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Old 07-25-2010, 10:02 PM   #1
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HWH System not working

I have a 2005 Winnebago Itasca Meridian 34H with 2 slides and 4 jacks. It has the HWH 325 hydraulic system with the manual level control pad with air dump. Several weeks ago the slides wouldn't move and neither would the jacks. However the pump would spin like crazy. All the lights on the control pad seemed to work normally. That is you push a button and a red light would come on indicating the leveler was being asked to work. All the leveler buttons worked the same.

I had a pretty severe leak coming from 2 of the four check valves on top of the HWH manifold. I replaced the 'o'rings wiggled some wires and every thing started working properly again. Until today, Sunday. The small slide went out about 2 inches and quit. The pump spins like crazy, but the slides don't move and the jacks don't go down or up.

I wiggled all the connections again, but this time it didn't work. I checked the fluid level and it's within one inch of the top. It's Dextron II transmission fluid.

Any ideas on how to get this system working again? I need to leave on Saturday July 31 to travel from Jacksonville, Fl to San Angelo, Tx to attend my mothers memorial service. It would really be nice to have working slides and jacks for this trip.

I've sent an email to HWH and will call them in the morning, but I'm really in a time crunch and welcome all ideas and suggestions coming up with a fix.

Thanks,
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:02 AM   #2
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Ummm, I had the same issue kinda, after I extended jacks and front slide, the rear slide would not move and the motor spun like mad making a high whine sound.

My problem was low fluid level. Sure "sounds" similar. Wonder if there could be an air bubble in the line somewhere, possibly caused by those leaks?
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:03 AM   #3
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Maybe a bad shuttle valve??? Let us know what you find out from HWH.
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:53 PM   #4
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I had very similar symptoms, discussed most likely problem via email with HWH, and changed the shuttle valve which solved the problem.

Following the HWH trouble shooting procedures, (available on their web site), indicated I should check the pump pressure first, then the shuttle valve. Not having the equipment to measure the pressure output I went with the shuttle valve replacement first which cost less than the pressure gauges and stuff I would need to check output pressure. You have time to have HWH fed ex you the shuttle valve assuming there is fluid in your reservoir.

Be very careful what kind of fluid you use if not HWH brand as adding the wrong type can contaminate the system. I think your owner’s manual may say you can use “DEXTRON” automatic transmission fluid in an emergency.

Good luck,
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Old 07-26-2010, 04:05 PM   #5
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6:08 PM Eastern Time

As the story unfolds...taking the advice from you folks here on IRV2 I sent an email to HWH Service late last night, but so far no acknowledgment. I know, I know, I'm impatient. I was hoping at the very least a response saying they received my email even if they didn't have time to answer my question.

I continued working on the problem today and discovered the shuttle valve was now a container of loose little pieces. So I called HWH this time and got the answer "Do you mind holding" and then dead air space before I could answer yes or no. After about 2 minutes the person came back on the line and I asked for the Parts Department. I was told I would be put on the 3 day call back list. I didn't want technical advice all I wanted to do was order a part. Good thing I wasn't stuck in Timbuktu and needed this part to get back on the road.

So I called around to some local RV dealers and found a shuttle valve that I will pick up tomorrow. I hope that solves the problem.

After all the great things I had heard about the HWH company I was very disappointed in them today.

However, on a happier note, I'll get the part tomorrow instead of next week sometime. Or we may have to take this next trip without slideouts and levelers. It's cramped but we can do it.

I guess the moral of the story is only have coach problems when you have four to six weeks to get them sorted out not 4 or 5 days.
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Old 07-29-2010, 08:17 PM   #6
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Final update - Replacing the shuttle valve did the trick. The slides and jacks work once again. And I have yet to hear from HWH. My opinion of their customer service continues to drop.
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Old 07-30-2010, 07:55 AM   #7
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Frank,
Were you able to examine the shuttle valve you removed? "container of loose little pieces," did it just disintegrate? Why? Corrosion, debris or other possible reason for problems? Many of the HWH problems discussed in these forums may be related to the shuttle valve but it is seldom mentioned.
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Old 07-30-2010, 08:27 AM   #8
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Interesting stuff. Can someone explain what the shuttle valve does?
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Old 07-31-2010, 06:33 PM   #9
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Here is a picture of the shuttle in the "not how it is supposed to look" mode.


