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Old 09-03-2014, 06:23 PM   #1
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05 American Tradition Newbie airbag question

Just bought an 05 American Tradition 40J - apologize for this newbie question. I held down the switch on the dash that lets the air out of the airbags to lower my coach. Near the rear tires it sounded like bb's hitting a tin can while it was releasing the air - is that normal? I assume that it makes sense to lower the coach this way for storage and when setting up before using the leveling system? Does the coach need to be running to let out the air or does it matter

thanks!

George
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:48 AM   #2
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Since the engine must be running to drop the jacks, I hold the "Dump Air" button down, dump the air, then run the jacks down while still holding the Dump Air button. Once the Dump Air button is released, the air system starts refilling. On some AC products, when you push the button to level the coach (drop the jacks), it will automatically dump the air and not start refilling the system until the ''Retract Jacks" button has been pushed.
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Old 09-04-2014, 12:59 PM   #3
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Your 2005 Tradition should automatically dump air when you set the jacks. The dash switch is for use when you don't want to deploy jacks, e.g. you need to sneak under a low bridge or garage door.

My 2004 Trad doesn't make a BB sound, but there is usually some noise associated with dumping air.

Is your chassis based on Spartan or a Freightliner components? Both versions were available in 2004 & 2005 and there are some small differences in how things work between the two.
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:29 PM   #4
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I've got a spartan chassis with the equalizer system leveling system. The manual says that the ignition must be off to operate the leveling system and that is consistent with what I've experienced. I don't recall the leveling system dumping the bags. Could it be that I have to drop the bags, shut the ignition then level? Does it make sense to store the coach with the bags dropped or does it matter?

thanks!

George
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:06 AM   #5
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Mine is Freightliner rather than Spartan but the Equalizer system is the same and is installed by AC, not the chassis builder. And yes, the engine needs to be off to level on this year of Tradition (others makes and years may differ). When you press Auto-level, it should dump the air bags and should be obvious that it does so (you hear it and feel it). If it does not, you need some repair work. You can call American Coach Customer Service (they are great!) to get specifics for your year and model, but I am fully confident about the information I am providing here.

When you park the RV, the air suspension will gradually lose air (leak). May take days if it's really tight, or just hours if you have multiple small leaks, but the suspension will drop. If you use the jacks when parked for storage (I do), the air is going to be dumped anyway. Using the jacks for storage is a good practice because it takes weight off the tires and supports the frame without squishing the air bags as they gradually deflate.

There is an American Coach Owners Group on Yahoo Groups - I strongly urge you to join. It'sa good group of people and there is a huge amount of American Coach technical info available there, both in the group conversations and the library.
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/American_Coach/info
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:13 AM   #6
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I can tell you that my "jacks" are noisy at times, but never a sound upon the air coming out.

I can also tell you that this girl makes all kinds of funky noises at time.

Regardless, here's my suggestion list for you.

1) Get to a CAT / Spartan shop and have them check

* The Airbags (mine two rear bags needed to be replaced)
* Check the engine ECM and flash to the newest software.
* Change the oil and a new filter.
* Check the fuel filter, get new for good measure.
* While there, analyze the noise on decompression of the air bags.
* Check the air valves, compressor for leak down.
* Check the brakes.
* Change the oil in the genset and filter.

Next go to a truck tire shop and have them

* Check all tires throughly
* Put in on the alignment machine.

Next go to an RV shop and have them

* Check over A/C's, clean the coils.
* Check all slide motors and slide brakes
* Check propane system and regulator.
* Check the fridge for latest fire mods.

Next I suggest you go some place fun and ENJOY!!!! Congrats man, great ride, trust me on this one!

You and I should have the same chassis. Not sure if you have the C13 or the C9??
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:14 AM   #7
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Further, on mine. I shut the engine down, genset on (usually still on from driving) press the autolevel button and everything does it job, then extend slides after I make the rest of my hookups.
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:16 AM   #8
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OH one more thing, while you are at the RV shop, go ahead and replace ALL 4 jack switches. It's a $15 dollar part that fails easily, especially at this age.

If the jack switch gets stuck in the closed position, the jacks will not detect the jack actually going down (when it really is) and it will stop.

IF the switch is loosey goosey inside, it can show a fault of the jacks being down while driving - which will get the hair on your neck to stand up. Just change all 4 and you're good to go. I've changed two so far, and I asked my shop to do all 4 and that slipped through the cracks.
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Old 09-05-2014, 04:33 PM   #9
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thanks everyone! I did actually have about half of what plasma800 suggests done when I purchased it. Picked it up in Kentucky and drove it back to NM. Spend two nights in it and no issues. Ill be doing some minor work on the interior this weekend for our long weekend to Flagstaff in two weeks so I can validate that the bags dump before leveling. Really looking forward to trips with this thing - it drives great!

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Old 09-05-2014, 04:52 PM   #10
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Right on man, enjoy! Also if you have any issues, Fleetwood is amazing on their American coach support. Just have your Fleetwood ID ready, which you can find on the sticker by the drivers seat, or outside by the drivers window.
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:24 PM   #11
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One question for you, how can you hear anything back by the rear bags? Could have water in the airlines that would make a different sound coming out of the dump valve. Air it up and pull your cables to see if your getting water.
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