Trip Two - Air Bag Question

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chaajoad

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Joined
May 29, 2006
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322
Location
Poulsbo WA
I promise not to post a running bunch of posts on trips. In fact, I'll make this the last one of any length. Might mention future trips if there's something cool involved but I realize that being an excited newbie gets old quick and many of you full-time or take a LOT of trips.

This time we went to Fort Victoria RV Park in Victoria BC, Canada.

The trip started out a bit stressful. We couldn't find our son's birth certificate. Although co-workers insisted we'd never get across the border, we went anyway - and zero problem. But we resolved to get passports before doing this again - just makes everything easier.

We took the Black Ball ferry (The Coho) out of Port Angeles WA, about a 90 minute trip. The RV Park was nice but a completely different experience from our first trip - it was pretty much booked. There was everything from ultra high-end coaches to tiny little pickup campers (minus the pickup) that someone was obviously living in. How, I have no idea, but ...

We took a bus downtown, primarily to check out the Bug Zoo for the 9 yr old boy and it was terrific, worth every cent. Wandered town, picked up some souveniers and back to the Bounder. It's so much fun to plan a menu. That night we had steak/potatoes/salad and night #2 mahi-mahi w vegetables and a good bottle of wine. We're quickly getting rituals and buying a bottle of wine for each trip seems to be one of them.

Sunday we spent most of the day at Butchart Gardens. It's our 2nd visit and my wife insists that when she dies, she will pass through those gardens on her way to her ultimate destination. It is magnificent and highly recommended. At the suggestion of the RV folks, we actually unhooked the rig rather than mess with busses. Went pretty well except a slight case of getting lost in a neighborhood. I imagine this is something most of you has experienced. A nice guy saw our plight and actually came out to stop side street traffic so we could back out. Thank God for the kindness of strangers.

This trip, everything worked perfectly. I remembered clean underwear. No water leaks. Toilet works flawlessly. Hot showers, cold beer and true family bonding.

I know there will be times when I want to kick it but tonight, after cleaning it out, I'm loving that little house on wheels and already planning the next trip,

I couldn't post something without a question.

I found a card in the visor indicating the Chevy chassis has air bags and should be inflated per the owner's manual. Wellllll ... no owner's manual. Any idea what psi? And when I go out to do it, will it be obvious where to put the compressor nozzle?

Thanks for indulging me. Like I said, I won't turn this forum into my personal diary. But I think all 3 of us are enjoying it more than we thought we would.
 

Shayne

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Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Posts
4,324
PSI is the same as your truck tires? ?Pounds Sq Inch. Like 45# of air in your car tires.? ?When we had the airbags on a unit, the front valves were located in our front bumper, the Rears were just in front of the rear tires in the wheel well.? As for a the pressure to use on aon Chevy chassis, sorry don't know never drive GM products.? I'm sure some one here will be able to remember what it is but i don't.? I know this question has arisen here before so you might check out the archives? and find the answer.? ?Glad you enjoyed the 2nd trip.? Now those trips won't come often enough, won't last long enough and oh what a grind it will be to have to return to the work force.? ?I certainly believe that little bug has gotten you good.? LOL? enjoy enjoy enjoy!
 

Ray D

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Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Posts
1,963
Location
Boise, Idaho
You said, "I promise not to post a running bunch of posts on trips. In fact, I'll make this the last one of any length. Might mention future trips if there's something cool involved but I realize that being an excited newbie gets old quick and many of you full-time or take a LOT of trips."
* * * * * * *

I, for one, hope you continue telling your stories. I really enjoy them. While many, here, are old timers and full timers, many are not. Some of our experiences have had similarities to yours, and it's nice to know that we are not alone, as beginners. And, you write well. I can just see you, as you go along, and as I read.

For those of us that are "where you are," keep reporting.

Thanks.

Ray D ;D
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,320
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
The air bags of a Chevy/Workhorse P32 chassis are located in the front coil springs and the standard Schrader air valve is on the bag itself unless somebody has installed an extension (rare). The correct pressure depends on the front axle weight rating and to some extent your own ride-quality preferences but should be a minimum of 50 psi and a max of 90 psi unless you have the new Workhorse high pressure bags (blue in color). The blue bags can be inflated to 110 psi.

