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tictoryde 05-22-2006 09:46 AM

Land Yacht Air Bag Problem HELP!!
Yesterday I got my MH out of storage to get it ready for this weekend's trip. After I got it in the driveway to start cleaning and prepping, I set the automatic jacks to level it out. I tried to start the genset and was having problems when I noticed that the gas tank was about a 1/4, so I thought maybe that was the culprit. I then decided to run up to the gas station...(story is getting long already). Being the idiot that I am, I hit the button to pull the jacks up so I could leave. Unfortunately, I didn't wait for the driver's side rear jack to retract when the coach rocked backwards. I then pulled forward and it did retract. Thinking that I may have screwed up the leveling system I reset the jacks to see if they were damaged. They seemed to operate fine until the coach began to move backwards while it was in park, my foot was on the brake, and the autobrake was set. I immediately hit the retract button on the jacks without thinking and they began to retract again except I did have to pull forward again because the driver's side jack was cocked. Now to the real question at hand...besides the possible damage to the leveling system the rear of the coach is now almost dragging the ground. When I start the engine I hear the compressor running but the rear end does not raise. It is so low that the driver's side mudflap is dragging the ground. The driver's side is lower and both bags are hard as rocks. I have called two dealers and Airstream and they cannot answer if there is a manual way to set the bags or a reset of some sort or if I have screwed up the air ride system. Sorry for rambling so long but I am trying to give all the details that I can think of for anyone on this forum to possible help. My coach is a 1994 Land Yacht 33'


swebster 05-22-2006 11:11 AM

Welcome to the forums! You threw out a lot of issues at once making it a little hard to tell if any two (or three) are related.

Best I can tell you want to know:

1. Are the air bags or air system damaged and not leveling the coach?
2. Are the jacks damaged?
3. Why did the unit roll backwards in park with the brake on?

and lastly,

4. are any or all of these related?

First off, is your LY on a gas (P or W chassis) or a diesel? Next, do you have a gauge or can you take manual a reading from the air systems to determine the current pressure level? Also was the coach level before you put down the jacks?

FWIW, on mine (a much older P30 chassis) when the jacks raise the rear enough, both leveling valves open (as the tags drop) effectively dumping the air system. It can take quite a while for that little compressor to fill up the system again.

The good news for you is that if you did damage something, you're close to both Paul Sherry and the factory for repairs.

tictoryde 05-22-2006 11:44 AM

Hi Steven and thanks for the welcome.
I guess I did ramble on a bit. This is where I stand with coach at this point.

1. The rear end is basically on the ground with the driver's side a bit lower
than the passenger side. The air system was working fine until I had the
incident with the jacks. The bags are hard like they are inflated and when
I turn on the ignition I can hear the air pump working but the rear end
does not lift. No, the air system is not leveling the MH.

2. The jacks have always worked fine. The rear ones have always been a
little slow to retract but no big deal. I don't know if I damaged them or
not when I went in reverse while the rear ones were still deployed. At
this time they can't deploy because the rear end of the coach is so low.

3. As far as to why it went backwards when I set them down the second
time is beyond me. I did a search on this site last night and did read
where someone had trouble with their jacks because of a faulty autopark
system. I may have damaged them but can't check until I can get the
coach up to a normal height.

4. All of the problems are related because they all happened at the same
time. One thing that I did that was probably taboo was to hit the "off"
switch on the leveling system before it went through it's normal cycle.

My coach is a gasser on a P90 chassis, I believe. There is a gauge on the dash panel that tells me what my pressure is. It has always been around the 70 to 75 psi mark. The coach was level when I put the jacks down. When the jacks were deployed the first time, I did hear some air bleed out of the rear. Is there a storage tank for the air or is it directly feed to the bags?

I spoke with Paul Sherry today (where I purchased it) and they didn't have a clue and told me to speak with Airstream. I then called Airstream and the person I spoke with there was in the dark also. He is supposed to have someone call me that "used to work with the motorhome department" today.

