Air Suspension

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Motorhome Man, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. Motorhome Man

    Motorhome Man Funster

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    Hi all, has anybody fitted one of the air suspension or air bag assistance kits to their motorhomes. If so where did they get it from, how easy was it to fit and has it made a difference thats worth its cost.
    Also, has anyone heard of or fitted bolt on wheel spacers,to increase the track on the rear wheels and make the rear end more stable. Regards Luke
     
  2. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    There has been a lot of discussion on here about air assisted suspension. Use the search facility to dig some of it up while waiting for an answer. :)

    I know nothing about spacers but widening the track by a couple of inches won't widen the suspension mounts so from that perspective I doubt any useful increase in stability could be achieved. Air bags will help but worth checking your shock absorbers first. And of course tyre pressure.
     
  3. Bill_OR

    Bill_OR Funster

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    have a look at the kits from Marcle Leisure http://www.marcleleisure.co.uk/
    I fitted the kit to my Apache as part of the weight upgrade to increase the payload. There has been an improvement in ride as well.
    The kit is fairly easy to fit provided you are OK for working under the motorhome and have the normal tools for working on vehicles. The only tool I had to borrow is a torque wrench to torque the U bolts.
     
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  4. Motorhome Man

    Motorhome Man Funster

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    Thanks for replies and info, have checked out Marcle kit, reasonably priced and as you said Bill looks fairly easy to install. Thanks.
     
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  5. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
  6. taffybloke

    taffybloke Funster

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    I fitted this.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fiat-DUCA...822880?hash=item2a622e3920:g:m~YAAOSwu4BVwda~

    But I bought 2 gauges and filling valves as I wanted each side to be inflated independantly.

    I have single leaf springs and when I bought the van there was about an inch gap between the spring and the spring helper (bumpstop) but at the last MOT the springs are pressing against the helpers and the springs looked flat not curved.

    Very happy with result and the biggest issue I had when fitting was running the tubes from the cab to the axle.

    Mike
     
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  7. Lorryman100

    Lorryman100 Funster

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    Fitting wheel spacers does push the wheel further off the hub and is used mostly for fitting larger wheels. On my land rover if I fit larger wheels (305/75x15) than standard (235/85x16) I use wheel spacers as it increases the turning circle and gives more clearance from the wheel arch. Downside to using wheel spacers is that you are putting a heavier load onto the bearings through the lever effect as the wheel is sitting further off the centreline than standard. I only use the larger wheels and tyres in the wintertime if there is a lot of snow or when I am launching my boat from the beach as the larger tyres reduce the ground pressure. JMTW(y)
     
  8. stevec

    stevec Funster

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    I'd stay away from wheel spacers. They will put extra stress on the wheel bearings.
     
  9. Manic

    Manic Funster

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    I've recently fitted air assisted suspension from these people
    http://www.sospensionieasytop.it/en/
    Easy to fit and very pleased with the ride, a lot more compliant and less roll.
     
  10. MikeD

    MikeD Funster

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    I have a Fiat chassis Autotrail Tracker FB and Dave Newell fitted air assist to the rear suspension. It has transformed how the van drives and handles.

    In cross winds on the motorways and with lorries overtaking are no longer the bottom clenching experience that is once was.

    I would now not have a motorhome on a Fiat Ducato chassis without air assist rear suspension. (y)
     
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  11. Motorhome Man

    Motorhome Man Funster

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    Thanks again to everybody for all their input, will definitely be looking into purchasing a kit and will let you all know how i get on. Once again thank you all for taking the time to respond. Many thanks Luke.
     
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  12. Calypso a go go

    Calypso a go go Funster

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    Hi,
    I just replaced my rear springs on my 1999 VW T4 Compass Calypso.

    I decided to try a pair of Technix Air bags which are double convoluted, to carry extra weight. I have raised them to the maximum that the air management system allows. Although this only just over half inflates the bags, the ride height is already above the original spring height be at least an inch, handling is much better, manoeuvring and motorways, much less roll or wallowing.

    I just completed a tour around the New Forest and coastal through to Poole and they performed brilliantly.

    I am now looking to add a couple of inches more simply by adding another 20-25psi taking it up to 125psi, around a third of the bags burst pressure. To do this I need to remove the current pressurising system and replace it with an uprated compressor pump and a tank. These items are easy connected to gauges etc via flexible hose. The problem I have now, is the Air Ride Wireless system only has a maximum of 100psi available through its digital display.
    Its great that I can stand 20ft away with a remote control and level up the van on site, but unfortunately cannot achieve what I need for everything.

    Anyone got any suggestions as to what air management system I could use?

    As far as the ride quality goes, the wallowing and roll has almost dissappeared, on motorways its steady even with EU registered HGV's thundering past.

    The alternative of air bags was to replace the springs with new and insert the Air Ride spring helpers, a route which I might yet take. Has anyone got experience of the helpers, I read somewhere if trying to lift them with too much pressure they distort the springs, is this so?

    Thanks for reading, experience, suggestions etc welcome.
     
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  13. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    Fitting wheel spacers will not improve handling as the connection between body and axle remains the same and that is pretty much that.

    D.
     
  14. Feltwell

    Feltwell Funster

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    Air suspension - I fitted the Dunlop system to my van, which is a 2006 Ducato X244 on the Maxi chassis. I bought it from Marcle Leisure, who were great. I went for the option where you have a pressure gauge to fill the system from, with 2 taps giving independent control to each side, which I mounted in the driver's step area of the cab. Simple to fill the system using a cheap 12v compressor. The Dunlop kit seems to be very good quality, decent heavy brackets and it fitted well.

    Easy enough to fit if you're a half-decent diy'r, and it absolutely transformed the handling of the van. It's a coachbuilt - a fairly tall one at that, 3.1m, sitting fairly high up on the standard Fiat chassis rather than the more low-line Alko chassis. Prior to fitting the air suspension it was horrible overtaking trucks on the motorway, the vacuum effect as you passed the front of their bodies really pulled the van off line.

    Fitting the kit pretty much eliminated that, and whilst it's still no sports car it also means it no longer feels like it will fall over whilst going round a bend! It also means I was able to uprate the van from 3500kg to 4000kg max weight, without the air suspension I would only have got to 3850kg. The van unladen was over 3300kg, so I needed all the payload I could get!

    One of the best modifications I've fitted - if I change vans I'd fit a kit straight away. For a big family-size van full of, err, family (!) it made a huge difference.

    If you were looking at smaller, lower coachbuilt vans that aren't running close to their weight limits, or PVC's, maybe you wouldn't see such a difference.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
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