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Old 07-08-2018, 06:39 PM   #1
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Seneca rear air suspension dump valves

I know others have done this mod, but I thought I would share what I was able to do.

As many Seneca owners have experienced, sometimes leveling the coach can be a challenge because of the air suspension. Especially if your campsite gets lower towards the front of the rig. Sinking the rear end (by deflating the air suspension) makes it less likely for the system to want to lift the front tires off the ground to achieve level. Plus deflating the suspension makes it less prone to experience the dreaded "Airliner creep" that my Seneca wants to do coming down off the jacks. It actually drags the jacks as they come up! And I spoke to Bigfoot previously, they believed that any coach with air suspension should have an air dump system to take the air springs out of the leveling equation.

I purchased my dump solenoids from Amazon, they have a package deal (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1) with two 12-volt valves and a single flow control valve. I tied the two valve outlets into a single tee, and then installed the flow control valve into the other part of the tee. I fabricated a bracket to hold the valves, the bracket then bolts to pre-existing holes in the frame crossmember near the air springs. I cut into the two air lines to the air springs (after the leveling valves, before the air bags themselves) and installed air brake "push to connect" tees . Then I ran short sections of air brake tubing to the solenoid valves where I installed push to connect fittings into the valves. All that was actually easy.

I grounded both solenoids in that frame area and ran the single power line (in wire loom) all the way forward to below the cabinet where all my controls are located. Many other wires come through the floor there, but I was easily able to get my wire through to the cabinet. I was able to incorporate the dump valve control into my Bigfoot levelers system. In the bottom of that cabinet (under the removable "bottom") I found the actual control box for my levelers screwed down to the coach floor. It has an air dump electrical line there, it is unused as Jayco didn't use dumps. I connected it to my new power wire and then had to program the Bigfoot control panel so that it now "knows" there are dump valves in the system.

The way it operates is very slick, you turn on the panel, it goes through its diagnostic cycle, and then you press the "Auto" button as you normally would. Instead of the jacks starting to operate immediately, the "Air Dump" light comes on and the air bags deflate. After about 30 seconds the Air Dump light goes out, the solenoids close, and then the jacks operate and level the coach. I also found that if I choose "Manual" the air bags dump first too before you can operate the jacks individually.

Upon testing afterwards I found that the air bags start to inflate as soon as I start my engine, and before it has built up enough pressure to silence the air warning buzzer and release the parking brake. So I am not worried about driving on empty bags, obviously not a good idea. And there was no creep when I came down off of the jacks!

First "real" trip since installation is early next month, but I believe it will make setup much easier compared to manually raising the rear of the coach several times to deflate the air bags prior to leveling.

I don't know if the later Senecas with their other brand leveler systems can incorporate air dump into their leveler control systems, but it sure makes it easy to operate if they do.
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:39 PM   #2
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Nice job and you just saved me a lot of typing . I just finished my air dump system today and was going to post tonight. I have a 2018.5 on the S2RV chassis with Equilizer jacks and as far as I know you canít tie in the air dump.

Pretty much did the same though just different valves. Made mount and got it all wired with a plug and mounted to existing bolts. I did add ball valves in case of a dump valve failure, I could close it to get by. Since I was using an air dump switch I wanted to only make it work while on the Acc side of the ignition switch but found out there is no source coming off the ignition switch itself so I just set it up as a two hand safety control. I have the main air dump switch on the right of the wheel and then a momentary push button on the left of the wheel and the both have to be pushed to dump to prevent accidental dump while driving all ran through a Bosch relay. Waiting for flow control valve to show up as it dumps pretty fast without one.
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:10 PM   #3
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You guys are costing me MORE $$$ on a new project...

I have been doing it the old fashioned way... after shutting down the engine, purging the air out of the air tank with the liquid drain ( or blasting the air horn for a minute that always ticks off the DW) I run the jacks... The first cycle of lowering the feet does a good job of purging the pressure on the air-bags, and not having any more air in the tank lets it settle right down on the rear end.

Since Robby has the BigFoot jacks with the '14, we have the Equalizer jacks on our '15 but we both have Juice brakes. But I don't have an air-dump connector with our Equalizer jacks. Now what??? I already have tapped into our air system for the horn and air-tool connectors along with the needed safety valves.

