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Old 05-05-2023, 11:30 PM   #1
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Exclamation Finding Hydraulic leak 2005 Journey

I've been experiencing a small leak (pink colored fluid - so with what everyone is telling me due to the area of where the leak is at it's probably hydraulic fluid).
I have a 2005 Winnebago Journey. There is a certain area which appears to be where the fluid is dripping on or leaking from. I have been having a real hard time tracing the leak and wasn't even sure where or how to check the hydraulic fluid levels for my leveling jacks or slideouts. And, are they separate entities as far as that goes or do they share the same reservoir??

The drip is right in the area where the electric steps are. There seems to be a white box with a clear front (which appears to be a mother board of some sort, lots of small electrical wires and red lights and such) which is connected to a metal "box/tray" that has some cylinders sitting inside it. This is where the fluid seems to be. I saw a picture of what appears to be a reservoir for hydraulic fluid with a nut that could be unscrewed (which I'm assuming acts as a dipstick).

I'm just trying to see if anyone knows the exact location (or close to it) where I might find the hydraulic reservoir for "MY" exact motorhome listed above. I'd certainly would love to check the levels and then of course try and figure out where this leak is coming from and get it fixed. Is it the leveling Jacks?? or the Slideouts?? or both???
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Old 05-06-2023, 09:50 AM   #2
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You are on the right track. Your reservoir should be behind the steps. On the lip of one of the steps, underneath, there should be a nut holding the step. Remove it and the step should lift up and give access to the reservoir. You should also see a series of hydraulic hoses on one side or the ohter.

On the top of the reservoir will be a 1 inch or more nut. Unscrew it and you will see a small dip stick. It will give you a reference of the liquid in the reservoir. Your leak indicated it was pink so that is good but without a leak, stick your finger in the hole, pull it out and drip on a paper towel. It should be pink. Most don't ever use the dip stick. Instead we stick our index finger in the hole until the first knuckle is at the bottom ridge of the opening. Fluid should just be touching the finger tip.

Only check with the slides in and the jacks retracted.

Another practice is checking for debris in the reservoir. Use a turkey baster and insert it in the fluid down to the bottom. Stir it up and then suck up some fluid. Go to your wife's flower bed and squirt the fluid on a paper towel look for any sediment or rust particles. If a lot, the system should be flushed. Sediment or rust can wedge between a seal and cause a leak.

Oh, don't tell the wife you used her turkey baster and blame the birds on the pink flowers.

Here is the operating manual for one of the Journey models Winnebago makes.

DO NOT USE brake fluid or hydraulic jack fluid. Use of these can damage seals. Check the manual.
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Old 05-06-2023, 10:07 AM   #3
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p.s. checking for leak. Any area that is connected by hydraulic hoses or any type of connection will be wet with hydraulic fluid around the fitting. If it is one of the hydraulic lines just a slight tightening may stop the leak. Do not over tighten.



If it is a jack or slide seal it may be necessary to flush the system.
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Old 05-06-2023, 10:21 AM   #4
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One first thought?
I rarely see a hydraulic operated machine that doesn't have some fluid showing! They just tend to ooze and get dirt and grit on them, so not to be toooo concerned with a bit as you might be chasing something that you never catch!

But that is not saying a leak should not be found and possibly fixed as they will never get better by themselves!

One problem with spotting where a leak is happening is made worse by the way ot blows around when we drive, making it look like EVERYTHING is leaking.
One way to help spot the real leaker is to wash much of that collected grime off. Soap and water with a small paint brush and a rinse can let you get down to where to watch when you have a clean slate to watch!

A second small point to be aware of on some reservior is the there "may be" a plug on the side which you might see first?? On that type there is also a plug on top, so avoid opening the first one as it is likely lower and may let a bunch of fluid run down your arm. Why two plugs where one lets a bunch of fluid out? No idea but I did find out the hard way that I was wrong!
We can hope yours has a better design?
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Old 05-06-2023, 11:18 AM   #5
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When you hinge up the steps (you should find that the top two steps hinge up when you remove the nut from the stud under the center of the step lip) you should see several large brass hex 'caps' on the left hand side on top of the manifold. Make sure that all of these are tight--that's a common spot for a leak to develop.
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Old 05-06-2023, 12:42 PM   #6
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This may be an unnecessary comment, but leaks will almost always be at a fitting as opposed to the middle of a hose.

I don't know what years were affected, but, HWH had a problem with defective hoses in the early 2000s. I had to replace three or four of mine. The leaks are due to a faulty ferrule, where the fittings are swaged on to the hose. After cleaning the hose it should be easy to tell if the leak is at the ferrule. At one time HWH covered this under warranty but no longer do so.

Some HWH hoses will be much longer than seems necessary. Don't be tempted to replace them with shorter hoses. The lengths are critical to balancing the pressures within the lines.

I got my replacement hoses directly from HWH although this was pre-Covid supply chain problems. All HWH hoses are labeled with a part number on a plastic ring at the hose end. If it's difficult to read, a cell phone photo can be manipulated to enhance readability.
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