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Old 11-29-2008, 07:29 PM   #15
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Dale,

Thanks for the explanation. You and I were on the same page in thinking, but I didn't know that I could just leave the engine running while I held the dump valve. Today I pulled the coach out of storage and practiced dumping and measuring the height. Looks like I lose 3.25" of height at the awning when I dump air, which is plenty to solve my issue of gutter clearance.

I didn't try dumping with the engine on; I shut it off and measured the total drop when I dumped all the air. Then I learned it took 2 minutes and 15 seconds to totally fill the bags and re-gain the 3.25" when I started the engine. So that showed me I probably had plenty of time to get back under the gutter. But holding the dump valve while the engine's running so I can hold the coach low while I back the last 15 feet or so is exactly wheat I would like to do.

I'll try it again with the engine running and holding the dump valve so I can see how long it takes to deflate enough to give me the clearance I need. Then I'll try backing it 15 feet or so with the dump valve held down, and see how it works.

Thanks again for that suggestion; I think it's just what I need to solve my problem.
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Old 11-30-2008, 01:49 PM   #16
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Our 2006 Alpine is about 3-4" higher than our 2003 was and to insure I clear the overhead door and keep the door opener arm from slicing open the King Dome or skylight I have been bleeding the air on the 2006 before going into or out of the garage.

With the engine running and the parking brake on I press the HWH "on or start" button (my Coach is 600 miles away so I can't run down and get the exact marking). I then press and hold the bleed button until all air is depleted. I then release the parking brake and put the transmission in forward and drive into the garage with the "low air" alarm blaring. The minute I stop bleeding the air out the bags start refilling. If I feel the coach has risen too much while I drive in I sometimes stop mid way and repeat the process before getting all the way in the garage.

If the engine is runnning in my coach I can only bleed air when the coach is in neutral and the parking brake set.

I let the coach set with no air in the bags, after checking with HWH to verify no damage would occur.

I use the same process when exiting the garage.

I have wondered what would happen if I opened the compressor air bleed valve in the R/R compartment. Would that keep the air bags from filling and would it affect my parking brake?

The driveway leading up to my garage is quite a slope and I don't want to get too experimental...

Harold
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:22 PM   #17
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Harold,

You covered what I missed, put the coach in neutral.
I am pretty sure that if you use the air bleed to evacuate the system, you will not be able to release the park brake, if you set it. This should not be a problem while you are moving the coach and you should still be able to set it even with no air.
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:12 PM   #18
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WOW

I would probably get confused one day and take out the top of the coach and the gutter.
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Old 12-01-2008, 03:27 PM   #19
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The parking brake will always be functional when the motor is running.

For safety reasons if you were to have an airbag leak or complete airbag blowout while going down the road there will always be at least 70 psi in the air tank. This is enough to operate the parking brake and if equipped air brakes.

With out this can you imagine going down the road at 60 mph and all of a sudden an airbag fails and at the same time the parking brake locks up. (Will not happen)

At the air tank there is an “Air Pressure Protection Valve”. This valve supplies air to the air bag system and air horn only. If the tank pressure falls below 70psi it closes not allowing any air through until the pressure is above 70psi.

So…..if you hold down the air dump switch there will always be at least 70psi in the tank. This is more than enough to operate the parking brake.

OldForester good luck!
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:59 PM   #20
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Gary,

Good to know about the 70 psi minimum in the tank. Being able to release the parking brake is the main requirement, so this confirms that I can clear the gutter and not worry about having to run the engine and start pumping the air bags to release the brake.

C&H,

thanks for telling me about dumping air in your coach, which is the same as mine, to go into your garage. Your procedure is exactly what I was going to do. So it was very helpful to get that information.

