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Old 12-03-2013, 03:35 PM   #1
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Extending slide room causes air bags to deflate

Our MH in my signature has a HWH leveling/slide mechanism. The air bags stay inflated fo 4-5 days while parked, unless we extend the slide. When the slide is extended escaping air is heard under the front of the coach and it slowly settles down. Strange though, both air pressure gauges still show over 60 psi-main, and 110 secondary tank.
I find nothing about this in my owners manuals for either the coach or HWH. Is this something normal, or what's up?
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:40 PM   #2
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My Journey lowers any time I turn the HWH system on to lower jacks, not sure about when I extend slide though it uses the same hydro system.
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:48 PM   #3
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I am familiar with how the HWH system works. In full automatic mode it automatically dumps the air bags prior to initiating jack leveling. It also has a manual air dump mode, that is very useful for when you park on an incline, because the coach will move a few inches after full auto is engaged, it will not move when manual dump is selected (why). A friend with an Essex told me about that HWH oddity.
What causes the slide movement to release air pressure even though the leveling jack pad is turned off?
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Old 12-03-2013, 04:14 PM   #4
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Hi Ray, how about with your jacks not down and when your slide is going out your air suspension senses the additional weight and is adding air to the suspension to compensate for the additional weight (from the slide hanging out the side)and when it reaches its set point the air valve for your suspension meets its set point and shuts the air off. With the IFS on the MM chassis the slide out the drivers side might lift the passanger side air leveling valve enough to release air then settle out and stop. Just a thought.....
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Old 12-03-2013, 09:43 PM   #5
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Humm, that sounds reasonable and probable Palehorse, thanks. You know how something works on you, I was thinking something had failed in the system; and just before we are scheduled to leave for NASKW, Key West, FL.
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Old 12-04-2013, 04:40 AM   #6
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One moe thing here Ray, when this is happening and you look at those air gauges like you said, are your gauges electronic? Do you have to yurn the key on to see the correct pressures? My guages "freeze" where they are at when I turn the key off and do a reset when they get power again. You might just want to slide under the front and take a look around before leaving. Travel safe and enjoy!
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:53 AM   #7
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That's one I've never heard, Ray! ...and never noted on my Ultimate. I may try it just to check. We rarely extend the big slide w/o jacks down, and normally are doing other thing so may not have noticed what you describe. When you say it "settles", the coach has not dropped all the way down as if you had dumped air? You didn't mention if engine was running or not. I can see the system making an adjustment when the engine is running. ...not sure if it would adjust when the engine is not running. An air leveling system would for sure. While our air suspension system does adjust while running down the road, I don't know that it has that ability when shut down as the compressor is not running then. But it may be able to equalize side-to-side with existing air.

The chassis creeping forward when air is dumped is something that has made me curious since we crushed the rain gutters at a 3m vinyl mask guy's home the day we bought the coach. Mine goes forward apx 6", and does so when I manually dump as well as when it automatically dumps. I manually dump before I auto level so I can get the jack pads in the right place instead of 6" too far rearward!
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:55 PM   #8
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Palehorse, the engine/key was off, yes gauges are electronic-they cycle 3 times before stopping/settling down with key on accessories or in run position. MH parked in RV garage on level concrete, jacks stored/keypad off.

AFChap, I merely run the slide fully out, and hear air escaping the minute the slide begins to move, the coach slowly settles down to its lowest position within 5 minutes of slide activation. It does not drop suddenly like when the dump button on the HWH keypad is pushed. Probably normal operation, but it is not addressed by HWH in their literature.This is something I'll keep in mind when napping in a rest area or at WM.
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
Our MH in my signature has a HWH leveling/slide mechanism. The air bags stay inflated fo 4-5 days while parked, unless we extend the slide. When the slide is extended escaping air is heard under the front of the coach and it slowly settles down. Strange though, both air pressure gauges still show over 60 psi-main, and 110 secondary tank.
I find nothing about this in my owners manuals for either the coach or HWH. Is this something normal, or what's up?
How long have you had this coach?

