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Old 03-14-2013, 09:58 AM   #1
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How to completely drain the air tanks?

Hello again....you guys are probably gonna get annoyed eventually with all these questions But anyhoooo.....I was trying to drain all the air out of the air tanks today. But I couldn't find the valves or any lanyards to pull. I dumped the air using the HWH panel, but I want it all out. It's a 2005 Journey 39K. Anyone know where to look for them? Thanks a bunch.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:50 AM   #2
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Deucenut,
A couple of things here. One, I was just wondering why you'd want it "all" out? No biggie, just wondering. Second, most of the Winnes and Itascas have lanyards, just inside the right front fender well, close to the frame etc. You have to get down and really look for them as they can be obscured by other components.

Then, if you can't find them there, lay down, under the front of the rig and, find the tanks. The lanyards (if they're there) should be attached to drain mechanisms on the bottom of those tanks. If, there's no lanyards at all, then, you'll have to use the drain valves on the bottom of each of those tanks. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:56 AM   #3
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Hi Deucenut,
Once you get all the air out of the tanks, consider replacing the air dryer filter. The only time one can get it off is when there is no PSI in the tanks.

Like previously posted, the tanks (3) should be above the front axle (or thereabouts).
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:19 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. I did a search and looked for the lanyards but couldn't find them. I guess I'll have to crawl under the coach. I wasn't dressed for that today though. Lol.

Fireup: the reason I want to drain all the air out is because I want to get the moisture out of the tanks. Most ppl don't do this and the condensation builds up until there is water in the tank. A number of things can go wrong from here:
1) water will rust out the tank causing sudden loss of air pressure.(don't want a tow bill cause my tank let go and I have no brakes.)
2) this moisture can travel through the air lines bringing dirt and debris with it. This dirt can then clog up the numerous valves in the air system causing malfunctions and other costly repairs.
3) it's just good practice to keep everything working properly.

GaryKD: thanks for the advice. Do you know where the air dryer would be located? Is that hard to do to change the filter? I'm pretty new to DP's but I mechanically minded.

We just got this coach in November and I have a feeling it really hasn't been taken care of very well.
Thanks again guys. Next time I'm at the coach I'll crawl under it. Do you know if I dump the air from the HWH system, can the wheels be turned? They look pretty close with the air dumped and straight ahead. I don't want the coach to come down on the front tires.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:53 AM   #5
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An air dryer looks like a large auto oil filter, a metal cylinder. it will be on a line coming from the compressor on the engine before the tanks. If it is working properly, there should be no water or moisture in the tanks. Each time your compressor reaches full pressure, a pop off valve on the dryer will blow off any moisture captured by the dryer so you can find it by observing and listening as the engine runs. If you crawl under the front and release the dump valves so you can observe them, little or no water means the dryer is doing its job.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:49 PM   #6
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It is my understanding that the air dryers have a specific time frame that they are to be replaced depending upon the manufacture of the air dryer. If not followed the beads in the filter could migrate into the air system and brake chambers. This could result in a MAJOR cost to clean and or replace brake components. Not to mention the possibility of a brake failure and the consequences. I have a Haldex air dryer and it is recommended to change every two years. Other manufactures are different time lengths. Contact the freightliner help phone number for your coaches dryer manufacture information. Use your Vin # when calling, 1-800-385-4357.
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:25 PM   #7
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Deucenut,
I definitely understand your concerns. However, as has been stated here, if you're "Air dryer" is doing it's job which, they do about 99.999999% of the time, you will find NOTHING but air comimg from the tanks. That's not to say one NEVER finds moisture but, it's pretty darn rare. Also, your compressor and air intake system is filtered too so, getting any debris/dirt/dust/etc. inside that air system to damage valves, lines, and more, is pretty close to impossible.

I'm not telling not to do it 'cause it is good to do it once in a while just to see if your air dryer is doing its job. And, you don't have to drain it all the way down. Since the valves with or without lanyards are at the bottom of an "arc" (bottom of a round tank), the water will settle in the valve and come out first.

We did this practice each and every morning as part of a North American standard for Pre-trip report on all of our 75 fire trucks. We almost NEVER found any moisture in them because the air dryers did their job quite well.

Now, as for your question on HWH system draining the air from the bags. If you're talking about the button on the HWH leveling panel that says "Dump", all it does is dump the air in the bags, not the tanks. Per the HWH manual on the 625 Leveling system, the parking brake must be set in order for any of the funtions on the HWH panel to function. It's an interlock thing. So, to answer your question, NO your rig will not roll even if you were to manually dump all the air out of the system.

