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Old 07-30-2016, 11:06 AM   #1
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New to a diesel pusher

Hi everybody,
I just purchased a 2003 National Tradewinds 375LE with a 330 Cat on a Spartan chassis. I have owned many class A before but they were all gas. It only has 29000 miles and a one owner. I have a question about the levelers. When I put it in storage and dump the air is it ok to use levelers to level the coach? I've read some of the manuals and realize it is totally different than a gas motorhome. Thank you in advance for your replys good or bad.
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Old 07-30-2016, 11:09 AM   #2
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If you have Power Gear levelers, then they say Yes it is OK. Just spray the exposed legs with silicone spray every once in awhile.
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Old 07-30-2016, 11:18 AM   #3
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Thanks BD9
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Old 07-30-2016, 11:18 AM   #4
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Unless you're running the frig. or it needs to be level for some other reason, I wouldn't keep it sitting on it's jacks. But I'm one of those that likes to keep hydraulic cylinders retracted whenever possible, out of harms way, above seals that will keep them that way.
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Old 07-30-2016, 12:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quadman View Post
Hi everybody,
I just purchased a 2003 National Tradewinds 375LE with a 330 Cat on a Spartan chassis. I have owned many class A before but they were all gas. It only has 29000 miles and a one owner. I have a question about the levelers. When I put it in storage and dump the air is it ok to use levelers to level the coach? I've read some of the manuals and realize it is totally different than a gas motorhome. Thank you in advance for your replies good or bad.
Not that it most likely matters but, it would be nice to know the brand/maker of the Jack system. No, it's not going to hurt those jacks, in any way, shape or form, to have them extended for lengthy times. There's zillions of folks all over this U.S. that do it like that and live in their coaches, store them, or, they're in need of parts etc. and the jacks will continue to work just fine.

As has been suggested, a slight maintenance procedure every now and then, would be to spay the exposed rams with some WD-40, wipe them with some ATF etc. and remove most of the wet. Much of this depends on the atmosphere the coach is store in. If it's a wet, humid, salt air atmosphere, then, that maintenance would be almost mandatory and often.
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Old 07-30-2016, 01:07 PM   #6
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Power Gear does not advocate the use of WD-40 because it can attract dust etc. They only call for silicone spray. Now the other common brand of levelers, HWH does call for WD-40.

From Power Gear:
https://www.lci1.com/assets/content/...2-L0051-00.pdf

Quote:
If jacks are down for extended periods, it is recommended to spray exposed chrome rods with a silicone lubricant every seven days for protection. If your coach is located in a salty environment (within 60 miles of coastal areas), it is recommended to spray the rods every 2 to 3 days.

Jacks equipped with grease fittings at the bottom of the cylinder should be greased with a light weight lithium grease using a hand pump style grease gun only. 2 or 3 pumps should be sufficient for 20-30 uses.
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Old 07-30-2016, 04:07 PM   #7
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I took the Freightliner class, and this may be a suggestion. Measure the distance ground to jack pads, build piers of plywood, 4x4, 2x4, and plywood to just under pads. Position piers, dump air, then level if you must, the exposed area of the cylinders will be minimal.
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Old 07-30-2016, 04:42 PM   #8
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When I put the coach in storage, I always lower the levelers and take the pressure off the airbags and the tires. I have the Quadra levelers by Big Foot
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Old 07-30-2016, 05:44 PM   #9
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I don't understand the reluctance to extend the jacks and leaving them extended. That's what they are made to do. Spray the stems occasionally with silicone and the jacks will serve you well for many years.
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Old 07-30-2016, 10:00 PM   #10
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I don't understand the reluctance to extend the jacks and leaving them extended. That's what they are made to do. Spray the stems occasionally with silicone and the jacks will serve you well for many years.
That's like saying leaving a car out in the weather will protect it as well as leaving it in a garage?
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Old 07-30-2016, 11:03 PM   #11
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"quadman".....Can you tell us your thinking as to why you want the jacks down in storage?

Just so you know, your air bags have a stop inside of them. When you air down, the coach comes down on the stop. Unless you're parking on un level ground and need it to be level, why not leave the jacks up.

I'm in the same camp as some others, I don't want the unneeded pressure on the system or the exposed shafts. When I get home, I cover my tires, dump my air, cover my mirrors and wipers and plug the coach in.
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Old 07-31-2016, 02:26 AM   #12
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That's like saying leaving a car out in the weather will protect it as well as leaving it in a garage?
A bit dramatic there don't you think? Many of these DPs were built with full timers in mind. I can't imagine that they expect full timers to not be using the levelers most of the year. My only concern with leaving them down for extended periods of time would be a build up of sand or other fine particles. Wiping the legs and the jack seal should take care of that though.


Personally, I always level my coach when I park it at home, but that's mostly because the coach would be very off level if I didn't, as I live on the side of a hill.
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Old 07-31-2016, 05:37 AM   #13
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My only concern with leaving them down for extended periods of time would be a build up of sand or other fine particles.

I see construction equipment left all the time with hydraulic cylinders exposed for weeks or months.....in fact it seems some backhoe arms and such are fully retracted on purpose, which leaves maximum hydraulic cylinder exposed.....and they are in the dirtiest environment possible. Are they made any differently?
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Old 07-31-2016, 07:29 AM   #14
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Re: "dramatic", I did qualify my earlier statement by stating my preference is regarding a coach that doesn't actually need to be level. Thinking if somebody were living in it, that would certainly qualify as a good reason.

Re: backhoes, many are leased, and more are run by operators that really don't care about long term effects (they aren't responsible for repair costs). You aren't going to see these machines taken care of (or used) at the same levels as you might by an equipment owner on a small farm for instance. There's also a fair amount of weight on these cylinders when fully retracted. Most owners (myself included) would rather not leave them like that, preferring they be stored without pressure on the seals. In this case, I'd rather see the exposed chrome, knowing the cylinders are unloaded.
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