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Leveling System--HWH Factory Service

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mikeh

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Leveling System--HWH Factory Service
« on: November 02, 2021, 06:10:55 pm »
Looks like this is a fairly slow time for the forum overall, so thought it might be a good opportunity to pitch this long post out there---not that anyone’s asking right now, but the topic of the leveling system has been up numerous times in the past and maybe someone searching the forum on this subject in the future will find this post and benefit from it.

The only thing this applies to in our PC's is the leveling system for those of us who have one.  I do have the HWH Model 725 Automatic Leveling System in my 2019 2552 and I like it—it makes leveling the coach much more convenient in most cases.

I had a problem with mine, though, last summer when the leveling jacks suddenly wouldn’t activate.  The control panel in the cab appeared perfectly normal—all the lights looked as usual when I pressed the “On” button to activate it, but when I pushed the “On” button a second time to drop the jacks—nothing happened; I tried various combinations and re-starts but got the same results.  I was in Wisconsin at the time, in the middle of a trip, so after finding nothing with quick review of the Operating Manual, I went to the HWH website for more information.

I found that HWH has quite a bit of support data on their website for each model, including a troubleshooting checklist meant for techs that steps one through the testing procedure with a “go/no-go” process to methodically determine where the problem might be in the system.  I learned that the control box down at the pump and valve assembly actually has LED indicators that show whether it is getting proper inputs.  Unfortunately, the control box is mounted on TOP of the pump assembly—which means it’s about 2-inches from the overhead—and the only way you can see the LED indicators while lying underneath the coach is with a mirror.  Following their checklist, though, I determined that the link-lights on the back of the in-cab panel and the control box both started flashing when I turned the key on, which confirmed power and proper connectivity between the two, and that when I crawled out and hit the “On” button on the panel the first time, the second LED on the control box also came on showing that the main power relay had clicked in to apply power over to the pump relay.  My voltmeter told me power from the house batteries was about 13.5 volts—fine for a no-load condition.

All good to that point, but since I was by myself there was no way to follow the next step—hit the in-cab “On” button a second time to bring in the pump solenoid WHILE still monitoring voltage underneath to see if that pump relay engaged—and, what the voltage on it read.  Besides that, my old back was beginning to complain loudly about worming my way back and forth beneath the coach and cautioned me that it might not make it back out next time—leaving me stranded until someone could rescue me.  So, since I had noticed both a link and phone number while on the HWH site to schedule service at their Moscow, Iowa, factory, and since I would pass within less than 100 miles on my return trip home from Wisconsin, I decided to give them a call.  They asked what day to stop in would work for me, and we agreed on a day the following week.

My appointment was at 12:30, and I pulled in about noon, unhooked the TOAD, and walked in the service office.  The receptionist had my work order ready to go, handed it to a tech, and I went with him back out to the PC explaining my symptoms.  The tech told me not to worry—they were set up to handle any issue, they had all the parts and capability, including, if needed, even the guy on hand that had designed the system.  The tech pulled my Cruiser into one of their dozen big bays—it was almost lost among all the big Class A coaches being worked on—many of those use the complete HWH hydraulic system which powers not only their levelers, but their slides and extendable steps as well.  Most of the shop was filled with big Class A’s.  After pulling my unit up on ramps and sliding underneath for a couple minutes, the tech backed it out and moved it down several bays to one of their two lifts for smaller coaches—the other one was occupied by a Winnebago View, with the tech on it doing some sort of installation job.  I watched from outside as my tech raised my 2552 up on the lift, and a second tech joined him.  They pulled out the house battery slide, opened the driver door, and worked back and forth between those areas and the pump unit testing with meters for quite a while.  They eventually brought some boxes of new components which they removed/installed using power tools.  The tech came out and said the problem was both the power and pump solenoids had become internally corroded due to road salt, dropping the usable battery voltage under load.  The control board, sensing a voltage below the threshold required, wouldn’t allow the system to activate.  He also said a dedicated ground for the system that should be there wasn’t installed, so they added a #2 ground cable while they were at it.  After dropping the unit off the lift, he pulled it back in a bay on level concrete to check and re-calibrate the level sensor and test out the leveling system.  All worked well.

