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Old 02-27-2008, 11:10 AM   #1
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Auto leveling on tow vehicle...

I have a chevy avalanche...when I connect the hitch the auto leveling pump engages and levels out the truck. How does this effect the towability of the AS and TV and the weight distributing hitch. Any insight? Thanks, Randy
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Old 02-27-2008, 11:26 AM   #2
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Interesting question.

I'm curious about that too.

Should not be too long before someone who knows answers.
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Old 02-27-2008, 11:48 AM   #3
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Don't know for sure, but it seems you could end up with too much weight on the rear axle, or too little on the front.

If it were mine, I would disable the auto level, adjust the hitch properly, and then turn the auto level back on, but those are just my thoughts.

What does the owner's manual say about the situation?
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Old 02-27-2008, 11:53 AM   #4
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When we went from our 2004 Tahoe to our 2006 we had to make adjustments for our Airstream setup. When we first hooked up with the new truck our tongue was up about 4" too high. We had to purchase a lower hitch and reset the WD. Now all is great!
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Old 02-27-2008, 12:00 PM   #5
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Randy, we have the same trailer. I still count myself as having at least 900# hitch weight with the front loading of installed WD (weight distribution) gear, propane in the tanks and light clothing/bedding at the front. It's more when I pull with the water tank full -- which I do fairly often when leaving home. Your Avalanche's axle restrictions (GAWR front & rear) are on the driver side door or frame. 900# hitch weight has to be shared with the front axle via WD gear. Just guessing -- but I'd say hitch up, engage the WD bars, then start 'er up and let the auto leveling do its job. I'll certainly bet that such a system would require strictly staying within the vehicle's GVWR. See this -- 'Cargo Weight' is the weight added to the tow vehicle by humans aboard, options, tongue weight, and ...uh ... cargo. I'd take that understanding back to the dealer, walk into the service department and double check this premise until you find somebody who understands what you're asking.
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Old 02-27-2008, 02:10 PM   #6
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I can't remember . . . does the auto-leveling work with the key off, or just when you turn the key on again?

If the latter is the case, you shouldn't notice the system working if the WDH is set right. You want the WDH leveling the truck, not the air shocks.
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Old 02-27-2008, 02:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbertF
You want the WDH leveling the truck, not the air shocks.
Exactly!
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Old 02-27-2008, 02:42 PM   #8
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Since the WD hitch is supposed to distribute the hitch weight between the tow vehicle and the trailer, my advice would be to disable the system (if you can) and allow the WD hitch to do its job properly.

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Old 02-27-2008, 10:02 PM   #9
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I do not think you can turn it off. If this is if the same as my last GM, you have a true air ride system. It has no coil or leaf springs and small air bags similar to a semi. The system has a compressor, leveling system and all automatic. If it is turned off, eventually the air bags will deflate and you are sitting rock bottom on the axle.

I would set the ball height as per specs, hook it up, let the system level, then if using a reese dual cam use 5 chain links. You will then release weight on the rear of the vehicle and it will compensate by releasing air pressure in the bags, this should allow weight transfer to the front of the vehicle. It is a sweet system and I miss it sometimes for the smooth ride it gives. How it will work towing heavy tongue weights and constantly trying to compensate I have no idea. I do know if the compressor run too long it will shut down due to thermal protection. In theory however it will protect your Airstream better than any truck I can think of.
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Old 02-27-2008, 10:56 PM   #10
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Is there any way to disable it? It WILL mess up the weight distribution of the WD hitch. I have manual air bags on my truck and they are fully deflated when towing.
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arm4
I have a chevy avalanche...when I connect the hitch the auto leveling pump engages and levels out the truck. How does this effect the towability of the AS and TV and the weight distributing hitch. Any insight? Thanks, Randy
Automatic leveling destroys the function of a load equalizing hitch.

The automatic leveling, "MUST" be disabled, and the pressure set to minimum, which is usually 20 psi.

That will allow the load equalizing hitch to function properly, "IF" it's the correct rating, properly installed, and, properly adjusted.

Andy
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Old 02-28-2008, 11:55 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Automatic leveling destroys the function of a load equalizing hitch.

The automatic leveling, "MUST" be disabled, and the pressure set to minimum, which is usually 20 psi.

That will allow the load equalizing hitch to function properly, "IF" it's the correct rating, properly installed, and, properly adjusted.

Andy
Interesting Andy I have thought about this many times. ARM 4 do what inland says, and as I recall towing the boat the front end of the vehicle always felt light. This has to be a very common problem as the system is popular in the GM line up. I wonder how many rigs are going down the road thinking they are set properly and the WD has been eliminated? Still, when just driving it empty it was smooth as can be. Weight distribution is the key to a happy tow with an A/S so heads up to all.
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Old 02-28-2008, 12:12 PM   #13
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I have a 2004 Suburban 1500 w/autoride and pull a 1971 28' Avion w/Hensley Hitch. I have pulled for 2 years with this set-up and it works great for me. Here's how I set up. Load the TV with whatever you'll take on your trip. Start the engine and let autoride level the TV load. Shut off engine. Hookup TT and set up whatever WD you choose to use. Start engine and you may hear autoride engage for just a few seconds. Drive away and enjoy your trip.
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Old 02-28-2008, 12:31 PM   #14
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You want to disable that system and set the truck and trailer up per the hitch instruction. If you set the rig up correctly there will be no need for the leveling system.

If you rely on the leveling system to level the rig you have no idea where you are carring the weight and as noted above may be puting weight on the wrong axles.

Just pull the fuse on that system while you are towing. If it is not clearly marked on the fuse panel any "Stealer" should be able to tell you which one it is.
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