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Old 07-13-2012, 07:46 PM   #1
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Coach setup sequence

I would like to revisit an earlier post by Doc S and Terry O. They both confirmed that the factory is recommending that the sequence for setting up the coach at a site is slides out first followed by the jacks.

I am trying to learn as much about my coach before delivery and to me, this sequence seems to be backwards. I would think one would dump the air, level and then put out the slides. Isn't it possible for the slides to get out of alignment if they are extended when the coach is not level? Please explain this so I understand where the error in my thinking is. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:53 PM   #2
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Some factorys say to put them out then level but I don't like the idea, the way your doing it is the way I always done it at the dealership with any coach I was working on.
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:23 PM   #3
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Look at it this way, you have a big box with large rectangular holes in the sides. The box rides on a steel frame, floating on four big air bags. When the box is on the bags, it doesn't flex. The most stress put on the frame and box is from the jacks. So, it makes sense to extend and retract the slides BEFORE maximum twisting is exerted by the jacks, warping the openings and making slide movement most difficult.

So, park, extend slides, then dump air and level. When it's time to leave, retract jacks and air up, turn the engine off, THEN retract slides. Being on the airbags is the position to be in whenever you want the most fluid movement for the slides.
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:39 PM   #4
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Look at it this way, you have a big box with large rectangular holes in the sides. The box rides on a steel frame, floating on four big air bags. When the box is on the bags, it doesn't flex. The most stress put on the frame and box is from the jacks. So, it makes sense to extend and retract the slides BEFORE maximum twisting is exerted by the jacks, warping the openings and making slide movement most difficult.

So, park, extend slides, then dump air and level. When it's time to leave, retract jacks and air up, turn the engine off, THEN retract slides. Being on the airbags is the position to be in whenever you want the most fluid movement for the slides.
Very interesting and understandable but my rear (small) slide in the bedroom has a sticker that says not to extend until the jacks are down but no such warning on the large slide in the living room. My coach was a show model and it was not on jacks at the show and both slides were out. When we took delivery and did the walk around again the slides were out but the jacks were retracted.

I think in the future I will extend the large slide (living roorm) before I extend the jacks and due to the warning I will extend the bedroom slide.
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:52 PM   #5
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Our owners manual specifically says to level THEN extend the slides!

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Old 07-13-2012, 09:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfetch View Post
Look at it this way, you have a big box with large rectangular holes in the sides. The box rides on a steel frame, floating on four big air bags. When the box is on the bags, it doesn't flex. The most stress put on the frame and box is from the jacks. So, it makes sense to extend and retract the slides BEFORE maximum twisting is exerted by the jacks, warping the openings and making slide movement most difficult.

So, park, extend slides, then dump air and level. When it's time to leave, retract jacks and air up, turn the engine off, THEN retract slides. Being on the airbags is the position to be in whenever you want the most fluid movement for the slides.
Ok..... But let's look at it this way. I pull into a site with a slight slope down from the PS to DS. My big box is floating level on the air bags. I run the slides out and dump the air. Now my big box is sitting there with the slides out and the PS of the box is higher than the DS. The jacks go out to level the coach and perhaps there is a bit of twisting of the slide in the slide opening. Do I not care about this? Given what you say, I shouldn't be. Seems to me there would be less of a chance of harm if the coach is leveled first before those big slides go out.
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Old 07-14-2012, 09:56 AM   #7
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MOST coach builders tell you to level first, then extend the slides. The reason is that, unless you are sitting on a flat and level pad, there is some twist to the frame before the coach is leveled. Naturally, the box attaches to the frame so it too is out of whack. Lets say that you are on a really lumpy site that is out of level from front to rear as well as left to right and even diagonally. If it were possible to remove the slides so that you could measure your slideout openings you would probably find they are no longer square. Furthermore, the rails that your slides are mounted on are not quite parallel due to the twist in the frame. Now, when you try to extend your slides, the mechanism binds and puts extra stress on the rails and motors. The slideouts themselves are probably binding in the opening so they will pop free once the start to extend and the out-of-squareness (is that a word?) gets even worse. By levelling first, you eliminate this stress on the coach. Sometimes, once the slideouts are extended they mess with the level a bit due to the differences in weight from side to side. Some people chooose to fine tune the level a bit more after they are extended to achieve a more pefect level but it's not necessary.

HOWEVER - I brought this up to Entegra and was told that they want you to extend the slides first, then level, which is the same way Travel Supreme wanted it. The reason for this was due to the unique design of the coach. Entegra places their slideout rails in the super-thick wood floor portion above the steel sub-floor structure rather than down below the steel sub-floor framing. They also have slideouts that are precisely fit to be recessed within the sidewall when retracted to give a flush finish. Most coaches, including my Tiffin, have an exposed flange on the slideout that covers the larger gap between the slideout and its opening so tolerances aren't as precise or critical. In addition, Entegra has a super stiff chassis and sub-floor system that minimizes the issue of coach flex more prominent in other makes. Apparently these changes work best with a "extend first, then level" approach. It must work because Entegra and Travel Supreme endorse it and they would certainly not do that if they had to deal with warranty issues due to a faulty strategy.
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:13 AM   #8
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Thanks, Mark!! I get it now. Please go back to enjoying the beautiful Rockies!
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:16 AM   #9
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Monaco's policy is also to operate slides first, then level.
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:01 PM   #10
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Page 8-2 of 2013 Aspire manual:

 NOTE: The slideout rooms should be extended before leveling jacks are deployed.
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:49 PM   #11
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What about the day you leave? Retract first BEFORE raising jacks? We have been retracting the slides, starting the engine, and then raising the jacks. The "start engine before raising jacks" has eliminated the issue of improper airbag inflation prior to departure...
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Old 07-14-2012, 11:02 PM   #12
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What about the day you leave? Retract first BEFORE raising jacks? We have been retracting the slides, starting the engine, and then raising the jacks. The "start engine before raising jacks" has eliminated the issue of improper airbag inflation prior to departure...
From what CRUZER explained, you should raise the jacks, start the engine to build up pressure and then pull in the slides. All this is backwards to me, but it is something I can learn to do if Entegra says its the proper procedure.
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Old 07-15-2012, 05:35 AM   #13
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Very interesting and understandable but my rear (small) slide in the bedroom has a sticker that says not to extend until the jacks are down but no such warning on the large slide in the living room. My coach was a show model and it was not on jacks at the show and both slides were out. When we took delivery and did the walk around again the slides were out but the jacks were retracted.
Last night I opened my Thor owners manual and it clearly states to level the coach prior to extending the slides, all in bold print. Warning, damage could occur. Question, why did the dealership extend the slides without putting it on the jacks, ie, level? What damage could have occured? I guess this is a question for Camping World?
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:15 AM   #14
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my manual also says to level, extend slides and re-level if needed.
is your coach unique and the framing well supported to allow this? the strength of the framing may allow your method but maybe each model/manufacturer differs.
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