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Old 10-15-2020, 10:02 AM   #1
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What is this lever?

Newbee dummy questions

Have this lever (switch?) between the steering column and the ignition key. When the rig is running and I move the lever I can hear air hissing. What does this do? How do I use it? What position do I put it in while driving? while parked?

Another thing the dealer failed to explain to us, added to the list of stuff we are unhappy with.

Thanks
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Old 10-15-2020, 10:38 AM   #2
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Seeing Freightliner on the pedal in the photo is a good clue, but posting the make and model of the truck might help people answer your question.
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Old 10-15-2020, 10:42 AM   #3
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Whoops. It is a Freightliner chassis. 2020 Coachmen Sportscoach model.
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Old 10-15-2020, 11:11 AM   #4
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It might be the exhaust brake switch.
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Old 10-15-2020, 11:34 AM   #5
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I just checked the Freightliner website and it appears that their exhaust brake control is on the steering column. I have seen other Freightliners with a trailer brake controller in that area.
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Old 10-15-2020, 11:51 AM   #6
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Isn't that your trailer brake hand control valve lever? I'm not familiar with your particular model. I am surprised that you have driven off the lot without being familiar with all the dash controls.
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Old 10-15-2020, 12:29 PM   #7
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Ejection seat?...... sorry I couldn't help myself!

Also sorry your dealer didn't do a better job. Especially on items that are not industry standard between R/Vs. And some onus is on the OP for not knowing what the controls are in the cockpit before traveling down the road.
Looking forward to knowing for sure what this is as well.
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Old 10-15-2020, 01:13 PM   #8
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What does it do when the engine is not running? It's possible it's an exhaust brake switch, or maybe suspension air dump? If just when engine is running most likely exhaust brake.
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Old 10-15-2020, 01:21 PM   #9
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There does not appear to be any moving parts or hinge on that device.

My guess it is a new type of cup holder designed by the Inginiers at Forrest River.

Yes, I chose humor instead of.............

Good Luck, I am sure you will get a good answer soon.
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Old 10-15-2020, 01:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwestman View Post
Whoops. It is a Freightliner chassis. 2020 Coachmen Sportscoach model.
Though it probably doesn't make much difference but model would be like say 339DS or 365RB, etc. At least someone with a similar model may respond. Not sure if these have changed over the last few years. Sounds like a few may have an idea what it is and during the time I had a Georgetown series 5 for a few years I was able to get some good info by talking to the service manager and tech. Not sure you tried that approach.
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Old 10-15-2020, 01:35 PM   #11
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It looks to me like an air dump valve to lower your air bags. You can find out from freightliner by contacting them with your vin. Also, in case you are unaware, Freightliner offers a course on the chassis they put on motorhomes. It is called Camp Freightliner. I took it when I owned an Alfa Class A. It is excellent and well worth the cost.
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Old 10-15-2020, 02:50 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by John 2019 SS 3010DSF View Post
It looks to me like an air dump valve to lower your air bags.

I thought that as well...or perhaps a tag axle dump valve switch. Not surprised there is no literature in the RV about this. Kind of surprised that the switch itself isn't labeled.
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Old 10-15-2020, 02:57 PM   #13
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Legacy Driver

If I'm not mistaken it is the switch for the airbags. Up for driving and down will deflate the airbags. I always deflate before leveling my unit. If you try to drive with the bags deflated it will ride like a buckboard.
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Old 10-15-2020, 03:42 PM   #14
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The guy giving us the "tour" was out of his league. He was opening cabinets and saying "More storage" Little about the actual workings of the RV. We were told it had to do with the air suspension but not what it did or how to use it. When we contacted Coachmen, the rep stated "You paid for the steak tour and got the McDonalds tour".
In fact when we started up to leave, an alarm kept going off that we did not know what it was. My wife had to go back inside and get the salesman to come out and show us what we were doing wrong. We asked about a driving class and were basically blown off. Obviously the dealership will get no referrals from us, or good reviews.
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Old 10-16-2020, 12:57 PM   #15
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air suspension

I believe it is your air suspension. I have an older Coachmen with very similar switch but in a little different location. one way raises the coach, the other releases the air - probably the air you hear hissing.

measure your wheel well clearance. Then flip the switch and wait about 5 minutes with the engine running, remeasure and see if the clearance has changed.

I "always" lower the suspension before setting the leveling jacks, but that is another story.

my coach shares the compressor with the brakes. so if this switch is left open, the brakes get barely enough pressure and low air pressure alarm will sound. Low pressure alarm will always sound for me when starting up while the suspension is filling and the brakes are airing up as well. Probably what you heard when you first started your coach. There should be a dash light or signal that comes on if you have low brake pressure.
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Old 10-19-2020, 07:54 PM   #16
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Air dump

It is you're Air dump.
You want Air in it to drive and dump it before lowering you're Jack's.
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Old 10-19-2020, 08:36 PM   #17
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Thats exactly what it is...i too have a 2020 Freightliner chassis and it dumps the air lowering it. I must admit mine has a lever that moves from oneside to the other in between those two black flamges telling the system to dump or allow it to fill...i dont see this lever in your photo but i have that exact piece to the left of my steering wheel as it appears in your photo. Ill admit mine is horizonial and the lever moves left and right but its exactly the same part.
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Old 10-19-2020, 09:40 PM   #18
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Yes, the air dump. Down will dump the air from the airbags and air system. Most systems will dump some of the air once you start leveling. When you start the rig back up after bringing in the slides, raising the lever to the up position you can watch the air pressure clime until the spit valve goes. Then the compressor will stop and you're ready to drive off. Don't drive off until then.
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:23 PM   #19
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I have to be honest, If your new RV has air brakes and you have no clue how it works you really should do some reading and learn up on how the entire system works. This goes for that magical switch as well. Next up would be to find someone to show you a few things in person as well. I'm not an expert but would be willing to educate anyone near me who asks... AKA you really need that steak dinner VS McDonalds tour.

I'm not trying to scare you but "air" adds some interesting things or dynamics to a vehicle and if you don't know you can end up in a situation and not understand what is going on and unable to move and or stops all the sudden. All the while your in a big vehicle that can kill people... Granted most air brake systems protect you and the public, where there is a will there's a way.

That switch is most likely airbags, but it could be air brake controller for trailer, could be axel interlock, could be tag axle, could be exhaust brake, could be chains deployment control, could be a fancy hitch assume not as you have a RV ... the reality is it could be a few things and we are guessing with the info given. Best educated guess I do agree is air bags, especially if an alarm goes off when you try to drive in 1 position.
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:39 PM   #20
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I have a 2017 Berkshire 34QS & the way my air dump valve works is when I'm parked air brake set & push the on for leveling & then level, at that time all the air dumps before it will start to level, its all automatic.
Oh ya not good at all to try to drive with air bags empty. Did that once without realizing it when backing out of the driveway, got stuck on rear frame & couldn't figure out why till I took a good look! Seems for some reason one jack didn't make it back to its home position, I pay better attention now!!! LOL
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