Workhorse (the chassis manufacturer) recommends an initial setting of 50-60 psi for the 4880 lb front axle and 80-90 psi for the 5500 & 6000 lb axles and then adjust to achieve the ride/feel you like. More psi gives  a firmer ride and better handling, but less comfort.  If your rig was built before Nov 1999 it probably has  the standard GM air bags and a 4880 or 5500 lb axle.  If in doubt, assume the 5500 lb axle and 80 psi.

Note: This information comes straight from the Workhorse Motorhome Chassis Guide
 

Shayne

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Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Posts
4,324
Just remembered, when we had a previous unit with airbags, an old time mechanic told us that for a good indicator keep as much air pressure in the front Bags as you do in your front tires.? The rears should be 5 to 10# less, same as the rear tires.? I'm no expert on this but found that when we did this the ride appeared to be much better.? Good Luck
 

Betty Brewer

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Mar 10, 2005
Posts
4,757
chaajoad said:
I promise not to post a running bunch of posts on trips.

Oh Please don't stop posting your experiences.  Your excitement and enthusiasm is contagious.  May of us still have that excitement even after years of full timing.  I also suspect there are readers here on this forum  who don't yet have a rig and they wonder if the lifestyle is for them.  Your posts add value  to information at hand for all.  This last post reminded me I need to  revisit Buchart Gardens one day soon.  I agree with your wife it must be a Gateway to heaven.

Betty
 

Shayne

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Jan 22, 2006
Posts
4,324
Gary  I was too but it certainly worked for us on that unit.  I can't argue with the results we had  Put 70K miles on it  Got rid of it 4 1/2 yrs ago and it's still running this past spring.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,320
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
I was too but it certainly worked for us on that unit.

Well, the numbers probably worked, since it is unlikley the tires pressures were less than 60-65 psi, but there is no real relationship.  For example, if you changed the tire style to a lower, wider profile (e.g. from a 235/80 to a 245/70), the new tire would likely run at a 10 psi lower pressure. Would you then also change the air bag pressure?  Of course not - there is no inherent relationship between tre pressure and air bag pressure.

My conclusion is that the mechanic's advice is just a memory aid - you can probably remember the tire pressures you use and making the bag pressure the same is at least getting them in the right ball park.
 

King

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Joined
Jan 30, 2006
Posts
354
Location
MA
When I have had air bags, I would usually deflate them, measure the bumper height,  inflate them to their maximum, measure the bumper height, and deflate them until the bumper is halfway, and both sides are equal.  then I would record the bumper height, and for each different loading, add or remove air to reach the recorded height.  Just a thought. I may get lambasted for it.
Art
 

chaajoad

Well-known member
Joined
May 29, 2006
Posts
322
Location
Poulsbo WA
Wellllll ... I might post a bit more whenever trip #3 is a memory  :) I like to write and communicate, so - maybe.

I just don't want to be a bore or come off as a guy who thinks he's the Road King now.
Years ago I was at an industry function and had a few drinks - ahem - and this man and his family sitting next to my wife and myself started asking about my job, etc. They kept asking questions, I kept giving answers and they seemed enthralled - or maybe they really were. As we spoke, I realized the man looked familiar. It finally dawned on me - he was a correspondent for NBC news and I saw him often on the national newscasts. Here I was, slightly lubricated, reeling off goofy stories and this guy had hung around heads of state! Whether or not I should have, I was a bit embarrassed. I honestly DO like listening to others and reading your posts and never want to be obtrusive/ Some of you are extremely knowledgeable and most of you have a lot more experience than me.

In fact, it's crazy that I just decided to do this without even renting a rig for a weekend. And it amazes me to sit in the MH, parked along side the house, lights and furnace on, very comfortable - way out here in the woods where we live. I can read, eat, listen to music, snooze, through good or bad weather - it's all good. The other day in a store I went a bit nuts, stocking the rig up with even more stuff (basics like shampoo, aspirin, deodorant, etc) to be as self-sufficient as possible. It's just a cool feeling that's hard to explain. Kind of similar to being on my motorcycle - I picture it as sitting on a comfy chair, going down a country road at 50 mph, nothing between me and the world.

Anyway - I'll check out those air bags, see what's up and report back, Thanks for the info and encouragement. OH - I finally found lampshades that fit. Kind of. Well, I made 'em fit. But they look terrific and those lights really make the rig feel more like home.
 
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