Thanks again and sorry for taking up so much space!

tictoryde 05-22-2006 11:48 AM

I wrote P90 chassis. I'm not sure of the number but I know it is a "P" and not a workhorse.


swebster 05-22-2006 11:59 AM

No problem. I'm not familiar with a P90 but I'm pretty sure the LY gassers we're built on the of the reasons AS retired the line was that Workhorse stopped making the P30 (replaced by the W22 and W24) and AS was running out of P30 chassis to build LYs on top of.

If you have a P30 and the newer LYs are close what whay we have on the older Classics then your air systems should be a supplemental system to leaf springs in the rear. A quick look under there would confirm this. In other words, I don't think they went to a pure air ride on this chassis so you should still have some suspension on the springs. themselves. No air in the system will lower the bumper height and reduce the travel speeds to below 30 mph.

Again, if yours is like mine, then you have a 12V compressor (or perhaps an engine driven compressor) which feeds into an accumulation tank (usually located between the rear wheels, aft of the axle)...this allows the system to have enough volume of air for the system as the compressor alone could not keep up with with the suspensions needs. It also allows the compressor to start without a head of pressure on it.

Let's focus on the air system:

What does your gauge say you have for pressure now?

If you turn the key to on and let the compressor run for a while does it climb?

Can you hear air hissing sounds inside or outside of the coach, near the "plumbing" or rear wheels?

You should have a schrader valve somewhere either in the bottom of the accumulation tank or plumbed into the bottom of the tank and run out to a wheel well. This is so you can remove condensation from the tank. Is this leaking? Can you "blow out water" by pressing the valve in?

swebster 05-22-2006 12:13 PM

Just confirmed that you have the leaf spring rear suspension on a P32 chassis from the Workhorse site. They listed Airstream as building the LYs on this chassis.

swebster 05-22-2006 01:14 PM

One more note...even is the bags are "hard" they may not have enought air in them. You should be able to see the a lot of the "bell" on the axle showing below the bag itself. Somewhere around here there is a picture of what this should look like.

I suspect you have no/low pressure either because it hasn't filled back up after a full dump when you cycled the jacks or something during this cycle introduced a leak in the air system.

In the meantime, here are some good posts on the subject from another thread

and here:

tictoryde 05-22-2006 01:21 PM

I was speaking with my son and he is going to double check for leaf springs when he gets home because neither of us remember seeing them but I have been known not to see alot of things:D .

I am currently not at home but I can tell you what I remember about the air system from yesterday.

1. The gauge will climb when the ignition is turned on and is reading pretty stable between 70-75 psi.

2. The only hissing sound was when I deployed the jacks the first time. When the engine is running I can only hear the exhaust. I checked back by the wheels on both sides. I didn't check around the plumbing because frankly I don't know where it is.

Where would the accumulation tank be? Now to really feel like a 'newbie', what is a SCHRADER valve? Is that like a valve stem on a wheel? I will have to check on this part when I get home from work tonight.

To recap and try to simplify because I have been trying to give so much detail;

Set the jacks and the coach was leveled. (worked fine)

Raised the jacks to leave and accidentally rolled the coach backward before the driver's side jack was fully retracted. It was then jammed in the opposite direction. Moved the coach forward and it retracted.

Set the jacks down again to check for damage and they deployed fine but then the coach rolled backward with the brakes applied and also in park.

Hit the stop button on the automatic levelers before they went through the entire cycle. Three jacks retracted but had to move forward again so the driver's side jack would.

The coach is now leaning on the driver's side with the entire rear end down and the air leveling system with not raise the coach to a normal level. I can't deploy the jacks because the coach is sitting so low in the rear.


tictoryde 05-22-2006 01:23 PM

Thanks Steven, I will check them out.


swebster 05-22-2006 02:02 PM

The tank could be anywhere (fun isn't it) but I would place it somewhere near the rear suspension and most likely between the frame rails. There were typically added by Airstream so depending on the floorplan you have it's located in the best possible site for a 5 gal air tank.

A schrader valve is indeed the same as your tire valves.

