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Old 06-15-2022, 07:21 AM   #1
BrianVer2
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Out of the fire and into the lake

Howdy folks
We bought a Montana 5th wheel after the Hermits Peak Fire lit by the US Forest Service burned our house to the ground. Hopefully out of the ashes we'll rise and flourish a little further south in Santa Rosa New Mexico. We don't have a way to move our RV so we hired a guy to move it for us. It now sitting across the street from Blue Hole and Park lake. Water all around us now feels better.We'll be living in this RV with our three cats and two dogs for at least half a year and or until we can find a house.
The layout of the 3402RL is nice and roomy. I'm a retired low voltage electrical geek. Before that, a mechanic and for most of my life the main repairman here on our family property in northern New Mexico. I can read schematics and troubleshoot quickly. However I understand from reading here useful information from Keystone is nonexistent. I need to adapt that is obvious and I need to do it quickly.
It is much hotter in Santa Rosa than I'm used up here at 7500 feet above sea level. We try to go down to ready the RV in the evening, but that hasn't always happened.
Here is what I am up against after our second trip to get the RV level: Replaced the battery, one circuit breaker and topped up the hydraulic fluid for the leveling jacks. Added a 50 foot 50 amp shore power cable.Today we'll get power turned on to the lot we parked it in.
After switching on the power button on the control panel, we finally got all the jacks retracted.As per instructions below the panel, the readout says "jacks up"
"Ready" However the red LEDs on the directional control buttons for "front" and "right" are blinking red. Manual control makes the pump turn on for a few seconds, usually followed by "error, jack not responding" message. Auto level flips the pump servo on and off, but I've never felt or heard and of the individual solenoids for the jacks come on while my wife does the button sequences.
At point the battery readout says 11.8 volts, so we need to wait for the electric to be turned on for out space, before proceeding. I understand the leveling system in these units is quite finicky. Looking for some guidance for round #3 which my be today. We can't move what is left of our belongings in until the RV is stable.
Any and all help is much appreciated
Brian and Nell Rodgers
 
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Old 06-15-2022, 08:07 AM   #2
jsb5717
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I’m not familiar with a hydraulic systems as ours is electric. I do know that ours requires a minimum of 12v to function correctly. Random errors can occur with inadequate voltage. You could connect to an inverter generator to get the voltage up and try the leveling again.

Make sure that your 50 amp service is wired correctly for RV’s. You’re a pro so you’ve likely looked into the correct wiring but just a word to the wise. Too many have made the mistake of thinking it’s the same as a dryer plug.

Welcome to the forum. Let us know how it’s going.
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Old 06-15-2022, 08:14 AM   #3
BrianVer2
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Awesome, thanks and nice to meet you. We're getting excited to get into our new home and especially out of this terrible smoke. The fires are not out yet. It seems the firefighters are at a let it burn phase. Sigh
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Old 06-15-2022, 08:19 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by BrianVer2 View Post
Howdy folks
We bought a Montana 5th wheel after the Hermits Peak Fire lit by the US Forest Service burned our house to the ground. Hopefully out of the ashes we'll rise and flourish a little further south in Santa Rosa New Mexico. We don't have a way to move our RV so we hired a guy to move it for us. It now sitting across the street from Blue Hole and Park lake. Water all around us now feels better.We'll be living in this RV with our three cats and two dogs for at least half a year and or until we can find a house.
The layout of the 3402RL is nice and roomy. I'm a retired low voltage electrical geek. Before that, a mechanic and for most of my life the main repairman here on our family property in northern New Mexico. I can read schematics and troubleshoot quickly. However I understand from reading here useful information from Keystone is nonexistent. I need to adapt that is obvious and I need to do it quickly.
It is much hotter in Santa Rosa than I'm used up here at 7500 feet above sea level. We try to go down to ready the RV in the evening, but that hasn't always happened.
Here is what I am up against after our second trip to get the RV level: Replaced the battery, one circuit breaker and topped up the hydraulic fluid for the leveling jacks. Added a 50 foot 50 amp shore power cable.Today we'll get power turned on to the lot we parked it in.
After switching on the power button on the control panel, we finally got all the jacks retracted.As per instructions below the panel, the readout says "jacks up"
"Ready" However the red LEDs on the directional control buttons for "front" and "right" are blinking red. Manual control makes the pump turn on for a few seconds, usually followed by "error, jack not responding" message. Auto level flips the pump servo on and off, but I've never felt or heard and of the individual solenoids for the jacks come on while my wife does the button sequences.
At point the battery readout says 11.8 volts, so we need to wait for the electric to be turned on for out space, before proceeding. I understand the leveling system in these units is quite finicky. Looking for some guidance for round #3 which my be today. We can't move what is left of our belongings in until the RV is stable.
Any and all help is much appreciated
Brian and Nell Rodgers
Welcome to the forum!
Wow, sorry to hear about your house burning down, but glad you are resilient and able to make a new home by the lake.