Can you help me understand how things work when you fire up the chassis engine and the air pressure builds??? I've done this to get air supply to run air-tools on the chassis air supply... When we have done this, we find that the air bags fill up and sometimes take the rear jacks off the ground.
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:13 PM   #4
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You guys are costing me MORE $$$ on a new project...

I have been doing it the old fashioned way... after shutting down the engine, purging the air out of the air tank with the liquid drain ( or blasting the air horn for a minute that always ticks off the DW) I run the jacks... The first cycle of lowering the feet does a good job of purging the pressure on the air-bags, and not having any more air in the tank lets it settle right down on the rear end.

Since Robby has the BigFoot jacks with the '14, we have the Equalizer jacks on our '15 but we both have Juice brakes. But I don't have an air-dump connector with our Equalizer jacks. Now what??? I already have tapped into our air system for the horn and air-tool connectors along with the needed safety valves.

Can you help me understand how things work when you fire up the chassis engine and the air pressure builds??? I've done this to get air supply to run air-tools on the chassis air supply... When we have done this, we find that the air bags fill up and sometimes take the rear jacks off the ground.
and really... blasting the horn only takes the air pressure down to 80# when the safety valve shuts the horn down... but I have tried
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:42 PM   #5
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The only way that I would know of to keep the air bags from airing back up would be to install a shut off valve to the bags but that’s probably NOT a good idea. I can ask my BIL about it as he owns and works on his Log Trucks, he has a better understanding of air systems than I do. I was talking to him after I had bought everything to do mine and he said you can get leveling valves with air dump built into them...but they aren’t cheap.

My son suggested cutting the valve end of a Whoopi cushion off and clamping it on the air dump line.....that might get some looks
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Old 07-09-2018, 02:56 AM   #6
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I need to do this..... I have everything for a manual dump assembly but electric valves would be so much nicer and a cleaner install.


I sent an email to Equalizer on how to hook up the air dump into the Equalizer system.... it seems maybe our systems should be able to dump the air.

Page 6 of the link below :
The air suspension is deflated when the auto-level button is pressed and re-inflated when the all retract button is pressed. The re-inflation requires that there is air pressure available to inflate the air suspension when the all retract button is pressed. So it is recommended that the engine be started and air pressure allowed to build prior to pressing all retract to assure that air is available to inflate the air suspension.

https://equalizersystems.com/wp-cont...ers-Manual.pdf

*** still looking for the manual for wiring of the leveling system to better understand but I wonder if a person could wire the dump valves on the extend side of the pump. It would not dump the valves unless the jacks were extending which would protect from accidental dump since the jacks shouldn’t be able to be accidentally extend... just trying to think outside the box on this one while waiting for Equalizer to respond. I may need to crawl underneath to see how this is wired...

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Old 07-09-2018, 09:19 AM   #7
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Seneca rear air suspension dump valves

Found this in one of their installation booklets. This would great if we have this. I am not near my unit for a couple days so I can not check to see if these wires are there but will check when I get home. Great find on this if it there.
For some reason I can not get the attachment to attach. Will try it again later.

Basically it says there are two wires on the unit which are 12 volt outputs.
One grey that comes on for two minutes when auto level is pressed this dumps the bags. A purple one that is on for two minutes when auto retract is pressed to inflate the bags.

Sure hope these are there.
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:52 AM   #8
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Found this in one of their installation booklets. This would great if we have this. I am not near my unit for a couple days so I can not check to see if these wires are there but will check when I get home. Great find on this if it there.
For some reason I can not get the attachment to attach. Will try it again later.

Basically it says there are two wires on the unit which are 12 volt outputs.
One grey that comes on for two minutes when auto level is pressed this dumps the bags. A purple one that is on for two minutes when auto retract is pressed to inflate the bags.

Sure hope these are there.
Does it say where the wires are located at? At the pump or at the control switch?
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:56 AM   #9
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I have had this system on my unit for a season and a half. I also wired it through a relay so dump switch only powers up when key off to prevent accidental dumping while driving. If you have an air pressure gauge for your trucks air system I have found you have to hold dump switch and dump air till it gets below 50psi or they start to lift again. The first thing you notice is how little the unit has to lift to level when air bags are empty, the second thing is when I fire unit up to leave and the air bags refill there is no lurch and most of the times the jacks have cleared the ground then just need to be retracted. Have not been out yet this year due to repairs on unit through dealers waiting for parts and my missus's health but hope get out in September. This is one mod I highly recommend due to the stress it relieves when raising and lowering these units
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:03 AM   #10
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Does it say where the wires are located at? At the pump or at the control switch?
Behind the control box in the cab. Might be taped back. Hopefully they are there and this works.
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:19 AM   #11
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I got an email back already (see below). I also asked about using the "extend" 12v wire at the pump to trigger the air dump selenium. This would hopefully incorporate the safeguards of the unit to not dump unless safe to extend Jacks.
I'll post up if the respond.