Try running the compressor with the ignition on the on position but without the engine running. Check for hissing sounds without the exhaust sound.

If you're tank is at 70 psi and the coach is not raising look at the bags and bells. If you can't see the bell (on the bottom) then air is not getting to the bags and you might need to look at the air leveling valves themselves.

tictoryde 05-22-2006 02:26 PM

Without trying to seem real stupid...again...what's a bell? When I look at the suspension the rubber bag is all that I can see.


swebster 05-22-2006 02:48 PM

I was trying to find a picture for you but can't seem to locate one.

If you are looking at the bottom of the bag, there should be a metal "bell" shaped support that sits inside the bag. If the lip of this bell it flush up against the bag (you can't see it) then the bags are too should be able to see a good portion of this bell.

swebster 05-22-2006 03:01 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Found a picture from a post by 87MH a while back....I added notes and lines for the bag and the bell. It's a little far away and hard to see the bell, but it's a good overview of the P30 Airstream air systems before they put a coach on top. Hope this helps.

tictoryde 05-22-2006 03:46 PM

A guy from Airstream just sent me over two diagrams. One of the rear componets and the other of the plumbing schematic. I can see what the bell is on this paper he sent. Unfortunately the papers he sent are for a unit with a tag axle a I don't have one. It does give me an idea what the set up looks like though. I do remember yesterday I did not see any of the "bell".

Thanks for digging up the pics!

tictoryde 05-22-2006 07:57 PM

Good news. I read on the web about another guy with pretty much the same problem. I guess you have to complete the cycle on the automatic leveling jacks before the air suspension will reinflate.

When I had my little incident in a panic I must have hit the off button on the leveling jacks and the computer was thinking that one of the jacks was still down and therefore the air bags would not inflate.

I got home tonight and drove the rear end up on some boards to add some height, deployed the jacks, retracted them and then shut the system down.
When I drove off of the boards the air bags were inflated and everything is back to normal. Whew am I glad this Gremlin was figured out!

Thanks for all of your help!

swebster 05-22-2006 08:30 PM

Gary - well done. It's nice when it's something simple like that.

tictoryde 05-22-2006 08:31 PM

Since I got the air bag problem solved, now it is back to the original problem that I was having. The generator. It is a Onan Marquis 7k. It was cranking and sputtering. Then it stopped cranking and that is when I checked the fuel level and saw that I was low on gas. Now with over a half tank it still doesn't crank. It gives a sound similar to a starter where the solonoid is a whirring sound. There is plenty of power as the shore line is plugged in and the batteries are fully charged. Any ideas?

Also, how the heck do you get to the spark plugs on this thing? I wanted to check them out but I can't get the cover off to access them. Does this thing drop down or slide out or something?

Thanks again for any response,
Gary (learning my way around)

jim8860 05-22-2006 09:34 PM

FYI I have a 95 LH and from what I can tell with my dealing with the air bags in my MH, "AS never made a full air ride for my year and model" . I know there is a few out there. make the Kit for AS and all the parts are still avaible. Also I think I have a part #'s for the air bags that will work for your MH. One more thing my MH always drags but for a minute or two if I didn't wait to fill the tank.As for the auto park. I have the factory book for the spec and repairs on the "AUTOPARK". I took my time and reset it to the specs and the things works well .If you need copys I can fax it to you. Jim

tictoryde 05-23-2006 09:18 AM

Thanks Jim for your input. I did look under my coach last night and didn't see any leaf springs in the rear. It seems to be totally air dependent. Fortunately for me, I don't need to replace anything at this time. I learned one major lesson...if the automatic leveling jacks are not allowed to cycle completely, the air bags will not inflate. If it would not be too much trouble I would appreciate it if you could fax me the documents. I will P.M. you with my fax number.

Now if I can find out why my genset won't crank I'll be in business. Does anyone know how to access the plugs on a Onan Marquis 7k? It is completely covered with panels. When I take the screws out there is something that will not release to pull them off. The unit looks like a big box! When they are service at a dealer, do they pull them out?


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