BAC Forum

General Boards => Technical Support => Topic started by: Paul Haaf on October 20, 2021, 03:37:22 PM

Title: HWH Air Leveling System - Raising the coach
Post by: Paul Haaf on October 20, 2021, 03:37:22 PM
I have a step driveway, I have found that if I use the Air leveling system and "Raise" the coach fully I can clear the street and not drag the trailer hitch.

I have two questions:
Has anyone found an easy hack to activate the "raise" feature other than holding the button for a very long time?
Is there any way to know when you are at the limit, especially in the rear? The front I can see and feel but the rear, I rely on my co-pilot wife to let me know that it looks like it is fully raised.

Considering adding a camera to an Aladdin video input to watch the suspension strap.

I would appreciate any suggestions!
Title: Re: HWH Air Leveling System - Raising the coach
Post by: Bill Lampkin on October 20, 2021, 03:42:01 PM
I've used the 'Raise" air suspension button several times while boarding a ferry or two. Had to hold the button with one hand and pray and steer with the other. Don't know which worked, but we didn't scrape!
Title: Re: HWH Air Leveling System - Raising the coach
Post by: Joel Ashley on October 21, 2021, 04:07:55 AM
Ran into this long ago, Paul.  There are “limit straps” that keep the back from going too high and stressing the driveline, which on our 36’ 10”  coaches is shorter than on 38’ or 40’ rigs.  A shorter driveline means it’s angle steepens quicker and more.  Imagine a 10’ long driveline and then a 1’ one, measured rear axle differential back to tranny, and picture each moving up from level as their engine/tranny raises.  The short one will end up at a far greater angle, not an ideal way to operate.

If you hold the “Raise” button the end result is a front end higher than the rear, and the mud flap and hitch arguably end up lower than if you hadn’t pressed the button at all!    The only work-around is to guess when you’ve reached the limit of the rear axle’s limit straps, and then press the button off and on in some questionable attempt to maintain the rear as high as it can go.  Yes, that’s a pain when you are trying to maneuver, particularly in tight spots like at our house where I have to negotiate a turning back-in while crossing a sidewalk/driveway entry dip, and then keep the driver’s mirror over the top of a 6’ fence.

This setup is not what HWH intended;  letting go of the button meant the coach stayed at that level.  But Monaco was afraid of owners inadvertently driving down the road fully jacked up (or down), so they added a control that overrode the system and made the coach automatically return to Travel Mode at 10” when the button was released.  A young tech at BCS once showed me a white wire in the side of the HWH controller that he said if removed would stop the override.  But he cautioned that was against Monaco directives and basically it waived the company’s responsibilities…. I could remove the wire but at my own risk.  I never did, as the coach was still under warranty then, but have been tempted several times since when my hitch dug into roadway (or my concrete driveway!).

I’m not advising you to yank the wire, and am not sure here umpteen years later which one it is.  You might ring up HWH and run it by them.  I’m sure it’s come across their desks before.  Be prepared to supply your HWH system model number and other Coach information.

Title: Re: HWH Air Leveling System - Raising the coach
Post by: Paul Haaf on October 21, 2021, 12:51:31 PM
Thank you for the response Joel, not sure the overide is too critical to me, I totally agree driving in fully raised position should never be done. I certainly would feel it in the fact that the suspension does not give and it is a crazy bumpy ride even at low speed on our small suburban side road.

I have gotten pretty good at the ballet of pressing, holding, talking on the radio, releasing the brake, shifting the transmission and then steering all with one left finger on the button and my right hand doing everything else. Done correctly I manage to clear the road, don't hit the mailbox, scrape the cobblestone curb and actually move the coach from the road to the driveway or the other way around!

The first problem I would like to solve are mostly knowing I am fully raised, I think there must be a limit switch that stops the airflow at the top and it would be great if somewhere this info could be utilized to indicate a fully raised position. If that is not a reality then I am considering a camera feed to the aux Aladdin video feed, which I located in the front space above the drivers seat. I need to test it but I suspect I can get a video on Aladdin while the brake is set. If I have a view of the rear strap when it is tight I would be good to go!

Looking for a camera now, any suggestions are welcome.

I will also sort thru the HWH links and give them a call, thank you for that as well. Perhaps there is a way to add a switch to send it up, even if the override kicks in while driving.
Title: Re: HWH Air Leveling System - Raising the coach
Post by: Mike Shumack on October 21, 2021, 06:49:58 PM
If your willing to go to the trouble of adding a camera - an easier solution, IMO, would be to add a "limit" switch that closes a contact when the suspension is full up (you could probably mount it to (or near) the ride height valve, then just have it turn on a light on the dash when the switch closes (suspension fully raised). I think this would be a lot easier and cheaper than adding a camera under the coach.
Title: Re: HWH Air Leveling System - Raising the coach
Post by: Joel Ashley on October 21, 2021, 11:03:11 PM
As Mike alludes, a limit switch may be a better answer, and as you yourself noted it likely already exists.  Again, perhaps by calling HWH you will know where it can likely be found and whether moving/adjusting that switch to match the limit strap maximum is advisable.  The camera notion, placing it in the midst of road debris, dust, and muck, just doesn’t seem the best option. 

My brother-in-law was a Weyerhaeuser millwright, a natural engineer with a 5th grade education.  When the coach was new and I mentioned to him the rear raise limit issue, he immediately retrieved an old, long automotive cable (throttle or brake or something and with a handle on one end) from his garage and explained how its wire end could be fastened to the front axle base structure.  Routed through the floor, with the cable sheath fastened to the dash somewhere, and the wire configured with a maximum mark, one could tell from the driver’s seat when the body was at the top of the rear limit straps.  The core wire with top handle would stay put while the sheath went up and down with the coach body.

Not anxious to drill holes in the floor pan of our new coach, I stored the cable away somewhere and never expedited his idea.  At 94 he’s probably forgotten about the notion, but it’s still a simple mechanical solution involving no electronic gizmos to go haywire.