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Old 01-20-2016, 09:52 PM   #1
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Bigfoot Platinum vs Auto-leveling system

Just brought home a 3051. Came with the factory installed auto-levelers. We got the walk thru at the dealer and they explained how it worked, including the auto leveling. Fast forward, after playing with the system and reading up on it, I found out the Platinum system we have is not an auto-leveling system, but rather an auto-stabilizing system with manual leveling. Felt a little deceived so I called the dealer and they said despite the description that is what is supposed to be installed. I called Bigfoot and they said they've gotten a lot of calls from Forester owners. FR had switched to the platinum system but didn't change their literature, so people, like me, felt deceived. The guy told me they have since switched back to the auto system for factory installs. He said to check with FR and because they were offering to swap it out for free. I called FR and sure enough, they said they would swap out the Platinum with the auto system and talk to the dealer.

I apologize if this has already been discussed, but which system do people prefer, the platinum "auto-stabilizer" or the auto-leveling system? Pros/cons? I like the idea of the auto level system, well, because that's what I thought I was getting. Our last MH didn't have jacks at all, so either way is an upgrade.

Thanks for your comments.
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Old 01-21-2016, 01:30 AM   #2
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Auto leveling is the only way to go!
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Old 01-21-2016, 08:28 AM   #3
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Auto leveling but usually have to use manual after the self leveling has stopped to get the front end high enough to be level
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Old 01-21-2016, 08:38 AM   #4
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Auto leveling is the only way to go!

X2. Hit a button. Done. Start drinking beer.
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Old 01-21-2016, 11:03 AM   #5
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I am confused. I just looked at mine and it is the Platinum system. I hit start and in about 30 seconds it is seems to be level. I will admit that I have only used it on semi-level sites so far. Here is a picture and description from the BigFoot website

Platinum Automatic System

Introducing our vehicle specific leveling system. Designed for specific vehicles and their leveling system appication (cylinder size, frame & ride height, etc.)

Quick, one touch operation that automatically deploys the jacks to bring the front level with the rear and stabilizes the entire vehicle in just over 30 seconds!

On the fly manual adjustment feature that allows you to quickly operate each cylinder individually or in pairs.


After researching further I see the Platinum levels front to rear and the Automatic Leveling must do side to side as well. I will be in contact with FR to get this corrected.
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Old 01-21-2016, 11:37 AM   #6
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Here is what the auto leveler looks like and the product videos. The Platinum video says "completely stabilized"

The Forester brochure clearly states "automatic leveling system 4 point"

http://thebigfootleveler.com/Product_Videos.html
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Old 01-21-2016, 11:54 AM   #7
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I am supposed to be picking up my 3011DS at the end of the month and will have to watch for that. The BIGFOOT website shows both panels side by side (see attached) and it seems obvious which is which. Also, the 2016 Forester brochure indicates Automatic as well (see attached) although it does not call out the manufacturer so one could argue that it's a marketing term and not meant to reflect the actual equipment. However, when I read "automatic leveling system (4 point)", to me that indicates that all 4 points adjust independently which should mean the fully automatic system and not the platinum.
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Old 01-21-2016, 12:06 PM   #8
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Ok. Did some more research on the BIGFOOT site and have a few questions. Under the "Automatic Leveling" section they list a ""Ford E-450 Automatic Leveling" option for $3670. Under the the "Automatic Systems" section they list a "Ford E-450 Platinum System" for $3097. So, do they both accomplish the same thing but the Platinum just does it with less pumps that the Automatic?
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Old 01-21-2016, 12:34 PM   #9
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Looking at their video it appears like the Platinum levels automatically front to back and you have to manual level side to side. Here is a picture of a 3011 that Camping World has on RV trader, so it looks like they are all coming in now with the 4 point automatic leveling. I have put in a call to FR and am waiting for a call back; same with Bigfoot.....

EDITED I just got off the phone with Eric at Bigfoot and he verified the Platinum only levels front to back and you have to manually level side to side. That is not my definition of an automatic leveler.
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Old 01-21-2016, 01:20 PM   #10
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The platinum system does not auto level. If you look on the Bigfoot site at the Platinum model, there is an asterisk. At the bottom it says "*This system does not have an inclinometer and does not read a level plane like the Bigfoot Automatic Leveling System."

The platinum only unloads the suspension to eliminate bouncing. It does not level. If you are parked in an unlevel spot, your RV will be unlevel. You level using the manual buttons on the panel.
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Old 01-21-2016, 01:48 PM   #11
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jovialjeeper, can you tell me who you spoke with at Forest River that said they would swap them out?

