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Author Topic: About levelers (bigfoot type) on an Eagle  (Read 2846 times)
kysteve
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« on: October 06, 2008, 06:18:45 PM »

I am wondering about the strain on a frame, from the bigfoot type levelers.  I'd like to hear from some of you who have had them for a few years also.  My concern is on my Eagle, for instance, there is (in the rear), 6 points of support to the wheels from the frame, behind the bays.  How well does using the levelers, which changes that to two points, hold up over the years of use.  Have any of you noticed frame damage of any kind.  I may be overthinking this a bit.  I just want to get some feed back here.  I am looking into Bigfoot brand levelers so is that a good, better, or best, way to go.  This is a pretty grey area for me so I hope some of you guys can clear up my sight here.  Thanks for any and all input here.


.................Kysteve................
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Dreamscape
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2008, 07:06:28 PM »

Steve,

Sonnie Gray (Catskinner) and Clifford Allen (luvrbus) have levelers, I think Big Foot but not sure.

I'm sure one or both of them will be glad to help you out.

Paul
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HighTechRedneck
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2008, 08:07:26 PM »

While I don't have the experience with them that you are seeking feedback about, I have reviewed several thousand posts in this forum over the last couple months (and I slept in a Holiday Inn Express once  Grin).  So there is one observation that comes to my mind that relates to your question.  That is the difference between static and dynamic loads.

While a 40,000 pound bus is moving over the road, hitting bumps, pot holes, panic stops, leaning through curves, etc., it is experiencing tremendous dynamic loads multiplying the stresses on frame members many fold.  While parked there is only static load to consider.

I am not familiar with an Eagles lifting points, but it seems to me that you should try to mount the levelers as close to the designated lifting points as possible to take advantage of the design engineers knowledge of the stress loads.  If you can mount them directly to the side of a lift point, then it would seem you would be fine.
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David Anderson
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2008, 09:53:44 PM »

I saw a couple of sets on Eagles at the rally in Brownsville in April 2007.  They were slick.  The bus could be lifted completely off the ground.  However, at $4k I'm am still driving up on 2x12 lumber.  I just can't part with that much $$$.

There are several good threads about this.  Just do a search for levelers.

David
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rusty
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« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2008, 07:13:19 AM »

  Steve I agree with Highteck. You have done some beautiful work on your bus. For you to do that kind of work you have the knowledge to know where to place them. The lift points were called out so someone did not run a jack through the floor. I made mine out of parts I had around. Even if you buy off the shelf parts you can beat the price I have seen for canned levelers. Hydraulics is not rocket science. The only problem is welding mounts on a cylinder. When done you have to hone the inside of the cylinder.
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Songman
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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2008, 07:18:48 AM »

Steve, you might want to look at a website for a member who uses the name pipes. He doesn't post here much but he put airbags on his Eagle for leveling. I really like this idea and may give it a try down the road myself.

One thing I noticed about the bigfoot levelers is that if you get on soft ground they can sink into the ground under the weight of the bus. I saw this on a few of the Eagles at Quartzsite that had them. Obviously you can't lift the bus off the ground with air bags but all I want to do is level it anyway.

Pipes website is located at http://members.tripod.com/Pipesusmc/Kaykay.htm

It appears to be a Tripod website and is therefore kinda slow but he has some good pictures of how me mounted the bags. Where you are in your stage of construction, adding these would be a breeze and can be done very inexpensively.
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makemineatwostroke
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2008, 07:50:10 AM »

Steve; I am into the leveling system also I have the factory air levelers on my 15 and that is not the way to go on a Eagle unless you want to walk around on marshmallows.If they were like BlueBird,MCI,GM and Prevost where you drop all the way down it would be different but the air level sits on top of the torsilastics taking no weight off the axles just the body.I am leaning toward the HWH system(I don't like the price) because the Big Foot I have seen installed in FL they put the jacks behind the front wheel with a plate inside the baggage compartment not much support but I guess they work.The Country Coach Eagles all had HWH hydraulic levers if there in one in your area for you too look at if not maybe Sonnie,Clifford or Wayne could post a photo of their install I have seen Clifford's and it is a neat install with support from side to side   have a great day and looking at your site you will figure it out
« Last Edit: October 07, 2008, 05:28:26 PM by makemineatwostroke » Logged
Songman
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2008, 07:57:47 AM »

