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Old 11-21-2010, 07:58 AM   #1
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Can you over extend the air bags...by raising the front wheels off the ground

I need to check the front wheel bearings on my 2001 Alpine...and while I'm at it lubricate the brake calipers.

Can you overextend the air bags ...by raising the front wheels off the ground with the leveling jacks?

(...don't worry...I'll l have plenty of support under the frame before I do any maintenance)

Thanks..Stan M.
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Old 11-21-2010, 08:03 AM   #2
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over extend

I don't think so, but we have a Spartan chassis and it may be different?
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Old 11-21-2010, 09:59 AM   #3
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I do it all the time.
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Old 11-21-2010, 11:41 AM   #4
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If it's a factory designed/installed system then probably not, the shocks will top out and stop it before the bags go too far.

If it's an aftermarket add on then who knows.

I'd watch from underneath while someone else held the button just to be sure.
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Old 11-21-2010, 12:29 PM   #5
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Stan, the only thing that I've heard about NOT lifting the tires off the ground is that it is hard on the shocks. I think that would relate more to the rear axle which is much heavier that the front. We have had the front and rear, at times, nearly off the ground without any problems.

When you get done, drop by Indianapolis and do mine. We will burn a few fillets!!
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Old 11-21-2010, 09:22 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone..

Sounds like I should be Ok then...

Tom...I've got a better idea...bring the fillets and come on down south and we'll talk about it. I'm not sure this southern country boy could handle the Indianapolis chill...probably not even back when I was a country "boy". Ha!

Best regards..Stan
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Old 11-22-2010, 04:56 PM   #7
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I have seen owners with Alpines do it. However, I seem to remember the owner's manual said not to do it.
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Old 11-24-2010, 06:27 AM   #8
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I've done it but didn't feel comfortable under the Coach without HD jackstands to insure it didn't fall on me.
All it takes is a solenoid valve to fail or a hose to break and you'd be toast.
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Old 11-24-2010, 10:44 AM   #9
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Nope--this old farmer told me once "there is a right way and a wrong way to do stuff"--especially "heavy" stuff. Go to Tractor Supply, invest $30-40 in a 20-ton jack, then block the axle--no worries!
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Old 11-24-2010, 12:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmmpe View Post
I've done it but didn't feel comfortable under the Coach without HD jackstands to insure it didn't fall on me.
All it takes is a solenoid valve to fail or a hose to break and you'd be toast.

I agree 100%..as per post #1..

Quote:
(...don't worry...I'll l have plenty of support under the frame before I do any maintenance)

Best regards..Stan
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Old 11-24-2010, 12:47 PM   #11
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Nope--this old farmer told me once "there is a right way and a wrong way to do stuff"--especially "heavy" stuff. Go to Tractor Supply, invest $30-40 in a 20-ton jack, then block the axle--no worries!

I have jacks...but I thought it would probably be alright to raise the coach (as if you were leveling it...till the wheels are off the ground, using blocks under the jacks), then put some blocks under the axle and lower the coach to rest on the axle blocks.

I was thinking it would be much quicker..and the weight wouldn't be suspended long. (even though all front axle weight is suspended sometimes when you have to level on uneven ground..)

Stan..
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:37 PM   #12
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I see your point and agree the actual time spent suspended would be small but given all the potential problems you can have with HWH gear and the difficulties getting it repaired, I am incline to keep my HWH jack usage within the "normal" application range, which includes keeping both axles on the ground whenever possible....
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Old 11-24-2010, 07:30 PM   #13
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I see your point and agree the actual time spent suspended would be small but given all the potential problems you can have with HWH gear and the difficulties getting it repaired, I am incline to keep my HWH jack usage within the "normal" application range, which includes keeping both axles on the ground whenever possible....
No doubt easier on the coach

...albeit harder on my crawling abilities, crawling around under the coach with a jack.

I'm reaal disappointed in the normal HWH jack range on these coaches anyway. We are lake goers..and it seems like even a slight grade activates the "excess slope" light. In fact a Walmart parking lot activated the ES light..

My old 37' Fleetwood Limited with the HWH leveling system and swing down jacks would level the coach on the side of a cliff practically...

I'll be doing something about the leveling issue.. Blocks are the only fix I guess, so I'm planing on some heavy 12" X12" blocks cut from from crossties with rope handles affixed to them.

I already have some some commercial wheel chocks (not Camping World)...hopefully both items will give us some flexibiliy on places to park other than dead level pads.

Stan..
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:27 PM   #14
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Stan,
When I get the "excess slope", most of the time if I then use manual, I can get the coach to level. The LR tires will come off the ground if there is much lift needed. I've heard that WRV was advised by HWH to go with the next size larger on the leveling jacks, but the advise went unheeded. On my coach, if the control panel shows unleval across either the front or back, plus unlevel on either side, it is a real bear to level without ramping a wheel position. Usually what I get is LR lower than RR plus LR lower than LF. If I can see unlevel by eyeballing it, I ramp the LR before going further. The alternative is just too time consuming and irritating. I've read elsewhere on this forum (Dave Fernandez I think) that the rear suspension is stiffer on the Alpine, so there is less travel, and so those wheels are more likely to come off the ground.
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