Tuesday, May 14, 2024
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How To Use a Lippert Auto Leveling System

Properly leveling and stabilizing your RV makes camping more comfortable and safe. It reduces movement when you’re parked and ensures the operation of sensitive appliances that require a level platform for efficient operation. Because Lippert is one of the premier suppliers of RV leveling systems, we’re covering the basic steps for how to use a Lippert auto leveling system.

This will help if your new RV has an automatic leveling system or you’re considering upgrading to one. These systems are most commonly found on motorhomes and fifth wheels with landing gear, but suppliers like Lippert now offer electric leveling systems for travel trailers that make leveling and stabilizing your RV effortless.

Technician Tip: We’ve focused on the Lippert Ground Control 3.0 auto leveling system because it’s one of the most common you’ll find on modern RVs with auto leveling. If your RV is equipped with a different system, consult the owner’s manual for operating instructions.  

How To Use a Lippert Leveling System

Let’s evaluate the step-by-step instructions for a Lippert 3.0 auto leveling system installed on a fifth wheel: 

Step 1: Park Strategically

Keystone Cougar Midnight Edition parking before learning how to use Lippert auto leveling system
Photo by Camping World

It’s important to park your RV so that your leveling system has to do the minimal work possible. While auto leveling systems are designed for fine-tuning your RV’s position (front to back and side to side), they aren’t designed for heavy-duty lifting. 

This means you should start by surveying your campsite to determine the ideal wheel placement to level your RV before you deploy the leveling system. You can also use leveling blocks to raise the camp or off-camp side of the trailer to achieve a more level setup. Set wheel chocks in place.

Technician Tip: In RV service centers, OSHA safety standards require chocks to be on the front and rear of every tire that remains on the ground. These chocks must also be wider than the tire. The same safety standards are important for RV owners because the same potential hazards exist in the campground that exist in a shop setting.

Then, check that the locations for your landing gear are clear and free of obstructions. Ensure all persons, pets, and camping gear are clear of the landing gear before operating your leveling system. Some RVers utilize SnapPads or Camco Jack Pads to protect the feet of their landing gear from damage. Jack pads are also essential when parking on soft surfaces. 

Step 2: Disconnect From Your Tow Vehicle

With your RV parked and the wheels safely chocked, pull the quick-release pins to extend the inner legs of your trailer’s front landing gear to within 4-5” of the ground. Now locate your Lippert leveling system’s control panel. 

Depress the power button until the LCD display turns on. It should read ‘Ready Jacks Up’. Press the Up arrow and scroll to ‘Drop Front Jacks’. Red or orange indicator lights may appear on the LCD display next to the front, rear, left, or right jack controls. These lights indicate where the unit is too high or too low.

Press ‘Enter’ to drop the front jacks to the ground. They should stop once grounded. You’ll need to press ‘Front’ to extend the jacks to a sufficient height to lift the trailer off your tow vehicle’s fifth wheel hitch plate. Then, you can disconnect the fifth wheel hitch connections, pull your tow vehicle away, and park it. 

Technician Tip: When hitching or unhitching, the red/orange lights come and go as you deliberately raise and/or lower certain jacks. This is normal and requires no action at this time.

After unhitching, the trailer will be high in the front. For best results during auto leveling, lower the front of the unit 1-2″ below level manually. This is determined using an educated guess, or if so equipped, the control pad may display how far above or below level the front of the unit is in inches or degrees. 

As long as the front is lower before pressing ‘Auto Level’, the unit will level faster and more accurately. In many Lippert leveling systems, if ‘Auto Level’ is pressed while the front is high, the controller may try to raise the rear first to compensate. It will then try to level the unit from that starting point, resulting in the unit sitting unusually high. Or, the jacks stroke out before the unit is fully leveled.

Step 3: Auto Level Your RV

Close up of Lippert Ground Control 3.0 Touch Pad
Photo by Lippert

After verifying the LCD control panel is still on, use the ‘Auto Level’ button to begin the automatic leveling process. Typically, the front of your RV will lower to activate the system’s leveling sensor. 

Technician Tip: Your RV must remain perfectly still during this process since the sensors are so precise. Avoid entering or exiting the unit and keep everyone outside. Also, avoid loading or unloading compartments. Even strong winds rocking the unit can result in failure to level. If the auto level fails, you can switch to manual mode and get the unit extremely close to level and comfortably stable.