I'd like to hear more about what you mean about this since I have thought this was a good way to go. I hadn't thought about it making the bus feel differently.
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JackConrad
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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2008, 08:57:14 AM »

Doyle had hydraulic levelers (I think Bigfoot?) installed on his Eagle in Lakeland, FL.  They had to re-do a rear leveler because during his first rip, the driveshaft and leveler had an interference issue. The driveshaft won! They re-located the leveler.  Jack
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Dreamscape
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« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2008, 10:38:53 AM »

Dale and others,

I have no real experience with air bags on an Eagle for leveling, but I have heard they are soft, not solid like hydraulics would be. You still would get a side to side sway as weight is shifted, or wind blowing.

I had thought about doing that on ours, but I talked myself out of it when I heard that.

Maybe someone else with real world experience knows differant.

I think the biggest reason for installing air bags on an Eagle are failed torsilastics, and we know how much they cost.

Paul
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kysteve
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« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2008, 03:30:50 PM »

Thanks for the info guys,

     I am thinking to use the three point system.  I have read these are less stressfull on the Eagle frames.  That would be two in the back and one monster in between the two front torsion springs.  I am not really interested in the air bags Dale, but I do appreciate the info and suggestion though.  I am looking to stabilize the coach in long term usage as we are going to be fulltimers in it when (if) I get it done.  I like Rusty's ideal of home building a system too.  Since I will have to have hydraulics's for the levelers, it may even come into play on the slideout systems too.  I still have my doughts back there around the engine cradle though.  I realize the lifting points and know them well, still I am wondering what strain, sitting in one place for a two month period or maybe more, would put on this part of the frame that normally, has pressure down on it rather than the upward pressure the levelers would put on it.  Like I said, I may be just overthinking this. 


...............Thanks again Guys.........
....................Kentucky Steve ................
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HighTechRedneck
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« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2008, 03:47:58 PM »

Thanks for the info guys,

     I am thinking to use the three point system.  I have read these are less stressfull on the Eagle frames.  That would be two in the back and one monster in between the two front torsion springs. 

I would research that carefully Steve.  And keep in mind that when full timing, you will often encounter side to side slopes.  Having just one in the front could be a limiting factor on some sites.
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luvrbus
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« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2008, 03:55:58 PM »

Steve, don't worry about leaving it sitting for months every time I put my Eagle in the shop for the season I always put the jacks down to relieve the weight on the torsilatics I had to adjust my torsilastics 1 time in 10 years by keeping the weight off while sitting for long periods plus you don't have the flat spots on the tires.The most important thing to do is when leveling make sure all jacks are in contact with the surface before starting the process or you will twist I watched a fellow break his windshield by not doing this.FWIW I don't think you will be happy with a 3 point system on your bus   good luck
« Last Edit: October 08, 2008, 04:53:43 AM by luvrbus » Logged
kysteve
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« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2008, 04:38:59 PM »


          This is why I love this board.  I can't thank everyone here enough, for all the knowledge they share.  Its like having two thousand busnuts rolled up into one.  Well ,all except teke that is.  That's two warnings against the 3 point system and that's enough.  I take it that the 4 point is best?Huh  Clifford, It never dawned on me that I'd be saving wear on my new springs.  The levelers would most certainly earn their keep over the life of the coach.  Hightech, Deb and I are going to Atlanta in a couple of weeks for the cup race and when we go by chatahoocheeee we'll roll down the windows, and give you call out.  I will research a little more tonight on the 4 pointers.  Thanks again Guys



..................Kentucky Steve.........................
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rusty
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« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2008, 05:04:53 PM »

 Steve I have lock valves on my system. The only way it will go down on its own is if you have a leak in the o-rings. The only drawback to lock valves is it take as much pressure to release them as is on the cylinder. This is not a problem in normal usage. The problem I had was with the two I mounted on the engine cradle. When I retracted them all the way up and drove for a while the heat would build the pressure so high the pump could not overcome the pressure. I had to wait untill they cooled to use them. Now I do not retract them all the way so they have room to move. As to your worry about the rear cylinders I built the cradle heavy enough to take the cylinders. I can lift the bus off the ground and have not had any trouble with them. I did bend one mount in Quartzsite a couple of years ago. I lifted one corner high enough that the tire slid. Any dummy knows not to do that, at least I do now.
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