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Old 10-27-2015, 10:52 AM   #1
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Class A Axle Limit Straps

I just added rear airbags to my 2015 Fleetwood Bounder as the Ford dealer said the reason for wear on the outside edge of the front tires, 9,000 miles, was due to my pulling a carhauler and slightly lifting the front wheels. The slight lifting causes the front tires to skuff when turning tightly. I have 505# tongue weight, trailer and coach are level, no dip or rise of trailer and trailer/car weight is 3,900#. It is an Aluma brand trailer rated at 7,000#.

That said, I'm now on a trip south. The first stop, I set the jacks and heard swoosh! The right airbag overextended and blew out. Conversation with Ford, the installation manual and local RV repair did not reveal any cautions on over extension. Air Lift, the manufacturer, stated I should not exceed 7 inches of extension AND I should have limit straps installed. They do not provide them in the install kit nor have them available to sell. They said look online! They are standing behind the failed airbag but not the labor to replace, my local Ford dealer is covering that labor. The only reference to limit straps is in the off road racing field.

Fleetwood service facility has never installed or heard of limit straps on an RV. I am seeking the help of irv2 members for some insight. I used the automatic jack function and now that I am aware of my limits will use the manual function. I thought about not installing limit straps. One off road shop said use chains, another said nylon straps with an eyelet in the end.

Any help appreciated.
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Old 10-27-2015, 04:51 PM   #2
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Class A diesel pusher owners are somewhat familiar with the air bags they all have and have been warned not to allow wheels off the ground when leveling so as not to over extend the airbags. I have been under my MH and have not seen any straps or chains to limit extending the air bags.
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Old 10-27-2015, 05:42 PM   #3
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I have air bags on my 40ft class coach for 15 years, i most always lift at least one axle of the ground when leveling never blew an air and i have never of air bag limiter.
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Old 10-27-2015, 06:01 PM   #4
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These are common on off road vehicles to prevent blowing out a shock when fully articulated. I would add them with one end bolted to the frame and the other end bolted to the bottom shock bolt. I would ask the air bag manufacturer how much droop is max for the bag then measure between your mount points flat at rest and add their number to my number minus 2 or 3 inches. If you google suspension limit straps you'll find lots of options. It should be a pretty easy fix. It's odd that they don't include these with nearly all newer class A's having level jacks.

Here is an example.

https://www.trail-gear.com/TG/Rock_A...x#.Vi__83r3arU
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Old 10-27-2015, 06:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreedomDream View Post
Class A diesel pusher owners are somewhat familiar with the air bags they all have and have been warned not to allow wheels off the ground when leveling so as not to over extend the airbags. I have been under my MH and have not seen any straps or chains to limit extending the air bags.
I'll disagree with that!
On our '02 DSDP I contacted Reyco-Granning, Spartan, Koni and Newmar.
All said no problem and I left the front wheels off the ground for 6 months at a time. Did it for 13 years with no problems and we have no limit stops.
Now it turns out the rear of our present Magna SHOULD have had limit straps, That would have kept Cummins NW in Portland OR from breaking the drive axle shocks. Cost me about $500 to get it fixed. They, of course, claim they didn't do it but there written notes taken before I left is and pictures I took show differently.
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Old 10-28-2015, 07:39 AM   #6
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I'll disagree with that!
On our '02 DSDP I contacted Reyco-Granning, Spartan, Koni and Newmar.
All said no problem and I left the front wheels off the ground for 6 months at a time. Did it for 13 years with no problems and we have no limit stops.
Now it turns out the rear of our present Magna SHOULD have had limit straps, That would have kept Cummins NW in Portland OR from breaking the drive axle shocks. Cost me about $500 to get it fixed. They, of course, claim they didn't do it but there written notes taken before I left is and pictures I took show differently.
Because you got away with it is more of a testament to the strength of the airbags than to the intelligence of the practice. I know class A DP owners who have had air bag problems and have conversed with RV service techs who strongly advocate against the practice. I, for one, am not going to attempt to see if I can get away with it just because you did.
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Old 10-28-2015, 11:30 AM   #7
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Bounder axel limit straps

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildSide View Post
These are common on off road vehicles to prevent blowing out a shock when fully articulated. I would add them with one end bolted to the frame and the other end bolted to the bottom shock bolt. I would ask the air bag manufacturer how much droop is max for the bag then measure between your mount points flat at rest and add their number to my number minus 2 or 3 inches. If you google suspension limit straps you'll find lots of options. It should be a pretty easy fix. It's odd that they don't include these with nearly all newer class A's having level jacks.

Here is an example.

https://www.trail-gear.com/TG/Rock_A...x#.Vi__83r3arU
Wildside, thanks for the reply. The mfg. says 7" of lift is the maximum they recommend. Like you, I do not understand their lack of adding straps to their kits, especially since they told me I should have installed them to keep from blowing out a bag. I have a couple of attachment points to consider but will add your shock bolt connection for consideration.
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Old 10-28-2015, 12:32 PM   #8
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At least on Freightliner, the only thing that limits the axle travel is the shock.
A few folks have pulled their shocks apart by lifting the tires.

It is probably a question of what breaks first, the air bag or the shock.
Some shock manufacturers warn against allowing the shock to support the axle weight.
And rear axles are not light.

Dan
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