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Old 05-21-2018, 09:16 AM   #1
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Air suspension help

Good day folks! I recently purchased an older class a diesel pusher(a first for me) and I am wondering if I have a problem or if what I am experiencing is normal.

When I park the coach for a few days the air suspension will bleed the air out of one end or the other. Usually the front is lowered to the stops but a couple of times it has been the rear with the front staying up! I cannot believe this is normal and wondering where to start with this before it becomes a bigger problem while driving? At present the system stays aired up while running.

Any ideas for me? The coach is a 2000 Newmar Mountain Aire 4093 on a Spartan chassis. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Kevin
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:25 AM   #2
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My opinion is that this is not normal to lose so much air over a very short period that it has your bags down to the stops. You must have a leak somewhere.


There are many places a leak in the system could occur. If it's aired up to the max pressure, you might be able to hear it. Last summer I had a leak in one of the hoses right near near my rear driver's side duals. Whoever installed them last had them rubbing each other and eventually one rubbed through. There was enough of a leak that it could be heard. If that doesn't work, you'd have to follow the air lines checking joints, etc.
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:28 AM   #3
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Contact , Spartan Motor Home Support , with your serial number and have them send you an " air system diagram". Sorry I don't have their 800 number handy .
Then with the coach parked on level ground and the frame supported for safety, you'll have to go under with a spray bottle of soapy water to start checking for leaks. Have a flashlight and camera , and if you have problems identifying a part, then posting the photo here in the forums, we can help .

There are check valves in the system to prevent an air suspension leak from leaking out enough air to effect brake operation , but there can be issues with drive shaft angle, or contact with tires , if an air spring ( bag ) blows out.
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Old 05-21-2018, 11:37 AM   #4
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Contact , Spartan Motor Home Support , with your serial number and have them send you an " air system diagram". Sorry I don't have their 800 number handy .
Then with the coach parked on level ground and the frame supported for safety, you'll have to go under with a spray bottle of soapy water to start checking for leaks. Have a flashlight and camera , and if you have problems identifying a part, then posting the photo here in the forums, we can help .

There are check valves in the system to prevent an air suspension leak from leaking out enough air to effect brake operation , but there can be issues with drive shaft angle, or contact with tires , if an air spring ( bag ) blows out.
Good idea...thanks! I just emailed them for help.
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:07 PM   #5
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It's not normal, but it's fairly common. A small leak will let the suspension bleed down, but really won't affect normal operation. You can spend a lot of time, energy and money tracing a leak. Use a spray bottle of soapy water and spray all your valves and connections. I've been doing this for two years on my Monaco and have replaced nearly every active component like ride height and pressure protection valves. I still have a small leak in the right rear that lets it bleed down after 3-4 days.
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:12 PM   #6
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with the coach parked on level ground and the frame supported for safety,
Since you're new to air suspension systems pay particularly close attention to this warning. A sudden loss of air in the bags can drop the motorhome on you with devastating results.
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Old 05-21-2018, 04:56 PM   #7
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Since you're new to air suspension systems pay particularly close attention to this warning. A sudden loss of air in the bags can drop the motorhome on you with devastating results.
Thank you. I will have to invest in some big bottle jacks!
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Old 05-21-2018, 05:05 PM   #8
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So I went out to the storage lot where I had been two days ago and dumped the air because the front was down and the back was not.....I started the coach and let it air up all the way, then after shutting down I sat down and waited in the quiet of the day. Within a few minutes I heard what I can only describe as popping noises! That seemed off to me. After a few more minutes of quiet it did it again. I didn't crawl around under the coach today as I had no way to support the weight of the coach safely and when it does air down it gets pretty low and I really want to live a bit longer. I have no idea why or where the noise was coming from.

I noticed that I had the airhorn switch turned on so now after airing up the suspension I shut that switch off. I doubt that this will make much if any difference but I will watch it for a few more days now. When I have the time and the safety gear(big jacks) I will crawl around the thing and spray some soapy water on things and try to see what is happening.

It does air up within a couple of minutes of fast idle with the smart wheel function.

Thanks for the thoughts and ideas guys! I appreciate the comments. I love this forum and the willingness to help each other!!!
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Old 05-22-2018, 05:40 AM   #9
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A diagram is not going to help finding a slow leak. I spent 30 minutes spraying every fitting I could find standing in a pit. None of mine were bad enough to see the bubbles immediately but when I walked to the back (where I started spraying) I could see my leaks/bubbles. A stream of soapy water works the best.

I guess sliding around on your back will have the advantage of the seeing the leak before you can move away. Even standing in the pit, getting to the leaks to tighten was a pain...no way would I want to do this on my back.
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Old 05-22-2018, 07:31 AM   #10
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I'll be the one that will totally contradict the others. What you are experiencing is completely normal and no cause for concern. When you get to your parking spot, dump the air bags (suspension) and deploy your jacks. If you are parking the coach for a few days and not living in it, either leave it like it is now or dump the air bags. Everything will re-inflate when you are ready to go. You will drive yourself nuts trying to find a leak that really is too small to notice.
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Old 05-22-2018, 07:48 AM   #11
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I don't believe anyone asked/mentioned, but do you have an auxiliary air pump? Monaco products have them and will keep the coach level even after days of sitting. Leaks will cause the pump to cycle more often, reminding you that you do have an air leak.
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Old 05-22-2018, 08:53 AM   #12
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Even standing in the pit, getting to the leaks to tighten was a pain...no way would I want to do this on my back.
I found that the majority of my "fitting" leaks were at the "swivel part" of the "push-to-connect" fitting. These fittings are great for assembly-line workers, but stink for owners. They can't be tightened.
I just replace those that are leaking with the old style air-brake compression fitting.

I also found that spraying with soapy water (dishwash soap mixed with water) didn't work very well. I ended up getting "leak detector spray" (which looks like straight dish soap - no water mixed in). The stuff if thick and will sit on the fitting long enough to show bubbles at a later time.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 05-22-2018, 01:16 PM   #13
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First of all congrats on purchase of your rig. We are new owners to our 2000 Country Coach and love it. Great older rig. Hopefully yours will bring you lots of fun and good times.

Now the serious part. I would stay away from bottle jacks or jack stands as our coaches are heavy and also air ride. You don't want to put a jack or jack stand under the wrong support. Nor do you want to have it supported on air and have something deflate and rock the unit and fall off the stand or jack. Never use a jack to support anything anyway.

When I have to get under our coach I drive it up on two 6x6 that I bolted together. Front or rear I drive It up on blocks. I also leave air in and am good underneath. I also have let air out and there is plenty of room under coach if it did fail while on the blocks. I think that is the safest way in my opinion to get under these low coaches. Good luck.
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Old 05-22-2018, 01:21 PM   #14
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I don't believe anyone asked/mentioned, but do you have an auxiliary air pump? Monaco products have them and will keep the coach level even after days of sitting. Leaks will cause the pump to cycle more often, reminding you that you do have an air leak.
I think you're describing the HWH air leveling system but I don't think that coaches the age of the OP's typically have such a system unless it was retrofitted later.
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