I'm not sure I completely understand your issue, but a couple of things to comment on:
-as noted, your battery voltage may be too low, so once you can get some charging going there, see if the problem persists
-I'm trying to understand if you even have an issue... are the jacks retracting all the way, and the only issue is the flashing red lights? We've had that at times as well and they go out after a couple flashes; it is infrequent so I've never tracked it down. OTOH, if the error lights are flashing before all of the legs are fully up, then you really do have an issue.

I'm a huge fan of solar, and we went all in on our current Montana. I'm not saying you should do that, but you may want to look at a portable panel and charge controller that you can use to keep the battery voltage topped up for times when you aren't connected to power.

Let us know how you make out once you can get the battery charged back up.

Brad
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Old 06-15-2022, 08:39 AM   #5
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First, sorry for the loss of your home. We survived the High Park fire in 2012, unlike the other 4 homes on our road. It can be devastating.

Brian, the hydraulic level up system is pretty robust. Not sure what year your RV is, but it’s been awhile since they made the 3402. Lippert is the company that makes that system. They are very helpful. The first place I would start is calling them and getting the manual for that year. As Brad and Jeff mentioned, the slides and leveling system take a lot of juice. And 110v doesn’t help, it is 12v only that operates that system. Also, there is a 50 amp breaker that may be getting weak. Lippert advises an 80 amp breaker. At the top of the page is a search box that you can use to find specific items. All of Keystone’s manuals are on the Keystone app. That is a handy spot for getting documentation. I download most of my manuals into Apple’s Books, so I have access when I need it. You should also add your model and year to your signature. There are at least several iterations of hydraulic leveling, convenience center/no convenience center, etc. It will help people to give you the right info. We have had a 2004, 2010, 2015 and 2021 Montana. So we have seen almost every iteration except the electrical leveling system. Best of luck.
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Old 06-15-2022, 08:57 AM   #6
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Your camper is 120 volts NOT 240. Make sure you have it wired correctly or it will do many thousands of dollars damage.
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Old 06-15-2022, 10:51 AM   #7
BrianVer2
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Good questions and thanks for the quick response. I finally got all the jacks retracted yesterday afternoon. That was a milestone I''d have to attribute to adding 2 qts of ATF to the reservoir bringing the level in the "retracted or jacks up" position to between the two segments on the plastic tank below the pump. I saw no markings indicating where the level was supposed to be. Advice on this will be much appreciated. At this point the front won't go down. The message is "Front too low" which is obvious, doh!
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Old 06-15-2022, 10:58 AM   #8
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I believe that is correct, it is a 3 prong plug, not the 4 prong like the one I'm hooking up to my shop here on the ranch from the generator to the 220v panel. Nevertheless, this is very good advice, it never occurred to me to compare the new cable with the short cable that came with the RV. I'll check it before plugging it into shore power. Thank you so much
Brian
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Old 06-15-2022, 11:07 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by rames14 View Post
First, sorry for the loss of your home. We survived the High Park fire in 2012, unlike the other 4 homes on our road. It can be devastating.

