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Old 09-10-2018, 03:10 PM   #1
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Aftermarket Air Bags Anyone ??

Hi all...
Has anyone added aftermarket air bags to their motorhome ? Iím beginning to research the possibilities for my Class A Fleetwood Storm 30L (gasser). So far the usual websites like Air-Lift, Firestone & e-trailer, etc., all say they have a solution that works for a F3 Ford chassis, but all the reviews posted talk about their passenger trucks w/ trailers they pull... not RV, and ride improvement. So, anyone have any experience with this to offer ??

Thx,
Tom
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Old 09-10-2018, 04:01 PM   #2
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Tom,
I had the Firestone Air Ride on a previous Class C and they definitely made a big difference.
I found keeping the inflation at 40lb. was perfect, and once they dropped to 20-30lb. the ride was much harder.
I will be interested in reading any replies you get in relationship to a Class A.
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Old 09-10-2018, 04:12 PM   #3
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I have the Firestone Ride-Rite bags on front and rear suspension running 20psi in front and 60psi in rear. Haven't noticed any significant improvement in ride, however did notice significant ride improvement after installing Koni FSD shocks on front suspension.

Good luck and safe travels....
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Old 09-10-2018, 05:40 PM   #4
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Tom,
Just added Air~Ride rears to my/our '96 Damon, 38' class A, f53 chassis, 22,000 original miles, fully intending to add fronts & compressor/wireless control as quick as I find someone "clearancing" the kits, (pu'ed rear set from an ebay shop for 176.00,new, sealed box, more than 50%of suggested retail), I was looking to restore ride height, (3-6" sag depending on load), EASILY brought rear back to level @55-65psi, the difference in handling, cornering & ride was remarkable, & more than expected, most notable was the improvement &/or lack of lean on corners, & loss of "wander" rolling down the road, w/o these, my perception was that the rear of MH was "going it's own way" rolling down the road, bumps/chuckholes in the road were a horror. Installed these myself, 2.75 hr, (i think these are installable in closer to 2hr IF you are able to raise by body/frame, leaving axle to drop & hang free on each side. Installation calls for minimum 3 bolts to attach upper mount to frame, 2 holes where already there, but I needed to drill @ least 1, (i did 2), but tires/wheels needed to come off, (i think I could have drilled holes w/tires on if i could have lifted/supported by frame, leaving axle to "dangle"), after that, pretty quick work to install, most of assembly was done on bench, leaving just mounting assemblies, alignment of air spring, & running air lines.

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Old 09-10-2018, 05:54 PM   #5
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We had airbags on our 2008 Canyon Star. They were great for stealth leveling but didn't improve our ride much if any. We ran about 28 psi in the rears and 9 psi in the fronts, any higher in the fronts and we'd porpoise on every bump. We had the 22K chassis with 22.5" wheels, it was about 400 lb below rear GAWR and 1000 lb below front GAWR fully loaded. We had the full digital controls from Airlift.

Installing was reasonably easy, I did the fronts myself from under the coach but needed to get the rears installed as at the time I didn't have the equipment to get the wheels off. Figuring out where to put the air compressor and tank and routing the hoses and wiring took the most time.

For improving ride, adjusting the tire pressures (after weighing each individual wheel position) made the most difference in ride quality for us. The CHF was second.
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Old 09-11-2018, 09:18 AM   #6
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I am a big believer in air bags for the F53. I installed them on my 35 ft Pace Arrow and my son-in-laws 33 ft Thor. He was happy with the results on his and my wife was happy with ours. I have also installed them on several customers F53's and they were all pleased with the results. Will it make your motorhome ride like a Caddy? NO! Will it stop the banging at every little imperfection in the pavement. YES! When you hit a two foot pothole, It will still rattle your teeth, but the concrete dividers and cracks in the pavement will be much better. After much testing, I found 24psi front to be the best pressure. As the other poster said, Also check the tire pressure and DO NOT overfill your tires.
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Old 09-11-2018, 01:49 PM   #7
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Tom,

I initially told you that "ga traveler" knew all about the air bags and had installed them on many RV's with good results. I knew eventually he'd respond.

Thanks ga traveler,
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Old 09-11-2018, 09:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeJay View Post
Tom,

I initially told you that "ga traveler" knew all about the air bags and had installed them on many RV's with good results. I knew eventually he'd respond.

Thanks ga traveler,
Yes TeJay... I looked, but didn’t find him. Hoped he’d find my post and respond. I’ll be in touch soon...
Thx
Tom
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Old 09-13-2018, 03:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomMiller View Post
Hi all...
Has anyone added aftermarket air bags to their motorhome ? I’m beginning to research the possibilities for my Class A Fleetwood Storm 30L (gasser). So far the usual websites like Air-Lift, Firestone & e-trailer, etc., all say they have a solution that works for a F3 Ford chassis, but all the reviews posted talk about their passenger trucks w/ trailers they pull... not RV, and ride improvement. So, anyone have any experience with this to offer ??

Thx,
Tom
I have Firestone bags on my 2006 F53 and my observations are pretty much what Luv2go and LVJ58 found. Correct tire pressure for the load, CHF and Koni shocks had a much bigger gain for the cost and effort than the air bags.

Now here's the $64,000 question, you already have Sumo Springs. It's either bags or the Sumo can't do both. Bags pretty much mount in the same location as the Sumo's.
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:11 AM   #10
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The biggest problem with airbags is keeping air in the bags when setting. I researched and did not find a practical solution. It isn't like a truck where you are driving on a regularly.
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:58 AM   #11
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We have had air bags on one RV and one truck. Never had a single issue with keeping air in the bags.
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Old 09-15-2018, 06:06 AM   #12
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If you check every week probably no problem. My class c airbags leaked down.
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Old 09-15-2018, 06:52 AM   #13
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My airbags would leak down some, over a long period. The amount of air needed for filling the bags is very small. I bought a 12 volt air compressor.( The hand held type, about the size of a big hamburger.) I had installed a wiring harness for the battery minder trickle charger. I changed the ends of the wiring harness on the compressor and plug the compressor into the harness when air is needed. It only takes two or three minutes to fill the bags.
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Old 09-22-2018, 03:50 PM   #14
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Like a lot of the above comments, I had the Firestone Ride-Rite airbags installed (front and rear). They made a big difference and I would do it again. I know a lot of people like the Sumo Springs, but if I bought another motorhome, I would probably go with airbags again.

Good luck!
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