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fully loaded

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fully loaded

Postby Macukrv » Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:51 pm

Hi as some of you will know I am new to all things RV and slow but sure checking and repairing things the last owner ommited to tell me needed repair.
I had noticed on my 350 mile drive home that the RV handled like a puppy on a lead. Being an ex bus driver many years ago I had driven far worse but was supprised how wayward the RV was, the drive home was far from relaxing. On our first and only outing so far ( the one that was abandoned when we found the black tank was blocked )
I had to prise my wifes finger nails out of the arm rests when we arrived on site. The RV had lurched and wallowed about so much she was holding onto the chair like she was at Alton Towers.
I had just finished filling the clean water tank on site when we had to abandon the weekend and travel home to unblock the black tank. With the weight of a full water and LPG tank the RV drove nicely and went where I pointed it in other words, it was better fully loaded. I have had a quick look at the suspension and stearing set up on my RV, everything is greased up as it should be. But I have noticed two small valves under the front nose cone of the coach, they are connected via two small bore pipes to the front suspension, one valve and pipe for each side. My question is this are they some type of suspension aid rather like the air adjustable forks on a Kawaski motorbike or a Hydragas type system like on a Austin Maxi and if so how is it powered ? Air or N2 gas ?. How does it effect the ride and how do I recharge it or know if its fully charged ?. I have not looked at the rear suspension as I only spotted the two front valves today. Can anyone tell me what is it I am looking at please. Many thanks Mac.
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Re: fully loaded

Postby des » Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:32 am

They are for the front air bags. When I had a daybreak, I kept them at somewhere around 80psi, but someone else will give you the right figures. I eventually fitted airbags at the back as well, and that truly sorted the handling problems.

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Re: fully loaded

Postby ruffingitsmoothly » Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:36 am

Macukrv wrote:Hi as some of you will know I am new to all things RV and slow but sure checking and repairing things the last owner ommited to tell me needed repair.
I had noticed on my 350 mile drive home that the RV handled like a puppy on a lead. Being an ex bus driver many years ago I had driven far worse but was supprised how wayward the RV was, the drive home was far from relaxing. On our first and only outing so far ( the one that was abandoned when we found the black tank was blocked )
I had to prise my wifes finger nails out of the arm rests when we arrived on site. The RV had lurched and wallowed about so much she was holding onto the chair like she was at Alton Towers.
I had just finished filling the clean water tank on site when we had to abandon the weekend and travel home to unblock the black tank. With the weight of a full water and LPG tank the RV drove nicely and went where I pointed it in other words, it was better fully loaded. I have had a quick look at the suspension and stearing set up on my RV, everything is greased up as it should be. But I have noticed two small valves under the front nose cone of the coach, they are connected via two small bore pipes to the front suspension, one valve and pipe for each side. My question is this are they some type of suspension aid rather like the air adjustable forks on a Kawaski motorbike or a Hydragas type system like on a Austin Maxi and if so how is it powered ? Air or N2 gas ?. How does it effect the ride and how do I recharge it or know if its fully charged ?. I have not looked at the rear suspension as I only spotted the two front valves today. Can anyone tell me what is it I am looking at please. Many thanks Mac.


Hi are the air bags inside the front coil springs?

Here this may be of help from the RVforum

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index. ... ic=52719.0

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Re: fully loaded

Postby Macukrv » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:24 am

Hi by the looks of things and it was only a quick look as it was raining, the front suspension set up has two giant wishbones with coiled springs and dampers sat within dished recesses in the wishbone. The small bore blue pipes disapear into the coil spring area and I could not see any large airbags, which made me wonder if they are air adjustable struts or air bags. The RV is a Gulf Stream Sunsport, 4 berth about 26 or 28 feet long and fitted with a front mounted 6.5 Chevy TDI and autobox and hydraulic leveling rams forrard and aft. The UK log book states registered in the UK in 1996 so I dont know the year of manufacture. I have been told it is a P30 chassis due to its age and not a workhorse as first thought, but I dont know how one tells the difference as yet. I hope that helps identify the set up I have, if it does I would be interested to know what pressure it should be set at and how would it effect the handling which is skittish when the coach is empty. If its anything like old Japanies motorbikes I would put money on the dampers/ air bags being empty of pressure at the moment.
Many thanks Mac.
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Re: fully loaded