As far as I know it is not recommended to open the slides without leveling first. These things are heavy and can twist the frame or the room.

We can level manually without dumping the air or do the automatic leveling and the air dumps at that time. Your system may or may not have this feature. I always put blocks under my jacks (while I am on this topic). I have 4 sets of 4x4 pairs about 16 or so inches long. I put eye bolts in one end of each and tied them together in pairs with rope for easy retrieval.

Have you contacted the chassis manufacturer with this question? They may have the answer. Provide your VIN to give them a way to reference you chassis. I hope you get a better answer than this.

Happy trails,
Rick
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:11 PM   #10
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Ray,
It sounds like you have the exact same HWH system as we do on our '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330 CAT. And, that system is the 625 Computerized Automatic Leveling system. Is that the same system as yours? If so, and, as you've stated, in the automatic mode, the system uses a "Pilot" air dump system to deplete the air bags prior to the Jack system engaging. Normally it supposed to take about 20-25 seconds of air drain before it actuates the pump and initiates the jack system to start.

And, as you've noted, the "dumping" of the bags, on many coaches, DOES NOT dump ALL the remaining air in the system, ONLY THE BAGS. That's why you still have air pressure in the gauges. At least that's how ours works and many other Itascas I've been in while leveling works.

Yes, you also have a manual dump system too. I'm sure you know that, it's advised to have the bags dumped prior to leveling. And, I don't know if you've read the manual or not for that particular system, but, it's also advised to not have the engine running in one of those modes. I can't remember which but, the primary reason is, If you try and level with the engine running and, the bags NOT DEFLATED, the ride height sensors will interfere with the leveling system. One is fighting the other.

So, in either case, or, method, manual or automatic, you should have completely depleted air bags prior to leveling. That allows the jacks to make the coach completely level AND STABLE.

Now, a question for you. You state that the slide "makes" the air system loose air? Wow, that's a new one on me. And, you also state that in the "Automatic leveling mode", the coach will "move a bit" but, in the manual mode, it won't, correct? May I ask, what exactly do you mean by "Move a bit"?

In the automatic mode, when you push the "On" button on the HWH panel twice, it starts the sequence of leveling which, #1 is to use the air dump system to deplete the bags. And #2, to actuate the pump and control solenoids in the appropriate sequence (usually side first and end to end, second). Then, it will drop the remaining jack that was not used for leveling, and, when that jack touches the ground, it will raise the coach approximately 1", just to accomplish stabilization.

