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Old 05-28-2017, 10:31 AM   #1
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2013 Fleetwood Excursion, house 'tilted' during inspection

Hello-

I posted this over in the Freightliner forum, but one of the posters recommended I post here.

I'm looking at a 2013 Fleetwood Excursion with the Freightliner XCS chassis. While I was inspecting it, I found that the house was tilted relative to the chassis. I used the height of the house compared to the tops of the front tires as a reference. This is my first DP so I don't entirely understand the air suspension system. Maybe it is doing what it is designed to do? I just thought it was weird that the house was tilted (driver's side low) relative to the chassis.

I tried to take the best picture I could, realizing that perspective can be lost if the camera is tilted when the picture is taken. But basically, the tan rig near the center of the photo is the one in question. It is sitting on asphalt that has a slight but noticeable grade, with the grade sloping down from the (high) right side of the photo to the (lower) left side of the photo. The engine is idling. As you can hopefully see, if you look at the bottom of the front cap relative to the ground, the driver's side is lower to the ground than the passenger side. Should it be doing this?

But maybe the system is doing what it is supposed to be doing? There was a small "bullseye" type level inside the rig, and it was showing that the rig was pretty level, with the bubble edge touching the smallest inner ring of the bullseye level. Does the airbag system, with the engine running, automatically keep the rig level and the airbag system was doing what it is designed to do? Or is there something wrong?

Further, after I took the picture, I went inside the rig (with the engine running) and noticed there was a "dump airbags" switch. I pressed it in an attempt to level the house with the chassis and nothing discernible happened. The house didn't move, there was no hiss or sound of air. Is that normal?

Thanks for the help. We really like the rig and the dealership said they would fix everything to our satisfaction before we pay, but would like to avoid getting involved with a rig that might be having airbag troubles.
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Old 05-28-2017, 10:49 AM   #2
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The floor of the RV is mounted solid to the frame of the chassis.
The air bag suspension , controls the ride height of the suspension , and can effect the distance from the top of the tires to the RV body work.
The dump switch may not be active with the engine running ( very possible it is over ridden)
JMHO: Because the RV is sitting on a lot , most likely not using the full leveling procedure ( jacks down ) before extending slide . They do this to prevent damage to the pavement ; the jacks will depress pavement when hot; and some times the pads will bury into the pavement and get stuck.
You'll need to have the RV sales staff , retract the slides , run the engine , and then check the ride height ; distance from the tires to the body; it will probably check out as OK then. Then put the coach up on the levelers , they may want to move the RV to a concrete pad for this , then extend the slides to see how it looks.
If you do purchase the coach ; MAKE SURE you get every document on every system in the coach , you'll have a bunch of reading to do, your buying a complicated RV and going back to school, and the manuals are your best source of the info you need to enjoy your new RV.
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Old 05-28-2017, 11:09 AM   #3
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My opinion someone opened slide without jacks down and level which is a no no.
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Old 05-28-2017, 12:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tha_Rooster View Post
My opinion someone opened slide without jacks down and level which is a no no.
Yup, the dealership did. Jacks were up.
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Old 05-28-2017, 12:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
The floor of the RV is mounted solid to the frame of the chassis.
The air bag suspension , controls the ride height of the suspension , and can effect the distance from the top of the tires to the RV body work.
The dump switch may not be active with the engine running ( very possible it is over ridden)
JMHO: Because the RV is sitting on a lot , most likely not using the full leveling procedure ( jacks down ) before extending slide . They do this to prevent damage to the pavement ; the jacks will depress pavement when hot; and some times the pads will bury into the pavement and get stuck.
You'll need to have the RV sales staff , retract the slides , run the engine , and then check the ride height ; distance from the tires to the body; it will probably check out as OK then. Then put the coach up on the levelers , they may want to move the RV to a concrete pad for this , then extend the slides to see how it looks.
If you do purchase the coach ; MAKE SURE you get every document on every system in the coach , you'll have a bunch of reading to do, your buying a complicated RV and going back to school, and the manuals are your best source of the info you need to enjoy your new RV.
Thanks Skip. Great advice and will follow.
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Old 05-28-2017, 01:06 PM   #6
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ours is an xCS chassis just like yours...

I'm not sure I'm seeing the issue you describe, though the only issue that I could imagine is that one of the front air bags is not inflating fully, otherwise I doubt it's anything to worry about.

Air Bags LEVER:
we have the same chassis and you can certainly 'dump' the air bags anytime, whether engine running or not(but you said the engine was running, anyway).

the lever, pulled toward the rear, releases the air bags, 'dumping' them, and sitting the house down onto the suspension.
...when pushed toward the front, and the engine running, it INFLATES the bags(Auto[DRIVE] Mode)

but, even if you forget and leave the Lever in the 'dump' position, the air bags will Automatically inflate when you put the transmission in DRIVE.
You'll also definitely FEEL the difference if you move too quickly before the air bags are inflated, the coach will have very little suspension for the house, and it WILL BE bumpy!

...some folks might leave the lever in the 'dump' mode all the time, but that means that anytime you put the transmission in Neutral, you'll be dumping the bags - I only use it when I've parked for the night, whether deploying my levelers or not.

...some folks might leave the lever in 'Auto' mode all the time, but this means that you are always sitting 4"-6" higher when parked, and your Levelers have to extend further to reach the ground. You'll also feel more movement thru the coach than otherwise.
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Old 05-28-2017, 09:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterT View Post
ours is an xCS chassis just like yours...

I'm not sure I'm seeing the issue you describe, though the only issue that I could imagine is that one of the front air bags is not inflating fully, otherwise I doubt it's anything to worry about.

Air Bags LEVER:
we have the same chassis and you can certainly 'dump' the air bags anytime, whether engine running or not(but you said the engine was running, anyway).

the lever, pulled toward the rear, releases the air bags, 'dumping' them, and sitting the house down onto the suspension.
...when pushed toward the front, and the engine running, it INFLATES the bags(Auto[DRIVE] Mode)

but, even if you forget and leave the Lever in the 'dump' position, the air bags will Automatically inflate when you put the transmission in DRIVE.
You'll also definitely FEEL the difference if you move too quickly before the air bags are inflated, the coach will have very little suspension for the house, and it WILL BE bumpy!

...some folks might leave the lever in the 'dump' mode all the time, but that means that anytime you put the transmission in Neutral, you'll be dumping the bags - I only use it when I've parked for the night, whether deploying my levelers or not.

...some folks might leave the lever in 'Auto' mode all the time, but this means that you are always sitting 4"-6" higher when parked, and your Levelers have to extend further to reach the ground. You'll also feel more movement thru the coach than otherwise.
Thanks for the info!
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