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Old 05-09-2014, 11:01 PM   #1
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Default Air shocks check valve?

Hi

We recently bought a 1997 Pleasure Way Class B (Dodge RAM 3500 chassis), and we're totally looking forward to lots of camping adventures this summer!

We wanted to take her out this weekend, but I've noticed an issue when going over bumps. I think she's bottoming out. Bit gutted I didn't notice this before we bought the camper, but oh well.

Somebody suggested I check the pressure of the air shocks/bags. I'm usually pretty handy, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to do that. Can anyone tell me if there's a valve or something I can plug into? Or is it a nitrogen system and can only be looked at by a shop?

Or, if anyone has any other suggestions on what the problem could be, they'd be most welcome!

Finally, I've tried a few garages here in West LA, but most are saying our camper is either too tall or too heavy for their bays. Can anyone recommend a good mechanic who can handle a Class B in my area please?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-09-2014, 11:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: Air shocks check valve?

Do you know for sure it has air bags or air shocks?

I had a Class C that had manually controlled air bags. Up front, under the hood, there were two what looked like tire valve stems for the front air bags. Near the rear, in a side compartment, there were two more tire valve stems for the rear air bags. If you find things that look like tire valve stems you should be able to trace the hose lines back to the air bags. You check that type of air bag with a tire pressure gauge and add air like you would with a tire. If you find that type of system on your van try to find a label for brand name and model then you can look up recommended pressures etc.

If you don't have air bags maybe you just need new shocks. I did some work on my 1997 GMC van last fall and one upgrade was 4 new Bilstein shocks. I'm very happy with that choice, much improved.
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Old 05-10-2014, 04:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: Air shocks check valve?

Putting shocks on an older Dodge can be a tough job, and one that I would leave to a pro. I think you need a special tool for the fronts. I know doing the rears on a Roadtrek involved removing some of the RV stuff, so the rears will depend on how PW did things.
There is a recent thread in the Class B forum, on RV.net, about putting shocks on a Dodge Rt.
If it's the springs you can add helper springs at a pretty reasonable price.
I don't think PW put airbags on that early of a model, so unless previous a owner added them, you may not have any.
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Old 05-15-2014, 06:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Air shocks check valve?

Thanks for the replies.

I managed to find some valves by the back license plate. I checked the pressure in them, and it read zero. Couldn't believe it. Filled them up to 50psi and I've noticed an improvement. Next step will be to replace the shocks. Which Bilstein shocks did you use please markopolo?

And thanks for heads up on installation Caped Crusader, I'll do a little more digging before I decide whether to attempt myself or pay someone else
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Old 05-15-2014, 06:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: Air shocks check valve?

I just found your post re Bilstein shocks markopolo! Thanks!
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Old 05-15-2014, 06:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Air shocks check valve?

Might be these: (I don't know exactly which Dodge van you have)

http://cart.bilsteinus.com/search/mm.../drivetype=RWD

You can enter your model etc. here: http://cart.bilsteinus.com/

I got mine from Summit Racing because they had a good price when I was shopping for them.

Nice that you have (and found) the air bags.
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Old 05-15-2014, 07:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: Air shocks check valve?

If you have the 3500 chassis make sure to go with the Heavy Duty Bilstiens.
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Old 05-17-2014, 02:03 AM   #8
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Default Re: Air shocks check valve?

Thanks Caped Crusader, just ordered some from AJUSA for a good price.

Just trying to figure out what bolts it takes now so I can go get some from the depot (incase my current ones are too rusted up to use!)
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