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Old 06-05-2018, 03:01 PM   #1
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Auto Leveling. Tires Touching?

Hi, so I've read countless discussions on this, thought I would get some opinions here. When using an auto leveling system, sometimes a tire or two will come off the ground. Is this okay or cause for concern? Some say the jacks are rated to hold this kind of weight. Others say if the tires come off the ground you should adjust - but sometimes adjusting isn't feasible unless you want to lose level. Blocks can reduce the strain - meaning the jacks don't have to come out as far, but it doesn't help with the tire situation. Anyone want to chime in?
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Old 06-05-2018, 03:51 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Bob Loblaw View Post
Hi, so I've read countless discussions on this, thought I would get some opinions here. When using an auto leveling system, sometimes a tire or two will come off the ground. Is this okay or cause for concern? Some say the jacks are rated to hold this kind of weight. Others say if the tires come off the ground you should adjust - but sometimes adjusting isn't feasible unless you want to lose level. Blocks can reduce the strain - meaning the jacks don't have to come out as far, but it doesn't help with the tire situation. Anyone want to chime in?

My personal goal is to always (if I can) have the wheels grounded (whether that is on blocks or the ground) when I'm on the jacks. I will also say that I use auto-leveling 95% of the time. I dislike manual leveling because I don't like that I can't get 2 jacks to move at the same time side to side.
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Old 06-05-2018, 04:15 PM   #3
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We also try to keep our tires on the ground or on blocks when leveled. I don't think it's a big deal to have either or both of the front tires off the ground for a relatively short time, though. Back tires should always be on the ground, IMO.
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Old 06-05-2018, 04:22 PM   #4
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I only care about the rear tires being on the ground. The jacks are capable of holding the fronts. But since the back tires are the tires effected by the parking brakes and the transmission PARK, too, It's vital that those stay firmly on the ground.

My Winnebago manual actually shows the fronts off of the ground and says this is not a problem, but it warns that the rears should not be raised.
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:03 PM   #5
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I only care about the rear tires being on the ground. The jacks are capable of holding the fronts. But since the back tires are the tires effected by the parking brakes and the transmission PARK, too, It's vital that those stay firmly on the ground.

My Winnebago manual actually shows the fronts off of the ground and says this is not a problem, but it warns that the rears should not be raised.
Same here. If it looks like I canít get level with rear tires on the ground, Iíll turn it around the other way. The fronts being lifted arenít an issue.
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:46 PM   #6
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Couple of thoughts. Not radically different from you all. My manual only cautions to keep rear tires in firm contact with ground for all the previously enumerated reasons.

Front tires in contact or not is always a campfire topic when group boondocking. I usually block mine. Right or wrong I reason thusly.....

Prior to every trip, and occaisionally while out, I will lay flat on my back and crawl from bow to stern with a rag, greasegun and small ballpien hammer (to test for broken welds), greasing and inspecting. I spend a lot of time looking over the front suspension and the geometry of its operation. It seems to me that the steering assembly is designed to support weight from above, but less so when the tires are off the ground and their weight is stressing the assembly (tie rods, ball joints, etc.) in the other direction.

Likely not harmful over a few days, but I just sleep better if we have blocked and wedged the front tires to relieve some of that "hanging" strain.

I discussed this with two different service folks at FreightLiner on two separate occaisions, one agreed, one didn't. Again, right or wrong, makes me the tie breaker.

My two cents.

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Old 06-06-2018, 09:15 AM   #7
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I dislike manual leveling because I don't like that I can't get 2 jacks to move at the same time side to side.
Your HWH levelers ALWAYS work in pairs-both right side, both left side, both front, both rear.
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:28 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ThomB View Post
My personal goal is to always (if I can) have the wheels grounded (whether that is on blocks or the ground) when I'm on the jacks. I will also say that I use auto-leveling 95% of the time. I dislike manual leveling because I don't like that I can't get 2 jacks to move at the same time side to side.
Our 2010 WBGO Vista 32k - manual mode leveling - jacks operate in pairs - left, right, front, or rear.

That being what it is - I typically try, and use, auto-leveling nearly all the time. I never worry about the front being off the ground, seldome does the rear come off anyways.
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:56 AM   #9
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Thanks All, this helps. Rear tires on the ground it is! It's rare for me to have any tires off the ground, but when it does happen, I'll make sure to position the MH so that if any are of the ground, I can live with the fronts. Cheers.
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Old 06-06-2018, 11:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4van View Post
Your HWH levelers ALWAYS work in pairs-both right side, both left side, both front, both rear.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil-T View Post
Our 2010 WBGO Vista 32k - manual mode leveling - jacks operate in pairs - left, right, front, or rear.

That being what it is - I typically try, and use, auto-leveling nearly all the time. I never worry about the front being off the ground, seldome does the rear come off anyways.

OK, now you're going to make me go check the next time I have to try to manually level. It never feels to me that it's putting 2 jacks down at the same time on the side to side adjustment (only front to back).
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Old 06-06-2018, 01:08 PM   #11
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OK, now you're going to make me go check the next time I have to try to manually level. It never feels to me that it's putting 2 jacks down at the same time on the side to side adjustment (only front to back).
I was wrong, in the case of 2010 Vista - here is a PIC of the control panel and what the buttons do.
In manual mode -
Front button - extends both front jacks.
Rear button - extends both rear jacks.
Left button - extends left rear jack.
Right button - extends right rear jack.
Pressing the All Jacks button - while in manual mode - retracts all jacks while the button is held.

