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Old 07-01-2008, 08:20 PM   #1
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Here's a question from our shakedown cruise.
(Remember, we're newbies!)

After pulling into a seemingly level spot, we put out the slides and put down the leveling jacks. When all the shimmying and shaking was complete, both front tires were an inch or two off the ground.

As the newbies we were, we headed immediately toward our mound of manuals. Based on what we read, tires up in the rear were bad, but up front was OK.

Boris says I was being paranoid, but I swear I saw many funny looks of passerbys...checking out the new Winnie with the front tires up in the air.

My question....is this OK, or not?

Many thanks in advance!

- Natasha
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:20 PM   #2
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Here's a question from our shakedown cruise.
(Remember, we're newbies!)

After pulling into a seemingly level spot, we put out the slides and put down the leveling jacks. When all the shimmying and shaking was complete, both front tires were an inch or two off the ground.

As the newbies we were, we headed immediately toward our mound of manuals. Based on what we read, tires up in the rear were bad, but up front was OK.

Boris says I was being paranoid, but I swear I saw many funny looks of passerbys...checking out the new Winnie with the front tires up in the air.

My question....is this OK, or not?

Many thanks in advance!

- Natasha
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:43 PM   #3
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I've never worried about it-- It may make the first step a bit high

The reason for being careful about raising the rear of the coach is that your parking brake will no longer be effective and it is possible for the coach to move--

Edit:

Just noticed you said you put out the slides and then the jacks-- Good idea to level before you deploy the slides--

ReM
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:49 PM   #4
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Having the front wheels off the ground is not a problem, usually . . . however, if the spot was "seemingly level" and your fronts were off the ground, you had one (or more) of the following problems:

1. Spot was more than 7" off level, front to rear;
2. If above not true, and you have manual jacks, you did it wrong. Always use a disc bubble level - and I've found the kitchen counter is about the most accurate spot;
3. If the spot was level, and you have automatic jacks, your leveling sensor needs calibrating.

At least ONE jack should only have enough pressure on it to stabilize the rig. If all 4 corners are jacked up, something is wrong.
Almost all coaches have the same recommendation . . . always level the unit side-to-side first - then front-to-rear. They differ on whether or not to deploy the slides first. MOST 4-jack systems specify to level, then deploy; most 3-jacks, the opposite. YMMV.
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Old 07-02-2008, 03:52 AM   #5
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I've found that our 08 Sightseer is a tad aggressive with the jacks in the auto level mode...it will almost always have a tire off, or almost off the ground. Yet, when I do it manually, I can get a level, firm stance with a lot less "elevation".

I didn't know you could "calibrate" them. Time to dig in the black Bag and do some reading. BTW: these are not HWH jacks...I forget the name of what they are using now. Steve
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Old 07-02-2008, 04:35 AM   #6
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Personally I prefer not to have wheels off the ground, especially in the rear. I carry a four 2X12's 18inches long to put under the set of wheels that are going to be raised the highest. I don't like all that weight hanging on my springs and suspension parts. Just my 2Cents.
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Old 07-02-2008, 04:44 AM   #7
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We've found most all commercial campgrounds are level enough to where we never have our front tires off the ground. Naturally, this is exactly what we expect for our camping dollar.

Now state/national parks, COE, etc. - there's no telling how off level they can be and some are even off level to where the rear tires would be off the ground (a big no-no as others have pointed out.)

Our jacks have a 9" stroke which usually isn't enough to get the fronts off the ground. We carry some stacked jack pads we bought at the Winnebago factory which we occasionally need to use (like the state park we're in now.)

With those jack pads, we can get our fronts way off the ground. I think it's perfectly safe but a huge pain in the rear (or feet) since the front steps are way off the ground.

Always a good idea to level first, then extend slides. If you ever are in a situation to where you can't level no matter what, then put the slides out first, then level the best you can. This isn't the best thing to do - it's more of a last-ditch operation. We had to do the above when we were spending some time at an RV service place in San Antonio. There was no way we could level, so the slides went out first, then we leveled the best we could (which was good enough for the Norcold.)
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Old 07-02-2008, 06:45 AM   #8
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Thanks so much for your helpful (and speedy!) responses.

Glad to know we're not "hurting" anything. And, we've learned something about the proper order of things!

It's also good to know the jacks can be calibrated if needed. In this case, I think they were OK. The bubble level was dead on. And, for that we take no credit...it was all automatic! (I think it's me that may need calibrating...what was seemingly level to me must of had a healthy slope. So much to learn!)

Thanks again!

