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Old 01-03-2012, 09:49 PM   #1
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Maximum height to lift front end for leveling

Just got a 2002 Monaco Knight 36PBD with a "RM4C" chassis. During the walk through at dealers was told if more height was needed for leveling to put a pad under the jack. This weekend was our first trip and the lot was slanted. While trying to level the coach I did not want to over extend the front jack so put a pad under the jack. Still could not get the RV leveled but decided against going higher. Due to a hydraulic leak with jack system, so much for the dealers claim they fixed the leak prior to my delivery, I crawled under the coach to check everything out. Since I used to have an American Eagle which had a full leaf spring on it I was rather shocked to see the half leaf spring suspension system on this coach. My first thought was I had ripped the air bags apart.

So the question is what is the maximum you should raise the front end on a Knight when trying to level it? What keeps the air bags from coming apart?

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Old 01-04-2012, 06:29 AM   #2
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You'll find this a good place for questions and answers.
In general, you should only lift the front wheels off the ground. Rear wheels are a no-no because lifting one or both disables your parking brakes and allows you to roll. Front wheels are different...they can be lifted. I've heard that the airbags on some rigs can be damaged by overextending them like when they are lifted off the ground, but have never talked to anyone where this has actually happened. I also don't see how you could get the front wheels to go up on a stack of 2X10 wood blocks because they would tend to push the blocks rather than climb up on them. Four wheel drive would help this, but most MHs do not have 4WD. You could raise the jacks and then put blocks under the wheels, but to do that would extend the air bags to the max and potentially damage them IF that's a real issue.

2004 Tiffin Allegro 27.5 ft. P32 18,000 lb GVW. 8.1 liter. Workhorse chassis built May 2002. 21,000 miles. 2012 Jeep Liberty Toad. RVi2 brake unit.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:42 AM   #3
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The shock absorbers coming to an end of their travel will stop an over extension of the airbags. When I store by MH it is on a slight slope which is too much of a slope for my air leveling system to handel so I drive the MH up onto three levels of 2 by 12s to get it level. I arrange three levels of these wood steps. The base one is 4ft long then the next is 3ft long then 2ft long. with that foot of travel before each step up I can actually raise the MH all the way up three levels without shooting the wood forward.
Mike Canter
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:00 AM   #4
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I don't think the air bags are hurt,because like Mike said shock travel tops out.Also how could you change tires if not lifted off ground. Are you dumping all the air before you try to lift. That will be several inches on your unit.I also made ramps for longer storage or stays.I did the same but, cut each board 60 deg. so no sharp conners.
HR--Neptune---Chev Tracker--Toad
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:14 AM   #5
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There are two questions to how far can you lift the front.

As far as the jacks are concerned, over extending is not possible, they will simply stop when they reach their limit it is a hardware stop to get around it takes wrenches. (You have to take the jack apart)

However there is also a practical limit If you lift both front tires off the ground, then a gust of wind from the side and your jacks can turn into very expensive pretzles.

likewise one rear wheel and a blow from the front or back (or both and a side blow)

So don't lift the wheels off the ground except under very special conditions (IE: Inside the tire change shop) with on the ground wheels chocked.) That, we have done.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:31 PM   #6
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I was at an Elks Lodge RV parking area in Portland once that was so steep they provided 16" ramps for the front wheels, I won't go there again!

Anyway, since we only have one jack in the front, it gets a bit unstable with the fronts off the ground. I cut up a sheet of 1" plywood and made jack pads about 16" square. Drill 1" holes in the 4 corners so you can snag them with your awning hook. I have made a ramp with the squares and driven up maybe 4-5 inches high, then put a stack under the jack to firm things up.

Your jacks will raise all the wheels off the ground, but don't do that. If I need one rear wheel off the ground, I'll lift it a bit too high, then put a stack of my squares under the tire and drop it back down. Chock the front if you do this.

I have extended every jack to it's maximum, and had every corner off the ground at one time or another, I don't believe you will hurt jacks or suspension. I am more concerned about twisting the coach.

And remember, unique only to the Monaco, park, slides out, dump air, then level with the jacks. (Slides must always be operated when fully aired up in ride condition). When you get ready to go, air up, jacks stowed, then slides in.
Bob & Kathy
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Old 03-22-2012, 01:00 PM   #7
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Hmmm back to this one. It's a campground myth. A 33k lb box on stilts cannot roll anywhere, ever.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:54 PM   #8
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"And remember, unique only to the Monaco, park, slides out, dump air, then level with the jacks. (Slides must always be operated when fully aired up in ride condition). When you get ready to go, air up, jacks stowed, then slides in. __________________"

Is this just a Monaco specific issue or does it apply to other Monaco lines like Holiday Rambler that are built on the same chassis??
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:08 PM   #9
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Holiday Rambler coaches have the same leveling system, at least the two that some of our friends have.

Jim and Lynda, (Sophie, Jake, attack trained killer Shi-Tzus :-))

2003 Fleetwood Expedition 38N 2005 Saturn Vue
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