Friday, April 3, 2020

Fixes and Fails - Auto leveling system

Our 2019 Thor Palazzo 33.2 has the LCI Electronic Leveling System, which includes a hydraulic pump and four jacks to level and stabilize the coach.  The system has worked well at leveling our RV and I even figured out how to reset what it thinks is level, but our experience with it on our first camping trip (other than at the RV park where we were stationary) resulted in a major issue.

We went on a canoe trip with family and friends.  The trip was originally scheduled to camp in Bentonsport IA and canoe on the Des Moines river.  Actually, it was supposed to be mostly drinking, snacking, and chatting, while we float down the river.  The river and campground were flooded, so instead we camped at Lacy Keosauqua State Park near Keosauqua, IA and canoed on a local lake.  We had a great time!

On our way up to Iowa, we stopped at a rest area and I noticed something strange when I looked in the mirror.  Walking around the coach, I noticed this:

It appears that when we had someone look at our turn signal issue, they neglected to tighten it back down.  Luckily, it was just a nut on a threaded rod and I was able to reach in from the rear radiator access and tighten it. Simple fix.

When we got back to our long term site at Trail Side RV park in Grain Valley, MO and hit the button to level our coach, it made a lot of strange noises and when I got out there was a huge pool of hydraulic fluid soaking into the gravel under the RV and the jacks would not retract.  What fun!

When we bought our coach Camping World included a subscription to Good Sam's travel assistance, so we called them.  Right off they told us that they would cover getting someone out there, but I would be responsible for any other costs.  What could I do, I couldn't move with the jacks down, so I said send him out.

The guy showed up and discovered that one of the hydraulic hoses had rubbed on a metal bracket and now had a hole in it.
Made quite a mess!
He put a temporary fix on it, which amounted to a piece of hose and a hose clamp.  After refilling the hydraulic fluid, which is just Automatic Transmission Fluid, we were able to get the jacks raised and they appeared to stay.

We called Thor and they were very apologetic and offered to send us a replacement hose, if we could find someone to install it.  Well, Spillman Service was close, so we spent the night with the slides in and called them in the morning.  They sent someone over to take a look and then said that we would need to bring it in and they could take care of it, so we did, with it spraying hydraulic fluid all the way.  Well we made it to their location on the other side of I-70 without hearing any loud scraping sounds, so I guess we were lucky.

They got under there and found not one but two hoses that had been cut and a couple of others that were also routed very close to metal brackets.  We and the Dog, moved into a local motel for a few nights, while they removed the ruptured hoses, had new ones made out of much heavier duty material, and then rerouted all the hoses to avoid anything sharp, which required them to drop the almost full 90 gallon Diesel tank. 

Thor reimbursed us for the mobile tech and the repairs at Spillman.


1 comment:

  1. We hear that a lot of new RVs have problems and some people recommend buying used. One couple went so far as to only buy ones made before 2009 as quality decreased after the crash.