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Old 05-15-2014, 11:39 AM   #1
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Coach not airing up

Hello....I have a 2009 Charleston made by Forest River. Just turned over 30k miles this trip, bought her new. This time out on 2 occasions the coach would not air up the suspension after sitting at the camp ground for a day or so. I learned from a few Google searches to raise/lower the jacks, pump the brakes, and keep switching the air brake from on to off. Eventually it aired up. During the whole time both air gauges showed 75, no alarms, just no suspension. From what I can find I need a air leveling valve? Anyone know where that is and where I can order one? Thanks.....
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:56 AM   #2
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If your tanks are only reaching 75psi, sounds like a valve is not closing.
They should be getting to well over 100psi.
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:58 AM   #3
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What I meant to say is the air gauges are reaching the point where they should - 75-100, no errors no alarms, but the coach's suspension won't always air up.
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Old 05-15-2014, 12:28 PM   #4
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Your air gauges should be reading near 125 psi at full pressure/when the pop-off valve opens to purge the desiccant air filter. Speaking of the desiccant air filter, how old is it? They should be changed every 2-3 years. If this filter is plugged it affects your air system.
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Old 05-15-2014, 02:24 PM   #5
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Sounds like the suspension air dump valve is stuck open, when your problem occurs . I know it's hard with the engine running to hear things , but if your out side the coach when the problem happens you should hear the air coming out just like when the leveling is in progress.
The air suspension system is separated from the air brake system, by a safety pressure valve that only starts airing up the suspension when the tank pressure is above 65>70 psi. This is to maintain the air pressure available for braking and keep the spring brakes from applying in the event of an air bag ( air spring ) blowout.
JMHO: If you going to replace anything : other than maintenance of the air dryer, if not done regularly : without tracking the defective part when the problem occurs again it would be the " air suspension dump valve."
You can track location and there may be two , one front , one rear, from the noise when leveling, should have part numbers on them.
Does Forest River , build their own chassis , or use , Freightliner?
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:25 PM   #6
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It is a Freightliner chassis.....I will try to listen for the leak next time I take her out of the garage.......was hoping there was a standard one, but I think I knew better......

Thanks!
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:40 PM   #7
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Might want to check and see if your tires are going to contact your fenders, before attempting to move it.
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:43 PM   #8
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LOL..they clear, but talk about a bumpy ride! I now know to look at the tire guard in the rear to make sure she raised up.
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Old 05-15-2014, 04:23 PM   #9
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Contact Freightliner's free help line have your serial number handy . You need an air system diagram, I'd send you mine but a lot of things can change in the 8 years , between our chassis being built.
Also look into joining "Access Freightliner" takes a while but you get online access to wiring & parts information.

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Old 05-15-2014, 05:00 PM   #10
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Hi,
The valve that tells the coach to add air to the suspension is stuck. The clue is that raising the coach on jacks fixes the problem. Raising and lowering the coach (with engine running) with the jacks, allows the valve to move enough to tell the system to pump air into the suspension. This is the same valve that tells the system to add air as one travels down the road.
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Old 05-15-2014, 06:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmcnitt View Post
What I meant to say is the air gauges are reaching the point where they should - 75-100, no errors no alarms, but the coach's suspension won't always air up.
As others said, the gauges should get to 120 and then you will hear a blow-off. Sticking governor perhaps.

If they do get to 120, but suspension will still not raise then could be the brake protection valve which won't feed air to auxiliary stuff until the brakes are assured of enough pressure to operate.
Do you have a dump valve to lower the coach. Maybe that is sticking open, but in that case you would hear the air escaping.
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Old 05-15-2014, 08:44 PM   #12
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If you have a Freightliner chassis there are two buttons near the dump valve and one of them is air up. I had the same problem last year with my coach and Freightliner help line can tell you exaactly where it is. I took the coach to Freightliner and they jumped right on the jack signal to air up. After a month and new parts from HWH the problem was still there. They finally replaced the air up valve adn the problem was cured. Take an active part in the problem resolution or they may lead you down the garden path.
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Old 05-16-2014, 01:09 PM   #13
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LOL..they clear, but talk about a bumpy ride! I now know to look at the tire guard in the rear to make sure she raised up.
And also, don't be driving with the suspension not properly aired up for any meaningful distance. With the air springs empty, your drivetrain geometry is totally out of what and your u-joints and such will be under tremendous stress. Net is, don't drive with empty bags.

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Old 05-16-2014, 07:29 PM   #14
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If you are trying to track down an air leak of some sort, I would recommend you run the rig until the air pressure gets as high as it will, then shutdown and immediately walk around the outside of your rig - a stuck open valve will be readily apparent, as well as all other leaks of any significance.
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