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Old 08-26-2015, 11:39 AM   #1
WDW
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Levelers - I guess I flunked...

So we're almost through our first year of traveling with our Greyhawk with Big Foot Levelers. Generally speaking no issues except for set up in about 4 of the 15 different campgrounds we've stayed at. So here is where I need some seasoned advise:

1. We do not allow for automatic leveling if the situation picks the front wheels off the ground. In those instances we've used wood blocking to reduce the travel of the pistons and deployed them in manual override. Agree? This sometimes means we are not fully level but are within a half A bubble.

2. Sometimes in manual mode the best we can do is only able to "get close enough".

3. I avoided carrying blocks for the front wheels to drive up on to use them in conjunction with the levelers. Do you /have you used blocking under your wheels with levelers? Do I need to add one more thing to my collection of. "MOTORHOME STUFF"?

We have tried repositioning the rig on the site, but sometimes you just can't win and changing sites is not an option.

Other tricks you have learned?

Thank you!



Taking in the sights ...where my Trolley travels. '15 Jayco Greyhawk 31FK.
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Old 08-26-2015, 12:38 PM   #2
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If the front wheels come off the ground you need blocks under the wheels not the jacks.
I carried four sets of ten Lynx plastic leveling blocks for use if I had no choice. Usually I would go back to the RV park office and request another site.
I figure for what site rental costs are I should not have to mess with blocks.
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Old 08-26-2015, 01:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDW View Post
So we're almost through our first year of traveling with our Greyhawk with Big Foot Levelers. Generally speaking no issues except for set up in about 4 of the 15 different campgrounds we've stayed at. So here is where I need some seasoned advise:

1. We do not allow for automatic leveling if the situation picks the front wheels off the ground. In those instances we've used wood blocking to reduce the travel of the pistons and deployed them in manual override. Agree? This sometimes means we are not fully level but are within a half A bubble.

2. Sometimes in manual mode the best we can do is only able to "get close enough".

3. I avoided carrying blocks for the front wheels to drive up on to use them in conjunction with the levelers. Do you /have you used blocking under your wheels with levelers? Do I need to add one more thing to my collection of. "MOTORHOME STUFF"?

We have tried repositioning the rig on the site, but sometimes you just can't win and changing sites is not an option.

Other tricks you have learned?

Thank you!



Taking in the sights ...where my Trolley travels. '15 Jayco Greyhawk 31FK.
If needed I carry wooden ramps and will drive coach up on them to get closer to level, front or rear tires. I also put blocks under jacks so they do not have to come out too far for more stability. I will never have any tires off the ground to get level. I will always get the coach as level as possible and then fine tune with the jacks so coach is always level when done.
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Old 08-26-2015, 01:09 PM   #4
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Blocks that you can drive up onto are a must.
I usually try to enter the site so that the front is low (since it is the light end of the coach).
It is easier to drive the front wheels onto blocks or ramps.

Never lift any tires off the ground....you can pull a shock apart, or damage a air bag. Those are the only two things that support a lifted tire.

Dan
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Old 08-26-2015, 01:15 PM   #5
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No qualms about lifting front wheels off the grounds as high as necessary to get level. If shocks pull apart just doing that then there is something seriously wrong with the suspension. Same with airbags.
Only limit is dictated by whether we can step up onto the steps.

We rarely stay in campgrounds so level ground is usually a luxury.

Been known to lift both rear wheels off the ground too, but guess I shouldn't call out the naysayers by mentioning such a terrible thing.

In this photo three of the wheels are off the ground

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-i...2/IMG_8850.JPG


perhaps not ideal, but then again, we are likely the first class A ever to overnight in this spot so some compromises were necessary
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Old 08-26-2015, 01:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDW View Post
So we're almost through our first year of traveling with our Greyhawk with Big Foot Levelers. Generally speaking no issues except for set up in about 4 of the 15 different campgrounds we've stayed at. So here is where I need some seasoned advise:

1. We do not allow for automatic leveling if the situation picks the front wheels off the ground. In those instances we've used wood blocking to reduce the travel of the pistons and deployed them in manual override. Agree? This sometimes means we are not fully level but are within a half A bubble.

2. Sometimes in manual mode the best we can do is only able to "get close enough".

3. I avoided carrying blocks for the front wheels to drive up on to use them in conjunction with the levelers. Do you /have you used blocking under your wheels with levelers? Do I need to add one more thing to my collection of. "MOTORHOME STUFF"?

We have tried repositioning the rig on the site, but sometimes you just can't win and changing sites is not an option.

Other tricks you have learned?

Thank you!