Now, from that point on, that's when you can move your slides out. Your "Platform" is level and stable. But, as you move ANY slide out, it should not cause any movement, in the coach or the air system, what so ever. So, I'm interested in just what's happening here. I'm always learning things.
Scott
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:03 PM   #11
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I am not familiar with your system, but I have a question about the coach moving when you set the HWH to automatic. Do you not set your parking brake prior to starting the leveling system? If the parking brake is set, I see no way the coach can be moving forward or back. I do however believe the coach body will move to which ever way makes the chassis level. But the wheels should be locked. I am also thinking this would happen if the front is lower or higher than the rear with the airbags filled. In which case your chassis ride leveling system may not be working properly. If the Spartan chassis does in fact have a chassis ride leveling system.
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:56 PM   #12
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Yep, Fireup, that's the HWH system and it works exactly that way/ as stated in owners manual.
Yes, with engine off, jacks stored, extend slide and you hear air escaping/feel coach slowly lowering while slide is extending. When I park the MH in our RV garage with slide retracted, the air bags remain inflated for 3-4 days; extend slide, and bags deflate with slide movement. Puzzling to me; then again, this is only my second MH, first one(1976 Allegro on Dodge chassis) didn't have leveling jacks or slide out.
When parked (parking brake set) on a slight incline, engine off, power up HWH system, push level button twice, coach will roll forward a few inches, as I said a friend with a Newmar Essex said his does that and warned me to watch for the movement, which it does.
How does MH move, why??? I don't have a clue. Of course it does not move in my garage, floor is level. I do not use leveling jacks-already level-thus cannot torque anything. The dealers do this with every new coach on their lot, so it must be acceptable practice to coach manufacturers.
I've learned much at irv2.com and reading links "007" posts, however this slide/air dump thing has me scratching my head.
Just today something occurred to me, the step-cover is air-operated and began moving so slow the last few days it will not lock in place. Wonder if the slide/air dump is related? Where would I look for a possible connecting air issue? I can't crawl underneath the coach to look/listen for the air leak because my coach sits 4" from the floor with bags deflated.
Hope what I've written makes sense.
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:07 AM   #13
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Yep, Fireup, that's the HWH system and it works exactly that way/ as stated in owners manual.
Yes, with engine off, jacks stored, extend slide and you hear air escaping/feel coach slowly lowering while slide is extending. When I park the MH in our RV garage with slide retracted, the air bags remain inflated for 3-4 days; extend slide, and bags deflate with slide movement. Puzzling to me; then again, this is only my second MH, first one(1976 Allegro on Dodge chassis) didn't have leveling jacks or slide out.
When parked (parking brake set) on a slight incline, engine off, power up HWH system, push level button twice, coach will roll forward a few inches, as I said a friend with a Newmar Essex said his does that and warned me to watch for the movement, which it does.
How does MH move, why??? I don't have a clue. Of course it does not move in my garage, floor is level. I do not use leveling jacks-already level-thus cannot torque anything. The dealers do this with every new coach on their lot, so it must be acceptable practice to coach manufacturers.
I've learned much at irv2.com and reading links "007" posts, however this slide/air dump thing has me scratching my head.
Just today something occurred to me, the step-cover is air-operated and began moving so slow the last few days it will not lock in place. Wonder if the slide/air dump is related? Where would I look for a possible connecting air issue? I can't crawl underneath the coach to look/listen for the air leak because my coach sits 4" from the floor with bags deflated.
Hope what I've written makes sense.
Ray,
Thanks for getting back on this. In my opinion, you've got a serious problem with your parking brake system. In all my years as a fireman, and driving 100s and 100s of air braked vehicles, and our own Itasca, I've never encountered any movement of an air braked vehicle AFTER the parking brake/spring brake/Emergency Brake (several names for it) has been set. As you well know, once you pull that yellow button, you allow what I think is called a "PP1" valve to exhaust all the air out of the rear brake cans.

Once this happens, those brakes are automatically applied by some seriously heavy duty springs inside those cans. And, once that's been done, there is no way on this planet, that ANY air braked vehicle should "creep" ANY amount. Now, I'm certainly no expert on air brake systems but, again, I've dealt with them for well over 35 years.

A small story. I was involved with New Fire Truck acceptance in our Fire Department for several years. Along with out fitting them for service, one of my jobs was to check to see if the parking brake does what the DMV Vehicle code stipulates for our trucks. And, basically it states, any vehicle (Fire truck in this case) that is operated within operational boundaries, (our city of San Diego), with the parking brake applied, shall hold "To the point of loss of traction" on any hill/grade within that jurisdiction.

In short, if we parked any fire truck, on any hill, fully loaded to the max of the GVWR, (some of them were 66,000 GVWR) that parking brake better hold to the point that the tires were loosing traction.

How does this relate to your situation you may ask? In short, your parking brake system is identical to ours in the Fire trucks. The only difference might be whether one system is drum brakes or disc. But, the operational characteristics remain the same no matter which system you have. Now, again, I'm no expert but, I've never heard of any "delay" in the actual application of the brakes, once the button is pulled which, in your case, would allow for whatever movement you're describing.

Now, I just thought of something. I've not learned a great deal about it but, many air suspended coaches utilized a "side to side" air release system to control stability and other handling factors. If yours in fact has that system, then might it be possible that, when you're extending a slide, the "side to side" release of air for standard ride control, may be exhausting air from one of the air bags, just as it would if and when driving down the road.