I believe the purpose of the shuttle valve is to allow the hydraulic fluid to either be directed to the reservoir or to the rest of the system where it can operate the slides or the jacks.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-31-2010, 06:43 PM   #10
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The shuttle valve is something like a one-way valve. When the pump runs it should shove the hydrualic fluid forward. If the valve is not working the fluid will seep back in the pump. I had a bad one a few years ago and the motor and pump ran, but nothing moved. Back then times were better for HWH and they overnighted me one free.
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Old 07-31-2010, 09:16 PM   #11
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Thanks much guys!
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Old 08-01-2010, 10:47 PM   #12
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Hi Everyone – nice thread.
For my 2 cents if you ever plan to switch levelling systems, stay away from electric jacks specifically Power Gear (see the treads under “Power Gear Levelling problems”). I have a 2007 41’ DP with electric jacks and they have been a constant problem since day one. They have been repaired so many times I’ve lost count. Now I decided to switch to hydraulic. I know it will cost approximately $6,000 taxes included (quote from HWH) but after spending what we did on our coach it worth the switch to have a more reliable levelling system. A RV with a unreliable levelling systems is not RVing at all.
The big question is which hydraulic system to switch to i.e. HWH, Big Foot etc. I will not use Power Gear because their service is terrible – they actually hung up on my RV dealer who was asking questions to resolve my problems – not a good sign. HWH have been great to talk to when you want to buy their product but what are they like for warranty or parts. I emailed them late one night to ask for a quote for a new system and they called me at home to clarify the scope of the work. Then they called me the next day with a quote. I know someone commented that they have not returned calls - is this normally or just a busy time of the year. My previous rig had hydraulic jacks and they works great. It also helps to due routine maintenance on them. I have spoke to several RV mechanics and other RV dealers and they recommend the HWH hydraulics. I’ve also emailed a few of the RV manufactures and this is what I found out;
Newmar – (Dutch Star) uses HWH Hydraulic jacks
Monaco – uses HWH air levelling and Power Gear hydraulic
Tiffin uses HWH hydraulic jacks
Gulf Steam uses Lippert Components.
I still plan to contact other manufacturers. I would like to hear from some of you as to which system you have and what to watch out for. I know some systems like Big Foot have motors on each jack and no springs to retract the jacks which mean they may have two solenoids for each jack (one for down and one for up). For me that is too many parts that can fail. I like the idea of only one motor and one solenoid for each jack like the HWH which uses springs to retract the jacks and if properly maintain will last a long time.
Your comments appreciated.
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Old 08-01-2010, 11:38 PM   #13
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Wes- pre econ melt-down HWH was a premier customer service joint. They have done a 180 in the area of tech support and are now barely available, and you have to stretch the meaning of available. Sad to say, cuz they have the best product. Like most complicated space junk, it isn't fool proof. However when they ran well they backed everything and owning their product was good.

Now they put you on a wait list to ask a question and emails take days not hours for reply (i.e. if it takes three email swaps to get an answer, then your email, then 2-3 days, then theirs and your same day turn-around then 2-3 more, then your 1, then 2-3 more; but remember that's working days, so call it 7-8 working days to get an answer), making email just about useless. Phone call-backs are also 1-3 working days, and you better leave a phone you sleep with if you are on the west coast cuz when they call @ 06:30 (09:30 their time) and you don't answer- they'll leave a sweet message and you get to start the countdown again for another 1-3 days.

Sad to see this former great on the ropes but there it is. You have to decide if you want the best product w/maybe D- support, or something less w/whatever support that outfit has.

I'm guessing from your description, the sales guys are on commish.
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Old 08-02-2010, 01:03 AM   #14
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Yeah I hear you. The sales guy is likely on commission but I will talk to him about their service being down graded to "D". They should do something about this (hire more people) if they want to stay in business after all they are in the customer service industry.
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