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Slides or Air-bags first setting up 2011 Monaco Kinight

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We have been told different procedures for setting up our 2011 Monaco Knight 36ft.  We were told to set brakes dump air bags then put slides out. Then we were told set brakes put slides out then dump air bags? The operators manual really doesn't make total sense. Any info would greatly be appreciated.

Thank you Randy T

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We found the user manual equally confusing. We adopted a common sense approach.

So we Level the coach first, then put out the slides to prevent twisting or stress. Sometimes we dump the air before we level. And sometimes we don't depending on the terrain. Our levelers are hydraulic by the way.

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Randy not sure on your coach as was built by Navistar, however my 05 Imperial is very clear in the manual. Slides out first while still aired up then level. My leveling is 3 hydraulic jacks, always the front single jack first the the two rear jacks. This allows the chassis to pivot on the front while leveling the rear. Don't know what Navistar was using for jacks after they took over. Hope this helps as every manufacturer does things differently. Good luck, Don

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There are multiple discussions of this, including Monaco’s logic on the site. Recognizing that your 2011 was built by Navistar complicates the equation, as we don’t *know* that Navistar used the same construction process as Monaco Coach Corporation (2009 and before).  With that in mind, I offer the following “generic” Monaco advice:

1. Your owners manual overrides anything you read on the internet. You also may have a DVD or Blu-ray disk that came with the coach that has a video about leveling. 

2. In the absence of the above, Monaco installed the slides with the suspension fully inflated and the coach at ride height. To prevent binding, it is recommended (fir *most*, if not all MCC built coaches) to extend the slides with the suspension at ride height, using the following sequence:

  1. Set the parking brake; turn off the engine.
  2. Extend the slides with the suspension at ride height (fully aired)
  3. Dump air from the suspension
  4. Level the coach, extending the front jack first and raising the front end 1-2”. This will help prevent twisting the front end and damaging the windshield (or having a corner pop out). Note: If you use auto-level, it *should* extend the front jack first, if not, use manual leveling. 

3. See #1. Since your coach was manufactured by Navistar, it is possible they recommend a different sequence. 


EDIT: confirmed in your 2011 Knight owners manual (page 98) that the slides are to be extended with the suspension at ride height. See Below:

Slideout Operation Requirements:

  • Ignition key is Off.
  • Park brake is applied.
  • House battery disconnect switch is on.
  • House batteries are charged.
  • Lock bar is removed.
  • Jacks are retracted with the motorhome supported by the air suspension (air springs).


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Fully agree with Scotty.  The jacks are offset from the axles and bend the frame differently than when on the suspension.  The coach is built while it's on the wheels and suspension at full ride height.  Thus, when you support on the jacks you are distorting the frame and clearances on the slide out mechanism.  Also, there is only a single front jack and when the slides are extended the frame is twisted.

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5 hours ago, buzz shamer said:

I dump my air then put my landing gear down just to get it level  and the step is close to the ground 

You have to be careful when dumping all the air out.  When the campsite has a lower corner, i.e. left rear lower than left front.  I this situation you will twist the frame and possibly pop the windshield.  You want to put the front jack down so the coach can roll some without twisting the frame.  

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