Originally Posted by kb9adw
I am very new to RV'ing. We just purchased a 2001 Winnebago Journey 36DL. Never had a slide before, nor did we have jacks.
Question: Does the engine need to be running for the jacks to work?
I know it's a dumb question, but I really need an answer.We're about to take 'er out for our first outing.
The first thing you really need to know is, what model number of HWH Jacks do you have? HWH, has several models and there are different modes of operation for each of their models.
For instance, I have the "625 Automatic, Computer Controlled system". Now, that model, can be operated in a fully automatic mode and, a manual mode. I choose the mode based on circumstances presented me during initial sizing up of how level the site is, we're standing on.
If the site is fairly level, as in most "RV Resorts", the automatic mode works flawless. If, we're on some bad terrain and fairly "Un level", I go into the manual mode because, I know it's (the control panel for HWH) is going to tell me, "Excessive Slope".
Now, to answer your question. Depending on what model HWH system you have, your air bags will NOT ALWAYS dump, the minute you turn on the HWH system. On ours, I have two methods of dumping the air, prior to leveling operations. In the fully automatic mode, I touch the "On" button twice, once for turning the system on and, a second time to activate "Pilot dump" which means, HWH is now in control of the air bag system being dumped.
If I choose the manual mode, I also have a "Dump" button. In un level situations, I use that button, that one is controlled by Freightliner, not HWH.
But, in either case, as has been stated, you MUST dump the bags prior to leveling. Now, as to whether the engine is running or not, again, it depends on your particular system. The first thing to do is, if you have a manual for it, READ IT! If you don't, go on line and search out the manual for your model number of HWH system you have.
But, the primary reason most HWH systems do NOT WANT THE ENGINE RUNNING IS, because the "Ride height sensors" get confused. You see, if your engine is running, it means you've got all sensory systems in operation. That means, the ride height sensors too. And, their job is to keep you at the prescribed ride height.
If your engine is running and you attempt to level, either side to side or, front to back, your ride height sensors try and compensate. NOT A GOOD THING!
So, primarily, yes, turn your engine off. Then, in the "accessory" position for the key, you can begin your leveling operations which, would include lowering the bags.
But, again, find the manual for your particular system. It will answer many questions.