Brian, the hydraulic level up system is pretty robust. Not sure what year your RV is, but it’s been awhile since they made the 3402. Lippert is the company that makes that system. They are very helpful. The first place I would start is calling them and getting the manual for that year. As Brad and Jeff mentioned, the slides and leveling system take a lot of juice. And 110v doesn’t help, it is 12v only that operates that system. Also, there is a 50 amp breaker that may be getting weak. Lippert advises an 80 amp breaker. At the top of the page is a search box that you can use to find specific items. All of Keystone’s manuals are on the Keystone app. That is a handy spot for getting documentation. I download most of my manuals into Apple’s Books, so I have access when I need it. You should also add your model and year to your signature. There are at least several iterations of hydraulic leveling, convenience center/no convenience center, etc. It will help people to give you the right info. We have had a 2004, 2010, 2015 and 2021 Montana. So we have seen almost every iteration except the electrical leveling system. Best of luck.

I'll set up my signature now with the pertinent information It's a 2012 with a salvage title. Looks like it was in a flood from the rust on the frames. I bet the issues are related to corrosion. I can see that someone pulled the protective bottom panel down to look inside under the office slide out. there must be more circuit breakers or switches underneath. Thanks for the info on Lippert, I'll head over there and see what I can download. I had looked there earlier, but didn't know where to go or what to search for on their website.

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Old 06-15-2022, 11:48 AM   #10
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I believe that is correct, it is a 3 prong plug, not the 4 prong like the one I'm hooking up to my shop here on the ranch from the generator to the 220v panel. ……….
Are you saying the shore power receptacle is 3 prong? Or your power cord is 3 prong?

Your trailer is 4 prong 50 amp service unless someone has gone in and modified it. 50 amp service is 240 vac split phase service with two 120 vac hot legs very much like home service. Although it does have 240 vac in the service, nothing in the trailer uses 240 vac.

A 3 prong receptacle and 3 prong power cord are typical of 120 vac 30 amp service. The attached link gives a great tutorial on RV power. Make sure what you have.

https://www.myrv.us/electric/
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Old 06-15-2022, 05:52 PM   #11
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It's difficult to remember stuff after a disaster and it is 100mi away too boot.

No wonder I was confused
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Old 06-15-2022, 06:01 PM   #12
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That is a 50 amp power cord. The trailer end only has 3 slots but the silver plate on the side is the ground terminal.
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Old 06-15-2022, 09:04 PM   #13
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Your camper is 120 volts NOT 240. Make sure you have it wired correctly or it will do many thousands of dollars damage.
Lynwood
Technically, an RV 50 amp plug is a 240 volts volts circuit, using a NEMA 14-50R plug. The feed for this is 240 volts, but is split into dual 120 volt circuits, and the rig has 2 sub panels, each feeding 120 volts.

But, not sure why you are advising the OP about the voltage? I didn't see them asking about rewiring their rig; only that they had purchased an RV extension cord... Did I miss something?

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Old 06-16-2022, 07:04 AM   #14
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Technically, an RV 50 amp plug is a 240 volts volts circuit, using a NEMA 14-50R plug. The feed for this is 240 volts, but is split into dual 120 volt circuits, and the rig has 2 sub panels, each feeding 120 volts.

But, not sure why you are advising the OP about the voltage? I didn't see them asking about rewiring their rig; only that they had purchased an RV extension cord... Did I miss something?

Brad
This makes sense to me. thank you for the clarification. What I'm trying to do is get the jacks down. Then open up all the sliders, so we can access the interior and start moving in our possessions. The smoke is really bad this morning. My eyes are burning.
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Old 06-16-2022, 07:32 AM   #15
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This makes sense to me. thank you for the clarification. What I'm trying to do is get the jacks down. Then open up all the sliders, so we can access the interior and start moving in our possessions. The smoke is really bad this morning. My eyes are burning.
All the best with the jacks... have you made any progress yet?