Safe travels to all -
Natasha
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Old 07-02-2008, 07:40 AM   #9
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My 2cents worth is- don't use the automatice jacks. I have seen many many times where the coach gets adjusted too high or tires off the ground or whatever when the site was relatively level. I think the auto mode makes alot more work of it then it needs to. Try the manual mode next time and see what you think. Also, I agree that the slides go out after you are level.
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Old 07-02-2008, 09:28 AM   #10
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If I want to be really level ... I use the bathroom and shower doors to level the coach ... open them half way and watch them ... when they both stay still ... your are LEVEL

Remember: gravity never takes the day off
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Old 07-02-2008, 02:26 PM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by skigramp:
If I want to be really level ... I use the bathroom and shower doors to level the coach ... open them half way and watch them ... when they both stay still ... your are LEVEL

Remember: gravity never takes the day off </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Yup - same here! Usually our auto level works really well, but I always check it by opening the head door half way. If it stays put - life is good
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Old 07-02-2008, 03:42 PM   #12
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I have a question, if you start with the auto mode can you finish leveling in manual mode? or is it best to just do the entire process in manual mode. I have never leveled not using auto. It sounds like I may not ever really be level, my bathroom door usually swings toward the front.
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Old 07-02-2008, 03:49 PM   #13
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I agree with Mike. The auto mode raises the coach a lot more than necessary. I think it's programmed to always follow a set pattern of lowering certain jacks first, without checking for low side first. I have noticed that it will nearly always raise the left front too high, then when the right front can't get level with the left, it'll lower the left front side (which is something you can't do manually).
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Old 07-03-2008, 05:05 AM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by ChasA:
I agree with Mike. The auto mode raises the coach a lot more than necessary. I think it's programmed to always follow a set pattern of lowering certain jacks first, without checking for low side first. I have noticed that it will nearly always raise the left front too high, then when the right front can't get level with the left, it'll lower the left front side (which is something you can't do manually). </div></BLOCKQUOTE>That is certainly not my experience.

The HWH auto leveler is programmed to put down a pair of jacks on the low side, giving preference to a side over front/rear from my observation.

For example, at a recent campground, we were low on driver's side side and low in the rear. Side jacks extend first until out-of-level light extinguishes, then rear jacks extend until the out of level lamp extinguishes. Next the remaining non-extended jack is extended until it makes ground contact. Lastly the systems operates all four jacks briefly I suppose equalizing pressure or ?

For the average campsite, the HWH auto level works really well. For a well-level campsite, it does little work just putting enough pressure on the jacks to keep us from rocking.

Other than having to adjust the level sensors once in a while, it has been a really wonderful system.
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Old 07-03-2008, 03:07 PM   #15
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I had tires in the air problem too when we first had our Sightseer. After a few practice, all tires stay on the ground even if an adjacent MH neighbor would have tires in the air. I manually extend front jacks first until I feel it touches the ground. Stop. Then manually extend rear jacks until it touches the ground. Usually, I feel the MH slightly move when the jacks just start touching the ground. After front and rear jacks are touching the ground, I press auto mode for leveling. So far works for us in leveling our MH. All tires stay on the ground and we are level. Bubble stays very close to the center if not totally centered when on top of kitchen counter. Bathroom door stays in position when open unless moved. We retract all jacks using the auto mode too.

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Old 07-04-2008, 06:12 PM   #16
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mis3s -
Thanks for the great suggestion. We're definitely going to give it a try next time. Yesterday we spent an hour trying to get level. (This time before we opened the slides...thanks, everybody!) The site has a distinct slope. After several attempts to auto level, we had front tires in the air, but the two rear jacks popped up. So, we decided to go the manual route. Eventually, we got level enough. But, we were convinced there had to be an easier way. The site has a slope but not that much! We'll give it a try and report back.

Happy 4th!
Boris and Natasha
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Old 07-07-2008, 06:49 PM   #17
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Belgique -
We checked out the PowerGear site and found the calibration instructions. (Haven't used it just yet.) We couldn't find anything in our big black bag.

Here's a link:
Hydraulic Leveling and Calibration Procedure

Hope that helps.

- Natasha.
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Old 07-08-2008, 04:04 AM   #18
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Boris and Natasha:
Belgique -
We checked out the PowerGear site and found the calibration instructions. (Haven't used it just yet.) We couldn't find anything in our big black bag.

Here's a link:
Hydraulic Leveling and Calibration Procedure

Hope that helps.

- Natasha. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sure does help! Have printed it and will put it in the Black Bag! Will be anxious to see if this will cause auto mode to be a little less aggressive. Thanks again! Steve
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Old 07-08-2008, 02:10 PM   #19
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I grease the king pins when the front tires are in the air. The pressure is off the wheels and that lets the grease go all the way in.
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Old 07-08-2008, 02:44 PM   #20
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by peter griffin:
I grease the king pins when the front tires are in the air. The pressure is off the wheels and that lets the grease go all the way in. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I've had this method work best for me too, other wise I get a big glob of grease on the zerk!
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