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Old 11-25-2019, 07:33 AM   #1
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Help Needed With Air Suspension

We just purchased a 2005 Forest River Tsunami 4104qs and are having "air" issues as my wife explains in a post on the Forest River member forum. Can anyone here elaborate possible solutions?

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Hi Kinsey and thanks for getting back to me. Our problem was somewhat addressed in post #14 by RyanP125 in that the front air bags deflate while driving down the road. It seems to take several (2-3) hundred miles for the ride to completely deteriorate to the point of resembling a log wagon. Rest stops for an hour or so do not alleviate the problem for another couple hundred miles worth of ride, system seems to need several days of R&R before reset and vehicle "glides" again.

We understand that many folk consider 2-300 miles a full day. And we found that close to that average (3-400 miles) was true in our gasser ('03 Pace Arrow 35G). However, in the Tsunami, when the breakdown begins about halfway thru the day, the dread of the last 150 or so miles almost makes it not worth the effort.

But, the discomfort aside, we feel very unsafe travelling in this condition.

To say that my husband is frugal is simply an understatement. He is very hands-on and WE will fix whatever he can (never mind that "way back when" TN Dept of Employment Security used aptitude tests as part of their screening and my mechanical aptitude didn't even register). So in anticipation of what's to come, I'm trying to find out now all I can about this problem and whether there's a solution that he AND I can live with.

My benchmark is not having to work on something mechanical with my husband, his will be $ signs.

We bought this coach because my husband wants to go full time and I told him I would try it if he would buy me a full-time galley, which he did. We are still planning to sell S&B in early 2020 but my budgeting so far has not included many 100- to 150-mile days.

I have searched several forums and have found many references to air bags deflating over time when parked but the above-mentioned post is the only one I've found that seems directly on point. I'm curious whether in your travels or visits to other communities you might have encountered others experiencing our problem that I'm not finding in my searches.

Thanks again for getting back to me.

Thanks
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Old 11-25-2019, 08:54 AM   #2
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I wish I knew what that other post said but I did have a similar problem with a 2018 Workhorse chassis and here is what it was. The alarm went off when driving the RC. It was the front air system. It was not bad enough to empty the bags yet. When the air is empty the Parking brakes come on!!! While driving! The problem turned out to be a hose that went to the air pressure meter on the dash. The plastic hose fitting on the gauge was cracked. Workhorse wanted $400+ for it but in this instance they came down to $160. If yours does not have the hose going to the instrument cluster behind the dash then there is a remote sensor and a wire. Another place that leaks develop is the parking brake switch assembly. It is behind the lever. A small brush and a bottle of bubble stuff can be used to find it. Those are 2 easy places to look. I felt the air on my hand while poking around or you can listen for it. It can be a cracked bag too. Are either of your air gauges reading under 120lbs when the engine runs? The rig needs to be parked and not taken out on the road till it is fixed. This is serious.

Go to the Workhorse forum and search on air leaks or air alarm.
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Old 11-25-2019, 09:51 AM   #3
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Air Bag pressure is regulated by a air leveling valve. The valve is attached to the axle and the frame and with every bump it moves. They do wear out and do leak. If you have HWH air leveling system then it too is in the mix of components the will change the pressure in the air bags. Does your main air system keep up pressure in both tanks, if they are getting low then than the air compressor could be an issue.
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Old 11-25-2019, 10:14 AM   #4
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All above are good suggestions. My parking brake switch or knob leaked. I could hear the air leak. I had a leaking fitting going to an air bag. Also have had a problem with the leveling valve
I mixed dish detergent in a garden sprayer and went over all fittings to check for leaks.
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Old 11-26-2019, 09:03 AM   #5
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Sorting through all those words leaves me the idea that the "air issue" is that the front air bags don't retain pressure while driving. That's a pretty much straight-forward problem with (1) the air suspension control, or (2) the air supply system (compressor & air dryer). Normally the air system would keep the air bags adequately inflated even if they leaked severely - the compressor and control system are designed to excess capacity to be able to handle that.



The ride height control valves are intended to add or remove air pressure as needed to keep the chassis at a certain height above the axles. Yours apparently does not. Could be control mechanism, or it could be the air pressure source in unable to meet the demand. I'd start with the ride height control arms/valves but keep in mind that a lack of system air volume & pressure could make it impossible for the ride height control to do its job.


I'm wondering if the air dryer cartridge in this coach has been changed in recent years. It can get clogged to the point where it severely limits air flow from the compressor to the rest of the system. 2-4 years is a typical service life for the air dryer cartridge.
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Old 11-26-2019, 09:43 AM   #6
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there are several other issues that could be wrong other than the good suggestions offered already. But since I do not know how your coach is configured I am guessing at some things.


1. If you have a kneeling system for your coach ie. if you have a switch that "kneels" the front of the coach to make entrance/exit easie, that switch may be faulty causing air to be let out of the front system.


2. Your air system is probably a dual one and the way to tell is if you have TWO air pressure gauges you have a dual system. The Air system is made up of Compressor, Filter Air Storage tanks and water/oil spitter, leveling valves, and other parts...


Hopefully your brake system and the air ride system are separated although supplied by the same compressor.



In any case this must be addressed. The ride and handling characteristics of this vehicle are seriously compromised with low airbags. Some coaches do not have springs the air bags are the suspension...


You really need to take it in to any big truck or coach dealer to get this fixed.


If your coach loses it's air overnight you have a potentially serious leak that needs to be addressed.


