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Old 03-26-2014, 11:43 AM   #1
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HWH Air Leveling

Last fall we had air leveling added to our 2013 Dutch Star. We wanted air leveling for all the odd times regular hydraulic leveling can't/shouldn't be used.

IE: Rest areas, Walmart and soft ground. While I carry 3 foot long 4X6 boards to put under the jack pads. It's a pain to clean all the mud off for just an overnight stop. Not to mention cold weather, when it takes the jacks forever to retract.

Then there is the extra pluses; filling the bags to full which raises the coach 3 inches or lower the coach on to the bump stops, both ways the coach can be driven up 5 mph. Having this feature would cure DutchStarDon's driveway problem.

Then there is having the ability to lower the rear and raise the front while filling with fuel, all but stopping the famous Newmar burp.

Only 2 companies offer air leveling HWH and Hadley:

Welcome to HWH Corporation

Heavy Duty Truck & Transit Business Division | HadleyAdvantage

HWH is the only one that retrofits. They also offer Active Air, which is a whole different beast. For more information you can check out redbaron73's blog, he had it installed on their coach.

Here is what all is involved:

First you need to go to Moscow IA, the home of HWH. We chose to stay in our coach during the process, which took 3 days. Living in a factory that operates 24 hours a day was a very different "camping" experience.

Everything is done under the coach, HWH has a special drive on platform for coaches.

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This is something I've been waiting for, a chance to walk around under the coach to check things out.

Why is there a wet spot of here?

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Somebody didn't attach the hose clamp. I found 2 spots, but could barely get this photo. Fixed.

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For those that want to know how to adjust the tag pressure. Here is the regulator. Mounted above the drive axle, high on the frame rail.

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I wound NOT advise playing with it unless you're on scales.

They're going to be adding a lot of wiring, 2 brain boxes, 1 electric air compressor and 3 solenoid blocks that adjust the air pressure for each axle.

Here is the compressor and 1 solenoid block.

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To give them working room, I had to clean out the forward compartment. That's where I carry my jack blocks, air compressor, pressure washer and tools.

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We also had to remove the peg board panel, so the wire harness could be run to the rear.

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Some wielding was required, so the computers were unplugged.

This is the transmission computer plug (red rectangle). It's just forward of the drive axle on the drivers side.

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Old 03-26-2014, 12:05 PM   #2
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Mounting of hardware

The compressor and block for the front axle was mounted at the front drivers corner of the coach.

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The rears were mounted between the rear axles.

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Here is a close up of the block, before they added all the lines. All of them were mounted upside down, I don't know why.

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Brain boxes were added and wiring run.

One between the rails and the other on the drivers side.

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The power cables had to run into the forward compartment under the driver window.

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I swear they used 2 tubes of sealant, on the 3 holes they drilled, just to make sure everything was sealed up tight.

They make everything in house, except the hydraulic pumps and the air compressor.

Somebody forgot to order our harness until we got there, so that added a little time. The install techs were not happy that a in house part was holding them up. they couldn't install the air lines until the harness was up and out of the way.

So day 1 got cut short.


It was neat seeing all the hydraulic rams coming out of the mills, they would fill 4X4X4 bins full of them. All the shavings would go into recycle bins.

We weren't allowed to walk past a yellow line on the floor, which meant we couldn't hardly see what all was going on in the plant. What you could see was neat thou.
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:42 PM   #3
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day 2 started with getting the wire harness in place and then running the air lines.

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We also got a new control pad and had to add a warning light.

A part can the driver arm rest.

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Old control pad

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New control pad. Now to auto level, either air or hydraulic, you press the appropriate pad twice.

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To manually adjust you press once, then do what operation you want. When filling with fuel, I press the air leveling pad once. Then I hold the down arrow for the rear, till the bags fully deflate. Then press the up arrow for the front, tills the bags fully inflate. It lessons the burp tremendously.

After all parts were installed it was time to test. The first test found 2 lines crossed on the tag axle. That was easily and quickly fixed.

Next was soap testing every air fitting on the coach. We found 3 leaks, 1 major. Which explains why I loose air pressure so fast when stopping.

1 was the driver tag axle bag, I was explained the small amount was considered industry standard.

