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Old 12-06-2009, 09:45 AM   #1
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New 2010 Avalanche - Engineering Degree Req'd

Hello all, well we finally have settled on an Avalanche and will close the deal next week. I have a few?? and knew that I needed to talk to the "masters" to get the low down!

Is there anyone who has a chevy with autoride, and also the integrated brake controller?

1. Do you let the rear auto adjust before putting on the Reese.
2. Do you need an engineering degree to figure out how to adjust the brake controller for the first time?

I know there is someone out there doing this, if you could give me a run down on how steps to hook it up for the first time, I would appreciate it. The manual reads like Greek.

I am towing a 2008 23FB and have the Reese with the 600# bars to create a kinder ride for the "Bambi."

Before I finalize the deal, I wanted to verify with you guys, and realize that I will have to have the rig setup adjusted for the new vehicle. Do any of you know of someone in the Asheville NC area that can adjust it correctly? As some of you know, I am a little gun-shy since we had the roll over of our first 23FB and would appreciate any and all input.

Thank you!

Nancy
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:22 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by ncbambi View Post
Hello all, well we finally have settled on an Avalanche and will close the deal next week. I have a few?? and knew that I needed to talk to the "masters" to get the low down!

Is there anyone who has a chevy with autoride, and also the integrated brake controller?

1. Do you let the rear auto adjust before putting on the Reese.
2. Do you need an engineering degree to figure out how to adjust the brake controller for the first time?

I know there is someone out there doing this, if you could give me a run down on how steps to hook it up for the first time, I would appreciate it. The manual reads like Greek.

I am towing a 2008 23FB and have the Reese with the 600# bars to create a kinder ride for the "Bambi."

Before I finalize the deal, I wanted to verify with you guys, and realize that I will have to have the rig setup adjusted for the new vehicle. Do any of you know of someone in the Asheville NC area that can adjust it correctly? As some of you know, I am a little gun-shy since we had the roll over of our first 23FB and would appreciate any and all input.

Thank you!

Nancy
Nancy.

Any system that can add or subtract the rating of the rear end suspension, will also modify the way the load equalizing hitch works.

Reducing the pressure to minimum and shutting the air system off, when towing your Airstream, will allow you to safely tow.

If air is added when towing, it progressively defeats the purpose of the hitch.

Truck scales will demonstrate that in a hurry.

Andy
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Old 12-06-2009, 11:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncbambi View Post
1. Do you let the rear auto adjust before putting on the Reese.

Thank you!

Nancy
Nancy, while I don't have an Avalanche with "autoride", I do have the Air Suspension option on my H2. What you want to achieve is the proper amount of weight distribution (or spring bar bend) after that bars are in place and the suspension has finally leveled.

With a self leveling suspension, whenever the spring bars are added or removed, if the engine is on the rear suspension will re-level due to the change in effective hitch weight. In my case, I found a setting (down angle of the hitch head and number of weight bar chain links used) that worked and now just re-use that setup each time I hook up. The trick is getting it set up correctly the first time.

With a self leveling suspension you cannot rely on measuring the wheel well heights at each corner before and after hitching as you can on a non-leveling truck (as noted in some hitch setup instructions you may read). That concept is that equal "squat" at each corner approximates adding equal weight to each corner. With a self leveling suspension you cannot make the front squat more or less than the rear so you will need to use a scale to determine weight transfer (truck scales at many truck stops can be used for a minimal fee for this purpose). Measuring the axle weight with and without the trailer hooked up will allow you to determine if you have achieved the recommended weight transfer to the front axle.

In my case, to determine the initial setup, I had to put the spring bars on at a "guesstimated" setting and let the suspension level and then checked for the amount of bend in the bars. I adjusted things (head angle & chain links) until I got a little more than 1" of bend in the bars. To understand what I am talking about, compare the bending bar with weight on it to a straight edge - with one end parallel to the straight edge, measure how far upward the other end is bent.

After a acheiving the 1" bend, I went to the scales and measured the effects on wheel wheel weights. In my case, 1" bend gave me some, but less than half the tongue weight transfered to the front axle, but it gave me an almost perfect 50-50 weight on the truck axles, so I chose to leave it at that setting (without the trailer the truck is heavier in front and lighter in back, probably due to the weight of the engine). Had I wanted to transfer more weight, I may have ended up with 1.5" or 2" of bend in the bars.

I will note that my H2 is a very heavy duty truck and I don't need a lot of weight transfer. I mainly make sure there is bend in the bars because I use a Reese Dual Cam sway control setup, and it does not work without a proper amount of bend in the bars. As I have things set up I have had no sway issues, nor any other issues, and have had thousands of miles of safe and comfortable towing.

You are proposing to get a different vehicle and have a different trailer. Do not assume my settings are correct for your situation. I am merely trying to tell the procedure I used to determine the proper setup for my tow vehicle with it's self leveling suspension. You may want to use a similar procedure, but your final settings may differ.