Not only that, if, you dump all the air, manually or not, or, you loose air, and it drops below around 30 psi, those brakes (rear) will come on automatically. The rather large and powerful springs in the brake cans do that for you.

Anyway, hope this helps some.
Scott
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:25 PM   #8
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In an air brake system, there are two tanks that store and power the brakes. Failure of one would allow braking power with the other tank on at least two of the brake cylinders. In addition, loss of air pressure automatically applies the parking/emergency brake, bringing the coach to a stop. Air pressure must be at least 60 lbs. psi in order for the emergency brake to be released. While it is admirable to wish to maintain the brake system, you should spend some time learning how the components work and properly service the systems of your coach.

An Air Brake Primer

Air Brakes 101
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:08 PM   #9
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The lanyards may be tucked into some of the wheel well trim but I'll bet they are in there somewhere. Just pull them with your awning rod. No need to drain them as stated before.

I try to remember to do mine around the first of the month. Just pull and hold about 15 seconds on each one. I almost never even see a little hint of a mist. The system is pretty good at drying itself out.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:23 PM   #10
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BFlinn181

Exellent reference material. I read similar documentation when I studied for my AB endorsement test many years ago. Good stuff.

I totally agree, one should fully understand the key feature of equipment they are operating and tests provide the means to determine if drivers understand the safety aspects of Air Brake Systems,
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:32 PM   #11
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As mentioned, your air dryer is located between your compressor and the first air tank. It's rare that you will ever find lanyards on the two tanks past the primary (1st) tank. These two tanks normally only have drain cocks on them. The reason the primary tank collects the moisture is because hot air from the compressor hits the cold tank resulting in condensation. You should dump the primary tank every day or before each trip, as you would be surprised how much condensation builds up. It is the high level of water in the primary tank that once too high, will start to travel to the remaining two tanks, brake lines and other components, wreaking havoc and costly repairs or worse, catastrophic failure.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:58 PM   #12
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
In an air brake system, there are two tanks that store and power the brakes. Failure of one would allow braking power with the other tank on at least two of the brake cylinders. In addition, loss of air pressure automatically applies the parking/emergency brake, bringing the coach to a stop. Air pressure must be at least 60 lbs. psi in order for the emergency brake to be released. While it is admirable to wish to maintain the brake system, you should spend some time learning how the components work and properly service the systems of your coach.



An Air Brake Primer

Air Brakes 101
Wow. One could take your tone wrong but I will choose not too. The reason I asked the question of where the drains were is because I actually HAVE taken an air brake course and now have my air brake endorsement. I am aware of how the systems work and of the fact the emergency brake applies when air is lost. I'm also aware that moisture can build in the "wet" tank and eventually make it to the other tanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogpatch View Post
As mentioned, your air dryer is located between your compressor and the first air tank. It's rare that you will ever find lanyards on the two tanks past the primary (1st) tank. These two tanks normally only have drain cocks on them. The reason the primary tank collects the moisture is because hot air from the compressor hits the cold tank resulting in condensation. You should dump the primary tank every day or before each trip, as you would be surprised how much condensation builds up. It is the high level of water in the primary tank that once too high, will start to travel to the remaining two tanks, brake lines and other components, wreaking havoc and costly repairs or worse, catastrophic failure.
Exactly my point. Thankyou.
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:32 AM   #13
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This is from another thread. It's regarding Pre-Trip Inspections but some good info for this thread as well.

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/air-...ml#post1497807

I posted this to show what we are taught in the Air Brake Endorsement course. Knowledge and understanding is the key.

I think that you have to look at these things with a grain of salt and understand that:

1. Air Brake Endorsement is required by law in BC and apparently in other provinces in Canada.
2. The course is taught by a professional driving school and aimed at the "Big Rig" driver.
3. The are no courses available directly suited for the RV market and thusly, as the components of an RV are very similar to the Semi Truck, this is what we have to work with.
4. The Semi Truck and trailer Chassis is built open and high off the ground. Many RVers do their own maintenance so while under their coaches, could check the travel on their slack adjuster/pushrods. Almost all coaches and big rigs have automatic slack adjusters today and I would think that a Pre-season check of them would be adequate due to the complexities of access on our RVs.

The other checks on the list for compressor/governor recovery and air leaks are just good practice and very important to know before setting out or descending a steep grade.

It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "Without Air, We Wouldn't Survive".

