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Old 07-24-2012, 03:46 PM   #1
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A question about my airbags....

I have a pair of supplemental airbags on the rear suspension of our 31' Winnebago Class C... they are not equipped with an on-board compressor or monitor.

My problem is, they won't hold air. It's not as if the bags themselves are ripped, the system leaks very slowly and I can't isolate where the air is escaping. I've sprayed soapy water on everything I can see, and haven't seen any telltale bubbles.

I'm "assuming" the most logical places are the hose connections. I'm sure Winnebago used the least expensive, plastic air lines possible... so I'm thinking I'll go ahead and replace them with high quality, braided stainless lines. Hopefully, that'll solve the issue.

Does anyone else have any thoughts or suggestions on what else to look at? I like to fix or repair things once, so I'm not constantly jury-riggin' things or fixin' "fixes".

Thanks for any thoughts...
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Old 07-24-2012, 04:08 PM   #2
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Welcome to irv2.
You may have only one air fill location located near rear number plate and hose gets split to your two air bags have you checked the splitter fitting for air leak?
How old is system and are the lines a good hose no cracks at bends in hose.
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Old 07-24-2012, 04:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unca waldo View Post
I have a pair of supplemental airbags on the rear suspension of our 31' Winnebago Class C... they are not equipped with an on-board compressor or monitor.

My problem is, they won't hold air. It's not as if the bags themselves are ripped, the system leaks very slowly and I can't isolate where the air is escaping. I've sprayed soapy water on everything I can see, and haven't seen any telltale bubbles.

I'm "assuming" the most logical places are the hose connections. I'm sure Winnebago used the least expensive, plastic air lines possible... so I'm thinking I'll go ahead and replace them with high quality, braided stainless lines. Hopefully, that'll solve the issue.

Does anyone else have any thoughts or suggestions on what else to look at? I like to fix or repair things once, so I'm not constantly jury-riggin' things or fixin' "fixes".

Thanks for any thoughts...
Hi unca waldo,
I have this system on my Itasca Cambria. My two air fills are in my water bay. Are the bags losing air over time or are they just not holding air? If they lose a few pounds every month or so, just like your tires this is normal and not really a problem. I check and set mine every time I do the tires and fill as needed. If they are just not holding air and you have soaped the bags and found no leaks then like you I would replace all the lines. Hope you are able to get it fixed if needed.
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:43 PM   #4
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I should have mentioned there are 2, independent air fills, one for each bag, located within the left rear wheel well.

It's a slow leak, I put pressure in them, but within a day or so, the bags are fully deflated. It's the same for both sides, at about the same rate of deflation.

"007" mentioned a splitter, which would allow inflation of the bags simultaneously. When I re-plumb the supply lines, I might set them up that way... but I have one concern. Does adding the splitter allow air pressure to flow from one bag to the other... back and forth. If so, it seems as though it would negate any assistance the bags may give in limiting lean... such as in corners or in a crosswind. The air would just move to the bag on the "inside".
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unca waldo View Post
It's a slow leak, I put pressure in them, but within a day or so, the bags are fully deflated. It's the same for both sides, at about the same rate of deflation.
That sounds like a pretty fast "slow leak". A couple of pounds a month would be acceptable.

Have you already checked the schraeder valves? Every once in a while mine loosen up and have to be tightened. I bought a pack of 4 metal tire valve caps that have the tightening tool on them at an auto parts store. I always use these for caps on my air shock lines so they are handy.

Another slow leak I had was because I had one plastic air hose line that was not pushed all the way onto the air fill valve. I tried to fully push it on but it was jammed, so I cut the end off and pushed it firmly back on. Problem solved.

If all else fails replace the air lines and fittings. I wouldn't think you would need anything elaborate, just replace the air hoses and the fill fittings from a known good vendor.

As for the air hose T-fitting, I didn't put one on mine. Your right about the handling advantages, but also you can put different amounts of air in the right and left sides to compensate for worn springs or loading imbalances.

Let us know what finally fixes it.
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unca waldo View Post
I should have mentioned there are 2, independent air fills, one for each bag, located within the left rear wheel well.

It's a slow leak, I put pressure in them, but within a day or so, the bags are fully deflated. It's the same for both sides, at about the same rate of deflation.

"007" mentioned a splitter, which would allow inflation of the bags simultaneously. When I re-plumb the supply lines, I might set them up that way... but I have one concern. Does adding the splitter allow air pressure to flow from one bag to the other... back and forth. If so, it seems as though it would negate any assistance the bags may give in limiting lean... such as in corners or in a crosswind. The air would just move to the bag on the "inside".
Yup that is definitely not a slow leak. I would second what one of the other posters have said. It could be the schraeder valves. An easy check for this would be to put some valve caps on after your next air fill. If the bags hold air longer than it is probably the valves. I think this is an easy and not to expensive replacement. another easy check is to do the soap bubble check on the valves right after you fill the bags. With a leak like that the bubbles should show right up.
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Old 07-25-2012, 12:40 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the suggestions... I'm going to pull the motorhome out, inflate the bags and give the entire system a good inspection.

Please pardon my ignorance, but I'm assuming the Schraeder valve is the "valve stem", right?
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Old 07-25-2012, 01:21 PM   #8
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It's the part inside the valve stem that keeps the air inside the lines. Get the valve stem caps I mentioned above to tighten them or remove them if needed.
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Old 07-25-2012, 01:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unca waldo View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions... I'm going to pull the motorhome out, inflate the bags and give the entire system a good inspection.

Please pardon my ignorance, but I'm assuming the Schraeder valve is the "valve stem", right?
It is the metal part inside the stem. They should just unscrew with the right tool. I think the caps John mentioned will work to.
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:08 PM   #10
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If they are Firestone bags there is a outfit on here that has all the parts, hose, valves, couplings got mine there. just plug in firestone airbags & that site will show up
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