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Old 11-23-2015, 04:49 PM   #1
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1994 25' Excella
Saratoga , California
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Automatic leveling vs weight distribution

I recently purchased a new TV, a 2015 Yukon Denali. One of its features is Automatic Level Control. The operating manual states; "If a weight distributing hitch is being used, it is recommended to allow the shocks to inflate; thereby leveling the vehicle prior to adjusting the hitch."
When I do this there seems to be no load on the weight distribution spring bars and it appears as though all the tongue weight is on the hitch ball and not distributed to the front wheels. Am I doing something wrong?
I have a 25 ft Excella with a tongue weight of about 700 lbs.
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Old 11-23-2015, 05:25 PM   #2
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I hope I've got your answer as I struggled with similar issues on this set up, although different vehicle. It's important to set it up as you stated at normal driving height & on level ground. Now, after the set up, measuring connecting & etc you get the feeling that you got, nothing changed, the WD hitch dident do anything.

In my RAMS computer screen there is a tire change mode that disables the air suspension BUT does not deflate it, so before the set up I disabled it, after the set up I enabled it & it adjusted the distribution just a small bit,maybe an inch or two.

It's important that during set up the Air Suspention is off so it doesn't compromise the set up by automatically adjusting, once done turn it on & your good to go.
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Old 11-23-2015, 06:18 PM   #3
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I have a Porsche Cayenne with air suspension and it will not automatically level if either the ignition is off or the driver door is open. Just another idea for configuring your hitch. Once the hitch and WD are attached at the normal running level, start the truck and the air suspension will do it's thing.
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Old 11-24-2015, 08:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve 6919 View Post
I recently purchased a new TV, a 2015 Yukon Denali. One of its features is Automatic Level Control. The operating manual states; "If a weight distributing hitch is being used, it is recommended to allow the shocks to inflate; thereby leveling the vehicle prior to adjusting the hitch."
When I do this there seems to be no load on the weight distribution spring bars and it appears as though all the tongue weight is on the hitch ball and not distributed to the front wheels. Am I doing something wrong?
I have a 25 ft Excella with a tongue weight of about 700 lbs.
Steve, can you walk us through the steps in your setup process?

For example, do you put the tongue weight on the ball and then allow the shocks to inflate?
Or, do you allow the shocks to inflate and then put the tongue weight on the ball?

Is the system activated ("ignition key is turned to ON/RUN" per owners manual) during entire process?
Or, do you deactivate the system at some point before WDH setup is completed?

What brand and model of WDH do you have?

The more detail you can provide, the easier it will be for us to provide some opinions as to why there appears to be no load on the WD spring bars.

Ron
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Old 11-24-2015, 10:53 AM   #5
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Ron, I have an Eze-Lift hitch with 1000# spring bars. I drop the trailer tongue on the hitch ball with TV engine running. Everything immediately levels out - TV and trailer. Then I connect the spring bars. No apparent load on spring bars. After traveling I unhitch and there is still no load on spring bars. Everything is always level though.
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Old 11-24-2015, 11:45 AM   #6
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The leveling is being accomplished by the air bags.

The issue you likely have is that the air system levels the vehicle and you're getting little to no restoration of weight to the front axles. You must rely on the WD hitch to do the weight to front restoration via the bars. The effect the bars have on the vehicle is dictated by their setup. If you set the vehicle up in one attitude and then change that attitude with air bags, the setup is compromised.
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Old 11-24-2015, 12:38 PM   #7
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I have the same set up that you do. I back the Yukon into position, shut off the engine, hitch up, raise the tongue jack to install the bars to the appropriate chain link, lower the jack and then fire up the Yukon. The auto levelers will do their thing but I've not noticed any difference in front end weight or drive feel.

Airstream 2 go uses the same set up and I checked with their people before I bought the Yukon and was told that is the procedure they use also. j
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Old 11-24-2015, 12:45 PM   #8
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My common sense agrees with Ron and Alan. I guess my question should be how do I rationalize the Tahoe instruction manual. I will follow my common sense henceforth.
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Old 11-24-2015, 02:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve 6919 View Post
Ron, I have an Eze-Lift hitch with 1000# spring bars. I drop the trailer tongue on the hitch ball with TV engine running. Everything immediately levels out - TV and trailer. Then I connect the spring bars. No apparent load on spring bars. After traveling I unhitch and there is still no load on spring bars. Everything is always level though.
Steve, I think the lack of spring bar load is not caused by the air leveling system.

I think the problem probably is related to the initial adjustment of the WDH.
First, what criteria are you using to define when enough load has been transferred to the front axle?
I recommend you use the procedure defined on page 9-78 of the online 2015 Yukon Users Manual.

It helps to put a piece of masking tape on the fender above a front tire and draw a horizontal line on the tape to use as the reference measuring point.
When the WDH is properly adjusted, and with the leveling system activated, the height of the front end should be approximately the same before hitching and after hitching with WD applied.

I'm guessing there might be a couple problems with the initial setup of your WDH:
1) There might not be enough rearward tilt of the ball mount. How many spacer washers do you have on the rivet between the ball mount and the shank?
There can be as many as eight washers, and you probably should have at least six.

2) You might not be applying enough leverage to snap up the lift chains. Are you using the "lever bar" to rotate the lift brackets into position?
Can you hook in lower down the lift chain so you have fewer links under tension? Doing so would increase the amount of force applied to the WD bar when the chain is snapped up.
You also can try snapping up one chain and then have one fewer links under tension when snapping up the other side.
Then CAREFULLY unsnap the first side and decrease by one link under tension so both sides have the same number of links tensioned.
This "stair step" process can be repeated if necessary.

Normally, people use the TT's tongue jack to lift the rear of the TV and the front of the TT so the lift chains can be snapped up with relatively little effort.
Unfortunately, this procedure doesn't allow you to comply with GMC's instruction to allow the TV to level and then attach the TT.

Another approach which some people use is to initially "overadjust" the WDH with the leveling system deactivated.
This will result in the TV's rear end being closer to the "level" height and the front end being below the desired front-end height.
Having the rear end closer to its final height means the air leveling system doesn't have to do as much work.

Then, when the air leveling is activated, the rear end will be raised to normal ride height causing load transfer to the front end to be reduced, and the front will rise.
With some trial and error experimentation, you can determine how much initial "over adjustment" of the WDH is required so activation of the air leveling causes the front end to be restored close to its unhitched height.

Good luck,

Ron
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