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Old 08-13-2015, 01:11 PM   #1
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Driving with the airbags deflated

I'd read in a recent thread about driving with the airbags deflated. Can't find the thread now, but it made me wonder why one would do that? I know some coaches will supposedly crunch your wheel wells if you have the front tires turned when the coach drops. Mine seems to have plenty of clearance, but I don't know why I'd want to do that unless of course it was to drop the roof 2-3 inches to clear an obstruction.
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Old 08-13-2015, 01:46 PM   #2
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The front suspension dropped can cause clearance issues in the wheel wells as you know. The rear air bags deflated will cause the drive shaft, which is very short in a rear engine set up, be severely out of alignment and cause damage if moved more than a few feet. It's not recommended to put any torque on the drive shaft when height is incorrect.
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Old 08-13-2015, 05:10 PM   #3
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I don't know what kind of person would actually "drive" with the bags deflated, as in down the road but, as both of you have stated, there will be severe clearance issues with tire vs fenderwell on the front end of many coaches and, potential damage to drive lines if any speed is incurred while in that type of operating condition.

However, there are a very few on here that have to deflate their air bags enough to allow clearance to enter and exit, their motor home garages. But, no turning of the front wheels is needed in those situations.
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Old 08-13-2015, 08:35 PM   #4
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Interesting since my coach won't move if bags aren't inflated.
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Old 08-14-2015, 12:04 AM   #5
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Driving with the air bags deflated will be the roughest ride you will ever have. I had the front ride valve go bad while driving and it was one rough ride until I could get stopped along side the road. If you ever loose a valve, you will know it and could possible ruin a tire while you are at it because of tire clearance in the wheel well.
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Old 08-14-2015, 12:58 AM   #6
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i second don on this. i once too had my front valve cooked. the coach kept bouncing just like my shocks were with zero resistance. i first replaced the front shocks then realized that was not the solution. in my case the tires were ok as the tire wall clearance was just good enough to not make them touch (i had to give cc some credit on the chassis design).
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Old 08-14-2015, 05:33 AM   #7
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We bought our coach at Lazy Days, it is our first, knew little about it. We packed and tried to head home early on Sunday morning, and our air bags would not inflate. I drove the coach from the delivery lot down to the shops on their property in Tampa...... heck of ride, very rough. And our flaps on all 4 wheels dragged most of the way. 5 mph tops!

I did not have tires hitting anything, but just the noise of the flaps sounded like we were wrecking it. Their 24x7 support guy came to the coach and got us up and running. (it was early Sunday morning shops were closed)

Problem was I had raised the jacks without the engine running. On our coach it is all automatic, raising jacks the engine should be running. With the engine running he hit the raise all jacks button again, and we air'ed up.

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Old 08-14-2015, 08:32 AM   #8
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I recently drove about six miles with the rears deflated. two before I realized what the vibration was. then four to reach the campground at about 30 miles an hour with flashers on. the issue was a broken ride height rod. You do what you want to do and I will do what I need to do to reach the campground when four weeks out on a trip. thx Dale
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Old 08-14-2015, 12:19 PM   #9
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Perhaps that thread you saw was about a leaf spring chassis coach with auxiliary air bags? Those are just an assist and driving without them inflated is nothing at all like driving an air suspension coach with no air. Or it might have been referring to aChevy or Workhorse P30 chassis that has a combination of air bags and coil springs for a front suspension. It is possible to drive those without any air in the bags, though it is rough and handles poorly.

As the others have said, if an air suspension coach has no air in the bags, you have no suspension at all. Rough ride, no wheel clearance and poor cornering are some things you will notice immediately, and chassis damage will soon result as well.
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