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Old 07-13-2011, 10:16 PM   #1
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Air Bag Blowout

I write this as I am stuck beside the road about 5 miles south of the southern entrance to Yellowstone NP. We have just spent 4 glorious days at Colter Bay in the Grand Teton National Park. As we were headed north towards Yellowstone, our passenger side rear airbag blew - a horrible experience. I thought thought that I lost our tow car! A big bang and all of a sudden our coach was riding like a bucking bronco! Fortunately, I was able to limp into a turnout (after a few miles) where I now reside for the night - I sent the family on to Cody in the tow car where we had planned to stay the night.

I want to give Coach-Net, Forest River Roadside Assistance, Freighliner and (especially) HungryBear Towing and Repair out of Island Park, Idaho accolades for coming to my rescue - it took them 3 hours to travel over here, but they were totally professional and even handled calling the park to let them know that I was stranded. The technician told me that I had a defective airbag and that he's never seen anything like it (told me it was one in a million). Unfortunately, the 2011 models now have a new airbag which isn't now commonly carried in Freightliners inventory and it has to be sent from Reno into Idaho Falls and then couriered over to me here. They are supposed to have it to me by noon tomorrow. Thereafter, I should be back on the road. In the meantime, I'm stuck here dry-camping on a pull-out in one of the most beautiful places on earth. My only problem is that my family isn't here to enjoy it with me!

I write this only as an FYI to all of you Berkshire owners. I hope this never happens to you. If it does, you can only hope that it happens in as beautiful place as I'm in and that Freightliner/Forest River will flip the bill as they are for me.
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:36 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear this, but atleast everyone is safe. Hopefully tommorow you will be on your way to continue your beatiful trip with your family
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:44 PM   #3
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It's a bummer not to have the family but think of peace and quiet you'll have! I say this only because I have 3 young children and I like my "alone" time once and a while.

Sorry to hear about the problem. Sounds like they will get you on the road quickly tho. Glad everyone is safe!
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:20 AM   #4
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Sorry to hear about your malfunctioned air bag.

Just curious. After the airbag went off you couldn't drive the rig?
Did it disable something that stopped it from running?

Just wanted to find out.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:55 AM   #5
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Sorry to hear of your blowout. We have an 11 also, but I think ours is the original style air bag. I do understand you not wanting to drive with that as it drops the rig about 4-5 inches when the bags deflate. When we went to Camp Freightliner they told us to always wait until the air bags completely fill before moving the coach. Good luck on getting thngs fixed and moving.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:46 AM   #6
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Had a very quiet and relaxing night - thankfully, I still had my own bed! The peace and quiet was great, but I'm ready to rejoin my family and resume our vacation. Hopefully, there are no problems with the inbound airbag.

I could drive the rig, but very slowly. Any slight bump jolted the entire coach unbelievably. I had to drive it a few miles just to find a spot to pull over safely with all of the park traffic. The mud flap was dragging resulting in a very irritating scraping noise (also wore the bottom rubber off). The tech reps told me it could be driven slowly, but not for great distances as the angle of the drive shaft is compromised. I didn't want to jeapordize my warranty, but was fortunate to be talking to Freightliner directly (they were great!).

Thanks for everyone's kind words!
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhpete1 View Post
Had a very quiet and relaxing night - thankfully, I still had my own bed! The peace and quiet was great, but I'm ready to rejoin my family and resume our vacation. Hopefully, there are no problems with the inbound airbag.

I could drive the rig, but very slowly. Any slight bump jolted the entire coach unbelievably. I had to drive it a few miles just to find a spot to pull over safely with all of the park traffic. The mud flap was dragging resulting in a very irritating scraping noise (also wore the bottom rubber off). The tech reps told me it could be driven slowly, but not for great distances as the angle of the drive shaft is compromised. I didn't want to jeapordize my warranty, but was fortunate to be talking to Freightliner directly (they were great!).

Thanks for everyone's kind words!
LOL I thought it was the safety air bags. Now I see it was the suspension air bag that failed. Sorry me stupid.
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