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Old 02-01-2012, 08:04 PM   #1
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Three vs four leveling pads

Could someone help me out with the benefits of having either three or four leveling pads. I always thought that four corner leveling would be better but have seen some pretty nice coaches with the triangle leveling. I can see how it would be harder to corkscrew the bus with three but does only having one pad in front provide enough lateral support? Thanks for you help.

Dan
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:23 PM   #2
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The three pad design was popular for a couple years because it cannot twist the chassis. Basic geometry laws say that three points define a plane, so a three-point system is inherently stable without a twist. However, it can rock a bit in some situations and experience showed that you should lower the front jack first to get proper leveling.

Jack manufacturers abandoned the three point system when improved designs and automatic electronic controls made 4-point systems every bit as good as three from the point of view of "no twisting" and ease of use.

If you find a coach you like with three point jacks, I wouldn't worry about it. Lots of them out there and their owners are happy. But most manufacturers left the three point design behind several years ago and no make only 4 point systems.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:27 PM   #3
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I had a three point and didnt like it, maybe I wasnt leveling it right, but like my 4 point
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:08 PM   #4
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Ours is 3 point. Once I got to understanding how it works, I like it. The front has to be lifted at least an inch or two before the side to side leveling is done with the rear 2 jacks.

I've never used a 4 point. I guess I'll find out how to when we move to a newer model someday.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:19 AM   #5
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I've had both a manual four point and manual three point. I can level much faster with my three point. They've been around for a lot more than just a couple of years. Monaco is the primary user of the three point system and has been using them for at least ten years.
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:49 AM   #6
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I have only had four point---just thinking it through, there seem to be two issues level and stable (solid feel inside)----it seems logical four point would be more stable regardless of the leveling properties of the two systems. I never gave any thought to the three point no stress flex method----sounds correct----learned something new. I'll give it more respect than I have in the past--it always looked a little unstable.
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:41 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. I have four point in mine now and my electronic leveling went crazy this past summer and broke my windshield. There is a bit newer coach for sale 40' Beaver Patriot close by that has 3 point, and wanted to be OK with it. I also like the Newmar pads themselves, large rectangular, rather than the Beaver's found smaller pads. I use my home made 16" wood pads under my current pads for lifting so it probably would not make a difference. Just seems like the Newmar's are sturdier. Any comment on either the quality of the Beaver Patriot or the sturdiness of a Newmar leveling system compared to the Beaver's?

Thanks
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:28 AM   #8
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There are 3 point and 4 point jacks and there are "3 point 4 jack" systems, that's what I have.

3 Point; you have a single front jack mounted on a cross bar, Since 3 Points determine a plane (recall your gee-i'm-a-tree class) This sounds real good on paper. In practice that cross member is not as strong as the main frame rails Plus.. it just seems to allow more "Rocking" in the front.

The 3-Point but 4 Jack system has TWO jacks in front, firmly attached to the Frame Rails, the strongest part of the frame, but connected with a "T" fitting so they act together.. if you lower them part way and put a jack under one, the other will go down as the jacked one goes up. This system combines the advantage of the 3 point (No twisting of the frame) with the strength of the 4 jack system.
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:39 AM   #9
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3 point jack system on our coach has been easy to use and extremely stable.

Main point is to raise the front of the coach first!

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Old 02-05-2012, 08:07 AM   #10
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I've been very happy with my 3-point jack system. I've heard of some cracking their front windshield with the 4-point system. I opperate mine in the automatic mode. The front jack goes down first, and then the 2 rear jacks levels the coach.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:29 AM   #11
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The old HWH 4 point system sometimes caused windshield shifting or cracking. That's because it allowed independent movement of all four jacks. Power Gear solved that problem with the floating front jack pair, as Wa8yxm described in his reply. That pretty much eliminated the advantage of the 3-point system vs 4. Subsequently, advances in electronic controls made fully automated leveling cost effective and the controllers took over the job of gradually adjusting individual jacks to level up without stressing the chassis enough to cause problems. The 3-point system disappeared from use as many new coaches employed an auto-leveling system while the rest used the Power Gear floating front jack method.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
The 3-point system disappeared from use as many new coaches employed an auto-leveling system while the rest used the Power Gear floating front jack method.
? Tell that to Monaco and their great Roadmaster frame.
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