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Old 11-01-2009, 05:40 PM   #15
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On my freightliner chassis, the emerg/park brakes are on the rear wheels. They are the same brakes. Just activated by a diff means.
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Old 11-01-2009, 08:37 PM   #16
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If the coach is level, even with all wheels in the air, it can't roll downhill !!!
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Old 11-04-2009, 04:38 PM   #17
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If the coach is level, even with all wheels in the air, it can't roll downhill !!!
Even is that is true, the coach will be unlevel and vulnerable to rolling/moving/damaging the leveling jacks during the process of leveling...

A few times in the past we have been in sites that had the front wheels off the ground when levelel. I haven't paid much attention to it ...as long was we were level, that was good enough for me. But we have been in two locations this week where the very nice concrete slabs are so nose-low that I had to use double layers of 2x6 boards under the front jacks to get level. That raised the front wheels to the point there was apx 4" of air between them and the ground. At both locations, I noticed a day later that there was maybe 1" between the front tires and the ground. So today when I moved back to the first location, after leveling, when the tires were again apx 4" above the concrete, I slipped blocks under the front tires, building up until the blocks were almost touching the tires. Within two hours, the tires had dropped enough that I cannot move the blocks.

I have a Spartan chassis with IFS. Looking under the front end, I can see clean metal where the air bags normally sit on the lower "seats" of the suspension. Apparently the airbags are not stretching, as I can see the exposed bottom "seat" where it normally sits.

Can anyone explain what is "stretching" to allow the front suspension to drop 2-3" over time as it hangs suspended in the air?
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Old 11-04-2009, 05:39 PM   #18
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AFChap are you sure the jacks are not leakin down as opposed to the suspension sagging?
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:59 PM   #19
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are you sure the jacks are not leakin down
Well, if the jacks are leaking down, they are doing so evenly as we appear to renain level through it all... I would presume the jacks on the low end of the MH (rear in this case) are hardly extended at all and so could not "leak down" very much ...they should hit bottom and the front jacks continue to go down and we would become unlevel. Is that a reasonable assumption?? In any case, we will now be in position for 3 weeks, so I guess if they are leaking down the front of the coach will become noticeably lower over time...
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:50 PM   #20
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Well, if the jacks are leaking down, they are doing so evenly as we appear to renain level through it all... I would presume the jacks on the low end of the MH (rear in this case) are hardly extended at all and so could not "leak down" very much ...they should hit bottom and the front jacks continue to go down and we would become unlevel. Is that a reasonable assumption?? In any case, we will now be in position for 3 weeks, so I guess if they are leaking down the front of the coach will become noticeably lower over time...
next time you have the slides and jacks retracted, check the hwh fluid reservoir. if it is low you can get air in the lines. as air is compressible, it can appear that the jacks are leaking down.
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:31 PM   #21
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One of most joyful times is watching folks get their RV set up after arriving at a campsite. Some believe that sewage WILL actually flow uphill, others sling around timber so that it looks like an episode of Axemen.The preceeding posts verify this. Putting down jacks is a simple job that appears to have been elevated to the stature of a science. I repeat, If the coach is level, even with all the wheels in the air (and it won' hurt anything if it was designed properly), it can not roll down hill. Don't complicate a such a simple task. If you look around your neighborhoods I am sure that there are some houses built on slopes and they are not slipping downhill, unless, of course, you live in Caifornia, and then all bets are off. REMEMBER KISS
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Old 11-06-2009, 12:11 AM   #22
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Chuck 1935: Thanks for your added insights. My post was intended to help me understand the right way and wrong way to perform what I still believe to be a very important task and I want to make sure I understand your point of view.

Are you really dismissing the input provided in two pages of posts on this topic to say that this is all silly talk and we should "just push the button"? Are you saying that... no matter how many blocks we have to put under our jacks... and how many wheels we may or may not have lifted off the ground... that our families will be safe in the coach so long as it is "level"?

Please help us understand. "Simple" is good but the other "S" in KISS is what we're all trying to avoid so share what you've learned while watching others set up camp so those of us who remain concerned with this topic can rest more easily.
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Old 11-06-2009, 02:20 AM   #23
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Chuck 1935: Thanks for your added insights. My post was intended to help me understand the right way and wrong way to perform what I still believe to be a very important task and I want to make sure I understand your point of view.

