It’s common knowledge among RVers that an RV needs to be level for comfort and for certain appliances to function properly. But there are a number of different ways to level an RV. Today we’re taking a look at the HWH leveling system.
What is it and how does it work? And does it mean you can abandon the need to adjust and re-adjust your manual jacks over and over again until your rig is level?
Let’s find out!
What Is the HWH Leveling System?
HWH systems are hydraulic leveling systems produced by HWH Corporation in Moscow, Iowa. An RV industry leader in hydraulic landing gear, HWH makes hydraulic jacks (and slide-out mechanisms) for RVs, horse trailers, and specialty vehicles, among other systems.
HWH hydraulic leveling jacks make leveling your RV easy. The process takes place from inside your RV where a control panel is located.
From the control panel, you can manually raise/lower each side/end of the RV. Or, if so equipped, you can use the automatic leveling function to engage the system (either a hydraulic system or air system) to level your RV from front to back and side to side.
This bi-axial lifting (two jacks or air bags on one side/end lifting at the same time) is important as it helps to prevent twisting of the RV’s chassis. The end result is a level rig that’s also stabilized, minimizing motion when people are walking around inside.
The system is typically installed by the RV manufacturer, but can also be installed aftermarket by an HWH RV tech.
How Does the HWH Leveling System Work?
HWH hydraulic leveling systems use tanks, pumps, hoses, and sensors to raise and lower the RV. HWH air leveling systems use the existing air bags (on an RV with an air suspension, like a diesel pusher) to raise/lower each side/end of the RV.
To accomplish leveling, most of HWH’s hydraulic systems use single-acting cylinders, where the jacks are retracted using springs. But some HWH systems have double-acting cylinders, where the jacks are retracted using hydraulic power.
The level sensing unit has a side-to-side tolerance of about an inch and a front-to-back tolerance of about five inches. (Comparing this to using a circular bubble level, half of the bubble in the bull’s eye would roughly equate to these tolerances.)
Depending on the type of leveling (air or hydraulic), the jacks you have, and their mounting height, the typical lift from an HWH system will be between four and six inches.
Straight-acting jacks mount to the frame and simply extend and retract from in position (common on diesel RVs with air suspension, for example, because air can be dumped so the RV sits lower before leveling begins.)
Kick-down jacks stow parallel to the ground and pivot down into position during use. This ensures sufficient ground clearance when driving, but improves the range of lift for RVs that can’t dump air before leveling (gas motorhomes, for example).
Using RV jack pads may be necessary at times, for example, if the rig is parked on soft ground. HWH doesn’t recommend the use of more than one pad per jack, however. Also, the foot needs to be centered on the pad.
Leveling blocks like these offer high-quality stability and plenty of room.
If it should become necessary for any reason, you can manually retract each HWH leveling jack. A solenoid with a white tab on it can be turned to release the pressure and retract the jack.
How Do I Reset My HWH Leveling System?
If you’re having a problem with your HWH leveling system, it may need to be reset. The process used is simple:
- Park your rig in a completely flat area.
- If your HWH leveling system uses air, dump the air from the system.
- On the control panel inside the RV, press the “Auto Leveling” button and hold it down for 10 to 15 seconds. The system will now begin the reset process which includes fully extending and then retracting the leveling jacks.
- Once the system has been reset, manually level your RV.
- Turn the system off.
If resetting doesn’t solve your problem, you may need to have the system looked at by a professional.
How to Level a Motorhome in General
While our motorhome has an HWH automatic leveling system, we also use our LevelMatePRO to assist in the process, as it’s higher level of accuracy ensures our bathroom door doesn’t swing open/closed on us! (the sensors in the HWH can be calibrated, but they’re still less accurate than the LevelMatePRO). Check out our YouTube videos on how to level a motorhome and on how we use our LevelMatePRO to do so.
If you’re interested in a LevelMatePRO unit, they’re available on Amazon, or from TechnoRV (with a 5% discount):
TechnoRV.com is a supplier of leading RV technology products that are designed to enhance your RV lifestyle. That includes items like LevelMatePRO, Viair portable air compressors, connectivity...Show More
TechnoRV.com is a supplier of leading RV technology products that are designed to enhance your RV lifestyle. That includes items like LevelMatePRO, Viair portable air compressors, connectivity equipment, and more!
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Friday 28th of October 2022
Ladies and Gentlemen - A Comment and a Question: On my 2013 Winni Vista the hydraulic leveling jack (Rear, Driver side) is EXTREMELY slow at retracting, and has been observed to halt retracting. Only by manually operating the "stow" pushbuttons on the controller will the jack slowly retract. Does this need professional service or should I try the reset procedure first? Question: How do I determine if there is the correct amount of hydraulic fluid in the system? (and, just for info - do you have a recommendation for the hydraulic fluid to use?)
Saturday 27th of August 2022
How do you save your settings if you need to reset your system?
Once the system has been reset, manually level your RV and save the settings.
Monday 29th of August 2022
@Ira Holtzman, what are some of the price ranges and do you have any qualified installers in N. CA? We have a Winnebago Via. Diesel but no air.
Sunday 28th of August 2022
Hi Ira! We just reviewed the post, and please accept our apology for that editing error. That sentence should have been "Once the system has been reset, manually level your RV and you're all set." There are no settings to save. We've updated the post accordingly. Thanks so much for catching that!
Saturday 27th of August 2022
Thanks for the information about leveling system. We have a Tiffin Breeze which does not level with jacks. could you address that system.