From Equalizer email I received this morning :
The Manual/section you are referring to was intended for the Entegra line. Thanks for bring that to our attention, we will need to look into making an adjustment. Anyway on to your thought/question. The Seneca only has air suspension on the rear axle. So dumping it would not result in the same results that we get on a diesel pusher. That being said yes it could be done. You would need to source all of the required electric triggered dump valving components, we do not do that. Our dump triggering works as follows. When you press Auto Level we send a 12 VDC signal on the grey wire for a timed period to trigger the valving to deflate . When you press all retract we send a 12 VDC timed signal on the purple wire to trigger the valving to inflate. The timing of these signals varies somewhat depending on what controller is in the unit. The controller in your unit is the same as is used in the Jayco Entegra line, there is a delay of 10 seconds on sending the deflate. The grey and purple wires are not present in your harness. The output terminals are available from your controller, wires would need to be added from there, which we could supply with the terminals for the controller connection. I would need to "dig" into the specifics of which connector and space to use. Also not sure of what the timed periods are for this, I would need to look into this as well if you decide to go forward with this addition.


So let me know if you need further info and if you would like for us to make up a couple of wires with the terminals. This could be done at a nominal charge.


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Old 07-09-2018, 10:23 AM   #12
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Looks promising. Once you get a little further I am sure many of us will be ordering these wires as well.

Thanks for doing the leg work.
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:14 AM   #13
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Seneca rear air suspension dump valves

I pulled the controller. The controller is the unit mounted on the ceiling of one of your bays. In the ts it is the small bay in front of the rear tires. Click image for larger version

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I located the missing wire location and tested the pin output.

The controller appears to work like this.
Normally off
15 seconds after auto level is pressed the circuit closes and 12 v power is supplied to dump valve
Unfortunately during this time the jacks are dropping and I donít think the air will fully deflate.

I tired again and this time repressed the auto level button after 20 seconds. This appears to have kept the solenoid valve open so the air bags can fully dump.

Turning the power off or hitting auto retract opens the circuit and power drops off this wire.

Based on this I think that you have come up with a viable method to use the leveling system closer to the way they should work.

If I do this I will probably add relay which I will feed off the ignition. Ie if the ignition is on the relay will be dead. This might be over kill but better safe then sorry.

Keep us informed of what you find out from equalizer systems.
Location of test lead for auto air dump.
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:19 AM   #14
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I linked this forum to Equalizer. Great responses explaining and also quick to respond.
They have heard zero issues about this prior to my contact.

Sounds like a simple solution would be an adapter harness with the "GRAY" wire to signal the added on dump valves.


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Old 07-14-2018, 11:08 AM   #15
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parts on order for the air dump.

I’m going to incorporate the auto deflate feature of the Equalizer system. Numerous emails and wiring diagrams reviewed with equalizer. It should work exactly as thought and I’ll post up once done to confirm it.

Push the auto level, air dumps as the jacks drop. Should be plenty of time to dump air before the jacks plant.

The control box that signals the air dump is in the storage compartment so super easy to run a wire from there down the frame rails to the air dump solenoids.

This will be a lot better than the manual dump I was over complicating....


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Old 07-14-2018, 12:01 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbbyr View Post
I know others have done this mod, but I thought I would share what I was able to do.

As many Seneca owners have experienced, sometimes leveling the coach can be a challenge because of the air suspension. Especially if your campsite gets lower towards the front of the rig. Sinking the rear end (by deflating the air suspension) makes it less likely for the system to want to lift the front tires off the ground to achieve level. Plus deflating the suspension makes it less prone to experience the dreaded "Airliner creep" that my Seneca wants to do coming down off the jacks. It actually drags the jacks as they come up! And I spoke to Bigfoot previously, they believed that any coach with air suspension should have an air dump system to take the air springs out of the leveling equation.

