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Old 01-09-2013, 09:41 AM   #1
Full Timers/Diesel power.
 
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1983 31' Airstream310
Cactus Hug , Arizona
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Room under the stern?

I need to replace the schrader valve on my air accumulator tank. Can I let the coach settle down slowly, put her on the leaf springs and still have room to get under?
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:59 AM   #2
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You should not have to let the unit down, if the air bags are not leaking there is a check valve and leveling valve between the accumulator tank and the bags. To see if your system is working right, just let the air out of the tank and see if it settles or not. It should not, at least for the short time it takes to change the schrader valve.

I would never get under your coach without some support in case of bag failure in any event. Jack stands would be my recommendation. You don't want the coach coming down on you when under there, even though it may not come down enough to cause you to be injured, the surprise and panic is too great.

My '83 310 could sit with no air in it's empty bags with no damage, but a friend had an '81 280 which did damage the air bags when he lost pressure and it settled down onto the cones and pinched the bag somehow.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:08 AM   #3
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I replaced the Schraeder valve on our 310 by just crawling under there and doing it, but as I recall there was not much air in the system and it was already sitting on the springs. There was plenty of room to maneuver, but it would have been kind of spooky if the coach had been settling while I was under there.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:33 AM   #4
Full Timers/Diesel power.
 
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1983 31' Airstream310
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waipio Rim View Post
it would have been kind of spooky if the coach had been settling while I was under there.
How true, I've got the valve capped-off, so she's holding air in the bags. Those are pricy bags, so I'll wait until I'm somewhere that has jacks. Thanks, all.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:08 PM   #5
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What type of jacks do you all recommend? I have been looking at ones on Northern Tool:

jack stands from Northern Tool + Equipment

What weight rating for a 17,000 lbs GVWR and what height?
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:42 PM   #6
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Richmond , Kentucky
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Dave,

I have a set of 6-ton (each) jack stands like Northern sells and have used them on my 310 (14,000 gvw).

All the same I was never thrilled while underneath it when on the stands However they were very stable. When on soft ground I have a set of 1/2" thick steel plates that I set the jack stands on. Makes them very stable.

Brad
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:05 PM   #7
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My air bleed out the air bags. I kept taking it to shops till I I got the soap bottle out and started checking everything. I had a broken fitting on the compressor that took me for ever to find. The leveler were way too low and I adjusted them up to the minimum height and and all has been good. It took a lot of load of the front-end. Mater of fact, I haven't had to replace anything on the front-end for some time. Well I did replace the front coil spring w/heaver rated ones which had eliminated the problem I had with the front-end bottoming out on the littlest bump.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Dave,

I have a set of 6-ton (each) jack stands like Northern sells and have used them on my 310 (14,000 gvw).

All the same I was never thrilled while underneath it when on the stands However they were very stable. When on soft ground I have a set of 1/2" thick steel plates that I set the jack stands on. Makes them very stable.

Brad

Brad,

I had the same thoughts. At work we will only use things that can with stand the entire weight being lifted or tied down. So therefore I would need at least the 10 ton jack stands. Didn't know if I was being squeamish about wanting so much. I will most likely go with the 10 ton. It will be worth the extra $$$ not to keep thinking about the what ifs. Now all I have to do is figure out how high to get them!

Thanks again for the sage advice!
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:03 AM   #9
Full Timers/Diesel power.
 
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Cactus Hug , Arizona
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Can anyone describe where to place the jack stands?
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:40 AM   #10
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Port Angeles , Washington
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Can anyone describe where to place the jack stands?
I personally don't use jack stands very often. Unless I'm pulling the wheels I drive up on wood blocks. You do not want to put jack stands on the frame forward of the rear axle because you really put a bow in the frame, jambs the door pretty bad. The best place is the axle tubes on the differential. The problem is getting a jack in there to raise the axle and still having room to place the jack stand. The heavy jack stands have a large base and you just don't have much room. I also have leveling jacks so finding room on the frame behind the axle is difficult with the fuel tank and holding tanks taking up space. A center bath coach may help with the holding tanks forward.

For the front there is a "Y" in the frame just behind the bumper that is very strong. This is where a tow truck will lift and tow a P-30, They have a special bracket that is made just for the P-30 that lifts at this point. The "A" frames are at an angle and don't have any good flat spot to put a jack or jack stand. Again I have leveling jacks mounted just behind the front wheel which would be a good spot to place a jack or jack stand.

Taking a hint from HWH, they mount the leveling jacks in the four best locations, right behind the axles front and rear or the alternate front location at or near the "Y" at the front of the frame.

Have fun.
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