Every morning on starting your coach you should do a thorough brake check which includes walking around and carefully listening for leaks. The rest of the brake check is designed to test if your compressor and cut out valves are functioning properly and if your system leaks.


So here is a quick version of the brake test:


1. Let the coach idle at fast idle until the air system completely fills and the gauges show proper air level.


2. Turn the coach off release the parking brake Press on the brake pedal, there should not be more than a 3 psi drop in one minute.



now;



3. Press on the brake pedal (fan the brakes) repeatedly until the air gets to the level where the alarm sounds and light comes on, about 60 psi, continue to fan the brakes until the brake button pops out.


This tells you those emergency systems are working properly.


4. Restart the engine and put on high idle again letting the air build up. Your air pressure should build from 85 psi to 100 psi in 45 seconds (this is very inmportant! it is how fast your air will recover)


My guess is few owners of class A coaches know of this test or conduct it regularly. It should be done before moving the vehicle at the beginning of every trip.
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Old 11-29-2019, 09:27 AM   #7
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What do you mean it takes 2 to 3 days of rest for it to ride good? Kinda throws me off, you should have 2 tanks right and left. The system should air up to 65psi for brakes before pressure safety releases to air up bags. If that pressure valve is leaking alot it will effect your ride but it would have to be a severe leak. The system will not air up bags and reserve air for brakes for safety
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Old 11-29-2019, 08:25 PM   #8
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Safety is the number ONE Concern.
For you and others on the road.
Better get the unit into a big rig shop, as recommended by above post for inspection and repairs.

After you do that you may be able to run many trouble free and comfortable miles.

But if your going to own one of these
Rigs your husband has to be willing to spend the $$$s to keep everyone Safe by keeping a well maintained drivetrain.
There is nothing cheap about these rigs.

Your getting good advice.
Good luck and Enjoy.
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Old 12-18-2019, 04:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chertman47 View Post
We just purchased a 2005 Forest River Tsunami 4104qs and are having "air" issues as my wife explains in a post on the Forest River member forum. Can anyone here elaborate possible solutions?

#29
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Hi Kinsey and thanks for getting back to me. Our problem was somewhat addressed in post #14 by RyanP125 in that the front air bags deflate while driving down the road. It seems to take several (2-3) hundred miles for the ride to completely deteriorate to the point of resembling a log wagon. Rest stops for an hour or so do not alleviate the problem for another couple hundred miles worth of ride, system seems to need several days of R&R before reset and vehicle "glides" again.

We understand that many folk consider 2-300 miles a full day. And we found that close to that average (3-400 miles) was true in our gasser ('03 Pace Arrow 35G). However, in the Tsunami, when the breakdown begins about halfway thru the day, the dread of the last 150 or so miles almost makes it not worth the effort.

But, the discomfort aside, we feel very unsafe travelling in this condition.

To say that my husband is frugal is simply an understatement. He is very hands-on and WE will fix whatever he can (never mind that "way back when" TN Dept of Employment Security used aptitude tests as part of their screening and my mechanical aptitude didn't even register). So in anticipation of what's to come, I'm trying to find out now all I can about this problem and whether there's a solution that he AND I can live with.

My benchmark is not having to work on something mechanical with my husband, his will be $ signs.

We bought this coach because my husband wants to go full time and I told him I would try it if he would buy me a full-time galley, which he did. We are still planning to sell S&B in early 2020 but my budgeting so far has not included many 100- to 150-mile days.

I have searched several forums and have found many references to air bags deflating over time when parked but the above-mentioned post is the only one I've found that seems directly on point. I'm curious whether in your travels or visits to other communities you might have encountered others experiencing our problem that I'm not finding in my searches.

Thanks again for getting back to me.

Thanks
So chertman47
What did you end up doing to resolve your issue ?
Hows it going for you?
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Old 12-19-2019, 07:11 PM   #10
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I sent chertman47 a PM asking the outcome, here is his PM reply;


"Not sure what your comment was as I don't see it. However, thanks for replying.

I found the problem with the leveling control rod grommet. It has deteriorated to the point where it wouldn't hold the rod. Replaced the grommets top and bottom and problem resolved.

Again thanks for your response. Always appreciated."
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Old 12-19-2019, 08:44 PM   #11
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Thanks Ray
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
I sent chertman47 a PM asking the outcome, here is his PM reply;


"Not sure what your comment was as I don't see it. However, thanks for replying.

I found the problem with the leveling control rod grommet. It has deteriorated to the point where it wouldn't hold the rod. Replaced the grommets top and bottom and problem resolved.

Again thanks for your response. Always appreciated."
And a very cheap fix at that.
Ohhh we that fret and stew from lack of knowledge.
This forum is the best.
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Old 12-20-2019, 07:11 AM   #12
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the connection that hwh has with the air suspension is that air to the ride height valve is run thru the hwh air manifold. when the travel light is lit up on the touch pad, it indicates the travel valves are
opened, and the park brake is released.
hwh does not control the ride of the coach going down the road unless you have active air, installed at hwh factory.
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Old 12-21-2019, 07:21 AM   #13
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Air Leakage

Quote:
Originally Posted by HJLowell View Post
Thanks RayAnd a very cheap fix at that.
Ohhh we that fret and stew from lack of knowledge.
This forum is the best.
TO ALL: The main culprit was indeed the control rod grommets but I also replaced the air regulator in the dash which had a small leak.

This forum is a wonderful source of information both for now and the future as we all know that it is only a matter of time before some other issue comes up.

THANKS TO ALL THAT RESPONDED!
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