I doubt that the typical dealer will be able to help you properly set up a vehicle with a self leveling suspension because they are uncommon. But take your time, think it through, make adjustments if you don't get it right the first try, and you will be able to set it up safely for happy towing.
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Old 12-06-2009, 11:46 AM   #4
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As far as I know, Ford is the only manufacturer with an "off" switch for their auto-ride. Therefore, the one on an Avalanche cannot be "switched off". A morning spent at the CAT scales adjusting the WD system will be in your future, as suggested above. Just make sure you document the best settings, so you don't have to repeat the procedure every time you want to use the trailer.
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:38 PM   #5
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OK, it's just me! I must admit that it gives me hives thinking of doing this by myself. Even though I am mechanically inclined, I am not sure I have the whole picture of how one adjusts the Reese, other than putting the bars on a higher or lower chain link.

The auto level feature cannot be turned off, and the owners manual does mention using weight distribution and sway control bars and systems. It is assuming you have a good manual for the Reese.

I can certainly find a scale, but have no idea where to get the help I need to get this thing configured correctly - before I start going down the mountain pass.

Joe, thanks for your information about your H2 initial setup. Wish you lived a little closer than Michigan. Is there someone out there in Airforums land that can suggest where I might get some help with this - someone or a company that is fairly local? I would gladly pay to have this done. Once it is setup, then I will have a reference point to trouble shoot in the future. I am an artist, not an engineer. Have driven 45' motorhomes, and have had no trouble negotiating that monster over 60,000 miles. Towing the trailer has not be a problem, it has been the quest for the right tow vehicle, making sure that it is setup correctly.

The chevy manual suggests working with a "professional" to correctly setup the weight distribution and sway control. So this is where I am - kind of like a "deer in the headlights!"

Nancy
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:47 PM   #6
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There is A&L Rv in Johnson City, TN only 60 miles and they are suppose to be an Airstream dealer, fairly close and you could get any service work needed done at the same time.
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Old 12-06-2009, 03:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ncbambi View Post
Hello all, well we finally have settled on an Avalanche and will close the deal next week...
hi nancy

these 2 threads will get ya started now, before the new ride comes home...

also see the links INSIDE these threads.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...tow-43914.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...cle-40012.html

one CANNOT turn OFF the air ride system on THIS vehicle, don't even try.

setting up the brake controller is just like an aftermarket unit.

dial it in so that the trailer brakes engage JUST before the tv.

the av' owners manual should explain the autolevel sequence for towing...

perhaps ge'em has put this stuff ON LINE now...

and IF you want more online help there are several forums DEDICATED to the 'lavanche...

they've got nutty user groups just like streamers.

cheers
2air'
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Old 12-06-2009, 05:42 PM   #8
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We have an 08 Tahoe and tow a 19 ft Ocean Breeze with a Equalizer hitch. The hitch on the Tahoe is very high and I had to buy a drop bar, or shank for it. You may have to do the same? The Autoride system does not shut off. I use 5 washers and the L shape brackets are 2 1/2 holes shown from the top. Sorry I'm not familiar with the hitch you have. Even with the Auto ride suspension the Tahoe tows it really well. Good luck.
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Old 12-06-2009, 06:00 PM   #9
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We have an "07" Avalanche and have noticed that when we drop the hitch onto the ball there is a noise from the rear of the Avalanche that sounds like a pump. Does that mean my Avalanche has auto level. If so, what is autolevel? Thanks for the help. I thought there was something wrong with my Avalanche.

Bob
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Old 12-06-2009, 06:19 PM   #10
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...Does that mean my Avalanche has auto level. If so, what is autolevel?...
you might wanna check the factory sticker, contact the dealer or ask at the service department...

IF U are unsure about HOW your vehicle is equipped.

read the links above and it's obvious many folks don't know exactly which system (there are 2) is on their vehicles...

i think it is called the "autoride suspension package"

google it

a brief web snip...

"As a further enhancement, Yukon offers a new Autoride suspension package. Autoride
controls shock damping to optimize ride under any conditions - whether the truck is
loaded or unloaded, pulling a trailer or not. It provides the greatest benefit in heavy
trailering. Autoride continually senses different road surfaces, speeds, steering, braking,
load and wheel height conditions and selects the best suspension damping level to fit
the driving conditions. A computer, used to determine the optimal damping level at each
wheel of the truck, can change shock damping on a continual, 20-millisecond basis,
if needed.
On 1/2.-ton models, the new Autoride system also uses a new compressed-air, rear-leveling
system that automatically maintains the vehicle's proper height under all load conditions.
The system uses sensors, attached between the frame and rear suspension, to monitor
rear wheel height. When necessary, the sensors send out a signal to a compressor that
automatically pumps the rear shocks up to the required height for a level ride regardless of
conditions.

Autoride is incorporated into the Tow/Haul mode which is engaged by pushing a button
on the shift lever. GM's exclusive Tow/Haul mode reduces shift busyness and wear
when pulling a heavy trailer."


cheers
2air'
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Old 12-06-2009, 06:51 PM   #11
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Thanks 2air for your input. I have a list of ?? and will speak to the dealer tomorrow before we do anything to close this deal. It seems to me that if you have a vehicle that tows trailers up to 8100# and has an autoride feature, and says that wd and sway control is strongly suggested and intimate that this is the norm.

I will post the responses I get. Also will ask them directly about configuring my trailer and my rig with the WD sway control.
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