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Old 03-01-2020, 07:53 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by sgwyble View Post
At the end of the day it all depends what you are comfortable with. I do not like wheels off the ground even though I have heard from many experienced people that it is OK. As others stated I will put leveling pads under the wheel so it still has weight on it. I would not consider drive wheels off ground, we need a brake.
I think we need to be careful following examples from the service center in this case. Your coach will never be hit by a sudden gust of wind in the shop.
I lean on the conservative side for this, no point in taking a risk when I carry leveling pads
I am not what you all are thinking but when you set the weight of your coach on the hydraulic jacks to level your coach and your wheels are off the ground where do you think it is going to go. The part that rolls is in the air. If your four jacks putting pressure on the ground with the weight of your coach wonít keep it from moving you probably shouldnít park there.

I have a fleet of trucks and several of them are cranes and bucket trucks all with hydraulic out riggers used to level the rig. Some weigh more than the heaviest coaches out there and every one of them will lift the wheels off the ground for leveling. Thus is the preferred method per the crane manufacturers. Your coach is just as stable with the jacks down as it is up. If you are in enough wind to blow your coach off the jacks and on its side you probably need to find a storm shelter because on the wheels or on the jacks isnít going to make a difference.

Look at your ownerís manual and follow what it states. If in doubt as the coach manufacturer.
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Old 03-01-2020, 08:27 PM   #58
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The instructions for the Power Gear leveling system on our (F53 chassis) coach says to never lift the tires off the ground. That's any tires, not just the rears.
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Old 03-01-2020, 08:38 PM   #59
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I just attended a spartan class in Atlanta back on November and both the Spartan guys and the Entegra people said never lift your tires off the ground and leave them. Honestly I donít remember the reason but they made a big enough deal out of it that I took it on face value. Use blocks of wood etc to level up or as many have said get a different site.
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:27 PM   #60
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Since the parking brake works only on the rear axel it isnít a good idea to lift the rear tires. If it happens I manually level.
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:52 PM   #61
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It's more that just the rear wheels and also involves side ways stability even up front along with putting additional stress on the house up front. A number of folks depending on the frame, jack location and how the box is attached have popped a corner of the windshield developing a leak or cracking the glass. If you ask "Will this happen 100% of the time?" well the answer is no however it does happen often enough that its ill advised to raise the tires off the ground for extended periods of time with just the levelers.

Even in a service shop or emergency road side service situations if they use the levelers to raise a wheel best practice still demands that jacks and stands be used to support the axles as close to the wheels as possible.

Even heavy duty commercial trucks and trailers have sustained frame twist from being left jacked up while loaded on uneven ground. The most common situation is one jack sinks into the ground or even pavement twisting the frame. On a motor home when one jack sinks in with the tire off the ground you have the extra differential from the other jacks that held with the tire off the ground and the additional sinking that can occur before the airborne tire finally makes firm enough ground contact to keep it from sinking any further.


It really isn't just any one reason and simply adds a few more failure modes to the equation.
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Old 03-01-2020, 10:38 PM   #62
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Your going to have to make a decision on what is technically OK verses what people say. I have a 2000 38' Dutch Star Spartan Mountain Master chassis. I have been lifting the front wheels (often both) off the ground since I bought the MH new. I spent a lot of Q&A at two Spartan rallies in Charlotte, MI with Reyco Granning the mfgr of the front and rear suspension systems on this very issue. Their response is their systems easily handle this for front or rear wheels. The Bilstein shocks have stops in them which handle the weight.
We boondock primarily and often encounter unlevel sites where this is necessary. Occasionally I will lift one rear wheel off. I just never allowed myself to do both. BUT... that is just me!! Yes, I have had a few folks comment to me about not doing it but none could really say what facts their comments were based on. It was always a fireside story of some kind.

I suggest you check with the suspension mfgr to get the true story if you want to feel free to do this when necessary.

Good luck in coming to your won conclusion.
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Old 03-02-2020, 06:27 AM   #63
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The manual says no to wheels off the ground when leveling the unit. So, no wheels off the ground.

I have noticed that when using the automatic feature the front end always seems too high even on sites only slightly off level. I've started doing manual leveling of the coach. I have the leveling blocks (lighter and easier for me to use than 2X8s.

Good points about the rear wheels, and like someone else mentioned - good chocks are on the list.
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Old 03-02-2020, 09:11 AM   #64
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Check your owners manuals on this topic. The jacks do not provide lateral support, when the tires are off the ground and a gust of wind comes up then you could be knocked off the jacks. This would not only cause problems to the jacks it would also cause damage to there attachment points.