Taking in the sights ...where my Trolley travels. '15 Jayco Greyhawk 31FK.
WDW,
Well Sir, you've got some of it right. Based on my opinion of course. But, some folks have a hard time carrying and utilizing "lumber" for leveling operations. I've been doing it for decades. My thoughts and ideas and, operations for leveling go like this:

1. I observe the site as I'm approaching it. If it's not a manufactured pad, i.e. paved, concrete, graded decomposed granite, rock, etc. and, there's low and or high spots at various positions, I try and pick a spot to park the coach that will be the least hardest to deal with.

2. If the application calls for it, I may have to raise an end, or, one side or, one corner ALL THE WHILE, LOWING THE OPPOSITE END/SIDE/CORNER! Sometimes it just happens like that. I've had to DIG spots for certain tires to drop down in, while raising the opposite sides. Again, sometimes it just happens to be an need for that. And, like you've stated, in most cases, THERE IS NO OPTION FOR MOVING TO ANOTHER SPOT!!!! Sometimes, reservations are needed MONTHS in advance which means, ALL the other spots are full. It always cracks me up with someone says, "well, if it's un level, I just move or, DEMAND another spot", yeah sure you will, especially in the height of the camping/travel season.

3. Now, if lumber is called for, I break out some premade ramps. They are applied where needed, to allow for "Primary" leveling of the coach. If you do things this way, you get a minimum of two very large, benefits. One, you don't TORQUE the frame or body by trying get it level with one jack on one corner. And, two, when the proper amount of wood is used, you're primarily level and, you get STABILIZATION of all 6 wheels and tires, still on the ground (or wood I should say)

4. Then, once it's primarily leveled with the wood, I use the jacks to FINE TUNE, the leveling. And, if needed since I drove UP on some lumber in certain positions, I break out some blocks for the jacks to sit on so they don't have to travel so far. The farther the jacks travel out, the more they have tendency to "wiggle" side to side, in other words, you could have lateral movement which, IS NOT GOOD!

5. In the end, you now have TEN POINTS of stabilization along with an un-torqued frame and body. All the interior doors etc. don't open and close on their own due to "It's good enough". Your fridge will love you 'cause it's working at peak efficiency. You're head will like it 'cause you're not sleeping at a slant, in one way or another.

Hope this helps some. Good luck.
Scott
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Old 08-26-2015, 01:56 PM   #7
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I don't use the automatic leveler either, I do it manually. It seems that when I use the auto set up it over extends the levelers and then backs it down. I don't like all the motion when not really necessary. I have a bunch of the plastic pads you can buy at CW or Walmart, they go on sale all the time for about $22 for a bag of 10. Very infrequently do I have to drive the front wheels up on them other than at home. I never level with the tires off the ground as I am just not comfortable with that. It is also not suggested to ever have the rear tires off the ground as that is all that is holding you from moving if on that much of a slant.

I do put about 4-5 high of the plastic pads under the jack pads as I don't like to have the jacks extended that far as it seems to be very solid that way and usually I can be extremely level that way. It might be overkill, but I just don't like the jacks to be extended that far when there is no need.

I have also moved if the CG pad was so unlevel that I could not level the MH without the tires being off the ground. Some people with smaller rigs don't have that issue, and the CG people are usually pretty good about letting you move if that is the issue. But sometimes there are just no other spots, that's why I carry the pads, they are lightweight and do not take up all the room wood does.


I was also told by my dealer that if you can get it in the "half Bubble" like you said that is fine for the fridge to run. About the only time I do that is at home when cooling down the fridge prior to leaving on a trip. So far the fridge works great even in the "half bubble" mode.

I don't think you "flunked" anything as you are experiencing what most of us do. After a while you can tell which CG spots you will be able to level in just by looking if you are in a CG that lets you pick your own spot. Whenever we stay at a CG where you have to make reservations or they place you, we always get a map of the CG and mark all the spots that will work for us, trees,length, level ect. We keep them in a binder in the MH so when we make reservations we either book or request those spots.
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Old 08-26-2015, 03:25 PM   #8
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No qualms about lifting front wheels off the grounds as high as necessary to get level. If shocks pull apart just doing that then there is something seriously wrong with the suspension. Same with airbags.
Only limit is dictated by whether we can step up onto the steps.

We rarely stay in campgrounds so level ground is usually a luxury.

Been known to lift both rear wheels off the ground too, but guess I shouldn't call out the naysayers by mentioning such a terrible thing.

In this photo three of the wheels are off the ground

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-i...2/IMG_8850.JPG


perhaps not ideal, but then again, we are likely the first class A ever to overnight in this spot so some compromises were necessary
Can you view this thread on the TiffinRV web site:
A Part of the TiffinRVNetwork • Login

It has pictures of a shock that was pulled apart by lifting the wheels on a air big suspension chassis.

IF you look at Freightliner chassis, the air bag and shock is the only thing that supports a lifted wheel. That is why some folks install limit straps.

