How do you adjust the air pressure on air shocks? My dealer says you can’t adjust them. My manual says you can add air to make them stiffer or let air out so the unit will ride softer. —Harry, 2019 Forest River Forester 3271SF
The online brochure for the Forest River Forester indicates your rig comes standard with the Firestone Ride-Rite Suspension System. According to the Ride-Rite website, the kit for your Ford Class C Cutaway Chassis is Kit Number W217602622, which is a rear kit.
According to the installation manual, the kit comes with two air bags, two upper and lower brackets, two secondary upper brackets, an 18’ air tube, two inflation valves, two 1/8 NPT air fittings, and two no drill inflation valve brackets. That does not mean that Forest River bought all these components and installed them, as I have found most manufacturers will buy in bulk and not get everything that comes in a consumer kit. My motto when it comes to the RV industry is: Never say never and never say always!
How the kit is assembled
The air spring has an alignment pin and air portal on the top of the spring that goes through holes in the upper bracket. A 5/8” 18 nylon jam nut attaches to the portal and a 1/8” NPT male air fitting is attached.
The air line tube is inserted into the air fitting, which is a compression fitting with a collar that holds the line firm similar to a PEX plumbing connection. The air line tube in each of the air springs is routed to a convenient location typically on the side and most often in a wheel well. But, then again, never say always!
The hose is attached to the inflation valve and fastened to the mounting bracket. You should be able to get underneath the rig, find the bags, and follow the air line tube. The website kit shows a red tube. But, once again, never say always! It might be located in a compartment on the side, as well.
According to the owner’s manual, the bags need a minimum of 5 psi and a maximum of 100 psi. They recommend to put in 70 psi and adjust according to the ride preference for your rig and weight.
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Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and the author of the “RV Handbook.”
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I had ride-rite airbags in a truck… on a pickup truck, you measure your ride height empty, load the truck, hitch any trailer, then add enough air to bring it back to the same height in back that it was empty. obviously, an RV has a much higher ’empty’ load, so even empty you’re going to want to start quite a bit higher. you want the suspension the 50-70% travel range when at rest.
Ideally, the left and right airbags have their OWN valves, so the air pressure doesn’t crossover when leaning on turns.
the fancy setup has a small compressor with a switch and display that shows left and right pressure and has buttons to set them, all on the dashboard.