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Old 08-06-2015, 05:48 PM   #1
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Air Bags for Driveway Dip

Hi all. I have a 30' Class C that tends to sit pretty low in the tail. I recently moved, and our new house has an uphill driveway, combined with a bit of an off-camber dip as to allow rainwater to pass by. The result is the tail end wants to drag one corner when coming and going. For now, I'm using pieces of lumber to span the dip, and that works, but it's not ideal. We have a bit of a blind curve and spending 1-2 minutes shimming wood, pulling through, parking, removing wood, etc. takes longer than I would like. Plus it's just downright inconvenient. I'm wondering if rear air bags could be used to temporarily lift the back end of the motorhome a few inches as we are leaving and arriving? Any advice or experience you'd offer regarding the air bags? Since the tail overhang is pretty long, I would think the air bags could result in several inches of lifting ability.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-06-2015, 10:15 PM   #2
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Yes you could do that but the engineering may be too involved to incorporate safely at home with simple hand tools. If done improperly you could/will damage your air springs.
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Old 08-06-2015, 10:29 PM   #3
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I have air bags and they will work.

I also have roller wheel on the back which makes it nice when you get into these drive ways.
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Old 08-06-2015, 11:28 PM   #4
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TCHB, any idea how much your particular rig is elevated (at the rear bumper) when the bags are fully inflated?
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Old 08-07-2015, 09:53 AM   #5
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Air adjustable shocks with an on board compressor might be the answer. If they make a model for the RV.

LEN
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Old 08-07-2015, 10:44 AM   #6
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If you go to Air Lift's site,it says their air bags might raise a vehicle an inch or two, but they are not designed to raise a vehicle over factory height. The Ride Rite site says their bags aren't intended to raise vehicle height, but to work with the existing suspension.
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:28 PM   #7
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Good info. Thanks all.

It makes sense the manufacturers say they aren't intended to raise the height of the vehicle (or increase load carrying capacity for that matter), but i still get the impression that the rear could be raised for a short period of time without detrimental effects. But the question is just how much? I suppose it depends on the bags' overall height at their maximum operating pressure. And then the net effect at the bumper location will depend on the overhang length of the coach.
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:29 PM   #8
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Len, I didn't find much in the way of air shocks for an e450 MH.
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Old 08-07-2015, 11:54 PM   #9
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My prior rig on the E350 chassis had Firestone air bags. It indeed would add 2-3 inches to height if I filled them up to 85 lbs. Perhaps they are an option for you. I kept them at 45-50 lbs though while driving because I didn't like the bumpy ride. I wonder if you could have a rear roller bar installed. Bigfoot Class C RVs had them for example. http://www.bigfootrv.com/docs/brochu...20Brochure.pdf
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Old 08-08-2015, 05:03 AM   #10
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Good info. Thanks all.

It makes sense the manufacturers say they aren't intended to raise the height of the vehicle (or increase load carrying capacity for that matter), but i still get the impression that the rear could be raised for a short period of time without detrimental effects. But the question is just how much? I suppose it depends on the bags' overall height at their maximum operating pressure. And then the net effect at the bumper location will depend on the overhang length of the coach.
Bryan,

My C is a couple of years older than yours. I bought air bags to help my tired old springs. At around 35 psi the increased wheel clearance about an inch and a quarter. You would have to figure your overhang to get an idea of the height increase.

I bought the Airlift brand bags and would recommend against buying them. Stay with a quality bag like those from Firestone. I'm fulltime and when the bags broke hundreds of miles from my home base, I was told by the retailer that they didn't make them and to go to the manufacturer. Airlift said they didn't sell them so see the retailer. All this while sitting in a truck stop in mid-TN. Others have had better luck with Airlift's guarentee.

It all depends on how lucky you are. I found I don't want to use cut rate suspension parts.

mangy dog
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Old 08-08-2015, 09:52 AM   #11
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Did a quick Google for "airlift shocks for Ford E450 ford". And got a ton of info, looks like Monroe has just what you need.

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Old 08-08-2015, 10:58 AM   #12
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Thanks again all. I'll heed the Firestone vs airlift advice. Regarding the roller, I don't really want to do that because I think that could still damage my driveway.

Len, I don't see any airshocks that fit the e450 SD. when you go to monroe's website, the airshock option drops off when you enter the e450 model.
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Old 08-08-2015, 11:18 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Bryan H View Post
Hi all. I have a 30' Class C that tends to sit pretty low in the tail. I recently moved, and our new house has an uphill driveway, combined with a bit of an off-camber dip as to allow rainwater to pass by. The result is the tail end wants to drag one corner when coming and going. For now, I'm using pieces of lumber to span the dip, and that works, but it's not ideal. We have a bit of a blind curve and spending 1-2 minutes shimming wood, pulling through, parking, removing wood, etc. takes longer than I would like. Plus it's just downright inconvenient. I'm wondering if rear air bags could be used to temporarily lift the back end of the motorhome a few inches as we are leaving and arriving? Any advice or experience you'd offer regarding the air bags? Since the tail overhang is pretty long, I would think the air bags could result in several inches of lifting ability.

Thanks in advance.
We had a 27 ft class c ,with the same type driveway, and used the Firestone Ride rite ones....we put the in cab controls and air compressor in right under the couch behind the driver.....
I thought I remember it lifting the rear almost 6 "...would put 100 lbs air in.......ran at 40 or 50 lbs til I got home..loved them....Chuck
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Old 08-10-2015, 07:53 AM   #14
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Bryan,

My C is a couple of years older than yours. I bought air bags to help my tired old springs. At around 35 psi the increased wheel clearance about an inch and a quarter. You would have to figure your overhang to get an idea of the height increase.

I bought the Airlift brand bags and would recommend against buying them. Stay with a quality bag like those from Firestone. I'm fulltime and when the bags broke hundreds of miles from my home base, I was told by the retailer that they didn't make them and to go to the manufacturer. Airlift said they didn't sell them so see the retailer. All this while sitting in a truck stop in mid-TN. Others have had better luck with Airlift's guarentee.

It all depends on how lucky you are. I found I don't want to use cut rate suspension parts.

mangy dog
Not to get too far off topic, but I am really sorry to hear this. We do carry a lifetime warranty and your situation should have never have been handled like it was. If there is anything I can do for you please do not hesitate to contact me. -Jeremy
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