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GaryB1969

Lock N Level - CHECK THEM!

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We have a Lock N Level airbag leveller for our twin axle.  They seem like a good piece of kit, especially for those like me that HATE a caravan that isn't level.  With single axles we coped well with ramps, but the Lock N Level seemed like a much easier way of levelling a twin.

 

I have used it three times so far (we bought it 18 months ago), the first two times it was on the N/S and hence obscured by the awning skirt while in use.  I always put thick rubber mats under it to prevent damage from stones etc.  When leaving site I never paid much attention to it, simply crack open the linking valve and open the release valve.  All seemed good.

 

We were away at Southport CMC site last week and I used it on the O/S this time, everything worked as efficiently as ever.  However, two days later while getting into the car I noticed that the airbag under the front wheel was flat!  Fortunately, the rear bag was still fully inflated, holding the caravan up so excessive strain on the corner steadies was less than it would have been for a complete deflation.  I raised the steadies, deflated the complete air bag, then dropped the steadies again.

 

I have just inflated it to the maximum recommended pressure of 30psi and can find no trace of leaks while submersed in the bath, next step will be to inflate it in-use with the caravan on top (corner steadies UP!) and see if it deflates.

 

They are a very good and precise system, but if you use one keep an eye on it as deflation could cause some serious damage.  My confidence in these is now severely reduced!

lock and level.jpg

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Maybe a faulty valve?

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I suspected that but water immersion showed no leaks. However trying to submerge each half under water for anything more than a few seconds is difficult due to its buoyancy. 

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This was always a concern of mine, the potential for serious damage to the caravan.

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Just now, AJGalaxy2012 said:

This was always a concern of mine, the potential for serious damage to the caravan.

 

It always nagged at me. Not having a "mechanical" reliance would be like venturing under a car only supported by a hydraulic jack with no axle stands.

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We had the Lock n level for several years on all sorts of surfaces and never had an issue with it leaking except the one time when we had a faulty valve.

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Could someone have tried to pinch it maybe. They opened the valve not knowing that the whole thing would not deflate.

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58 minutes ago, Danuk said:

Could someone have tried to pinch it maybe. They opened the valve not knowing that the whole thing would not deflate.

 

Or kids doing it for a bit of a laugh?

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Check the compression fittings - I experienced a similar issue and one of the fittings needed nipping up a little - but not too much.

I'm one of those who likes the van level and use plumb bob for this purpose, as it also allows an easy check for possible deflation.

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1 hour ago, SteveMilner said:

 

Or kids doing it for a bit of a laugh?

 

I don't think anyone touched it, but you never know.  It has remained fully inflated since this morning, I'll now put it under the caravan and inflate it and see what happens.  If it doesn't go down it could well have been a bit of muck or something in the valve when inflating it. 

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When I bought a LnL earlier this year, I took to mind the comments about protection from stony surfaces... Easy fix, bought a pair of trellis rubber doormats from Dunelm (for a tenner the pair!) and put one under each wheel... The main reason is our storage site is crushed and rolled hardcore, and when we left the van for a month, bits attached to the tyre and went through the motor mover rollers...

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Right, fitted & inflated, I'll see if it stays inflated tomorrow! 

2019-10-21 14.53.43.jpg

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I had a similar experience a few months ago when the front of the air bag deflated whilst on site for a week.  I didn't notice it until packing up because it was on the nearside and covered by the awning skirt / wheel cover. Fortunately, since I always make sure the transfer valve is closed after inflation etc, the van was still supported by the rear half of the air bag and no damage was done.

The L 'n L was about five years old and had been in constant use since I bought it because, although deflated, it's in use constantly, to fit the twin wheel locks when the caravan is stored at home.

I spoke to Derek Ibbotson at Delter Coulson who told me that they had had a couple of instances where, after protracted use, the material of the air bag started to de-laminate and therefore, leak.  I recognise this wouldn't apply to the OP's circumstances.

He offered to repair the L 'n L, using the original valves and metal plates - which he did and for not a lot of money compared to the cost of a new one - which I thought was excellent customer service.  In effect, I got a brand new unit back - complete with new storage bag! He could simply have said it was well out of warranty and advised me to buy a new one - but he didn't! Well done, Lock and Level.:D

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I must admit to being a bit concerned about this as I have a locknlevel on a single axle van.

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I had forgotten about this after the thread was moved! After a week it was still fully inflated so I concluded that the valve possibly leaked but I will keep a close eye on it in future.

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