I'm thinking it has to do with what's called the "Ping tank" but, again, not sure. As long as I've been driving and operating vehicles with Air brake systems, I've never really learned all that much about the actual operations. Not to mention, the fact that, they change continuously and, there's different requirements for standard air brake systems and, emergency vehicles etc. So, the valveing, as in "PP1" and "PP3" (both air control valves) operate differently.

Anyway, sorry for the long winded stuff here. Your issue in my book, is definitely a problem if your coach "creeps" AFTER you've popped that yellow parking brake button. I'd be interested as heck to know why your vehicle's creeping too. Even if it is only an inch or two or three, it's still not right, as far as my experience and learning so far has dictated.
Scott
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Old 12-07-2013, 06:32 AM   #14
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What Ray is talking about(movement) is on the Spartan Mountain Master chassis when the air is dumped and when you start it up the way the rayco air suspension on the rear is designed it wants to move the chassis(not the rear wheels) forward a couple of inches till it is fully aired up(maxie brakes on rear axle only) The same reason I start to retract my jacks(pads off the ground) before starting the engine as it wants to skid the jacks on the ground(forward) and makes a hell of a sound and inflicts a lot of sideways pressure on the cylinders. Same when you dump the air suspension, it rolls(chassis) back a bit. So Ray, I do not think that you have a serious problem with your Spartan chassis as far as it wanting to creep forward a bit when airing up, if you mark the wheels ,front and rear you will find that only the front wheels will move a bit.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:21 AM   #15
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What Ray is talking about(movement) is on the Spartan Mountain Master chassis when the air is dumped and when you start it up the way the rayco air suspension on the rear is designed it wants to move the chassis(not the rear wheels) forward a couple of inches till it is fully aired up(maxie brakes on rear axle only) The same reason I start to retract my jacks(pads off the ground) before starting the engine as it wants to skid the jacks on the ground(forward) and makes a hell of a sound and inflicts a lot of sideways pressure on the cylinders. Same when you dump the air suspension, it rolls(chassis) back a bit. So Ray, I do not think that you have a serious problem with your Spartan chassis as far as it wanting to creep forward a bit when airing up, if you mark the wheels ,front and rear you will find that only the front wheels will move a bit.
Now this makes sense!!!
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:24 AM   #16
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Each of the above posts have value so I will just sum up here and leave the sorting up to you.

In my previous 2 coaches, both on freightliner custom chassis, I would not always dump the air when I set up. On my first coach I was in great error by not leveling before I put the slides out. In this coach and the previous one the air would dump on automatic. The '05 Vectra did not dump as completely as this '11 and would set up a bit higher off the ground. If I dumped manually then set the jacks automatically it would be lower to the ground. Not so with this coach. I push the button and I get a full dump of the air ride bags and then the jacks deploy.

Parking Break: Under no circumstances (excluding earthquake or mudslide) should the WHEELS move during setup or after.

As soon as my jacks start to show extended I will get that irritating alarm from the dash if the ignition is on. If the key is in ACC all is quiet.

If I am on a sloped spot I park with the engine 'uphill'. When I level I keep an eye on the front jack blocks I use. Because of the slight 'arc' of a long lift they move slightly off center of the block. I retract them and reset the blocks, then redeploy the jacks. We carry a folding step for the high front end situations. So, the movement is from the body and not the wheels. And never 2"!

Just a side note. I have cleaned the jacks with WD40 and lubed them with CRC/PTFE spray. It is 7AM and 21* now. I just stowed the jacks in about 1 1/2 minutes! True, my jacks are not having to extend fully. But I have never had a coach jack retraction as good as this one is! I think I am onto something here. The jacks went back out without a hesitation. I love this coach and I feel loved by it.

We plan to stay in this very nice bear hibernation cave today. The car is frozen over with a 1/4" of ice. Good reason to stay put.

Happy trails all,
Rick
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:46 AM   #17
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Spring brakes on rear axle!

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Originally Posted by jerichorick View Post
Each of the above posts have value so I will just sum up here and leave the sorting up to you.

