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Old 04-22-2014, 06:35 PM   #1
GGW
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Air suspension obtaining coach travel height

I purchased a 2014 Entegra Aspire in April of this year. On my first trip out I had trouble with the coach not rising to travel height. Even after the retraction process finished, the alarm ended, gauges showed the right pressure and the dump valve (or whatever it is called) blew, but the coach did not rise to travel height. This caused a "high centering" accident when accessing a highway, and substantial damage to the coach. Entegra says the proper procedure after you retract the levelers and pressure levels have been reached, is to go outside and see if the equipment functioned properly. They did not tell me what to do if it did not. And all this was after the accident. Nothing was said at the dealer about standing outside to see if the coach equipment worked as designed (and I can certainly see why). I repeated the retraction process (because I did not know what else to do) and usually on the second attempt, travel height was established. I have over 130,000 miles in a Country Coach Affinity and an Allegro Bus and never experienced such a problem. I am wondering if mine is the only coach with such a problem or if others have experienced this. I have had several people who would know, tell me this is a well known problem with the Aspire. Thanks, GGW
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:54 PM   #2
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We've never had a problem with our Aspire (and now I feel like I need to knock on wood) reaching the proper drive height - nor have we heard of this happening before now. Would you mind explaining what you mean by "high centering" accident and what type of damage occurred?
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Old 04-22-2014, 07:08 PM   #3
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I've had this happen twice, now I retract the jacks a 2nd time and let the coach stay at high idle for a few minutes. That seems to cure the problem of not getting to ride height.
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Old 04-22-2014, 07:23 PM   #4
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GGW, welcome to the forum and sorry to hear that initial experience was negative. It is not exactly clear what retraction process you followed, but the recommended is to start, move to fast idle (press cruise control on and then hit the set, engine rpms will increase to 1000). Wait tip you hear the air system release air in the rear of the chassis. [I then exit the coach and make damn sure my wheels are still straight; probably anal, but I do] Then retract the levelers. The chassis will release onto the air bags (you should still be at fast idle). Let the chassis "air" back up till you hear the release. [Again, I exit the coach and check EVERY axle to make sure I can see tread] If you can't see tread (and that all the levelers are fully retracted), then I'd retry. If I don't get to ride height, I am calling Spartan CS before I move. I am surprised they didn't run through this with you at delivery (well, maybe not), but generally, I haven't heard many saying they didn't get the explanation in this forum.

If you're routinely having to do this, I'd, again, be discussing with Spartan CS. And they respond to after hours calls as well.
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Old 04-22-2014, 07:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGW View Post
I am wondering if mine is the only coach with such a problem or if others have experienced this. I have had several people who would know, tell me this is a well known problem with the Aspire. Thanks,
GGW
We had it happen with our Aspire just once but have experienced it several

times with our Anthem
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Old 04-22-2014, 07:54 PM   #6
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Dave, I am one that did not get the explanation from the delivering dealer. If it wasn't for this forum, I would have never known about the correct proceeded. Again thanks to the forum, I did find the Entegra "start procedure" check list in one of the two owners manual case.

Last thing I do is walk around before the MH goes into gear.
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Old 04-23-2014, 06:33 AM   #7
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Thanks Dave I too had no idea of the correct procedures using fast idle engaging your cruise control before you start the levelers. I have now adopted your pre-trip walk around to verify my levelers are fully retracted. I’m also using my cruise control when engaging the levelers…Thank for the info
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:38 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by hdgoldie View Post
We've never had a problem with our Aspire (and now I feel like I need to knock on wood) reaching the proper drive height - nor have we heard of this happening before now. Would you mind explaining what you mean by "high centering" accident and what type of damage occurred?
We pulled onto Highway 50 near Salida, CO from a RV Park that was lower than the highway. The coach "high centered" on the edge of the highway because the coach was still lowered. We were blocking west bound traffic and could not get the coach on or off the highway. I had to jerk the coach off the road with my tow vehicle. The undercarriage of the coach was bent and there was damage to the door panels on both sides. Quite a scary deal.
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:46 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by crowleytj View Post
I've had this happen twice, now I retract the jacks a 2nd time and let the coach stay at high idle for a few minutes. That seems to cure the problem of not getting to ride height.
Thanks. Do you fully extend your jacks and then retract again? or do you just hit the retract button again? I understand the high idle issue and sometimes use it, but does that not just make the air suspension system fill faster? Whether you use high idle or not, when the pressure gauges are up and the dump valve blows you should be ready to go. That is what I was told. I dont understand having to redo the jacks to get the coach up. That seems to me like an equipment problem. Although I admit I may be a little sensitive to this after the incident.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:02 AM   #10
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GGW, welcome to the forum and sorry to hear that initial experience was negative. It is not exactly clear what retraction process you followed, but the recommended is to start, move to fast idle (press cruise control on and then hit the set, engine rpms will increase to 1000). Wait tip you hear the air system release air in the rear of the chassis. [I then exit the coach and make damn sure my wheels are still straight; probably anal, but I do] Then retract the levelers. The chassis will release onto the air bags (you should still be at fast idle). Let the chassis "air" back up till you hear the release. [Again, I exit the coach and check EVERY axle to make sure I can see tread] If you can't see tread (and that all the levelers are fully retracted), then I'd retry. If I don't get to ride height, I am calling Spartan CS before I move. I am surprised they didn't run through this with you at delivery (well, maybe not), but generally, I haven't heard many saying they didn't get the explanation in this forum.

If you're routinely having to do this, I'd, again, be discussing with Spartan CS. And they respond to after hours calls as well.
Thanks...I understand the high idle issue and sometimes use it depending on time of departure and neighbors. But isn't fast idle about time for the system to fill, not whether the coach elevates to ride height? That has been my thinking but let me know if I am wrong. If the coach sometimes moves to travel height and sometimes does not, and all you do is repeat the procedure you already did, is that not an intermittent equipment problem? My coach was checked by a chassis company yesterday and they found at least one problem but I am not sure it is the one that sometimes causes the coach not to elevate. I will talk to the tech who worked on the chassis today to try to understand what happened and what would cause the system to fail occasionally.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:42 AM   #11
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Yes, the fast idle is just about the time to completely air up, as I understand it. Further, retraction of the levelers shouldn't affect the end ride height...it is just a process, for me anyway. I guess my surprise is that you got to the road out of the park w/o something occurring before...with my Anthem, if I'm not all the way up, my tires are going to get into the fender well when only turning the wheels about 20 degrees. The Aspire has a little bit smaller tire I think, but I wonder f something happened with the air between the time you pulled out of your parking spot and the time you got to the road. Again, seems like a discussion with Scott Wixson and his crew up at Spartan seems appropriate.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:12 AM   #12
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GGW, if you do not have the parking and "breaking camp" checklist in yours owners manual boxes.......Entegra put out a nice checklist on hard card stock as apparently there have been a few cases like yours. I put mine in the console drawer until I get use to the new procedure. My previous MH was 180 degrees just the opposite. If you do not have the checklist, a call to CS might get one in the mail for you.

That final walk around is so important as it is so easy leave more that just the ride height not correct, antennas up, hoses left connected, slide not all the way in, etc.
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Old 04-23-2014, 03:35 PM   #13
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Sorry to hear about your troubles. Can someone explain what a High Centering accident is?
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Old 04-23-2014, 03:53 PM   #14
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Sorry to hear about your troubles. Can someone explain what a High Centering accident is?
In post #8 GGW explained what happened to him with the high centering. It can cause a lot of damage. I have had some front cowling scrapes on the TS from steep truck stop fuel station driveway ramps. I have learned to take those at an angle when entering even when fully aired up.
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