Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-16-2020, 02:27 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
Roddyy's Avatar
 
1982 28' Airstream 280
Grantsburg , Wisconsin
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 39
Driver controlled air shocks

I purchased a VIair air compressor and want to hook it up so that I can control shock air pressure from the driver's seat. VIair only sells the air compressor and not the distribution system. Has anyone built such a system to control air pressure to the shocks and if so, can you share with me what you did and how it worked? Thanks.
__________________

Roddyy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2020, 02:44 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
jeffmc306's Avatar
 
2019 27' Globetrotter
McHenry , Illinois
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 725
Blog Entries: 4
Roddyy, the Viair line of compressors are really great tools. I keep one in our trailer.

That said, you might be better off purchasing a system made specifically for air suspensions
https://www.etrailer.com/Air-Suspens...t/AL25804.html

You get everything needed in one kit.

NOTE: Viair does make on-board solutions with storage tanks for off-road 4x4's which you could probably adapt with a regulator to the shocks.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	download (1).png
Views:	11
Size:	115.9 KB
ID:	363390  
__________________

__________________
2019 27 Globetrotter FBT Walnut/Dublin Slate
2018 FC23FB
2019 Ram 2500 6.4 Hemi Laramie Blue Ox 1500#
WBCCI# 10258
April 3, 2020 Retirement Plan
jeffmc306 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2020, 06:59 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Smartstream's Avatar

 
1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,779
Your leveling valve should control the pressure in your air bags. The idea is to keep the coach at a level ride height. As you add or remove weight, the valve will add or release air to maintain correct ride height. You can run a line from the bags to the dash and watch the pressure change as you hit a bump, add fuel or water.

On my 280 I tapped into that line and added a small pressure regulator on the firewall. The regulator feeds the front air bags at 55 psi. Makes the entire system self tending and you can take comfort in watching the bags work on the dash gauge as you enjoy the ride.

On my 345 which also has air bags on the tag axle, i have two small regulators. One runs the front axle bags and the other runs the tag axle bags. The dash gauge has two needles so i can watch the drive axle and tag axle bags. It's comforting to know everything is acting as it should.
__________________
Cheers, Dan
________________________________________


"Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them."
~ Margaret Thatcher ~
Smartstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2020, 10:13 PM   #4
4 Rivet Member
 
2007 27' Safari FB SE
Forest Grove , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 493
Would a better source for that information be a low rider forum for So Cal or other places where they are really into the low rider and jump car thing?
They clearly know on board air systems.
Just wondering.
bweybright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2020, 01:00 AM   #5
2 Rivet Member
 
2015 25' Flying Cloud
Gainesville , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 58
I fitted an AirLift WirelessONE compressor system in combination with AirLift helper air bags on the rear of my 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The system ran trouble-free for over 2 years. The system consists of a digitally controlled precision air manifold controlled by wireless digital keyfob that manages the manifold and compressor. Operation was easy - Just set the bag air pressure using the key fob and the system maintains that pressure.

On the AirLift website search for WirelessONE P/N 25980

They have a newer version the combines the compressor and precision manifold into a single component. The newer version is also controllable from a smartphone application. For what these systems do, smartphone control borders on over kill as far as I'm concerned.

I was able to mount all components out of site inside the vehicle rather than exposed to the elements underneath the vehicle. My advice would be to try to do that as well if possible.
Specsalot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2020, 01:53 AM   #6
Keen amature
 
martin300662's Avatar

 
1975 20' Argosy 20
Chestfield , Kent
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,848
Quote:
Originally Posted by bweybright View Post
Would a better source for that information be a low rider forum for So Cal or other places where they are really into the low rider and jump car thing?
They clearly know on board air systems.
Just wondering.
Hmmm...... a bagged MH? Sort of works!

Click image for larger version

Name:	airstream_350le_class_a_motorhome2.jpg
Views:	10
Size:	272.7 KB
ID:	363413
martin300662 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2020, 06:29 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
bkahler's Avatar

 
1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,036
Quote:
Originally Posted by martin300662 View Post
Hmmm...... a bagged MH? Sort of works!