I would have to think, as I was not told, there are Umpteen Thousands of RV owners out there who have bought coaches and the most they know about air brakes is that they have a peddle to the left of the one for gas. They assume that because of the peddle, they will automatically always have brakes! Much like turning on a light switch and subsequently having light.

Most do not know that you should not lose more than 3 psi in a brake application and if it happens, an early warning buzzer or light should come on at 60 psi. telling you of an impending bad situation developing. AND, if their compressor/governor are not working at their maximum, that if they lose further pressure and it drops to a level of between 45 and 20 psi, that the spring brakes will automatically apply locking up the brakes. Just what you need going down a decent in a 35,000 lb vehicle.

I wouldn't mind hearing how many members don't know this!

I for one, am VERY glad I took the course. I may not be able to crawl under my Coach before every trip, but I'll know to ask the guys at my service shop to check what I can't.
I now have the knowledge of what to look for to ensure my coach brakes are operating as they should. I also know when they aren't, that pulling over is the correct choice of action and to not keep putting the foot through the floor till I cause a catastrophic failure or worse, a fatality(s).

This is just my opinion for what it's worth.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:44 AM   #14
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Deucenut, I assume that your MH is built on a Freightliner chassis. If that is the case, you should already be aware that the wet tank has a automatic moisture ejector. It is HIGHLY unlikely that you will ever see any moisture from any of the 3 tank drains as long as your water separator is properly maintained.

Daily draining of those tanks on a motorhome is something that the lawyers wrote.

If you don't believe me, call Mike Cody at Freightliner.
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:18 AM   #15
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Dump Valves

When I replaced my air dryer cannister I dumped all three tanks from under the frame. When I finished and aired the system up 2 of the dump valves had to be replaced because they leaked like crazy. My lanyards were clipped to the frame rail on the passenger side of the generaator compartment.

I found replacements on eBay. When I replaced them I also had to get the red sealant meant for compressor fitting threads to keep them from leaking just even worse than the bad valves.

You'll find the AD cannister just in front of your driver side rear axle. You'll find all sorts of information on how to change it by searching this forum for the keyword 'Haldex'. It is indeed possible to change the filter without disconnecting the air fittings and removing the filter mount. It's not an easy or clean job but it can be done. I was more concerned about creating leaks in the system by messing with the air lines than I was about making the job easy for me.
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Old 03-16-2013, 05:01 PM   #16
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Ok guys, thanks for the help. The next time I am able to crawl under the motorhome, I will hopefully be able to find the drains. As to whether or not you guys drain them or not, it's up to you. Yes I suppose IF everything is working as it SHOULD, there PROBABLY won't be any moisture in the tanks. HOWEVER, if it isn't working properly for whatever reason, then moisture will build up. I am not saying they need to be drained every single day(we rarely drive them every day anyway). These aren't semi rigs and don't use as much air since there's no tractor trailer. But I for one will drain the tanks after I use the motorhome and it is going to sit for a time. I really don't see the harm in it. Do you?
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Old 03-16-2013, 05:45 PM   #17
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Deuceneut, On my journey 39K the lanyards are in the passenger side front wheel well. If they are not there - the lanyards are attached at the front of the two tanks - I think if you scoot under behind the front passenger side wheel you will easily see the tanks and the valves & lanyards. I've never had any moisture come out when I pull the valves. I did replace the air drier and as mentioned above it is near the drivers side real axle. Not a hard job to do a filter replacement but you'll get a bit dirty and dusty.
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Old 03-16-2013, 05:54 PM   #18
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Deuceneut, On my journey 39K the lanyards are in the passenger side front wheel well. If they are not there - the lanyards are attached at the front of the two tanks - I think if you scoot under behind the front passenger side wheel you will easily see the tanks and the valves & lanyards. I've never had any moisture come out when I pull the valves. I did replace the air drier and as mentioned above it is near the drivers side real axle. Not a hard job to do a filter replacement but you'll get a bit dirty and dusty.
That's great. Thanks for the info. Right now the air is dumped from the suspension and because of the mudflap behind the front wheel, I couldn't see anything.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:44 PM   #19
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Today I had a chance to go to my motorhome. I finally found the lanyards. They are wayyyyyy up at the top of the frame behind the wheel. My awning pull rod reached them quite easily. I could only find two lanyards. I was under the impression there are supposed to be three? Anybody know if there are? I drained the air and didn't find any moisture come out, but then I wasn't sure where it would come from, so I might have missed it. It was pretty dark under there.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:41 PM   #20
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Look around. The third one is up there.
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