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Old 03-22-2016, 12:40 AM   #1
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1977 Minnie Winnie

The 1977 Minnie Winnie we are restoring is on a Dodge MB 400 chassis. Rear springs are leafs. It had a couple air bag suspension helpers on it. They were bolted to the top of the axle and then to a bracket on the frame. There were air hoses run back to the rear bumper. I don't think these were original. Rig isn't low in the back. Both leaked, both top brackets were bent, and on one the bolts fasting the top bracket to the frame were sheared off. I don't think I need to replace these but thought I would get some expert opinions.

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Old 03-22-2016, 01:11 AM   #2
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Those were probably put on by the PO for towing purposes? If you are going to tow, then replace, if not, then remove? If you have no sagging issues then you don't need them, but if you load up with all your stuff and full of water and fuel, I am thinking they might be nice to have! You will have to get it all loaded up, ready to go camping, and weight it, and see if you need the extra carrying capacity. I am thinking you will need them, but that is just a guess, without knowing the carrying capacity! Rail!

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Old 03-22-2016, 02:47 PM   #3
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I installed air bags on my unit. It was one of the better things I've done. I put new leafs on and I still had a little sag to it. The air bags not only raised up the back end but smoothed out the ride.
1990 28' Georgie Boy, 454, 4bbl, Thorley Headers, Recurved Distributor, 8.75 mpg. RVM 76
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Old 03-23-2016, 01:13 AM   #4
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Will have a test drive this weekend.

Thanks for the advice. We are taking it out this weekend for the first time, so we will see how it does without the air bags. I had to remove them anyway, since they were both leaking and the upper brackets were bent badly. We'll see how it handles without them. According to the spec sheet for this old rig, which gave the weight "wet," we have about 2,000 pounds of load capacity, but that was when the springs were 40 years younger. We'll see. Gonna be in Big Bend National Park for a week.
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:03 AM   #5
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In 2014 I took a 6,200 mile shakedown trip in my 1994 33í Class A Holiday Rambler (Ford engine and chassis). All I did for the suspension before I left was to replace my totally worn out shocks with Monroe Magnums. Not knowing any better I was generally pleased with the handling and soon got used to the push/pull from passing semiís (I have a high tolerance for poor handling). However, upon my return I finally replaced the totally worn out sway bar bushings and added rear suspension airbags to compensate for worn rear springs (mainly to increase rear end ground clearance). The work made an incredible difference to the RVís handling. There is no more push/pull from semiís and heavy cross winds are no longer a challenge. Along with the suspension repairs/upgrades I also installed a rebuilt engine and exhaust headers. Between the handling repairs/upgrades and the new engine, my problem now appears to be keeping my highway speed in check, the rig just wants to fly down the highway!

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Old 03-23-2016, 11:57 AM   #6
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Would love to see pics of this older beauty. Some of these older rigs are still amazing especially when someone does a rebuild on them. Hope you have a great trip.

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