RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > THE CHASSIS CLUB FORUMS > Ford Motorhome Chassis Forum
Click Here to Login

Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-24-2019, 04:07 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Shiba_Alex's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 138
Leveling chassis - new leaf springs or air bags?

Hey guys:

As I am getting close to traveling cross country, I am getting the last bit of suspension fixes or modifications done. I recently had the front leaf springs replaced as the springs were starting to show signs of separation. Now that the shock of how much it cost to replace them has passed, I am looking at the rear of the coach. I suspect the rear of the coach is sagging because of a few things.

First, I weighed the coach two different times. The first time the front weighed 6200 lbs. The second time the front weighed 6000 lbs. I did add weight overall to the coach, both front and rear, but found it odd that the front weighed less than before.

Second, like the front, I went under the coach and saw that the leaf springs on the rear were not concave as they normally would be. In fact, the rear of the leaf spring is kinda concave, but kinda sorta mostly flat and the front of the leaf spring is pretty much flat with a slight downward angle from the u bolts to the front.

That told me that the leaf springs are probably worn out and are sagging the rear, which I turn is slightly raising the front. Hence the 200 lb weight difference.

My question is, and I think I know the answer to it but wanted to ask anyways, should I replace the leaf springs or could I do air bags in the rear to get the coach back to level?

Iím kinda leaning towards new leaf springs as the air bags are not there to replace the leaf springs and I donít want the leaf springs to give up on me down the road. At the same time, Iím thinking that if the leaf springs are getting replaced and wheels are off, I might do the airbags on the rear.

Iíll open it up to discussion from the experts.

Thanks
Alex

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0018.jpg
Views:	58
Size:	288.4 KB
ID:	235986
Attachment 1
Attachment 1
__________________

__________________
Alex and co-pilot Shiba Inu Kuja
2001 Winnebago Adventurer 37G pulling a 2010 GMC Terrain
Fulltime countdown to 2/1/2019
Shiba_Alex is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 02-24-2019, 04:24 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Shiba_Alex's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 138
Quick amendment to this. The jacks are currently down. So that is how the leaf springs look without all of the weight on them. Also, here are some other photos of the leaf springs.

EDIT

Just so everything is on the table. I also thought I got pretty lucky when I got the toad setup for 4 down towing and DID NOT have to use a high low adapter. Just based on pretty much every other photo I saw of other toad setups, there was always an adapter. I have also been doing research and have found that if the coach is not level going down the road that you would have some wandering. I have all of the suspension modifications that should greatly eliminate wandering but there is still some wandering.

Ok, I think that is everything.

Thanks guys.

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0714.JPG
Views:	60
Size:	517.2 KB
ID:	235987
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0715.JPG
Views:	57
Size:	471.6 KB
ID:	235988
__________________

__________________
Alex and co-pilot Shiba Inu Kuja
2001 Winnebago Adventurer 37G pulling a 2010 GMC Terrain
Fulltime countdown to 2/1/2019
Shiba_Alex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2019, 08:45 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Shiba_Alex's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 138
Bump.

I am getting prices for this, but still would like the collective knowledge to see if I am sane or not.

Thanks
Alex
__________________
Alex and co-pilot Shiba Inu Kuja
2001 Winnebago Adventurer 37G pulling a 2010 GMC Terrain
Fulltime countdown to 2/1/2019
Shiba_Alex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2019, 11:23 AM   #4
Senior Member


 
Holiday Rambler Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 3,974
Alex-

Your coach's springs don't look much different than the ones on our coach... except that clamp in the last picture. Our coach's rear sprng clamp is not as deep. It is tight around the three leaves. Your coach's clamp looks as if it was supposed to hold four leaves. In any case, I would expect a loud slapping sound at that point as the unrestrained spring ends move against one another.

If I were you, I'd look into that, and once resolved I would not spend any more time or money on the suspension. I think that after some time on the road you may be able to better determine what might be going on.
__________________
Mark
2008 Holiday Rambler Admiral 30PDD (Ford F-53 chassis)
2009 Honda Fit Sport
l1v3fr33ord1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2019, 11:49 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Shiba_Alex's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 138
I noticed that too, but didn't really give it a second glance. I would say that before the front leaf springs were replaced, they looked very similar to how the rears look now. Now that they have been replaced, they have a distinct concave curve to them. I do want to put all of the weight on the axles and see if the rear is actually sagging.

Is it true that if the rear is sagging and the coach is not level as it goes down the road, would you see some symptoms like wandering or loose steering?

And is the block between the axle and the springs something that would have been from the factory or an after market item to cure a problem?

Thanks
Alex
__________________
Alex and co-pilot Shiba Inu Kuja
2001 Winnebago Adventurer 37G pulling a 2010 GMC Terrain
Fulltime countdown to 2/1/2019
Shiba_Alex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2019, 08:35 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Lowell, Arkansas
Posts: 5,760
Alex,
If there is a block somewhere between the leaf springs and the axle there should be one on each side. That would be a factory install or it could be an aftermarket install if they were trying to fix two springs that were sagging. If there's only one then it was added to correct a lean.

We had a 2" block installed on 1979 class C MH. It corrected the lean and was fine until we sold it in 1985.

You can correct leaning chassis with air bags. If it were mine and I was going to keep the RV I'd find a spring shop and ask them to give you an honest opinion concerning the condition of the springs.

Yes they'd like you to spend a lot of $$$$$ buying new springs but if they are a decent honest shop they will give you options and an honest opinion. One option would be to add one leaf to each side. That would level the RV and help with the load. If they don't offer soe choices or you think they are scamming you just walk away and find another shop.

