Hello from California- 2019 3970RD new orner


Hello Everyone,

New to 5th Wheeling. If that's what it's called. I used to live in Paradise, Ca until 11/8/18. 90% of town burned up. Was forced in my new lifestyle. I am not complaining, the Bighorn is not a pup tent. I am one of the lucky ones that managed to get my animals out in time, and fortunate that i am not living in the shelters.

I will be posting alot of questions and guidance on how to do things. I purchased the Bighorn without having a vehicle to tow it. It was delivered by dealer to where it has sat since delivery. It was leveled and the sliders put out for me. Please accept my apologies in advance for all the newbie questions. I lost everything so when you are replying to my questions please, add details of specific tools etc: I will need. I have nothing.

Looking at my new home, I noticed that the jacks are almost to full extension.Right tires are off the ground. I was smart enough to buy some Lynx leveling blocks to put down for jacks to sit on. Unfortunately I only put 1 on each of the 6 jacks. Now they seem to have slipped off not centered. Of course being so high it feels like I am on a boat at times w rocking motions.

I have read the manual and watched video's on how to initially trailer and then untrailer the 5th wheel. It scares the **** out of me. I have a 2019 Ford F350 Platinum w 8ft bed, pucks system. I just purchased B&W 20K 5th wheel hitch for it.

I am looking for advice on how to hitch my ford to the 5th wheel step by step. The reason is to retract all the jacks and put down some blocks that I have gotten to lower the jacks so that they are not so fully extended.

What do I do first? There are controllers in the storage and one inside the coach, It is a lippette system. I read in the manual that in order to re level I should retract the 5 sliders???

I tried hitting the level button inside the coach last week. It did it's thing and I got an error about jacks something. It was because they were fully extended and still not touching ground. I adjust by adding more Lynx blocks. No more error but now I still have to re adjust the 5 other jacks.

Question #1- Do i use the button in front of Big Horn only to initially lift coach front jacks t raise so I can get the truck under neath it? Retract??? I think I can do this with no problem.

After I connect the 5th wheel to bighorn, what do i hit to raise the rest of the leveling jacks?

I do not want to move the 5th wheel I just want to add the blocks to the jacks.

The dealership went through the prep/walk through that I didn't even know what I was listening to. Fortunately only issue I have had is small leak in kitchen window on table slider that is common issue due to condensation holes when it rains really hard. Painters tape resolved my leaking issue.

Another big gripe, who the **** came up with the cabinet handles. We have on several occasion nearly broke our fingers when opening or closing. The handles are skinny and tall where your finger will get stuck. Went to Target bought $40 worth of new handles. Issue solved. Anyone need stock handles I will give them to you free.

Thank you once again in advance. Any help is appreciated. I am living in a friends front yard in Chico, Ca. For anyone close by that can show me the ropes, i will be grateful and get you lunch/dinner.
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Well-known member
Hi rrrdbw,

Welcome to the Heartland Owners Forum. Sorry to hear about how you came to start your RV experience.

I'm sure some of our owners with B&W hitches can help you out with step-by-step hitching/unhitching instructions. You may also want to look on youtube.com for videos. And if you're in an RV park, there are likely others there who may be able to assist you.


Well-known member
There is a directory called H.O.T.E.L. (https://heartlandowners.org/hotel_export.php) that lists 3 people in the Chico area. I forgot what is stands for, but if you have an urgent need, that is what its for. We've all been in your shoes when it comes to having our first RV. I learned there is no stupid questions. I would also add to keep you RV in tip top condition, you need to learn there is maintenance to be done. I also learned to assume nothing.

Perhaps your dealer can help start you on your quest for knowledge. Keep a notebook handy. You will want to write stuff down until it becomes second hand.


Pacific Region Directors-Retired
Welcome to the Heartland Family and congratulations on your new 3970RD. Sorry for what you and all the people from Paradise CA went through and the losses suffered in those fires! We are glad you and your animals all made it out safely!

