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Old 12-08-2018, 09:26 AM   #1
N2BchMtnMrsh
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Cold Weather Hydraulics

We are moving from So Cal to Denver. On the trip of moving our Montana, stopping in Kingman, AZ, Grants, NM and then Aguilar, CO, we noticed that our slide outs and leveling jacks do not work very well in cold weather. In Grants, it dropped to 7 degrees. The landing jacks, when retracting, would stop as if they had reached top but were still extended. And thus we had to restart the cycle, sometimes 4-5 times, before they would fully retract. Same with the slide outs, they would stop, and then we would have to stop and restart the extension to get them fully out. Is there something we need to do to the hydraulics in cold weather?
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Old 12-08-2018, 10:48 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by N2BchMtnMrsh View Post
We are moving from So Cal to Denver. On the trip of moving our Montana, stopping in Kingman, AZ, Grants, NM and then Aguilar, CO, we noticed that our slide outs and leveling jacks do not work very well in cold weather. In Grants, it dropped to 7 degrees. The landing jacks, when retracting, would stop as if they had reached top but were still extended. And thus we had to restart the cycle, sometimes 4-5 times, before they would fully retract. Same with the slide outs, they would stop, and then we would have to stop and restart the extension to get them fully out. Is there something we need to do to the hydraulics in cold weather?
I replaced the 50amp to the hydraulic pump with an 80amp.
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Old 12-08-2018, 11:18 AM   #3
1retired06
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Most of us have made that upgrade. It is a reset mounted to the back wall easily traceable to the pump.
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Old 12-08-2018, 01:06 PM   #4
Carl n Susan
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Lippert has recommendations for the hydraulic fluid to use. There is a document in the Files section describing their recommendations. Clicky

In colder temperatures (less than 10° F) the cylinders and jacks may extend and retract slowly due to the fluid’s molecular nature. For cold weather operation, fluid specially formulated for low temperatures may be desirable. Please consult factory before using any other fluids.

Additionally consider adding a quart or two of anti-stiction fluid. It is intended to stop the popping, bumps and clunks but may also help in cold weather. Read LIP Sheet 0295 HERE
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Old 12-08-2018, 01:27 PM   #5
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On cold weather the hydraulic oil thickens and takes more amps to run the pump. They o ly put a 40 amp auto reset breaker in. Lippert says to install a 80 amp in. That should take care of your problem.
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Old 12-08-2018, 02:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N2BchMtnMrsh View Post
We are moving from So Cal to Denver. On the trip of moving our Montana, stopping in Kingman, AZ, Grants, NM and then Aguilar, CO, we noticed that our slide outs and leveling jacks do not work very well in cold weather. In Grants, it dropped to 7 degrees. The landing jacks, when retracting, would stop as if they had reached top but were still extended. And thus we had to restart the cycle, sometimes 4-5 times, before they would fully retract. Same with the slide outs, they would stop, and then we would have to stop and restart the extension to get them fully out. Is there something we need to do to the hydraulics in cold weather?



What year Montana do you have? Only install a larger breaker if the wiring from the battery to the hydraulic pump is #4 copper, which is what is used on the newer rigs. Not sure what wire size was used to power the hydraulic pump on the older rigs, but oversizing a breaker on wire that is too light can cause problems. If the wiring is good, the 80 amp breaker will fix the problem. Once I replaced our breaker, even in subfreezing temps, the system works with no stopping.
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Old 12-08-2018, 02:25 PM   #7
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If the wire is big enough, here is the type breaker you need. NOTE: you may have to drill out the eyelets of the connectors to 1/4" to get them on the posts.
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File Type: jpg 80Aautoresettingbreaker.jpg (19.4 KB, 466 views)
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Old 12-08-2018, 09:29 PM   #8
N2BchMtnMrsh
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I apologize, I have a 2013 Montana, Model 3750FL. Thank you for all the answers. Are you saying to replace the entire pump or just the fuse? I am a bit confused.
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Old 12-08-2018, 09:58 PM   #9
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Just the breaker
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Old 12-08-2018, 10:00 PM   #10
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Just the breaker.
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Old 12-08-2018, 10:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I apologize, I have a 2013 Montana, Model 3750FL. Thank you for all the answers. Are you saying to replace the entire pump or just the fuse? I am a bit confused.
Just the breaker if the wiring is #4 or bigger!
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Old 12-16-2018, 02:11 PM   #12
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Breaker upgrade

My Montana is a 2006 RL3500. I had a similar problem when I bought it. I ended up contacting Lippert, besides putting dual breakers on, I also replaced the cables, at their direction. However, I have not had problems since. We tend to travel in colder weather mostly.
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Old 12-16-2018, 02:28 PM   #13
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Hi I concur with Carl & Susan, Lippert has a viscosity sheet showing which viscosity fluid you use with the temperature range that you will be operating in. As a further note: It would do you well now to re&re your fluid anyway, this is a maintenance that few owners "ever" think about ? Remember, just like brake fluid in your car, the reservoir is "vented" to atmosphere, so when the rams are driven out, a momentary "lower" pressure is created in the reservoir, & any dirt particulates in the air are drawn in, the fluid will absorb those.
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Old 12-16-2018, 02:53 PM   #14
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My wife and I would leave the 5th wheel plugged into 50 amps until all jacks were up, and we were ready to shove off, and then we would disconnect shore power. Still the last jack to come up is the front passenger side jack, and it would sometimes only come up half way, so my wife would put her foot under it and lift and help it, and it would go all the way up on cold days.
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Old 12-16-2018, 03:28 PM   #15
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There is a hydraulic oil formulated for snow plow hydraulics that works in cold weather, I doubt Lippert even knows it exists. You can replace with it and not mess with breakers.
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Old 12-16-2018, 03:48 PM   #16
paul01
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Had the same problem I changed out the 50 amp breaker to an 80 amp breaker,and changed the hyd.fluid to synthetic.No more problem.
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Old 12-16-2018, 06:48 PM   #17
JamesD
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Just a thought here.
If you are running the slides and jacks off of batteries, remember that batteries don't work as well in the cold, and marginal batteries may die in the cold.
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Old 12-16-2018, 08:49 PM   #18
rohrmann
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We regularly set up, with jacks down and slides out prior to plugging in the power cord. This is no different than dry camping with just batteries. The system is designed to operate on 12 volts, and as long as the breaker isn't constantly tripping and resetting, your hydraulics will continue to work. The more the breaker trips, the weaker it gets, regardless of whether the AC is turned on. The instructions from Lippert says the system must be operated with fully charged batteries or with AC connected, but in any case you must have 12 volts from the batteries, and if you are operating the system with weak or partially charged batteries, you risk burning up the pump motor due to low voltage. If you look at the fluid recommendations, standard ATF has a pour point at least lower than -45 degrees, so unless you are in seriously extreme cold temps, the normal ATF should work. On page 16 of the manual, in the parts list, Lippert shows an 80 amp breaker, so anything less is not within Lippert's specs. https://www.lci1.com/assets/content/...r_s_Manual.pdf
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Old 12-16-2018, 10:53 PM   #19
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Your trailer is telling you something. You are going the wrong way.
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Old 12-16-2018, 11:49 PM   #20
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My right rear jack sometimes has a hard time retracting all the way up and I have the 80 amp breaker. I have to go manual then the jack retracts all the way. This usually happens when I am in 30 to 40 degree weather. Some things on these rv's are just stubborn.
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