Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Roadrunner Repairs: Air Bag Solenoid

After a great stay in Albuquerque for six weeks, we were ready for the short and scenic drive up to Santa Fe.  We packed up on Friday and were ready for a leisurely departure from our FamCamp site at Kirtland AFB on Saturday morning.

But --- we had another problem with the air bags.  Again, they would not inflate.  We tried the same things that worked when we left Tucson.  We set down the jacks again and went through the whole sequence a couple of times.  We moved the coach and drove it to another spot in the campground hoping it would loosen something maybe and fill the bags and empty the bags.  No dice.

So we called the Freightliner dealer in Albuquerque.  To our surprise, they said, "bring it on in", they could work on it today.

Now for the hard part -- getting it there.  It was about a 14.5 mile ride to the dealer.  At 10-35 mph.  The coach was sitting so low to the ground I had to take it slow.  Plus I could feel every crack in the pavement or pothole since I had no air suspension.  It felt like my shocks were completely gone only worse.

So it was scary.  But I took it slowly with flashers on and Pam following with her flashers on and we made it to the Freightliner shop about 10:30.
They got us in quickly and started the troubleshooting.
 There were only a couple other rigs in the shop to work on so we were hoping to get out of their quickly.  But it took most of the day.
We left and ran some errands and went to lunch.  I tried the California burger from Burger King.  (I think that may be my first and last...)

We came back after a couple of hours and they found the problem.  The air suspension dump valve assembly was bad, causing air bags to always be in the dump mode.
(The photo is an example of a similar part.  I didn't think to take a picture of the real culprit when it was sitting on the counter.)

They went to see if they had a replacement.  We had two surprises:  1)they had the part and 2)it was a lot of money.  I should not have been surprised on the cost, but after it was all said and done, we were $1174 lighter.  But we were very glad to be rid of that issue.
There was still plenty of time to drive to Santa Fe and we left about 4:00.  The air bags were as they should be and we hitched up the car and drove out of the garage area.

It was a beautiful day for a drive and we arrived at the Rodeo de Santa Fe Campground without incident. It was not the day we planned on but we are glad we got the air bag issue resolved.

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!
Until next time...


  1. It is always stressful when our "house" is in the garage, isn't it! Glad it worked out for you!

  2. But isn't it a big relief when the repairs take care of the problem!

  3. So glad you were able to get it fixed so fast.... SOrry it cost sooooo much!
    Have fun in Sante Fe!
    Travel safe

  4. Glad it was fixed quickly, but I now will be worrying more about my air system :(

  5. sorry to hear you had such a 'large repair bill'!..but at least it is fixed now!..have a great day!!

  6. Going to add this to our list of future repairs cuz I know it's gonna happen eventually :)Our bus is older than yours.

    Sometimes it's worth the money just for the peace of mind, knowing you won't have to deal with it the next time you want to leave. (hopefully)

  7. Such a small part to cause so much trouble! Glad that problem's finally resolved even though it was pretty expensive.

  8. I love having things fixed and working right, but I hate an extra, budget-busting expense. I had a flat last month on the back of my Harley. After having it repaired, and a motel room for the night, I was charged $610. Ouch! If you have any questions about Santa Fe, I'm I can answer them. I lived there for 10 years. If you are going out for dinner, try the Bobcat Bite. Fabuloso.

  9. Oh those darn repairs! The good news is that you were able to drive there rather than being towed and that they were able to get you back on the road quickly. It's just part of a full-timers life.

  10. Whew...that's not the kind of kink you want to see in the old budget. But at least you are repaired and back on the road. Hope you enjoy Santa Fe.

  11. We drive a 2009 QTH as well, so thanks for the details ... glad to hear you're repaired and on the road again.