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air bags deflated causing violent shaking left to right

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Good morning!
We are newbies to this RV world!  
 
Before June 12, 2018, the biggest rig either of us had driven was a big pick up truck.  However we decided to jump right in to an Itasca Meridian 36’ diesel and spend 15 months touring Canada and the USA.  How smart that decision was is up for debate…but that’s what we did!!  The plan was fairly general but flexible enough to change if we found a place we loved!  
 
Eleven days out on the road, as we were driving near Mount Rainier, the rig started to shake violently left and right…we were able to get it stopped but we were 8’ from going over a very steep drop off.  We thought a tire had blown but when we got out, the tires were all good and we could not see a problem.  Eventually a mechanic arrived at that site and he determined that the airbags had deflated and that they had automatically inflated (fixed itself!) and that we could now continue our drive.  We made it down the mountain…however we have had this happen 15-20 since then and have had it to several Freightliner Shops around the country.  Many parts have been replaced however it continues to ‘shake’.  We are towing a 2014 Jeep and are now also investigating the possibility that something in that connection is triggering the ’shaking’ event. 
 
Has anything similar happened to you or any RVers you know or have heard about?  Any thoughts would be helpful!
Thank you!
Rich Heck
Suzanne Kochevar

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25 minutes ago, WILDEBILL308 said:

What year and model Jeep? What towbar setup are you using?

This is a critical question, many Mopar products have had this problem, due to electronic steering, there is a fix from Mopar if yours is one of those models. Without the requested info we can not be of any help. The probability of air bags deflating and reinflating on their own without a loss of air is not likely.

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Rick, Welcome to the FMCA Forum !

If the air bags deflated - you should have had an alarm going off.

Quick check is to park the coach on level ground and block the tires - both rears / front of tires and back of the tires(only need to block one tire on each side) Release the parking breaks. Knowing the Year would give us some needed info.

Assuming you have air brakes. with the coach parked engine OFF- pump the  the air brakes until you hear the alarm, keep pumping the brakes and at about 45 lbs of air or a little lower the Yellow park Brake will pop out. This is a simple test one should do before hitting the road, each day you plan on traveling is a good habit to get into !!

Rich.

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Another option: Sounds like it could be more related to your leveling (IF your leveling system starts by dumping air in the air suspension) than the air system PSI or ride height valves/bags.

Just wondering if the leveling system is going into "leveling mode" vs "travel mode".

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Sounds like something is amiss here. Interpretation of the symptoms is critical. I do not know much about this coach but mechanics are mechanics. If the airbags are deflating one would expect to notice a body/chassis attitude change while driving.  To the Jeep as Kay suggested, could the DEATH Wobble be significant enough to shake the coach to create the illusion of the problem being coach related? I seriously doubt it is the tow bar but it needs inspecting if the Jeep is the cause.

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I'm with the Jeep was the cause. If the coach suspension in the rear dumped the air our that ride would have been so rough as the suspension was bottoming out cabinets would have been opening, very violent slamming as the chassis was hitting imperfections in the road, which would be different than a wobble.

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We had a 2008 Jeep Wrangler JK that we used to tow.  We never had a problem towing it, but did experience the "death wobble" twice while driving.  It happened around 45 MPH and was violent enough that it could have shaken the whole coach.  There is a fix for it and if you are driving a Wrangler would highly recommend that you have it looked at.  It only happened twice in 40K miles, but there is a reason it is called the "Death Wobble". 

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Mike, I have towed 3 Jeep Wranglers, well over 150,000 miles, behind 3 DP coaches, in the past 12 years!  Never have I had a "Wobble", of any kind!  I have also towed Toyota Tundra 4x4, Colorado 4x4, Silverado Duramax 4x4 and Izuzu Troper II 4x4 , over the past 33 years!

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We had an 09 JKU with a 3” lift and 35” tires. It only death wobbled before I had the caster corrected, never after! 

Mid the OP has a Cherokee with electric steering..well that would explain it all.

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1 hour ago, jleamont said:

Mid the OP has a Cherokee with electric steering..well that would explain it all.

My exact thought, 2014 was a bad year for Jeep Cherokee, and the Grand Cherokee about 2017 has displayed those same problems. I read about the Wrangler death wobble just yesterday, seems to happen between 45 and 55 mph, loose joints or caster seems to always be the problem with them. I had electronic steering on my Kia Soul, I loved the way that car steers, just too light for a highway with any water on it.

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My Wrangler tows great but, on the way back from TN., I had a blow out on the inside drive axel passenger side of the coach. I was in the center lane of I-459 southbound so I moved to the right lane then to the emergency lane and stopped pretty quickly. About 2.5 hours later the roadside repair had finally had mounted the spare tire on the rim of the blown tire. When I got back on the road and about two miles down the road the Wrangler started wandering to the left side of the coach, tow bar is a Roadmaster Stowmaster 5000. I let my wife finish driving the Jeep home, and I have now added a safety device to the tow bar to prevent this from happening again. Only two incidents while towing vehicles over the past 50 years, both were on 4 down vehicles. By the way the pins were locked properly when this occurred, I called Roadmaster and sent them pictures of this.

20180924_142111.jpg

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Kay, blowouts are never any fun!  I take it,  that there was no damage to your metal coach?  I had your type of Roadmaster, up until 2008 and never experienced that. :(   

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The locks on each arm appear to be set with not enough distance in length on their respective arm. If the distance were a inch longer, it would not allow this to happen. I did not have a problem with this before the quicker than usual stop after the blow out. I can not find any visual bends in the unit now, but if it is not hooked to the coach, I am able to move the non stationary arm all the way over to the stationary arm with both lock pins locked. That is not supposed to happen, until I find a better fix, I will be using a safety chain to not allow this to happen again. I hoped that Roadmaster would respond with a good fix, but 9 days later still have not heard back from them. I will be emailing them again this PM. To test yours, simply put the assembly out like you are ready to tow with both pins in locked position, now try to push the side that slides back toward the stationary side, if it allows it to go back more than a couple inches without resistance then yours is doing like mine. I would sure like to know your results. I actually had intended this to be started in a new thread but with Carl's question it got here accidently. If the moderator chooses to move it, I will be grateful, thanks.

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I'll put it back on Topic.  Have been PM'g the OP & it's a Jeep Cherokee, she is having the "fix it kit" installed today!  That should take care of it.

Note:  My Roadmaster is no longer a ball hitch!  When I take off in coach, it locks, with a solid clunk, that I can feel & see! 

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Seems to work better on the earlier models.  Personally, I would trade the Cherokee in, for a 2 or 4 door Wrangler and be done with it..:P

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Bear with my dumb questions. Are you using a towed braking system? Is it working properly? The Roadmaster falcon tow bar is rated for 6,000#, during emergency/hard braking a 4,000# vehicle can exert more pressure that that against the locking pins.

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Last I heard from OP was Thursday, via PM.  She was having the harness kit installed.  Unless they have another issue, I suspect it's the last we will hear from them!  The name of their firm, is after her name...Goggle it.  It's beyond my pay grade! :P

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I purchased my first RV, a 2000 Fleetwood Discovery in August, 2018. While the custom welders were installing the complete tow package parts, they suggested I replace my air suspension bags because like an old tire, they had numerous cracks.  I took their advice and it totally changed the balance for the better! Have had wonderful experience with Smitty's RV custom repair and welding in Houston TX if you are in that area - have them take a look.

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