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Author Topic: Cable Leveling System Followup  (Read 1441 times)
Lin
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« on: November 13, 2012, 04:43:06 PM »

Below are pictures of the way it looks in the back.  I have taken the bus out for another test trip, so the system has about 80 miles on it with no noticeable problems.  I did pull over to see how helpful it would be to level when parked.  The system is useful but not a complete solution.  It only seems to me that I get between 5 and 6 inches of adjustment back to front, which is really what I expected.  Now, that is probably all you would need in most regular campgrounds, but many of the Forest Service places we like have more incline then that.  I figure 5 inches is about one degree for my 5a.  It is not uncommon for us to need 8 inches or so to get close to level, so riding up on blocks for part of it is likely to remain in the deal.

This will still make it easier. For example, if I see we need around 8 inches back to front, I can just pull onto one layer of 4x6's.  It's really using multiple layers that starts to get annoying.  Also, I can ignore the side of side for the blocking part since even a couple of inches side to side goes a long way.  Once up on the layer, it will be easy to do the fine tuning with the air bags.

I know that there a many others that use air bags for leveling by different methods.  Does anyone get more than 5-6 inches back to front adjustment out of them?  Does this projection match your experience? 

control end


Valve end
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Dave5Cs
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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2012, 08:36:10 PM »

Lin is that with say your front all the way pumped up to 80 psi or so and your rears empty or maybe 10psi. I haven't tested mine yet but will soon in the next few weeks. I am still replacing hoses and valves. Its looking good though from your pictures and self ajusting is always good.

Dave5Cs
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Scott Bennett
Scott & Heather MCI-9
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2012, 07:48:48 AM »

Lin,

I love the concept. I and a friend were thinking of designing something similar. Interestingly enough, I have decided NOT to use my bags to level the coach for this simple reason: I have noticed that leveled on the bags, the coach bounces when someone walks around or enters or exits the coach. When we jack it up on bottle jacks or wood blocks under the jack points, the coach is solid as a rock. No bounce at all. None. Nada. Zero. This means when I wake up at 6:30 AM and want to get my day rolling, I'm not waking up my cute little wife who likes her bed until around 8:30 or so. Anyway, as a full timer, we have to consider these things.  Cheesy
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Scott & Heather
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TomC
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2012, 07:54:49 AM »

I didn't put leveling jacks on my bus because of the lack of frame.  There are leveling jacks that work off pushing the axle down after releasing the air pressure from the bags.  But you still get bouncing. Jacks from the body to the ground will make it the most solid. Good Luck, TomC
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uncle ned
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« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2012, 08:07:28 AM »


HUGGY my 4104 has leveling jack on her. use them for the times we can not level with the air. also use them to steady the coach if we are going to be parked for a few days and are far from being on a level parking place.

Usually we just drop the front down all the way so the front step is close to the ground for my short wife.

uncle ned

They are also great if you need to change a tire on  the road
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Lin
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2012, 09:26:46 AM »

Ned: Real leveling jacks are certainly best.

Scott: Using individual bottle jacks, if you are not as lazy as me, is better than this.  I had thought of getting several on the lightest air-over jacks I could find and doing it that way, but alas, the laziness kicks in.  I think that you have to be careful using the four jack points since it would be possible to torque the bus, but being careful is not too much to ask.  Since we do not mind the shaking (being from California, we just tell ourselves it's earthquakes and don't pay attention to it) we can do fine without the feel of solid ground.

Dave: I do not know the pressure in the bags.  My crude form of measurement is to stick a tape up the wheel well and check the distance to the top of the tire.  That is roughly 3" fully deflated with the bus sitting on the bumpers, up to about 8.5 with the bags fully inflated.  These measurements are really not that far off from those of the airbags themselves.  Considering that the ride height calls for the air bags to be at 7", there is really more room to go down than up.

One interesting thing that I have trouble accepting is the concept that the fridge can be up to 3 degrees off level according to the manual.  Since I have figured that 1 degree for me is about 5 inches difference at the wheels back to front, that would mean the fridge could tolerate a 15" height difference between the front and rear wheels.  You would need to install seat belts in the bed to camp like that.
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2012, 07:14:00 AM »

True that...technically it should be three jacking points, but I'm using all four...and hopefully not torquing the bus  Undecided  I get the laziness thing...trust me, my next coach will have automatic leveling jacks. It's worth the money when you live in your coach. Without a doubt...climbing underneath and throwing around heavy 20 ton bottle jacks why lying in mud and sand is not my idea  of fun by any stretch.
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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise & conversion in progress.
http://www.scottmichaelbennett.com/p/our-bus.html
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uncle ned
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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2012, 07:34:40 AM »



HUGGY has four leveling jacks have been on her about 15 years. not warped or broke anything yet.

The 3 jacks sure scare me   seeing them with one up real high doing a balancing act.

uncle ned
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gus
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« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2012, 08:26:57 PM »

Lin,

I have the panel air valve leveling system and it doesn't seem to change more than 3-4" at the most. This is good 90% of the time, the other 10% I use wheel blocks.

The way to avoid bobbing around when parked is to deflate the high end as much as possible, all the way to the rubber bumpers works best. If on level ground I deflate all four, much more comfortable.

Crawling underneath and inserting wood blocks is not very safe or convenient.
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PD4107-152
PD4104-1274
Ash Flat, AR
Lin
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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2012, 08:12:31 AM »

Gus: That is my plan-- to deflate first.  Aside from having more room to go down than up, it would save on some running of the compressor if the bags leak down.  Even before when we were leveled on blocks alone, I would run the compressor once a day to make sure things stayed the same.

Anyway, just in case anyone is interested in trying a similar experiment, Surplus Center had these cables for about $6.00.  The whole deal has probably cost less than $40.  The cable is 3/16" and the housing is about 1/2".  They are about 6 feet long.
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gus
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« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2012, 01:10:55 PM »

Lin,

Sounds as if you have come up with a great system. My system is not easy to operate, I was doing it all wrong until I got proper instructions from one of our posters. Also, I often have a hard time getting one particular bag to deflate - frustrating!
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PD4107-152
PD4104-1274
Ash Flat, AR
Lin
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« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2012, 05:54:25 PM »


Gus:   The idea for using cables comes from Bob G.  Sounds like one of your valves is bad.  My front ride height valve was faulty and would only inflate the bags but not deflate them.
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gus
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« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2012, 02:49:01 PM »

Lin,

You're probably right. I finally discovered that I could often make it work by raising the air pressure up to 120 psi and using that valve first.

Probably will have to replace it eventually. It may just be dirty.
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PD4107-152
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