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Old 01-26-2005, 08:17 AM   #1
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Was just wondering if anyone ever had a problem with their front air bags in the workhorse chassie (Fleetwood Terra 32S Motor home) shifting position after lifting the front wheels off the ground with the leveling jacks? I noticed one of the air bags was shifted inside the spring so the air connection was hitting the side after I had lifted the front end off the ground to level the motor home.
I had checked the air bags previous to this trip and didn't notice the bags being off center, but did after the trip. There was less than 3000 miles on the motor home at the time.
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Old 01-26-2005, 08:17 AM   #2
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Was just wondering if anyone ever had a problem with their front air bags in the workhorse chassie (Fleetwood Terra 32S Motor home) shifting position after lifting the front wheels off the ground with the leveling jacks? I noticed one of the air bags was shifted inside the spring so the air connection was hitting the side after I had lifted the front end off the ground to level the motor home.
I had checked the air bags previous to this trip and didn't notice the bags being off center, but did after the trip. There was less than 3000 miles on the motor home at the time.
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Old 01-26-2005, 11:09 AM   #3
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I don't think that you are supposed to lift your tires off the ground with leveling jacks without supporting the tires. Of course I may be wrong...
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Old 01-26-2005, 11:10 AM   #4
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There are several reasons as to why you should not lift wheels off the ground with the hydraulic levelers. As you have noticed; one is the fact that you can damage air bags. Others are that the mfg of the levelers did not design the jacks to be ment for this purpose and some say they will void the warranty. If you were to lift the rear of a coach off the ground you now have no brakes holding the coach from rolling. If you need to raise a coach end this high you should drive upon to a raise platformn of some sort and then level with the jack with wheels still making contact with ground.
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Old 01-26-2005, 02:36 PM   #5
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I think you are right about not lifting the tires off the ground. I have seen many rigs with the front tires off the ground, especially at Calico Ghost Town Camp ground. But I think I will drive up on blocks of some kind first and then use the jacks for final leveling from now on. The blocks was the way my old Winnebago had to be leveled because it only had electrict jacks and they only had about 6 inches of total lift. Thanks for the reply, George
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Old 01-26-2005, 02:41 PM   #6
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Lifting front of motor home with jacks is putting a strain on the jacks and chassis. Also doing this on some motor homes will pop out the wind shield.
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Old 02-01-2005, 04:22 PM   #7
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I have a set of levelers that are now on my second motorhome. Been lifting the front wheels only for 15 years without a problem. My air bags seem to be fine as well in this workhorse chassis.
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Old 02-01-2005, 06:17 PM   #8
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I agree with skitime. It won't hurt the hyd. The only problem is if you lift the rear end and havn't put blocks under your wheels to prevent roll. Have you ever looked for your jack? Charwan
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Old 02-07-2005, 07:11 PM   #9
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Let's see - an RVSA Certified Master RV Technician clearly states why you don't raise the wheels off the ground with the leveling jacks, and still we get someone promoting it as being okay. There has been plenty of information written about this on several forums, and those that actually have the credentials to back up their statements say don't do it. I even read the same advice in an owners manual, along with operating instructions supplied by Power Gear.
My advice to those reading this and still not convinced is to err on the side of caution, and adhere to the advice of RV Wizard - he's in the business of these things.
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Old 02-08-2005, 04:28 PM   #10
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I'm providing this information so that readers may be informed, not to dispute any of the information already provided. The information is a copy of the correspondence between myself and Joe Portelli of HWH Corp.
Canuck

Joe writes....

Good morning

The jacks will support the weight of the tires being off of the ground. We
do try to shy people away from putting blocks under the jacks for extra
lifting, because the potential to fall of the blocks is great. The only time
we recommend using blocks in the leveling process is if you are on soft
ground, then using a two by is not a bad idea.

Hopefully I have answered your question, if you have any other questions
feel free to contact me.

Thank you
Joe Portelli
joe@hwhcorp.com

----- Original Message -----
From: "Sam Steindel" <steindel_nospam@shaw.ca>
To: <engineering@hwhcorp.com>
Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 2004 9:51 PM
Subject: Question about usage


> I have a 2002 Triple E Signature motorhome built on a Freightliner
chassis.
> The unit is equipped with your jacks and automatic leveling control panel.
> The system works great, but I have a question about "best practice." On
> occasion I find myself in a situation where the front of the motorhome is
> significantly lower than the rear. Inorder to level out I need to place
wood
> blocks (2 x 6) under the front jack pads inorder to get enough lift. In
this
> situation that front tires are lifted completely off the ground. Is this
ok
> to do? Is this hard on the jacks and/or front end?
> Thanks.
> Sam
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Old 02-08-2005, 06:03 PM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Canuck:
I'm providing this information so that readers may be informed, not to dispute any of the information already provided. The information is a copy of the correspondence between myself and Joe Portelli of HWH Corp. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Canuck, No one is going to contest HWH's position in their post that's for sure. Now what RV Wizard posted is also very true and you can take that to the bank. You "never" want to raise your rear tires off the ground unless you are "adequately" chocked and then only on level ground. You do not want to break the rear tires loose if they are holding the RV on any grade.

I have lifted "one" rear wheel ever so slightly in an emergency to change a flat but that's it. I would not want to have the rear tires off the ground in an attempt to level the MH.

About a front I-Beam front axle, you can raise the front axle off the ground but try if you can to leave some weight on the tires. Precautions must be taken depending on the type suspension you have and RV Wizard makes a good point about not damaging air bags on vehicles so equipped.
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Old 02-08-2005, 07:30 PM   #12
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I'll also add that the information that i remember reading also had to do with racking the frame by suspending the weight of the front end.
Also note that the HWH rep did not address the part about lifting the front wheels into the air...
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Old 02-09-2005, 05:36 AM   #13
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I once used a single jack to lift a rear corner to change a tire on an '88 RV, but newer systems won't allow this. I don't think my '96 Itasca will even allow a set of jacks to raise any tires off the ground. Not enough piston length.
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Old 02-09-2005, 05:31 PM   #14
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Since I'm not an authority I thought an e-mail to Freightliner would be in order. Their reply:

Taking the front tires off the ground for a short period of time will not do damage to the suspension. You will have to get with the body builder to ask if it does damage to the jacks.
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