2 was a screw on the air solenoid mounted to the firewall. I simply tighten this one and it went away.

The big one was on the front air tank, the main inlet line fitting.

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1 full turn with a wrench and it sealed right up, how Freightliner missed this I don't know.

Nothing HWH added leaked at all.

We then had to manually level the coach, starting with air, to where we felt it was level. HWH then set that as the level for auto leveling. A few more test of the auto leveling, to make sure it went to where we wanted it.

Then the coach can off the ramp and we repeated the level setting for the hydraulics.

Next, we went outside to test drive. This was to test the auto fill when reaching 5 mph. After that we payed the bill and were on our way. Total was (at that time, call for your own quote) just north of $5000. Active Air is almost double, but again call. All pricing is subject to change, these were the prices in Nov 2013.


Our first stop was at Blue Ox in Pender NE. With cold temps it was the perfect time to test the air leveling.

We pulled into our site, checked all slide gaps (just to see if anything changed). Poked the air leveling button twice, the whole coach lowered to the bump stops. Then it began filling the appropriate bags till we achieved level. I then rechecked slide gaps, nothing had changed. When we put all the slides out it of course changed level slightly, so the system added air where needed.

The system goes to sleep, but wakes up to recheck level every 30 mins. When you're somewhere with big temp swings, it will let air out as the day warms up. Then add air as it gets colder.

Blue Ox service is over the top, not enough good words to say about them. We got there at 4 PM and the tech came over to our site before leaving. Picked up our tow bar so he could rebuild it first thing in the morning. He was reinstalling it by 9 AM. I didn't have to do a thing, but show up.

Our final test of the system came the day we left Blue Ox.

High winds forced us over in Mitchell SD, gusts were over 50 mph. We stopped at the Cabela's there. Hit the air leveling and hung out in a perfectly level coach for 4 hours while the storm passed.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:00 PM   #4
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Super write up John and with the pictures makes it even greater, now where will I put it for future reference?
QT's # 3 of course. Located in Suspension Section
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:38 PM   #5
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Thank you 007.
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:35 PM   #6
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Very cool....always amazed at all of the pictures. Could be something we may look at later this year.
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:50 AM   #7
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We have an 06 Travel Supreme Select with the Hadley Air system and have only had the coach for 6 weeks. Looking forward to using the Hadley to level the coach in rest areas, Walmart, where there is soft ground etc. As you find more ways to use the Air leveling, let us all know.

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Old 03-27-2014, 02:31 PM   #8
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We have HWH air leveling on our coach and I really like it. I do realize it is a bit limited in excess slope situations....can't handle slopes as well as hydraulic jacks but I don't plan to park this beast on sites that are steeply sloped.
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:24 PM   #9
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Looks like this one will keep Don busy under his coach for a while. Send us some pics, Don. :-)
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:44 PM   #10
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With air leveling do you feel the coach "bounce" when walking inside? I have been intrigued by this for some time but this would cause me to pause. I hate the bounce.

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Old 03-27-2014, 03:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoetryJoe View Post
With air leveling do you feel the coach "bounce" when walking inside? I have been intrigued by this for some time but this would cause me to pause. I hate the bounce.

Joe
We can occasionally feel a slight bounce or movement but generally not more than my previous coach with HWH hydraulic jacks.

It is certainly nothing that annoys us.
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:15 PM   #12
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Hey....the air leveling is about the same price as a new set of tires. I guess I'll have to tell the wife the tires went bad and I need to go to Iowa for a new set. For what it does and the level of convenience it adds, its not a terribly bad price.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoetryJoe View Post
With air leveling do you feel the coach "bounce" when walking inside? I have been intrigued by this for some time but this would cause me to pause. I hate the bounce.

Joe
The washer on spin cycle shakes a little bit more, but otherwise same as below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smlranger View Post
We can occasionally feel a slight bounce or movement but generally not more than my previous coach with HWH hydraulic jacks.

It is certainly nothing that annoys us.
I agree with this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
Hey....the air leveling is about the same price as a new set of tires. I guess I'll have to tell the wife the tires went bad and I need to go to Iowa for a new set. For what it does and the level of convenience it adds, its not a terribly bad price.
It will be worth it just for the convenience.
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