Stranded on Mt. Washington: Landing Gear Fail

Just when you think you’re doing good as a newbie RV’er, your rig throws you a challenge that reminds you of oh how new you really are. We were dry camping on Mt. Washington at a Harvest Host spot for 2 nights in New Hampshire. The views were incredible and the spot was great, other than being a bit uneven (on a hill). We thought our auto-leveling jacks could handle it, but when we started to level the front two landing gear stroked out (couldn’t go any higher). When we tried to move them down in order to hitch up they wouldn’t go beyond a certain point. We think the “stroking out” may have been the culprit here, but there is no way to 100% know what caused it.

If you can’t land or move the gear beyond a certain point – you can’t hitch up. That’s a problem for us because we wanted to leave! At first we were worried that we would be stranded on Mt. Washington and need a repair service to come to us, which would have costed a fortune. Luckily, Dennis is super handy, resourceful, and determined and was able to manually operate (move up or down) our Lippert Leveling System to get out us off the mountain and on the road. This video shows you what went down and how to move your leveling jacks manually if there ever comes a time. Although for you sake, we hope you never need to!

Here are the step by step instructions that follow along with the video. Our rig is a 2017 Grand Design Momentum 328M and our video gives a tutorial that meets our models specs. If you would like the same guide that we used, you can download it here

*Remember to call Lippert and give them the make and model of your rig so they can send you the correct manual or quick guide instructions.*

Tools You We Used


  1. Find the electric valve on the landing gear (ours was inside the passenger side bay where our propane tank is stored).
  2. Unplug the electric power connector from the top of the valve.
  3. Using a 5/32” hex wrench, open the valve by turning the manual override screw clockwise.
  4. Locate the motor (also called power unit), ours was in our front bay where the battery and generator are stored. It will be attached the hydraulic fluid reservoir or tank.
  5. Remove protective sticker, this will also have instructions on how to manually operate the motor. (clockwise retracts, counterclockwise extends the jacks).
  6. Insert the 1/4″ hex bit into the power coupler on top of the motor (where the sticker was removed) and run the drill clockwise or counterclockwise to meet your needs.
  7. Upon completion, go back to the electric valve and use the 5/32” hex wrench to close the valve, by turning the manual override screw counter clockwise. Then, reconnect the electric power connector to the top of the valve.

*If you missed the manual PDF guide we provided above, here it is again.

That’s it your done! We hope you never get stuck like we did, but just in case this tutorial will walk you through what to do! 🙂