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Old 09-28-2017, 12:41 AM   #1
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automatic leveling

I have an ace 29.2 with the f53 chassis. when using the auto levelors can the front wheels hang? or the rear for that matter?
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Old 09-28-2017, 01:05 AM   #2
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Can? Yes
Should? No
Acceptable? front only, never rear.
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Old 09-28-2017, 01:09 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by wbrodmerkel View Post
I have an ace 29.2 with the f53 chassis. when using the auto levelors can the front wheels hang? or the rear for that matter?
wbrodmerkel,
I'm new to this world but as I have ascertained the leveling jacks are not made to lift that size load off the ground.
So, I would say no, not so good for wheels to hang.
However, there are a lot of people here on the site with tons of knowledge of all things and I'm sure you will get a better reply soon.
Good luck.
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Old 09-28-2017, 04:02 AM   #4
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I haven't tried using it in a perfectly level spot. But as the name implies "Leveler", it is designed to get the vehicle level if possible. The frige and the shower and doors etc. work best when level. Its also nice that it helps keep it still as you walk around inside. Wheels up...is not a problem, they are attached pretty well and will not cause damage.
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Old 09-28-2017, 05:10 AM   #5
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I haven't tried using it in a perfectly level spot. But as the name implies "Leveler", it is designed to get the vehicle level if possible. The frige and the shower and doors etc. work best when level. Its also nice that it helps keep it still as you walk around inside. Wheels up...is not a problem, they are attached pretty well and will not cause damage.
Totally agree, they are rated to lift much more than they do.
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:34 AM   #6
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I am not an expert on the subject. My thoughts are I do not like the front wheels to hang. If the jacks raise the wheels I will put blocks under wheels and re level. I would never let the rear hang.
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Old 09-28-2017, 11:21 AM   #7
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X2. If the back of the site is low enough that my leveling wants to raise my rear wheels off the ground then I will move to another site. It the front wheels come off the ground then I will set it back down, drive up on blocks, and re-level so the front wheels are supported.

You can also try to ground the jacks manually and level manually instead of just pushing "auto level". Sometimes this will let you raise the front just enough to get level but keep the front wheels on the ground. Usually in these circumstances you will be resting just on your rear suspension and the rear jacks really won't be supporting much so you may feel a little more movement back there.

I know it probably won't hurt the system to raise the front wheels off the ground with the leveling jacks, but IMHO is certainly puts a lot of stress on it when with a few easy steps can be avoided.
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Old 09-28-2017, 11:55 AM   #8
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X2. If the back of the site is low enough that my leveling wants to raise my rear wheels off the ground then I will move to another site. It the front wheels come off the ground then I will set it back down, drive up on blocks, and re-level so the front wheels are supported.

You can also try to ground the jacks manually and level manually instead of just pushing "auto level". Sometimes this will let you raise the front just enough to get level but keep the front wheels on the ground. Usually in these circumstances you will be resting just on your rear suspension and the rear jacks really won't be supporting much so you may feel a little more movement back there.

I know it probably won't hurt the system to raise the front wheels off the ground with the leveling jacks, but IMHO is certainly puts a lot of stress on it when with a few easy steps can be avoided.
I haven't checked with lippert, but when I was considering big foot and HWH, and both of them said that you could store your RV completely raised up if you wanted your tires off the ground for long term storage. The only thing they said is that if you did this, you should periodically wipe down and lubricate the jacks during long term storage.
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Old 09-28-2017, 11:59 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by be happy View Post
I am not an expert on the subject. My thoughts are I do not like the front wheels to hang. If the jacks raise the wheels I will put blocks under wheels and re level. I would never let the rear hang.
I agree... If you need to raise part of the rig off the ground to level it: you need wither a more level spot to park, or some leveling blocks under the wheels.
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:06 PM   #10
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I'll differ a bit...
I do try to get reasonably level on a site when possible - and I do prefer to raise the front more than the rear when given a choice... and most times all 4 wheels are on the ground (though some may have little weight on them).

But... to me the levelers are more than capable of supporting the coach - and if a wheel has to raise off ground to make it level - then so be it.
I don't carry enough blocks to address that - I have one 2x10 for under each jack (and likely replacing those with the attached jack pads in near future) and don't feel its necessary to consume space to carry more.

I want the weight on the jacks - and not the suspension... It makes the rig more stable inside when walking around... DW can tell (she says) when even one jack is not in contact with ground... (and damn she was right... lol)

IF I am raising the back wheels - I do firmly chock the front - as the transmission/emergency brake are on the back wheels. Once on the four jacks - it really can't go anywhere - but eliminates any chance of 'shifting' while raising/lowering.
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:08 PM   #11
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Also, a quick look of the info on LCI and jack capacities range from 7,000 to 14,000 per jack. They show pictures of each so you can identify which you have.

https://www.lci1.com/assets/content/...ideout-web.pdf

They also caution against not having all wheels off the ground for safety reasons.

Quote:
NEVER LIFT ALL THE WHEELS OFF THE GROUND TO LEVEL THE COACH!
Lifting all wheels off the ground may result in death or serious personal injury


So, I think the only real question is whether or not the suspension hanging creates undue stress on the suspension components. Obviously this is done during repairs, but then it might only be hours in most cases.

