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Old 02-03-2020, 04:04 PM   #1
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Older DP - When do you change out your Air Bags?

I have a 2008 Tiffin Allegro Bus with a Tag Axle. I don't want to have an Airbag give out on me while on the road (which would be significant trip interupter).

So, Tiffin says that life span of an Air Bag is 12-17 years. So, do you age out Air Bags (like you do with Tires), or do you keep an eye and replace them as you see cracks or wear on them?

Anyone else with a Rig around my Age...what are you doing? THANKS!
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Old 02-03-2020, 04:08 PM   #2
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Don't think I've ever heard of anyone changing an air bag because of age!
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Old 02-03-2020, 06:37 PM   #3
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I watch the Bus Grease Monkey on YouTube, and he changes them when they get weather checked. My rv is 20 years old, and still has the originals on the rv. So far, so good. {knock on wood}
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Old 02-03-2020, 06:48 PM   #4
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Still on my originals but watching for cracks and will probably change soon. Still looking good but do my own work and can for about 1K
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Old 02-03-2020, 07:00 PM   #5
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25 years old and original but only 110,000 miles.
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Old 02-03-2020, 07:02 PM   #6
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I recently had Bay Diesel change my air bags on 2006 40' bus. I was in their shop for coolant change and change out air dryer. Since the rig was up on the lift I had them check for air leaks. My Bus when it set for 2 to 3 days would start to lose air and squat. The air bags looked good, but when they sprayed soapy water on the bags there were a lot of tiny pinhole leaks where the bags stretched or folded ( can't think of the right word to describe) when deflated. So I had them changed. Probably didn't need to, but just thought preventive maintenance. Didn't want a potential problem out on the road. That was close to 3 months ago and haven't had the chance to let the Bus just set to see if the air leaks out a little slower. There were other air leaks on some of the joints where pipes screw together (as indicated by the soapy water) but didn't have them fix them as run out of time since I was only scheduled for just a couple of items.
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Old 02-03-2020, 07:47 PM   #7
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1992 American- original Air Bags- Minor Checking on the surface- No leaks @ 238 K Miles- Why are there so many Air Bag changes on here ?
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Old 02-03-2020, 07:52 PM   #8
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I changed mine out last year on a 2002 Fleetwood Revolution. Front were most difficult , was told I would have to remove front axle but I figured a way to drop it enough to get to the big nut on the bottom of airbags with a shortened socket I made. Yes , they do get old and if you have a blowout while traveling at a high speed , you can imagine what could happen with an extremely short driveshaft waaaaay out of normal ride alignment. My guess would be rear diff or trans would be damaged along with the drive shaft. Rear bags were a lot easier to replace.
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Old 02-03-2020, 08:11 PM   #9
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You may be ok but then again , take a look at the your drive shaft angle when bags or air springs are deflated and see the extreme angle , now imagine if bag or bags blow at say 65 mph. There is no way at that angle you would not have extreme damage. I have seen several commercial trucks newer than your and my coachwith blown or extremely leaky air springs . They are rubber , like a tire except quite a bit thinner and even though they are shielded from sun they are exposed to elements and they do go bad .
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Old 02-03-2020, 08:16 PM   #10
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Had a 62 GMC bus conversion I sold a couple of years ago, about 1000000 miles total. Still had original airbags. Have heard of bags with slow leaks, but never one blowing out. If you cut an old one in half, you will find the walls are reinforced and about a half inch thick.
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Old 02-03-2020, 08:29 PM   #11
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Read on one site the thickness is 4.3 to 4.5 mil. I Know on the ones I removed they are no where near 1/2 inch thick.
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darin1960 View Post
Read on one site the thickness is 4.3 to 4.5 mil. I Know on the ones I removed they are no where near 1/2 inch thick.
An exaggeration on my part, but still pretty thick, Inside of bag looked brand new. 25 year RV tech at Foretravel said he had changed out a lot that would not hold pressure for long, but never one that had blown out. In most cases the engine compressor would overcome the leak when engine running, but bag would leak down when no compressor was running. But all airbags are not equal, so you may be right and some may actually blow out. Foretravels have 4 airbags per axle, so pressures are probably lower with less stress on the bag.
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:45 PM   #13
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Might find this interesting. ( link below)
https://youtu.be/SMAG86c9XgM
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:54 PM   #14
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More Interesting stuff.
https://youtu.be/yypw2c3Oy84
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