Attachment 363413
__________________
Air forums # 1674
1974 20' Argosy Motor Home
1974 31' Excella trailer (parting out, as of 4/1/2015 I have wheels, brake drums, windows & holding tanks left to sell)
bkahler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2020, 08:33 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
Mollysdad's Avatar
 
2017 26' Flying Cloud
Tampa , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 4,239
Blog Entries: 1
What you're describing is not an air shock, but an air ride suspension.
Seems like the Jeep/Rock crawler crowd has a system to adjust their ride using the Viair.
Mollysdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2020, 10:40 AM   #9
2 Rivet Member
 
2017 23' Flying Cloud
Mesquite , Nevada
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 39
I had a Winnebago ERA based on Sprinter van, I installed a Firestone airbag system that operated by remote control from the drivers seat. The biggest benefit I found was firming up the suspension in crosswind conditions, you could firm up o the downwind side so the van would not get pushed around by gusts.
Ken G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2020, 05:05 PM   #10
2 Rivet Member
 
Roddyy's Avatar
 
1982 28' Airstream 280
Grantsburg , Wisconsin
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 39
Thanks all. This is exactly what I was looking for. I am thinking of going with the Airlift wireless with two inputs, and I'll run one for the front bags and one for the rear bags. The wireless seems to make a lot of sense.
Roddyy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2020, 06:51 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
Smartstream's Avatar

 
1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,779
I have to ask if you have the original set up air system in your coach? The front bags run at 55 psi. and never change and the rear bags run off the air tank in the left rear of the coach which runs 90 to 100 psi. That tank pressure is controlled automatically by the pressure switch next to the compressor. The rear bags are controlled by the leveling valve typically 70 - 80 Psi. With the exception of the front bags, which are filled manually as needed, the entire system is automatic when you turn the ignition key on.

Monitoring pressures from the drivers seat makes sense but changing the pressures remotely/wirelessly seems to complicate and add expense to a simple system. I wish you success with your modification just trying to understand your reasons for doing so.
__________________
Cheers, Dan
________________________________________


"Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them."
~ Margaret Thatcher ~
Smartstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2020, 10:59 PM   #12
2 Rivet Member
 
2015 25' Flying Cloud
Gainesville , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roddyy View Post
Thanks all. This is exactly what I was looking for. I am thinking of going with the Airlift wireless with two inputs, and I'll run one for the front bags and one for the rear bags. The wireless seems to make a lot of sense.
The AirLift WirelessOne is bulletproof (especially if you mount it inside). The truth is that there is typically not a lot of adjustment involved once you figure out what pressure to run. When I got mine sorted out, I always carried loading pressure between 25-30 PSI (loaded) and 5 PSI (minimum safe pressure) when unloaded. In the old days when my father in law ran a bagged TV to compensate for tongue weight, he set air pressure manually with a tire pressure gauge.

Once the pressure is set, the compressor really never runs. If it starts, you've got a leak. I never had a leak. The biggest time consumer was doing the install. You have to plan it out and take your time. I would not have wanted to pay shop rates for my install. I can't imagine anyone doing a great job for the typical flat rate quoted for this work.

You might start with the two sets of bags only. And add a compressor later if you really need it. If I had realized how little the demand was on the compressor, I probably would have done a 'bag only' install. These "helper" air bags were not even under compressive load when the vehicle was light. The 5 psi safety minimum pressure is just to keep the bag from chaffing/shifting around, during unloaded operation.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	D0612DA8-176A-4F52-A8A0-9D021A95D653.jpeg
Views:	10
Size:	98.4 KB
ID:	363458   Click image for larger version

Name:	A8EB6ECF-330D-4FFA-9EF9-496F5EE1364D.jpeg
Views:	11
Size:	74.6 KB
ID:	363459  

Click image for larger version

Name:	71E9F633-25FD-4DDC-84B3-EB8A6A0CA854.jpg
Views:	8
Size:	313.8 KB
ID:	363460  
Specsalot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2020, 09:05 AM   #13
2 Rivet Member
 
Roddyy's Avatar
 
1982 28' Airstream 280
Grantsburg , Wisconsin
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 39
I've actually thought about this quite a bit. I like the original approach by Airstream to keep the back of the coach level. The air compressor and equipment on my Excella was DOA when I got the unit. I've put in new airbags and have noticed that the rear stays relatively uniform and does not tilt from side to side, but when the bags lose air, which they do, the coach drops low enough that I cannot extend the stabilizer jacks. Then I thought if I controlled front and back separately I could easily maintain air pressure in the bags and adjust for slight out-of-level conditions easily as well as insure the proper height was being maintained. I wouldn't expect to make a lot of adjustments. Primarily I would just set it up to be level on a level platform. Besides, if this doesn't work, I can go back to the original configuration.
Roddyy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2020, 12:01 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
Smartstream's Avatar

 
1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,779
Airstream originally did not connect the front bags to the rear bags or air system. The front bags fill through schrader valves located behind the front engine access panel. They run at 55 psi. and hold pressure pretty well unless they have been damaged by chafing or age.