To auto level correctly you should:

  • Pull all the slides in,
  • Hook up to your truck, and put your trailer in a semi level location. If this can not be obtained, have blocks available to put under your level up jack pads to help keep the hydraulic jacks from reaching their stroke limit.
  • Raise ALL of the jacks up off the ground to prepare to tow. If you are just re-leveling, then
  • Lower the front 2 jacks to the ground and remove the weight off the front pin of the hitch.
  • Lower your tailgate, unlatch your hitch, pull the truck out from under the fifth wheel far enough to completely clear the hitch pin from the tailgate of the truck.
  • Hit the AUTO LEVEL button. By doing it this way, it captures your hitch height so when you are ready to hook up again, you only have to hit your LEFT and RIGHT button simultaneously on your level up controller to return to hitch height, which is the exact level of when you pulled your truck out from underneath the fifth wheel when you unhooked. If you have the new LCI Ground Control 3.0 controller it will just be the HITCH HEIGHT button instead of the left and right button.
  • Once that is done, then you can pull your slides out.

In order to use the hitch height function, you can not change the level or push any of your buttons on your controller prior to returning to hitch height. If you do, that feature will be disabled.

To raise all your jacks at the same time, you do the following:

  • Turn on your level up controller
  • Push your up arrow twice to the button that says AUTO RETRACT
  • Push the enter button and all jacks will retract completely

Here is a guide to the Lippert Level Up system.

Please don't hesitate to ask any questions. We hope to be able to meet you at an upcoming Rally in 2019. We have one in Jackson CA in September. Follow this link to get information on that rally.



Hello rrrdbw,
We too are sorry you have had to face the fires and glad you and your animals are alright. I went to a local sawmill who saws timbers and got some 9x7x9" off fall to put under jacks. To re-level, put slides in, raise rear jacks and then connect to truck, raise front jacks. Place whatever blocking or pads you have under jacks, shouldn't make a tall stack of anything, as it will have more ability to move, and unhitched from truck. Move truck totally clear of rv. Should be able to auto-level at this time. Once level you should be able to extend slides again.
We are novices at this as well and have much to learn. We'll learn together.
All the best,
Dave and Jari


California-N Chapter Leaders-retired
Hi rrrdbw,

We are Chuck and Donna Hale from Modesto, we are the Northern California Chapter Leaders for the Heartland Owners Club. We have contacted a club member in the Chico area. They are more then willing to stop by and help you. We will send you a private message with their contact information and ours. Please feel free to call, they are expecting you and excited to help out.

Best regards,
Chuck & Donna


Thank you everyone for the warm reception. Looking through the forum , wow alot of great information I will need to sift through.

Looking forward when I can contribute something to the site. Thank you again.


Thanks again to those that responded. Thank you Steve for coming out to help me re level my coach. I learned alot today.
* retract all- means all jacks and front will retract - We thought the front 2 did not retract when retracting all. Good to know
* Retract and extend 5 sliders
* Ford 2019 F350 Platinum, 8 foot bed, factory puck system, B&W 5th wheel hitch, hitching to 2019 3970RD the tail gate has to be removed.
* How to re conect tailgate-tailgate camera has 2 connectors that are easily remove/reconnedt
* learned the F350 camera system is awesome once you learn how to use it, when hitching/lining up truck to hitch.
* F350 has trailer check system that will check lights, electric brakes on trailer, and even has step by step on a check list if your hooking up or disconnecting- almost idiot proof
* Properly support leveling jacks with lumber, stall mats, and retaining wall blocks. The coach is so much stable. I love it- did not use Lynx leveling blocks that I purchased yesterday
* what happens to $6 dollar plastic chocks when you forget to remove when backing up
* How awesome the tow button on the F350- what a difference it makes in moving once connected
* How to engage 4 wheel high/4 wheel low- makes inching forward and back to connect/reconnect hitch
* Either 12v or 120v for lighting furnace. I had them both on when I am connected to 120v
* How stable my coach is now that I took time, to properly level/support, and most important, do not have leveling jacks close to full extension.
* Properly support tires -
* Install B&W hitch to pucks system- break it down to 2 pieces. Grease necessary parts with right grease type
* That the stock height of F350 Platinum, B&W hitch 20K is set up just right for the level towing. No need to adjust height on B&W

Need to Learn
* Set-Up auto trailer setting on coach- adjust right height to 5th wheel hitch
* F350's hitch aligning camera
* Practice hooking up/disconnecting
* read up on electric brakes- how to manually adjust
* Read F350 manual on 5th wheel towing section- watch you tube video's
* Soon to actually take the coach for a spin around the neighborhood , find empty parking lot and practice backing in maneuvers
* Im sure there are alot more things I don't even know of that i will need to learn

Thank you again everyone. So glad I found this site.