troubleshooting leveling jacks

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DaleandKarla

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The jacks/leveling system on our 2008 Itasca Latitude diesel pusher have always been a little finicky. I've always eventually gotten the automatic leveling system to work, but sometimes it feels like only if I hold my mouth a certain way. The latest issue, which I haven't been able to solve for is an alternating red/green flashing of the "Auto Mode" button. The Level Best Kwikee Operation Guide tells me this indicates "lost communication with Auto Level Sensor." I'm assuming this could be a physical loose connection with a wire? Besides tracing wires and looking for faulty connections, any ideas about how to chase down this "lost communication"?

Thanks in advance!
Dale and Karla
 

Kirk

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Besides tracing wires and looking for faulty connections, any ideas about how to chase down this "lost communication"?
That would be my first suggestion since I am not familiar with the leveling system that you have. Have you done that already? I have been looking online for a service manual but can only find the operator's manual that you have.
 

DaleandKarla

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Thanks Kirk - I have not done anything yet. I might start digging into it today. I'll post on this thread what I find - or additional questions that come up.
 

DaleandKarla

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OK - auto leveling system back up and running. I inspected everything I could think of related to the leveling system and jacks themselves. I believe what did the trick was unplugging and plugging back in the wires that run from the control/display panel to the level sensor itself. I learned a lot about the system and was able to inspect other parts in the process - always a good learning opportunity when I'm chasing these things down.
 

Kirk

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I believe what did the trick was unplugging and plugging back in the wires that run from the control/display panel to the level sensor itself.
That would not surprise me at all if that was the right fix. That is even more likely if that plug is outside of the RV interior where it is exposed to weather as it is very common for such connector plugs to become contaminated with dirt or road grime and so fail. Unplugging and replugging probbly cleaned the contacts. When you get a chance you may want to use some contact spray cleaner and do that plug again. It wouldn't hurt to do all of the plugs while you are about it.

It isn't that uncommon for plugs in an RV water heater to do that same thing and sometimes other places as well. In my career as an electromechanical tech I learned to always try that as a quick fix, especially with low voltage circuits.
 

Mark_K5LXP

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Something else that introduces gremlins is the connectors themselves. In the interest of product cost often the pins used in the connectors are tin plated. This offers good manufacturing and part cost economy but they oxidize over time. They need to be plugged and unplugged to grind through the oxide layer to begin conducting again. Put them in an automotive environment of temperature and moisture extremes and it's almost a guaranteed failure. Pure tin also exhibits hairlike projections called "whiskers" that can migrate from the surface and short out to other circuit pads or pins. So the idea of just unplugging something and plugging it back in restoring function is more likely than one would initially imagine once these failure mechanisms are known.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 
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