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Old 11-27-2008, 10:03 AM   #1
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We are building a new house and pouring concrete on the side so we can park our motorhome for temporary periods. It is a tight squeeze to fit the coach between an electrical transformer box near the propertly line and the eave on the corner of the garage. The gutter complicates this issue by about 4" of overhang from the edge of the eave.

I've calculated that I can just barely (like within 1/2 inch) pour the concrete low enough (and still provide slope for water runoff) to get the motorhome's awning on the passenger side under the gutter when I back the coach in alongside the house.

My question is if any of you have modified your coach to allow dumping of the airbags and still allow you to drive the coach? As soon as I dump the air with the HWH system, with the engine running, it wants to start filling the air bags again.

I only need to dump the air for a couple minutes and allow me to drive about 20 feet (the length of the awning) to clear the gutter, and move away from it, when I can raise the coach again. Obviously, it would give me a few more inches of clearance under the gutter and allow me to pour the concrete an inch or two higher, which I would like to do for a better slope.

Any thoughts or suggestions? Could I insert a valve in the air lines to continuously dump air, or put a switch in the line to shut off air flow from the compressor? Or some other idea?
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Old 11-27-2008, 10:03 AM   #2
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We are building a new house and pouring concrete on the side so we can park our motorhome for temporary periods. It is a tight squeeze to fit the coach between an electrical transformer box near the propertly line and the eave on the corner of the garage. The gutter complicates this issue by about 4" of overhang from the edge of the eave.

I've calculated that I can just barely (like within 1/2 inch) pour the concrete low enough (and still provide slope for water runoff) to get the motorhome's awning on the passenger side under the gutter when I back the coach in alongside the house.

My question is if any of you have modified your coach to allow dumping of the airbags and still allow you to drive the coach? As soon as I dump the air with the HWH system, with the engine running, it wants to start filling the air bags again.

I only need to dump the air for a couple minutes and allow me to drive about 20 feet (the length of the awning) to clear the gutter, and move away from it, when I can raise the coach again. Obviously, it would give me a few more inches of clearance under the gutter and allow me to pour the concrete an inch or two higher, which I would like to do for a better slope.

Any thoughts or suggestions? Could I insert a valve in the air lines to continuously dump air, or put a switch in the line to shut off air flow from the compressor? Or some other idea?
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Old 11-27-2008, 10:34 AM   #3
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OF,
The manual states, you can drive the coach with a dumped system, but as you say, it wants to fill. Must be a way to have a switch to either stop the fill operation, or have the dump valve stay open all the time. My caution would be to make sure to turn the "fill operation" back on, once you have exited the area where you need to be low.

And I must have a loose connection on my front bags, because they dump about 50% of the time. I was hoping to retire next year and build a shop where we can store the MH and have an area big enough for me to work on it inside, not sure either of those will happen with conditions now and our schedule might change on retirement based on economy. I hate having to drive over to where we have it in covered storage and have tight quarters around me (other rigs/boats/etc) and try to work on it. For a while we thought about putting it in the front yard, but decided that won't work if we want to sell the house next year and so we put in a new lawn. The setback of the house is such it sticks out into the street about the width of a standard American car, which is illegal for periods longer than existing daylight. I even put out orange cones so people will see the obstruction. I know I can solve the air bag issue once I have a place to work on it in.

Good luck with your project.
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Old 11-27-2008, 10:56 AM   #4
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Back when we had our 2002, the service center was over by the airport and the service building had a low door. The service tech's would dump the air and drive the lowered coach into the building. Once dumped, you have a short period of time while the compressor has time to fill the system again. The ride is not the best when it is dumped, as you might imagine.
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Old 11-27-2008, 04:58 PM   #5
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Old Forester, if that does not give you enough time have someone hold down the dump button while you drive the unit.
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Old 11-27-2008, 05:16 PM   #6
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Trying to remember--but if you are continually dumping air out of the bags, is there enough air left in the system to release the parking brake?
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Old 11-27-2008, 06:22 PM   #7
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Check the HWH manual for your system or check on line. With the HWH 625 system, you can manually dump the air suspension and hold the manual dump switches while you move the coach. Pressure for the brake system/spring brakes will not be affected. Beware though, you will not be able to turn the steer wheels without damaging the wheel well - straight front wards or straight backwards only.
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Old 11-27-2008, 09:28 PM   #8
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Hello OldForester:

Just a reminder the Parking brake will not release until air pressure has reached a preset pressure that will over come the spring pressure which sets the parking brake. Since the Alpine has hydraulic brakes the air system may not separate from the parking brake and the suspension. The parking brake may also set if you loose air pressure.
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Old 11-28-2008, 06:32 AM   #9
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IIRC, I have moved the coach forward or backwards after dumping the air when Patty has decided we are "Not quite" in the proper position.

