Air suspension basics. And I mean basics......

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by acropolis22, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. acropolis22

    acropolis22 Funster

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    Have some moho experience some years ago, but know nothing at all about air suspension. To get me started could someone please comment? 1. Can you fit just front or rear or is it always both? 2. And in practice can you use the system to level up on pitch? 3. Also, do they all allow changing pressure from the moho cab, or do some systems require you to ferret about under the chassis? Thanks in advance. Andrew
     
  2. The Dude

    The Dude Funster

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    We had air suspension fitted to our van a last year. Cost a fortune as we have an Alko chassis, but worth it.
    So, to answer your questions, this is my understanding (I may be contradicted by folk who know more):
    1. On motorhomes usuually just fitted at rear to give ground clearance
    2. Yes, to a certain extent
    3. Yes, but costs more (but worth it)
     
  3. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    we have it and can only have rear air due to Mercedes chassis, or the rear wheel drive, not sure for certain which

    some have both axles, even with tag axles, but it presumably only works on one rear axle

    if both axles are fitted you could I guess do some levelling, we also have levelling jacks so irrelevant to us

    I think even the most basic systems, as ours was when we first got it, have some control from inside, ours you could only lower pressure and had to connect to air line or pump to manually increase

    A full system is very expensive, I am not sure we have got as much improvement as I hoped / expected for the money
     
  4. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Hi Andrew

    Yes you can fit front or rear on its own but depending on the chassis as not all will accept the front conversion. It would be more normal is only doing one to do the rear as this helps with heavier axle loads which will normally be on the rear.

    If you have a full 4 channel this can be used to level on a pitch and will work automatically but only within the limits of the suspension, if you want proper levelling hydraulic jacks are the way to go. More basic air suspension would just raise or lower on the rear axle so as long as you park level side to side you can get a bit of level back to front with the suspension.

    They all allow changing pressure in some way but again it depends on the system you get, the more expensive fully automatic will have controls from the driving seat, others will have very basic fill points which you can do with an electric pump,or foot/hand pump.

    Like everything on motorhomes it all depends on how much you want to spend, you might want to look at VB web site to see what is available for your vehicle, other systems are available of course.

    http://www.vbairsuspension.com/nl/

    Martin
     
  5. MikeD

    MikeD Funster

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    We had air assistance suspension fitted last year to our Fiat based motorhome
    We have an on board compressor and the assistance is on the rear axle only.
    The original leaf springs are retained.
    It stiffened up the suspension and makes the motorhome more stable when driven. It's an absolute pleasure now on a windy motorway where previously that would make for a bit of a white knuckle ride.
    With around four inches of possible lift we can adjust the rear height a fair bit. Ours is also independent across the axle but changes here do not effect the ride height so much so it does not really assist levelling across the motorhome.
    Dave Newell fitted ours and a cracking job he did. We have had no problems at all.
     
  6. acropolis22

    acropolis22 Funster

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    Thanks everyone for some very useful answers. And so fast!! I now understand a bit more. I think I want to go for something like this. :)
     

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  7. sallylillian

    sallylillian Funster Life Member

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    I had the VB 4 channel air suspension and the E&P jacks factory fitted this year. I had Air suspension combined with levelling on my US Country Coach but no jacks. The Coach always was an issue as the amount of slope it could cope with was 8 inches as it was managed by the extension of the bags. So I often spent 15 minutes juggling the position of the coach to get it right or in extreme case use blocks which was tricky with 20 tons.
    So I wanted air suspension on the Flair for the enhanced ride but with my experience of air levelling decided that it would not be adequate as my sole levelling option. I added the jacks.

    It is an amazingly flexible combination. I would say that its a 50-50 split in our first 3 month trip of jacks or air levelling. Sometimes its obvious that air will not do it, other times I just try air first and if its too extreme put the jacks down. I also have jack pads I got from the US which lock together like lego and frankly I have not had a pitch I could not get level on. I have had the front wheels 8 inches in the air on one occasion. Equally I can pull into an aire for the night and press the button and she's level on air. Great for fridge performance and longevity.

    The VB and E&P systems are linked, so when you select the jacks it first tells the air to drop, 30 seconds or so later after its dumped, out go the jacks, and then once they are level it puts some air in the bags to ensure they do not get squashed when you lower the van.

    Very sophisticated but also expensive. I however would not choose any other option. N+B dumped Goldsmidt for their factory fit kit due to ongoing warranty problems even though they are in the same group, something to be aware of if you are retro fitting, I got this from the factory manager when on tour.

    I met a great guy at an NEC show who is the VB and E&P dealer in Doncaster, ask for Mick, S.A.P. Ltd 01302 215296 Bentley Moor Lane Unit 13 Wellsyke Ind Est , Doncaster , DN6 7BD
    I have used him as my support as he knows more than the UK distributor, and I would think a great place to start discussing an upgrade if you live that way.
     
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  8. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Just in case it isn't clear there are really two different types, air assistance and air suspension. The latter could cost your £5K* upwards the former a tenth of that or even less if you fitted it yourself. What system you choose depends partly on pocket depth and also what it is you are trying to achieve. If you just want a bit more stability then air assistance on the rear might be all you need.

    *Someone I know had the VB system recently fitted to their Murvi PVC and it was around £8K I think. He then took it to Iceland in company with two other Murvis with standard suspension and he was able to go a lot faster on their gravel roads than the others and level up later without moving from his driver's seat. So it works very well but isn't cheap.
     
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  9. acropolis22

    acropolis22 Funster

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    I think 8 thou is a bit more than I was planning........... :( But thanks for clarifying the two systems. Andrew
     
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  10. gus-lopez

    gus-lopez Funster

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    Can you d-i-y in Greece ? You can't here.
     
  11. kevan

    kevan Funster Life Member

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  12. acropolis22

    acropolis22 Funster

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    Thanks people. I've made a note of various suppliers for after we've actually bought the moho........:rolleyes:
     
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  13. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    There's quite a few out there with it fitted so that the MoHo can be uprated from 3500 to 3850kgs. Some even have had bigger wheels and tyres fitted to achieve it. Ours has air on the rear blown up from behind the cab seats with a compressor I keep under the drivers seat, I run at 2bar and ours is rated @3750kgs.
     
  14. acropolis22

    acropolis22 Funster

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    Who was the supplier, Paul?
     
  15. The Dude

    The Dude Funster

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    We had ours fitted by Mick at S.A.P. Very pleased with the work (and he's also a really nice guy).
     
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