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Old 02-06-2016, 07:53 PM   #1
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Model: Challenger 37KT
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THOR #2871
Leveling without tires off the ground

I have a 2016 Challenger 37 KT. I park it on a concrete pad behind my house. The pad had a very slight slope to prevent water from standing. I had a Fleetwood before the Thor and never had a problem leveling it. However, I can't level the Thor without the front wheels coming off the ground. The owner manual cautions against the wheels being off the ground. I have tried using 6"x6" blocks under the legs but doesn't change anything. Can anyone tell me what I'm doing wrong? Thanks.
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Old 02-06-2016, 09:21 PM   #2
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Are you using 'auto' or 'manual' leveling?
I've noticed 'auto' tend to raise the MH higher at times...
When parking at home where I know the driveway is level side to side - I manually drop the front jacks just enough to get level (and only do that when I'm going to run the fridge - as it is very finicky compared to my last RV.)

If you only have a slight slope - I'd expect this to level without raising the wheels off ground.

Otherwise if you don't want the front wheels off the ground - you would need blocks/ramps under the wheels first - not just under the jack pads.
Blocks under the jack pads just change how far the jacks need to extend - won't change the final height of the wheels.
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Old 02-06-2016, 09:59 PM   #3
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THOR #2871
Auto leveling. My Fleetwood had a different system so I don't know much about Lippert. Have to get the book out. Thanks for the response.
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Old 02-07-2016, 04:46 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by rbmartiniv View Post
Auto leveling. My Fleetwood had a different system so I don't know much about Lippert. Have to get the book out. Thanks for the response.
Was your Fleetwood as long as the Challenger? Obviously the longer the wheelbase the more likely the wheels may come off ground when the parking pad is sloped. And the 37KT is a long wheelbase MH.

I'm no expert on levelers, but I would think that as long as they are working right and not lifting motorhome unnecessarily, that the type of leveler shouldn't make much of a difference. If the RV is actually level, and the initially-highest RV corner isn't jacked up more than necessary, then it comes down to suspension travel versus ground slope.

Just out of curiosity, do both front wheels come off ground? If so, by a lot? And have you added any suspension upgrades? I ask only because some upgrades can make it easier to lift a wheel off the ground.
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Old 02-07-2016, 05:48 AM   #5
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My Fleetwood was 40', so a little longer. No mods have been made. Both front wheels of the Challenger are off the ground by 4 to 6 inches. I'll have to learn how to do it manually. Right now, all I know how to do is press the Auto Level button.
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Old 02-07-2016, 06:54 AM   #6
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We have the Lippert leveling system, and the first time we used it we were at the dealer, learning all of the ins & outs. Ended up with ALL FOUR tires off the ground by using the auto feature. So we learned the manual -- very easy.

First, make sure you've set your emergency brake. Then turn on the leveling system and hit the "manual" button. It should tell you which corner of your rig is unloved. Hit the directional arrow (N,S,E,W) that is lit until your center light is green. That's all there is to it!

If you don't feel comfortable doing this on your incline, then find somewhere a bit more level and try it there.

However, if you're on that much of an incline, I'd be worried about the forward pressure you'd have on your levelers for long periods of time. As GMC said, getting it level should only be necessary when running the fridge (or putting the slides out).
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Old 02-07-2016, 02:05 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by rbmartiniv View Post
My Fleetwood was 40', so a little longer. No mods have been made. Both front wheels of the Challenger are off the ground by 4 to 6 inches. I'll have to learn how to do it manually. Right now, all I know how to do is press the Auto Level button.
Thanks for information, I learned something new. Apparently leveling systems on auto can lift motorhomes higher than necessary.

Assuming your motorhome is actually level (easy enough to check), I just hope your rear suspension can compress over 4 to 6 inches so the front wheels can sit planted on ground.
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Old 02-07-2016, 06:31 PM   #8
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Thanks for information, I learned something new. Apparently leveling systems on auto can lift motorhomes higher than necessary.....

At least you didn't discover the hard way! Back in 2014 windshields were popping out and/or cracking when using the automatic leveling system for the first few times.