Postby Macukrv » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:46 am

Just looked through all the threads listing front air bags and this has given me a lot of info, thankyou for attatching them to your reply. By the sounds of it my chassis has the standard factory system I will need to weigh the RV( for tyre pressures and disrtibution of weight) as not sure what pressure to put in the air bags. The fact that it is easier to drive when fully loaded is confusing, plus the coach is higher at the back slightly as my wife and I dont pack it to the gunnalls as we have always travelled light.
Before bunging in pressure I will carry out a few checks first, the coach does not have a port or starboard list so thats one thing to be thankful for. :)
Thank you for the info I am so pleased I joined the forum.
Mac
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Re: fully loaded

Postby olley » Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:37 am

Hi Mac if your RV is a 96 it will be a P32 chevy. Workhorse bought them in 98 I believe, and apart from increasing the track by around 12" left the chassis largely along. The increase in track improved the handling which was always a bit iffy.

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Re: fully loaded

Postby Mrtibbs » Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:55 am

Hi Mac
Your description brought back many memories....
We had a 1995 Rockwood Regent built on a Chevy P30 Chassis with the 6.5 diesel motor. Ran like a train but steered like a clinker built whaler :lol: Every outing was a test of courage and determination, depending on whether I or it would get our way... I fitted air bags to the front suspension and pumped them up from a standard air line to about 85psi and it did help, not cure the problem. I would suggest that you try pumping them up to 80-85psi and taking a drive to see if it is improved. Part of the problem is that the track is too narrow and on the later P32 Chassis it was widened as Ian says, and makes a huge improvement. I suspect that yours is a P30 and if you look at the front wheels they will be about 12+ inches inboard of the side of the coach, on the P32 they are 6-8 inches.
Let us know if this works.

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Re: fully loaded

Postby HEREFORD BULL » Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:30 am

The airbag problem has just about been covered but the higher at the back than the front thing could be the front coil springs are coil bound this is quite common on these chassis the weight carried over the years takes the travel distance (trying to keep it simple )out of the springs so you are virtually travelling on the bumper stops when these chassis are(were) made the chassis maker doesnt know what weight the rv maker is going to put on them. I had this problem of the front being on its knees even with the help of air bags to cut a long story short we took the rv to a weghbridge weighed the front axle then the back axle then the whole thing (frightening) we then sent the weights off to a coil making firm in the states who made the springs for the weghts of the current weight vehicle not the original weight you can also then throw the airbags away the ride was much improved if it sounds complicated it isnt we had this done a few years ago by mobile rv who did everything bar weigh the vehicle and fitted them on a saturday morning like i said its quite a common problem with this chassis but not one that i think can be cured by airbags only if the airbags are shot might be worth getting a quote from mobile rv for the springs to see what it costs first ,Just my opinion though
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Re: fully loaded

Postby Macukrv » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:07 pm

Thanks after a bit of detective work I have found it is a 1995 P30 chassis and the wheels are indeed inboard narrow tracked so it all adds up, the front is rated 5600lbs on the chassis plate and looking up the air bag pressures on line they reconmend 75 psi max. I put 65 psi in each side and she popped up like a low rider next to a patrol car at the lights. I will try different settings and if the springs are tired replacements may be in order as the rest of the coach is in good condition. The up side is I will never get bored driving it :D
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Re: fully loaded

Postby Macukrv » Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:09 am

Just a quick up date on the air suspension question, thank you to everyone for the useful info. I repressurised the tyres all 6 were at different pressures ??. Then I pressurised the front airbags to 70 psi the coach took on a more level stance and so I went out for a drive to see if it improved the handling. Wow I could let go of the wheel with one hand if I wanted to use the indicators !!! and was able to get rid of my 1000 yrd stare, it felt more like a coach and less like a bar rodeo bull. Also each time I take the coach out it shrinks a little, no more intakes of breath waiting for a bang as I drive past traffic islands or see a lorry coming the otherway. Although the RV is only a little one at 26ft it is wider than most trucks or bussess. So all in all the 30 mile test drive was great. The down side is one of the airbags has a leak and overnight all the air was lost on one side so I had to remove the air from the other for the moment. I will look into new coil springs and replacement air bags as it made such a difference, thank you all once again.
Mac. :)
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