:05 AM   #8
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How much of that fork oil did you use to get all the original oil flushed out?
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Old 11-27-2019, 07:05 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by BiigDaddy View Post
https://www.amazon.com/Maxima-56916-...4858695&sr=8-8

This is what I used, and its been worth the money. The popping has stopped and it keeps level when we're in one spot for a long duration.
What popping were you having?
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Old 11-27-2019, 07:06 AM   #10
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How much of that fork oil did you use to get all the original oil flushed out?
I used two of those bottles. There was still some original fluid, but I'm happy with the results.
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Old 11-27-2019, 07:08 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by CADman_KS View Post
What popping were you having?
CADman, if you're having it, you cannot miss it! It can be a subtle pop from the hydraulics, or a middle of the night 'what the hell was that??!'
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Old 11-27-2019, 08:53 AM   #12
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Many of the fifth wheels are coming from factory serviced with AW32 hydraulic fluid... All of Lipperts documents reference ATF fluid..

Iíve spoken with Lippert Techs on this subject and they recommend staying with what ever the type of fluid your hydraulic reservoir come serviced with..

AW32 is a light honey colored fluid where ATF is bright red... I would not mix fluid types if it were mine...

Others will argue back and forth.. worked on aircraft for over 40 years and itís a bad idea to mix fluid types with the seals inside those hydraulic levelers..

Also you can reduce the amount of leveler leg extension.. which I highly recommend by using blocks of wood under those leveling pads...much more stable platform...

If you ran reservoir low then after properly servicing with slides and leveled up cycle slides and levelers a few times to purge any air out of the system.
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Old 11-27-2019, 09:46 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by ChuckS View Post
Many of the fifth wheels are coming from factory serviced with AW32 hydraulic fluid... All of Lipperts documents reference ATF fluid..

Iíve spoken with Lippert Techs on this subject and they recommend staying with what ever the type of fluid your hydraulic reservoir come serviced with..

AW32 is a light honey colored fluid where ATF is bright red... I would not mix fluid types if it were mine...

Others will argue back and forth.. worked on aircraft for over 40 years and itís a bad idea to mix fluid types with the seals inside those hydraulic levelers..

Also you can reduce the amount of leveler leg extension.. which I highly recommend by using blocks of wood under those leveling pads...much more stable platform...

If you ran reservoir low then after properly servicing with slides and leveled up cycle slides and levelers a few times to purge any air out of the system.
I didn't want to mix fluids, but had to get the slides out. I did not transfer blocks from my last camper to this one. I was hoping that I wouldn't need them. So, I couldn't use that method either.

That AW32 fluid you mentioned would indeed be clearish. I'll have to decide when I get home whether I should I get that fluid out or not. You can get that hydraulic fluid for pretty cheap, and it comes in 2 1/2 gallons jugs, which it probably requires to get most of the oil exchanged properly.

It would be nice if the Keystone documents said, we use XXX oil, and if possible use this. However, in an emergency, you can substitute ATF fluid. ALL, and I mean all of the information on the Lippert website indicates that you should ATF fluid. I knew that it was not ATF fluid, though, because it wasn't red....
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Old 11-27-2019, 09:47 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by BiigDaddy View Post
CADman, if you're having it, you cannot miss it! It can be a subtle pop from the hydraulics, or a middle of the night 'what the hell was that??!'
Hummm... Haven't experienced this yet...
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Old 11-27-2019, 09:51 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by ChuckS View Post
Many of the fifth wheels are coming from factory serviced with AW32 hydraulic fluid...
From the research that I did this morning, the AW32 would be a little bit higher viscosity than ATF.

I wonder if that's why there is the issue with the 50A breaker not being strong enough? When it's cold, it's going to take more power to push "thicker" oil.

I was proactive, and I changed my breaker to an 80A BEFORE I had the problem if ever. Didn't want to take that chance...
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Old 11-27-2019, 12:21 PM   #16
masterdrago
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The documents do recommend ATF. Both in the Level Up owners manual and the Hydraulic Fluids Recommendations PDF. It's all even in the Lippert DVD that came with our 2018 3791RD.
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File Type: pdf LCI Hydraulic Fluid Recommendations.pdf (96.2 KB, 31 views)
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Old 11-27-2019, 12:34 PM   #17
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Some will say do not mix ATF with hydraulic fluid, but ATF is hydraulic fluid with some additives and dye. Years ago, when the recommendation came out to use CAT stiction fluid or fork oil to stop the popping, I just drained some fluid from the reservoir and added the CAT fluid. Some years later, due to the original recommendation to drain and fill the fluid, I just drained what I could from the reservoir and replaced it with CAT fluid and ATF. I have never had any issues with the hydraulics with the mixed fluid. This is the link for adding stiction fluid to the system: https://lci-support-doc.s3.amazonaws...cd_0002091.pdf
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Old 11-27-2019, 12:56 PM   #18
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The documents do recommend ATF. Both in the Level Up owners manual and the Hydraulic Fluids Recommendations PDF. It's all even in the Lippert DVD that came with our 2018 3791RD.
True, but that it not what the factory installs...
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Old 11-27-2019, 01:40 PM   #19
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Having spoken with 3 different Lippert leveling system support techs they all say..

Yes.. their documents state ATF but the various factory builders tend to use AW32 fluid instead... because they buy in bulk... either is fine according to Lippert..

AW32 is slightly higher in viscosity and ATF has a bit more detergent in its mix and is a bit lower in viscosity...

I donít run stiction fluid in my 7 year old hydraulic six point leveling system.. it pops every now and then with temp changes and that is the ďnatureĒ of the beast...

I wouldnít worry about removing the ďmixĒ of fluid. Iím just an old fashioned mechanic and I personally donít mix different lubes with oring seals

YMMV
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Old 11-27-2019, 07:34 PM   #20
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I mostly agree with ChuckS. If I had an airplane, I'd stick to fluid recommendations religiously, but our fiver's hydraulic systems are no where near as complex and finicky. I just wouldn't pour in a quart of 10/40 motor oil though. My first Montana came with clear hydraulic fluid ... my last 2 came with ATF. I and camping acquaintances have added red to clear over the years with zero issues except making the system function due to low fluid levels. The seals in our cylinders are effected by neither red or clear, nor are the hoses. Like mentioned, AFT is a bit thinner, but manufacturers now days put in whatever their purchasing agent ordered to supply the assy line at that time frame. It may have been cheaper or it may have been a "brother-in-law" deal. I've seen it happen over and over in the big volume manufacturing sector.
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