Dumping suspension and staying down!

I built a mega car port in the back yard a few years ago when we had a 30′ Travel Trailer. Keeping things out of the weather makes them last a LOT longer.

So, I hadn’t tried to get the Dragonship in there yet, but since it was going to be parked for a month and a half over Christmas and New Years I winterized and gave it a shot. Not having a foot of snow/ice on the roof like I’ve had to remove before on other units when we go South in January is a good thing.

Well, it fits……JUST. In fact I had to air down to get the AC’s under the front of the structure. With the engine off I hit auto level, and as soon as the air started dumping I turned the levelers off.

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Now, I THOUGHT that unless I hit “Retract” it wouldn’t air back up….. You know the dreaded “Pogostick Ride“….. I was trying to do that on purpose! Well it did air up again eventually, twice. So I had to air down a few times to get the pieces that were sticking out on the roof under the front edge. Once under there there was more room.

Sooooo, I want to be able to air down and STAY down. I now know from the Equalizer installation manual that two wire break out of the harness at the control panel. One sends a 2 minute 12VDC signal when auto leveling (dump the suspension) the other a 2 minute 12VDC signal when retracting. (Air up). Have to find out if I can manipulate these. Would be nice and easy right there in the cockpit.

So the two wires from the Equalizer go to the “Electronic Dump Valve” which is a Norgren Pneumatics A16-18694-000 I hope it never breaks because the prices I saw on the web were scary! I called Norgren and although very friendly they had to inform me that they made that especially for Freightliner and that all information was “proprietary”. Oh well, thanks.

Freightliner didn’t have much to say about it other than the fact that they install it but don’t touch it, ie no signal goes to it from their circuits. Equalizer only they said.

Equalizer confirms that they send the two signals to the valve, but caution that sometimes chassis manufacturer (ruled out already) or Rv manufacturer send signals to the valve to prevent driving without suspension. Also told me to try to hit “Auto Level” but then instead of turning it OFF hit ANY button on the panel. Thing stays on, but the two minute dump signal continues and it should not send an inflation signal. Makes sense now that I think about it. Going to try this…..

Forest River says they do NOT send any signals to the dump valve.

UPDATE….. February 2018.

After further research I found the information that said that there is a plug that attaches to the back of the Auto Level control panel. As you follow the wiring bundle down from this plug you run into 4 wires breaking out of the harness. 2 black, a purple and a gray. The purple is the 12V “Air up” signal and the grey is, YES, the 2 minute “Air Down” signal mentioned above. So I contacted Equalizer again and the nice man said that he couldn’t tell me to do this, but that “back feeding his system with 12V on the dump signal wire would not hurt it”. Well, I went for it. EASY AND CHEAP….Remove the 4 screws from the Auto Level panel and lift it out. Plenty of harness to maneuver, and no need to remove the whole side console top! I tied a wire into the grey wire, and attached it to a two way switch which I installed right there in the side panel. The other side of the switch I tied into the 12V outlet which is right there. Literally inches of wire, a few connectors and a switch. Under $10. And…. it works!. Fired up the engine with the “Manual Suspension Dump System” in “ON” and it never aired up. Crawled out of the car (bus?) port. Once clear turned the switch to “OFF” and it aired right up!

Problem Solved!