Good honest repair shops don't have to scam you to stay in business. If they are good and honest their reputation will spread like wild fire by word of mouth. The same is true if they are not honest. Ask them for some references that you can call. If they refuse then they aren't proud of their work.
__________________
TeJay Auto Instructor/4-yrs USAF/ Liz: RN/ WBGO 2014 Vista 30T/ F-53/CHF/5-Star/Koni * Bella & Izzy * Golden /Cocker mix/ Louie The Cat* All Retired
TeJay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2019, 09:59 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Mcdonough, Ga.
Posts: 4,914
#1 How can a front weight of a coach go down instead of up when loading. The answer is rear over hang. Motorhomes are designed with a large overhang past the rear axle. Remember the high school class about leverage? The more weight you put BEHIND the axle, The more weight that is raised from the front. #2 I am the number one fan of airbags. I would use airbags to lift the rear. I installed several pairs and had excellent results. Some naysayers say that is a band aid approach to the problem. I say the if the problem is a sagging corner and the airbag brings it up to level you have fixed the problem. Plus you should see a ride improvement.
__________________
1998 Pace Arrow 35 ft. F53 Ford V10 2012 Honda Civic toad
32 years mechanic at Delta Air Lines 15 year motorhome service manager. 3 popups....2 travel trailers....5 motorhomes....loved them all.
ga traveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2019, 01:29 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Shiba_Alex's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 138
I'll see about doing the add a leaf option. The airbags would be nice and I think that is the way I would go. I would also say that I would want to get rid of the block that is currently between the springs and the axle. I think they are ok on Superduty trucks, but not on a motorhome chassis. That is a band-aid fix to me. I don't want to spend too much on this, but from every thread I have looked at regarding the airbags before and after it seems to be a terrific addition.

I am seeing either Firestone or Air Lift is about the same cost with front and rear bags and the compressor. And all of the instructions seem to say that the install should take about 1-3 hours. What has been the average install cost that you guys have paid?
__________________
Alex and co-pilot Shiba Inu Kuja
2001 Winnebago Adventurer 37G pulling a 2010 GMC Terrain
Fulltime countdown to 2/1/2019
Shiba_Alex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2019, 03:11 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 16,494
If you remove the factory spacer blocks, the tires will be pushing up into the floor.

How are you going to prevent that ?
twinboat is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2019, 03:56 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Shiba_Alex's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 138
Let me rephrase that. If the blocks were put in to correct a lean or to level the coach, then I would want to fix the problem and not just do a band-aid fix. If the blocks are from factory, then they would stay in and I am back where I started.

Iím exploring all options and seeing what will be the best route to go.
__________________
Alex and co-pilot Shiba Inu Kuja
2001 Winnebago Adventurer 37G pulling a 2010 GMC Terrain
Fulltime countdown to 2/1/2019
Shiba_Alex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2019, 04:50 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,100
Those blocks look like what I have on the rear, stock from Ford.

I used spacer blocks on the front to level mine.
__________________
2006 Four Winds Windsport 35W
Mounted on Ford F-53
Northeast TN
Pirate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2019, 07:24 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Lowell, Arkansas
Posts: 5,760
Alex,
I have used Air bags (AB's) in other RV's. I've save your $$$ and skip the air compressor. WHY?? If you buy their air compressor they will want you to use a "Y" fitting and fill the two front ABs and another "Y" fitting for the rear. When one side hits a bump it will compress the air and raise the opposite AB. I don't believe that's what you want to happen. Each AB should have it's own separate fill hose.

Back in 2000 I installed AB's on our 1999 Dutch Star. I bought the air compressor and mounted the gauges on the dash. It was nice but I realized what was happening when I hit bumps. They did sell a check valve to install in the lines so they wouldn't feed air to the opposite side. The were $100 each an I didn't have the $$$$.

I'm in the process of doing the AB install today. I ran the two front AB fill lines one on each side under the hood. They are up and easily reached with an air line or small 12-V air compressor. I'm going to run the fill hoses to one side and I think I'll put those maybe in the generator compartment. We'll see!!
__________________
TeJay Auto Instructor/4-yrs USAF/ Liz: RN/ WBGO 2014 Vista 30T/ F-53/CHF/5-Star/Koni * Bella & Izzy * Golden /Cocker mix/ Louie The Cat* All Retired
TeJay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2019, 09:53 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Shiba_Alex's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 138
Question:

If go the add a leaf route, how long would that last before I am back in the same boat I am in now? Just wondering as that would/should get me back to stock height and not spend an enormous amount of money.

Thanks
__________________
Alex and co-pilot Shiba Inu Kuja
2001 Winnebago Adventurer 37G pulling a 2010 GMC Terrain
Fulltime countdown to 2/1/2019
Shiba_Alex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2019, 10:50 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: texas
Posts: 2,311
Contact Rayís champion spring in Fort Worth
__________________

whem2fish is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
air, chassis, leveling



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need New Front Springs and Air Bags Duhop Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 21 09-18-2017 08:06 AM
Air springs vs. air bags Geneandea Freightliner Motorhome Chassis Forum 6 04-28-2014 01:18 AM
Bounder: 93 P30 Air Bags Shot-Replace or New Springs?? BOUNDER45601 Fleetwood Owner's Forum 19 06-21-2013 07:22 AM
spartan chassis--any with leaf springs? fighterpilot Class A Motorhome Discussions 14 02-21-2013 06:45 PM
Adding suspension air bags to leaf springs DickP Workhorse and Chevrolet Chassis Motorhome Forum 6 08-09-2009 11:32 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:04 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.