Replacing Air bags

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Scoundrel

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I was under my 1992 Fleetwood Flair and while under it I thought I'd track down the air bag lines and check the pressure. I found a pamphlet under the sink that talked about the air bag pressure and it said the minimum should be 60psi with a max of 90psi. Well when I checked them they were both empty!

I attempted to pump them up with a bicycle type pump but neither bag retained any pressure at all. When attempting to fill them I couldn't hear air leaking however that could be that they had cuts in the bags so large the air went out as fast as I was putting it in.

I will go to a service station and crawl under the RV and attempt to fill them with a compressor hose. My question is if they are both damaged is this something that I can replace at home or does it have to be taken to a shop? Also, If I can do it is there a good resource other then the dealer where you can get replacement bags?

Thanks     
 

Tom

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Don,

My son-in-law replaced the air bags on our old coach while in the side yard. He merely deflated the old bags and pulled them out through the springs, pushed the new ones in through the springs and inflated them. I'd have done the job myself but, since he offered to do it, I said "go for it". He bought the new bags at Camping World.
 

Scoundrel

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Corona, California
Tom said:
Don,

My son-in-law replaced the air bags on our old coach while in the side yard. He merely deflated the old bags and pulled them out through the springs, pushed the new ones in through the springs and inflated them. I'd have done the job myself but, since he offered to do it, I said "go for it". He bought the new bags at Camping World.

Tom,

I was searching the web and found the Air Lift 1000's which are most likely what your Son-in-law installed. I got a PDF file on the step-by-step installation and it seems fairly simple. An added bonus is it come with airlines that attach under the hood so I don't have to crawl under the beast once the installation is completed...... ;)  Camping World has them for around $80.00.....the cheapest repair I've had to do to date.... :-\
 



 

Tom

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Don,

Glad you also found the air lines with remote valves. I forgot to mention that I installed them after crawling under the coach a few times to check the air pressure in the bags.
 

JohnSandyWhite

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Oct 9, 2005
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England
:mad: Not quite as simple as you made it sound Tom. My second RV a 1993 Gulfstream Crown Regis had non-useable Air Bags when I bought it. I also downloaded the PDF file and after much Soap liquid and tugging and tearing I did manage to get the old ones out which had severe deteriation from top to bottom of the springs. Using a knife to cut around the springs is a good method. Then pulling bits out at a time, if they are as bad as mine were. Putting the new ones back in as per the instructions was fairly straight forward. I guess it depends how long they have been in a deteriated state before they are noticed and replaced. JAT.  ;)
 

Tom

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Not quite as simple as you made it sound Tom

??? I observed mine being replaced and it really wasn't a tough job.

I guess it depends how long they have been in a deteriated state before they are noticed and replaced.

Probably right John.
 

Scoundrel

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I'll be replacing them in the next week or so and I'll give a full report as scale it on difficulty in case someone asks the same question in the future...
 

Howard R

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May 3, 2005
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Minnesota
Scoundrel said:
I'll be replacing them in the next week or so and I'll give a full report as scale it on difficulty in case someone asks the same question in the future...

Here's a link that has good info on removal/install from Airlift.

http://airlift.r-catalog.com/ImgVD/AIL/MN-360.pdf

Howard
 

Tom

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Well illustrated instructions there Howard. Thanks for the link.
 

rubysamm

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Rhode Island
I have been toying with the idea of having air bags installed on my Class C 31' for better stability.? I read this thread and now understand its a fairly simple install (not that I would attempt it myself) My question is :? Will there be a noticeable difference in windy driving and when big trucks are flying by?? Do to the over hang / length of my rig I sometimes experience the "white knuckle driving"
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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rubysamm,
This thread has been talking about something different - the airbags that are integrated in the independent front suspension of a P-series Chevy or Workhorse chassis. These are not aftermarket, add-on air bags.

The bags I think you are referring to are "air springs" and are usually added only to the rear suspension. They usually are fairly straight-forward to install and many home mechnaics have done so.  They may help your coaches road manners somewhat but it is hard to say without a more detailed analysis.  I would be more inclined to try an anti-sway bar first, though.  Your rig may have none at all or (more likely) has a minimal sized one. A larger one will most likely help. A device called a panhard rod will also help. It is usually added to the front suspension but sometimes the rear aswell and they stop a lot of sideways action in the suspension. The Davis Tru-Trac bar is an excellent example and is designed for motorhomes. See http://www.supersteersuperstop.com/ss-np7-davistrutrac.htmand http://www.supersteersuperstop.com/ss-reartracbars.htm for info on front and rear track bars (panhard rods).

I'm guessing you have a Ford E450 chassis under your big Class C - is that right? What year?
 

rubysamm

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Yes it is a 2004 Ford. I know it has the anti sway bar on it. I thought a beefier one should due the trick but have been told otherwise.  I figured this is the right place to get any other input.
Thanks
Lori
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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A 31 footer is a lot of weight for that chassis, which is probably why it tends to wallow a bit in certain road conditions. Helper air bags in the rear might do some good and so might a stiffer anti-sway bar.

There is a front trac bar for the Ford F53 but I don't know if there is one for the E450.

Hendersons, one of the premier places for Rv handling fixes, offers an improved rear sway var for the E450. See http://www.supersteersuperstop.com/ss-antiswaybar.htm  If you are in the northwest, a trip to Hendersons Line Up in Grants Pass, OR, would put things to right for you - they are very thorough and extremely competent with RV suspension & steering problems.
 

rubysamm

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Rhode Island
Thank you so much for your input.  I am actually in the North East. The web page will be very helpful.
 
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