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Old 05-07-2014, 08:39 PM   #1
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Forest River Owners Club
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Location: Hixson, TN
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leaking air bags

I have a 1994 Toyota with rear air ride bags that apparently are leaking. The valve stem for both bags are located just inside the left rear wheel well. I tried the most common air leak detection method--a spray bottle filled with soapy water. I sprayed the valve stems and both air bags and could not see any bubbles. Another potential source of the leak--the line running under the MH to the right-side air bag but it runs through a protective tube so I could not spray that. I doubt the line is the problem because both bags lose air at about the same rate. These are original equipment bags, meaning they are 20 years old.

Does anyone know how long air bags last? And I am open to any suggestions on how to trace down the leak. Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 05-08-2014, 02:07 PM   #2
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Kenny: If you need a visual leak detection method...you can use the same dye that AC technicians use...the fluorescent leak dye. Use the AC propellant to place the dye into an empty bag, fill bag with air to pressure...then a black light to hunt the leak...or just look for it since it will drip dye out of every leaky area. If there is too much dye in a single area...WIPE....refill air bag and observe.
I went more simple...I replaced the old leaking bags....did not add the OLD hoses to the new bags and replaced the hoses with a combo of steel (brake line) and hydraulic line (flex). Fittings are highly available. Now I have a non leaking system and no hunt a leak headache. But the common fluorescent dye will do a great job of showing you the leak areas. Used to play the role of leak detection specialist in another life.
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Old 05-09-2014, 01:17 PM   #3
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Craig--Thanks for the advice. Great thing about this forum--there's always someone who is an expert or knows something about almost every subject or problem that arises. I'll probably end up doing what you did--buy new bags--but the decision is harder since my MH is old and not worth much on the open market. As a friend once remarked, owning an old MH is like being married to a bad woman. You keep giving her one more chance but she always lets you down in the end. I think I'll give my crate another chance despite the cost.
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Old 05-09-2014, 03:05 PM   #4
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Kenny: I only buy older rigs...and I replace almost the same stuff on each one as I recondition them. I have become more or less acquainted with the Bounder 90's line of RVs...it offers comfort in knowing that issues that you find usually translate to all of the models in that series group. I too dislike airbags but when I went to find a spring replacement that would eliminate the airbag...cost pushed me back towards airbag. An airbag system is fine...I shop RV boneyards and if I find suspension candy...that will improve my ride...I buy it. I a used steering stabilizer kit on the front and a rear trac bar system
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