How fast are your rear bags going down? They normally should hold for hours or even days. If the coach has been sitting long enough for the bags to go down and you decide to put the leveling jacks down, just turn the key on and the compressor will come on and re-inflate the bags and then you can set the jacks. I normally run the engine while parking and leveling because the jack system draws a lot of current and I like to keep the batteries topped up.

Be aware also that once you have your leveling jacks set if you have raised the rear, the leveling valve will dump air to bring the coach back to the preset ride height. When you are ready to leave the compressor will take a few minutes to refill the system. While filling the system the leveling valve will continue to dump air until you retract the jacks. The leveling valve really is the center of the system and sometimes you have to out think it.

Another safety issue is always try to park with the front end down hill. Your drive-line parking brake locks the rear wheels and if you raise the rear enough to loose traction on one wheel it is possible to roll off the jacks, not a fun experience.

It really is a great system, it's just about understanding what it is trying to do.
__________________
Cheers, Dan
________________________________________


"Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them."
~ Margaret Thatcher ~
Smartstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2020, 11:06 AM   #15
3 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
Lebanon , Tennessee
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 247
I had the Firestone Air Suspension with onboard compressor and remote installed in the rear only, on my previous truck which was a 2011 Toyota Tundra. When it worked it was fine. One problem was the bags would only keep air for maybe a week or two before I needed to re-air: but this may be unfair since I fiddled with it so much. Another issue was the batteries in the remote had to be removed every single time I used it because they would go bad if left in the remote overnight, or even from morning to evening. Another big problem is that the remote would not always pair with the compressor: Many times it would take 1/2 hour to 45 minutes just to increase or decrease pressure. Some days I could not get it to work at all. Other times it would pair but reduce the pressure on its own. The worst was when the air pump would run on its own. That is, drive drown the road, pull over, stop the engine and the air pump would be running and not stop when the truck engine was turned off. I would have to take the dedicated Air Suspension fuse out at the battery, then reinsert the fuse, just to stop the air compressor. I used the air suspension system to level the truck, but also to increase the height of the hitch when I wanted to remain hooked up to the TT but needed the hitch to be a bit higher to level the trailer; this is why I fiddled with it so much.

At any rate, I will not ever buy another Firestone Air Suspension system. Hopefully AirLift will work better for you. Just keep in mind that if the air pump continues to run after the engine is off just pull the air suspension fuse. It took me while to catch unto this trick.
Rzrbrn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 03:44 PM   #16
2 Rivet Member
 
Roddyy's Avatar
 
1982 28' Airstream 280
Grantsburg , Wisconsin
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 39
I want to thank all who helped me figure out how to proceed. Here is my progress to date. My first task, replacing all of the sliding window seals, was by far the hardest. The schlegles had been glued in and they were hard as rocks. I had to dig them out with a chisel. Removing the #4 screws was virtually impossible, and I ended up destroying a bunch of the top and bottom spacers that held the fixed window. But I got through the day and everything slides quite nicely now.
Then I managed to install a hard wired rear view camera which was easier than feared. It wasn't too hard running the line from just above the rear sink then under the MH and to the driver's seat.
Then I started to install the air pump. I made a mistake when I simply bought a VIAir compressor, but hadn't considered everything else that was needed. It was recommended here that I consider the Airlift 74000 wireless system, and I did buy that. Installation was straightforward and the wireless part made the final hookup fairly simple. It seems to run okay. We'll see how it does this summer. I've run one channel to the front bags and the 2nd one to the rear bags. It's nice to have such easy total control.
My next task is to replace the overhead air conditioners. I'm building a platform now so that I can work up there. Everything else has gone so well it has helped me screw up my courage to do this. Not quite sure what air conditioners I should consider. I would think they should be lower capacity since there are two of them for a 28 foot camper. Comments and recommendations are more than welcome. Any thoughts on heat pumps?
So there has been at least one good thing come out of this pandemic. I now have no excuse not to work on this project, and it's kind of fun.
__________________

Roddyy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Remote Controlled Blinds Malfunctioning tmittness Sprinter and B-van Forum 0 11-03-2018 10:06 AM
LED spot light remote controlled dimmer modification Snowy Lights - Interior & Exterior 8 09-12-2018 05:58 AM
Remote controlled tow dolly Isuzusweet Hitches, Couplers & Balls 13 04-16-2018 02:55 PM
Shocks, shocks and more shocks Inland RV Center, In Commercial Listings 1 05-26-2009 03:37 PM
Micro processor controlled chargers. FrenchBern Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 0 07-27-2006 01:00 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:16 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.