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Old 11-22-2016, 07:45 PM   #1
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Manual Air Dump

I have a 2016 Thor Venetian with a Freightliner chassis. It has an Ultra Level system that automatically dumps the air bags before lowering the leveling jacks. The air bags automatically fill back up when the air brake is released.

I need to dump the air bags (and keep them dumped) to lower the MH to get in my garage. Can a switch/valve be installed to dump the air bags and keep them dumped while I drive 40' to get the MH in the garage? Thanks.
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Old 11-22-2016, 08:47 PM   #2
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Check out Source Engineering, they may have an install that does this. They did market a momentary ride height control, don't know if it lowers the coach for a situation like yours.
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Old 11-23-2016, 05:25 AM   #3
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I had read where a switch could be installed that would allow dumping the air bags where they would stay dumped until you flipped the switch again. That is what I need.
Thanks!
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Old 11-23-2016, 05:45 AM   #4
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Exclamation ! solved...

do you have a lever down near your left leg that says 'Lower' and 'Auto', or something similar? if so, this is your manual Suspension Air Bag dump lever, as on mine...

'Lower' means that you want to dump your air bags - if you leave it in this mode
all the time, the coach will 'automatically' dump the bags EVERYTIME you stop and pull the air brakes - they will inflate when driving

'Auto' means that you want to keep your air bags filled, both while driving and even when you are parked and the air brakes are pulled

...if you need to drive your coach into a low overhead garage, you can pull up as close as possible, pull the Brakes, move the lever to Lower to dump the bags, release the brakes and quickly drive forward 20', stop and pull the Brakes again, wait for the bags to dump again, and do the drive forward the rest of the way...
generally your A/C units are the highest points on your coach, so as long as you clear them you are probably good for everything else... someone spotting for your a/c units would be a good idea...

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Old 11-23-2016, 06:23 AM   #5
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No, sir, mine does not have that lever. It only dumps air at he beginning of the jack leveling operation. It automatically dumps before leveling and automatically airs back up when retracting the jacks. It also automatically airs up if the parking brake is released.
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Old 11-23-2016, 08:04 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by RockinGRanch View Post
No, sir, mine does not have that lever. It only dumps air at he beginning of the jack leveling operation. It automatically dumps before leveling and automatically airs back up when retracting the jacks. It also automatically airs up if the parking brake is released.
Mine has the lower lever but it will auto inflate when I put the coach in gear regardless of where the lever is. Just like your step will come in when you start the coach regardless of where the stay out switch is set
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Old 11-23-2016, 08:10 AM   #7
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you may also have a switch, maybe un-named, that does this same process...
should be near the driver area, of course

don't know why any chassis would not have the ability to manually dump the bags, which would seem a required option - there are times when you need to dump regardless of whether you are leveling or not...

on my coach, I can even decide to LEAVE the air bags inflated when leveling, if I want - the leveler system has no interaction with the air bags, only the Air Brake does...
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Old 11-23-2016, 08:15 AM   #8
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I have a friend with a Newell and he has this feature as he needs a lower height for his garage. He's also got air leveling so it may be tied to that.
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Old 11-23-2016, 04:21 PM   #9
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The air bags dump automatically when I turn on the Ultra Leveler and push the Auto Level button. If I turn it back off after the bags dump (but before the jacks start going down) the bags will remain dumped. However, when I release the Parking Brake the bags immediately start filling up.
What if I put a switch between the Parking Brake sensor and the solenoid valve that allows the bags to fill? It would not "know" that the Parking Brake is released and would stay dumped until I flipped the switch again.
Thoughts?
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Old 11-23-2016, 06:35 PM   #10
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The reason the air builds back up when the brake is released is to prevent the coach from moving with the suspension lowered which will cause severe damage to the driveline due to the increased angle.
You may want to consider another option. Drivelines can get expensive.
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Old 11-23-2016, 09:11 PM   #11
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I almost purchased a new Expedition, 18 months ago but needed about 4" to clear the garage door. I tried to dump the air and back in but the air bags inflated too quickly. The salesman called Freightliner and they said there was no way around the bags inflating once the air brake was released. We purchased with a straight rail chassis instead, which I like just as much. I was never convinced they were not just telling me that to avoid any liability.
On some coaches if you drive them with the air dumped and turn very far, you will stand a chance of damaging the wheel well.
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Old 11-28-2016, 06:29 PM   #12
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Thanks for the replies. I decided to notch out the garage header 3" instead of dumping the air. It now fits in the garage!!!
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Old 11-28-2016, 06:43 PM   #13
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Thanks for the replies. I decided to notch out the garage header 3" instead of dumping the air. It now fits in the garage!!!

Good plan, the other plan would have cost you more in the end.
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