I wonder if this concern falls under the category of old wives tale? I've heard a lot of people saying it, but I see no indication it's bad for the level system.
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:12 PM   #12
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If you can have more contact points with the ground, it should be better: right?
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:21 PM   #13
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If you can have more contact points with the ground, it should be better: right?
Absolutely. I certainly wouldn't want to raise three wheels and have one jack nearly fully extended, just to get the wheels off the ground, for instance. I'm just saying that the level system companies (I've talked to reps at HWH and Bigfoot) and just read LCI manual, and non of them claim concern about raising front wheels off the ground.

I'm just pointing out that I haven't seen any place where a manufacturer says that it's bad for the coach or level system to raise the front wheels, or even two side wheels, off the ground.
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:39 PM   #14
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We agree...
Just because you can do something: it doesn't necessarily mean that you ought to!
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:48 PM   #15
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We agree...
Just because you can do something: it doesn't necessarily mean that you ought to!
What is the rationale around it being better not to do it? For instance, what is the weight on the jack with the wheel touching, which is the weight of the coach/chassis (all but wheel & suspension) on the jack vs. the weight including the wheel/chassis?

Is the difference something like 3600lbs vs 4000lbs? If so, is the extra 400-500 lbs on 7000lb capacity going to be what makes it fail?

The reason I mentioned old wives tale, take a gun magazine. Many, many people won't leave a magazine loaded, because the spring will fatigue, but that's not the way metallurgy works. The act of compressing and decompressing a spring puts wear on it, leaving it compressed (or uncompressed) puts no wear on the spring.
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:56 PM   #16
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Go ahead: raise your rig up in the air, and use it as an awning... it's your choice!
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Old 10-07-2017, 03:44 AM   #17
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Putting one up where the front is hanging isn't a problem. The weight is being held by the shocks and they are designed to do just that. The only bad part is that with the E450 chassis it looks bad due to the arc of the camber. I am going to create a retainer to cage the front axles simply to take the stress off of the shocks and make it easier to put cribbing under the front wheels.

GMC, we went to Paris Mountain State Park on SC a few weeks back. The "slight grade" on our site turned out to be bad enough that with over 10 inches of cribbing under the front jacks and at full extension, I would still need 13 inches of lift to level. I carry one compartment with nothing but cribbing. My coach is a 32 ft class C. For my next improvision, a string to tell me how much I need to get level.
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Old 10-07-2017, 11:26 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by ThePowells View Post
Putting one up where the front is hanging isn't a problem. The weight is being held by the shocks and they are designed to do just that. The only bad part is that with the E450 chassis it looks bad due to the arc of the camber. I am going to create a retainer to cage the front axles simply to take the stress off of the shocks and make it easier to put cribbing under the front wheels.

GMC, we went to Paris Mountain State Park on SC a few weeks back. The "slight grade" on our site turned out to be bad enough that with over 10 inches of cribbing under the front jacks and at full extension, I would still need 13 inches of lift to level. I carry one compartment with nothing but cribbing. My coach is a 32 ft class C. For my next improvision, a string to tell me how much I need to get level.
Instead of a string get a Level Mate Pro. Once installed and calibrated it will tell you exactly how far off level your coach is in inches at each corner. I've had the LMP for several months now and it works great.
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Old 10-07-2017, 01:02 PM   #19
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I suppose camping with a wheel, or wheels raised off the ground boils down to personal preference. From all the responses it sounds like some folks feel it is okay and some feel it stresses the components.

This summer we pulled into a large resort CG during a storm. I positioned the coach, set the brake, and auto leveled while waiting for the rain/wind to die down. When I finally exited the coach I noticed that the door was sticking. The site was very low in the back and my rear duals were almost off the ground. The exit door of the coach not shutting correctly told me that my frame was flexing and I certainly was not going to stay in that position.

I pulled the jacks up and moved the coach a little on the site. I also drove the rear duals up on some pieces of lumber. I could then manually level and all was good.
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Old 10-08-2017, 02:25 AM   #20
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I suppose camping with a wheel, or wheels raised off the ground boils down to personal preference. From all the responses it sounds like some folks feel it is okay and some feel it stresses the components.

This summer we pulled into a large resort CG during a storm. I positioned the coach, set the brake, and auto leveled while waiting for the rain/wind to die down. When I finally exited the coach I noticed that the door was sticking. The site was very low in the back and my rear duals were almost off the ground. The exit door of the coach not shutting correctly told me that my frame was flexing and I certainly was not going to stay in that position.

I pulled the jacks up and moved the coach a little on the site. I also drove the rear duals up on some pieces of lumber. I could then manually level and all was good.
I still try to somewhat level our coach before doing autolevel but I have also had to let those puppies hang loose. I am still adapting / adopting. I have had to walk the coach up and block the wheels, then retract and reblock the cylinders. We used to (they still may) put chains on the trailing arms on racecars to limit the extension travel during pit stops. I am considering fabricating something to allow me to do this on the front beams if I need to.
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