Less than two hours after I pulled in, I was hooked back up and ready to go.  The two techs had worked on my unit about an hour and a half in total from pulling it in to pulling it out, but when I paid my invoice I discovered that they evidently work on a flat-rate system.  The shop rate was $98 per hour (not bad for factory-level service), but the labor charged was only 0.5 hours for replacing two solenoids.  There was no charge for the considerable amount of testing and troubleshooting time they had spent, the ground cable they installed, or the time afterward to re-calibrate the level sensor.  After adding the hundred bucks worth of parts my entire bill was $148.72.

I am cautious about making recommendations, but based only on my one experience, I highly recommend anyone needing outside work on their HWH system strongly consider using the HWH factory if they are within reasonable driving distance.  They are located just off I-80 on the Moscow, Iowa road.  They do a pretty brisk service business—several rigs pulled in during the two hours I was there—but you can normally get in within a day or two, the capability (both parts and labor) is excellent, and even the price is right.

Mike 


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jim.godfrey

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Re: Leveling System--HWH Factory Service
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2021, 06:58:01 pm »
Great info as usual Mike!

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RonJ

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Re: Leveling System--HWH Factory Service
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2021, 05:49:30 pm »
Great info. Thanks for sharing.
RonJ

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Free2RV

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Re: Leveling System--HWH Factory Service
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2021, 12:06:17 pm »
Good information to know.  Thanks for sharing.
Gary

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Cropduster

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Re: Leveling System--HWH Factory Service
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2021, 09:37:35 pm »
The previous owner of our 2100 paid some serious dollars for the installation of the HWH leveling system.  The unit's rratic operation, after we acquired the RV, resulted in an 'upgrade' which was convered by the installer's warranty.  Although the HWH documentation has been excellent, it was not designed to deal with a sub-standard installation.  Although I have uncovered, and worked to correct, numerous flaws, we no longer rely on using the system.  Although there is absolutely no reason to question the design of the system.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2021, 09:39:18 pm by Cropduster »

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mikeh

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Re: Leveling System--HWH Factory Service
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2021, 12:11:00 am »
Cropduster,

You raise an excellent point.  When I visited the HWH factory for my repair, I noted that a significant amount of the work that I saw being done looked like "installation-type" work rather than "repair-type" work.  I know that the Winnebago View up on the lift next to mine had some sort of installation in process, and I believe some of the big "Class A's" in the shop did too.

Given the high-dollar cost of a complete installation of a leveling system, if my unit did not originally have one and I was going to have one installed--I think it would be well worth the trip to drive to the HWH factory to get it done.  I'm sure Phoenix could do a competent installation on a PC, but beyond that I don't think I'd trust just the "average" RV shop to get it right.  I'd go straight to HWH  and let them do a factory install.
Mike 

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Leveling System--HWH Factory Service
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2021, 10:59:11 am »
I'm sure Phoenix could do a competent installation on a PC, but beyond that I don't think I'd trust just the "average" RV shop to get it right.
Some fabrication and/or installation people might think are handled by Phoenix directly, but they farmed out or otherwise supplied.  This is what I understand.

1) chassis stretch
2) all paintwork (maybe graphics too)
3) hydraulic or electric levelers
4) 4x4 conversions
5) cabinet doors and drawer fronts
6) upholstered furniture (captain seats, couches and dinette cushions)

There may be others but these come to mind.  One thing certain, things are always changing so maybe my information is outdated.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2021, 11:16:03 am by Ron Dittmer »
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Cropduster

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Re: Leveling System--HWH Factory Service
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2021, 12:05:35 pm »
MikeH,

Absolutely agree.  The installation should only be handled by the manufacturer, or as was pointed out by Herr Dittmer, their contractor.   For an existing RV, it should entail a trip which stops at HWH in Moscow, Iowa.  I am still convinced that the system is very well designed, but with a level of complexity which can only be addressed by trained and experienced installers.