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Old 05-06-2013, 06:27 AM   #1
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Wheels off ground-bad thing....why

I am new to MH, just passing 6 month mark. I have a 2004 National rv Seabreeze, though I don't think it important to question. I have noticed that the owners manual says not to use jacks to raise wheel off ground for servicing. I was in a campground recently that virtually all the back in sites were inclined so that front wheels were off the ground, about 1", to attain level. When I first set up and notice this I moved a little and just leveled to the point that the tires did not leave the ground. Left me with slight incline. As I traveled around park I counted no less than 6 other motorhomes with front wheels off the ground by at least 3". Looking at the size of the jacks, knowing my front axle weight to be just north of 6,000 lbs., I can't believe that the jacks are not within there safe range supporting that weight. So my next thought is...is this a suspension issue, a chassis issue, or something else completely? Just curious, thoughts?
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:34 AM   #2
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FWIW, I lift the front wheels off the ground all the time when we stay on sites that are particularly unlevel. Obviously it depends on the capacity of your jacks and the weight of your coach but I don't think this is a problem (although you have to be careful that your legs remaining in the proper angle - too much weight at the wrong angle and they could probably buckle).

I believe that warning is specifically for servicing the motor home because the jacks are not a secure way of raising the mh to work under it. If a line breaks or some other system failure, the mh will come down.
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:38 AM   #3
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Good morning, I think what they are telling you is not to rely on the MH jacks alone while you conduct servicing under your coach. If you are going to do maintenance you can use the MH jacks to raise the unit but have supplemental jack stands in place in case your MH jacks fail. You don't want to get squished.
As for raising the front wheels off the ground at a site. Should not be an issue. I think it may depend on your suspension system, others can speak to that. I have a solid I beam on springs, so for me it's not an issue.
Do Not raise your rear wheels off the ground while camping. Your parking brake works on the rears and holds you in place.
Hope this helps.
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:54 AM   #4
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It's not about weight. With my National, my 4 jacks are rated at 32,000 lbs and the coach weighs 20,000.

It's about safety and liability. Only the rear axle has brakes, so if all 4 tires are off the ground there is a posibility of movement. To me that's a very slim possibility on fairly level ground.

That said, I think if you check, your rear jacks won't bring the rear axle off the ground anyway, at least mine won't. I could easily change mounting holes of the jacks so they did. So I think this is something National did, but not on all years and models.

I can raise the front tires 6 inches off the ground and have many times in those bad lots. So, if you have the rear brake on and rear tires firmly on the ground, most of us have no problems with that.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:57 AM   #5
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Everything Stewart said.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:29 PM   #6
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There are two styles of jacks, Kick down and Solid. The kick down jacks rotate down and then start lifting the rv. Solid one are just that they move straight down and lift.

On the last coach we had Kick down jacks and on a couple occasions I lifted the rear to high and the rear tires would slip so the RV would move forward or rearward and rotate off the jacks.

On my current coach I have solid jacks, they will lift the RV all the way off the ground. All four tires hanging in the air.

I will lift the front as far as need to make the coach sit level. In Yellowstone, We had to lift the front so far we needed a ladder to get in the coach. http://www.outerland.com/rv/xCountry...s/DSC_8033.JPG

If the site is unlevel where I would have to lift the rear more then a little, I would move in the site if possible, find another site, or depending on site park pulled in.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:41 PM   #7
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The issue is that when the wheels are off the ground the weight of the axle is hanging on the shocks. Who knows if they are strong enough to take it.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:44 PM   #8
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Been storing our rig with the front tires off the ground for 11 years now. No problems at all.
Newmar says it's OK
Spartan says it's OK
HWH says it's OK
Reyco Granning says it's OK
and Koni doesn't seem to care one way or the other.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IMDSailor View Post
Good morning, I think what they are telling you is not to rely on the MH jacks alone while you conduct servicing under your coach. If you are going to do maintenance you can use the MH jacks to raise the unit but have supplemental jack stands in place in case your MH jacks fail. You don't want to get squished.
As for raising the front wheels off the ground at a site. Should not be an issue. I think it may depend on your suspension system, others can speak to that. I have a solid I beam on springs, so for me it's not an issue.
Do Not raise your rear wheels off the ground while camping. Your parking brake works on the rears and holds you in place.
Hope this helps.
Stewart

I made the lift the rear tires off the ground mistake 2 years ago. The site was on a slop and I didn't realize that the rear tires were off the ground. The motorhome started to slip back so I emergency released the jacks. The wife was still in the rear bed sleeping. she was air born.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:52 PM   #10
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I'm sure it's a liability issue... but I don't like hanging the fronts in the air as I don't believe it's good to have the suspension in full droop for a long period of time. I know it's obviously capable of it, since otherwise you can't change the tires, but call me silly, but I don't run my engine at redline constantly either.

Steve
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