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Old 08-16-2014, 10:47 AM   #1
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1978 28' Argosy 28
Minoa , New York
Join Date: Aug 2014
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Replacing Air Suspension.

The rear air cushion assembly on my 78 Argosy 28 is dry rotted. This rig came with the leveling air suspension system with the built in compressor. (No idea how much life is left in the compressor.) The new air cushions will take over a month to receive and cost double- just for the cushions - what a whole new Firestone Ride Right system costs. Anyone replace the auto leveling system with a manual system like Ride Right? Anyone try the AirLift Load Lifter 5000 air suspension system?

Sorry if this has been answered before, having a devil of a time with the search function on this forums app.
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:51 PM   #2
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
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I am not certain of your 78 as my book only goes back to 79 but I suspect they are the same. That is a 1/2 elliptical leaf with a trailing arm supported buy an air spring to the frame on each side. This outfit has everything you need pretty much in stock. Firestone Airide Air Springs, Heavy Duty Air Bags for Bus and Trailer The springs/bags are $150 to $175 and the leveling valves if you need them are even less. Compressors are many, I use a Viair industrial series with a continuous duty cycle at 100 psi. This and some pluming is about your entire system and it is a simple and effective system.

I think the Ride Right system is a supplemental system rather than the main load carrying system you have.

I am on the road with limited internet access but send me a PM and I will answer when I can. Also talk to SD, they are very helpful.
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:58 AM   #3
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1978 28' Argosy 28
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Thanks. I have a call into SD. Hope to Gert a response Monday
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:00 AM   #4
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1982 28' Airstream 280
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I also agree with What Smartstream said. I have a 28' airstream 1982 (built on an '81 chassis). I have the same system that Smartstream describes. These are "real" air spring systems and not the supplemental "extra load bearing air bag systems". I also went through my system a couple years back. I replaced the air springs and all air tubing and fittings. I also had a small accumulator air tank which I replaced with a much larger real air tank. This is an excellent system and it works very well. Right off hand I can't remember the name of the compressor...it is a big one! These compressors last forever. What you will probably have to replace is some wiring, the check valve and maybe the pressure regulator. There are a lot of folks here that have replaced the air "spring" ( air bags), themselves and some have done a really nice job of documenting here on the forums. While I had my mh in the shop doing some brake work a while back, I decided to have them do it. I did assist them in finding a supplier for the springs since their locale suppliers only had one spring in stock. The original manufacturer of the system is still in business in Southern California. We got the springs from them in one day and they matched Truck Springs price.


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Old 08-19-2014, 09:32 AM   #5
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1978 28' Argosy 28
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SD is recommending replacing the existing system with a Air Lift Load Lifter 5000 and a new compressor system. Anyone ever try this?
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:56 PM   #6
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There is a miscommunication somewhere. The Airlift 5000 is an add on helper spring. Your suspension is an air spring not an add on helper spring. Here is a link to help identify your air spring/bag. Identifying a Firestone Air Ride Spring, Air Spring Tips | SD Truck Springs

The Airlift 5000 handles 5000 lbs. over load. Your rear end weighs closer to 10,000 lbs. If you have the manual copy the picture of the suspension and email it to SD. If you don't have the manual I can send you a pdf and you can print the page and scan it. I am on the road so I don't have a printer or scanner with me.

The system on my coach is made by American Carrier Equipment but your earlier coach is a different set up and I don't know the manufacturer. The closest example I can think of is a Peterbilt Air Leaf. Peterbilt places the air spring between the rear of the leaf spring and the frame. Basically cutting the rear of the leaf spring off and replacing the shackle with the air spring. Your system cuts the rear of the leaf spring off but adds a trailing arm from the axle to connect the air spring to the frame. I don't know how to better describe it in words but this might help the guys at SD to understand what you have without pictures.

The best would be to identify the numbers on you air spring and they will know exactly what you need. The link above will show you how. I have the numbers fo my system but I don't know if they are close to what you need. Anything I can do to help let me know.
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Old 08-19-2014, 04:59 PM   #7
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1978 28' Argosy 28
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Thank you Smartstream. I have the manual in the RV... I will scan it and forward to SD. I was afraid the salesman was not listening and you have confirmed that.
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Old 08-19-2014, 05:27 PM   #8
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1982 28' Airstream 280
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What Airstream did is not exactly common so the automatic assumption is a helper spring of some sort. You will probably have to pull a bag to get the correct numbers unless somebody here has done an early model. SD has the bags but I doubt anybody will have them listed as Airstream so finding a number on your bag will be the best way to identify what you need. The link I gave you is pretty good for identifying your bags.
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