In my previous 2 coaches, both on freightliner custom chassis, I would not always dump the air when I set up. On my first coach I was in great error by not leveling before I put the slides out. In this coach and the previous one the air would dump on automatic. The '05 Vectra did not dump as completely as this '11 and would set up a bit higher off the ground. If I dumped manually then set the jacks automatically it would be lower to the ground. Not so with this coach. I push the button and I get a full dump of the air ride bags and then the jacks deploy.

Parking Break: Under no circumstances (excluding earthquake or mudslide) should the WHEELS move during setup or after.

As soon as my jacks start to show extended I will get that irritating alarm from the dash if the ignition is on. If the key is in ACC all is quiet.

If I am on a sloped spot I park with the engine 'uphill'. When I level I keep an eye on the front jack blocks I use. Because of the slight 'arc' of a long lift they move slightly off center of the block. I retract them and reset the blocks, then redeploy the jacks. We carry a folding step for the high front end situations. So, the movement is from the body and not the wheels. And never 2"!

Just a side note. I have cleaned the jacks with WD40 and lubed them with CRC/PTFE spray. It is 7AM and 21* now. I just stowed the jacks in about 1 1/2 minutes! True, my jacks are not having to extend fully. But I have never had a coach jack retraction as good as this one is! I think I am onto something here. The jacks went back out without a hesitation. I love this coach and I feel loved by it.

We plan to stay in this very nice bear hibernation cave today. The car is frozen over with a 1/4" of ice. Good reason to stay put.

Happy trails all,
Rick
On the Spartan chassis when you pull the air brake truttle valve it "only" sets the brake chambers on the rear axle, not the rear and front wheels! If anyone has been setup in a unlevel site and your front wheels are off the ground a bit, it makes it easy to clean them as you can turn the wheel!
The front wheels are able to move and roll. Iam not sure about other chassis mfg's but just like on semi's, brakes set(rear axles on tractor) and the trailer wheels, not the steer axle wheels.
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:09 AM   #18
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Ray's Spartan MM semi-monocoque chassis is working normally, whether we understand it or not. I have owned mine for 10 years and 80k+ miles and observed the movement hundreds of times. Regardless of slope (up, down, level) the body of the coach will move forward almost 6" when the air dumps, and then creep backward as the air comes back up (note that is opposite from what palehorse described...are we really opposite or did he get it reversed?). There is a small amount of corresponding movement in the tires also, but not as much as the body. The tires do move enough to pinch a tire cover a bit under the front edge. The brake is definitely set and is strong enough to hold the coach in place in a standard air brake test. It would be interesting to dump air w/o the brake set and see if the same movement occurs. The locked spring brake appears to be the pivot point. The wheels are locked in place relative to the axle ...and if the axle rotates as the suspension "squats", the tires will "move" in relation to the ground. With the brake not set, the pivot point may change.
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:17 AM   #19
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Hi Paul, when my air bags go down(dump) on my Rayco air ride(rear axle) the Coach wants to go "back" do to the nature of the ride height down to the frame when going down, and just the opposite when airing up, goes forward as the bags fill.
Is your rear suspension rayco? This is how mine reacts to raising and lowering the air suspension. And one more thought on this, when I pull into my garage right tight to the wall I have to leave proper space in the front for it to move forward when it airs up as one time I parked it right within inches(mirrors) to the wall and dumped the air suspension and then lowered the jacks a bit to the floor and when I went to move it I raised the jacks and started it and I had to release the brakes and move it a littel backwards before it was up to ride height as my mirros were going to contact the wall. So now I stop 6-8" from the wall with the mirrors when I am going to dump the air bags.
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:46 AM   #20
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According to the spec, my rear is "Reyco 240AR Air Suspension." As indicated in an earlier post, I alway allow for the forward creep when dumping air since I crushed a guy's rain gutter with a mirror the day we bought the coach.
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Paul (KE5LXU) ...was fulltimin', now parttimin'
'03 Winnebago UA 40e / '05 Honda Odyssey toad
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