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Repairing a Lippert Ground Control 3.0 Leveling Jack Error.

 

 

On a recent camping trip, we did our usual protocol when disconnecting the RV... checking the lay of the land, finding the most level area, putting blocks under the front landing gear, disconnecting the tow vehicle - you know the drill.

But then when I depressed the "Autolevel" function on my Ground Control 3.0 console, things did not go as planned. The front landing gear raised and lowered a bit as normal, but when the rear jacks started to go down - the Autolevel sequence was interrupted and I received the following errors:

 

 

These error screens would cycle with a warning beep every few seconds.

Uh Oh...

It seems that the console went into some kind of error function as it would not let me scroll through the menu, nor would the remote work. All I was able to do is raise and lower each jack pair - as if the console entered manual mode.

And I was not able to raise or lower the Left-Rear jack. All of the other jacks would work but that one.

Luckily I had the MyLCI app on my smart phone. The LCI app is an index of Lippert manuals, videos, instructions, repair guides, and even has a chat function with their customer service. If you have not downloaded the app, I highly recommend it. The only caveat is you need internet access to obtain the information, so it's usefulness can be somewhat limited if you are in the boonies. But fortunately I had a good 4G signal at the campground.

After finding the Ground Control Troubleshooting guide, I found the following:

 

 

Just great! It could not be something simple, could it?

Check fuse... OK.

I then pulled both ends from the control cable from the jack to the control module, and checked continuity with an ohmmeter - OK.

Begin to pull the power connector for the jack from the control module... ah-ha! Lookie there.

As shown by the yellow arrow, you can see part of the pin from the RED wire, which means it's not sticking all the way into the jack. I can push the wire in and out - that is not correct. When pushed in, the connector is supposed to be captured in the housing.

Obvously the housing is bad.

 

 

Now I can get the Left Rear jack to go up and down using manual mode, but the error is still flashing. When I turn the console on or off, the error does not go away. So time to call Lippert Customer Service (their number is listed in the MyLCI app).

Customer service told me that is the one error you cannot clear by turning the system on and off, but rather you need to re-home the system. Re-homing consists of lowering all 4 jacks (or 6 if you have that many) at least 6". Then raising all of the jacks with the RETRACT button until they go all the way up. That re-homes, or re-synchs the jack end-points with the system. Apparently the system counts the revolutions of the jack screws, so it needs to know where the jacks are when they are all the way up.

Since I had already put blocks under the front landing gear, I could not lower the front jacks 6"... so I have to re-hitch the RV to the truck to continue. So I did all of that, lowered all jacks 6", the retracted them until all 4 jacks stopped - and yea! the error cleared. I was then able to unhitch and autolevel the RV normally.

I always wondered what the re-home procedure was all about as I had read about it previously, but was a bit confused about having to disconnect a jack. Now I know that the only way you can start the re-home sequence is to induce an error (by disconnecting a jack). Then lower all jacks 6" and raise them all the way using the RETRACT button.

So now what to do about the bad connector. Fortunately, there was enough mechanical grip on the pin for it to stay put so that we could autolevel the system and get it home. Truth be told - the connector was probably bad from the factory and it took 18 months of use for it to wiggle out of the housing.

Then the bad news. Lippert quoted me around $190 for a new cable. They don't sell just the connector, but you have to buy the whole cable. This would mean not only spending a lot of money, but removing a 20ft cable - and that meant opening up the bottom of the RV to do so. Not something I wanted to do.

My first thought was to glue the pin in the connector using Potting Compound, which would be an acceptable and permanent fix, but then I found a part number on the housing - and sure enough, I was able to find a replacement housing for... $1.37. So I ordered several as spares. Note however, the connector shell does not come with the connector pins, so if you need those, you will have to order them as a seperate item.

 


Repair Video.

 

Lessons Learned

Luckily I had everything I needed for this repair (although I had to use a paper-clip to short out the cable as I checked continuity). But this experience just enforces the need to carry a few tools with you, including:

  • Multimeter
  • Few pieces of wire or clips to short one end of the cable why you continuity check the other end.
  • Download MyLCI for your smartphone (available for iOS and Android).

 

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Last reviewed and/or updated Sep 28, 2017