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Old 10-18-2004, 11:17 AM   #1
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Hi guys! I'm new to the camper scene with a Lance 820 that we bought about 6 weeks ago. My truck is a 94 GMC Sierra 2500 4X4 with air-lift bags. I just had Rancho 9000 shocks installed two weeks ago.I've only had the camper off the truck 2 or 3 times. This time when I loaded the camper (after having the new Ranchos)the truck was about 2 inches lower on the left side. I called the dealer and he said I probably had the camper on crooked, so I reloaded that thing 3 more times, until I felt I couldn't possibly get it on any straighter. I use a center line marker on the camper and truck and a plum bob, and I have the Happijac system with the guides up next to the cab. I measured and I am 1/2 to 3/4 inch closer on the right, so why does it lean to the left? My questions for you learned folks:
1. Is the spacing that tricky? Does 1/2 inch to one side matter?
2. Could this be connected with the new Rancho's? (It didn't lean before)
3. Should I use the air bags to level the load, even if there might be 30 psi difference? Before they were always at the same psi.
4. Something else I'm missing?
Thanks in advance,
Steve
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Old 10-18-2004, 11:17 AM   #2
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Hi guys! I'm new to the camper scene with a Lance 820 that we bought about 6 weeks ago. My truck is a 94 GMC Sierra 2500 4X4 with air-lift bags. I just had Rancho 9000 shocks installed two weeks ago.I've only had the camper off the truck 2 or 3 times. This time when I loaded the camper (after having the new Ranchos)the truck was about 2 inches lower on the left side. I called the dealer and he said I probably had the camper on crooked, so I reloaded that thing 3 more times, until I felt I couldn't possibly get it on any straighter. I use a center line marker on the camper and truck and a plum bob, and I have the Happijac system with the guides up next to the cab. I measured and I am 1/2 to 3/4 inch closer on the right, so why does it lean to the left? My questions for you learned folks:
1. Is the spacing that tricky? Does 1/2 inch to one side matter?
2. Could this be connected with the new Rancho's? (It didn't lean before)
3. Should I use the air bags to level the load, even if there might be 30 psi difference? Before they were always at the same psi.
4. Something else I'm missing?
Thanks in advance,
Steve
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Old 10-19-2004, 06:10 AM   #3
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not an expert on this subject but do have a similar situation with my truck and camper.
my camper is heavier on passenger side.

first of all, make sure you are parked on level ground. air bags will introduce more leaning on sloped ground.

second, make sure both air bags are deflated before you measure the lean.

one would guess a 1/2 inche offset loaded camper should not cause 2 inches of lean in the opposite direction. look for another cause.

could one of your new shocks be binding? perhaps unbolting the lower shock mounts may be a good test.

good luck in your investigation.
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Old 10-19-2004, 07:50 AM   #4
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Its a common situation caused by the camper being heavier on one side. It isn't a big problem to run one airbag at a higher pressure in order to level the load. That's really the only option you have other than modifying your load/camper. The fridge, holding tanks, FW tank, batteries and propane tanks are the heavy items. You may be able to relocate the battery(s), but if you do, you need to use a sealed unit or make sure its vented properly. You can verify that this is indeed your situation by loading up and heading to the scales. Weigh one side vs. the other and note the difference.

Hope this helps,
Dave
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Old 10-19-2004, 07:55 AM   #5
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Sorry, I forgot to mention; as far as why it wasn't the same before, I doubt it is the shocks. Have you loaded the camper differently with stuff? tanks full or empty can make a big difference as can propane tanks, etc. If there really is a difference that wasn't there before and you can eliminate any camper packing or tank issues, then you should check your springs to make sure you haven't cracked or damaged a rear leaf or two. It does happen, I've replaced leaf springs on several trucks.

Dave
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Old 10-19-2004, 09:42 AM   #6
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Yes, at first I suspected the water tank because I had just filled it about 3/4 full, but when I called the dealer he said the tank was centered and shouldn't affect the lean. When we came back from our weekend, the water was about 1/4 full, the other tanks empty, and I still had the lean. Last night I got it pretty level with 77psi in the air bag on the left and 44 psi on the right. We've got a big storm coming in this afternoon, so I'll crawl under the truck and check the springs when it clears up. I'm going to a scale this Sat so I'll weigh the truck every possible way.
Thanks,
Steve
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Old 10-19-2004, 12:18 PM   #7
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What side of the truck is (are) your fuel tank(s)?. When you weigh the truck loaded, If the tank(s) isn't centered then weigh it empty and full of fuel to see what the effect is. Don't forget to let us know what you find out!

Good luck,
Dave
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Old 10-19-2004, 01:53 PM   #8
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I'm not sure about the tank, I've only had this truck for about a year. I know it has a 36 gal aftermarket tank, and the fuel fill is on the driver side. I'm afraid to let it get down to empty- don't forget, I live in California and it would take a C note to fill it back up!
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Old 10-19-2004, 04:37 PM   #9
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Check the rear springs but having one side alot heavier is a big possiblity. I have a 11'3" Lance on a 3500. I run about 95PSI in right side and 70 PSI in the left. Still running the stock shocks and it seams to work good. Guess $400 of new shocks would even be better. Only use the Lance for short summer trips now that I have a 32' 5th for following the sun. Air those bags up and hit the road. Rob
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Old 10-23-2004, 08:18 AM   #10
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I crawled under the truck yesterday to visually inspect the springs, and they look fine although rather flat. What I did see, however, is that the left air bag is not compressed evenly. It's squashed a little more on one side and bulging a little more on the other. The other air bag looks perfectly symmetrical. I called the dealer and he said that the fittings may have slipped a little, causing the bag to be off center. This may be the cause of the sudden onset sag.
Steve
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Old 10-23-2004, 06:21 PM   #11
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That could happen so with the camper removed put about 5lbs in the bags and take your hand and feel up in back with your fingers. If they both feel about the same clearance from the fram you might have a bent lower or upper mount. My lower mounts caved in in the middle. I removed them and welded some ribbs inside after straighting them. They have been great after being modified. Mine are supposed to hold up to 100 lbs and I have had no trouble with 95 lbs in the rt side. Keep us up to date on your findings.
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Old 11-07-2004, 08:14 AM   #12
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Take it to a shop that installs those bags. They ought to be experts.
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Old 11-07-2004, 02:10 PM   #13
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I took it back to the Lance dealer. They had installed the air bags so he fixed them for free. I'm going to put the camper back on the truck in a few days so I'll know then if that was the problem.
Steve
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Old 11-10-2004, 01:15 PM   #14
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you may need to fill the bags to different air pressures to level the load.... they need to be isolated from each other to accomplish that..
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