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Old 06-28-2013, 06:43 PM   #1
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What goes up when the jacks go down

When I lower my jacks, the body comes up a tiny bit, but then the tires start rising. So, if I have to raise the back more than a couple of inches, the tires start to come up and I have to make sure at least some of the tire is touching or I have to go up on wood.

Is that by design, or should I be able to get more of a rise out of the coach when leveling, before the tires come up?

Jerry & Shirley Friedman; Dusty & Cricket
2014 Chevy Silverado 3500HD
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:49 PM   #2
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The rise in the frame is limited by the travel of the suspension. Air bags don't stretch very far so you don't get as much lift before the axles start to lift like with coil or leaf spring suspensions.


Bob & Donna
'98 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager DP being pushed by a '00 Beetle TDI
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:51 PM   #3
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The solution I narrived at was that if off-level in two planes (usually left side and across the back) I'll ramp the LR tires some and this will usually take care of the problem. Tis a PITA but beats leaving those rear tires hanging.
'99 Alpine Coach
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:13 PM   #4
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Are you deflating your bags prior to leveling?
1997 37' HR Endeavor, 275hp Cat, Freightliner
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Old 06-29-2013, 01:17 AM   #5
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Getting Air

There is controversy over this because us old-timers remember when jacks were short stroke and pivoted back when retracted. A small cylinder swung them vertical when lifting. They had a narrow pad because this "safety feature" allowed you to drive forward with the jacks extended without damage to the jacks. However if the rear wheels lifted off the ground (nullifying the park brake) the coach could move forward and "roll off the jacks". It would not go far because as soon as the rear wheels hit the ground, it stopped. But it would scare the stuffing out of you.

Modern jacks have a longer stroke and cannot pivot. They also have a wider base. I believe if you have a non-pivoting jack, it is perfectly safe to lift any or all wheels off the ground.

Dumping the air is a good idea so the bags don't collapse when stretched. By lowering the coach all over it also lessons the amount needed to raise the low part. The axle drop is restrained by the shock absorbers.

I did try to drive with the jacks extended (despite the shrieking tone) but the scraping noise (on pavement) woke me up. The jack mounting should be (and was) strong enough that no damage was caused. I might have gotten further if I was on sand or dirt.
Rick J Fisher, BW is Judy
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:23 AM   #6
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Opinions vary but raising the back axle off the ground with the jacks is not a good idea--IMHO. As a general rule, you should try to find the most level spot to park to begin with. The HWH system even has a built-in max slope function that is designed to limit what you can do--for a reason. Even if you dont max out this function by lifting the axles off the ground, you are putting a lot of potential twist on the frame. If you do manage to get the rear axle off the ground, you will negate the parking brake, allowing the coach to move/bind against the jack tubes--not good. Finally, lifting the front or rear axles off the ground means you are suspending your axles with the shocks--doubt if they were designed for that--leaks anyone??? In a pinch, I've raised the front axle off the ground but never the rear axle--good luck on this one.
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:40 AM   #7
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I agree with Old Scout on read tires never lift off surface or suffer the consequences.
When you position the coach for levelest spot put on the jack control and try to place the yellow light to light on one of the chassis side rail sides.
Than level each side rail and adjust your front jacks for level.

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