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dapace

Bizarre bucking from Atwood Level Legs

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Yesterday while leveling our 40' Phaeton, everything seemed fine. We were on a campsite, down in back and jacks were deploying, etc. All of a sudden, we heard loud noises, like gunshots, something breaking, and the 40' motorhome started bucking like teenagers' car with those hydraulics. I'm not kidding. It was violent (no alarms) and tossed us up and off our seats in the front 3 times in rapid succession. I grabbed the seat arm to steady myself and punched the on/off switch on the Atwood Level legs. That stopped it, but we were badly shaken. When it first happened, I thought I was crashing into something, but of course, we were in neutral with the air brake on. No idea what had just happened. Got out, looked around, nothing amiss, but the jacks were not all down and we weren't level. It obviously has to have something to do with them. Tenderly I turned on the Level legs again and retracted. Worked just like clockwork and nothing else happened. All retracted, no alarms, etc. Decided NOT to use them again till we can get them serviced. We started up and moved to a level site without any problems. I restarted the motorhome to make sure it aired up and popped off. No problem. When I later went to get something out of my closet in the far back, all my hanging clothes had "jumped" the rod and were tossed in the bottom of the closet. Not a big deal, but I'm telling you, this was an extremely violent bucking and I'm worried about other damage that may have occurred. Any idea what happened with those jacks?

DH checked this morning and all four mounting bolts are in position on the level legs and they show no "slippage" on the mounts. Our friend 2 sites over did not see what happened but knew we were backing in and thought we had gone too far and that we had crashed over the bank into the large deep ditch. It rained all evening, so we didn't inspect much last night but can look more today.

We have a 2006 Phaeton QSH with 350 Cat, ATwood Level legs. Bought new and tenderly cared for.

Dale

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Dale.  Welcome to the Forum! :)

With the Jacks up...  Did you dump the air, before deploying the Jacks?  Is yours electrical & manual, riding in a horizontal position when up?

 

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2 hours ago, manholt said:

Dale.  Welcome to the Forum! :)

With the Jacks up...  Did you dump the air, before deploying the Jacks?  Is yours electrical & manual, riding in a horizontal position when up?

 

Our system dumps the air and as the coach squats down, the jacks extend. They are electric and not horizontal. They have plates that extend down to the ground and pull straight up when retracted.

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Dale, this is one for the techs at Atwood. As you stated there is no sign of broken parts. You also said they are electric. Pardon me for asking but are you sure they are electric? Could they be independent hydraulic cylinders driven by an independent electric motor on each jack? It seems to be me you may have an issue with the control board that maintains the leveling of the coach once it is leveled.

Sorry for all the questions, hope you find the problem. Lets us know what you find.

Herman

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2 hours ago, hermanmullins said:

Dale, this is one for the techs at Atwood. As you stated there is no sign of broken parts. You also said they are electric. Pardon me for asking but are you sure they are electric? Could they be independent hydraulic cylinders driven by an independent electric motor on each jack? It seems to be me you may have an issue with the control board that maintains the leveling of the coach once it is leveled.

Sorry for all the questions, hope you find the problem. Lets us know what you find.

Herman

Well, yeah, but Atwood is gone, gone gone. And our system is no longer made. They are all electric and have all been individually replaced at different times. We know the problem was with the jacks, but I want to know what happened to cause the bucking. The control board could be involved.

 

 

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Dale.

Atwood was bought by Lipper.  I have the Air leveling & Jack system by Power Gear/Lipper!  When I first started using the Jacks, I had bucking (not as extreme as you) or as I called it, hopping.  

The fix.  Park coach & set brake, let slides come out, dump air, then lower Jacks manually or auto level.  Have had no problems since!!!

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2 hours ago, manholt said:

Dale.

Atwood was bought by Lipper.  I have the Air leveling & Jack system by Power Gear/Lipper!  When I first started using the Jacks, I had bucking (not as extreme as you) or as I called it, hopping.  

The fix.  Park coach & set brake, let slides come out, dump air, then lower Jacks manually or auto level.  Have had no problems since!!!

I know Atwood was bought by Lippert, but they are not making this system nor are they servicing existing ones. We normally  go to neutral, set brake, engage jacks. The system dumps the air first, then lowers the jacks. Shut off engine, then slides come out. Just the way it's done on ours. Except now, I'm not putting the jacks down at all until I get them inspected. Not taking a chance on the system hanging up. Got DH's doctor appointments coming up and can't miss them.

Just trying to figure out what likely happened and if there is someplace we should be inspecting for damage. Jacks themselves all seem intact and looking innocent.

Dale

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Can you tell if it is coming from just one or all the jack? If just one can you tell which one? 

Also can you level with your air or can you only level with the jacks?

Herman 

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I think you will find that you cannot air lever this RV. Mine had a manual air dump. If I didn’t wait long enough for a full dump I could get similar action the OP had. Don’t know if his RV has a manual air dump or not, but if it does I suggest using it before leveling. 

PS: I extend slides after leveling and retract them before retracting jacks. 

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The OP's should operate the same as Linda's coach did, before she changed the system to HWH hydraulic 2 years ago!  Same coaches, yr, make, model, engine!  All I did was ask her...:P

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There is no manual dump on our coach. The system is set to dump once you turn on the jacks and extend. Then it dumps the air and the coach squats as the levelers start their journey to the ground. We were both in the front seats, so we didn't see anything, but the jacks were still deploying, humming right along when the incident occurred until I pressed the off button. When we then did a walk around and inspected, one jack was still not on the ground.

Dale

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7 hours ago, dapace said:

There is no manual dump on our coach. The system is set to dump once you turn on the jacks and extend. Then it dumps the air and the coach squats as the levelers start their journey to the ground. We were both in the front seats, so we didn't see anything, but the jacks were still deploying, humming right along when the incident occurred until I pressed the off button. When we then did a walk around and inspected, one jack was still not on the ground.

Dale

      Dale. With more information on your Atwood leveling system. Like Model numbers or better yet some detailed numbers or just some pictures of the owners manual, might  have some info on file that will cover how your system is setup and a description of the intended operation sequence.

Always hope that ILC will have some info on there assets file drives.

Rich. 

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I am having my Atwood jacks replaced by HWH Corp since I cannot find replacement jacks. Is there a market to sell the three atwood jacks that are currently on my motor home, or should i just let HWH dispose of them. I would like to recoup some of my money if I can. I won a 40 ft 2009 Phaeton .

davey

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Phaeton09, Welcome to the FMCA forums!

I would recommend jointing a Tiffin social media club and see if you can post what you have for sale on there. I am fairly confident someone would consider these as gold. you never know how is searching for used parts.

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