Thanks again for the feedback; it's exactly why this forum is so valuable to us.
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:20 AM   #21
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I must drop the air to enter and exit our garage which requires cosiderable time and maneuvering.I had a diesel shop install a system that dumps the air via a remote switch that they located in the rear compartment.Once dumped the air suspension stays down until the switch is rotated again. I have no problems releasing the parking brake and making sharp turns.I have been using the system three years.There is no contact between tha tires and coach during maneuvering. Coach is 2005 34'Alpine limited. We love it. Dan/Donna
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:27 AM   #22
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OldF- for the concrete slab I'd recommend:
1) concrete- 3000 psi min. @ 28 days, 3/4" MSA (concrete guy will know what this means if he's real)
2) 5-1/2 sack cement per cubic yard of concrete min
3) 2 lbs per cubic yard min. "Fibermesh" or equal (this is extremely important!!!)
4) excellent compaction of subgrade to at least 8" (12 is better) depth (even more important than #3)
5) 3/4" score lines at 15' on center max each way

I did this on my slab next to house & not a crack since 1992. My driveway, however, had a void formed under the concrete (poor subgrade compaction so a hole formed as the dirt settled) that our 06 coach "found" on its first visit to the house. Huge loud CRACK! & a settling thump of the coach as it dropped 8" into the hole
Good thing to avoid
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Old 12-03-2008, 07:34 PM   #23
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Dan & Donna T:

Thanks for the idea about the remote switch to dump the air. That's an idea I have been looking for, to see if somebody has done it. Do you know who made the switch and its part number? I would look for it if it's not too hard to find. Otherwise, I'll just talk to a diesel shop.

EngMike:

Thanks for the ideas on the concrete. I'm a wood building materials guy and not a concrete expert, so I've copied your message and shared it with the engineer who designed the house and takes care of the concrete and site work. I'll see how close we can come to your specs on the RV pad. I have been emphasizing the weight of the coach on the number of wheels and why it's got to be firm. We've poured a lot of concrete on the site but nothing that had to hold up this much weight. This sounds like it will do a good job of handling the weight, as it has done for you, so thanks again for taking the time to share your specs.
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:33 PM   #24
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OldForester,

Working backwards with the information provided by Dan & Donna, this is what I think that their mechanic did. Since they said they rotated the switch, it sounds like a battery disconnect switch. This is a heavy duty switch capable of handling the load from the 4 solenoids. (Although I don't think that they draw much.) The HWH diagram I have shows that 4 dump solenoids are wired in parallel. If a 12 volt fused power source is wired through the switch and then run to the positive wire going to any one of the dump valve solenoids, as long as the switch is on then the coach will stay dumped.
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:55 PM   #25
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OF:

You might also consider altering the pad, instead of the coach. You say the need for water-run off is keeping you from lowering the slab more.

Consider making the low point in the middle (or opposite side) of the slab and using a 3" drain line to a farther away dumping point.

Also, you can upgrade eMike's (well-designed) concrete to 3500 psi for about $10/yard. It will be "6 sack". More importantly, use 1/2" rebar 12" - 16" o.c., in a grid, for the concentrated weight. 6" thick slab is good for 15' joints, use 10' joints on anything thinner.

For substrate, consider using 6" of compacted "road-base" over compacted soil. It's cheap stuff. The slab will hold up to anything at that point.

If you can design the slab to work without modifying your coach, you've reduced the risk of future damage when you forget to lower the thing, or the lowering damages something. And you know you will.
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:18 PM   #26
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Dgerstel:

Thanks for the idea on the switch. I had not thought about a large battery-type switch but that makes a lot of sense. I don't have an HWH air line diagram, which would help.

Takepride:

Thanks for the ideas. Decided to add rebar at 16" on center because the design had it 36" O.C. The builder had all of E-Mike's ideas in his plan but didn't have additional rebar. We have a 6" base in the plan. I'm still talking about hte 6-sack concrete. I can only park the motorhome on this pad for 48-72 hours before I have to move it to a storage area, but I'm betting that will change over time, so I want to make the pad as permanent as possible, plus no worry about it for short stays.

Lots of good ideas; I'll start with the pad and check out the switch.
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