With six-point automatic leveling systems, the jacks begin by leveling the RV from front to back before leveling from side to side. In this stage, the system completes several internal leveling checks to verify its work. 

When the process is complete, the control’s LCD display should read ‘Ready Jacks Down’, ‘Complete’, or ‘Success’. Additionally, the green light at the center of the jack controls should be illuminated. You can use the power button to turn the system off, but it’s also designed to time out and shut down automatically after the programmed period.

Safety Note: If concerns arise, pressing any button will abort the current task when operating the jack system’s automatic functions.

Reconnecting Your Tow Vehicle

Man reconnecting fifth wheel to fifth wheel hitch
Photo by Camping World

Technician Tip: Procedures may vary for different tow vehicles. Read your owner’s manual for recommended hitching protocols. 

When you’re ready to leave camp, turn the leveling system’s power on at the display. The display should still read ‘Ready Jacks Down’. Push the Up arrow and scroll to the ‘Auto Reconnect’ option on the LCD screen. Press enter to activate the unit’s Auto Memory function, which is designed to lift the unit to its original hitch height. 

The center and rear jacks must be fully retracted before extending the front jacks to raise the RV and prepare for hitching. A failure to do so may result in serious damage to the center and rear jacks, or to the RV itself. When using the automatic hitch height function, you must ensure the system does this before proceeding. You can then connect your tow vehicle, ensuring the fifth wheel hitch’s jaws and pin are connected and locked. 

Going back to the leveling system’s control panel, push the Up arrow twice. The LCD display should read ‘Auto Retract,’ and you can push ‘Enter’ to retract all jacks/landing gear automatically.

Visually verify that all landing gear has retracted completely before removing any non-connected jack pads and wheel chocks. Then pull the pins and retract the inner legs of the front landing gear. Ensure the pin latches again when finished.

How To Reset a Lippert Leveling System

Automatic RV leveling sounds wonderful, so long as it works. But one of the common issues RV owners ask about is why their automatic leveling system no longer levels their RV. 

Maybe you ran the process using the steps above, but it doesn’t feel level once you climb inside. Maybe you’re using a bubble level to confirm that your Lippert auto leveling system isn’t calibrated correctly. 

Whichever the case, you need to reset your auto leveling system. Here’s how to do it: 

  1. Ensure the RV is secure using wheel chocks. If it is still connected to your tow vehicle, extend the landing gear, unhitch it, and move the tow vehicle a safe distance away before turning the control pad off.
  2. Retract the center and rear jacks and turn the control system off.
  3. Press the ‘Front’ jack button 10 times.
  4. Press the ‘Rear’ jack button 10 times.
  5. The unit should enter calibration mode and read ‘Zero Point Calibration’ on the LCD screen.
  6. Manually extend each jack until your RV is at your desired level. You’ll likely need to utilize a 24” bubble level inside to verify your desired level on the kitchen floor inside your RV. 
  7. Begin by raising the front or rear jacks until the RV is level from front to back. Then use the same process to level it from side to side. You can also switch the controls to ‘Retract’ to bring one side (or the front or back) down to achieve your desired level.
  8. When you’ve achieved your desired level, press ‘Enter’ to set your unit’s recalibrated Zero Point. The system will conduct a stability check and the LCD screen will display ‘Zero Point Successfully Set’ when the calibration is complete.  
  9. Once recalibrated, turn on the pad, retract the rear and center jacks, and lower the front to just below level. Select the ‘Auto Level’ function. Once that function is complete, use your 24” level on the kitchen floor to verify that the system returns to the newly programmed settings. A failure to return to the new setpoint indicates the system requires service.

Technician Tip: You may need leveling blocks to prevent overextending jacks during the manual extension process. Do NOT overextend jacks or raise your RV to lift the tires off the ground. Jacks should be extended no farther than necessary for maximum stability.

Luckily, the Lippert auto leveling system alerts you if you begin to twist the frame during manual calibration. 

Are you curious about learning how to use other critical RV systems? Here are a few more helpful resources: 

What questions do you have about using a Lippert auto leveling system? Let us know in the comments below.

The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only and not intended to take the place of professional service providers. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to the information, products, services, or advice contained on the blog for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this blog.

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