Ironically, at the Pomona RV Show I saw a Challenger with a big gap at the bottom of the window that apparently nobody had noticed, (there was also a Hurricane with a cracked windshield). Both attributed to the automatic leveling, (they were also mentioned the "air-tight" slamming the door phenomenon).
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Old 02-07-2016, 06:43 PM   #9
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Thanks! Much simpler than reading the manual. I'll give that a try. There isn't much of an incline. Barely noticeable.
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Old 02-07-2016, 06:48 PM   #10
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Hadn't heard about that. Awful! What was the door slamming phenomenon?
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbmartiniv View Post
I have a 2016 Challenger 37 KT. I park it on a concrete pad behind my house. The pad had a very slight slope to prevent water from standing. I had a Fleetwood before the Thor and never had a problem leveling it. However, I can't level the Thor without the front wheels coming off the ground. The owner manual cautions against the wheels being off the ground. I have tried using 6"x6" blocks under the legs but doesn't change anything. Can anyone tell me what I'm doing wrong? Thanks.
Have you tried driving up on a couple of 2 x 6 or 2 x 8 blocks and then leveling?
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:30 AM   #12
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No, I haven't tried that. I may have to do it, but I shouldn't HAVE to. I may see about calling or writing Lippert.
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Old 02-08-2016, 05:40 PM   #13
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I concur with many of the other posters. DO NOT use the automatic leveling feature. It's movements are too jerky jerky and violent. It caused my front jacks to bend and had to be replaced twice. Fortunately, it was still under warranty coverage. The automatic leveler also raised my wheels off the ground even on level surfaces. Use the manual feature ONLY and in short controlled bursts. On uneven ground I often pre level with with 2X6's.
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Old 02-08-2016, 06:20 PM   #14
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....What was the door slamming phenomenon?
When the motorhomes are new and shiny, with brand new flexible black slide seals, and freshly waxed paint or new gelcote, (and the slides are in), apparently the coach is rather air-tight.

If the ceiling vents are shut tight, and all of the windows are sealed, slamming the entry door shut can create enough quick air pressure to pop-out the one piece windshield, particularly if the sealant was applied incorrectly or very sparingly, (the usual cause), and not making sufficient contact with the glass.

After late-2013, early 2014 Thor seems to have figured out the proper amount of window sealant, (just as they always should have), and then pressing in the window to the front cap more carefully, during the curing. One or both of these steps were not being done sufficiently or correctly and many windshields were popping out at the dealer lots, at delivery walkthrough, or within a few weeks of ownership.
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Old 02-08-2016, 09:03 PM   #15
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THOR #2871
You are right about the herky jerky motion. Scared me the first time. Appreciate the advice. Live and learn.
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Old 02-08-2016, 09:04 PM   #16
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Wow! Interesting. Didn't realize they were that well "sealed". Should at least help with heating and air conditioning.
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:59 PM   #17
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Wow! Interesting. Didn't realize they were that well "sealed". Should at least help with heating and air conditioning.

They are better sealed with the slides in. When the slides are out, there are usually many more air gaps. You will feel them as "drafts".
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Old 02-09-2016, 01:01 AM   #18
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Very true. That's a big problem with most slides.
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Old 02-09-2016, 01:07 PM   #19
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In a case like this, is it viable to try parking in opposite direction to see if it tries to lift rear wheels off ground too? Is that even safe to have heavier end come off ground momentarily? I realize reversing parking direction may not be possible or desirable.

Just trying to learn what equipment limitations are. I recall seeing motorhomes in campgrounds with front wheels off ground, but don't recall rear of any MH off ground.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Beacher View Post
They are better sealed with the slides in. When the slides are out, there are usually many more air gaps. You will feel them as "drafts".
Are these "air gaps" that cause drafts large enough to let insects and other pests get in motorhome? It wouldn't take much for ants, roaches, lizards, etc...
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Old 02-09-2016, 01:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbmartiniv View Post
I have a 2016 Challenger 37 KT. I park it on a concrete pad behind my house. The pad had a very slight slope to prevent water from standing. I had a Fleetwood before the Thor and never had a problem leveling it. However, I can't level the Thor without the front wheels coming off the ground. The owner manual cautions against the wheels being off the ground. I have tried using 6"x6" blocks under the legs but doesn't change anything. Can anyone tell me what I'm doing wrong? Thanks.
Robert,

I went back and looked at the LCI manual and they mention not lifting all wheels off the ground. They do not mention lifting any wheels off the ground.
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