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Old 11-19-2020, 11:32 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Aria
State: New Jersey
Posts: 61
THOR #17864
New Diesel owner...sequence of leveling?

We just upgraded to a 40ft 2019 Aria diesel with air suspension. Love the MH so far!

My question is about the air suspension and leveling. When we pull into a camp site the air bags are full after the drive.

My MH has a switch to leave the suspension in Auto mode (not really sure what that means) or to dump the air bags of the suspension. When the air is dumped it looks like the MH sits at least 3 inches lower.

So is there a right sequence about what to do? Park/dump air/level?
Park/leave switch on Auto/level?

It would seem that the levelers are attached to the MH frame so the disposition of the air bags would have little effect on leveling . True?

Lastly, what does the Auto position actually do and when should it be on?

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:41 PM   #2
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Model: Aria 3901
State: Idaho
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THOR #9660
Hello Gene-
I always park, dump, and then level. I have read that when the lever is left in "Auto" the bags should dump when the levelers are activated, but mine do not. By dumping the air, the coach is lower and leaves the jacks with more available travel, and the steps end up lower for easier entry.
Always move the lever back to Auto and let the bags lift the coach before driving.
Welcome to the site, enjoy your Aria.
Mike
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Old 11-20-2020, 12:34 AM   #3
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State: New York
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They've got you covered; congratulations on the new RV!
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Old 11-20-2020, 12:48 AM   #4
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Palazzo 33.3 34'bunkhouse
State: Georgia
Posts: 2,423
THOR #4735
Actually, the 'MANUAL' mode for the lever is simply to manually lower your coach(deflating the air bags). This leaves the coach much lower, lowers the center of gravity for a more stable 'parked' mode, and allows the legs to have much less travel to reach the ground. The less 'legs' you need, the better.

Now, even if you forget to put the lever back into 'AUTO' mode, it will simply INFLATE your bags automatically when you put the coach gear into Drive or Reverse. This is a safety feature, as you certainly don't want to drive with no air bags - it is a VERY ROUGH ride!

If you leave the air bag lever in AUTO mode when you park and then level, you are essentially making the coach sit much higher - not a good outcome for stability. The bags are not designed to keep you stable, but actually just the opposite, to provide the ability to 'move' while the coach is driving down the road.

Also, if you leave the lever in MANUAL, and you continue to travel, you'll be fine, but the moment you come to a stop and put the gear into PARK, you'll immediately hear the air bags start to deflate - as you've told it to do that. Probably not want you really want, but it simply reinflates when you put it back into a gear.

I've found that having a manual mode to drop the bags is a great way to solve many parking issues - when you want to simply create a lower center of gravity, put the coach down onto the frame, and yet not even have to lower the legs to still have a firmer parked mode - such as when overnighting in a parking lot - with just the two of us, I don't worry about 'having' to level the coach with the legs since dropping the bags on somewhat flat ground accomplishes enough for a simple overnight.
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Old 11-20-2020, 10:29 AM   #5
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Thanks so much for the help! Makes complete sense to dump the air before leveling.

I will add it to my checklist.
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Old 11-20-2020, 02:34 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forum. Enjoy the new ride and tell us all of your experiences along the way.


Paul
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Old 11-20-2020, 04:53 PM   #7
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State: Missouri
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Exactly how I do it
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurnerFam View Post
Actually, the 'MANUAL' mode for the lever is simply to manually lower your coach(deflating the air bags). This leaves the coach much lower, lowers the center of gravity for a more stable 'parked' mode, and allows the legs to have much less travel to reach the ground. The less 'legs' you need, the better.

Now, even if you forget to put the lever back into 'AUTO' mode, it will simply INFLATE your bags automatically when you put the coach gear into Drive or Reverse. This is a safety feature, as you certainly don't want to drive with no air bags - it is a VERY ROUGH ride!

If you leave the air bag lever in AUTO mode when you park and then level, you are essentially making the coach sit much higher - not a good outcome for stability. The bags are not designed to keep you stable, but actually just the opposite, to provide the ability to 'move' while the coach is driving down the road.

Also, if you leave the lever in MANUAL, and you continue to travel, you'll be fine, but the moment you come to a stop and put the gear into PARK, you'll immediately hear the air bags start to deflate - as you've told it to do that. Probably not want you really want, but it simply reinflates when you put it back into a gear.

I've found that having a manual mode to drop the bags is a great way to solve many parking issues - when you want to simply create a lower center of gravity, put the coach down onto the frame, and yet not even have to lower the legs to still have a firmer parked mode - such as when overnighting in a parking lot - with just the two of us, I don't worry about 'having' to level the coach with the legs since dropping the bags on somewhat flat ground accomplishes enough for a simple overnight.
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Old 12-03-2020, 05:36 AM   #8
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Model: Aria 3601
State: Florida
Posts: 9
THOR #20848
I’ll toss in my own 2 pennies: when I’m on “suspect” ground where I think I might have to move around a bit to find a place to get level and still keep all 6 wheels on the ground, I’ll dump the air first then drive a little to find a spot that the auto-leveler says is close. Go slow, ‘cause I’m low, and never very far. Had to do this in a parking lot at a HH in September, and at a KOA last month. HH had steep grading for rain runoff, and the KOA was on a hill. Found that the auto-leveler is a little more accurate in determining what’s “close” when I’m on the frame as opposed to on the airbags. Not foolproof, but just how we do it.
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Old 12-03-2020, 05:44 AM   #9
MLP
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
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THOR #17478
I hate auto level. If staying one night, I manual level and leave it at that. Longer, I dump the air then manual level. Always check. Only once I had one side of the dully tires off the ground and both front tires off. Once retracted, I manually leveled and none were off the ground. The dully tires are locked on a diesel pusher so they need to be on the ground. I do not trust auto level systems. Many do, but even on my old fifth wheel the auto lever would lift the tires off the ground. Most of the time it was not necessary.
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Old 12-03-2020, 05:27 PM   #10
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THOR #6903
Quote:
Originally Posted by MLP View Post
I hate auto level. If staying one night, I manual level and leave it at that. Longer, I dump the air then manual level. Always check. Only once I had one side of the dully tires off the ground and both front tires off. Once retracted, I manually leveled and none were off the ground. The dully tires are locked on a diesel pusher so they need to be on the ground. I do not trust auto level systems. Many do, but even on my old fifth wheel the auto lever would lift the tires off the ground. Most of the time it was not necessary.
I reprogrammed my auto level so DW could use it however i never have used Auto on any rig.

Drop the air by going to manual and then make adjustments as needed. I like the BR side an inch or two higher and front to back isn't critical
Drop air, manual level, all in less than 5 minutes and the coach will be as low to the ground as possible based on the lot incline
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Old Yesterday, 02:23 AM   #11
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Tuscany
State: Texas
Posts: 174
THOR #1808
i always park, set brake and then dump bags and let it settle. then turn on level system and see what it thinks for level.



a note: if the spot looks weird like the nose or tail is going to be high once level, i will put pads under the wheels in that end first. then dump and see how she looks.



then go out and put pads for feet to land on and then go back in and let it auto level. i have found often i have to manual level if the site is weird in its unlevelness (new word)
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