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rlbarkleyii

Lifting Axles Off Ground With Levelers, OK or Bad?

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I have a Journey 34' 2002 with HWH levelers and Freightliner Chassis with air ride. I have been lifting the axles for the last year off the ground during short term storage. Anyone have any information as to whether this harms air bags?

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If you deflate the air bags then level the coach, the weight of the coach is off the tires. The suspension should have stops before the air bags get stretch. I also worry about overextending your jacks as some jacks can blow a seal when fully extended. Don't ask me how I know.

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As Ernie said, the drive axle is the only parking brake. If the site is too unlevel to park without lifting tires off the ground, I always carry enough leveling blocks to bring the coach to nearly level, dump the air bags then use the leveling jacks to finish leveling, and for stability purposes.

By the way, I carry some rubber pads that I cut out of a horse stall mat, at least one is placed under each tire so that I can back up on, the final foot or so. This keeps the tires off the ground, or pavement. If sitting long periods of time, the minerals/chemicals in dissimilar surfaces can/will cause an adverse affect on the tires.

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We did a lot of dry camping with our first coach and because of that I often had to lift the front tires off of the ground to get level. 1988 Georgie Boy 34' / Oshkosh chassis / HWH levelers. Never a problem. Maybe a 34 foot chassis is less flexible?? I have seen plenty of critics on different forums saying you should not do that. Perhaps the 40's are a little more flexible? I have had my front tires off the ground just a few times with our 40 Phaeton. No problems so far.

Per the Tireman/ I run all tires onto 2 by 10 sections of pine cut into 2 foot lengths for storage making sure to have no tread hanging over the side. I use blocks of Oak under the leveler feet to avoid over extending the jacks. I run'em down enough to take most of the weight off the tires and inflate the tires a little above sidewall pressure. I store the unit on a LEVEL gravel. Kinda figure the wood is a good idea. The oak comes from a sawmill 4 miles from our home. The wood is 2 and 3/4 inches thick just over 10" wide and cut in 2 foot sections. HEAVY but I use them when traveling also. Never sunk into the ground.

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Yes the wood is good, have seen post by tireman9, even cardboard, or several sheets of newspaper is better than nothing for longer periods of stay.

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Tractor Supply is nearby. I have seen the stall mats. I will look into changing to them. Heavy and somewhat expensive when compared to pine, but worth it I am sure.

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The OP asked about damaging the airbags when lifting them off of the ground. We did spend one night during last Labor Day weekend in a park with only one site left. I should have moved on but I took the site. I did lift the tires off of the ground in order to get level for that stay. No harm done and the bags are original equipment (old). Perhaps there are control rods or suspension linkage that limit the extension? Would have to crawl under to check.

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The stall mats cut nicely with a sharp utility knife, I cut several large enough to go under the duals (18X22), then several (12X18) for singles, when stacked they work as levelers very well. The biggest point I was making is that if the ground is not level enough that the drive axle is lifted off the ground, and it is the only parking brake on the coach, there is a possibility for the unit to try to move, if this occurs, you can damage the levelers, and it is a funny feeling if you are in the coach when this occurs.

My bus manual warns to only jack the bus with the jack under the axle that is to be lifted, and shops that lift this type equipment are equipped with wheel jacks that have a cradle that the entire tire rest in, and when lifted, a jackstand that is rated to take the load is always placed under the axle. My tag has an air valve for the air bags on the tags that must be left open before lifting the drive axle, this to keep extra load off of the tag bags.

Happy Holidays to all, Kay

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