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Old 12-12-2012, 09:57 PM   #1
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Air leveling vs hydraulic leveling

I am looking at 2 different motorhomes. One has both hydraulic and air leveling, the other has only air leveling. My current coach has hydraulic. Which one do you have and prefer? What are the pro's and con' of air leveling?
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:38 PM   #2
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Can't help you much because I'm not clear on what you are wanting to know. I have both air leveling and hydralic leveling but they are for two different applications. The air leveling is for ride control while the hydralic is for operation of the jacks when parked.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:30 PM   #3
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Hydraulic leveling gives you greater adjustment but is not always feasible. Think of boon docking in the dirt or muddy conditions, or in an asphalt parking lot. Those times you want air level. Some high end coaches have Air only, I assume due to the weight.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:02 AM   #4
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I have air only leveling now and previously had hydraulic. I find air leveling far superior due to the ease of use and the lack of limitations regarding the surface you are parked upon. Never have to be concerned about putting down pads on soft surfaces. I don't know if it will cover a greater variance in slope than would the hydraulic. They both have their limits. The only con is that since air is compressible you may get some slight movement when moving about the coach, but I don't find it objectionable. For my money I would not have another coach without air leveling. YMMV
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:48 AM   #5
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OK, works for me
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radams View Post
I have air only leveling now and previously had hydraulic. I find air leveling far superior due to the ease of use and the lack of limitations regarding the surface you are parked upon. Never have to be concerned about putting down pads on soft surfaces. I don't know if it will cover a greater variance in slope than would the hydraulic. They both have their limits. The only con is that since air is compressible you may get some slight movement when moving about the coach, but I don't find it objectionable. For my money I would not have another coach without air leveling. YMMV
Our coach is pretty much identical to Bob's and the only thing I would add to what he has already said, is that in high wind conditions the coach will rock a bit. We were recently in a campgorund in KS where our site had quite a slope to it and the air leveling system handled it fine. We like it.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:59 AM   #7
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Air is compressable and any shift in weight will cause the cyl. to move. Hydraulics is a lot less compressable and work at higher pressures so they can use smaller cylinders.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:15 AM   #8
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With air levelling you can not tweak the frame. thus you will not have windshield problems. One big plus.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:41 AM   #9
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We've been through having to make a similar decision, and the fact that the new Monaco Diplomat's came with air levelling and you could also have the option of hydraulic, was a deciding factor in ordering a Monaco as we consider having both options to be a big bonus.

We we're at a campground after a bunch of recent rains last summer and those that hydraulic levelling could not use them cause of the moist ground and they would sink even with pads. Those with aire levelling had no issues.

The beauty of air levelling as I see it is the ease of use, you want to stop at a rest area for lunch and a break, you just level the coach, no big deal.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:00 AM   #10
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Air leveling is often used for going down the road, Gives a "Jet smooth ride" as Chevy used to advertise, very comfortable ride.

HOWEVER air can be compresed, thus when I or my wife move around the motor home the rig rocks to the movement, this is very annoying.. Just now I'm on one side, if I move to the other side till the compressor adjusts, the rig tilts a bit.. Though I have good "Sea Legs" it's stll annoying.

Hydraulic levelers, (Assuming no air in the lines) Hydraulic fluid is not compressable. Thus the rig is much more 'Stable" as it were.

The old "If the rig's a rockin' don't come knockin'" does not apply.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:43 AM   #11
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Air leveling is often used for going down the road, Gives a "Jet smooth ride" as Chevy used to advertise, very comfortable ride.

HOWEVER air can be compresed, thus when I or my wife move around the motor home the rig rocks to the movement, this is very annoying.. Just now I'm on one side, if I move to the other side till the compressor adjusts, the rig tilts a bit.. Though I have good "Sea Legs" it's stll annoying.

Hydraulic levelers, (Assuming no air in the lines) Hydraulic fluid is not compressable. Thus the rig is much more 'Stable" as it were.

The old "If the rig's a rockin' don't come knockin'" does not apply.
Air levelling on a heavy 44' Tag axle coach will be a lot more stable than it would on a 36' gas coach.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:11 PM   #12
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I think there may be a little confusion here. When someone refers to "air leveling" I believe he is talking about leveling the coach on a campsite, not the automatic leveling the coach does while driving down the road.

We love the air leveling on our coach! It is so simple and fast, and we don't have to worry about the surface of the campsite. It also allows us the dump all the air, lowering the coach so the door step is close to the ground for easy entry and exit. That helps for older folks like us, or those with a physical handicap that makes the height of the step a problem. After we dump the air, THEN we level the coach.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!


MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:41 PM   #13
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I think there may be a little confusion here. When someone refers to "air leveling" I believe he is talking about leveling the coach on a campsite, not the automatic leveling the coach does while driving down the road.

We love the air leveling on our coach! It is so simple and fast, and we don't have to worry about the surface of the campsite. It also allows us the dump all the air, lowering the coach so the door step is close to the ground for easy entry and exit. That helps for older folks like us, or those with a physical handicap that makes the height of the step a problem. After we dump the air, THEN we level the coach.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!


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We do it the exact same way Joe, but not for the same reason. We've learned from experience that if we dump the bags first and then level, the coach will level with a minimal amount of air making the coach much more stable during high winds. On the occasions when we find the front step to be a bit too high we carry a small portable step.

The funny part is that I have had the occasional concerned neighbor who thinks there is something horribly wrong with our coach, voice their concerns to me because the coach is sitting so low to the ground.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:42 PM   #14
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Word to the wise, these coaches have way too many clever bits in them that all need maintenance and will eventually fail. I wish my coach had FEWER toys.

My air only leveling is fine. I dump the coach and then level, reducing movement and ongoing adjustment. Like Craig I've had some people ask me why my coach is on the ground.

Since I've had some issues with the leveling system, I'd rather NOT have a second system to go wrong. Look on line at the many posts from people who are stranded because a jack won't retract.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying air is more reliable, but you are going to have it anyway, so adding a second system just gives you more to worry about.
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