I think the parking brake might operate off a seperate air source.
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Old 11-28-2008, 08:12 AM   #10
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Everything works off of the same air source. My understanding of the system:
Compressor, dryer, and storage tank.
Connections to park brake system, 4 ride height control valves and on the late 40' coaches, the closet door locks.
When dumping the system, the main air supply is not completely depleted while dumping, until all of the air is exhausted thru the ride height valves.
Try manually dumping, with the engine off, but don't hold the button too long. After releasing the button you should see the coach starting to raise to the proper ride height. This is from the air stored in the tank and is still available for the park brake.
If the coach is manually dumped while the engine in running, you can time how long it takes for the ride height to rise back to normal. This will tell you how long you have to move the coach.

If you have installed the Super Steer Motion Control units, than you will have even more time to move coach, due to the slower fill time with the units.
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Old 11-28-2008, 04:59 PM   #11
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I think there is a little confusion here. On the early Alpines the parking break is released by hydraulic pressure NOT air pressure. It may be that what works on the early models does not work on the later ones. If your parking break knob is on the dashboard it is air, if it is by the transmission buttons it is hydraulic.
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Old 11-28-2008, 05:10 PM   #12
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One concern I have is that after you park the Alpine under the gutter he may not be able to release the parking brake until the air pressure has increased to release the brake as it is filling the air bags?

I have an idea which will take some work to do. I would locate the air manifold and locate the lines for the air suspension and the barking brake. I would isolate the barking brake air line from the suspension and install a switched valve in line for the suspension. This would allow me to close the valve for the air to the suspension so it could be dumped/not filled yet allow pressure to build to release the parking brake.
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Old 11-28-2008, 08:28 PM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">http://www.alpinesocal.com/ </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Thanks for the ideas. I didn't know about holding the air dump valve down while I back the coach; that it might allow me to keep dumping air.

I only need to hold the coach height down while I clear the gutter backing at an angle. Once I clear the gutter backing the coach at an angle, I can let the coach raise to the correct height because when is straighten the wheels I will be clear of the gutter and the eave.

So, if I read the feedback here correctly, I can back partially along the side of the house at an angle, until the front of the coach and the higher portion of the awning starts to get close to the gutter, hold my foot on the hydraulic foot brake, shut down the engine, dump the air, then start the engine and finish backing up until the front of the awning clears the gutter. I can try holding the dump valve down while I'm finishing backing during this procedure to keep air dumping and my clearance maximized.

I don't need to set the parking brake if I follow this procedure, so I don't need to worry about air pressure to release the brake, since I'll have my foot on the hydraulic brake, I should be able to hold the coach until I'm ready to set the brake. By that time I should have enough air pressure to set the parking brake.

Does anybody see any issue with this procedure, other than potential issues with holding the dump valve down while I'm backing? I can try this without going to my new house and see if it works.

The one thing this forum has told me is to pour the concrete as low as I can under the eave and guttter!
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Old 11-29-2008, 06:26 AM   #14
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OldForester,

I wish that I could explain this clearer. The statement about dumping with the engine off, was just to show that there is air left in the system while dumped. This only applies if you just dump long enough for the coach to settle, not until all of the air escapes from the system.

For your use, I am sure that you can do this:
Get close to where you need to lower the coach.
Do not shut the engine off.
Hold the dump button just long enough to lower the coach.
Drive to where coach will park and stop.
Allow coach air bags to re-inflate or dump again as you see fit for storage.

You don't need air pressure to set the park brake, just to release it.

I have done this my self and have seen it done at the factory. Just to be sure, you can try this somewhere with no over hang. If in the test you need more time, to move the coach, try holding the dump switch until all of the air is expelled. (as you stated, if you don't set the park brake, air will not be needed to release it.)
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