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Old 04-08-2016, 08:39 PM   #1
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Additional Air Bags

Can a 4 bag air system on a freightliner chassis be upgraded to an 8 bag system?
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Old 04-08-2016, 09:13 PM   #2
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Not easily or cheaply.
Can't think that on my chassis that it would be possible , and if you have IFS no way.
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Old 04-08-2016, 09:26 PM   #3
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We have 10 air bags, but I think Prevost only has four big ones. Maybe you can get bigger ones or heavier duty ones.
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Old 04-08-2016, 09:38 PM   #4
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Why would you want to? I mean I am really curious as to the need?
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Old 04-08-2016, 09:50 PM   #5
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Just wondering if it would give a better ride, especially in windy conditions.
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Old 04-08-2016, 11:54 PM   #6
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Additional Air Bags

I would think that it is not the number of air bags but the position of the air bags that would give you better stability in the wind. The further outboard the more stable the ride. My previous coach was on Freightliner chassis and it was pretty iffy in some winds because the airbags are mounted on the frame rails or just outside. On my Foretravel they are mounted in line with the tires front and back. The ride is stable with no rocking and leaning on corners. The wind hardly affects the coach other than I can feel it pulling a little. To change airbag position or number would require a lot of engineering and frame customization that would be rather cost prohibitive, I would think.


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Old 04-09-2016, 08:25 AM   #7
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No, and the number of bags is irrelevant anyway. A suspension needs a certain amount of air bag volume to support the weight, so you can have more small bags or fewer larger ones. Same-same.

Position of the bags has some small effect, with bags placed further outboard providing more resistance to side-roll (lean).

Freightliner makes a variety of chassis configurations, using different suspensions & axles, but all are 4-bag systems. Some handle better than others, for a variety of reasons. Weight distribution is one key factor, and the degree to which an axle is loaded is another. IFS vs solid axle can also be a factor on some highways.
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Old 04-09-2016, 09:02 AM   #8
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Joe, I think to control sway and wind you might need to check your sway bar and track bar bushings. Track bar is connected from frame to rear axle (2 bushings), sway bar is a U shaped and is connected to both frame rails and to the axle (4 bushings). These are always over looked in maintance and are crytical in good handeling. Old was made of rubber and new should be made polyethylene I think. Hope this helps.
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Old 04-09-2016, 10:42 AM   #9
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Appreciate all the good info. I still have the factory original shocks, there is no leaks that I can see. Should these be replaced?

Too bad I can't do the old school test, but I'm not heavy enough to bounce the front and rear bumpers to see how she bounces after I stop.
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Old 04-09-2016, 11:35 AM   #10
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sgtjoe - The way to test shocks on a motorhome is to drive over a drag bump and see how long it takes for the bouncing to stop. On our motorhome the front end goes down once and then levels out. If you have a whole bunch of bouncing then likely your shocks are shot or too weak.
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Old 04-09-2016, 11:47 AM   #11
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GaryRVRoamer - I do not agree that numbers of air bags does not have an effect on their operation. More air bags would tend to be less cushioned a a ride. And air bags have different stretch factors. But from an engineering point of view 10 air bags vs 4 to support a 40,000 lb coach would likely mean less travel before resistance stopped it.

From an engineering view it would be much easier to control ride and roll with air bags placed as close to the wheels as possible.

Other big factors are active adjustment of air bags to control sway in the corners. My current coach and my antique GMC both mitigated sway with the ride height sensors.

Effective anti roll bars help a lot too.

It is a subject and not objective thing, but lots of Monaco owners with lots of air bags have commented on this forum how well their coaches handle. The deal closing quality on our coach was that it felt so secure on the freeway at freeway speeds. We have ten air bags. I don't claim they are the reason, but likely does not hurt.
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Old 04-09-2016, 12:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B Bob View Post
sgtjoe - The way to test shocks on a motorhome is to drive over a drag bump and see how long it takes for the bouncing to stop. On our motorhome the front end goes down once and then levels out. If you have a whole bunch of bouncing then likely your shocks are shot or too weak.
What is a drag bump? Is it something like a speed bump?
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Old 04-10-2016, 10:39 AM   #13
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Joe - yeah. When I was a kid we called them drag bumps as they would drag the bottom of your car if you went over them too fast. Same as speed bumps.
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