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Overnighting without unhooking


SuiteSuccess

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Was meaning to ask this after I got back from the rally in Kansas but slipped my mind. We overnighted in a couple of campgrounds going and coming from Kansas without unhooking from the truck. Noticed just about every time we did this in the middle of the night I would hear a "pop" several times that was loud enough to awaken me. Usually about 8 hours or so after we stopped. I did not put any legs down but did put the slides out. One time got up at 3 am (wife loved that) and went outside to look at the ET and my suspension to see if I could isolate it. Even shook the trailer but could not reproduce it. My truck loses most of its air in about 6-8 hours (my project for spring). Could not find anything of note other than ET was down. Two questions: 1. Am I hurting anything (air bags) in the ET by leaving 3500 lbs pin weight on it with it deflated? 2. Any thoughts on the pop? BTW I have no front cap separation or cracking that would lead me to believe it is a frame issue on the trailer or a king pin problem.

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Carl, I always release the brakes on my trailer when parked like this and still hooked up. It stops the popping while it is being slowly deflated, and doesn't cause any tension.

You just undo the umbilical from the truck? That makes sense for explaining the pops.

On second edit. Guess I'm a little confused Rocky (not unusual these days!) but when the truck is not running, are the brakes on the trailer engaged when the umbilical is attached?

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Carl, I'm not willing to take chance on hanging my truck from the pin when the truck suspension deflates. I always unhitch. Now I may only pull away 2 inches, but if all the tires, airbags, etc went flat overnight, the truck wouldn't be suspended in the air by its hitch.

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We too always detach the trailer.

 

We want the trailer level to extend the slides and that would mean hanging the truck on the pin. We had problem our first night out jamming one of the slides when we tried to retract the slide from the torque of the truck hanging.

 

It just isn't that much time to reconnect compared to the possible problems.

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You just undo the umbilical from the truck? That makes sense for explaining the pops.

On second edit. Guess I'm a little confused Rocky (not unusual these days!) but when the truck is not running, are the brakes on the trailer engaged when the umbilical is attached?

 

Rocky has BluDot, and pulling the yellow button to set the truck brakes will apply the trailer brakes as well, until the trailer's air tank is purged to release them. That's not a concern on a trailer with electric brakes.

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I drop the legs and release the hitch. By morning I have lost air to both hitch and truck. The hitch moves forward away from the trailer. Start truck in morning and pin goes right back in to hitch. Just a bump to lock it in position and we are ready to go.

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Maybe we should rethink. Like Suite, we often just park, leaving the trailer on the truck without any problems. We don't open the slides except maybe the kitchen just 3 or 4 inches to get into the pantry. Everything else is accessible. We do make sure the umbilical is unplugged from the truck, and we get no popping.

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Carl, I'm not willing to take chance on hanging my truck from the pin when the truck suspension deflates. I always unhitch. Now I may only pull away 2 inches, but if all the tires, airbags, etc went flat overnight, the truck wouldn't be suspended in the air by its hitch.

 

 

Yes Phil that's why I don't put my legs down. So one more question. Are you "unhitchers" doing it in WalMarts or other non-campground overnight stops?

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We normally travel about 10 days a year by dry parking overnight on our route as most campgrounds up north are closed when we have a chance to leave, Usually do not see a open campground until MO. on our way down midwest.

 

We used to just drop the front jacks to take enough weight of our F350s hitch and park overnight like that.

 

Our airbags on our volvo do drop overnight, wouldn't it be fine to leave the legs UP and just let the trailer move down with the truck if the bags dropped? I would perfer NOT to unhitch if I could help it.

 

Maybe Henry will chime in and let us know if we do any damage by having the pin weight on the hitch with no air.

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No problem deflating ET all the way down. The hard stops (down and up) on the ET are set up to be above and below the bags' minimum and maximum height specs.

Putting legs down attached to the truck is a bad juju, particularly on a "leaky" truck. Truck goes down during the night but the legs don't go down with it. ET has 2 inches of travel in the up direction, your truck will go down 4.5 inches before it reaches suspension hard stop. It will reach ET's upper hard stops long before it reaches Volvo's hard stops. Next thing you know and you are hanging substantial amount of 18,000 pound truck from the rig's king pin via ET's upper stops. The upper stops are tough but I don't recommend it. Leave the legs up and let things leak and settle on the lower stops of the ET and the truck.

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Yes Phil that's why I don't put my legs down. So one more question. Are you "unhitchers" doing it in WalMarts or other non-campground overnight stops?

If my slides come out, the jacks are down and the the trailer is level and unhitched. That includes an overnight stop in an rv park. If I am staying in a parking lot then I am not staying long enough to bother with the slides, I sleep in the truck. I have a bed, dining table,TV, a microwave, and a refrigerator.

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You just undo the umbilical from the truck? That makes sense for explaining the pops.

On second edit. Guess I'm a little confused Rocky (not unusual these days!) but when the truck is not running, are the brakes on the trailer engaged when the umbilical is attached?

Sorry Carl. Just returned from 1st of 4 trips into Mexico and didn't mark your thread for following. Others have stated what I do. I bleed the emergency tank, and brakes release. No tension on the combo hookup when the truck bags bleed down. Another way to do it is to simply bleed everything down! No more popping throughout the night.

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Rocky,

 

I think the popping most likely is the truck brakes slipping a bit as the suspension loses air and moves a bit forward with the trailer weight adding to the forward push. This seems to be the most plausible explanation and would fit with the timing of events (always in the middle of the night). Think I'm just going to unhook from now on, much less headaches. In a campground would be a no brainer but, although we have never overnighted at a WalMart or other lot, was thinking unhooking might be a bad idea. Other thing I did not try was chocking the trailer wheels while still hooked up to prevent forward motion. May experiment with that once in daylight and see the results. Thanks again for the help. BTW hope you are still healing. Safe trips and God Bless.

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