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Old 12-04-2018, 09:43 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by KenM View Post
I always level before extending the slides. This is the way my Motorhome book tells me to do it.
Same here, and that's what makes sense. I've camped on some rather uneven terrain, and would not chance damaging a slide by putting it out prior to leveling.
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Old 12-04-2018, 02:08 PM   #16
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strandedimo In my first post beneath your original question I told you that this has been discussed at length and everyone has an opinion, right or wrong. That's why I suggested you read your manual or call the manufacturer of your coach.
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Old 12-04-2018, 06:07 PM   #17
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On my previous three MH, all the instructions said level and then slides out.

On this MH, I tried that but found that the top of the kitchen passenger slide was rubbing the woodwork. Now I follow the instructions for this MH - slides out in "travel mode" and then level. No more rubbing since.

However it is an inconvenience if you can't level (I have air leveling only). You need start the MH to pull in the slides, re-position and try again which means going back to travel mode, moving the MH, putting slides out and then leveling again. Repeat if it doesn't work and/or use boards to raise front/back.

I guess they put the process in a manual for a reason.

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Old 12-06-2018, 12:43 AM   #18
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Despite what you read in manufacturer's manuals regarding the sequence of operation, no slide mechanism manufacturer designs their unit for operation when the unit is torqued/wracked out of level and plumb. Try opening a kitchen drawer when you are pushing down on one side - certainly the mechanism is fatigued and operation is compromised. Now, think about something adding lateral force, such as a couch or refrigerator, when a slide is extended and the chassis is not level.

By contrast, the levelers are made to operate from a (modestly) non-plumb position and make it plumb and level.

As an engineer - I can see no logical way to justify extending slides and then level, or retract the levelers and then pull in the slides.

I have also seen plenty of times when our revered manufacturers have advised us to perform actions that are directly opposed to what the engine, chassis and other suppliers recommend for installation, operation and maintenance of many systems.

But, that's just my opinion. This is your gear and you should operate it in a manner that you feel will give you the best service.

For me, it's always level the chassis, extend the slides. When leaving, retract the slides, lift the levelers.
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Old 12-06-2018, 06:29 AM   #19
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As an engineer - I can see no logical way to justify extending slides and then level, or retract the levelers and then pull in the slides.
Domo - Me too. I never looked at the book to see what Fleetwood says to do, because my analysis says to provide the slide mechanism with the most stable and true platform to perform its function, i.e. level. By leveling first, this eliminates any twisting and stress to the slide mechanisms and room..



And NO, the manufacture doesn't always know best, but they are the ones that will foot the bill if something breaks under warranty. (whats that MH that has a habit of the windshield popping out when leveling?)


HOWEVER - Keep in mind that the majority of RV users have no experience and zero mechanical aptitude, The safest advise to provide them is to do what the manufacture said to do.
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:12 AM   #20
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thanks for all of the input everyone!
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:50 AM   #21
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Way too many (wrong) responses of "what makes sense to me must be right".

If you really think about it...

Sitting on it's springs, the chassis of a motorhome is least likely to be twisted or torqued, pretty much regardless of the terrain.

In a lot of cases, it's really easy to tweak the coach improperly working the Jack's.

My first motorhome attempted to prevent this by tieing the front Jack's together.

Second, a Monaco, had only a single front jack.

Third, an Entegra, I mostly use "auto"

All three, the manual specified slides first, then level.

Many manufacturers speci
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:05 PM   #22
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It also makes sense to me that 'ride level' is most likely the best as trying to level a coach that has been leveled on an odd slant could stress the frame.

Our manufacturer of the chassis also made and designed our slide rooms. They state (in the manual) to put the rooms out first then level the coach.

So, that's what I do.

