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Old 06-15-2005, 10:00 PM   #1
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I just joined this group and having read the existing posts I haven's seen this one. What can be done to tame the 21,000 lb air suspension on the freightliner when it is running bobtail and light (12,000 w/trailer)? I tried talking with Freightliner service but they didn't seem to want to help with the problem. Onexman..I know you work with volvo but air suspension is air right? any help out there?
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Old 06-15-2005, 10:31 PM   #2
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trowe,
I have absolutely no experience but have spent a large part of the last several years studying this and other sites.. the term PING TANK seems to come to mind.. a rigid expansion tank hooked inline with your suspension.. it will not decrease your weight carrying capacity appreciably,but will make the ride softer.. as I understand it a small air tank (maybe 10 gallons)like the portable ones used to air up a tire, with the largest diameter connections practical is what you want. search on this site and google on the net and you will find a lot of information. here are a couple of links
oo landline

in my search I found this very good article by our pioneer Larry Z.. the interesting thing is that Warpath's avatar has changed to the new one.. I was kinda hoping for the nostalgia of the old one that was on there the first time I read it.LOL
Larry Z's article
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Old 06-16-2005, 05:47 PM   #3
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BOTH links referenced above have a LOAD of good info that many of us would do well to review (or peruse for the first time). I even picked up a few more pointers that I either missed or forgot about (probably the latter). GOOD STUFF!
Gary
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Old 06-16-2005, 09:16 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. I'll follow the links and get educated. Hopefully I can solve my problem. My co-driver will thank you forever if I do.
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Old 06-18-2005, 11:28 AM   #5
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Lots of interesting information, but one that I'm wondering about (because I had considered doing it too), is the suggestion on OO Land Line of using one of the fuel tanks for water. Is that really practical? 120 gallons of water is going to weigh 1000 lbs. With both tanks full you will be fairly well balanced, but as you use water or fuel your center of gravity is going to shift significantly. I have seen a lot of discussion of front/back weights. How much thought has everyone been putting into side to side or corner balance?

Since it wouldn't actually be possible to reuse that fuel tank anyway (for fresh water, I suppose you could clean it and use it for gray), I thought about selling off the 120 gallon tanks and installing a pair of 75s instead. Even at a total of 150 gallons, that's pretty long legs when you're used to stopping every 300 miles or so.
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Old 06-18-2005, 04:38 PM   #6
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I think you are overstressing the effect of a single 150 gal.(give or take) tank on the center of gravity. Around here there are a BUNCH of trucks running single 100-150 gal. tanks. The only thing countering it on the other side is the battery box. They have been running this configuration (usually pulling a 6000 gal. milk tanker trailer on dairy pickup duty) for about 20 yrs now, so if there are any negatives to this setup, either they don't care, or there aren't any. I wouldn't worry too much about it.
Also, even if you like to stop every 300 miles, it's still nice to know you don't have to fuel up every second or third stop. I think a 1500-mile range is kinda cool, and a 150 gal tank would be no sweat for a Class 8 pulling a 5er.
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Old 06-18-2005, 10:50 PM   #7
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.....my 300 gallons gives me the opportunity to cash in on discounts and cheap prices....also to know that I will sleep all night without running out of fuel or weather out a storm in cool/ warmth without any thought of having to shut down the Onan generator....that my batteries will be ready in the AM when I start up the tractor engine...that anyone in the tractor will be cool/warm all nite-should they not wish to sleep in the trailer....That I can give assistance to a fellow RVer should he not be checking his fuel levels as much as necessary. That I am self sufficient no matter how bad the local situation is-that I don't have to stop in places that are weird/dangerous.....these are a few of the benefits of mass fuel tanks......and I can cheat now and then using some heating oil or Military fuel.....geofkaye
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Old 06-19-2005, 01:41 PM   #8
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Spoken like a true gentlem- uhhhh, acquaintance.......
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Old 06-19-2005, 01:49 PM   #9
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Gary, not sure, that's kind of why I asked. I do know that truck manufacturers relocate tanks to shift weight towards the rear. That, of course, is primarily an axle load issue. I suspect it also improves braking when running bobtail. On a toter configuration 1000 lbs could be 7% of your weight. I can't believe you wouldn't notice a difference in handling. For a conversion it's not as significant, as long as your do your homework on the rest of the design.

Geof, if you're driving every day, having $600+ tied up in your tanks is no big deal. For a casual RVer, I might not use 600 gallons in a year. So I only have to buy fuel twice a year? In between trips that fuel is going to be sitting there. That's not good for the fuel. I might save a few pennies on cheap fuel (right now there is a 10% difference in the highest and lowest prices at Flying J, and I happen to live in one of the lower states), but having my money tied up costs in other ways. Not to mention how volatile fuel costs are right now. Even with just a pair of 75s I could drive from KC to Vegas and likely have fuel to spare. 1500 miles gives me more than enough time to pick the right place to buy fuel.
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Old 06-19-2005, 05:06 PM   #10
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Gypsy-
Keep in mind that just 'cause you have the capacity, doesn't mean you always have to use it all, all the time. Short trip (200 mi+/-), put in approx. 50gals.; long trip (1000+ mi), feel,uhh,fill 'er up!
I think you get the idea. It's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it. Have fun!
Gary
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