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Open Roads Forum  >  Class C Motorhomes

 > In-cab air bag control

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Kamphiker

South Florida (this 'aint paradise anymore)

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Posted: 02/23/12 05:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Help me understand the basics of how a in cab monitor with air compressor works.

1) Air compressor 12volt has a pre-set (factory) pressure cut off switch (maybe 150 psi ?) compressor is set to run anytime ingination switch is turned on and pressure is below pre-set pressure.

2) In-cab single swtich/guage (lets take for granted hard plumbed) you will have 2 lengths of tubing connected to the guage switch. 1 from the pump & 1 TO the air bags (w/ a "Tee" spliting to each bag).

3) let's say you have the air pressure set @ 60psi and you want to increase the pressure to 70 psi you push the switch which will cause the pump to turn on once the line pressure from the pump drops below the pre-set pressure cut off switch (basic system w/ No tank). once pressure is @ 70 psi (as indicated on the In-cab guage) you release the switch and the pump will shut off once the line pressure reaches the pre-set cutoff (which is almost instant since there is no storage tank)

4) if you want to LOWER the pressure in the air bags you push the switch to lower......Where does the air go that you have released from the Air Bags ????

-> Am I correct in my thinking that the "basic" Firestone Ride-rite controller has NO ELECTRICAL connection to it ?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I have 4 old Hadley In-Cab controllers they are totally manual but the guage face dial only reads up to 30 Psi. Not adequate for current appliacation (although I could purchase replacement gages (1/4" center back) but would require drilling and running tubing into the cab.


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Last Camping trip ->2011 SUMMER SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK


Handbasket

Asheville, NC

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Posted: 02/23/12 06:54pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hotbyte wrote:

.....

Handbasket - So, you are using the Airlift control with HF compressor? PS - love the signature line with calculus/drinking reference


Yep, compressed air is compressed air, and 12V is 12V . Neither cares what uses them, or what's on the other end of the system.... The Airlift control panel has a 12V momentary switch to power the compressor, which sends air to both bags unless one is lower than the other. It also has two gauges and two bleed fittings. I omitted the pair of minimum pressure switches that AL supplied as being an unnecessary complication.

For whoever was asking about drilling thru the firewall, I didn't. I just ran the hoses thru one of the existing grommets, either the steering column or parking brake cable probably. Carefully sealed the gap thus created with duct tape. A less direct route, but works fine. I think I drilled one hole in the bottom edge of the dash to mount the panel, and used an existing GM hole for the other screw. But remember that this is on a Silverado chassis.

(I managed to squeak out an A in calculus, but only 'cause Mom had a scholarship master's in math from Duke, and helped with homework over the phone every night.... I now own a little 1911 book called "Calculus Made Easy"... he lied.)

Jim, "Look out for #1... and don't step in the #2, either."


'06 Tiger CX 'C Minus' on a Silverado 2500HD 4x4, 8.1 & Allison (aka 'Loafer's Glory')

hotbyte

Barnesville GA

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Posted: 02/23/12 07:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks Handbasket!

Kamphiker, I'm learning here too but what I'm hearing/reading of you synopsis...
1 - The compressor doesn't actually come on until you press the "on" button on in-cab controller. No 12v power to compressor unless "on" button is pressed
2 - Seems to be two options - a single control (like you described) and dual control which uses 1 line from compressor and 1 each to the air bags for 3 total. Controller also has 2 gauges or 1 gauge with dual needles.
3 - Pretty much yes except releasing "on" button on controller cuts 12v to the compressor.
4 - Yes, guess it just vents out back of the controller???

Hope I'm close


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Handbasket

Asheville, NC

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Posted: 02/23/12 07:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Definitely, definitely, plumb the bags so they can be controlled separately! Using a single line to fill both will result in worse sway / body roll / lean in corners.

Jim, "This isn't Burger King. You can't have it your way."

Home Skillet

Pearland Texas

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Posted: 02/23/12 08:14pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here's the installation instructions for the AirLift system.
Makes figuring out how it works a lot easier.

LINK


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Kamphiker

South Florida (this 'aint paradise anymore)

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Posted: 02/24/12 05:16am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Home Skillet, What is the in-line Low pressure sensor / relay for ?

I'm guessing that if the Air-Bag pressure drops to a predetermined pressure ( 5 psi in the Dwg. you referenced) that the pump automatically turns on and airs your system back to the set pressure on your in-dash gauge setting ????

Handbasket

Asheville, NC

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Posted: 02/24/12 05:35am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kamp, the low pressure sensors in my AL system would have been wired to turn on the compressor on automatically to maintain the minimum required pressure in the air bags. That's if I hadn't omitted them. AFAIK, all bags have a minimum pressure that's required to prevent damage from chaffing.

Home, good find. But I notice that the diagram is for a single point fill. That's what I have on my old Toyota 4x4 pickup. It definitely increases sway; more air pressure, more sway. It's not a big deal on the pickup with 1,000# bags, but would be on a moho with 5,000# bags.

Jim, "Mo' coffee!"

Kamphiker

South Florida (this 'aint paradise anymore)

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Posted: 02/24/12 06:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I like this one Dual Load Controller 25852

looks like about $ 100.00 more than the single (listings on E-Bay)

I don't see a Column pod for a Ford E Series (only Chevy) that would be a nice location.

How good is the "standard" air compressor or do we need the Heavy Duty version. Reading the Standard duty you can only run the pump for 4 minutes continuous before you have to shut it off to cool down. I don't think the Standard duty would work very well if I wanted to adapt to be able to air up tires or tubes for tubing in a stream.

How water resistant is the standard Pump, looks like it's encased (in Plastic ?) thinking of mounting location under the MH (i'm not willing to give up storage space in exterior compartments).

On Edit I found this:
RECOMMENDED COMPRESSOR LOCATIONS
Important
LOCATE COMPRESSOR IN DRY, PROTECTED AREA ON VEHICLE.
DIRECT SPLASH OR EXCESSIVE MOISTURE CAN DAMAGE
THE COMPRESSOR AND CAUSE SYSTEM FAILURE.
Disclaimer: If you choose to mount the compressor outside the vehicle please keep in mind the compressor body must be shielded from direct splash and the intake should be snorkeled inside the vehicle. If the compressor does not include a remote mount air filter or if mounting the compressor outside the vehicle, make sure to orient the compressor intake filter so that all moisture can easily drain.
Please also remember...

To avoid high heat environments

To avoid mounting the compressor under the hood.

To check to be sure the compressor harness #2 will reach the compressor and connect to harness #1.

The compressor can be mounted in any position — vertical, upside down, sideways, etc. (please refer to the instruction manual).

hotbyte

Barnesville GA

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Posted: 02/24/12 06:13am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That one does look nice Kamphiker. Looks like the PDF does show compressor being mounted underneath to the frame.

For airing up tubes, I'd highly recommend a high volume, low pressure 12V pump. We use this Coleman 12V pump for airing up tubes we pull behind boat and it has worked flawless for last 7 yrs or so. It pumps the tubes up much faster than a high psi type compressor. It can also be used to deflate the tube to get all air out.

hotbyte

Barnesville GA

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Posted: 02/24/12 06:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Oops...I posted before your Edit.

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