Safe travels,
Mark
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:33 PM   #23
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Here is an example why you level first and than extend......I was about to do some maintenance inside the coach on the floor which required me to extend the slide to get to the area I wanted to repair....I was taking a short cut and forgo the leveling. The coach was not level but I thought it was level enough for how much I was going to extend the slide. I proceeded to extend the slide 2/3 of the way out, I felt uncomfortable as to the slide went out. While I was watching it go out, I could see that it was not going out straight as it should.....next words out of my mouth were " you should have leveled before you put the slide". Well it was to late, I tried to bring the slide in from it's unleveled position and it would come back in 1/3 of the way.....extended it a bit and brought it back in again....this time it was getting a little bit more cockeyed and I could see this was not good....I said to myself STOP!! before I did any damage, I called Winnebago and with tech support, they talked me through a bunch of resets....turning off power, reset but to no good results. They finally told me to bring it into Winnebago service center......which I did. Service at LaMesa told me the slide motor was fried......they replaced the motor, controller under warranty...got lucky on that one.
So the moral of the story is to always level first and than put the slides out....I should know that.
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:45 PM   #24
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Domo - Me too. I never looked at the book to see what Fleetwood says to do, because my analysis says to provide the slide mechanism with the most stable and true platform to perform its function, i.e. level. By leveling first, this eliminates any twisting and stress to the slide mechanisms and room..



And NO, the manufacture doesn't always know best, but they are the ones that will foot the bill if something breaks under warranty. (whats that MH that has a habit of the windshield popping out when leveling?)


HOWEVER - Keep in mind that the majority of RV users have no experience and zero mechanical aptitude, The safest advise to provide them is to do what the manufacture said to do.
You make an excellent point about the "experience and aptitude" of our road sisters and brethren. And, I concur - when in doubt {shudder} read the manual.
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:55 PM   #25
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Personally, I believe leveling the MH first places less stress on the slide and its structure..

I level first, then let the slide out.

When I leave, I do the reverse order. Pull the slide in, then retract the levelers.
I don't have any slides, but this just makes sense to me....why wouldn't you level 1st?
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Old 12-07-2018, 12:43 AM   #26
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I don't have any slides, but this just makes sense to me....why wouldn't you level 1st?
Most leveling systems use one location to determine "level". My MA has the sensor towards the front of the coach in-between the frame rails.

I believe that still will allow the vehicle chassis to be twisted as the rear isn't necessarily level.

I have built a second sensor for placement in the rear and will be doing some testing when it gets a bit warmer. Ultimately the sensor will be in my "RV Automation" software" that we are working on.

when the chassis is twisted, the opening for the slide is then no longer square. That allows the slide to rub against the tight corner which causes damage.

The physics of why NOT level before opening the slides has not been described (to me) in a mechanical way sufficient for my understanding. Theories suggest that the chassis is "not under strain" when on it's air bags. Which I would agree with if the surface the RV is on isn't twisted (corners higher than the other corner).

I think it's less important to be level as it is to be square (within reason). ie: the front can be higher than the rear a bit.

Officially, follow the instructions in your manual, especially since the RV lack the instrumentation to know that the vehicle isn't twisted. Many manuals require that the operator physically inspects the "Gaps" around the slide to ensure they are square before moving the slide. This is a way to determine if the chassis is torqued. The longer the slide (FWS), the more critical the torque issue is.
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:33 AM   #27
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I always level and then deploy the slides. My manufacturer says to do the opposite. With all the safety interlocks, it makes it difficult to do it, the recommend way. Plus it doesn’t make any sense to me, to extend the slides on something that is not level. I have not had any trouble.
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Old 12-08-2018, 09:28 AM   #28
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...........Officially, follow the instructions in your manual, especially since the RV lack the instrumentation to know that the vehicle isn't twisted..........
FYI my leveling system (Valid Air leveling) has at least two sensors (not one) for leveling (front and rear) and does figure out twist and will prevent any further adjustments if it detects it.
This is direct from the manual

"Manual Mode Notes:
If the Leveling System detects an excess amount of twist in the
vehicle frame during the manual adjustments, any further actions that may
cause more twist are not permitted by the leveling controller."

That being said, not all leveling system are the same or have the same features.

Chris
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