My operators manual suggests using Auto mode and adjusting with manual mode if needed. They also suggest to not raise tires off the ground.

Link to the operators manual - Read Page 3
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Old 06-06-2018, 01:26 PM   #12
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Thanks for that info!

I'm not crazy!!!
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Old 06-10-2018, 10:15 PM   #13
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I always keep all wheels on the ground, will place blocks under the front if needed, which is seldom. I can lift quite a distance before wheels come off the ground, site has to be really un-level.

My jacks are HWH manual controls. A friend has automatic and I prefer mine. That being said, the automatic jacks can be manually operated. Done it for my friend.

Just some food for thought!!!

Lifting off the ground has caused my friends Winnie Sightseer damage to the fibreglass walls in the corners of a number of the windows so I would avoid lifting. The cracks are right through to the structure and will cost 20K per side to replace so they have been repaired.

My coach is getting older 2004 Itasca Sunrise 32v and the fibreglass walls are still intact and want to keep it that way.
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:32 AM   #14
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What makes you think lifting the MH with the jacks caused that? The jacks mount to the frame just as the suspension does.
Don't think it matters if the frame is supported by the jacks or the wheels.
I believe the biggest danger in lifting with the jacks is doing so on an unstable surface, especially if parked on a slope.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:39 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Phil-T View Post
I was wrong, in the case of 2010 Vista - here is a PIC of the control panel and what the buttons do.
In manual mode -
Front button - extends both front jacks.
Rear button - extends both rear jacks.
Left button - extends left rear jack.
Right button - extends right rear jack.
Pressing the All Jacks button - while in manual mode - retracts all jacks while the button is held.

My operators manual suggests using Auto mode and adjusting with manual mode if needed. They also suggest to not raise tires off the ground.

Link to the operators manual - Read Page 3
The above is for Power Gear jacks --- the quote for the jacks lowering in pairs ONLY was for HWH systems -- the HWH system does this to prevent any twisting of the frame of the motor home. If you do any individual lowering of jacks with the Power Gear system, you can twist or bend your frame which is not a good thing. In my opinion, any jack operation should work the two front jacks together, the two left side jacks (front and rear) together, same for the left side and the back.
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:12 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by creativepart View Post
I only care about the rear tires being on the ground. The jacks are capable of holding the fronts. But since the back tires are the tires effected by the parking brakes and the transmission PARK, too, It's vital that those stay firmly on the ground.

My Winnebago manual actually shows the fronts off of the ground and says this is not a problem, but it warns that the rears should not be raised.
I agree that the manual says it is OK. I did it for years. Then one day, my LF jack began losing level. No external leaks, just bleeding back. after several days, it was bad enough I called a mobile mechanic in Oregon who spent time on the phone with me but couldn't get to me before I moved on. He claimed to be a former HWH tech. He said "I know the manual says you can do it. HWH says you can do it, but I'm telling you it should not be done. The added weight of the front axle and engine stresses the inner seals." Since then, when leveling and the front comes off the ground, I raise it higher, block the front wheels and lower it back to level. Since then, my coach has not lost level once. I also block the jacks every time so they don't have to extend so far. These gassers sit up high so the jacks have to travel really far to make contact with terra forma.
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Old 06-14-2018, 05:35 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Phil-T View Post
I was wrong, in the case of 2010 Vista - here is a PIC of the control panel and what the buttons do.
In manual mode -
Front button - extends both front jacks.
Rear button - extends both rear jacks.
Left button - extends left rear jack.
Right button - extends right rear jack.
Pressing the All Jacks button - while in manual mode - retracts all jacks while the button is held.

My operators manual suggests using Auto mode and adjusting with manual mode if needed. They also suggest to not raise tires off the ground.

Link to the operators manual - Read Page 3
Ah yes, Power Gear jacks work differently than HWH. The front jacks provide no real side-to-side stability, they will pivot (one up, one down) as necessary, just like some RVs that have a single front jack. The downside to that is that you MUST raise the front a few inches (even if the front is already high) in order to level the MH side to side (using the rear jacks). Kind of an odd way of doing things, but OK.

The HWH jacks ONLY work in pairs. So it depends on which type of system you have.

As for the claim by the repair guy that it shouldn't be done...I'll believe the manufacturer over someone who "claims" to be a former HWH tech. The jacks are rated for more than the weight of the RV, so there is not a problem with it supporting that weight even if the tires (front) are off the ground. Occasionally, valves go bad in any system, leading to jack leakdown, even in those RVs that don't lift the wheels. It's called coincidence, not cause & effect (IMO).
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:01 PM   #18
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I always make sure both rear tires and at least one front tire are solidly in contact with mother earth or a good support under the tire. Once, at GNR with a brand new rig, I attempted to get level on a very unlevel site that had a front to back and side to side slope. Extra material had been added under the front levelers. Making that last little "bump" to get level, the front slide sideways and dropped off the wood materials that had been used. The MH missed a large electrical panel by 1/2 inch. It also scared the sh** out of me and my wife who was outside the coach and thought it was going to tip over.
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