Are you really dismissing the input provided in two pages of posts on this topic to say that this is all silly talk and we should "just push the button"? Are you saying that... no matter how many blocks we have to put under our jacks... and how many wheels we may or may not have lifted off the ground... that our families will be safe in the coach so long as it is "level"?

Please help us understand. "Simple" is good but the other "S" in KISS is what we're all trying to avoid so share what you've learned while watching others set up camp so those of us who remain concerned with this topic can rest more easily.
with more than 2 wheels off the ground, if it is really windy, it is possible to bend the jack rams. the wind can blow the jacks off of any blocks you have under the jacks, possibly bending the rams. imho it is best to keep at least 1 front wheel and 1 rear wheel on the ground if you are not parked in an enclosed space.
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Old 11-06-2009, 10:03 AM   #24
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Try a simple test. Lower front jacks until front wheels are suspended in the air. go outside and push on the side of your rig and see how much sway there is.
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Old 11-06-2009, 11:07 AM   #25
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Chuck 1935 did throw in one qualification ..."if it was designed properly" ...that is a significant consideration, as is also proper installation, and proper operation, and proper use per mfg recommendation/limitation.

Some RVs have "swing down" jacks that hinge up against the coach bottom when stowed. Can they/will they/it is possible that they might hinge up under excess slope/high winds/etc conditions ??? I have no idea, but not knowing more about those jacks, it seems possible.

Some leveling jacks are less rugged than others, some look downright undersized for the rig they are under, could they be bent when fully extended if lateral forces are present?? It would seem that is possible.

My leveling jacks are quite substantial. They do not "swing" down or up. However, they do slightly swivel side to side to adjust in certain situations. I have noticed when in an uneven side to side situation, when the front wheels come off the ground the jacks will shift toward the low side, resulting in the low side jack being in a much more vertical position compared to the high side being slanted outward toward the bottom. The higher the front is lifted, the more pronounced that shift can be ...and when it happens it can be a bit unnerving, though it apparently is "normal." I have no idea if the rear would do the same thing when the wheels come off the ground, and I don't plan to find out... I don't block any wheels when I level my MH, and I have never been in a situation where it was required to lift the rear wheels off the ground. A little planning and creativity will normally keep you out of those kinds of situations, though I am amazed at how poorly some RV parks are designed.

I have seen some really bizarre leveling situations ...some with pyramids of blocks under the low end (whether it be front or rear), and/or with holes dug out for the wheels to drop into on the high end. I even have a few pictures. I also have seen those kinds of situations where the blocks and/or jacks shifted and a large piece of lumber went flying 20 to 30 yards away like a missile.

The key is for you to know your leveling system ...how it is designed and how it is intended to work ... know the mfg's recommendations, know your own limitations, and be smart in your planning and execution so that you do not exceed the limitations/comfort level of either your rig or yourself.

Do all you can to ensure both you and your rig are in shape to RV another day!!!
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Old 11-06-2009, 04:59 PM   #26
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AFChap got it right. You have to know your equipment, know how to operate it and known it's limitations. Some folks are more interested in the color of the toilet seats than they are with the way the coach was built. That is why some people are stuck on the side of the road and some are waving as they go by on another trouble free trip. When it comes to buying a big kit commonly referred to as a motorhome. You can never know enough about it. The more of an expert you are the more trouble free miles you will enjoy and the less chance you will have being taken advantage of by unscrupulous repair shops and dealers of which there are many.
PS It's fun when you hit a nerve !!!
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Old 11-07-2009, 09:12 PM   #27
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I don't think it's possible for a vehicle solidly sitting on 4 jacks to roll anywhere, ever.

No expert on DP's, but a properly designed suspension can handle hanging the wheels in droop without a problem. The jack pistons are 2 1/2 inches in diameter, and according to powergear they are perfectly capable of lifting a coach much heavier than mine.

After the pump/motor rebuild the powergear jacks will lift my F53 class A clean off the ground NP.

Be carefull on the fronts. The "balance tube" will have no effect unless the jacks are a few inches short of full extension. If you crank the fronts till they are maxed and then do a side to side level with the rears, you can twist her and hurt stuff.
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Old 11-08-2009, 09:20 AM   #28
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I don't want to test my jacks to see if they will keep everything up in the air.I place 2xs in front or back of the low tires and drive up on them to get close. Then the jacks fine tune.It does not have to be perfect.I would rather be a little off than off the ground.
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