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Old 02-24-2020, 02:37 PM   #1
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Who lets their leveling system raise tires off ground?

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.
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Old 02-24-2020, 02:45 PM   #2
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I doubt it will bend the frame of a Newmar late model coach.


Lifting front tires off the ground is ok. I prefer not to, as it is too big of a step.


Lifting the rear tires off the ground is not safe when on uneven surface. This is your only brake.


I have lifted the rear tires off the ground, but only in my garage that was level, and with the front tires both blocked properly.
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Old 02-24-2020, 02:47 PM   #3
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Not me, no good reason to put unnecessary stress on anything. First Ask for another spot. If need be I drive up onto blocks and I match that height with blocks under the jacks.What is most important if you raise your coach off the ground your brakes are not holding you in place.
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Old 02-24-2020, 02:52 PM   #4
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I wont lift my rear tires, as the air brakes on the rear tires hold it in place. If I have to lift my fronts off the ground, I keep some 2 x 6s in stock, and will put them under the fronts. I then lower the tires back down onto the boards. Will it hurt anything, I guess it depends if the jacks sink into the dirt or not. I would think if one side sunk, it could cause trouble possibly with the windshield. If I cant get reasonably level doing this, the parking spot is not acceptable.
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Old 02-24-2020, 03:44 PM   #5
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The jacks hold it in place. They have the about the same ground contact.

If you can stand on the site and you and the picnic table are not slide down the hill, your RV won't.

If you level your RV and you manually let one corner down, to regain ground contact, you are twisting the chassis.
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Old 02-24-2020, 03:46 PM   #6
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Go to the Newmar Service Center and you will see coaches with wheels in the air. Mine was one of them when both the drive and tag axles were in the air while they repaired my slideout.

If you think about it, there is only a few pounds difference between the wheel touching the ground and being off the ground.
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Old 02-24-2020, 04:20 PM   #7
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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
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Old 02-24-2020, 05:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fefanatic View Post
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.


In this situation, I would just dump air and level using air. Let me rephrase this DW would do this and I would be outside holding the rear flap up.
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Old 02-24-2020, 06:18 PM   #9
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My friend got an exhaust leak on his DP. We stopped at a garage to see if they could look at the leak. It was a slight down hill in front of the garage. He lifted the rear end up a bit to make room to look at the engine from below. He lifted it a bit too high, and the rear wheels lost traction. The coach kind of moved forward a bit. It bent his one rear jack slightly. This is why I wont lift my rear wheels off the ground. It is possible to bend a jack doing it, I have seen it personally.
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Old 02-24-2020, 06:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winniman View Post
My friend got an exhaust leak on his DP. We stopped at a garage to see if they could look at the leak. It was a slight down hill in front of the garage. He lifted the rear end up a bit to make room to look at the engine from below. He lifted it a bit too high, and the rear wheels lost traction. The coach kind of moved forward a bit. It bent his one rear jack slightly. This is why I wont lift my rear wheels off the ground. It is possible to bend a jack doing it, I have seen it personally.
My first DP was a 2008 Fleetwood discovery 40x. We stopped for a night in the middle of nowhere Wyoming at a truck stop. I leveled, and the system overextended, lifting rear tires. The coach rolled forward and bent both rear Jacks.

The next morning I had to hire a truck service company to remove the Jacks so I could drive home.
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Old 02-24-2020, 06:38 PM   #11
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Thought I read in our HWH manual that this was a big no no.
Just remember those leveling jacks do NOT have holding valves, meaning one blown hose and she's coming down hard. For this reason alone I won't lift the coach tires off the ground with just a jack, without a proper jack stand involved. We lost a friend (good mechanic who knew better) to a dump truck bed cylinder hose failure.
Not worth the risk in my opinion. Use blocks.
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Old 02-24-2020, 08:10 PM   #12
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i think the bigger reason for not lifting the wheels off the ground is lateral stability. The jacks are plenty strong vertically but are not designed for lateral loads - especially at full extension. Saw a guy at a CG once who had front tires a good 5 inches in the air on a river rock site. Machine fell sideways and bent both front jacks and a spring. He was still stuck when I left. Itís easy to drive on to LEGO blocks and put them under the jacks.
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Old 02-24-2020, 08:51 PM   #13
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I'm moving the purchase of real actual heavy duty wheel chocks further up my shopping list.
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Old 02-24-2020, 08:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
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The jacks hold it in place. They have the about the same ground contact.

If you can stand on the site and you and the picnic table are not slide down the hill, your RV won't.

If you level your RV and you manually let one corner down, to regain ground contact, you are twisting the chassis.
I only raise or lower the front jacks together. I use whatever wood is required to support the front tires before letting it back down. I prefer to never have to do this, but with longer rvs, you encounter sites that it is difficult to level front to back. Campgrounds shouldn't put 40 ft. long rvs in off level sites. Its different when you have a 24 ft camper. With DPs with the door at the front, the step gets pretty high off the ground when the front wheels come off the ground.
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