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Old 10-22-2020, 02:07 PM   #1
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How get the the most solid stance deploying the jacks?

This question is specific to a class A with jacks and air suspension. Others may have a trick or 2 also though.

I am trying to figure out how to get the most solid stance when the wind will be blowing hard and gusty hen you know you will want to sleep and your other half will be up and around. What offers the most stability? I assume that the air bags don't help so I let the air out. Then I use the auto level. I would think that having the jacks down would do it but it is still lively. I could leave the air in the bags then auto level and then let the air out but it would sit higher.

What do you do? Yes I do go to the lee side of the WalMart.. Back when we had our much lighter F53 Class A It seemed firmer but that was with spring suspension and manually leveled hydraulic jacks.
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Old 10-22-2020, 03:13 PM   #2
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My two bits of what I do. I have blocks for the rear jacks which I put under the rear jacks then I dump the air manually until all the air is out then I hit the auto level when it stops i will add a little lift manually. A little more work with the blocks but I get a good firm level.
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Old 10-22-2020, 03:45 PM   #3
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Just raise it a bit more with the jacks to take the sway out.
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Old 10-22-2020, 04:49 PM   #4
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If its lifted an inch, the suspension will dump on its own. The ride height valves control the space between the axle and chassis, not the ground.

The axles and tires are just sitting on the ground, the rest of the chassis weight is on the jacks.

Lifting the chassis higher does nothing but stretch the air bags. It doesn't create stability.

If your chassis is wobbly on a 4 jack system, its out of sync or has air in the jacks.

Bleed the air by fully extending them and then retracting them a few times.
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Old 10-22-2020, 08:30 PM   #5
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You need to check your jacks, once they're deployed. On the newer systems, they automatically check that all the jacks are on the ground. Next time you're on a solid ground, take a small pry bar and see if any of your jacks look like they're down, but may be barely touching. It could be that one does that all the time, since they come down in pairs. If one out of four isn't touching the ground, it could be your stability issue.
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Old 10-23-2020, 06:00 AM   #6
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I agree to check that all jacks are actually touching. I have a kick down system, it extends the jacks, dumps the air, then levels. But it doesn't extend a jack further if it is the high corner or an already level pad. In that case I manually extend the jacks until they stabilize it if the motion is too much.
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Old 10-23-2020, 09:35 AM   #7
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if you dont want to use the jacks, dump the air completely so the chassis sits on the axles or the bump stop inside the airbags.
you will get more stability if you just level. the system dumps the airbags, and supports the chassis.
when traveling, i use the jacks in windstorms, and park behind a walmart. that really helps. have done it many times. any big building will do.
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Old 10-23-2020, 10:04 AM   #8
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You have probably noticed by now that all leveling systems are not the same. Further, some coaches are inherently more stable than others, probably related to their total weight. A 40,000 lb coach is going to resist wind movement much better than a 20,000 lb model.

If your levelers don't auto-dump the air when deployed (mine do), I'd suggest doing it manually. Get the coach as low to the ground as practical, both the reduce wind-sway and to maximize jack travel range. Most automatic systems will stop as soon as it gets level, but that may not put substantial pressure on every jack. If expecting high winds, I'd manually extend each jack another couple inches to make sure each is firmly planted. Also be aware that the ground under the jack may subside a bit after a few hours with thousands of lbs of pressure on it, so you may want to re-adjust.

Any sort of shelter helps break the wind force. Look for any sort of windbreak to park near, even if you can't get real close.


If the winds are strong, consider bringing in some or all slides. It streamlines the exterior, eliminating corners where the wind can focus, and maybe saves the slide toppers from tearing. Or at least reduces wind noise from them.
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Old 10-27-2020, 11:20 AM   #9
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Thanks all! I think every post here gave some info that I needed. I now have increased stability. Here is the takeaway. Hydraulic Jacks are more stable than tires or bumpers. We read, in the RV instruction book, to dump the air then lower the jacks on auto. Although this keeps the RV lower to the ground it does not raise it that much. Now it appears that the system will automatically dump the air after the jacks go down. We never knew that. So if we just lower the jacks on auto we wind up higher but the bags will deflate after leaving us supported mostly on jacks. It works. I can always bump the jacks down a bit more but it is not really needed. It is even easier this way too. Of course as Florida Keys residents we already knew that, when evacuating the Keys one always parks on the downwind side of the Walmart. ;-)
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Old 11-11-2020, 08:47 AM   #10
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We recently had a chance to test these recommendations in tropical storm force winds after being evacuated from the keys. Almost none of the places that offered free parking on the mainland still allowed it because of covid (???) so we had to stay at a county parking area on 75 in the Everglades.

As was indicated putting the jacks down on auto then letting the air put of the bags worked fine. We also added an inch manually which improved it slightly. The RV was very stable in all but the worst gusts. The only motion was an odd cyclic side to side motion in the rear (bedroom). It was only a small motion and I think it was due to the overhang and the slight flexing of the jacks. All in all very livable.
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Old 11-12-2020, 01:36 PM   #11
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On my HWH system I press the pwr sw twice and the system goes into auto level, dumping the air first and then lowering the jacks. If the area you're on is pretty level, the jacks don't raise the coach much at all. Very solid stance.
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Old 11-12-2020, 04:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
If its lifted an inch, the suspension will dump on its own. The ride height valves control the space between the axle and chassis, not the ground.

The axles and tires are just sitting on the ground, the rest of the chassis weight is on the jacks.

Lifting the chassis higher does nothing but stretch the air bags. It doesn't create stability.

If your chassis is wobbly on a 4 jack system, its out of sync or has air in the jacks.

Bleed the air by fully extending them and then retracting them a few times.
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