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Old 06-16-2022, 10:43 AM   #16
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All the best with the jacks... have you made any progress yet?

Brad
I finished hooking up a new generator to my shop, did a quick repair on the the jeep. Now we're continuing packing. We should be out this afternoon. The big worry is, what if the jacks won't go down?
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Old 06-16-2022, 08:21 PM   #17
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Not mentioned above but important: the trailer will drain the battery in 2-3 days even with everything off. There are parasite loads that do this. Unless you have a small solar, I recommend pulling the ground off the battery.

On a separate thought, most Montana trailers use two batteries to handle hydraulic activity.

I think you can also jump from another vehicle to charge the battery(s).
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Old 06-17-2022, 02:16 AM   #18
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Not mentioned above but important: the trailer will drain the battery in 2-3 days even with everything off. There are parasite loads that do this. Unless you have a small solar, I recommend pulling the ground off the battery.

On a separate thought, most Montana trailers use two batteries to handle hydraulic activity.

I think you can also jump from another vehicle to charge the battery(s).
Yes a second battery is what we came up with this afternoon. We noticed the interior DC lights flickering whenever the Jacks were initiated. I checked the battery voltage after charging for a couple hours; it was still below 12VDC.We went swimming across the street. OMG Santa Rosa is heaven sent. I don't know how much charge the inverter charger puts out, but it doesn't seems like a lot. We bought a second battery and will hook it up in parallel with the other. Also I'll bring my 50 amp charger down to give the system a boost. I also have a little so-called smart charger I can leave on the batteries.

I see there is a circuit panel with a lot of relays on the front facing wall of the battery compartment. It has instructions for reprogramming it. But I have no idea what it does. It has a momentary contact button and either an LED or a receiver for a remote control as it says something about using a remote.

Is there an auxiliary DC input for the Photovoltaic system? Two last questions: Where is the inverter/charger? Where is the AC panel?
Thanks so much,
Brian and Nell
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Old 06-17-2022, 06:32 AM   #19
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The relays on the front wall of your 2012 are for your level up system. I think for a short time they did have a remote. As for DC input for PV, there should be a port near the top of the convenience center, wired to near the battery. But, it was just a port. No SCC was included. Any solar on that year of rig would need to be a start from scratch project (unless someone had done an aftermarket job).
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Old 06-17-2022, 08:18 AM   #20
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....I see there is a circuit panel with a lot of relays on the front facing wall of the battery compartment. It has instructions for reprogramming it. But I have no idea what it does. It has a momentary contact button and either an LED or a receiver for a remote control as it says something about using a remote.

Is there an auxiliary DC input for the Photovoltaic system? Two last questions: Where is the inverter/charger? Where is the AC panel?.....
Thanks so much,
Brian and Nell
Relays is a pretty generic term and probably doesn't apply to this Montana. The rectangular box up on the back wall of the battery compartment is the "brains" for the remote control. A 2012 came with a remote control that actuated the jacks, hydraulic sides, awning and scare lights. You probably don't have it and they are hard to find. The "brain" has a tendency to fail and make the physical switched inoperative. There is lots of discussion here on how to fix that if should occur.

Also on the back wall of the battery compartment, as part of the 12V wiring, are two 12V self-resetting circuit breakers. They have red plastic caps on them. The one that feeds the hydraulic pump is undersized and should be upgraded from a 50 amp to an 80 amp one.

I don't know what you are referring to when you wrote "auxiliary DC input for the Photovoltaic system?"

The 120V AC circuit breaker panel and 12V fuse panel along with the converter (there was no inverter on a 2012) is located in the bathroom of a 3400RL as I recall (funky spot). The converter is part of the CB/Fuse panel and is probably a Progressive Dynamics 75 amp type.
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