I purchased my dump solenoids from Amazon, they have a package deal (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1) with two 12-volt valves and a single flow control valve. I tied the two valve outlets into a single tee, and then installed the flow control valve into the other part of the tee. I fabricated a bracket to hold the valves, the bracket then bolts to pre-existing holes in the frame crossmember near the air springs. I cut into the two air lines to the air springs (after the leveling valves, before the air bags themselves) and installed air brake "push to connect" tees . Then I ran short sections of air brake tubing to the solenoid valves where I installed push to connect fittings into the valves. All that was actually easy.

I grounded both solenoids in that frame area and ran the single power line (in wire loom) all the way forward to below the cabinet where all my controls are located. Many other wires come through the floor there, but I was easily able to get my wire through to the cabinet. I was able to incorporate the dump valve control into my Bigfoot levelers system. In the bottom of that cabinet (under the removable "bottom") I found the actual control box for my levelers screwed down to the coach floor. It has an air dump electrical line there, it is unused as Jayco didn't use dumps. I connected it to my new power wire and then had to program the Bigfoot control panel so that it now "knows" there are dump valves in the system.

The way it operates is very slick, you turn on the panel, it goes through its diagnostic cycle, and then you press the "Auto" button as you normally would. Instead of the jacks starting to operate immediately, the "Air Dump" light comes on and the air bags deflate. After about 30 seconds the Air Dump light goes out, the solenoids close, and then the jacks operate and level the coach. I also found that if I choose "Manual" the air bags dump first too before you can operate the jacks individually.

Upon testing afterwards I found that the air bags start to inflate as soon as I start my engine, and before it has built up enough pressure to silence the air warning buzzer and release the parking brake. So I am not worried about driving on empty bags, obviously not a good idea. And there was no creep when I came down off of the jacks!

First "real" trip since installation is early next month, but I believe it will make setup much easier compared to manually raising the rear of the coach several times to deflate the air bags prior to leveling.

I don't know if the later Senecas with their other brand leveler systems can incorporate air dump into their leveler control systems, but it sure makes it easy to operate if they do.
So is the air suspension on newer Senecas. Iím not sure I have on my 2008.😏😏because Iíve never had the problem
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:14 PM   #17
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So is the air suspension on newer Senecas. Iím not sure I have on my 2008.😏😏because Iíve never had the problem
Yes, 2013 and newer Freightliner-based Senecas. The GM chassis models do not have an air spring suspension.
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:31 AM   #18
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parts on order for the air dump.

Iím going to incorporate the auto deflate feature of the Equalizer system. Numerous emails and wiring diagrams reviewed with equalizer. It should work exactly as thought and Iíll post up once done to confirm it.

Push the auto level, air dumps as the jacks drop. Should be plenty of time to dump air before the jacks plant.

The control box that signals the air dump is in the storage compartment so super easy to run a wire from there down the frame rails to the air dump solenoids.

This will be a lot better than the manual dump I was over complicating....


-


Did you have equalizer send you a new wiring connector or are you just adding the wire to position four? Any use of additional fuses or relays required? Great job finding this, I have wanted to do this but debating the various options of the control wiring. Solenoids are on order and hopefully complete this next week.
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Old 07-15-2018, 01:22 AM   #19
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Did you have equalizer send you a new wiring connector or are you just adding the wire to position four? Any use of additional fuses or relays required? Great job finding this, I have wanted to do this but debating the various options of the control wiring. Solenoids are on order and hopefully complete this next week.
Equalizer is sending me the gray wire. The ďgrayĒ wire is the one missing from the Seneca harness that controls the air dump.
I was thinking of hooking the gray wire directly to the dump solenoids.
I hadnít thought about using the gray wire as the trigger on a relay. Iíll have to consider this idea.

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Old 07-20-2018, 03:22 PM   #20
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Just finished setting this up using the wire location on the leveling controller. Work pretty well. I still have to get the correct wire connection from equalizer systems but my temporary wiring is working.

I have had to make a couple adjustments to my procedure. I normally put large leveling blocks under all the jacks however the controller lowers and plants the rear jacks first. The air dump is delayed 15 seconds which is long enough for the rear jacks to make contact with the blocks thus dumping the air is too late. By using 2 inch blocks not my normal 5 inch blocks the jacks do not make contact prior to the air release starting. I also tried running the system for 15 seconds and then turning it off, retracted jacks and then auto leveled. Did not notice any real improvement. I will try this at some different locations this weekend and see if there are any other tweaks I need to make.
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