Thanks
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Old 01-21-2016, 01:53 PM   #12
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Glad to hear that we can get the upgrade. I was told 4 months ago I could upgrade for $600 plus labor.
Do we get the complete Fully Automatic Leveling System with the correct pistons with pumps in each or is this upgrade just changing out modules, adding a controller and keeping the central pump? There is a difference as the Fully Automatic has the 10" fee and the Platinum 7"
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Old 01-21-2016, 02:11 PM   #13
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Sage, if the brochure that we got when we ordered shows 4 point leveling I think they would owe us. Just saying.
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Old 01-21-2016, 02:25 PM   #14
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Sage, if the brochure that we got when we ordered shows 4 point leveling I think they would owe us. Just saying.
BigFoot told me for $600, I keep the same pistons with the smaller feet. But it would be fully automatic. Let's hope I'm wrong!
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Old 01-21-2016, 02:35 PM   #15
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I originally called the number for Forester service, Mike Jankowski, at (574) 206-7625. He didn't answer, so I think I hit "0" and got a receptionist. I told her I wanted to speak with someone about the levelers on my new MH. She asked the state I was calling from and got me in touch with Brian Meeks. He is the regional guy in the midwest, so yours may be different.

As far as the conversion, Patrick in parts at Bigfoot said you need the "Easy Auto Kit". Part number is M37535. It consists of a new panel, the level sensor and an interface cable between the two. The cable that plugs in to the existing Platinum panel just gets plugged in to the auto panel. They do not replace the four existing cylinders or add additional pumps. Personally, having four pumps, four reservoirs, etc., just seems like that much more that can go wrong. My one pump feeds four cylinders now, and it seems to operate good. He didn't mention anything about the feet. Mine look to be 7".

They evidently have done this conversion on numerous rigs, so I'd be interested in getting comments from someone who had the conversion.
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Old 01-21-2016, 02:50 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by jovialjeeper View Post
I originally called the number for Forester service, Mike Jankowski, at (574) 206-7625. He didn't answer, so I think I hit "0" and got a receptionist. I told her I wanted to speak with someone about the levelers on my new MH. She asked the state I was calling from and got me in touch with Brian Meeks. He is the regional guy in the midwest, so yours may be different.

As far as the conversion, Patrick in parts at Bigfoot said you need the "Easy Auto Kit". Part number is M37535. It consists of a new panel, the level sensor and an interface cable between the two. The cable that plugs in to the existing Platinum panel just gets plugged in to the auto panel. They do not replace the four existing cylinders or add additional pumps. Personally, having four pumps, four reservoirs, etc., just seems like that much more that can go wrong. My one pump feeds four cylinders now, and it seems to operate good. He didn't mention anything about the feet. Mine look to be 7".

They evidently have done this conversion on numerous rigs, so I'd be interested in getting comments from someone who had the conversion.
Does it come with the remote cable that is stashed under the driver's seat so you don't have to operate it from the entry step well?
I have found that using my Platinum in the manual mode instead of START works best for me. START tends to bring the rears up too high and can take them off the ground, VERY BAD! We dry camp mostly with uneven surfaces. I guess if you stay at RV resorts with mostly level surfaces the START and Fully Automatic are fine.
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Old 01-21-2016, 03:14 PM   #17
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Based upon the description they gave me, I'd say no to the remote cable. I think they intend to install it in the same spot as the platinum. We prefer to dry camp too, and while those campgrounds seem to be getting better as far as offering level sites, unlevel is typical. That's why the leveling is a nice feature and I'm curious which route to go.
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Old 01-21-2016, 03:52 PM   #18
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What a pain. The HWH system is one button, auto level, front to back, side to side, no manual adjustments needed…all programed.
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Old 01-21-2016, 04:40 PM   #19
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All information contained in this brochure is be- lieved to be accurate at the time of publication. However, during the model year, it may be neces- sary to make revisions and Forest River, Inc., re- serves the right to make all such changes without notice, including prices, colors, materials, equip- ment and specifications as well as the addition of new models and the discontinuance of models shown in this brochure. Therefore, please consult with your Forest River dealer and confirm the exis- tence of any materials, design or specifications that are material to your purchase decision. 2015 A division of Forest River, Inc.
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Old 01-21-2016, 06:52 PM   #20
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This will be interesting to follow!
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