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Old 11-29-2012, 11:13 PM   #1
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Now THIS is weird!!

Last night I was relaxing in my '11 Berkshire 390 RB. Suddenly the coach rocked violently and seemed to drop a few inches. I thought at first that the guy behind me had accidentally driven his truck into my unit.

It made a heluva noise and the wife thought our water heater had exploded. Neighbors all came outside to see what was going on.

Anyhow, something apparently caused one (or more) of the jacks to retract INSTANTLY. I called Customer Support and Mark said they'd never seen that happen before. They will often times leak down slowly, but NEVER drop so suddenly.

It's the Equalizer auto-leveling (one button push) and I did a "retract all" followed by an "auto-level" and everything seems to be OK ever since. A tech crawled under it today and said the air bags were deflated. Should they be?

I know I have a small leak in the air system and that's probably why the bags were deflated. The leak is behind the primary air pressure gauge on the dash. I will be fixing that tomorrow. Fortunately, the compressor is more than able to keep up with the small leak, and brake pressure is the nominal 110 pounds.

I've seen some coaches that actually have a manual release valve to purposely deflate the bags. Haven't been able to find such a valve on the Berkshire however.

Is this "incident" weird or what?? Anyone else ever experienced this?

Boowho?
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:06 AM   #2
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It's fine for the air bags to deflate.


Turbs
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:00 PM   #3
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Equalizer Autolevel

With the Equalizer System when you select Autolevel the air is supposed to dump from the air bags before the jacks start to level the coach. Also if you check in the manual it will tell you how to set the null.
good Luck
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:52 PM   #4
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I am confused ... did your airbags deflate and your jacks extend while you were driving ..... if so ... you have a real problem ... or ... did your jacks spontaniously retract while you were parked ... if this second option is the cases, it might simply be a case of not understanding the leveling system. When you park and press the auto level button, all air should dump from the airbag. This serves two purposes, it releases excess moisture in the air tanks ,but, more imprtantly it lowers the entire unit so that once the jacks are extended your step is still areasonable distance from the ground.

Question for you...
Once you are leveled, do you turn the leveling system off or do you leave it active?
Do you have any animals or small children that wonder the unit ... if so is it possible that the retract all button was pushed by mistake.

Last comment ...
Any leak or any size in the air system should be repaired ASAP. By not doing so, you are playing Russion Roullette with the braking system. Beleive me, the last thing you want is to out in the middle of nowhere or worse yet (a big down hill) and have that low air alarm sound.

Good Luck
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:47 PM   #5
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Ummmm....... Since I was relaxing at the time, the coach was parked during the spontaneous retract. 8-) which is what best describes it, BTW

I normally turn the power button off leaving the Equalizer unit in "sleep" mode (red light flashes every few seconds). And there are no pets in the coach.

Finally being an ex-18 wheeler driver, I understand how air brakes work. While a "perfect" air system is best, many of the trucks running today have "less than perfect" air systems and will lose air at a very slow rate.

As long as the compressor can supply air faster than the leak is losing it, I don't get too excited. Of course, in a truck I always had 24 hour satellite communication with dispatch to bail me out in any breakdown situation.


Thanks for your input.

Boowho


Quote:
Originally Posted by lefaivre View Post
I am confused ... did your airbags deflate and your jacks extend while you were driving ..... if so ... you have a real problem ... or ... did your jacks spontaniously retract while you were parked ... if this second option is the cases, it might simply be a case of not understanding the leveling system. When you park and press the auto level button, all air should dump from the airbag. This serves two purposes, it releases excess moisture in the air tanks ,but, more imprtantly it lowers the entire unit so that once the jacks are extended your step is still areasonable distance from the ground.

Question for you...
Once you are leveled, do you turn the leveling system off or do you leave it active?
Do you have any animals or small children that wonder the unit ... if so is it possible that the retract all button was pushed by mistake.

Last comment ...
Any leak or any size in the air system should be repaired ASAP. By not doing so, you are playing Russion Roullette with the braking system. Beleive me, the last thing you want is to out in the middle of nowhere or worse yet (a big down hill) and have that low air alarm sound.

Good Luck
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:09 PM   #6
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We had a similar situation with our 2011 BH. We parked, extended the jacks and then when I went outside, only the rear jacks were extended and the front jacks were still retracted. I went back in, retracted all and went back outside. The rear was sitting on the axle as expected but the front still had its bags inflated so the front was still raised as if ready to drive off. It was the oddest thing. We had a good laugh because now we had a low rider motor home.

I went back in and hit auto-level again. Stepped out and watched. Same thing as before - the rear jacks were extended the front were not. As we're standing there scratching our heads, some air valve let go and the front came down pretty hard on the front axle stop plates.

I went back in, retracted, then auto-leveled and everything worked fine. I talked to our Freightliner service center about this and they never heard of it and if it happens again to let them know. I haven't had the problem since. I chalked it up to a fluke event.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:16 PM   #7
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Finally an explanation....

For some reason the hydraulic piston forced it's way right through the jack pad and went straight into the ground several inches!!

Posting just for folks that may have the same problem. Equalizer Systems says that it DOES happen "occasionally".


Luckily, the fix is fairly cheap... (warranty expired).

Boowho??
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:37 PM   #8
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even with no airleak, air bags will deflate as turbs mentioned.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:51 AM   #9
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ours had the ram go through the jackpad and into the leveler blocks. it felt like some one hit the rv. ours is about 1 1/2 years old. i hope this was an isolated incident.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:32 AM   #10
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Jack piston

2013 Berkshire the jack piston went right through the jack pad also and through 2 2x12 treated boards .this happened on all 4 pads i now have 4 new ones .different style gusets are installed on the new pads which my 08 berkshire had.Also the jack pistons i think are too small of a diameter for a 28,000 unit
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