During maintenance or repair in a shop they may have the tires off the the ground but this is a controlled environment.
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Old 03-02-2020, 09:11 AM   #65
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Leveling

We are new to the rv world. When park ing I put 2 by 10 by 12 under the jacks , I feel more secure ,maybe I am being to safe
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Old 03-02-2020, 09:24 AM   #66
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Tires

I am a Retired master tech. I always believed that any wheel off the ground it is dangerous , Any help for under the jacks are a bonus for stability.
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Old 03-02-2020, 09:30 AM   #67
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I guess it depends on your system; if you think about the HWH controls youíll see the system is designed to prevent twisting the frame. You canít raise one corner alone; you can only raise the front, back and either side alone, preserving straight lines.

So when you lift your front wheels off the ground, one may be higher off the ground than the other, but the coach is still level, so not twisted. Ive had a wheel off the ground to level many times with no worries. .
I don't think that prevents a twist by itself. Both jacks are moving at the same rate and if one contracts ground first, it will begin pressuring that corner of the coach frame.

The automatic system accounts for that by working to level the coach as it deploys the jacks, but if it is done manually I think putting some twist in the frame is possible.
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Old 03-02-2020, 09:46 AM   #68
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I didn't go far enough in my last post about the wheels off the ground. I should have been more clear on the chassis noted in the post... its a pusher if your not familiar with a Dutch Star. I have no experience with a gasser chassis and would suggest is a good idea one way or the other. My chassis mfgr and OEM documentation doesn't say one way or the other about lifting the wheels off the other. Perhaps some others do. That's why I discussed it with them directly. I can't tell you how many times I had advice from very willing people to not do this. Newmar pushers go way back in time and can handle lifting the wheels for a Spartan Chassis or the Freightliner chassis. Perhaps the last five to ten years they have changed the design but I doubt it. If I ever get a newer coach I will ask the right people.

Jack plates are good to use but the need depends on the site ground and the slope. Most of the time the site ground isn't subject to allowing the jacks to sink in. But, one time the rear ones did and I had mess getting them pried loose to retract. The mud suction was more the jack retraction springs could overcome. In general if your in grass or dirt use them. If on asphalt or packed gravel not realiy necessary unless your dealing with a sloped site.

I use front plates often to get the coach level with my HWH jacks. In some instance I only have to do one or two jack plates. I made mine from 2 X 10 wood stock. Twist can occur if one the jacks give way and a window pop out but with good jacks the risk is minimal. With the extra plates the footprint is much larger and developing wet ground is very limited. But, the risk depends on the chassis axle weight.

Again, check with your chassis mfgr on the suspension design to see if they in writing not to lift the wheels. There are to many assumed opinions people heard from someone else that gets passed around as fact. Or the opinions are for a different chassis, suspension, and MH design.

Most of my points are my opinion based on making sure I discuss the matter with qualified people. Even then you have to be careful. That's why I went o Reyco Granning the suspension mfgr tech support.

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Old 03-02-2020, 10:16 AM   #69
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I get conflicting opinions about having your tires off the ground when levelling your rigs. I've heard it bends frames, others claim it will crack a frame but I've owned motorhomes for 40 years without bending or cracking a frame.

So, I am curious to your thoughts on the subject.
Darned near every time I level, one side or the other is off the ground. I have the Source Engineering suspension upgrade and those massive sway bars limit travel in the vertical plane. Doesn't hurt a thing. I do so AFTER deploying the slides per my owner's manual instructions.
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Old 03-02-2020, 10:45 AM   #70
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I don't think that prevents a twist by itself. Both jacks are moving at the same rate and if one contracts ground first, it will begin pressuring that corner of the coach frame.

The automatic system accounts for that by working to level the coach as it deploys the jacks, but if it is done manually I think putting some twist in the frame is possible.
Some twist is probably inevitable when you start operating the jacks manually, but you can not operate one jack at a time. Regardless whether you manually operate front, rear, right or left, the “brain” will deploy one or more jacks as it sees fit to lift that portion of the rig.

Ive tried to operate one jack at a time and other than unplugging it and supplying power remotely (testing only - would never do this to level), it won’t happen.

So I agree it’s not fool proof, but if they left operation of individual jacks to the operator, I think we would see a lot of damaged rigs due to excessive twisting.

As an aside, when I got my rig, using the “auto” mode left it quite off level, so I went through the process of recalibrating the system using a good framing level on the floor, and now it’s spot-on when I hit auto; took some of the fun out of leveling, but certainly more convenient and faster.
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