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Old 06-07-2018, 02:15 PM   #1
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Default Rear leaf spring sagging

I have a 1995 Dodge Xplorer 230 Class B. The rear is lower than front. I have been told the only option is new leaf springs. It already has helper springs on it. Been told rearching springs does not last. Air bags or Sumo will not level out. Anyone had this issue and know a good repair plan?
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Old 06-07-2018, 04:00 PM   #2
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New springs from a competent suspension shop that understands and works on trucks and RVs.
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Old 06-07-2018, 04:04 PM   #3
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Default rear springs

I put 2 interconnected air bags on the rear of my 1987 190 and that works for me. by interconnecting them, air can flow from one to the other to keep you level. I also placed an air control valve in the system to control how high the back is with any load I am carrying, " water,waste, packed for 5 months"
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Old 06-16-2018, 09:29 AM   #4
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Air springs work great. I would recommend doing each line separate so they remain where you put them. Using a single line without a check valve between them air can travel to the other air spring on turns and cause more lean in the vehicle.
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Old 06-16-2018, 03:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad1998RD View Post
Air springs work great. I would recommend doing each line separate so they remain where you put them. Using a single line without a check valve between them air can travel to the other air spring on turns and cause more lean in the vehicle.
I agree. They idea that you stay level with them connected together is not correct unless you have exactly the same weight on each side. The airbags will each support the identical amount of weight as they are at the same pressure, but that doesn't level anything. You need them separated to do any leveling.

If the springs are really bad, which is likely, you may also need to replace them, but if you add airbags at the same time, the springs can be bit softer. This will give you a bit smoother ride, as you will be on the air bags for some of the weight.
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Old 07-31-2018, 05:53 PM   #6
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I replaced the leaf springs on my 1996 Coachmen RB-19 (Ford E250 cutaway) myself as it was in a similar situation. I purchased springs from SDTrucksprings.com but did all my own research. I highly recommend weighing your RV dry and again with gear and boat in tow (if that's your thing). With your actual scale weight and knowledge of the original Van weight you can easily pick appropriate leafs which are not too soft or too stiff.

Out of the factory, I found that my Coachmen RB-19 was within 180 lbs of being over capacity for the springs which came with it. Changing them yourself will require good jacks, jack stands, air tools, and tourqe wrenches. Some shops will do it with your parts or you can bring them your specs using this research so that they can order springs for you.

Determine your use and goal. I do a mix of camping and non camping use so I wanted something comfortable in both cases. If you occasionally use your Xplorer as a daily driver or for non camping trips you should weigh it dry and full of gear. Do this at a gas station with certified scales. The scale weight of my camper was 7720 lbs with the front axle reading of 3200 lbs and the rear axle reading of 4520 lbs (approximately 2,260 per tire).

Determine what the original spring capacity is.... On Fords there is a sticker with a spring code which can be researched. Mine were code 9M4P which translates to a 3/1 leaf springs with a 2350 lbs capacity per spring (tire). As you can see, I could only load about 180lbs before being over capacity for the original springs (reserve capacity).

Next Google to find out what the weight of the non Camper version of your Dodge van is. You want the actual scale weight, not the carrying capacity weight. I assumed 41% front and 59% rear. Now determine the reserve capacity.... How much the factory springs could hold vs the actual weight.

The purpose of this research is to try and get a replacement spring which offers similar reserve capacity to the original but scaled up for your RV. Do not go with more reserve capacity than the original non RV version of your the van. In theory if you stay in that reserve range you will make it ride like a regular van but if you exceed the reserve capacity it might feel too stiff.

Skipping the installation "fun" I chose to go with a 4/1 spring which has a 2,775 lbs per spring capacity. This put me on the low side with nomimal reserve capicity. The van rides great now, but if I had to do it again I would have gone with an even stiffer spring. Hope this helps anyone else thinking of doing this upgrade.
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Old 08-07-2018, 03:53 PM   #7
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Go to a spring shop which specializes in trucks. I used one where I was the smallest vehicle in the lot. They have the springs and the expertise to do the job.
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