Good Luck,

Dan
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Old 08-26-2015, 03:58 PM   #9
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Are HWH jack hydraulics my WN Aspect? Having trouble getting them back up. Is it possible they need the fluid mentioned above?
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Old 08-26-2015, 04:57 PM   #10
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"WDW".....I've been RVing for over 40 years, from slide in truck campers to DP's. Over those years, I've been successful with carrying just 3 premade wood ramps, the types where a shorter length is screwed atop a longer length of wood, either two high or three high.

I do much the same as "FIRE UP". I select the best position within the site and work from there. The reason I only carry three, is that I'm either leveling the duals on one side and one front tire or I'm leveling both front tires. Anything after that is too much flex for the coach. I also carry a couple of 8"x8" blocks for under the front jacks.

The biggest issue is storing the ramps where they are easy to access. If they're to hard to reach, it becomes a huge chore to level. Look around your coach, you'd be surprised how many hidden spots there are that are convenient. My Monaco had a huge side to side propane tank, I stored all three atop the tank.

Lastly, you should never lift your wheels off of the ground. Anyone who knows ANYTHING about suspension will tell you the same thing. On gas coaches it's hard on the front ball joints and king pins to hang opposite of what they're intended to do. Hanging an air bag and shock in the air isn't a good idea either.

As you camp more and more, you'll get good at guesstimating where to park, how much height in ramps you need and where to place them.
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:10 PM   #11
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Well, after reading different opinions about whether the wheels can be lifted off the ground I decided to see what my manual says about it. When in doubt- read the manufacturers instructions! We have HWH jack levelers on our Itasca and the only thing I could find in the manuals- I looked at both the Itasca manual and HWH manual- is to not lift the back wheels off the ground because the back wheels are the only wheels that lock up when in park or using the parking brake, and so if you are on a steep enough angle your RV could start to move! Nothing in the manuals about lifting the front wheels off the ground or lifting any wheel off the ground causing damage to the RV's suspension or chassis. In fact it did state if parking at a slant to park with the front wheels on the low end and lifting the front up to level and preventing lifting the back wheels off the ground- thus not stating but implying that if you have to lift some wheels to get level- lift the front wheels. I still like to put blocks under my wheels to keep them from free wheeling but that's because I think it looks better that way than having the wheels hanging in the air.
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Old 08-27-2015, 03:39 PM   #12
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I guess in America, if there isn't a specific label attached to everything we touch or do, we just throw common sense out the window. Neither HWH or Winnebago built your Workhorse chassis, so looking at those instructions really don't address the issue.

Can you lift your wheels off of the ground, yes, in some instances, like changing a tire in an emergency. I had to do it last week to pull my duals off. They were only off of the ground for a few minutes. The COMMON SENSE approach says you shouldn't do it for long periods of time, like several days of camping. No matter what your opinion is of this procedure, it's your RV and you can do what you want. I prefer not to stress the components on my coach when it isn't necessary!
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Old 08-27-2015, 05:45 PM   #13
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https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-i...2/IMG_8850.JPG


......., we are likely the first class A ever to overnight in this spot so some compromises were necessary
Hi Tony! If that's Father Crowley Point, on Hwy 190, overlooking the Panamint Valley, then yours is not the first Class A to camp there! My parents did it for years in their 1974 GMC motorhome!

Unfortunately, Cal Trans remodeled that stop recently. They built barriers and walkways so you can't even drive to that spot anymore. I guess they call it "Progress".

Now to the question at hand, I do everything possible to avoid lifting tires off the ground. That said, if push came to shove, I guess I'd be OK with a front wheel in the air. The rears, No Way!
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Old 08-27-2015, 07:12 PM   #14
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I guess in America, if there isn't a specific label attached to everything we touch or do, we just throw common sense out the window.

Thanks for the tip, I couldn't find my common sense but when I looked out the window- there it was!

Neither HWH or Winnebago built your Workhorse chassis, so looking at those instructions really don't address the issue.

That is actually true and I didn't think of that when researching the owners manuals that I did look at. So I dug out my workhorse manual but couldn't find anything about using the jacks.

Can you lift your wheels off of the ground, yes, in some instances, like changing a tire in an emergency. I had to do it last week to pull my duals off. They were only off of the ground for a few minutes. The COMMON SENSE approach says you shouldn't do it for long periods of time, like several days of camping.

There's that common sense thing again, mine was out the window at the time.

No matter what your opinion is of this procedure, it's your RV and you can do what you want.

That's why I was trying to find something by the manufacturers about this. So we could all benefit from what the people that make RVs and the systems in them recommend and not just opinions. If you reread my message I was stating what the manuals have on the subject, not what my opinion was other than I think the RV looks better with blocks under the wheels rather than hanging in the air.

I prefer not to stress the components on my coach when it isn't necessary!
Understandable, I think most people feel the same, the question is does lifting the RV up off the wheels stress anything or not
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