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Old 04-09-2018, 12:52 PM   #1
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Airbags and Hydraulic Levelers

So in reading my Ride Rite materials it states one should never raise the vehicle by the frame w/ air in the bags. Isn't this what we're doing when we activate our hydraulic levelers?

Should I be emptying the air bags every time I drop my levelers?
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Old 04-09-2018, 01:06 PM   #2
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This subject has been broached many times:
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ml#post1716255
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Old 04-09-2018, 01:21 PM   #3
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When these air bags go south I might take them off and put some Hellwig helper springs on. Set them and forget them ! Lifetime warranty - one and done !
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Old 04-09-2018, 02:06 PM   #4
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Thats true however the helwigs are not easily adjustable for changing loads. I guess if your load is generally consistant, the helwigs are a good choice too.

Did you have J-Ride on your Grayhawk?
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Old 04-09-2018, 02:42 PM   #5
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Yes I did, so I have some experience w/ the Hellwigs.
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Old 04-10-2018, 12:56 PM   #6
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The trick is to not raise the wheels off the ground with air in them. If needed to raise that high put levelers under you tires to keep contact with the ground.
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Old 04-10-2018, 12:58 PM   #7
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I always travel w/ 3 bags of single block levelers and 1 bag of double wide levelers (for the rear tires). I really prefer not to put my rig's tires in the air. Good to know about the wheels off the ground and the air bags though. Seems easier I think to just deflate them first though; I always travel w/ a air compressor to check my tires before I get underway - now I'll add the air bags to the list.
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Old 04-10-2018, 01:04 PM   #8
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I would suggest to not empty air bags of air. You always want to keep contact with the ground. With or without air keep them on the ground.
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Old 04-10-2018, 01:07 PM   #9
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Why not empty them? So long as I'm not moving down the road w/ them there should be no harm in dumping them. No?
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Old 04-10-2018, 01:19 PM   #10
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Ultimately, the concern with the bags themselves is whether or not the airbags are going to be limiting downward travel or if the shock or some other part of the suspension is going to be the limiter. You don't want to over-extend the bags and that is why the recommendation is to keep the wheels on the ground. I would dump the bags and then level as that is also how the full air ride rigs do it.

Regardless of whether or not you have airbags, you always want to keep the rear tires in decent contact with the ground. Those are the only things preventing you from sliding on the leveling pads like skis, so that limits the concern to the front tires.
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Old 04-10-2018, 01:42 PM   #11
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That's what I had meant - I would empty the bags prior to leveling the rig. I never have my rear tires off the ground, and 99% of the time I never put my front tires off the ground either. I find its more stable if the load is spread out amongst the tires and jacks.

So I guess my system would be:

Get my rig up on blocks close to level (my personal preference)
Empty the air bags
Level the rig

**********
Upon departure I'd:

Fill the air bags
Raise the leveling jacks
Roll off the blocks
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Old 04-10-2018, 01:44 PM   #12
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Check out http://.airliftcompany.com

Lots of answers about airbags. No air could damage your airbags.
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Old 04-10-2018, 03:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trozfast View Post
Check out http://.airliftcompany.com

Lots of answers about airbags. No air could damage your airbags.
The link does not work because of the . on the front end.

Additionally, this brand states that the use of onboard leveling systems do not require airbag deflation.
Unfortunately, the airbags used by the Coach Builder are not this brand rendering any reference pretty much irrelevant.
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Old 04-10-2018, 03:35 PM   #14
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I've got the same system on my existing rig. Most of the time, we level primarily with the blocks, then use the jacks to steady out the rig and finalize the level. We only dump the bags (to Ride-Rites Minimum pressure of 5lbs) if we are going to raise more than 4" on the frame with the levelers. Otherwise, we use the lego blocks and a 2x12 when needed to keep the tires on the ground.


BTW, I'd change 2 steps in your leaving - raise the levelers, THEN fill the airbags - or get off the blocks too. You don't want a false pressure - Yes I know, I've done it the other way and gotten wrong pressures - gotten off the blocks and wondered why the bags were at 50lbs, not 75. We raise the levelers, get off the blocks and then do a final airbag fill/check to make sure we are at the pressure we want for the day.
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Old 04-10-2018, 04:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vansteenburg View Post
BTW, I'd change 2 steps in your leaving - raise the levelers, THEN fill the airbags - or get off the blocks too. You don't want a false pressure - Yes I know, I've done it the other way and gotten wrong pressures - gotten off the blocks and wondered why the bags were at 50lbs, not 75. We raise the levelers, get off the blocks and then do a final airbag fill/check to make sure we are at the pressure we want for the day.
Thanks Iíll keep that in mind.
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Old 04-13-2018, 09:34 PM   #16
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S1njin, for 2 years, we have done this. ;pull into site ; if the nose is high, I chock the front wheels ; hit the auto on the Bigfoot and let it do its thing, just like the instructions from Forest River say.
Sometimes the front wheels are off the ground. No harm according to family who own a big truck shop. I have never had the rear actually off the ground, but if the front are chocked if they are raised to where they are 'light".
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