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Old 10-20-2009, 01:00 PM   #1
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Process to level on excess slope when rear is low???

Now that we're full timing, we're staying at many new and different CGs. Naturally, not all offer level sites. The HWH jacks in my 07 Itasca Ellipse 40FD usually do a good job within reason but they have their limitations.

I've occasionally had to put blocks under the front jacks and even had to raise the front wheels off the ground to get level. In the past two weeks, I've had "excess slope" conditions with both the front and now the back needing to have the tires off the ground to get level. Naturally, I'm currently tolerating a non level condition to avoid having the rear duals off the ground but it raises the question about the proper process to use in these situations.

Is it ok to have the front wheels off the ground supported only by the jacks or should I have wide blocks to drive the wheels up on prior to deploying the jacks? I would assume the benefit of this would be to keep the weight of the suspension components supported by the ground?

Second question concerns the "rear low" condition. If I have leveling blocks to drive the rear wheels up on and then put blocks under the jacks as well, is this a valid process for this condition?

I'd appreciate your insights and thoughts.
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:26 PM   #2
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I always put blocks under the rear tires if needed. If I am only staying 1 nite, I usually don't put blocks under the front tires. I will be interested to see what others have to say.
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:39 PM   #3
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I carry several sets of those orange interlocking squares to drive up on and then place some under the jacks that are affected as well. With the rear wheels of the ground you no longer have a parking break as in most MH the parking brake is on the drive shaft not the wheels.
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Old 10-20-2009, 02:16 PM   #4
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There are a few thread discussions concerning wheels off the ground. The bottom line is:

Never suspend the wheels by using the jacks for anything other than a moment's use. There are several different negative issues with this practice.

Diesel pushers with Allison tranny's are in neutral while parked. The parking brake on is spring set on with no brake air. That only leaves the jacks and chocks for park braking. Suspended wheels would only leave the jacks.... not good


If the air brakes should fail or the engine is turned off, the parking brake is forced on. The MH requires the air compressor (Engine running to release).

Parking Brake Rule:
Spring Forced ON (default with no air)
Air present: Selective On or OFF (Air is Required to release and hold off parking brake)
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:32 PM   #5
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I carry 2x 10 wood blocks and run the coach up on them rather than lift a wheel off the ground (front or rear). My jack manufacturer (Equalizer) assures me their jacks are capable of handling the weight (lift or lateral) if the wheels come off the ground, but I don't want to push my luck when the alternate solution is easy.
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:45 PM   #6
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I have a dedicated bay for a small lumberyard. At an assigned site at Yellowstone Bridge Bay. I had the rears up on 4 levels of 2x6's plus jacks extended, and step up on a convenient rock to get to the coach bottom step. And no room to extend LR slideout. Since all cg's were full, I had to make do. Otherwise, I move on to get better siting. Old cg's in nat'l parks are often a challenge to big rigs with narrow short sites, uneven, low trees, etc.
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:01 PM   #7
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I have had the front wheels of all of my motor homes in the air. I haven't seen any problems with it. For my current coach with air brakes, the auto leveling system has out one of the rear wheels in the air a couple of times. With spring parking brakes, as long as one rear wheel is on the ground, it's not going anywhere.
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Old 10-21-2009, 12:28 PM   #8
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There used to be problems raising one end into the air when there were three point jacks. They could twist the frame enough to pop the front windshield out of place. Most four point levelers have equalizing circuits that keep the front even and do not twist the frame so it is not much of a problem any more. The main problem is with the rear wheels. The emergency brake is on the drive shaft. If you lift the rear wheels off the ground then you effectively are in neutral. I would worry about rolling forward or backward - especially if it is windy. I believe that you also have a problem if only one rear wheel is on the ground because the differential will allow the other wheel to turn freely. My policy is to always put the rear wheels on boards so that they are never in the air. I then put blocks under the jacks so that they have enough lift height and I block the front wheels just to be safe. Most of the time I do the same thing (in reverse) with the front wheels too.
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Old 10-21-2009, 12:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Sage View Post
. . . My policy is to always put the rear wheels on boards so that they are never in the air. I then put blocks under the jacks so that they have enough lift height and I block the front wheels just to be safe. Most of the time I do the same thing (in reverse) with the front wheels too.
I use this same policy. I always build the jacks up as much or more than the wheels. I try not to extend my Atwood jacks to their full length. I seem to have less trouble with them if I can keep their travel short as possible.
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Old 10-22-2009, 02:00 AM   #10
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i try to use blocks under the tires to keep 2 wheels on the ground when leveling. the rear blocks must fit under both rear tires. if you must raise 1 rear wheel and 1 front wheel off the ground, chock the front wheel tightly that is on the ground both fore and aft before lifting. both the parking brake and the transmission park position will not keep the moho from moving fore and aft if 1 rear wheel is off the ground. if there is any wind, keep at least 2 wheels on the ground. raising both the front wheels or both the rear wheels off the ground is dangerous if there is any wind.
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Old 10-22-2009, 05:34 AM   #11
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Using jacks to raise wheels off the ground is not a good idea / not recommended - Why would you want to jog on the freeway ?
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Old 10-24-2009, 06:59 PM   #12
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Thanks to all for the great advice....as always.

I'm going to pick up a bag of the interlocking leveling blocks and dig into my chasis manual to verify to operation of my parking brake. I've wondered in the past about parking on a slope and leaving the dogs inside. I'm concerned about them bumping the air brake release but it sounds as if that isn't a problem if the motor's turned off.
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Old 10-31-2009, 08:31 PM   #13
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RickO some parking brakes can be released as long as there is air in the tank even with the engine off.
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Old 10-31-2009, 08:38 PM   #14
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PS The parking b rakes can also be activated by low air pressure even if the engine is running. The button is supposed to pop out about 10 to 20 psi. So if you have a severe air leak find a parking spot soon.
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