Ground Control TT Will NOT Auto Level - But.....
I don't have a question, just sharing some info that might help someone else trying to get the Lippert system to Auto Level:
Lippert Ground Control Travel Trailer (TT) (Yellow Controller). The leveling system came pre-installed on a 38' 2018, Crossroads, Sunset Trail, Grand Reserve, 33CK travel trailer. This was a new purchase that occurred on 6/30/2019. I like the system a great deal. BUT, the auto level does NOT work.
Within 30 minutes after purchase of the TT, we went to a local campground that was asphalt and almost perfectly level and could not get the auto level to work. The unit will run until all 4 wheels are about 6" off the ground and then generate an error code. We drove to to the RV Sales dealer, reported the problem and they sent their senior tech over to see what was wrong. He worked on it for about 10 hours over two days. Of approximately 20 attempts to auto level he was only successful 2 times. During the hours of work he opened the all weather bottom of the TT to confirm the leveling sensors were mounted correctly, which they were mounted correctly. He called Lippert and talked with at least two different support techs and tried various ideas to get it to work. Eventually, he got it to Auto Level 2x in a row and declared it operational. He gave me a Lippert phone number and a persons name to call if I had problems in the future.
Of the 20 or more times I’ve tried to auto level in the past 45 days (we’ve been traveling for 3 weeks) the auto level has never completed successfully. It always fails with the TT tires 6” off the ground and the error message says the jacks have reached their max extension.
I called Lippert and talked with “a guy” who said he was the boss of the Service Techs. I was not impressed. He first insisted I cut open and bottom of the camper to confirm the leveling sensors were installed correctly. Even after I assured him we had already done that. I open it up and took pictures to prove. No matter what I talked about he assured me the auto level was working properly despite the fact it never completed successfully one time. Always 6” off the ground with an error message. Finally, I gave up and decided to develop my own procedure for manually leveling the TT.
Here’s what you need to know. The leveling controller doesn’t really know what is “level”. You can stop at any time and reprogram the controller by telling it it’s level, even if it isn’t. This is important to do in order to get full functionality out of the control panel. (my system uses the Yellow Controller, there are 2 or 3 other versions of the controller, Salmon and Pink come to mind).
Here’s why re-zeroing the controller frequently is important to understand and to do and redo often. There are 4 jacks, 2 on the front, 2 on the rear, 2 on the left and 2 on the right. You can USUALLY control these in pairs (unless the controller thinks the frame is twisted or too far out of whack. Then it will NOT allow you to operate the jacks in pairs. It then starts raising/lowering jacks one at a time even if you're trying to adjust them in pairs.
IF the controller believes the camper is very near level, you can also operate each jack individually, RF, LF, RR, LR. BUT, only if the controller believes the TT is almost perfectly level. So……. What you need to do is frequently re-zero the controller by telling it the TT is level. My controller is re-zeroed by turning off the control panel then pressing the “front” button 5 times and then the “rear” button 5 times. The controller will turn on and allow you to you press the “enter” button to re-zero the controller. Then the control panel will shut off.
Turn it back on and set it to manual mode. Now, because the controller believes the TT is level, it will allow you to operate each jack individually or in pairs until it gets too far out of whack and then it blocks you from running the jacks 1 or 2 at a time. All you have to do is re-zero it again and you can keep adjusting jacks in pairs or individually.
So, here’s the process – lower all 4 jacks manually (in pairs, either Front & Rear OR Left & Right) until they are all on the ground. THEN – USING A LEVEL (I use an 8" level, but I've also used a 4 foot level) start adjusting the jacks in pairs until all 4 jacks are on the ground and then individually until YOUR LEVEL says it’s level front to back and side to side. My 38’ TT means I have to level side to side at the front and then side to side at the rear to avoid twisting the frame.
With this process, I can now pull into a campsite, unhook from the truck and using this procedure have the TT leveled in less that 10 minutes. I’ve watched other campers fool around for 30-45 minutes with manual jacks and leveling platforms. These electric jacks are great once you learn the technique. Every once in a while I try the auto level but it never works, it’s just a waste of time.
All in all I love the electric jacks and the controller, but I’ll only give it 3 stars because it won’t auto level and the Service Techs at Lippert were absolutely no help when I called. On a side comment, I’m an electronics engineer, I’ve designed controller and computer programs similar to this when I designed manufacturing process for Compaq Computer and Motorola. I suspect there is a problem either with this particular controller or with the software in general. But I couldn’t persuade Lippert to swap out my 30 day old controller so I could find out. Maybe later this fall I’ll go back to the sales dealer and try to get them to replace/repair it. Right now, it’s mid July, 2019, and every place I’ve called has a 3-4 week lead time to get in to look at it.